The Really Really Free Market is back in business, providing Torontonians with a chance to get things they really need for absolutely nothing. For the uninitiated, the idea is that this market involves no buying, trading, or bartering, but instead provides a place where the community can come together to share goods or skills. In other words, you never know what you might find here!
“The Art of Seven Women” is an exhibition that highlights the work of seven new members of the Heliconian Club—a club in Toronto for female artists and writers. The exhibit features art, photography, and music (a solo cello concert by Kye Marshall will start at 2 p.m.).
If you haven’t been rocking hard enough lately, here’s a chance to change that. Spread the Metal Festival 2013 is a gigantic gathering of heavy-metal acts that includes appearances from Suffocation, Kittie, Augury, The Agonist, and other mosh-friendly bands. All profits from the festival are going to Kiva.
This scavenger hunt isn’t like the ones you went on as a kid. Haunted Toronto Scavenger Hunt for Adults offers a slightly creepy way to spend an evening while learning about the more chilling aspects of the city. Teams will be sent on a quest that will take them to spooky places—like a mass graveyard in Yorkville and a former insane asylum—in order to answer trivia questions and beat the other teams competing. Who says it’s too early to get into the Halloween spirit?
The name “Mesopotamia” derives from a Greek term meaning “land between the rivers.” The Royal Ontario Museum’s latest major exhibit, which opens on June 22, takes this literally, as visitors flow between painted representations of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on the floor.
Presented by the British Museum and rounded out with pieces from institutions in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, “Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World” covers 3,000 years of human development in the cradle of urban civilization. Most of the 170 artifacts on display have never been shown in Canada.
If Fringe and SummerWorks aren’t enough to satisfy your summer theatre cravings, the world-renowned Stratford Festival is now only a bus ride away from downtown Toronto, thanks to the new Stratford Direct bus route (“the best thing [the Festival] has done in years” according to one usher at the Avon Theatre). Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino has put together a season to please tastes from the traditional to the extravagant. Here’s what we think about five of Stratford’s current productions.
Flight: A Thrilling History of an Idea is a new exhibition from the Toronto Reference Library that gathers a number of rare items that explore the theme of the possible and the impossible. Some of the highlights on display are La vingtième siècle: la vie électrique (a rare French book that shows how scientific discoveries would have affected people in 1955), Tame (a sci-fi pulp magazine), and Worldly Wisdom (watercolour that depicts a Leonardo da Vinci-like figure creating a winged flying machine). You’ll find the exhibition in the library’s TD Gallery.
BEARS IN THE STREETS *the world as I’ve seen it is a solo art exhibition by Jeff Blackburn featuring works that involve bears, which act as guides through various cityscapes (see above for example). Visitors will have the chance to see different public spaces from around the world (with bears!). The opening reception will be held on September 1st and will start at 7 p.m.
The annual Cabbagetown Festival of the Arts is making its return for a 37th year. The festival, which features music, dance, film, theatre, and a mini-marathon across several days, is also a great chance to check out some of the art and culture of Cabbagetown. There will be vendors, buskers, and tasty food all along Carlton Street (from Parliament Street to Berkeley Street) and Parliament Street (from Carlton Street to Gerrard Street).
Now in its 38th year, the Toronto International Film Festival is a behemoth cultural institution, a one-stop shop for everything from star-studded red carpets to North American premieres for some of the most lauded names in world cinema. The most prestigious public film festival in the world, TIFF is also a major Toronto institution, turning King Street into ground zero for filmgoers, members of the press, and celebrities alike.
As may be the case for many working parents of young children, Danielle Goldfinger occasionally longs for the youthful freedom that went hand-in-hand with the summer vacations of her school-aged past—particularly the joy of spending time outdoors surrounded by friends. For her, the place that consistently offered that seasonal freedom was camp.
“These were the best times of my life, and I think about camp often,” Goldfinger says, explaining that she loved the opportunity to have some independence away from home. “It was just amazing to be able to literally spend every minute with friends.”
Now, as a responsible adult with a job as an event coordinator with The Stop Community Food Centre, Goldfinger, who attended Camp Shalom, Camp Solelim, and Camp Northland, wants to recreate that experience.
It was with this in mind that she created the Two Islands Weekend summer camp for adults. The first-ever session will be held from September 6 to 8, at Haliburton’s Camp Timberlane, located on Lake of Two Islands.
As if TIFF wasn’t enough, Torontonians will be able to enjoy movies when they venture into subway stations. Starting on Friday, the seventh-annual Toronto Urban Film Festival will begin to show silent short films, each roughly a minute in length, on over 290 Pattison Onestop screens throughout the subway system. (Onestop screens are those ceiling-mounted HDTV-like displays that show headlines, ads, and train arrival times.) The movies will run every ten minutes at most stations, and they’ll play uninterrupted at Yonge-Bloor, St. Andrew, and Dundas stations.
Looking to brush up your cultural and history knowledge on all things Toronto? Heritage Toronto 2013 Tours offers you an enormous chance to learn tons and tons about the city you love via walking tours, bike tours, and more. Some of the events on the agenda of this weekly series include tours of Fort York, Korea Town, Don Valley, and Black Creek. It’s running all summer long so don’t miss out!
Ai Weiwei is a 56-year-old artist confined to his home in Beijing for creating work critical of the Chinese government and Chinese culture. There are video cameras outside his house, his phone lines are tapped, his blog was deleted, his Shanghai studio was destroyed in 2010 by authorities, and his passport was confiscated in 2011. To this day, he’s unable to leave his country. Even so, Ai Weiwei has had a large presence in Toronto over the past few months.
This past June, he did a performance piece with artist Laurie Anderson during the Luminato Festival, using Skype. His Zodiac Heads have been installed, temporarily, in the reflecting pool in front of City Hall. At this year’s Nuit Blanche, a large-scale version of his sculpture of bicycles, Forever, will take over Nathan Phillips Square. And beginning August 17, the Art Gallery of Ontario is displaying “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”, a retrospective of the work he produced before and after the Chinese government’s crackdown on his activities helped him find new international acclaim.
The CaribbeanTales Film Showcase returns to Toronto for its eighth year, bringing films and documentaries from over 25 different countries. The opening-night gala features the world premiere of Christopher Laird’s No Bois Man No Fraid, which sees two Trinidadian martial artists enter the dangerous world of Kalinda (stickfighting). Over 10 feature pieces, and 30 short films will screen during the festival, many of which will include discussions with the respective directors.
Many people now routinely consume television series in marathon benders, blowing through DVDs or Netflix downloads in a few evenings or a weekend. It’s that sort of experience—but live, of course—that awaits audiences at Soulpepper’s production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, which offers over six hours of impeccably staged and performed theatre either in two long evenings or over the course of one full day, with multiple intermissions and a meal break.
The drama that happens within prison walls is perfect material for storytelling, hence the prevalence of jailhouse material in action movies, TV dramas like Oz, and plays like John Herbert’s controversial 1967 hit, Fortune and Men’s Eyes. Though Fortune is one of Canada’s most published scripts, modern audiences haven’t heard from inmates Smitty, Mona, Queenie, and Rocky in quite some time. BirdLand Theatre, known for successful productions of Assassins, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, and last year’s Gruesome Playground Injuries, is currently mounting the play in a Distillery District dance studio. Their aim is to showcase this iconic piece of Canadian theatre history, known for exposing the mental and sexual abuse that happens to people in confinement. Unfortunately, this version carries little of the original production’s impact.
You might expect a show called We Can Be Heroes to be a send-up of superhero films, but Second City’s new mainstage production is actually a celebration of minor, everyday acts of heroism ranging from giving advice to a bullied child to managing not to be a jackass at your friend’s wedding.