Urban Planner: October 23, 2009
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Urban Planner: October 23, 2009

Urban Planner is Torontoist’s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to [email protected].

Cordell Barker’s critically acclaimed Runaway screens at Get Animated! tonight. Photo courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada.

ANIMATION: To mark World Animation Day on October 28, the NFB kicks off a week of free activities that celebrate the ever-changing, ever-intriguing world of animation. Get Animated! will offer screenings and workshops, like the Animation Lounge, where you can mingle with animators, browse through displays, and discover more about the industry and local studios. The first screening at tonight’s opening highlights the 2008 grads from Sheridan College—whose animation program has produced some seriously talented and successful artists in the field for more than thirty years. Later on, catch some brand new NFB animation releases, including Cordell Barker’s Runaway and The Spine by Chris Landreth (who won Best Short Animation at the 2005 Oscars for his amazing film about a well-loved Montrealer, Ryan). Both pieces were official selections at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. NFB Mediatheque (150 John Street), 5–10 p.m. (go online for various show times, etc.), FREE.
FAMILY: Toronto’s Riverside District, which stretches along Queen Street East on the east side of the Don River, invites you to Take a Walk on the Riverside. For a second year, this vibrant and burgeoning community opens its doors to neighbours and strangers alike for a weekend of family activities, shopping, dining, and free outdoor screenings. The fun begins this evening at local bookstore Roxanne Reads New and Used Books, where author Karen Dales will read from and sign copies of her vampire tale Angel of Death. Riverside District, 6–10 p.m., FREE.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Globe-travelling photojournalist Dominic Nahr brings home untold stories of civil unrest and the crimes that result from the pursuit of protecting physical and psychological borders. In his latest exhibit, “Fragile Border,” Nahr shares his photos of the Kenyan/Somali border and the Dadaab refugee camp—the largest in the world and home to a quarter of a million people. The series documents the experience of camp inhabitants and settled Kenyans facing menace from Al Shabaab, the radical Islamist militia who pose a constant threat to peace in the region. O’Born Contemporary (710 Yonge Street), 6–9 p.m., FREE.
THEATRE: The Alliance Française is a renowned cultural hub for Toronto Francophiles and French expats. A longtime supporter of the arts, the Alliance stages its first theatrical performance tonight with Je serai toujours la pour te tuer (“I’ll always be there to kill you”). Performed in both French and English, the play (written by Sophie Tonneau and directed by Patricia Marceau) tells the quirky story of a protagonist who hires someone as her professional killer, then chickens out. After the production, you’re invited to enjoy some wine and cheese (of course!) and practise your French with the cast members and director. La Galerie Pierre-Léon (24 Spadina Road), English show at 7 p.m., French show at 8:30 p.m., $10 or $15 for both English and French versions.
ART: Taking place within the context of Art Toronto, upArt returns to the Gladstone for a second year of contemporary installation art from some of today’s most innovative artists. This year’s theme, “Rooms of Wonder,” transforms the second floor of the landmark hotel into a world of curios, representing the diversity and vitality of installation art. Ignite your sense of wonder as you explore the exhibit, then stick around for live performances and a DJ set at the opening gala. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), exhibition runs from noon–11 p.m., gala from 7–11 p.m., $8.