Toronto Indie Arts Market Small Press and Literary Fest

  • Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West)
  • 10:30 a.m.

Although we may spend a lot of time reading texts, we don’t stop to indulge in the printed word nearly enough. To make up for that, the Toronto Indie Arts Market Small Press and Literary Fest is taking over the Gladstone Hotel. Drop by and get acquainted with more than 50 local magazine, book, comic, and zine publishers.

Details: Toronto Indie Arts Market Small Press and Literary Fest


A Journey Into the Forbidden City

  • Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park)
  • All day

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.

Details: A Journey Into the Forbidden City

Vulnerability, Suffering, and Strength

  • Art Gallery of Ontario
  • All day

“The greatest art always returns you to the vulnerabilities of the human situation.” – Francis Bacon

“In the human figure one can express more completely one’s feelings about the world than in any other way.” – Henry Moore

These quotations, which welcome visitors to Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty,” immediately establish the exhibition’s tone and focus. Each artist’s distortions of the human figure, shaped by their wartime experiences, capture the vulnerability of our mortal forms.

Details: Vulnerability, Suffering, and Strength

Inside Out: Challenging Attitudes and Changing Lives

Still from Tom at the Farm.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

Now in its 24th year, the Inside Out festival offers an eclectic mix of LGBT-themed films from Canada and around the world. Setting up shop at venues ranging from the TIFF Bell Lightbox to Videofag, the festival mixes screenings, panel discussions, and receptions for equal parts edification and entertainment—all in the name of “challenging attitudes and changing lives.”

Details: Inside Out: Challenging Attitudes and Changing Lives

Doors Open Toronto

  • Multiple venues
  • 10 a.m.

Trespassing becomes a non-issue this weekend as over 150 buildings across the city welcome in the general public for Doors Open Toronto. This year’s theme is Secrets and Spirits: Exploring the Mysteries Behind the Door, as an overwhelming number of locations boast hidden rooms and passages, as well as stories of a mysterious and ghostly nature. Check out the list of participating museums, historical sites, and corporations, peruse our guide to nine sites that will be part of the event for the first time this year—and start planning your route!

Details: Doors Open Toronto


Photo by Kaeko from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

  • Woodbine Park (Eastern Avenue and Coxwell Avenue)
  • 10 a.m.

An allergy sufferer’s nightmare is a dog lover’s delight this weekend as Woofstock takes over Woodbine Park. This two-day festival will see a variety of canines participating in races, trick contests, fashion shows, and more, while vendors show off their nifty dog-dedicated products.

Details: Woofstock

Yoga and Painting: A Creative Journey Workshop

Getting your creative juices flowing with yoga. Photo courtesy of Paintlounge.

  • Paintlounge
  • 11 a.m.

Yoga is all about releasing your anxieties, knotted muscles, and—in some cases—buckets of sweat. Now Paintlounge wants to help turn this workout into an artistic venture. Join instructor Hayley Lowe for A Creative Journey Workshop, a combination of yoga and painting. Focus on breathing, relaxation, and posture in a Hatha Yoga session to connect to your creativity, and then channel it into your own piece of original art.

Details: Yoga and Painting: A Creative Journey Workshop

The Last Confession

David Suchet and Richard O’Callaghan star in The Last Confession. Photo by John Haines.

  • Royal Alexandra Theatre (260 King Street West)
  • 2 p.m.

If you’re in the mood for a murder mystery with a religious twist, you’ll want to check out The Last Confession. David Suchet (Poirot) and Richard O’Callaghan star in this play about the mysterious death of Pope John Paul I in 1978. After only 33 days in office, and having warned three cardinals that they would be replaced, he is found dead. Though the Vatican refuses to open an official investigation, Cardinal Benelli goes out in search of the truth.

Details: The Last Confession

The Last Seven Steps of Bartholomew S.

  • Bata Shoe Museum (327 Bloor Street West)
  • 7 p.m.

Have you ever had a truly life-changing encounter with someone? The characters in The Last Seven Steps of Bartholomew S. have, and they want to share their stories about the mysterious titular stranger with you during an immersive theatre production at the Bata Shoe Museum. Move through the galleries of the museum, find clues, and hear stories about the impact that Bartholomew S. has made through his world travels, before deciding for yourself whether he is a real man or merely a legend.

Details: The Last Seven Steps of Bartholomew S.

Vitals: Immersive Theatre That’s Close to Home

Katherine Cullen in Vitals. Photo by Michael Barlas.

  • 149 Roncesvalles Avenue (149 Roncesvalles Avenue)
  • 1:45 p.m., 7:15 p.m.

Outside the March seems to be Toronto’s favourite indie theatre company. Director Mitchell Cushman built up quite a buzz after consecutive hits Mr. Marmalade and Terminus, both of which were praised for their unconventional use of space (the former was set in a kindergarten classroom, the latter placed both the actors and the audience on the stage of the Royal Alexandra Theatre), so his next project had been highly anticipated. Vitals, written by Rosamund Small, was the first script for Outside the March developed specifically for a site-specific space, and its original run had to be extended even before opening night. Then, only a few days into the run, it was extended again to June 1. And though Vitals isn’t the best show in Outside the March’s history, there’s a reason that tickets have been flying.

Details: Vitals: Immersive Theatre That’s Close to Home

A God in Need of Help Gets Some From Its Friends

From back to front: Ben Irvine, Daniel Kash, Tony Nappo, Jonathan Seinen, Dmitry Chepovetsky, and Alden Adair. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

  • Tarragon Theatre (30 Bridgman Avenue)
  • 8 p.m.

We’re nearing the end of Tarragon Theatre‘s 2013/2014 season, and it appears we’ve also arrived at the final stage of its theme: love, loss, wine, and the gods. But that doesn’t mean the Tarragon, which has seen some major hits this year in Lungs, The Double, and The Ugly One, is phoning it in. Sean Dixon’s ambitious new script, A God in Need of Help, has produced not only one of the longer plays in the Tarragon season, but also easily the most dense and layered, mixing as it does historical fact and fiction with timeless issues of art, religion, and politics. Fortunately, that makes it the strongest mainstage show of the season thus far (we’ll see how Tarragon’s final show, The God That Comes, co-created by and featuring Hawksley Workman, performs in June).

Details: A God in Need of Help Gets Some From Its Friends