Like most people, you probably have a stack of books, DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes that are just collecting dust. Or maybe you have an interest in things that can be found only at thrift stores and garage sales. Either way, the Book, Movie, and Music Eco-Swap is where you’ll want to be this weekend. Do some spring cleaning, and pick up new treasures—everyone wins! Participants are welcome to bring up to 50 items to trade.
Many people associate cemeteries with sadness or scary things, but why not associate them with history? Take a ROMwalk through the sprawling Mount Pleasant Cemetery and learn about Victorian-era Toronto. This guided tour will point out and discuss burial symbols, mausolea, and monuments of the period, as well as the notable people interred at the cemetery.
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.
“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.
It’s early June, and in Toronto that means one thing: schedules just got a lot tighter. On top of patio dates, intramural games, enjoying novels in the park, and all of your friends’ weddings, you’ve also got many of Toronto’s beloved arts festivals begging for your precious summer hours. Among them is the Luminato Festival: its eighth edition kicks off this Friday and wraps up on Sunday, June 15. And there are enough events—from magic shows to late-night concerts to marathon pieces of performance art—to keep even the most dedicated festival-goer occupied. The festival’s categories are not all rigidly defined and feature a certain amount of exchange and overlap–but they provide a sense of the range of experiences on offer. We’ve picked one highlight from each of the them to help you devise your Luminato plan of attack.
Possibly Toronto’s most anticipated outdoor show this year, Field Trip 2014, happens over two days and features an array of local music acts and affiliates of Broken Social Scene and their label, Arts & Crafts. Saturday’s show kicks off just after 2 p.m. with Maylee Todd and runs through acts like Austra and Shad before ending with sets by A Tribe Called Red and Interpol. Sunday starts with Zaki Ibrahim, features a reunited Constantines in the afternoon, and closes out with sets by Fucked Up and Broken Social Scene (of course). Gates open at 1:30 p.m. both days, and the concert grounds include a large swath of land surrounding Fort York, with bicycle valets at both entrances and vendors and arts installations interspersed through the site. We recommend bringing a blanket, sunscreen, and ear protection (especially for any little ones.)
Unexpected sparks fly when Aboriginal palliative care worker Hunter meets and falls in love with anxiety-ridden addictions counsellor Jake in A Spirit’s Face. Watch as the characters remove their masks in this story of heartbreak and discovery, brought to the stage by Spiderbones Performing Arts. Some shows feature ASL interpretation; those performances are June 5 at 8 p.m., June 8 at 2 p.m., and June 11 at 8 p.m.
Few fads have stood the test of time quite so well as dance movies from the 1980s. Now, one of the best films from this era has been adapted for the stage. Flashdance—The Musical revisits the story of a young female steel welder with a desire to dance, set to a score of iconic songs such as “Flashdance… What a Feeling,” “Maniac,” “I Love Rock and Roll,” and many more.
The dead metaphor in George F. Walker’s Dead Metaphor is the term “freelancer.” As government bureaucrat Oliver Denny explains, it originally referred to a knight in the joust who didn’t belong to any particular family or military—a free lancer. For those without a full-time employer (and there seem to be more and more of them every day), this is a pretty bad-ass piece of information to bring with you out of the theatre. Unfortunately, there’s very little else in this production that feels new—although the play, on now as part of the Off-Mirvish series, does have a long list of positive qualities pulling in its favour.