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].
Joanna Newsom plays Saturday night at the Phoenix Concert Theatre. Photo by Annabel Mehran.
MUSIC: Joanna Newsom has always walked the line between elfin forest child and sage old soul, and along with artists like Devendra Banhart, CocoRosie, and Sufjan Stevens, has become an icon of freak folk. Newsom’s music—a polyrhythmic cacaphony of harps, pianos, and warbling tones—is both anachronistic and utterly distinctive, and whether or not you appreciate her high-pitched vocals, there’s no denying that Newsom creates a world all her own. Tonight, she performs at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, hot off the release of Have One On Me, a sprawling three-disc album that’s making all the critics swoon. Phoenix Concert Theatre (410 Sherbourne Street), Saturday 6 p.m., $28.
WHIMSY: Newmindspace is at it again. The interactive art collective committed to “urban bliss dissemination” has embarked on a new project that can only be described as a giant slumber party. In their Blanket Forts event this Saturday, Newmindspace will construct a maze of cozy forts in a private loft, where guests can enjoy hot cocoa, snacks, and snuggling. PJs, pillows, blankets, and teddy bears are welcome, but there’s a catch—the event’s location will only be made known to those who buy advance tickets, through an email they will receive after purchase. (Buy now, because tickets are limited to two hundred.) All proceeds will go to funding future Newmindspace shenanigans. Mystery location, Saturday 11 p.m.–6 a.m., $15 donation.
PHOTOGRAPHY: From Jeff on Today’s Special to Kim Cattrall, mannequins’ imitations of life have fascinated us for years. So self-absorbed is the human beast that we have created a plastic golem in our image and anthropomorphized it to sell goods and services. So what does the mannequin say about our society? In her new exhibit, “Behind Glass,” Georgette Peters‘s photographs examine how mannequins function in our material world, from how they impact fashion to what they reveal about body image and commodity culture. The exhibit, which runs to April 29, is holding an opening reception this Sunday. Side Space Gallery (1080 St. Clair Avenue West), Sunday 2–5 p.m., FREE.
FILM: The University of Toronto Film Festival boasts an impressive pedigree—Canadian film royalty such as David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, and Don McKellar have all screened short films there in the past, and this year’s lineup might also have some future star auteurs on the roster. The one-day festival will screen one hundred films in fifteen rooms, including shorts from Brazil, Israel, Denmark, and Poland. The bill also includes back-to-back screenings of two films from Babak Payami, who has been the subject of censorship in his native country, and who will be in attendance at the screenings. Hart House (7 Hart House Circle), Saturday 1 p.m.–12 a.m., FREE.
KIDS: SPRING BREAK! It’s that wonderful time of year when kids are freed from the shackles of their desks and given a much-needed break from all that recess and long division. In order to prevent your child’s brain from going to mush during its week off, Black Creek Pioneer Village is hosting fun and educational March Break festivities from Saturday until March 21. Activities will include a maple syrup festival, discovering local archaeology with a real archaeologist, learning about how furniture and toys were made in the days of the pioneers, and, the perennial favourite, horse-drawn carriage rides. Black Creek Pioneer Village (1000 Murray Ross Parkway); Saturday and Sunday (and every day until March 21) 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; $10/adults, students, and seniors, $7/kids ages 5–15, members and kids under 4 FREE.
THEATRE: Toronto is one of the world’s hubs for dub poetry—we’re home to the Dub Poets Collective, a group of internationally and nationally recognized dub artists devoted to promoting the form, and Canada has produced a number of leading dub artists, including Afua Cooper, Chet Singh, and ahdri zhina mandiela. Tonight, the Factory Theatre premieres mandiela’s latest work, who new grannie: a dub aria, which tells, through performance poetry, dance, and music, the story of four cousins who return to Jamaica to bury their beloved grandmother and, on the way, rediscover their memories and each other in their homeland. The piece, which was also directed by mandiela, begins previews tonight and runs from March 18 to April 4. Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street); previews Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 8 p.m., Sunday 7:30 p.m.; $15.
MUSIC: Canadian Music Week ends this Sunday. You can find all of Torontoist’s coverage—daily previews, reviews, questionnaires, and more—right over here.