Urban Planner: December 15, 2009
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Urban Planner: December 15, 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].

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Still from Madeinusa, playing tonight at The Ossington.

FILM: Cine Peru film showcase is an initiative by Nathaniel Laywine, whose interest in “communications technology, social justice, and education” has brought him to work with the Peruvian-based charity group, La Semilla (The Seed). La Semilla works with children in low-income families in Lima, Peru, providing them with communication technology and training in the hopes of empowering them to better their lives and strengthen their community. Tonight’s screening (the second of two) will feature award-winning independent film Madeinusa, directed by Claudia Llosa. Madeinusa is about a a small village in the Peruvian mountains where once a year, between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the villagers do whatever they want because they believe there is no sin during this time. Madeinusa is a young girl in the village whose life is changed when a stranger comes to town during this ritual. Proceeds from the screening will go to funding Laywine’s trip to Lima this February to work with La Semilla. The Ossington, Back Room (61 Ossington Street), 7:30 p.m., $10.
CELEBRATION: The Free Times Cafe has been around for twenty-nine years, and that’s cause for celebration. Today, the cafe is offering a free vegetarian buffet for lunch from 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m., and free hors d’oeuvres from 3–5 p.m. and 10 p.m. onwards. Free drinks, music, raffles, and prizes will be sprinkled throughout the day. At 7 p.m. the “Best of Open Stage” show will kick off with a lineup chosen from their Monday night “Open Stage” shows from the past year. Free Times Cafe (320 College Street), 11:30 a.m.–midnight, FREE.
FILM: Tonight, Xpace Cultural Centre presents a lineup of three “raw” documentaries curated by Toronto-based graphic designer, Jeremy McCormick. The showcase, “Pretty Raw,” aims to present works with frank portraits of communities and sub-cultures in their natural environments. Frat House (1998) by Todd Phillips and Andrew Gurland documents the severe hazing practices of some fraternities in the U.S. Dark Carnival of Souls: The Juggalo Gathering 2009 by Derek Erdman and Devid Wilcox explores the 2009 Juggalo Gathering, made infamous by the Gathering of the Juggalos infomercial on YouTube. Wildwood N.J. (1994) by Carol Weaks and Cassidy and Ruth Leitman is about the last American blue-collar carnival town. Xpace Cultural Centre (58 Ossington Avenue), 8 p.m., FREE.
WORDS: Coach House Books‘s “A Very Christian Christmas” is not quite what you’re thinking. It’s actually a celebration of the reissuing of Christian Bök‘s Eunoia: The Upgraded Edition. Eunoia is a Griffin Poetry Prize–winning book of poetry released in 2001, in which each of five chapters is a univocal lipogram (meaning that the words in every chapter are limited to using a single vowel, which changes each chapter). Bök will be joined by fellow writers Ken Babstock, Andrew Pyper, Russell Smith, Priscila Uppal, and Darren Wershler in celebrating the book through readings, anecdotes, and tributes. Supermarket (268 Augusta Avenue), 7:30 p.m., FREE.
CONFERENCE: Today is the launch of the ELNStudio program, as created by the Emerging Leaders Network (ELN). This group is an initiative of the Toronto City Summit Alliance of 2006, consisting of leaders who work in the private, public, and non-profit sectors of Toronto, and who want to improve Toronto through creative city planning. Today’s conference is all about networking with other emerging leaders, as well as exploring some of the projects that ELNStudio will be working on over the coming year (projects such as electoral reform, the creation of an arts and culture corridor along John Street, and addressing issues of poverty in Toronto). The keynote speaker is David Peterson, former Ontario Premier, chair of the winning Toronto 2015 Pan Am bid, and member of the Toronto City Summit Alliance Steering Committee. MaRS Centre (101 College Street), 8 a.m–6:30 p.m., $42.15.

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