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Culture

Welcome to TIFF 2014

Survival guides, reviews, and other fun stuff

events

Urban Planner: June 20, 2013

In today's Urban Planner: a Pride-themed outdoor dance party, Hillary Clinton speaks, and The Sheepdogs play the Open Roof Festival.

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The Sheepdogs. Photo courtesy of Open Roof Festival.

  • Parties: There is certainly no shortage of events kicking off Pride Week 2013 in Toronto. But you can’t go wrong with this outdoor dance party at Hart House. The day begins with an outdoor community fair and barbecue, followed by an outdoor dance party (starting at 8 p.m.) featuring DJ Cozmic Cat, DJ Sammy Rawal, and a special dance performance by SC SWAGG. Hart House Quad (7 Hart House Circle), 4 p.m., FREE before 9 p.m., $5 after. Details
  • Talks: Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, potential presidential candidate, and overall bad-ass, is dropping by the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to give the keynote as part of the Unique Lives & Experiences women’s lecture series. She’ll likely be talking about her many experiences, challenges, and hopefully offer some wisdom for the attendees. If you can get a ticket, do yourself a favour and don’t miss out (there are still some of the cheaper ones available). Metro Toronto Convention Centre (255 Front Street West), 6 p.m., $45-300. Details
  • Music: EAST, a jazzy/indie, youth collective, are releasing their first album Jazz Casino and are inviting you to help celebrate the occasion. The unique thing about this Scarborough group is that it has a unique fusion of sounds while also serving as a great community project. The night features performances by EAST, Perfeck Strangers, Rise Poetry, Epic the Grand, Dwayne Morgan and Scott Ramirez. Click here to listen some of their music. The Hideout (484 Queen Street West), 7 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Music: One of the best summer activities to check out in Toronto is back. The Open Roof Festival, which highlights Toronto’s indie film and music scenes, returns for a fourth year of weekly gigs/screenings. For their launch, they’ve secured the Juno-award winning band, The Sheepdogs, who’ll be playing an acoustic set before screening their documentary film, The Sheepdogs Have At It. The Moonview Lot (175 Queens Quay East), 7:30 p.m., $25. Details
  • Theatre: Blood Ties is a musical by Anika Johnson and Barbara Johnston about what happens when a bachelorette weekend goes horribly wrong (based on a true story). Back in our SummerWorks 2012 roundup, we named it our number two pick of the show, calling it “the funniest show of the festival.” It’s only around for the one night and it’s well worth checking out. Annex Theatre (736 Bathurst Street), 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., $20. Details

Ongoing…

  • Art: Theatre, Dance, Opera, Music, Magic, and so much more; the 2013 edition of the Luminato Festival has something for just about everyone. You can read our preview coverage, or keep track of our ongoing coverage right here. Multiple venues, 12 p.m., FREE—$125. Details
  • Offbeat: Folks who are planning on having a swim in the pool at Scadding Court Community Centre over the next few days may find themselves a little disappointed. Those who want to go fishing, however, will probably be ecstatic.

    For the rest of the week, the Community Centre will be holding its annual Gone Fishin’ event, meaning its indoor pool will be an indoor fish pond. The pool has been drained, dechlorinated, and refilled with 2,000 rainbow trout, to be caught by local children and families. Scadding Court Community Centre (707 Dundas Street West), 3:30 p.m., $2. Details

  • Art: HUNTCLUB brings Montreal artist Fred Caron’s Trust Isn’t an Issue to its gallery for a two-week exhibition, beginning with an opening on Monday, June 10. The street artist is focusing on aspects of Stockholm syndrome for his installation’s short run in Toronto; later this summer, he’ll be the co-curator for on-site art at the Osheaga Festival. In addition to the opening, Caron is also doing an artist’s talk on Tuesday, June 11 at 7 p.m. HUNTCLUB (709 College Street), 6 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Wheels: If you enjoy biking in the city (and of course you do) then get your wheels tuned up and join in Ward 29 Bikes’ weekly summer series, Thursday Night Rides. Here, you’ll have an opportunity to spin around neighbourhoods you might not normally explore on your own while getting to meet other like-minded cycling citizens. Be sure to check out their website for the starting point and schedule (also to get confirmation that the ride’s still a go due to weather, etc.). Multiple venues, 6:15 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Theatre: Passion Play is an epic cycle of three plays that explores how religion, politics, and theatre intersect. The three-act play, which starts off in Withrow Park before moving down to Eastminster United Church, depicts traditional passion plays throughout three historical periods. This play by Sarah Ruhl is presented by Outside the March, Convergence Theatre, and Sheep No Wool. Multiple venues, 7 p.m., $25. Details
  • Offbeat: Mammalian Diving Reflex wants you to get on your feet this summer with a weekly event series called Socialist Games. Here, you’ll get to meet with other strangers and play various summer-campish activities. If you’re looking for something unique to get involved with, let this be it! The Theatre Centre Pop-Up (1095 Queen Street West), 7 p.m., PWYC. Details
  • Theatre: There are a lot of chefs in the kitchen for the Canadian premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play, a triptych set in three time periods that tells the stories of amateur actors (played by real actors) involved in staging performances of the story of Christ. Three different Toronto independent theatre companies, all with reputations for innovative staging and creation in their past work, each tackle one of the three acts. Ordinarily, such a complicated arrangement would be to a show’s detriment, but not in this case. While you need to be prepared for a marathon of theatre (the show runs four hours, incluing two intermissions), you’re certainly going to get your money’s worth. Eastminister Church (310 Danforth Avenue), 7 p.m., $25—$30. Details
  • Dance: Who says ballerinas can’t wear cowboy boots? Dancers of the National Ballet of Canada will do just that during the production of James Kudelka’s The Man in Black. Set to songs by the man in black himself—Johnny Cash—the choreography borrows from line, swing, and step dancing. As an added bonus, the show also includes a performance of Jorma Elo’s Pur ti Miro, Guillaume Côté’s No. 24, and George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (145 Queen Street West), 7:30 p.m., $25-$239. Details
  • Performing Arts: Cats is a challenging musical to stage for a number of reasons. The narrative is thin and strange; the lyrics are drawn primarily from T.S. Eliot’s poetry collection Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats, with more borrowed from some other Eliot poems, “Rhapsody on a Windy Night” (which original director Trevor Nunn adapted into the song “Memory”) and “Moments of Happiness.” The result is not so much a story as ideas and character sketches. Old Deuteronomy, patriarch of the Jellicle Cats, calls the creatures together once a year to celebrate, and for one cat to be chosen to ascend to the Heaviside Layer (essentially, to die and be reincarnated). Most of the songs detail the adventures and virtues of a single cat in particular, essentially serving as that cat’s audition for the honour of ascension. Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street), 7:30 p.m., $60–$110. Details

Happening soon:

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 us with all the details (including images, if you’ve got any), ideally at least a week in advance.

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