Feeling S.A.D.? Toronto’s Christmas spirit wore off weeks ago and waiting outside for the streetcar has become more face-numbing than going to the dentist.
Thankfully, the City of Toronto is stepping in to cure us of our winter blahs by organizing the 5th annual WinterCity Festival, which runs from January 25 to February 7 in Nathan Phillips Square. While the cool kids have probably already marked the free Saturday night concerts by Tokyo Police Club (January 26, 8:45–10 p.m.) and The Weakerthans (February 2, 8:45–10 p.m.) on their calendars, there’s a ton of other events going on for the next couple weeks that you may not have heard about. Check out highlights of the festival programming behind the cut.
Alice in Wonderland
Don’t miss seeing a performance of Alice in Wonderland by Theatre Gajes. Although this award-winning interactive production is child-friendly, it seems to be more on the trippy Lewis Carroll end of the Wonderland spectrum rather than the Disney end. Have you ever wanted to see a freaky-deaky Dutch carnival-on-stilts opera version of Alice in Wonderland? Now you can! Alice plays twice daily at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays (January 26 & 27, February 2 & 3).
Nights of Fire
Burn, baby, burn! Compagnie Carabosse of France are taking over Nathan Phillips Square. These pyroaestheticians are rigging up metal fire sculptures and hundreds of clay pots filled with flames. Nights of Fire will take place on Fridays and Saturdays (January 25 & 26, February 1 & 2) from 6–9 p.m.
Warm up inside the RBC WinterCity Lodge. Friday is sketch comedy night: a showcase of Toronto’s best sketch comedians will be featured on January 25 (6–10 p.m.), and then the Canadian sketch-pros from The Second City will play the Lodge on February 1 (6–10 p.m.).
On Saturday nights (January 26 & February 2, 6–10 p.m.), there will be a mix of DJs spinning beats in the Lodge. It’s probably the hottest dance party in town at 6:00 p.m. on a Saturday night. Can you think of any hotter ones? No you can’t.
And for family fun on chilly weekend afternoons from 2–5 p.m.: newmindspace is setting up a chalkboard snowman that you can decorate; kids can learn how to knit; author Ken Setterington will tell the story The Snow Queen; trick out your sled at Trick My Sled.
The Lost Mitten Project
One of our favourite events at WinterCity is The Lost Mitten Project. Everyone has a lonely mitten sitting in their closet, why not give them some company? Bring your mittens to Nathan Phillips Square on Saturdays and Sundays (January 26 & 27, February 2 & 3) from 2–5 p.m. and hang them around the WinterCity Lodge.
Because that’s what Nathan Phillips Square is all about in the wintertime, right?
For kids, on the weekend of January 26 & 27 is the Mad Hatter’s Skating Party (3–5 p.m.), and Run Away With the Circus is on the weekend of February 2 & 3 (3–5 p.m.).
For adults, there is a Skate ‘n’ Date singles party on Friday, January 25 from 8:45–10 p.m. that is hosted by Meet Market Adventures and will feature tunes by Boogie Inc (but not this Boogie Inc). Ladies, get ready to meet your very own Elvis Stoijko! The next weekend (February 1, 8:45–10 p.m.) is a Boa Bash hosted by the Church and Wellesley BIA, an event that promises to be, quite literally, gayer than the Ice Capades.
See you on the rink!