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].
Manatee print on silk by Pandy Ramada. Part of the Gladstone’s That’s So Gay exhibit, running until July 18.
Today, The Scream celebrates the art of the grant, The Flaming Lips battle the pink robots, To Kill A Mockingbird hits the big 5-0, the Gladstone’s new art exhibit is super gay, and Tonto’s Nephews are back together again.
WORDS: No one gives grant applications their due. Sure, they lack the sexiness and glamour of the arts they seek to fund, but without them, the bulk of the Canadian cultural scene would never come to be. Tonight, the Scream Literary Festival honours the bureaucracy behind Canada’s arts scene. The Hand That Feeds will include presentations and performances by actor and comedian Karen Hines, graphic novelist (and Coach House Books publicist) Evan Munday, Parkdale performance artist Darren O’Donnell, poets Angela Szczepaniak and Natalie Walschots (a.k.a. Natalie Zed), and author RM Vaughan. The Pilot (22 Cumberland Street), 7 p.m., PWYC (suggested $5 donation).
MUSIC: Land Rover commercials and Cat Stevens lawsuits aside, the Flaming Lips are one of the most inventive and hypnotic acts of the past twenty years. Although they started playing together in 1983, they hit it really big in 1997 with Zaireeka, a sprawling, experimental four-disc game-changer that solidified the band’s trademark sound—traditional melodies fused with noisy found sounds and tunes that are equal parts cerebral and whimsical. These days, the Lips are still going strong, having released two albums last year (including a full remake of The Dark Side of the Moon), and tonight, they perform alongside Spoon and Tokyo Police Club. Molson Amphitheatre (955 Lake Shore Boulevard West), doors 6 p.m., $29.50–$52.50
WORDS: Fifty years ago this week, Alabama author Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird, a poignant, powerful story about racial injustice and growing up in the South. Besides becoming a seminal work of American literature, the novel introduced the world to one of its greatest literary heroes, Atticus Finch, later immortalized on film by Gregory Peck. Tonight, acclaimed filmmaker Clement Virgo, singer-songwriter and author Dan Hill (yes, of “Sometimes When We Touch” fame), and Toronto District School Board trustee Josh Matlow discuss the enduring significance of the novel half a century after its publication, followed by a Q&A. Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street), 7 p.m., FREE.
ART: Following in the footsteps of “queer” and “dyke,” That’s So Gay, the Gladstone’s queer-themed art exhibit, takes back the word “gay.” This reappropriation claims the word for the community it represents, dissociating it with the negative connotations it took on in the ’90s and ’00s. The exhibit, which features assertive representations of the queer experience, includes work by textile artist Grant Heaps, photographer Lori Newdick, illustrator Daryl Vocat, and recently passed Toronto artist Will Munro. It runs until July 18, and tonight there will be a forum discussion. The Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), 7 p.m., FREE.
COMEDY: Saskatchewan fell victim to a mighty twister last Friday, and the residents of Kawacatoose First Nation were hit particularly hard—fifteen homes were left in shambles, and one completely flattened. With a staggering $2.1 million estimated in damages, Tonto’s Nephews, Canada’s only First Nations comedy improv group, will reunite for a fundraiser to help Kawacatoose get back on its feet. The troupe will be joined by guests Colin Mochrie, Sandy Jobin-Bevans, Paul Bates, and Jan Caruana. The Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 9 p.m., donations.
FRINGE: Overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the Fringe Festival? Daunted by the overflowing program? We are here to help! Our guide to some of the very best of this year’s Fringe shows will help you have a better festival experience.