Urban Planner: April 7, 2014



Urban Planner: April 7, 2014

In today's Urban Planner: a youthful performing arts festival, and talking baseball.

The 2014 Paprika Festival Creator’s Unit. Photo by David Leyes.

  • Festivals: A week of performing arts programming created by artists 21 and under, The Paprika Festival features readings, theatre and dance performances, and social events that aim to encourage youth involvement in the arts and foster the creation of art by young people. The festival boasts many alumni in the arts and arts-related fields, and this year’s crop of budding writers, directors, and performers may give young-at-heart attendees a glimpse of future Dora-winning work. There’s a double bill of workshopped shows each night of the week, with readings beforehand and late-night cabaret programming afterward. Over the festival’s closing weekend, the evenings turn into full days of arts events. All main-stage shows are $5; unlimited access festival passes can be purchased for $50. Many events are free of charge. For the full programming schedule, consult the festival’s website. Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Avenue), all day, FREE–$5, $50 festival pass. Details
  • Sports: The Blue Jays home opener was on Friday, and though the weather has been slow to warm, it won’t be long before summer and the major league season are in full swing. Jordan Strofolino hosts Pitch: Talks on Baseball, a new speaker series about the boys of summer. His first guests include sports columnists Shi Davidi (Sportsnet) and John Lott (The National Post), comedian Dylan Gott, and Blue Jays superfan and blogger Jared MacDonald. As a bonus, there’ll be free beer samples from Left Field Brewery, and Caplansky’s Thundering Thelma food truck will be catering. Centre for Social Innovation (Annex) (720 Bathurst Street), 7:30 p.m., $15. Details


  • Art: If The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’s Emperors has a mascot, it’s Emperor Yongzheng. The image of the 18th-century Chinese ruler dominates the promotional material of the exhibition, which is one of the centrepieces of the Royal Ontario Museum’s centennial year. His portrait certainly has visual appeal, but Yongzheng is also a figure associated with surprising elements of life within the former imperial palace. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park), all day, $27 adults. Details
  • Festivals: Taking place in five Canadian cities for the second time, The Spur Festival brings together thinkers, innovators, and academic and creative types for a series of lectures, meetings, and performances on “nationally relevant and locally nuanced” ideas. Here in Toronto from April 3 to April 6, the festival will include noted lawyer Michael Geist on free speech, an urban planning panel moderated by Shawn Micallef, talks by author Cecil Foster and photojournalists Rita Leistner and Mike Kamber, and much more. Many of the events, including the opening and closing parties, are free; a few have ticket prices ranging from $10 to $30. For full details, visit the festival’s website. , all day, FREE–$150. Details
  • Fashion: Ichimaru—once one of Japan’s most famous geishas—left the profession in the 1930s to pursue a career in entertainment. Never really leaving her past life, she became known for adorning herself in the traditional geisha garb when performing in concert or on television. “From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru” exhibits several decades’ worth of outfits and personal effects, shedding light on the woman behind the makeup. Textile Museum of Canada (55 Centre Avenue), 11 a.m., $6–$15. Details
  • Theatre: To showcase its graduating class’s musical talents, Ryerson Theatre School has programmed two nights of a musical revue of songs by composer Allen Cole. The Highest Tides in the World will feature music and text by Cole, plus additional text by Canadian theatre creators like Melody Johnson and Rick Roberts, with songs and movement performed, of course, by Ryerson students. Ryerson Theatre (44 Gerrard Street East), 7 p.m., $10. Details
  • Film: Let’s be honest: you can’t call yourself a true film buff unless you’ve seen the classics—by which we mean those that came before the “talkies.” If you need a quick catch-up course, you’re in luck—the Toronto Silent Film Festival is taking over various theatres across the city for six straight days. One film will be showcased per day, and paired with live and improvised music. Even if you’re familiar with The Wind (1928), City Girl (1930), The Circus (1928), Seven Years Bad Luck (1921), The Last Command (1928), or every Charlie Chaplin film, you’ve never seen them quite like this! Multiple venues, 8 p.m., $10–$20. Details

Happening soon:

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 us with all the details (including images, if you’ve got any), ideally at least a week in advance.