Weekend Planner: January 21–22, 2012
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Weekend Planner: January 21–22, 2012

This weekend celebrate the Lunar New Year at Harbourfront Centre; check out an all-ages concert series that's returning to Kensington Market and a brand new music festival; prowl with the owls in a nature walk; watch Rob Ford get the musical treatment; and celebrate as Chinese New Year lights up the city.

Take a night stroll with the owls in this weekend's "Owl Prowl". Photo courtesy of Carrie Shibinsky.

FESTIVAL: In celebration of the Lunar New Year, CIBC LunarFest will be presenting a giant Lantern Aquarium—which features a variety of art exhibitions that explore the world under the sea. The festival also includes puppet shows, crafts, games, skating, and more. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), Friday to January 24, FREE.

MUSIC: The “Daps All Ages” concert series, an all-ages musical event, is returning to Kensington Market for a ninth installment of great music and cheap food. The lineup features Hidden Words (Alden Penner formerly of The Unicorns and Islands), Holiday Rambler (D Alex Meeks, Hooded Fang drummer), and Young Wife (Allie T.). Kapisanan Centre (167 Augusta Avenue), Saturday, 3:30 p.m., $7 (kids 12 and under get in free!).

NATURE: If you don’t give a hoot about the dropping temperature, strap on your hiking boots for a trip through an owl’s forest home. “Owl Prowl” invites you along for a guided winter night hike where you’ll learn all about owls, and get to see a live one up close! Toronto Botanical Garden (777 Lawrence Avenue East), Saturday, 6:30-8:30 p.m., $10.

MUSIC: Coachella who? If you’ve been itching for a new music festival since the summer season wrapped up, get ready for the very first “Big Smoke Music Festival,” a week-long event filled with new music, rising stars, and local favorites. This year’s lineup is headlined by Montreal quartet, Pat Jordache. The Magpie Taproom (831 Dundas Street West), Saturday to January 28, 7 p.m., ticket prices vary.

SPOKEN WORD: If you’re in the mood to be moved by the power of the spoken word art form, don’t miss North America’s longest running showcase of black female voices. “When Sister Speaks” returns for a night of poetry, laughter, and tears. Hosted by Dwayne Morgan. St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts (27 Front Street East), Saturday, 8 p.m., ticket prices vary.

CHINESE NEW YEAR: What’s that you say? You still haven’t recovered from your Gregorian New Year’s celebration? Psh. This Sunday, the upcoming Year of the Dragon will be ushered in by celebrations all across Toronto, but aside from the amazing fireworks you might come across, Evergreen Brick Works is hosting a party with Chinese culture and music (the Toronto Chinese Orchestra will be playing), including the traditional lion dance and performance. Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview Avenue), Sunday, 10 a.m., FREE.

OPERA: After weeks of anticipation, the one-day-only musical written about Toronto’s favourite mayor will finally get its big day. “Rob Ford: The Opera,” a production by U of T’s Faculty of Music, is a surrealist fantasy starring Ford himself and an angel named Margaret Atwood. MacMillan Theatre, Edward Johnson Building (80 Queen’s Park), Sunday, 2:30 p.m., FREE.


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].

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