Urban Planner: June 17, 2010
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Urban Planner: June 17, 2010

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].

Tawiah M’carthy stars in Obaaberima. Photo by Ray Boyce

DRINK: Is there a classier and more fitting place to drink than the Distillery District? The rustic cobblestones and romantic Victorian architectural details make the former fermenting centre a perfect place for the Toronto Wine and Spirits Festival, taking place from tonight until Saturday. In addition to delicious Prince Edward County wines, the festival will see the launch of new Svedka Vodka from Sweden, culinary treats from Chef Rodney Bowers of the Rosebud, and wine-and-spirit tasting seminars. Performers will include local indie darling Julie Fader (tonight), psych-rockers The Hoa Hoa’s (Friday), and the shiny throwback pop of The Balconies (Saturday). The Distillery District (55 Mill Street); 6–11 p.m.; $22/advance, $30 at the event (tickets include five drink/food vouchers and a sampling glass).
FILM: In 1992, El Salvador reached the end of a bitter twelve-year civil war that left the country in a fragile political state. A new documentary, Return to El Salvador, explores the ramifications of the war on the country almost twenty years after its end. The doc, which is narrated by President Jed Bartlet Martin Sheen, looks at the struggles of Salvadorans to regain social justice, and features interviews with citizens and foreign diplomats. It runs tonight until June 23 (there will be no screening on June 19). Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina Avenue), 7:30 p.m., $10.
THEATRE: Amidst the sea of NXNE shows, the World Cup, and the dreaded highly anticipated G20, Pride seems like years away. But Buddies in Bad Times is getting the party started early, kicking off its Pride festivities tonight in a workshop presentation of Obaaberima. A mix of theatre and dance, the one-man show tells the story of a Ghanaian boy coming to terms with race, gender, and sexuality. It was devised by performer Tawiah M’carthy as part of the Buddies Young Creators Unit last year. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander Street), 8 p.m., pay-what-you-can.
CONTEST: As far as fantasies go, few rival that of the hot fireman. Rescuing innocents? Check. Working out? Part of the job. Every year, the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation produces a calendar of the city’s sexiest firemen, with proceeds going towards firefighter cancer research (awww). Tonight, a bevy of hunky heroes will strut their stuff in a contest to determine who will grace the pages of 2011’s calendar. Gentlemen, prepare to be objectified! XS Nightclub (261 Richmond Street), 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), $30.
MUSIC: Ben Fox is living the dream—bored of the ivory tower during his days as a Concordia student, he dropped out and became a rock star, forming Dinosaur Bones in 2008. The band quickly gained a rabid Toronto following, and local fans have played their copies of the band’s EP ragged, eagerly waiting for a full-length release. Luckily, the band is currently putting the finishing touches on their debut album. Until then, fans’ appetites can be whetted at their NXNE show tonight, where they will be joined by the twisted, whiskey-soaked bluegrass thumps of Elliott Brood. For all the NXNE goodness that must not be missed, check out our comprehensive guide. Horseshoe Tavern (368 Queen Street West), 9 p.m., $25 for one-day pass.