In today's Urban Planner: a street festival takes over Cabbagetown, Fringe meets TIFF, and a big-band cover-night extraordinaire.
- Festivals: The 38th edition of Toronto’s longest-running community street festival, the Cabbagetown Festival of the Arts, will take place along Parliament Street from Gerrard to Wellesley streets, branching off into public spaces and venues like Riverside Park and the Winchester Street Theatre along the way. The festival gets going on Friday evening with the 22nd annual Cabbagetown Short Film and Video Festival, and kid’s panto show The Snow Queen, or… Slightly Frozen; on Saturday, a kick-off ceremony at Parliment and Carleton will usher in the weekend’s bill of live music, street vendors and buskers, and the Arts and Craft Show and sale. Details
- Offbeat: The Toronto Fringe Festival is teaming up with the Toronto International Film Festival this year to present Shed Plays at TIFF as part of TIFF’s street programming. Fringe stars like Morro and Jasp, Kanika Ambrose (The Art of Traditional Head-Tying), and MonkeyMan Productions (who’ve been in the Fringe’s own Shed series several years running) will each have two-hour slots between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. in a tiny street-side venue at the south end of King Street West and Ed Mirvish Way. Like most of the TIFF street programming, the performances, put on for just a few audience members at a time, are free. 11 a.m., FREE. Details
- Music: After taking the summer off, big-band cover-night extraordinaire Loving in the Name of returns with its first show since April. A band nearly a dozen strong, plus as many guest singers, will tackle diverse classics from Guns n’ Roses, Aaliyah, Jay Z, and more. The show’s moved to the Mod Club, so it’ll fill up faster than it did at its previous location, the Great Hall: don’t wait too long after the 10 p.m. doors to arrive. The Virgin Mobile Mod Club (722 College Street), 10 p.m., $12. Details
- Art: “Before and After the Horizon: Anishinaabe Artists of the Great Lakes“ is a collaborative effort of the AGO and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, in New York City, where the exhibition recently wrapped up after a one-year run. The displays are organized by themes relating to Anishinaabe concepts of place and spirituality, and how they interact with the outside world. One of the most intriguing themes is “cottager colonialism,” which suggests that the colonization of indigenous land continues by way of vacationing tourists. Political statements are scattered throughout the exhibition, from Nadia Myre’s bead-covered pages of the Indian Act to the use of historical indigenous status documents in Robert Houle’s “Premises” series. Floral beaded bags and leggings, meanwhile, provide inspiration for the contemporary paintings of Christi Belcourt, an Ontario Arts Council Aboriginal Arts Award recipient. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, $19.50 (included with general adult admission). Details
- Theatre: Only about two hours away from Toronto, madness is infiltrating the town of Stratford, Ontario—but fortunately, it’s the kind that produces delightful results. Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino has designed this year’s season around the theme “Madness: Minds Pushed to the Edge,” and explores it through everything from jukebox musicals to Shakespearean tragedies. And with the festival’s increasingly popular twice-daily bus service to and from downtown (in its second year), it’s easy to get a taste of what the mania is all about. Here’s Torontoist‘s take on a sampling of this year’s festival offerings—Ira Glass and his opinions notwithstanding, a whole lot of people would welcome a chance to spend some time with the Bard and some of Canada’s most esteemed artists. Multiple venues, all day, $25–$133. Details
Art: Alex Colville’s paintings include some of the most recognizable works of Canadian art. Prints of his iconic Horse and Train and To Prince Edward Island hang in homes and classrooms and art shops around the world. And yet the Toronto-born artist, whose career spanned seven decades, is not often celebrated for the incredible influence he had on artists of many media.
With its new exhibition, “Alex Colville“, opening August 23, the Art Gallery of Ontario has mounted a show that not only documents the career of one of Canada’s most prolific artists, but also examines the nature of inspiration in art, literature, film, and beyond. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all day, . Details
Performing Arts: Cirque du Soleil is magical. Across from T&T Supermarket on Cherry Street, the pop-up striped tent transforms Polson Pier into a scene of fantastical fun—it’s a better location than any Las Vegas hotel or Orlando strip mall. And when you walk into the Grand Chapiteau venue, you’re welcomed into a bizarro steampunk contortionist dream.
Kicking off its North American tour in Toronto, Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities is Cirque du Soleil’s latest show. The official plot explanation is abstract and boring: there’s a Seeker in his own imaginary world called Curiosistan finding inventions with robots that smell like leather. It’s confusing to even layer a narrative over the spinning, jumping, flying and balancing. No one had no idea what was going on–but everyone loved the show. Grand Chapiteau (51 Commissioners Street), Saturday and Sunday, $55–$150. Details
- Film: Some see September as the death of summer, while others see it as a great time to watch movies and stalk celebrities. We are, of course, talking about the Toronto International Film Festival, taking over our theatres for 10 straight days. While we can’t possibly tell you about every film on the schedule (there are more than 300), there’s a good chance you’ll find something you enjoy amongst their many documentaries, short films, children’s programming, international cinema, Midnight Madness horrors, and other films. Check out our festival hub to find out more. Multiple venues, all day, $20–$46. Details
- Theatre: Meet Martha, a vengeful spinster still living with her mother. Luckily, she has the good fortune to be in charge of an inn where she drugs her rich guests, steals their money, and tosses their bodies into the river. A modern Greek tragicomedy, The Misunderstanding is a cautionary tale about the trouble one gets into when intentions are kept hidden. Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse (79 St George Street), 8 p.m., $15, $10 for students. Details
- Theatre: Criminal Theatre remounts its production of one of our best-reviewed and favourite shows of the 2014 Fringe Festival―Rosa Laborde’s True, a family drama revolving around the ephemerality and unreliability of memory. “Revolving” really is the word, as the action shifts subtly between the characters’ memories and their present-day interactions when a confused father (Layne Coleman) shows up on the doorstep of a Queen Street West cafe run by his estranged daughters (Sabrina Grdevich, Shannon Taylor, and Ingrid Rae Doucet). Seating in Citizenry Café (which is shut down in the evening for performances) is very limited, so you’ll want to reserve your tickets soon. Citizenry Cafe (982 Queen Street West), 8 p.m., $24. Details
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.