In this Weekend Planner: Afrofest brings African culture to Woodbine Park, Christie Pits hosts a free movie, and "BLK Barbie Project" continues.
- Parties: Searching for new ways to explore Toronto’s diversity? Afrofest, which happens to be hitting the milestone of 25 years, is a weekend-long celebration of African music and culture. This festival includes non-stop dancing and music acts from various African musical groups in Canada as well as vendors, art displays, a drum stage, workshops, and much more. Woodbine Park (Eastern Avenue and Coxwell Avenue), Saturday at 12 a.m., FREE. Details
- Parties: The Annual Corso Italia Festival returns for a 15th year. This multicultural festival features food, live entertainment (including busker-style entertainers and musical acts), art, rides, and a sidewalk sale. Fun for the whole family! It takes place along St. Clair Avenue West between Dufferin Street and Lansdowne Avenue. Multiple venues, Saturday at 12 a.m., FREE. Details
- Offbeat: If you like free things (and who doesn’t really?) then you might want to calendar in the latest edition of the Really Really Free Market West Toronto. In stark contrast to traditional economic models, this market offers a chance for people to share goods, ideas, and skills with one another as well as get to know your community in the process. Campbell Park (195 Campbell Ave), Saturday at 10 a.m., FREE. Details
- Film: Who doesn’t love outdoor film screenings? The Christie Pits Film Festival is a chance for you to check out some free films in the park with your Toronto neighbours. The films that will be shown are That Thing You Do! (July 7), Gimme Shelter (July 14), Shut Up and Play the Hits (July 20), Buena Vista Social Club (July 21), and The Last Waltz (July 28). Christie Pits Park (Bloor and Christie streets), Sunday at 9 p.m., FREE. Details
History: The name “Mesopotamia” derives from a Greek term meaning “land between the rivers.” The Royal Ontario Museum’s latest major exhibit, which opens on June 22, takes this literally, as visitors flow between painted representations of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on the floor.
Presented by the British Museum and rounded out with pieces from institutions in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, “Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World” covers 3,000 years of human development in the cradle of urban civilization. Most of the 170 artifacts on display have never been shown in Canada. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), Saturday at 12 a.m., $27 (Includes general admission). Details
Theatre: So we’ve had a few long weekends, a few Jays wins, and a few sweltering days followed by a few rain showers…so why doesn’t it truly feel like summer yet?
Because the Toronto Fringe Festival has yet to begin! But don’t worry, it will soon. Soon being Wednesday, July 3.
From July 3 to 14, some of the world’s most exciting performers and theatremakers (as well as plenty of total unknowns) will be performing at the annual arts festival, which is curated solely by a random lottery. With almost 150 shows and over one thousand artists involved this year—the Festival’s 25th anniversary—there are bound to be some extraordinary shows, some mediocre ones, some gruesome ones, and most of all, something for everyone. Multiple venues, Wednesday at 12 a.m., Tickets $11 advance, $10 door. Details
- Music: If you need further proof that Toronto hosts some of the best music festivals in the world, look no further than Toronto Urban Roots Fest. This multi-day, multi-stage event features over 30 bands to satisfy your indie-rock needs. Among some of the biggest performers are She & Him, The Hold Steady, Belle & Sebastian, and Neko Case. Fort York, Garrison Common (100 Garrison Road), Thursday at 12 a.m., Prices vary. Details
- Art: “To Be Near You” is a new art exhibition that explores the relationship of colours and experiences to our existence. These uniquely abstract pieces of art come to you via artist Christina Wollesen. The opening reception is on July 4 at 7 p.m. While you’re at Hashtag, you also have the chance to check out their “Send-A-Postcard Wall”, which lets you send art to anyone in the world so they can enjoy the show too. #Hashtag Gallery (801 Dundas Street West), Thursday at 12 a.m., FREE. Details
- Theatre: Soulpepper Theatre collaborates on a Joe Orton play, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s artistic producer Brendan Healey. Guest director Healey has coached some Soulpepper theatre stalwarts—Stuart Hughes, Fiona Reid, Michael Simpson, and David Beazley—for this dark comedy about a charming lodger who incites illicit passions among his other housemates. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), Friday at 8 p.m., $5-$68. Details
- History: Looking to brush up your cultural and history knowledge on all things Toronto? Heritage Toronto 2013 Tours offers you an enormous chance to learn tons and tons about the city you love via walking tours, bike tours, and more. Some of the events on the agenda of this weekly series include tours of Fort York, Korea Town, Don Valley, and Black Creek. It’s running all summer long so don’t miss out! Multiple venues, Saturday at 12 a.m. and Sunday at 12 a.m., FREE. 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), Saturday at 1:30 p.m.,7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m., $60–$110. Details
- Art: The world’s most ubiquitous doll gets a subversive makeover in Frantz Brent-Harris and Rose-Ann Marie Bailey’s “BLK Barbie Project,” a photo exhibit on the “representation of beauty and body image of black women.” The gallery is open Saturday and Sunday afternoons until 5 p.m. through July 21, with an opening reception at 7 p.m. on June 28, an artist’s talk at 5 p.m. on July 13, and a closing reception at 7 p.m. on July 21. Black Artists’ Network in Dialogue (1 Wiltshire Ave., Suite 134), Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m., FREE. Details
- Theatre: The hockey season may have ended only days ago, but we bet you’re already feeling the withdrawal. No doubt, that’s why the Second City had the bright idea to bring one of the most classic hockey films to the stage. Check out Slap Shot Live!, a comedic re-enactment of the Charleston Chiefs minor league hockey team’s fight for victory in its final season. Second City (51 Mercer Street), Saturday at 7 p.m.,10 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m., $29-$34, plus tax.. Details
- Performing Arts: Henri Fabergé’s Feint of Hart is an epic cabaret/punk opera that combines music, theatre, and film to tell the tale of a young aristocrat “whose Dionysian free spirit meets the resistance of firm Edwardian rule.” Featuring a long list of performers who you’re probably already familiar with including Doldrums, Maylee Todd, Bob Wiseman, Kathleen Phillips, and more. The show will be broken up into multiple episodes over multiple days though the ticket price covers both parts. Click here for the full schedule. Videofag (187 Augusta Avenue), Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m., $20. Details
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.