Weekend Planner: August 25-26, 2012
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Weekend Planner: August 25-26, 2012

This weekend, Taiwan and Turkish festivals lift Toronto's cultural spirit; hit the streets for Buskerfest; superhero costumes abound for Fan-Expo; a lakeside party takes advantage of the last of the summer, and more.

Experience great music, culture, and the art of Taiwanese cooking at Harbourfront Centre this weekend. Photo courtesy of TELUS TAIWANfest.

TAIWAN FESTIVAL: Another weekend, another reason to expand your cultural knowledge at the Harbourfront Centre. This time, get swept up in TELUS TAIWANfest, which will take you on a journey through Taiwanese art, music, food, and film. Highlights include a cappella singers, O-Kai Singers, and Mandarin pop star Pin Kua. There will also be lantern-making for kids, and a Taiwanese stewing demo. Harbourfront Center (255 Queens Quay West), Friday to Sunday, times vary, FREE.

TURKISH FESTIVAL: You know what we haven’t had in a little bit? A great parade. Toronto’s cultural festivities continue with the Toronto Turkish Festival, a week-long event that culminates with a weekend of festivities at David Pecault Square. Aside from the parade, the program includes Turkish music, dance, calligraphy, and food. David Pecault Square, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m., FREE. Parade starts at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday at King Street and University Avenue.

BUSKERFEST: If, every now and then, you come across some wacky street performer or improv act that brightens your day, you’ll be pleased to know that this weekend you can catch all sorts of those types of performances in one place: the annual Scotiabank Buskerfest. There, you’ll find fire acts, circus feats, comic daredevils, and much more. St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood (92–95 Front Street East), Friday to Sunday, times vary, FREE.

FAN EXPO: When you see a couple of storm troopers sit down in Starbucks for a cup of coffee, you know it’s that time of year again. The Fan Expo, which seems to be growing at an exponential rate, is back again for another weekend of vendors, workshops, panels, cosplay, gaming, and comic books galore. This year’s convention carries a particularly hefty guest list, with personalities like Stan Lee, John Carpenter, and Christopher Lloyd all scheduled to appear. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building (255 Front Street West), Friday to Sunday, starting at 10 a.m., ticket prices vary.

ART: Don’t miss out on the closing of the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Picasso exhibition. “Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris” will have extended hours in its final days. This 141-piece exhibition features work from the legendary artist. There’s also an audio tour designed for children. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m., $25.

MUSIC: Get back, end of summer! We command thee-get back! Since you’re probably looking for more ways to keep the good times rolling, there’s perhaps no better way than this swim-in dance party by Lake Ontario. Fire on the Water is an epic lakeside event that brings together art installations, performances, and music for a late-summer bash that hopes to catch the warm weather while it’s still around. The event features performers such as Brodie West and Nick Fraser, and DJs Venus X and Maga Bo. There will also be free canoe rides and multimedia immersive installations. Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion (1755 Lake Shore Boulevard West), Sunday, 2 p.m.–12 a.m., FREE.

GAMING: Back, back, B. If words like those were any part of your childhood vernacular, then you’ll probably appreciate this Super Nintendo Tournament that follows the geektacular festivities of Fan Expo. The event invites you to show off your skills in Street Fighter II Turbo and Mario Kart, in what is sure to be an intensely competitive get-together. There will also be prizes, special cocktails, and loud chiptunes. Ready yourself, player one. Handlebar (159 Augusta Avenue), Sunday, 8 p.m., FREE.

MUSIC: Work, schmerk. You know you want to mlik every last bit of fun out of this weekend. To help you end your break with a bang, drop in on the latest instalment of Crosswires, a great music series where you’ll discover the best in Canadian independent music. This week features bands Intensive Care and the Battle of Santiago. The Garrison (1197 College Street West), Sunday, 9 p.m., PWYC.

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].