This weekend, check out a film festival dedicated to small-gauge film; the art exhibition "Come Up to My Room" returns to the Gladstone; be the judge for dance choreographers; an electro-rock band celebrates its debut release; and more!
FILM: Sigh. It’s been less than a year since J.J. Abrams released his love letter to Super 8 filmmaking and already Kodak’s declaring bankruptcy. Well, nevermind—“The 8 Fest” is returning for its fifth year in Toronto. This three-day event is North America’s only festival devoted to small-gauge film (e.g. Super 8). Besides the multitude of screenings, there will also be an 8 mm workshop, a spotlight on a Berlin-based filmmaker, and more. Trash Palace Cinema (89B Niagara Street). Friday to Sunday, $5 per event, $25 for festival pass.
SONGWRITING: Everybody’s got a little music in them. But for those who are unsure of how to put the lyrics on the paper, or for those searching for ways to sharpen their skills, there’s a full day seminar for songwriters—led by veterans of the music industry. “Songposium 2012” includes workshops that tackle writing a hit, marketing your work, pitching to radio, and more. The National Film Board (150 John Street). Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., $65.
ART: As Toronto Design Week continues, don’t forget to check out the alternative scene! One such hotspot for Toronto Design Offsite is the Gladstone Hotel, where you’ll find tons of installations and public projects as a part of “Come Up to My Room.” Aside from the artwork, there’s also a design talk on the theme of disposability on Saturday from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street W.). Runs today to Sunday, times vary, $10.
DANCE: Have you ever sat at home watching Dancing With the Stars and thought “That judge doesn’t know what he/she is talking about! Bristol knocked it out of the park!” Well, now’s your chance to provide some input on a choreographer’s work. “Series 8:08” is a monthly performance workshop that showcases new dance ideas (or works-in-progress) and invites the audience to provide the artists with feedback. Pia Bouman School (6 Noble Street). Saturday, 8:08 p.m., $10.
MUSIC: Get your groove on! Toronto/Montreal electro-rock band Sacred Balance are celebrating their debut EP with a release party gig and special opening acts—fellow electronic musician John Kameel Farah and folk-rock singer Carlo Meriano. El Mocambo (464 Spadina Avenue). Saturday, 9 p.m., $10.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS: Oh Toronto winter, you’re hot and you’re cold, you’re—actually, stop right there. Phew, Katy Perry musical interlude avoided. While the warm weather is still around, put your nature cap on and enjoy a walkabout at Todmorden Mills. “Winter in the Valley” is an outdoor guided walk where you’ll tour the Wildflower Preserve and learn how birds, animals, and plants adapt to survive the bitter cold. Mulled cider afterwards! Todmorden Mills Heritage Site (67 Pottery Road). Sunday, 1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m., $5.24.
DESIGN WEEK: Toronto Design Week 2012 runs from January 23–29, and has a multitude of related events under its loosely defined umbrella. The Toronto Design Offsite Festival collects many of them together on its site, including events at the Design Exchange and Gladstone Hotel; Do Design 2012 has events along Dundas Street West from January 26–29, and the week crescendos with the Interior Design Show 2012 from January 26–29. Design Edge Canada has many of the week’s highlights listed here.
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@example.com.