Ah, summer! A time for rest, relaxation—and hordes of creepy little things poised to munch on your flesh. If pests are keeping you from enjoying the great outdoors, consider attending Bug Phobia Be Gone!, courtesy of the High Park Nature Centre. Join Emily Macleod, an entomologist (that means she studies insects), for a full day of lessons, hikes, and workshops on bees, ants, arachnids, beetles, and many other beings that exist in our vicinity. Perhaps once you learn a little about the interesting lives and purposes of these insects, you’ll be less likely to scream, swat, and stomp when they come near.
Bloor Street has a lot to offer our city, and this weekend they’re showcasing it all! The BIG on Bloor Festival is taking over the stretch between Dufferin and Landsdowne for two full days of events. Drop by to check out the art installations, as well as dance, music, and theatre performances; take part in a variety of family-friendly activities; and stuff yourself silly at a bevy of food stations.
You’ve spent many an evening curled up on the couch with one, driven your Facebook friends nuts with incessant photos and videos, and now it’s time to celebrate your feline love in a comedic way (and most importantly—in the company of other human beings). Caturday Night Live is not only a night of hilarious local comedians, it’s also a fundraiser for the Annex Cat Rescue, a volunteer organization that cares for the feral and homeless cats around the city. Join Mark Andrada, Rhiannon Archer, Leonard Chan, Sara Hennessey, Julia Hladkowicz, Ted Morris, Ashley Moffatt, Pat Thornton, Kathleen Phillips-Locke, and Daniel Woodrow as they look at the funnier side of pet-run life, along with readings from I Could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats.
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).
“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.
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.
The Waterfront Blues Festival (July 11–13), now in its 10th year, has recently “merged” with the wildly popular Beaches Jazz Festival (July 18–27), making the second half of July all-music-all-the-time in the Beach. Woodbine Park is the hub for both of these festivals, with things being rounded out by the Beaches Jazz Festival’s StreetFest along Queen Street East. Those looking for jazz will likely be disappointed by StreetFest—what you will get, though, is a fun Taste of the Danforth vibe and some epic people-watching. It’ll also be ground zero for Toronto’s well-heeled Baby Boomer set, so if you’re anxious to bust out your favourite Hawaiian shirt, now’s your chance. But if you aren’t into dancing to “Play That Funky Music White Boy” played on a pan flute, get yourself directly to one of the Beach’s fine patios, and check out one of our top picks for the Waterfront Blues Festival and Beaches Jazz Festival.
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.
This post originally stated that the outdoor screenings of Bent Lens will focus on Derek Jarman and Bruce LaBruce, but that is not the case.
The Beaches International Jazz Festival has grown over the years into 10 days chock-full of diverse programming, including a jazz run, a street festival, a food truck fest, and much more. It’s as much a celebration of the Beaches area and community itself as it is a jazz fest, although an appreciation for the music is evident throughout. Artists playing main-stage concerts include Trampled Under Foot, Paul James, and Dumpstaphunk—check out our top picks.
With so many sold-out shows at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival, there were plenty of people who didn’t get to see many of Torontoist‘s top picks. Not to worry: as they have for several years now, the Toronto Centre for the Arts is presenting Best of Fringe, a two-week additional run for some of the most popular shows at this year’s festival, including Theatre Brouhaha’s Punch-Up, Pea Green Theatre’s Three Men in a Boat, and The Howland Company’s 52 Pick-Up. We strongly suggest double billing shows over an evening (each show runs about an hour) and buying tickets well in advance, as each show gets only three performances.
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.
Since 2012, Kaeja d’Dance has been working with families in Seaton Village to develop Porch View Dances, an evening of choreographed works inspired by the neighbourhood and families themselves. You’ll be guided through site-specific performances on and around the porches, streets, and alleyways of the Village, culminating in a final public performance. Whether you live in the neighbourhood or want to explore a new one, Kaeja d’Dance provides a rare opportunity to see a community choreographed.
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.