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events

Urban Planner: June 24, 2014

In today's Urban Planner: mindful martinis, fostering inclusive workplaces, and connecting with the Blue Jays.

Photo by Flickr user brian kusler

Photo by Flickr user brian kusler.

  • Offbeat: When conjuring up a mental picture of “mindfulness,” a bar probably isn’t the first setting that comes to mind. Singer, comedian, and mindfulness teacher Elaine Smookler hopes to change impressions of what it means to be mindful with the second instalment of her Mindful Martinis series at the Gladstone. It’s part cabaret, part party, part class led by Smookler, and aims to allow guests to practice being present in a boisterous space filled with entertainment and cocktails. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), 6:30 p.m., $20. Details
  • Sports: As of press time, the Blue Jays are returning home from their most recent road trip holding onto first place, with the addition of fan-favourite Munenori Kawasaki and the return of injured centre fielder Colby Rasmus to the lineup. Tonight, the second night of the Jays’ crucial series against the division rival Yankees is also Connect With the Jays night, an opportunity for fans to interact with the team on social media and take home some prizes. The first 15,000 fans will also receive a free T-shirt, the design of which was chosen by Twitter vote. Rogers Centre (1 Blue Jays Way), 7 p.m., Various Prices. Details
  • Comedy: Be the first to laugh at jokes from the likes of Stephanie Tolev, Chris Locke, and Nile Seguin as the Ossington hosts an evening of new material from a roster of in-demand comics, whose collective credits include Just For Laughs, SF Sketchfest, and the CBC. The Ossington (61 Ossington Avenue), 9 p.m., $5. Details

Ongoing…

  • Art: If The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors has a mascot, it’s Emperor Yongzheng. The image of the 18th-century Chinese ruler dominates the promotional material of the exhibition, which is one of the centrepieces of the Royal Ontario Museum’s centennial year. His portrait certainly has visual appeal, but Yongzheng is also a figure associated with surprising elements of life within the former imperial palace. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), all day, $27 adults. Details
  • Art: “The greatest art always returns you to the vulnerabilities of the human situation.” – Francis Bacon

    “In the human figure one can express more completely one’s feelings about the world than in any other way.” – Henry Moore

    These quotations, which welcome visitors to Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty,” immediately establish the exhibition’s tone and focus. Each artist’s distortions of the human figure, shaped by their wartime experiences, capture the vulnerability of our mortal forms. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $25 adults. Details

  • Music: On June 19, the Toronto Jazz Festival will once again descend upon Nathan Phillips Square and clubs and concert halls all over the city. Friday night will feature a free concert at Nathan Phillips Square, presented in partnership with WorldPride, with sets by Melissa Etheridge and Deborah Cox. There will also be a huge fireworks display and the raising of the rainbow flag—it’s bound to be a real party. There are lots of big names at the fest this year, including Chaka Kahn, Bobby McFerrin, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Here’s our rundown of some of the other shows worth checking out. Various venues. Details
  • Film: Anyone seeking proof that all it takes for a radical to become part of the establishment is a little bit of endurance need only look to “Skin Flicks,” TIFF Cinematheque’s retrospective of the films of Toronto zine impresario, radical, occasional pornographer, and queercore filmmaker Bruce LaBruce.

    A farm boy who left his rural digs for a more urban life in Toronto in the mid-‘80s, LaBruce first turned heads on the scene with his publication (along with partner and Fifth Column frontwoman G.B. Jones) of the seminal queer punk zine J.D.s, which distinguished itself from punk culture through its queer vision, and from mainstream LGBT culture through its aggressive DIY aesthetic and radical politics. From that fertile underground world came the first of LaBruce’s experimental Super 8 shorts, including Boy, Girl—ground zero for later thematic obsessions such as neo-skinheads and surveillance. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West). Details

  • Festivals: For ten days this June, Toronto will welcome the world to our city—a city that’ll be bursting with queer-positive cultural events, including musical performances by the likes of Tegan & Sara, special theatrical presentations by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and many more, visual art exhibitions, parties, and of course, the various annual Pride parades. All the official events are listed on the World Pride 2014 website (though we’ll also be keeping our eyes open for a few unofficial events we think readers might appreciate). Multiple venues. Details
  • Film: Every part of our city will be drenched in WorldPride this summer, including the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Bent Lens: Pride on Screen comprises nearly two months of screenings, exhibits, and speaking engagements that reflect the broadness of our LGBT community. Check out films under the stars in David Pecaut Square, take in a conversation with Laverne Cox of Orange is the New Black, and much more. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West). Details
  • Markets: Although living in the centre of downtown is awesome, it does have its drawbacks—namely, the lack of nearby farms and the delicious fresh produce they provide. But not anymore! Every Tuesday until October, CityPlace Farmers’ Market will be setting up shop in Canoe Landing Park, nestled in the heart of condo-ville. Drop by to stock up on fruits, vegetables, and other goods, grown, made, and sold by local farmers. Canoe Landing Park (Fort York Boulevard and Dan Leckie Way), 3:30 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Outdoors: If you’ve ever walked through a park and come across a group of people moving slowly in unison, this is your chance to find out what they’re up to. Every Tuesday this summer, Harbourfront Centre will be hosting free Tai Chi classes in the Exhibition Common. Join instructor Eti Greenberg for an hour of stretching and positions to focus the mind and promote good health. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), 6 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Sports: Align your body, ease your mind, and get your retail therapy all in one stop this summer at the Shops at Don Mills. Bring your mat for free Yoga in the Town Square every Tuesday and Thursday, courtesy of Titika. Shops at Don Mills (1090 Don Mills Road), 7 p.m., FREE. Details
  • Theatre: If you haven’t heard of Twelve Angry Men, you’ve likely seen it parodied in a number of movies and television shows over the years. Now here’s your chance to see the real deal, on stage, thanks to the Soulpepper Theatre Company. Watch the drama unfold in a claustrophobic deliberation room as one dissenting juror unravels what is supposed to be an open-and-shut murder case. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane), 8 p.m., $29–$74. Details
  • Theatre: First things first: the Tarragon Theatre mainspace is now licensed. That means that during its current production, The God That Comes, starring Hawksley Workman—which has set up the space like a dark, sultry 1930s cabaret with crystal chandeliers, long white tablecloths, and deep crimson curtains—you can sip a glass of red while one of Canada’s best rockers uses his beautiful voice to scream into your face. Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue), 8 p.m., $40. 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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