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].
Christine Bédard of the Quebec Russian Bar Trio performs at 2007’s BuskerFest. Photo by Joel Charlebois from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
Today in TO, BuskerFest takes over St. Lawrence Market, a Fresh screening and panel discussion, last year’s literary marathon winner is launched, and Keith Cole hosts a lip-sync cabaret.
FESTIVAL: Street performance has a long and storied history, from the minstrels of medieval Europe to the snake-charmers of India. Even music legends like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Simon and Garfunkel got their starts playing for change on street corners. Scotiabank BuskerFest, running from tonight until Sunday, pays tribute to this time-honoured tradition of street performance. The extravaganza features hundreds of performers, from musicians and dancers to slightly more unusual acts by magicians and fire-eaters, acrobats and aerialists, clowns and contortionists. After each show, the artists will honour the street-performance tradition of asking for donations by passing around a hat. St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood (Front Street between Jarvis and Scott streets today; Between Jarvis and Yonge streets from Friday to Sunday); today 12–10 p.m., Friday 12–11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; donations accepted.
FILM: In only a few decades, agriculture, once the stuff of pastoral idylls, has been rapidly industrialized to feed a hungry world for less money. The indirect costs? Food contamination, pollution, natural resource consumption, and morbid obesity. Fresh, a 2009 documentary directed by Ana Sofia Joanes, looks at the growing movement to overthrow the current industrial model, promoting more sustainable and healthier alternatives to food production. The film features interviews with urban farmer Will Allen, sustainable farmer and entrepreneur Joel Salatin, and author Michael Pollan. The movie screens tonight, and will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Toronto Food Policy Council chair Wayne Roberts, and featuring chef Brad Long, Young Urban Farmers co-founder Chris Wong, FoodShare executive director Debbie Field, and Sustain Ontario’s Tammara Soma. Bloor Cinema (506 Bloor Street West), 6:30 p.m., $10.
WORDS: Armed with their laptops, adrenaline, and, hopefully, a steady source of coffee, entrants into the annual 3-Day Novel contest, which takes place every year over Labour Day weekend, are challenged to write a literary masterpiece in seventy-two hours. In anticipation of this year’s event, tonight will see the launch of last year’s winner, Snowmen by Toronto’s Mark Sedore. The novel tells the story of a man attempting to be the first to walk over the North Pole in honour of his dying brother, a man with less-than-pure intentions. Sedore will be on hand to read from his book and offer tips for marathon novel-writing. Also present will be 3DN staff to answer questions and accept new entrants into this year’s contest. Victory Cafe (581 Markham Street), 7 p.m., FREE.
FUNDRAISER: Rob Ford may be everyone’s most beloved mayoral candidate right now, but when it comes to who can throw the best party, performance artist–turned-politico Keith Cole wins hands down. Tonight, the brazen Cole hosts a fundraiser for 7a*11d, an artist-run organization dedicated to performance art. Every year, the group holds a spectacular festival to showcase some of the world’s best performance art, and tonight’s lip-sync cabaret will hopefully raise some cabbage for the event, which will be held in October. Lip-syncers tonight include Trixie and Beever, Jess Dobkin, and Cole himself. The Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West); doors at 9 p.m., show at 10 p.m.; $12.