Xpace Cultural Centre Spring 2013 Opening Reception

The titular subject of Christopher William Ellis is Dead will perform live at Xpace's spring 2013 opening reception. Photo by Jordan Tannahill.

The titular subject of Christopher William Ellis is Dead will perform live at Xpace's spring 2013 opening reception. Photo by Jordan Tannahill.

  • Xpace Cultural Centre (303 Lansdowne Avenue)
  • 7 p.m.

The Xpace Cultural Centre debuts its spring slate of exhibits at this opening reception, including nine different artists’ work exploring a digital landscape in An Illuminated iDentity, curated by David Hanes. The reception will include a live performance by the subject of Christopher William Ellis is Dead, a retconned video biography by Jordan Tannahill, and artist collective VSVSVS’ The Shelf playing a sculpture game in the Window Space.

Details: Xpace Cultural Centre Spring 2013 Opening Reception

Baram and Snieckus

Matt Baram and Naomi Snieckus will host the 2013 Dora Awards. Detail of a photo by David Leyes.

Matt Baram and Naomi Snieckus will host the 2013 Dora Awards. Detail of a photo by David Leyes.

  • John Candy Box Theatre (70 Peter Street)
  • 8:30 p.m.

Comedy and life partners Matt Baram (CityTV’s Seed) and Naomi Snieckus (CBC’s Mr. D) are workshopping a new show format (“come see it get built right before your eyes!”) in a weekly residency in April and May at Second City’s Training Centre. The master improvisers and co-creators of Script Tease have been busy touring and on television of late, and these Baram and Snieckus shows will be a rare opportunity to see our 2010 hero nominees in a back to basics comedy format.

Details: Baram and Snieckus

Ongoing…

I Thought There Were Limits

Kika Thorne's Singularity. Photo by Scott Massey, courtesy of the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver.

Kika Thorne's Singularity. Photo by Scott Massey, courtesy of the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver.

  • Justina M Barnicke Gallery (7 Hart House Circle)
  • All day

When’s the last time you attempted to reconceptualize the dimensions of space? If it’s been a while, you might consider checking out a new exhibition called I Thought There Were Limits, which aims to do just that. This particular exhibit is unique in that the artwork forms a relationship with the site itself (in this case, the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery). The work on display is brought to you by curator Julia Abraham (as part of the MVS degree in Curatorial Studies at the University of Toronto). The artists include Karen Henderson, Yam Lau, Gordon Lebredt, Kika Thorne, and Josh Thorpe.

Details: I Thought There Were Limits

TIFF Kids International Film Festival Hopes to Inspire Young Film Buffs

The TIFF Kids International Film Festival begins today. Still from The Legend of Sarila courtesy of TIFF.

The TIFF Kids International Film Festival begins today. Still from The Legend of Sarila courtesy of TIFF.

  • TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West)
  • All day

Toronto is a great city for film buffs, and thanks to TIFF Kids International Film Festival, that includes the munchkins, too. The annual festival is about to kick off for the 16th time, and this year boasts a diverse lineup of programming for all ages, the premiere of Canada’s first 3D animated feature film, and a new partnership with Sesame Workshop.

Details: TIFF Kids International Film Festival Hopes to Inspire Young Film Buffs

Toronto Art Expo

Photo by Michael Chrisman/Torontoist.

Photo by Michael Chrisman/Torontoist.

  • Metro Toronto Convention Centre (255 Front Street West)
  • All day

Nuit Blanche is still a ways away, but if you like your art experiences to be super-sized, you’ll be pleased to know that the Toronto Art Expo is back in town. Get ready to see art and installations from over 200 artists from Canada and around the world. And if you’re worried about breaking your wallet, don’t be—the art spotlighted here ranges in values so there’s something for attendees of all budgets.

Details: Toronto Art Expo

This Weekend Toronto Gets a New Arts Festival, Called Spur

Photo by Ian Muttoo, from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

Photo by Ian Muttoo, from the Torontoist Flickr pool.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

The Spur Festival, a fledgling arts and ideas celebration, hopes to get people rallying behind the issues. “We didn’t want to just have a festival for festivals’ sake,” says Helen Walsh, one of the co-founders. “We wanted to do something that would spur people into action, and spur thought into action.”

Details: Spur Festival Soon to Launch in Toronto

The Toronto Jewish Film Festival Spotlights Everything from Neil Diamond to “Hava Nagila”

Marc Halberstadt in Cowjews and Indians. Promotional still courtesy of the TJFF.

Marc Halberstadt in Cowjews and Indians. Promotional still courtesy of the TJFF.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

Now in its 21st year, the Toronto Jewish Film Festival remains as committed as ever to projecting every facet of the Jewish identity. This year’s programme consists of an eclectic mix of films in a multitude of genres and formats, from silent to animated. The documentaries alone cover a huge number of subjects, ranging from Neil Diamond, to Serge Gainsbourg, to Roman Polanski, and even to the history of the popular Jewish song “Hava Nagila.”

The festival opens on Thursday with a screening of the provocative Cowjews and Indians, in which filmmaker Marc Halberstadt attempts to “cut out the middle man” by enlisting Native Americans to take back his ancestors’ land in Germany. Here are a few other films worth seeking out during the festival’s run.

Details: The Toronto Jewish Film Festival Spotlights Everything from Neil Diamond to “Hava Nagila”

The 2013 Images Festival Brings Experimental Film to Toronto Audiences

Still from A Third Version of the Imaginary.

Still from A Third Version of the Imaginary.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

Since its debut in 1987, Images has had a special place on Toronto’s springtime film festival slate. Though the upcoming Hot Docs is bigger, Images’ selection of experimental and independent media art often feels purer. It’s a festival that invites audiences to consider the basic elements that make moving image-based arts like the cinema so resonant.

Details: The 2013 Images Festival Brings Experimental Film to Toronto Audiences

Jaymz Bee’s Birthday Bash Week

Scarlett Jane. Photo by Fred Bukajlo.

Scarlett Jane. Photo by Fred Bukajlo.

  • 6 p.m.

Longtime JAZZ.FM91 host and producer Jaymz Bee is celebrating his 50th Birthday Bash Week with a mix of public and private events around town. It all gets started Monday, April 8 at Hugh’s Room, where he’ll be feted by some of his favourite acts, like Scarlett Jane, Joe Hall, Heather Luckhart, and more. It peaks on Saturday, April 13 at Palais Royale, where Bee has an huge line-up of acts, including Terra Hazelton & Her Problems, The Shuffle Demons, and many more surprise guests. All the info for the week’s events can be found on Bee’s website.

Details: Jaymz Bee’s Birthday Bash Week

Legoland

  • Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Avenue)
  • 7:30 p.m.

Legoland (not to be confused with Legoland) tells the story of the “Gruesome Twosome,” Canada’s youngest drug dealers. Feeling out of place at their boarding school, siblings Penny and Ezra decide to break free and track down Penny’s pop idol, a journey they fund by selling their prescription drugs. This contemporary Vaudeville routine is told through puppetry, ukelele music, and gangster rap.

Details: Legoland

The Meme-ing of Life

The Second City cast take a minute to check their Twitters.

The Second City cast take a minute to check their Twitters.

  • Second City (51 Mercer Street)
  • 7:30 p.m.

If there’s one thing that’s particularly impressive about Second City’s new mainstage show, The Meme-ing of Life, it’s how well balanced it is.

As the title implies, Meme-ing is nominally a show about the internet, and certainly there is a fair bit of internet-centric humour. (One sketch, about a boy who falls into a YouTube-induced coma that can only be cured by reading, is particularly on point.) That said, it isn’t just a series of jokes about cat videos. Instead, it’s a well-thought-out show that manages to offer something for pretty much everyone, without stretching itself too thin.

Details: The Meme-ing of Life is an Epic Win

It’s a Full House in True West

It's brotherly love between Lee (Stuart Hughes) and Austin (Mike Ross) in True West. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

It's brotherly love between Lee (Stuart Hughes) and Austin (Mike Ross) in True West. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

  • Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane)
  • 7:30 p.m.

Sam Shepard’s plays are famously all about man as a caged animal, prowling and brooding around his enclosure (usually a North American domicile), eventually tearing it apart like an untrained puppy suffering from separation anxiety. He is a man’s man’s writer, the lone wolf in the wilderness that so many young males fantasize about—even, it often seems, Shepard himself.

As his most famous work, one of Shepard’s Family Trilogy, True West is a great example: two brothers, Hollywood screenwriter Austin (Mike Ross) and the petty-thieving vagabond Lee (Stuart Hughes), somehow end up house-sitting for their mother while she’s on vacation in Alaska (though only Austin was asked to do so). It’s clear in the script that both men make solo trips outside the walls of their mother’s suburban home, but we never see them apart from each other. That’s because Lee and Austin are two halves of the same man. In fact, it’s common for the two main actors to alternate the roles throughout a run of the show.

Details: It’s a Full House in True West

A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football

Art and sport converge in A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football. Photo by Knut Bry.

Art and sport converge in A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football. Photo by Knut Bry.

  • Harbourfront Centre, Fleck Dance Theatre (207 Queens Quay West)
  • 8 p.m.

Finally, an event for the sports and dance enthusiasts to attend together! World Stage presents Jo Strømgren Kompani’s A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football (“football” in the European sense—meaning, soccer). The show, which uses humour and intense physicality, bridges the gap between sport and art by focusing on the similarities between. The performance includes partial nudity, and isn’t recommended for children.

Details: A Dance Tribute to the Art of Football

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While the Toronto International Film Festival may have shifted into a more relaxed mode, it’s still offering plenty of opportunities to gawk at movie stars—they’re just a little more spread out. Midweek, fans could catch the premieres of Good Kill (Ethan Hawke as a drone pilot), Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg’s new bit of oddness), The Imitation Game (Benedict Cumberbatch as World War II cryptographer Alan Turing), Jauja (Viggo Mortensen, and we don’t know much else really), Laggies (Sam Rockwell and Keira Knightley in a comedy about people taking their sweet time to grow up), October Gale (Patricia Clarkson and Scott Speedman in a thriller/drama set in a remote cabin), Pawn Sacrifice (about the chess duels between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer), The Cobbler (Adam Sandler’s latest) and Escobar (Benicio Del Toro is the famous drug kingpin).


Want more TIFF coverage? Torontoist‘s film festival hub is right over here.
Details: TIFF 2014 Scenes: Tuesday–Thursday Nights, Featuring Good Kill, Maps to the Stars, The Imitation Game, Jauja, Laggies, and More

A Brimful of Asha

A Brimful of Asha. Photo courtesy of Tarragon Theatre.

A Brimful of Asha. Photo courtesy of Tarragon Theatre.

  • Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue)
  • 8 p.m.

Real-life mother and son, Asha and Ravi Jain, share the stage to tell their true, amusing story of cultural and generational clash in A Brimful of Asha. While on a trip to India, Ravi’s parents decide it’s time to introduce him to potential brides, despite his lack of desire to get married.

Details: A Brimful of Asha