An art exhibition called “Not So Simple“ is opening at the newly minted 2186 Dundas gallery. The show features pieces by Sherie Myers that focus on realism and portraiture (of which you can check out some samples here). The opening reception is on September 12th at 7 p.m., and it will include a performance by UKAE.
Been swing dancing lately? Jazz Goes to the Movies is your chance to dance the night away to the sounds of the Hollywood North Starlight Orchestra. Also, if you aren’t quite an expert on your feet, there will be a lindy hop lesson at 8:30 p.m. Furthermore, attendees are invited to dress up as their favourite movie stars. All proceeds from the event go to the Unison Benevolent Fund.
Local hip-hop band Vibonics is coming back to Toronto after a nationwide tour promoting its latest effort, Kitchen Sink. The group’s music—which is a combination of rock, funk, hip hop, and other genres—certainly lives up to its EP’s name. Make sure you get there on time—it’s a fairly early show as far as gigs go. You can listen to Kitchen Sink in full here.
Attention lovers of science and all things nerdy: Nerd Nite Toronto is back for another evening, to teach you things. In this instalment, there will be presentations called “True Stories of Medical Marvels” (which will include bizarre tales involving Eastern medicine) and “He’s a Pinball Wizard…” (which will explore the rise and fall of the pinball machine in America). The speakers will be Heili Orav and Joe Ciaravino, respectively.
American indie-rock band Deerhunter will be storming its way into Toronto in support of its latest album, Monomania (which sounds much heavier and thornier than the group’s previous efforts). For the uninitiated, this is one of those must-see live acts. Check out the title track from said record in the video above.
Prepare yourselves for a theatrical double bill from actor/writer Anthony Johnston. First up is Tenderpits, a theatre/installation/rap show that tells the epic, and definitely chaotic, tale of a gay wizard’s journey from Canada to New York City. The second show is Revenge of the Popinjay—in which “someone is killing the heterosexuals!” This will be the Canadian debut of Tenderpits, which received critical acclaim in both NYC and Edinburgh.
Savages, the British post-punk band, is coming off a pretty big year. After releasing its acclaimed debut album, Silence Yourself, the group will be dropping by Toronto for a set of heavy and hard rocking. Check out the video above and decide for yourself if you can possibly survive the mosh pit.
The name “Mesopotamia” derives from a Greek term meaning “land between the rivers.” The Royal Ontario Museum’s latest major exhibit, which opens on June 22, takes this literally, as visitors flow between painted representations of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on the floor.
Presented by the British Museum and rounded out with pieces from institutions in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, “Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World” covers 3,000 years of human development in the cradle of urban civilization. Most of the 170 artifacts on display have never been shown in Canada.
If Fringe and SummerWorks aren’t enough to satisfy your summer theatre cravings, the world-renowned Stratford Festival is now only a bus ride away from downtown Toronto, thanks to the new Stratford Direct bus route (“the best thing [the Festival] has done in years” according to one usher at the Avon Theatre). Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino has put together a season to please tastes from the traditional to the extravagant. Here’s what we think about five of Stratford’s current productions.
Flight: A Thrilling History of an Idea is a new exhibition from the Toronto Reference Library that gathers a number of rare items that explore the theme of the possible and the impossible. Some of the highlights on display are La vingtième siècle: la vie électrique (a rare French book that shows how scientific discoveries would have affected people in 1955), Tame (a sci-fi pulp magazine), and Worldly Wisdom (watercolour that depicts a Leonardo da Vinci-like figure creating a winged flying machine). You’ll find the exhibition in the library’s TD Gallery.
BEARS IN THE STREETS *the world as I’ve seen it is a solo art exhibition by Jeff Blackburn featuring works that involve bears, which act as guides through various cityscapes (see above for example). Visitors will have the chance to see different public spaces from around the world (with bears!). The opening reception will be held on September 1st and will start at 7 p.m.
Now in its 38th year, the Toronto International Film Festival is a behemoth cultural institution, a one-stop shop for everything from star-studded red carpets to North American premieres for some of the most lauded names in world cinema. The most prestigious public film festival in the world, TIFF is also a major Toronto institution, turning King Street into ground zero for filmgoers, members of the press, and celebrities alike.
As if TIFF wasn’t enough, Torontonians will be able to enjoy movies when they venture into subway stations. Starting on Friday, the seventh-annual Toronto Urban Film Festival will begin to show silent short films, each roughly a minute in length, on over 290 Pattison Onestop screens throughout the subway system. (Onestop screens are those ceiling-mounted HDTV-like displays that show headlines, ads, and train arrival times.) The movies will run every ten minutes at most stations, and they’ll play uninterrupted at Yonge-Bloor, St. Andrew, and Dundas stations.
Ai Weiwei is a 56-year-old artist confined to his home in Beijing for creating work critical of the Chinese government and Chinese culture. There are video cameras outside his house, his phone lines are tapped, his blog was deleted, his Shanghai studio was destroyed in 2010 by authorities, and his passport was confiscated in 2011. To this day, he’s unable to leave his country. Even so, Ai Weiwei has had a large presence in Toronto over the past few months.
This past June, he did a performance piece with artist Laurie Anderson during the Luminato Festival, using Skype. His Zodiac Heads have been installed, temporarily, in the reflecting pool in front of City Hall. At this year’s Nuit Blanche, a large-scale version of his sculpture of bicycles, Forever, will take over Nathan Phillips Square. And beginning August 17, the Art Gallery of Ontario is displaying “Ai Weiwei: According to What?”, a retrospective of the work he produced before and after the Chinese government’s crackdown on his activities helped him find new international acclaim.
The CaribbeanTales Film Showcase returns to Toronto for its eighth year, bringing films and documentaries from over 25 different countries. The opening-night gala features the world premiere of Christopher Laird’s No Bois Man No Fraid, which sees two Trinidadian martial artists enter the dangerous world of Kalinda (stickfighting). Over 10 feature pieces, and 30 short films will screen during the festival, many of which will include discussions with the respective directors.
Dancing on the Pier is back for its third year! If you didn’t participate in this great dance series last year, be sure not to miss out this time around. For the uninitiated, this weekly series offers different live bands and instructors to help you find your groove along the waterfront all summer long. Featuring music by the Toronto All-Star Big Band and Ricardo Barboza.
Many people now routinely consume television series in marathon benders, blowing through DVDs or Netflix downloads in a few evenings or a weekend. It’s that sort of experience—but live, of course—that awaits audiences at Soulpepper’s production of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, which offers over six hours of impeccably staged and performed theatre either in two long evenings or over the course of one full day, with multiple intermissions and a meal break.
Experience Brazilian culture through the beauty of movement, courtesy of Newton Moraes Dance Theatre. Brazil, the Land of Tears and Soul uses Afro-Brazilian and contemporary movements and features dancers from Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Choreographed by Newton Moraes himself, the pieces were largely inspired by the loss of his partner of 23 years.
You might expect a show called We Can Be Heroes to be a send-up of superhero films, but Second City’s new mainstage production is actually a celebration of minor, everyday acts of heroism ranging from giving advice to a bullied child to managing not to be a jackass at your friend’s wedding.