Oscar-worthy movies are great and all, but there’s just something special about experiencing the dregs of the industry with a group of people. Ergo, Bad Movie Tonight Toronto has put together a Hasselhoff Extravaganza! As one might expect, the evening will focus on the very best/worst of David Hasselhoff’s career, with a screening of 1978′s Starcrash, followed by Baywatch Nights—the crime spin-off of the popular beach drama (yeah, that was a thing). Grab a friend, a drink, and prepare to ask repeatedly, “Why? Just why?”
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.
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.
Toronto has increasingly strived to honour the region’s First Nations—whether by acknowledging the historical presence of the Mississaugas of the New Credit on current City land or commemorating pre-European communities and trade routes. Now the Art Gallery of Ontario is following suit, staging an exhibition that highlights Anishinaabe artists from the Great Lakes region and making a greater effort to include indigenous art in its Canadian galleries.
“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.
So far, this summer has seen music, film, theatre, and food in the spotlight, and now it’s time to focus on the foxy females (with a few guys thrown in for good measure). The Toronto Burlesque Festival is taking over Revival Bar, the Mod Club, and the Hyatt Regency Hotel for four days of shows, classes, and parties with some of the sexiest performers from across the continent.
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.
Those of you who have so much energy that you’re bouncing off the walls will want to pay attention to this very appropriate, albeit quite literal event suggestion. Women’s Parkour Jam is two days of activities geared towards those who enjoy the sport, or want to learn more about it. Discover a new way of traversing our city, with both indoor and outdoor demonstrations and workshops.
The arts are alive and well in Parkdale, and this weekend they’re spilling into the streets and taking over as many spaces as possible! Why? The Lab Cab Festival is on, bringing two full days of theatre, dance, music, film, crafts, comedy, and visual art to Queen West. Aiming to provide a safe creative space, the festival connects local experienced and amateur artists to their community, while encouraging them to experiment with their crafts.
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.
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.
The fifth annual Waterfront Night Market, held a stone’s throw from the lake, on Cherry Street, will feature a vast array of “street food,” predominantly Asian-style. There will also be several performance stages, a midway and “kids zone,” and plenty of late-night attractions, such as the sports court and an interactive karaoke exhibit.
It’s going to be hard adhering to the “day of rest” idea this summer, with Sunday Serenades taking over Mel Lastman Square every weekend. Your toes will tap, your fingers will snap, and before you know it you’ll be dancing up a storm to some of the most talented big bands in the GTA. Check out Sophisticated Swing (July 13), the Mississauga Swing Band (July 20), the Toronto All-Star Big Band (July 27), the Bob Cary Orchestra (August 3), the Metro Big Band (August 10), and the Swing-Shift Big Band (August 17).