WORDS: The new season of the Toronto Poetry Slam kicks off Friday. Amateurs sign up half an hour before the show, and are given a chance to showcase their talents. Afterward, there will be a performance from musician Mark Berube and The Patriotic Few. For more information, check out the Toronto Poetry Slam website. The Drake Hotel Underground (1150 Queen Street West), 8 p.m. (sign-up at 7:30 p.m.), $5.
MUSIC: Local musician Jennifer Castle (or Castlemusic) will be having her CD release party in the courtyard of St. George the Martyr Church, also known as The Music Gallery. The record is called You Can’t Take Anyone, and is being released through Blue Fog Records. With Nifty and Ryan Driver. The Music Gallery (197 John Street), 7:30 p.m., $8.
DRINKS: For the next two days, the 2008 Drinks Show will be happening down at Exhibition Place. A celebration of cocktails, the Drinks Show will showcase the LCBO’s newest products as well as brands never before seen in Canada. The theme this year is “Come Fly With Us,” and features interactive bar stations in a retro airline-themed space. Advance tickets (found here) are available, but they will also be sold at the door. Toronto Exhibition Place (Queen Elizabeth Building, 180 Princes Boulevard), 5-11 p.m., $20-25.
DANCE: The DJs of Goin’ Steady (the 1950s dance night at The Boat) are throwing their other dance party, Chronologic. The theme of the night is music from 1940 to 2008, played in chronological order. The result is an immeasurable amount of fun! Get there before 11:00 p.m., after which there is sure to be an obnoxiously long lineup. The Boat (158 Augusta Avenue), 10 p.m., $5.
FILM: At Innis Town Hall, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, Alliance Films, Dragon Dynasty, and Kung Fu Fridays are presenting a free screening of the 1978 kung fu film Heroes of the East, with a special live appearance by Gordon Liu. You know Gordon Liu—he was Pai Mei, the Bride’s samurai teacher in Kill Bill Vol. 2. He’s one of Hong Kong’s most beloved action stars, and he’ll be doing a Q&A and an autograph session following the film. Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue), 2:30 p.m., FREE (but spots must be reserved in advance here).
MUSIC: The Tranzac Club is celebrating their past year with a musical open house. The lineup includes The Burning Hell, Castlemusic, The Fembots, and The Mantler Band, among others (a full list of performers is available on the Tranzac’s website). Tickets are available in advance at the Tranzac, Rotate This (801 Queen Street West), and Soundscapes (572 College Street). The Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick Avenue, at Bloor), 8 p.m., $10 in advance, $12 at the door ($10 for Tranzac members).
MUSIC: Anyone who’s picked up a Toronto newspaper or magazine in the last six months or so should remember that Sunday is the Rogers Picnic at Historic Fort York. Featuring a lineup that could make any self-proclaimed indie rock fan shed a tear, bands performing include Vampire Weekend, Animal Collective, City and Colour, and Tokyo Police Club. Not to be confused with a regular picnic, as bringing your own food and beverages is strictly prohibited. For a full list of other prohibited items, as well as set times and how to buy tickets, check out the official website for the Picnic. Historic Fort York, 1 p.m., $49.50.
SPORTS: After being slaughtered by the Hamilton Tigercats on July 3, things haven’t been looking great for the Toronto Argonauts. But at second place in their division, the Argos could be Toronto’s best-performing professional sports team. It is therefore potentially worth checking out their game against the Edmonton Eskimos. Rogers Centre, 4:30 p.m., $33–79 (available here).
FESTIVAL: There will be a free day-long celebration of Ed Mirvish’s life, held in front of (you guessed it) Honest Ed’s Retail Emporium. The celebration will include live entertainment, a vintage fashion show, and art activities. Honest Ed’s Emporium (581 Bloor Street West), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., FREE.
Photo from Toronto Poetry Slam’s website.