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].
Controllers are for suckers at tonight’s Kinect launch. Photo courtesy of High Road Communications.
It’s a thrifty hump-day at Torontoist: the Regent Park Film Festival, a St. Jamestown introspective, a dance to save marine life, Mr. Shakespeare’s Bastard, and Xbox launches Kinect.
FILM: Back for its eighth year, the Regent Park Film Festival—Toronto’s one-and-only free multicultural film festival—hits the big screen tonight at Lord Dufferin Public School. For this year’s theme of Horizontal & Vertical Communities, Regent Park filmmakers turn their lenses to urban renewal, high-rise dwelling, and cultural diversity. Besides showings and panel discussions, tonight’s opening gala includes a free performance by Montreal hip-hop artists No Bad Sound. And did we mention it’s all free? Lord Dufferin Public School (350 Parliament Street), first showing 10 a.m. through until closing gala on Saturday at 7 p.m., FREE.
DANCE: Since our poor oceans don’t get no respect, The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is whipping out its dancing shoes for a lunch-hour show promoting marine conservation. Ceremonial dancers from the remote Haida Nation—our indigenous friends of the Pacific Northwest coast—will perform their awareness-raising show on its debut tour. The show’s emceed by Alanna Mitchell, author of Sea Sick: The Hidden Crisis in the Global Ocean, and features marine experts from CPAWS and Parks Canada answering all your questions about the deep blue sea. TMX Broadcast Centre at The Exchange Tower (130 King Street West), show times at 12:15 and 1:15 p.m., FREE.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Artist Matthew Higginson’s solo photography exhibit documents the people of St. Jamestown—the eclectic Toronto neighbourhood of nineteen looming towers nestled between the snootier Cabbagetown and even-more-snootier Rosedale. Higginson spent two years documenting black-and-white images that capture the faces—some smiles, some death looks—of a community (St. Jamestown has a population of about seventeen thousand people) with what Higginson calls “a story of bedroom poverty, looking out over golden canopied excess.” Side Space Gallery (1080 St. Clair Avenue West), opening tonight 7–10 p.m. (through until December 2), FREE.
WORDS: The Toronto Public Library, as part of its eh-List Author Series, welcomes Richard B. Wright and his much-anticipated new book Mr. Shakespeare’s Bastard. It’s exactly as it sounds—Aerlene is an ailing housekeeper with a sweet secret (just guess who’s the babydaddy)—but Wright’s delightful descriptions of Cromwell’s England will have you singing sonnets. Wright’s only scored a Giller, the Governor General’s Award, and the Trillium, so it’s safe to say this one’s probably in the bag. North York Central Library (5120 Yonge Street), 7 p.m., FREE.
LAUNCH: Get excited now, gamers: Kinect for Xbox 360—a controller-free system that scans your body and inserts you into the game—arrives from the future tonight for an exclusive all-night launch at Yonge-Dundas Square. To celebrate, Xbox Canada is hosting a free demo party (our game picks are Dance Central, Kinect Sports, and Joy Ride, or squeeze in a workout with Your Shape: Fitness Evolved) with tunes by DJ Christian Rich. He’ll be spinning the soundtrack while eager beavers await 12:01, when Midnight Madness moves across the street to Future Shop for the first customers to whip out their credit cards as they salivate all over the counter. Even awesomer? A midnight fireworks spectacle shows Xbox means serious party business. Yonge-Dundas Square, then Future Shop (325 Yonge Street), 9 p.m., FREE.