In this Weekend Planner: celebrating the art of Alex Colville, monologue showdowns, and walking your dog for charity.
Art: Alex Colville’s paintings include some of the most recognizable works of Canadian art. Prints of his iconic Horse and Train and To Prince Edward Island hang in homes and classrooms and art shops around the world. And yet the Toronto-born artist, whose career spanned seven decades, is not often celebrated for the incredible influence he had on artists of many media.
With its new exhibition, “Alex Colville“, opening August 23, the Art Gallery of Ontario has mounted a show that not only documents the career of one of Canada’s most prolific artists, but also examines the nature of inspiration in art, literature, film, and beyond. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West). Details
- Parties: The warm weather may be threatening to leave us, but things will be balmy this weekend, rain or shine, at the Cadillac Lounge. The annual Tiki Lani Lanai party is back, with surf bands The Calrizians and Luau or Die, burlesque performances by Dolly Berlin and Tanya Cheex, vintage swim suit pageants, limbo contests, hula lessons, and more—basically everything that might get you hot. Cadillac Lounge (1296 Queen St West), Saturday at 4 p.m., $5. Details
Festivals: Things will be bumping in condo-ville this weekend as the second annual Cityfest takes over Canoe Landing Park (you know, near that giant red boat you can see from the Gardiner). Hang out in the beer garden, grab some eats, take part in a variety of activities, all while being entertained by some of the area’s most talented DJs, including Glenn Morrison, Frank Walker, No Big Deal, Wil Young, and Brothers of the North.
Canoe Landing Park (Fort York Boulevard and Dan Leckie Way), Saturday at 4 p.m., FREE. Details
- Performing Arts: If your friends constantly deny your requests to visit the theatre in favour of watching sports, we have something to ease your plight. The Toronto Monologue Slam mixes the arts with fierce competition, challenging actors to recite an original or existing monologue in less than three minutes. Their presentation is evaluated, and the top three contestants move on to the Remix Round, where they must convincingly incorporate certain themes into their oration. The winner is crowned Heavy Weight Champ, presented with a title belt, and awarded $100, among other prizes. Unit 102 Theatre (376 Dufferin Street), Saturday at 7 p.m., $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Details
- Fundraisers: If you have a dog, you’re likely already out walking at least once a day. Now it’s time to make those strides count at Paws in the Park. Collect pledges from your friends and family and then take your four-legged friend on a stroll through Woodbine Park to raise awareness and funds for the Toronto Humane Society. Participants will be rewarded with fun canine-human activities, treats, doggy makeovers, a splash area, and more. Woodbine Park (Eastern Avenue and Coxwell Avenue), Sunday at 9 a.m., FREE. Details
- History: It may not seem like it right now, but there’s more to Front Street than construction. The Royal Ontario Museum encourages you to go on a stroll with it and learn about the area’s history and architecture with a guided ROMwalk. Who knows—you might even start to pay attention to the buildings you pass every day on the way to work! , Sunday at 2 p.m., FREE. 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: “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
- Theatre: Only about two hours away from Toronto, madness is infiltrating the town of Stratford, Ontario—but fortunately, it’s the kind that produces delightful results. Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino has designed this year’s season around the theme “Madness: Minds Pushed to the Edge,” and explores it through everything from jukebox musicals to Shakespearean tragedies. And with the festival’s increasingly popular twice-daily bus service to and from downtown (in its second year), it’s easy to get a taste of what the mania is all about. Here’s Torontoist‘s take on a sampling of this year’s festival offerings—Ira Glass and his opinions notwithstanding, a whole lot of people would welcome a chance to spend some time with the Bard and some of Canada’s most esteemed artists. Multiple venues, all day, $25–$133. 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: 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
- Festivals: It doesn’t seem possible, but the downtown Yonge Street strip is about to get a whole lot more colourful over the next few days. Scotiabank Buskerfest is taking over every open space from Queen to College, throughout Dundas Square, Trinity Square, and the Ryerson campus. Pay what you can to be entertained, astonished, and humoured by free-roaming acrobats, magicians, artists, dancers, musicians, and more. Proceeds from the festival support Epilepsy Toronto. , Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m., PWYC. Details
- Film: There’s a moment in the 2002 Academy Award telecast where the camera pans across the crowd during a standing ovation for the freshly minted Best Director winner Ron Howard and finds, standing in the aisle together with conspiratorial grins on their faces, none other than David Lynch and Robert Altman, a pair of high-profile losers who the comparatively green Howard had just bested. Altman never won that competitive Oscar before his death in 2006 (though he did get an honorary award in 2001), but even more so than Lynch he’s become a bellwether of quality American filmmaking—a roguish sort who brought an idiosyncratic authorial signature to studio films in the 1970s. Tied to the upcoming release of Toronto filmmaker Ron Mann’s profile of the late filmmaker, TIFF Cinematheque’s retrospective “Company Man: The Best of Robert Altman” is a fine introduction, screening 18 of the iconoclastic filmmaker’s most important works. TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West), Saturday at 12:45 p.m.,3:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m., Prices vary. Details
- Theatre: Mystic Forest Productions is presenting a week-long run of a selection of theatrically staged Robert Munsch stories, entitled Munsch At Play. There’s a twist to their kids theatre offering, too: the performers are “professional actors from different mental and physical abilities.” That means the cast includes performers such as veteran stand-up comic Andre Arruda and actor Krystal Nausbaum, who was a bright light in the Judith Thompson show Rare. There are two shows a day, and they’re recommended for the younger set—but if you’re a big Robert Munsch fan, you’ll know his work can be appreciated at any age. Toronto Public Library, Palmerston Branch (560 Palmerston Avenue), Sunday at 2 p.m.,4 p.m., $5–$10. Details
- Music: There’s bound to be a lot of barbecuing, beaching, and boozing around the city this summer, so we’d like to suggest something a little more refined to keep things balanced. The Music in the Garden series features weekly performances by a variety of unique musical groups, amid the luscious greenery of the Toronto Music Garden. The Akwesasne Women Singers start things off on July 3 with a showcase of English and Mohawk songs, followed by Music from the Garden of India (July 24), an all-female fiddling supergroup (July 31), the Nagata Shachu taiko drumming ensemble (August 21), the Veretski Pass Trio (September 4), and many more. Toronto Music Garden (479 Queens Quay West), Sunday at 4 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.