In today's Urban Planner: a summer camp for adults, artist An Te hosts an opening party for his latest installation, and a show by banjo virtuoso Jayme Stone.
Outdoors: As may be the case for many working parents of young children, Danielle Goldfinger occasionally longs for the youthful freedom that went hand-in-hand with the summer vacations of her school-aged past—particularly the joy of spending time outdoors surrounded by friends. For her, the place that consistently offered that seasonal freedom was camp.
“These were the best times of my life, and I think about camp often,” Goldfinger says, explaining that she loved the opportunity to have some independence away from home. “It was just amazing to be able to literally spend every minute with friends.”
Now, as a responsible adult with a job as an event coordinator with The Stop Community Food Centre, Goldfinger, who attended Camp Shalom, Camp Solelim, and Camp Northland, wants to recreate that experience.
It was with this in mind that she created the Two Islands Weekend summer camp for adults. The first-ever session will be held from September 6 to 8, at Haliburton’s Camp Timberlane, located on Lake of Two Islands. Camp Timberlane (1612 Dudley Road, Halliburton, Ontario), all day, $300. Details
- Art: Artist An Te hosts an extravagant opening party, AN TE SOCIAL (search #ANTESOCIAL on Twitter), for his new installation and “intervention” at the Gardiner Museum, entitled MONO NO MA. Unlimited Steam Whistle beer, Barefoot bubbly, and à la Carte Kitchen appetizers will be flowing freely, while DJ John Kong will be providing “beats and vibes.” Gardiner Museum (111 Queens Park), 6 p.m., $50. Details
- Music: Banjo virtuoso Jayme Stone, who’s been called “the Yo Yo Ma of banjo” by the Globe and Mail, is currently based in Boulder, Colorado, but Toronto is his hometown. Stone is touring his new album The Other Side of the Air, which explores his chosen instrument’s roots in West Africa and classical music; he’ll demonstrate these influences at his Music Gallery performance. The Music Gallery (197 John Street), 7 p.m., $10–$12. Details
- Parties: The folks at Young Lions Music Club (YLMC) go all out with their themed parties, and Kubrick II: A Clockwork Orange looks to be a wicked good time. Sweet Thing singer Owen Carrier plays Alex, with members of the Unit 102 Actors Company as his droogs; Weaves plays a live set; and Cookie Duster’s Brendan Canning will be spinning. Adelaide Music Hall (250 Adelaide Street West), 10 p.m., $17-$20. 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), all day, $27 (Includes general admission). Details
- Theatre: If Fringe and SummerWorks aren’t enough to satisfy your summer theatre cravings, the world-renowned Stratford Festival is now only a bus ride away from downtown Toronto, thanks to the new Stratford Direct bus route (“the best thing [the Festival] has done in years” according to one usher at the Avon Theatre). Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino has put together a season to please tastes from the traditional to the extravagant. Here’s what we think about five of Stratford’s current productions. Multiple venues, all day, $25–$175. Details
- Art: Flight: A Thrilling History of an Idea is a new exhibition from the Toronto Reference Library that gathers a number of rare items that explore the theme of the possible and the impossible. Some of the highlights on display are La vingtième siècle: la vie électrique (a rare French book that shows how scientific discoveries would have affected people in 1955), Tame (a sci-fi pulp magazine), and Worldly Wisdom (watercolour that depicts a Leonardo da Vinci-like figure creating a winged flying machine). You’ll find the exhibition in the library’s TD Gallery. Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street), all day, FREE. Details
- Art: BEARS IN THE STREETS *the world as I’ve seen it is a solo art exhibition by Jeff Blackburn featuring works that involve bears, which act as guides through various cityscapes (see above for example). Visitors will have the chance to see different public spaces from around the world (with bears!). The opening reception will be held on September 1st and will start at 7 p.m. Gallery 431 (431 Roncesvalles Avenue), all day, FREE. Details
- Festivals: The annual Cabbagetown Festival of the Arts is making its return for a 37th year. The festival, which features music, dance, film, theatre, and a mini-marathon across several days, is also a great chance to check out some of the art and culture of Cabbagetown. There will be vendors, buskers, and tasty food all along Carlton Street (from Parliament Street to Berkeley Street) and Parliament Street (from Carlton Street to Gerrard Street). Multiple venues, all day, FREE. Details
- Film: Now in its 38th year, the Toronto International Film Festival is a behemoth cultural institution, a one-stop shop for everything from star-studded red carpets to North American premieres for some of the most lauded names in world cinema. The most prestigious public film festival in the world, TIFF is also a major Toronto institution, turning King Street into ground zero for filmgoers, members of the press, and celebrities alike. Multiple venues, all day, Various prices. Details
Art: Ai Weiwei is a 56-year-old artist confined to his home in Beijing for creating work critical of the Chinese government and Chinese culture. There are video cameras outside his house, his phone lines are tapped, his blog was deleted, his Shanghai studio was destroyed in 2010 by authorities, and his passport was confiscated in 2011. To this day, he’s unable to leave his country. Even so, Ai Weiwei has had a large presence in Toronto over the past few months.
This past June, he did a performance piece with artist Laurie Anderson during the Luminato Festival, using Skype. His Zodiac Heads have been installed, temporarily, in the reflecting pool in front of City Hall. At this year’s Nuit Blanche, a large-scale version of his sculpture of bicycles, Forever, will take over Nathan Phillips Square. And beginning August 17, the Art Gallery of Ontario is displaying “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”, a retrospective of the work he produced before and after the Chinese government’s crackdown on his activities helped him find new international acclaim. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), 10 a.m., $25 (Includes general admission). Details
- Film: The CaribbeanTales Film Showcase returns to Toronto for its eighth year, bringing films and documentaries from over 25 different countries. The opening-night gala features the world premiere of Christopher Laird’s No Bois Man No Fraid, which sees two Trinidadian martial artists enter the dangerous world of Kalinda (stickfighting). Over 10 feature pieces, and 30 short films will screen during the festival, many of which will include discussions with the respective directors. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queen’s Quay West), 6:30 p.m., $20–$45. Details
- Theatre: Many people now routinely consume television series in marathon benders, blowing through DVDs or Netflix downloads in a few evenings or a weekend. It’s that sort of experience—but live, of course—that awaits audiences at Soulpepper’s production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, which offers over six hours of impeccably staged and performed theatre either in two long evenings or over the course of one full day, with multiple intermissions and a meal break. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), 7:30 p.m., Various prices. Details
- Comedy: You might expect a show called We Can Be Heroes to be a send-up of superhero films, but Second City’s new mainstage production is actually a celebration of minor, everyday acts of heroism ranging from giving advice to a bullied child to managing not to be a jackass at your friend’s wedding. Second City (51 Mercer Street), 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., $24–$29. Details
- Music: Cover band extraordinaire Dwayne Gretzky kicks off Indie Fridays, Yonge-Dundas Square’s weekly summer music night series, on June 28. The eight-piece rock ‘n’ roll cover band most recently played Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album from beginning to end. Later in the summer, Indie Fridays’ feature acts include soul singer Saidah Baba Talibah (August 2), Polaris Prize shortlisters Plants and Animals (August 23), and hip hop innovator Cadence Weapon (August 30). Yonge-Dundas Square (1 Dundas Street East), 8 p.m., FREE. 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.