In this Weekend Planner: creepy-crawlies up close, a big festival on Bloor, and Caturday Night Live.
- Outdoors: Ah, summer! A time for rest, relaxation—and hordes of creepy little things poised to munch on your flesh. If pests are keeping you from enjoying the great outdoors, consider attending Bug Phobia Be Gone!, courtesy of the High Park Nature Centre. Join Emily Macleod, an entomologist (that means she studies insects), for a full day of lessons, hikes, and workshops on bees, ants, arachnids, beetles, and many other beings that exist in our vicinity. Perhaps once you learn a little about the interesting lives and purposes of these insects, you’ll be less likely to scream, swat, and stomp when they come near. High Park Nature Centre (440 Parkside Drive), Saturday at 10 a.m., $55. Details
- Festivals: Bloor Street has a lot to offer our city, and this weekend they’re showcasing it all! The BIG on Bloor Festival is taking over the stretch between Dufferin and Landsdowne for two full days of events. Drop by to check out the art installations, as well as dance, music, and theatre performances; take part in a variety of family-friendly activities; and stuff yourself silly at a bevy of food stations. Multiple venues, Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 12 p.m., FREE. Details
- Comedy: You’ve spent many an evening curled up on the couch with one, driven your Facebook friends nuts with incessant photos and videos, and now it’s time to celebrate your feline love in a comedic way (and most importantly—in the company of other human beings). Caturday Night Live is not only a night of hilarious local comedians, it’s also a fundraiser for the Annex Cat Rescue, a volunteer organization that cares for the feral and homeless cats around the city. Join Mark Andrada, Rhiannon Archer, Leonard Chan, Sara Hennessey, Julia Hladkowicz, Ted Morris, Ashley Moffatt, Pat Thornton, Kathleen Phillips-Locke, and Daniel Woodrow as they look at the funnier side of pet-run life, along with readings from I Could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats. Paintbox Bistro (555 Dundas Street East), Saturday at 9 p.m., $20. Details
- Film: There’s nothing like a little nostalgia to cap off a gorgeous summer weekend. Grab your blankets and head to Christie Pits for an outdoor screening of 1986’s coming-of-age story, Stand by Me. Short films “Silver Road” and “Wapawekka” will precede the main event, and Tallboys Craft Beer House and Sugar Mamma’s Mini Donuts will be on site to keep tongues and tummies happy. Christie Pits Park (Bloor and Christie streets), Sunday at 7:30 p.m., PWYC. Details
- 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
Film: You’d be hard-pressed to think of a filmmaker more frequently linked to his national cinema in the popular imagination than Satyajit Ray, whose work in the 1950s brought an independent streak to the production of Indian cinema as famously as Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless countered the establishment of French costume dramas around the same time. Yet prior to the 1990s, you might have found it equally difficult to name a major international figurehead who was as underrepresented at repertory screenings, so dire was the state of the films’ prints.
Twenty years after the Academy Film Archive restored the Bengali director’s deteriorating and otherwise endangered negatives and made proper retrospectives possible, TIFF Cinematheque offers “The Sun and the Moon: The Films of Satyajit Ray,” a far-ranging program that gives Toronto audiences the opportunity to see the fruit of that labour as well as the work of arguably India’s most influential filmmaker. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West). Details
- Music: The Waterfront Blues Festival (July 11–13), now in its 10th year, has recently “merged” with the wildly popular Beaches Jazz Festival (July 18–27), making the second half of July all-music-all-the-time in the Beach. Woodbine Park is the hub for both of these festivals, with things being rounded out by the Beaches Jazz Festival’s StreetFest along Queen Street East. Those looking for jazz will likely be disappointed by StreetFest—what you will get, though, is a fun Taste of the Danforth vibe and some epic people-watching. It’ll also be ground zero for Toronto’s well-heeled Baby Boomer set, so if you’re anxious to bust out your favourite Hawaiian shirt, now’s your chance. But if you aren’t into dancing to “Play That Funky Music White Boy” played on a pan flute, get yourself directly to one of the Beach’s fine patios, and check out one of our top picks for the Waterfront Blues Festival and Beaches Jazz Festival. FREE. 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.
- Music: The Beaches International Jazz Festival has grown over the years into 10 days chock-full of diverse programming, including a jazz run, a street festival, a food truck fest, and much more. It’s as much a celebration of the Beaches area and community itself as it is a jazz fest, although an appreciation for the music is evident throughout. Artists playing main-stage concerts include Trampled Under Foot, Paul James, and Dumpstaphunk—check out our top picks. , all day and all day, FREE. Details
- Theatre: With so many sold-out shows at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, there were plenty of people who didn’t get to see many of Torontoist‘s top picks. Not to worry: as they have for several years now, the Toronto Centre for the Arts is presenting Best of Fringe, a two-week additional run for some of the most popular shows at this year’s festival, including Theatre Brouhaha’s Punch-Up, Pea Green Theatre’s Three Men in a Boat, and The Howland Company’s 52 Pick-Up. We strongly suggest double billing shows over an evening (each show runs about an hour) and buying tickets well in advance, as each show gets only three performances. Toronto Centre for the Arts (5040 Yonge Street), all day and all day, $17.75-$21.75. Details
- Photography: Our fascination with fame and celebrity isn’t new—and this is illustrated in Izzy Gallery’s newest exhibit, Terry O’Neil: The Man Who Shot the Sixties. A photographer from the U.K., O’Neill snapped iconic shots of everyone from The Beatles and Rolling Stones to Brigitte Bardot and Faye Dunaway. The opening party features an appearance by O’Neill himself, and his “photographs from the frontline of fame” will remain on display until the end of August. Izzy Gallery (106 Yorkville Avenue), Saturday at 11 a.m., FREE. Details
- Theatre: Fans of oddball British humour—rejoice! The Lower Ossington Theatre has brought the genius of Monty Python’s Eric Idle to Toronto with their rendition of Spamalot. Watch as flying cows, killer rabbits, and all sorts of bizarre elements come together to tell a twisted version of the legendary story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Lower Ossington Theatre (100 Ossington Avenue), Saturday at 2 p.m.,8 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m., $49–$59. Details
- Dance: Since 2012, Kaeja d’Dance has been working with families in Seaton Village to develop Porch View Dances, an evening of choreographed works inspired by the neighbourhood and families themselves. You’ll be guided through site-specific performances on and around the porches, streets, and alleyways of the Village, culminating in a final public performance. Whether you live in the neighbourhood or want to explore a new one, Kaeja d’Dance provides a rare opportunity to see a community choreographed. , Saturday at 7 p.m., PWYC. Details
- Music: It’s going to be hard adhering to the “day of rest” idea this summer, with Sunday Serenades taking over Mel Lastman Square every weekend. Your toes will tap, your fingers will snap, and before you know it you’ll be dancing up a storm to some of the most talented big bands in the GTA. Check out Sophisticated Swing (July 13), the Mississauga Swing Band (July 20), the Toronto All-Star Big Band (July 27), the Bob Cary Orchestra (August 3), the Metro Big Band (August 10), and the Swing-Shift Big Band (August 17). Mel Lastman Square (5100 Yonge Street), Sunday at 7 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.