Urban Planner: January 25, 2011
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Urban Planner: January 25, 2011

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].

Nothing like a piping hot haggis on Robbie Burns Day! Mmm, just like Mom used to make. Photo by sniderscion from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o’ the pudding race! It’s Robbie Burns Day in Toronto, and there’s haggis for all—or, if you’d rather, a visit from Spike Lee, an instrumental orchestra from an Oscar-winning composer, and a collection of short comedy films!

HAGGIS: Dust off your kilt and adjust your sporran, because it’s Robbie Burns Day! The birthday of the renowned Scottish poet is a time for feasting and revelry, most notably focusing on that oft-maligned champion of Scottish cuisine: haggis. If you’ve got a hankering for a sheep’s offal served inside of its own stomach (actually delicious, we swear) then you’ve got several options. The Caledonian (856 College Street) is Toronto’s newest Scottish pub, offering up highland dancing and poetry along with the traditional three-course meal. The Mill Street Brewery (55 Mill Street) is offering paired brews with their five-course Brewmaster’s Dinner, while both locations of the Auld Spot Pub (347 Danforth Avenue and 633 College Street) will feature readings of Burns’ “Ode to a Haggis.” Meanwhile there’s a free five-course meal for two at the The Monk’s Table (1276 Yonge Street) for whoever comes up with the best Burns-inspired limerick or poem. There once was a man from Nantucket…
WORDS: In celebration of Black History Month, the Canadian Film Centre is hosting an evening with Spike Lee, where the acclaimed director of Malcolm X will discuss the role of music in his films with Canadian filmmaker Clement Virgo. Although the event is currently sold out, there will be a limited number of rush tickets available at the door. Alternatively, Lee will be at the Manulife Indigo at 5 p.m. to sign copies of his new book, commemorating the twentieth anniversary of his groundbreaking film Do the Right Thing. Varsity Cinemas (55 Bloor Street West), 7 p.m., $20.
MUSIC: Soundstreams presents the Chai Found Music Workshop and the Accordes String Quartet, led by conductor Les Dala in a performance that traverses cultures and countries. In addition to new works by Canada’s Dorothy Chang and others, the program includes a performance of Academy Award–winning composer Tan Dun‘s powerful “Ghost Opera,” which replaces voices with instruments in a chant to invoke the spirits of the dead. The Royal Conservatory (273 Bloor Street West), 8 p.m. (pre-show talk at 7 p.m.), $20–$60.
COMEDY: They may not be wrapped in Oscar buzz, but the short films that comprise the lineup of Short Shorts are well worth your price of admission for the evening. If the collection of films made by some of the city’s top sketch troupes doesn’t loosen you up, then an interactive drinking game quiz show just might. Live music will be provided by rap duo Poetik Justiz, along with standup from comics Steve Patrick Adams and Dotty Davis. Supermarket (268 Augusta Avenue), 8:30 p.m., $5.