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].
PHOTOGRAPHY: Stephen Bulger Gallery will reveal stunning glimpses of Canadian history in the form of photographs with the opening of a new exhibition entitled, “O Canada,” running through February 27. The photographs, which are on display for the first time, come from a collection that delves nearly 150 years into the past with scenes, portraits, and snapshots showcasing the land, people, and events that have shaped Canada’s history. On Saturday afternoon (3 p.m.) at Camera, the gallery’s adjoining lounge and screening venue, there will be a free presentation of Goin’ Down the Road by Canadian film director Donald Shebib. This 1970 film chronicles the adventures of two Maritmers who drive to Toronto in search of a better life. Stephen Bulger Gallery (1026 Queen Street West), Saturday 11 a.m.–6 p.m., FREE.
ART: A kinetic sculpture installation of strings and brass bars, Mitchell F. Chan‘s Visions of the Amen will be brought to life this evening with the voice of soprano Ashleigh Semkiw, who will be performing a piece by Oliver Messaien. The installation, presented by The Spoke Club and O’Born Contemporary, is described as an “architectural-scale immersive installation.” The piece is activated by different notes and responds to varying voice pitches, causing the strings to rotate and change the sculpture’s shape, creating a visual representation of the music. The Spoke Club Gallery (600 King Street West, 4th Floor), Friday 7–10 p.m., FREE.
HAITI: Local craftster and Leslieville boutique owner Nathalie-Roze Fischer—who happens to be part-Haitian with relatives living on the island—is springing into action to help earthquake victims in Haiti. All money raised from Shop For The Cause 2 will go toward the Canadian Red Cross’ Haiti earthquake relief fund. Roze has reason to believe that community members, local designers, artists, and small business owners can make a difference: the first Shop For The Cause event, which took place in 2005 following the massive tsunami that struck countries bordering the Indian Ocean, raised sixteen thousand dollars for relief efforts. In addition to funky handmade wearables and gifts, shoppers can expect new merchandise and gift certificates, along with gently used clothing, books, toys, and housewares for a jumble sale. Queen Street East Presbyterian Church (947 Queen Street East), Saturday 11 a.m.–5 p.m., FREE.
RALLY: Last month Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that for the second time in under two years, he will be proroguing parliament, until March 3. More than two hundred thousand Canadians who are “fed up with Harper’s undemocratic behaviour” have joined a Facebook group dedicated to the issue. This weekend those concerned citizens are going offline and getting outside to participate in a non-partisan rally—one of more than forty-five that are taking place in cities and towns across the country—organized by Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament (CAPP). The march will start at Yonge-Dundas Square, travel south on Yonge Street, west on Queen Street, north on Bay Street, east on College Street, and then south on Yonge Street to finish at Yonge-Dundas Square. Yonge-Dundas Square (2 Dundas Street East), Saturday 1 p.m., FREE.
MUSIC: The Necks are back in our neck of the woods this weekend, after almost eight years since their last performance in Toronto. Throughout their twenty-year history as a band, the experimental Aussie jazz trio has established a cult following and is known for their improvisational and mesmerizing music that blurs the lines between avant-garde, minimalist, ambient, and jazz. Let go of your expectations, prepare for an emotive and possibly hypnotic experience, and enjoy the show. The Music Gallery (197 John Street), Saturday 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), $15–25 (available online).
HAITI: A couple of Haitian earthquake relief fundraisers are happening at the Artscape Wychwood Barns on Saturday. Early birds can enjoy breakfast at the farmers’ market, cooked by Anne Sorrenti from MPP Carolyn Bennett’s office, with fresh ingredients donated by farmers and vendors. All proceeds from the breakfast donations will go to Oxfam for Haitian Relief. The Barns will also house a family-friendly fundraiser organized by Artscape, with all proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross. This event will feature food, a cash bar, and entertainment by Muhtadi and the World Drummers, Njacko Backo and the Toumkak Drummers, Patience Npunlwana, Spoken Word, and Jacques Yams. Artscape Wychwood Barns (601 Christie Street), Saturday 9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 4–8 p.m., by donation.
DESIGN: If you’re in need of some house/condo/apartment therapy, the Interior Design Show (IDS) is open to the public this weekend. Come prepared with your pictures, samples, and floor plans to address design dilemmas, while spotting new ideas and trends in furniture, fabrics, accessories, and colours. Visitors can expect more than three hundred exhibitors along with presentations and workshops hosted by Canadian and international design professionals including House & Home’s Suzanne Dimma, interior designer Brian Gluckstein, interior and fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki, and journalist Ingrid Abramovitch. Metro Toronto Convention Centre (255 Front Street West); Saturday 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; $20.
HAITI: Toronto’s comedy community is joining in the effort to raise funds in support of the earthquake relief effort in Haiti. Their week-long fundraiser, with all box-office proceeds being donated to the International Red Cross, will kick off this weekend with the Sunday night staple, “Laugh Sabbath,” at the Rivoli. Various performers and venues across the city, including Comedy Bar, ALTdot Comedy Lounge, The Second City, Absolute Comedy, and Bad Dog Theatre will take part in the fundraiser. Stay tuned to Torontoist for a full preview of the shows. Rivoli (332 Queen Street West), Sunday 9 p.m., $5.