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]
Nice shoes, boys. Toronto’s DD/MM/YYYY join tonight’s lineup at the We Are Busy Bodies’ anniversary show. Photo by David Waldman.
MUSIC: In 2004, Eric Warner created the label We Are Busy Bodies as a vehicle to release records by his band and his friends’ bands and to drum up more widespread interest in local acts. Fast forward five years and the ideology behind the label remains the same, as they continue to release records for friends. These friends, however, just happen to comprise bands like DD/MM/YYYY, Cuff the Duke, METZ, The Meligrove Band, and Japanther. Tonight, a few of the above-mentioned artists headline a special anniversary show that will also serve as a benefit for local food banks, in an attempt to help Torontonians in need, especially at this time of year. Keep in mind that arriving early has its perks: the first fifty people will receive a We Are Busy Bodies grab bag. The Garrison (1197 Dundas Street West), 9 p.m., $5 with canned-food item, $10 without.
BURLESQUE: Don’t just get out of the cold tonight—really turn up the heat at Starlight Burlesque’s Christmas show, which promises not only top talent but a classy, retro vibe. All of the sexy stars performing this evening will be accompanied by the George Lake Big Band, a sixteen-piece orchestra, and guests can enjoy complimentary hors d’ouevres and champagne as they take in the action. Featuring new acts like Esther de Ville and Virginia D’Vine, the show also brings to the stage the winner of this year’s Great Boston Burlesque Expo, NYC’s Incredible Edible Akynos, as well as Toronto sensation Coco Framboise and local darling Mina La Fleur. The evening goes full Vaudevillian with acts by Mysterion (magic) and Dante Inferno (pyro) thrown into the mix. The Blue Moon (725 Queen Street East), doors at 9 p.m., show at 10 p.m., $20 advance at Sunnyside Tattoos.
ART: Toronto indie label and arts collective Easy Tiger is devoted to promoting fine art and music not confined by genre, medium, or prejudice. Over the past couple weeks, they have been collecting donated works from local artists—professionals and students—to sell tonight to raise funds for a young Ugandan named Kenneth Nandala. A volunteer at an orphanage for sick children, Nandala dreams of becoming a medical worker but is unable to pay his tuition (which turns out to be a small amount by Canadian standards). Tonight, ET hopes to raise enough money to send Nandala to school. Suggested donations for each piece range from twenty to two hundred dollars. Hamilton band Dark Mean will be on hand to provide the soundtrack to the evening, and the venue is licensed so you can stick around after the show. Starving Artist (584 Lansdowne Avenue), 7:30–11:30 p.m., FREE.
CRAFTS: Her unique eye for typically-Toronto moments and scenes, along with her ability to capture these with words as well as images, has made talented silk-screener Yasmine Louis a sought-after designer. You can pick up some of her whimsical—and somewhat melancholic—pieces (shirts, hoodies, pillows) at a special sale (and party!) tonight, just in time for gifting season. The sale continues through Saturday if you can’t make it tonight. 257 Niagara Street, 5:30–11 p.m., FREE.
KIDS: Now an Ontario Science Centre tradition, “Dream Machines” opens today, showcasing the world’s largest display of Rowland Emett‘s kooky mechanical inventions (fondly referred to as “the Emetts”). Included in this amazing array of gadgetry is the Humbug Major Sweet Machine (featured in the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), the Forget Me Not Computer, the Featherstone Kite, and the Little Dragon Vacuum Cleaner. This exhibit is an awe-inspiring tribute to the power of imagination and will thrill curious minds of all ages. Ontario Science Centre (770 Don Mills Road), starts at 10 a.m., adults $18, youth/senior $13.50, children $11.