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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The lads of Canada’s only all-male burlesque troupe Boylesque are ready to scandalize and delight at Lee’s Palace Saturday. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Paley.
This weekend in Toronto: a consumer-friendly sex convention, a border showdown of wordsmiths, the Tranzac’s fund drive continues, Canada’s premiere all-boy burlesque team shakes their collective backsides, Santa rolls into town, comedians compete, and more film fests than you can shake a reel at.
SEX: Canada’s annual adult industry retail bacchanal returns this weekend, proving there’s plenty to keep the blood warm even as the cold weather rolls in. The Everything to do with Sex Show features a wide assortment of vendors, a who’s who of industry performers and guests, seminars, and the Priape Dungeon Stage hosted by BDSM community leader Lady J. Given that the exhibition takes place in the same venue as the puppy parade, it’s just about the most non-threatening introduction to the alt-sex community a person could ask for. Direct Energy Centre (100 Princes Boulevard), Saturday 11 a.m.–midnight, Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m., $25 ($35 for a weekend pass).
WORDS: Type Books and Broken Pencil have decided to celebrate the longest undefended border in the world with their new reading series, Border Patrol. The event will present one American writer and one Canadian writer in a celebration of the quirky relationship between the United States and its humble geographic hat. Representing the home team at the premiere reading will be Trillium Award-winning Pasha Malla, while McSweeney’s alum Adam Levin waves the ol’ red, white, and blue. Supermarket (268 Augusta Avenue), Saturday 4 p.m., FREE.
MUSIC: The Tranzac continues its fundraising drive following recent financial troubles, with the goal of four thousand dollars by 2011. Showing their support for the beloved venue this weekend are local indie pop stars Ohbijou and balladeer Lisa Bozikovic. Swing by to enjoy the music, and perhaps invest in a membership to ensure such performances will continue well into the future! Tranzac (292 Brunswick Avenue), Saturday 8 p.m., $15 at the door, $17 in advance.
BURLESQUE: Canada’s first—and thus far only—all-male burlesque troupe Boylesque have been reclaiming male nudity since 2008 with a number of ebullient showcases around town. This Saturday they pull out all the stops with their biggest—and most patriotic—show yet, O Manada. Check out these brazen boys as they light up Lee’s Palace with their tribute to all things Canadian, from maple syrup to mounties. Hosted by SummerWorks sensations Balonia Wry and Ginger Darling (a.k.a. Torontoist’s own Johnnie Walker). National pride has never felt so wrong…yet so right! Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor Street West), Saturday 10 p.m., $15.
PARADE: If sex toys and sultry stripping aren’t your seasonal flavour, try something a little more wholesome with this year’s Santa Claus Parade. Though the jolly procession itself kicks off at 12:30 p.m., the viewing public are invited out for a free breakfast beforehand at Yonge-Dundas Square from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. With appetites sated (and faces painted) viewers may then grab a prime vantage spot anywhere along the route, which begins at Christie Pits Park and travels along Bloor Street, Queen’s Park Crescent, University Avenue, Dundas Street East, Yonge Street, and Front Street before ending at St. Lawrence Market. Naughty or nice, everyone gets a candy cane today. Begins at Christie Street and Bloor Street West, Sunday 12:30 p.m., FREE.
COMEDY: Twenty-one comedic acts competed for the prestigious Tim Sims Award earlier this month, with five emerging on the prestigious shortlist. These finalists, rightly dubbed the Cream of Comedy, will be competing for the five thousand dollar prize this Sunday at Second City. In the running for the career-boosting honour are stand-up comics Darryl Orr, Mike Rita, Georgia Brooks-Hancock, Marco Bernardi, and sketch troupe Big Tease. Who will be the ultimate winner? The audience of course, with talent like this. Second City (51 Mercer Street), Sunday 7:30 p.m., $15.
FILM: Toronto’s film festival season is in full swing this weekend, and with too many options to go into detail on, consider this your very abbreviated roundup. Check out Latin American film and media arts at the aluCine festival, or experience Polish culture at Ekran, the Toronto Polish Film Festival. Peruse socially aware selections from Amnesty International at the Reel Awareness festival, or rethink breast cancer at Breast Fest. The country’s first ever labour-oriented festival kicks off this year with the Canadian Labour International Film Festival, while the EU brings the best of Continental Europe’s celluloid culture at the European Union Film Festival. Last but not least, spice things up at the Toronto Creole Film Festival, which includes the Canadian Film Centre’s Nurse.Fighter.Boy. Phew. For more information, check out the new Toronto Film Festival Database, created to help sort through these overwhelming options!