In this Weekend Planner: Caribana's Grand Parade, a festival of food trucks, and guardians of a comedy galaxy.
- Parades: Regardless of the weather forecast, it’s guaranteed to be hot in the Exhibition Place region this Saturday. That’s when the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival comes to a head with its most celebrated event—the Grand Parade. The procession will feature dancers, steel pan drummers, and hundreds of spectacular costumes over a 3.5-kilometre route down Lakeshore Avenue. Admission is free, with some ticketed seating for those who want to ensure they get a prime spot. Exhibition Place (Lakeshore Boulevard and Strachan Avenue), Saturday at 9 a.m., FREE–$100. Details
- Theatre: If the thought of battling crowds at the Aquarium has you feeling a little crabby, may we suggest an underwater voyage of a different kind? Bring the kids (or your adult friends, whatever) to the Lower Ossington Theatre’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. The classic story of a whimsical mermaid, a land-living prince, and her desire to be part of his world has been specially adapted for younger audiences, and will only be onstage this August. Al Green Theatre (750 Spadina Avenue), Saturday at 11 a.m.,2:30 p.m.,7 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m.,2:30 p.m., $29.99–$59.99. Details
- Food: Whether your holidays are spent eating food, thinking about food, or simply not wasting valuable time planning and cooking meals, the inaugural Food Truck Festival is where you need to be this long weekend. More than 40 vendors are converging at Woodbine Park to bring tasty treats to the masses. Sample a variety of culinary goods and craft beers while perusing the artisan marketplace and taking in live music. Proceeds from the festival support the Sick Kids Hospital Foundation. Woodbine Park (Eastern Avenue and Coxwell Avenue), Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m., FREE. Details
- Comedy: While the (sorta) real superheroes will be defending mankind onscreen this weekend, comedians Peter Hill and Ian MacIntyre will be doing their due diligence by entertaining Torontonians. As the Guardians of Another Galaxy, their main goal is to make everyone laugh with their original sketch comedy. Sidekicks Amanda Brooke Perrin and Mike & Ted will be on hand to ensure that the quest is a success. Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), Saturday at 10 p.m., $8. Details
- Film: The Christie Pits Film Fest may be at the mercy of Mother Nature, but that’s not stopping organizers from screening 1996’s Twister. Show up early for a good spot, and enjoy eats from Caplansky’s Deli’s Thunderin’ Thelma food truck and ice pops from Wild Child’s Kitchen. Sharron Mirsky’s short film Blackout and Kara Blake’s July’s Wet Dreams will warm the crowd up into a summer-loving mood. 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
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
- Art: “Before and After the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes“ is a collaborative effort of the AGO and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, in New York City, where the exhibition recently wrapped up after a one-year run. The displays are organized by themes relating to Anishinaabe concepts of place and spirituality, and how they interact with the outside world. One of the most intriguing themes is “cottager colonialism,” which suggests that the colonization of indigenous land continues by way of vacationing tourists. Political statements are scattered throughout the exhibition, from Nadia Myre’s bead-covered pages of the Indian Act to the use of historical indigenous status documents in Robert Houle’s “Premises” series. Floral beaded bags and leggings, meanwhile, provide inspiration for the contemporary paintings of Christi Belcourt, an Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award recipient. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $19.50 (included with general adult admission). 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
- 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
Theatre: Some of our city’s favourite plays are being reprised as part of On Stage On Demand. Five days will see the performance of six independent productions, with all ticket proceeds donated to charities of the playwrights’ choice. Catch Cockfight (July 31), Peter n’ Chris and the Mystery of the Hungry Heart Motel (August 1), Peter n’ Chris Explore Their Bodies (August 1), Baker’s Dozen (August 2), Confessions of a Redheaded Coffeeshop Girl (August 5), and Myth of the Ostrich (August 6).
TRANZAC (292 Brunswick Avenue), Saturday at 2 p.m., $5. Details
- Theatre: Volcano Theatre presents a work-in-progress short run of A Moveable Beast, a new interdisciplinary performance work that uses song, dance, and projections—but no text—to cover more than a century of history through the eyes of a black Canadian protagonist. Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, the performance stars soprano Neema Bickersteth, who’s solo on stage but backed up by musicians (Gregory Oh on piano), choreographers (Kate Alton, the show’s co-creator), and an impressive technical team. It’s a new artistic turn for Volcano and director/co-creator Ross Manson, neither having produced a show without a text-based script before. The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West), Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 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.