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].
FESTIVAL: The City of Toronto’s Cavalcade of Lights begins this Saturday with the lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas tree. Fireworks fly overhead and the first of four free concerts scheduled for the coming month begins. Steven Page, Matt Dusk, Keshia Chante, and Fritz Helder & the Phantoms croon for you while DJ Tony Sutherland spins the tunes for the skating party. It’s true—the Nathan Phillips Square rink is now open for your skating pleasure. Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen Street West), Saturday, 7 p.m., FREE.
COMEDY: Regular Sunday comedy night Laugh Sabbath gives back with a special “Fan Love 24/7” show. The comedians are putting the show on for free this time, and packing the roster with stand-up, sketches, and funny videos. And, as if a free show wasn’t quite enough, they are giving away stuff, too. The Rivoli (332 Queen Street West), Sunday, 9 p.m., FREE.
FAMILY: Karaoke bars aren’t often a kid-friendly haven, but the Bunch Family is about to change that with the Bunch Family Live Rock Band Karaoke. Montreal live karaoke band Urockaoke (featuring members of The Dears and Land of Talk) will play back-up for any young ones who wish to take the stage (eh, and maybe some parents, too?). The afternoon also serves as a farewell tribute to the Gladstone Cowboy, Hank Young, who passed away on October 25. Revival (783 College Street), Sunday, 12–3 p.m., $12 ($10 for adults and $8 for children in advance).
CRAFTS: Those who aren’t interested in paying an entrance fee for the pleasure of purchasing crafts can head to the Gladstone for the Seventh Mondo Bazaar. Held in the large ballroom, the fair focuses on local crafties and non-profits alike. And even though the bazaar is free, they are still giving away door prizes (seems like the trend for the weekend)! Organizers have graciously planned a free kids’ craft area from 1–3 p.m. as well. Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom (1214 Queen Street West), Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., FREE.
FILM: Lovers of late-night fare who don’t mind spending the night in a theatre will definitely enjoy this weekend’s one-time only “Shock and Awe: The Grindhouse Experience.” Fox Theatre, Rue Morgue, Suspect Video, and the After Dark Film Festival have pooled resources to help film archivist Dion Conflict realize a dream: to recreate an authentic grindhouse experience just for you. Starting just before midnight, rare film prints of six otherwise unavailable films will be screened, including Bamboo Gods and Iron Men, H.G. Wells’ The Shape of Things to Come (horrible!), and—according to the press release—the only known print in Canada of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Fox Theatre (2236 Queen Street East), Saturday, 11:30 p.m., $30 ($25 in advance).
MUSIC: Dan Wolovick and Tyler Wade, two Toronto music promoters with extensive music websites, have conspired to showcase their picks of some of the best Toronto indie bands around. They’ve booked the Garrison for the show, and it’s as good a time as any to check out the great new venue that’s also become home to both the Wavelength series and Trampoline Hall. Playing the duo’s inaugural showcase are Racoon Wedding (with rumoured extra special guests), The Schomberg Fair, Black Hat Brigade, and Germans. The Garrison (1197 Dundas Street West), Saturday, 9 p.m., $7.