Urban Planner: March 2, 2009
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Urban Planner: March 2, 2009

Evan Munday prepares the Stripmalling display in Pages’ windows yesterday. Photo by Miles Storey/Torontoist.

WORDS: This is Not a Reading Series presents a book launch tonight at the Gladstone Hotel. Stripmalling, by author Jon Paul Fiorentino and illustrator Evan Munday, tells the story of one young man’s embarrassing and hilarious journey to literary awareness. The evening will begin with a screening of the short film The Way Of The Smock: The Making Of Stripmalling, followed by a discussion with Fiorentino and Munday (facilitated by author Zoe Whittall). Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), 7:30 p.m., $5 (free with book purchase).
FESTIVAL: Today marks the kick-off of the inaugural FIRESIDE Culture Week, presented by the Parkdale BIA. FIRESIDE is a week-long celebration of art, fashion, food, music, and theatre, all taking place in Parkdale. A slate of opening night celebrations include fire-spinning, martial arts, dance, magic, and live music at Mitzi’s Sister (1554 Queen Street West) 7–10 p.m.; poetry, prose, juggling, humour, and dance at Good Catch (1556 Queen Street West), 9 p.m.; and Mo’ Music Monday, a night of live music with Sean Cotton of the Undesirables, at Not My Dog (1510 Queen Street West), 10 p.m.–1 a.m. The festival runs through March 7. Check the Parkdale BIA website for full details.
FILM: Bruce McDonald fans, take note: the Cinema Studies Student Union (CINSSU) presents a sneak preview of McDonald’s latest flick, Pontypool. A psychological thriller in which a deadly virus infects a small Ontario town, Pontypool has been called the smartest sci-fi genre film since Primer. McDonald will be in attendance for a Q&A following the screening. There are limited free passes still available for people who can make it to the CINSSU office (Room 107 at Innis College) today, and a rush line will be available at the event for non-passholders. Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue), 7 p.m., FREE.
LECTURE: Throughout the month of March, the Royal Conservatory of Music will be offering a series of lectures and master classes, all open to the public. Today’s installment belongs to the critically acclaimed Irish pianist John O’Conor, who has been called a true “Poet of the Piano.” Royal Conservatory of Music (273 Bloor Street West), 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., FREE.
ART: In advance of an opening reception on Friday, March 6 (from 7–10 p.m.), the Whippersnapper Gallery offers previews of “Play/Pause” beginning tonight. Presented by the Visual Arts Students Association of York University, “Play/Pause” is a group show by undergraduate students, offering up an eclectic collection of works from various disciplines including drawing, sculpture, painting, print, photography, and performance. The show continues through March 13. Whippersnapper Gallery (587A College Street), 11 a.m.–7 p.m., FREE.