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Urban Planner: January 21, 2010

Urban Planner is Torontoist’s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to events@torontoist.com.

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Granny Square Rec-Room, a 2005 submission to Come Up to My Room by designer Allyson Mitchell. Photo courtesy of the Gladstone Hotel.

DESIGN: For the past seven years, the Gladstone Hotel has hosted Come Up to My Room, a design event that allows over fifty emerging and established designers to immerse visitors within the depths of their creative visions. The designers have an unusual amount of freedom for this project—the curators are barred from the exhibit spaces until the show starts, which will allow the participants to push the boundaries as they explore the intersections of design, space, and artistic expression. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), 4–8 p.m (January 22–23, noon–10 p.m.; January 24, noon–5 p.m.), $8.
HAITI: For the past year, indiecredit, an initiative celebrating Toronto’s independent music community, has been holding shows to raise money for Kiva, a charity that provides loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. To celebrate its first anniversary, the project is shifting gears, and will be holding a fundraiser with proceeds going to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) in support of their efforts in Haiti. On the schedule for tonight’s event are local rockers The Dreamboats, The Skirt Chasers, and Yukon Cigar. Rancho Relaxo (300 College Street), 9 p.m., $5.
LECTURE: According to experts, half of the world’s seven thousand languages will go extinct in this century, and the loss of these languages will eviscerate the myths, histories, and lore of the societies associated with them. Tonight, the issue of endangered cultural diversity will be addressed by leading Canadian anthropologist and ethnobotanist Wade Davis, whose 2009 Massey Lectures were collected and published as The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World. His discussion will explore a number of indigenous peoples whose cultures are in danger of disappearing, reminding us of the importance of local narratives and the value of cultural preservation. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queen’s Park); 7–8:30 p.m.; $28, $26/ROM members.
FILM: Over the past several months, movie fans have been barraged with a plethora of lists detailing the best films of the decade that was. To supplement these mainstream lists, TIFF Cinematheque polled sixty leading film experts and compiled its own alternative collection of the aughts’ most impressive celluloid achievements (which we told you about on Tuesday). The final result is an elite selection of art-house treasures from some of the world’s most prolific auteurs. Until February 23, Cinematheque will be screening thirty-eight of the selected films, starting tonight with the poll’s number one selection, 2006′s Syndromes and a Century, directed by Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Avenue West); 7 p.m.; $10.14 regular, $5.90 members/students/seniors/children (festival passport for up to ten films, $53.10/members, $91.26/regular).
THEATRE: In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, supernaturalism was all the rage—spiritualists, psychics, and illusionists demonstrated their professed abilities for Victorian audiences, thrilling them with uncanny readings and chillingly accurate predictions. For three shows (beginning tonight and running until January 23), parapsychologist Scott McClelland returns with his supernatural extravaganza, The Paranormal Show. This interactive experience promises to capture all the eerie glory of the spiritualist era, and includes demonstrations of hypnosis, psychokinesis, clairvoyance, retrocognition, and more. Paper Mill Theatre (67 Pottery Road), 9 p.m., $30.
IDEAS: Heads Toronto, which holds its second event tonight at The Great Hall, is an exciting new project that makes connections through ideas, conversations, and innovation. Tonight’s roster of speakers includes Laura Reinsborough, the founder and coordinator of Toronto’s leading urban fruit-picking initiative, Not Far From The Tree; communications expert and Ryerson faculty member Catherine Middleton, and Mark Cutrara and Ryan Donovan, co-chefs at Cowbell Restaurant, who will speak about their commitment to serving fresh, locally available foods and meats. Before and after the short talks, there will be opportunities to drink and schmooze with the speakers and guests. The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West); 7 p.m.; $10/advance, $15/door.
HAITI: Don’t forget that until tomorrow, you can donate to Canada’s Haiti relief effort at five subway stations (Bloor–Yonge, Finch, Kennedy, King, and Sheppard–Yonge), and if you’re still itching to contribute, take a look at Torontoist’s list of suggestions for what you can do from here to help. Citywide, rush hours, PWYC.

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