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Bata Shoe Museum

Weekend Roundup, February 4th to 6th

Friday: Partake in a tour and tasting inside Casa Loma

Friday, February 4
Tour Toronto’s castle on the hill to get a true taste of times past. This evening, Casa Loma offers a Winterlicious dining event that allows guests to sample seasonal fare in its many rooms. Enjoy infused oils and artisanal breads in the great hall; a rotisserie station spins in the library and rustic chocolate bread pudding awaits in the conservatory. End the evening in the Cellar with cheeses and local wines.

Hop on over to the Bata Shoe Museum as it welcomes Chinese New Year with an exhibit dedicated to the Year of the Rabbit. Various hare-inspired artifacts are on display, including ancient bunny slippers with bunny ears. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, November 19 to 21

The holiday season has begun in earnest in Toronto. Start getting into the spirit with a variety of fun (and in some cases, festive) events this weekend.

Friday: Indulge at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo

Friday, November 19
The Gourmet Food and Wine Expo offers oenophiles, epicureans and bon vivants the opportunity to sample more than 1,500 wines, beers and spirits while enjoying food from Toronto’s top restaurants. The decadence is on all weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

A mix of jazz, classical, pop and world music–inspired melodies fills Massey Hall tonight, as pop orchestra Pink Martini brings a bubbly show to Toronto in support of its latest album, Splendour in the Grass.

In its own unique fashion, the Bata Shoe Museum is currently celebrating 40 years of the Juno Awards! See the footwear sported by to Canadian musicians like Drake, Nelly Furtado, Avril Lavigne, and many other past Juno winners and nominees.

Saturday: Glimpse the lives of India's historical royalty through such artworks as "Procession of Raja Ram Singh II of Kota and His Son at Kota" (© Victoria & Albert Museum, London)

Saturday, November 20
It’s your last chance to see the National Ballet of Canada’s performance of Cinderella! The company’s James Kudelka–choreographed production at the Four Seasons Centre has received universal acclaim from critics and is certain to leave you and your family enchanted.

The posh Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood celebrates the season with its annual Holiday Magic festival. Join in the merriment tonight at the “flick the switch” lighting ceremony, featuring a performance by Juno winner Ivana Santilli, free hot beverages and colourful displays in local shop windows.

More than 200 extravagant artworks, furniture, jewellery and much more—all created for India’s royal court—are now on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s much anticipated Maharaja exhibition. You’ll be dazzled by this glimpse of royal life on the subcontinent.

Sunday: Welcome Santa and his reindeer friends to the city

Sunday, November 21
Santa Claus is coming to town! A tradition since 1905, the Santa Claus Parade officially heralds the holiday season in Toronto. Line Bloor Street West, University Avenue and Yonge Street this afternoon to see all the floats, marching bands and the big man himself.

If you’re still craving holiday cheer after the parade, head to the Harbourfront Centre for its annual Swedish Christmas Festival! See live performances, browse handmade crafts, enjoy Swedish sweets, and try a glass of the traditional mulled wine known as glögg!

Get ready to cheer—it’s the Major League Soccer Cup Final today at BMO Field! FC Dallas battles the Colorado Rapids at 8:30 p.m. in what’s sure to be an exciting match!

Weekend Roundup, July 23 to 25

Come rain or shine, Toronto has a bustling weekend ahead with entertainment for everyone!

Friday: Sting gets serious

Friday, July 23
World-famous pop tunesmith Sting has entered the stage of his career where reinterpreting old hits seems enough to satisfy his creative spirit. And so he arrives this evening at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre with a coterie of classical musicians: The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra accompanies the former Police man in a unique performance of his most memorable songs, from “Roxanne” to “Fields of Gold” and much more.

Whet your appetite for Caribbean culture as part of the ongoing Scotiabank Caribana Festival. The big parade may be a few weeks away, but you can get in the mood at the Royal Ontario Museum, which showcases more than 100 works by African-Canadian artists in its “From the Soul” exhibition.

Get ready to (affordably!) strut down the streets of Toronto. Frugal Fashion Week offers an evening of food and apparel at the Bata Shoe Museum, including an exhibition of celebrity- and designer-created shoes, a silent auction and more.

Get to know your prairies as Love, Saskatchewan kicks off at Harbourfront Centre. This weekend-long event features an exhibition on cowboy culture, author readings and performances by such bands as Wide Mouth Mason and Little Miss Higgins.

Saturday: See some stars in Love, Loss and What I Wore

Saturday, July 24
Celebrate women in music with the return of Lilith Fair. The Sarah McLachlan–founded festival was popular in the late ’90s, and has been revived for 2010 with performers including Mary J. Blige, Chantal Kreviazuk and, of course, McLachlan herself.

Take a close friend or loved one to a performance of Love, Loss and What I Wore. The production features a star-studded cast of women who relate dynamic, often hilarious, and always poignant stories from the popular book of the same name.

Steer towards the Young Centre for the Performing Arts to check out the venue’s Saturday Night Cabaret Series. Tonight, acclaimed vocalist Heather Bambrick will have you tapping your toes to infectious jazz rhythms, and on your feet applauding by the end of the evening.

Prepare your best Elizabethan laugh for Canopy Theatre’s production of Twelfth Night, one of Shakespeare’s most affecting romantic comedies. Fall in and out of love with the timeless characters as they’re brought to life under the stars at the University of Toronto’s Philosopher’s Walk.

Sunday: The Bolton Shop sheds light on early photography at Black Creek Pioneer Village

Sunday, July 25
A visit to charming Black Creek Pioneer Village is a journey back to the 19th century. The experience is even more immersive thanks to the venue’s new Bolton Shop photography studio. Here, you can put away your digital SLR and discover the fascinating techniques used to capture and develop images more than a century ago.

“Who let the dogs out?” indeed! Prepare to have your heart melt at Ontario Place—the Purina PropPlan Dog Show is in full swing with canines of all shapes and sizes strutting their stuff.

Finish your weekend with some funny—a night of stand-up comedy—as emerging troupe NBAcomics presents its somewhat strangely named Summer Fest 97’ at Toronto’s renowned giggle garage The Second City.

January Editor’s Picks: Art

Origami in the style of Masahiro ChataniON NOW Even if you’re all thumbs—or, perhaps, because of this deficiency—it’s easy to appreciate the skill needed to conjure intricate cranes, frogs, flowers and boats out of single pieces of paper. This month the Japan Foundation offers an even more impressive showcase of three-dimensional objects in its Origamic Architecture exhibition, which renders historical and contemporary buildings from around the world in folded and cut paper. Combining a traditional art form with modern design, the survey pays tribute to late Japanese artist Masahiro Chatani—all featured models are originally of his design—but adds a Toronto twist, with many of the pop-up-style pieces freshly crafted by local folders.

Slap-sole shoes<br>photo © 2009, Bata Shoe Museum

Slap-sole shoes

ON NOW If you gawk at the six-inch stilettos worn by today’s “well-heeled,” just wait until you see the extraordinary and extreme footwear comprising On a Pedestal: From Renaissance Chopines to Baroque Heels, the latest exhibition at the Bata Shoe Museum. Assembled from a diverse group of world-renowned institutions—including London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the Livrustkammaren in Stockholm, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Bata itself—the unique display examines elaborate platform and heeled shoes as expressions of wealth and status in 16th- and 17th-century Europe. Of particular interest: a flamboyantly embellished pair of slap-sole shoes, and Venetian chopines sporting platforms that are more than 50 centimetres high.

Michael Snow's SSHTOORRTY

Michael Snow's SSHTOORRTY

ON NOW Art lovers and cineastes find common ground in Recent Snow: Works by Michael Snow, a survey of the Toronto-born artist’s latest video and film installations at The Power Plant. Though successful in many disciplines, Snow’s most consistently innovative efforts have been in the arena of avant-garde cinema. Experimenting with both structural and narrative techniques, these works—2005’s SSHTOORRTY and two brand new films among them—investigate the interplay between artifice and reality, rewarding the keen viewer with a multilayered cognitive and sensory experience.

Frugal Faves: The Bata Shoe Museum and Swarovski Crystal Wish Tree

There’s so much to see and do in this city, but after a while, admission fees, restaurant bills and shopping sprees start to add up. Where Toronto’s weekly tips on discounted tickets, exclusive sales, free events and more help you get the most out of your trip without burning a hole in your pocket.

View these Spanish chopines and more at the Bata Shoe Museum.

View these Spanish chopines and more at the Bata Shoe Museum.

Shoes on a Shoestring
A hot deal is afoot at the Bata Shoe Museum. Footwear fetishists can admire can admire a range of historically significant slippers, clogs, moccasins and more for pay-what-you-can admission on Thursday evenings year-round. And as a bonus, entrance to the museum is free on November weekends when you donate a new pair of socks as part of the annual Warm the Sole charity sock drive. From ancient silk sandals to Renaissance chopines to today’s sexy stilettos, the museum displays hundreds of shoes spanning the centuries.

PWYC admission is in effect Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m. Free weekend admission with socks donation runs now through November 29. Visit here or call 416-979-7799 for more information.

The Swarovski Crystal Wish Tree lights up the Eaton Centre.

The Swarovski Crystal Wish Tree lights up the Toronto Eaton Centre.

Sparkle and Song
Kick off the festive season this Thursday, November 19, as the one-of-a-kind Swarovski Crystal Wish Tree is unveiled at the Toronto Eaton Centre. Thirty-five feet tall and adorned with 20,000 crystals, this rotating tree creates a constant shimmering effect that is sure to dazzle. Prior to the big reveal is a free, special-guest performance by acclaimed vocal quartet the Canadian Tenors, singing seasonal hits from their recently released holiday album. Now in its fifth year, this shopping-centre holiday tradition helps benefit the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada through the sale of commemorative ornaments.

The Swarovski tree reveal is scheduled between 6 and 7 p.m., on the second level of the Toronto Eaton Centre, near Indigo.

Halloween Weekend Bonus: Fright at the Museums

This weekend, ghosts, mummies and monsters of all sorts scare up frightful fun at this city’s biggest museums.

Halloween at the Royal Ontario Museum<br>photo illustration

Historically relevant ghosts haunt the ROM this weekend.

Gab with ghosts at the
Royal Ontario Museum

Spirits come to life this Saturday to share their spooky stories with ROM visitors. Don’t be surprised if you bump into some familiar faces haunting the halls, including Dr. Charles Trick Currelly, the museum’s founder and friendly resident ghost. Brave little goblins can get up close and personal with some real-life creepy crawlies and make clip-on spider crafts to take home.

October 31. Adults $22, kids (under 14) $15, infants (under 3) free; call 416-586-5797 or click here for more information.


Run away to the circus at the Art Gallery of Ontario

To coincide with its ongoing Alexander Calder exhibit, the AGO hosts trapeze artists, jugglers, fortune tellers and many more dazzling performers from local circus troupe Lookup Theatre. Step right up and marvel at astounding acrobats and uncanny contortionists as they perform under a big top tent in the gallery’s spectacular Walker Court. Kids can make their own trapeze wire sculptures in the Off The Wall! creative space while adults sip on a festive Halloweeni Bellini cocktails at the museum’s restaurant, Frank.

October 31 and November 1.  Adults $18, youth (under 17) $10, kids (under 5) free; call 416-979-6648 or visit here for tickets.


Spot spooky shoes at the Bata Shoe Museum

Play dress up at the Bata Shoe Museum’s Costume Bonanza. There’s plenty of hands-on fun for kids—try on one-of-a-kind costumes, create scary shoe art and decorate ghost-shaped cookies with tasty icing. Afterward, take a tour around the museum to admire the frighteningly comprehensive collection of footwear.

October 31 and November 1. Adults $12, kids (under 12) $6; call 416-979-7799 ext. 242 or click here for further details and ticket information.


Celebrate the Day of the Dead at the Gardiner Museum

Don’t be scared to enjoy yourself at this morbid-sounding (but actually celebratory) traditional Mexican festival. Listen to musical performances by Jorge Lopez and his mariachi band while feasting on Mexican chocolate and pan demuerto (literally, bread of the dead). Admire remembrance altars made by local artists and let creative kids get their hands dirty sculpting clay skeletons.

November 1. Adult $12, kids (under 12) free; call 416 408 5063 or visit here for more details.


Unravel the secrets of mummies at the Textile Museum

The Textile Museum of Canada hosts Dr. Elizabeth Barber, an expert on prehistoric textiles, for a special lecture about her recent archeological expedition to Western China. Learn about the mysterious process of mummification and see photos of recently discovered ancient bodies which, although more than 3,000 years old, are astonishingly well-preserved.

November 3. Adults $12, kids (5 to 14) $6; call 416-599-5321 or click here for more information.

Weekend Roundup, October 30th to November 1st

Too old for trick or treating? Try out some of these spooky Halloween-themed activities. . . if you dare!

Friday: enter a pumpkin carving contest (photo by Plutor).

Friday: Enter a pumpkin carving competition (photo by Plutor).

Friday, October 30th
Go on a frighteningly cool auditory treasure hunt at Sounds Scary, a Halloween-themed multimedia installation at the Artscape Wychwood Barns.

Show off your pumpkin carving skills or cheer on your favourite team in the third annual Church Street Jack-O-Lantern competition, part of Halloweek celebrations in the Church-Wellesley Village.

Forget candlelight, try dining in the dark at O’Noir—for daring dinner patrons, the pitch-black surroundings can help to enhance the senses of taste, smell and touch.

Saturday: Kids can be animals at Boo at the Zoo.

Saturday: Kids get to be animals at the annual Boo at the Zoo.

Saturday, October 31
Throw on your favourite pair of animal ears and head to Boo at the Zoo, where critters and costumed humans will be on parade along with lots more spooktacular kid-friendly entertainment.

Listen to the large scale sound of twenty classical pianists simultaneously performing on ten grand pianos at the annual Halloween Monster Concert at Massey Hall.

Dress to impress in Casino Royale–style costume garb at the Distillery District’s Halloween Howl, a devilishly chic Monte Carlo-themed fundraiser to support Canadian Opera Students.

Sunday: Cheer for a mutant superhero in The Toxic Avenger.

Sunday: Cheer for a mutant superhero in The Toxic Avenger (photo by Carol Rosegg).

Sunday, November 1
Snack while you shop at the Drake Hotel’s first urban market, a combination of yard sale and bake sale featuring handmade crafts, vintage clothing and an assortment of Halloween-related goodies.

Get grossed out at new musical The Toxic Avenger. Louise Pitre (of Mamma Mia fame) stars in this hilarious tale of an unlikely mutant superhero from New Jersey.

Take a photographic journey back in time at the Stephen Bulger gallery’s new exhibit, Lieux Mêmes, featuring hauntingly beautiful images by Bertrand Carrier.

Weekend Roundup, June 19 to 21

This weekend marks the summer solstice and features the longest day of the year. Toronto offers enough music, street festivals and family fun to keep you occupied for the duration.

Friday: Wintersleep provide the tunes at Yonge-Dundas Square (photo by Reie Nakagawara).

Friday: Wintersleep provide the tunes at Yonge-Dundas Square (photo by Reie Nakagawara).

Friday, June 19
Ring in this year’s Pride Week with DiverCiudad, an exhibition of Latin American queer artists on display at Naco Gallery Café (1665 Dundas Street West., 647-347-6499)—savour spicy Mexican fare and coffee while you admire the artwork.

Take advantage of free concerts at Yonge-Dundas Square presented by the North By Northeast music festival. This evening offers the ethereal ballads of Wintersleep.

Stroll the cobbled streets of the Distillery Historic District for cocktails and conversation during the Toronto Wine and Spirit Festival.

Saturday: Take in the dragon boat races (photo by Linda Luong).

Saturday: Take in the dragon boat races (photo by Linda Luong).

Saturday, June 20
Head to Downsview Park and party with Edgefest’s stellar lineup including Canadian indie-rock faves Metric.

Fall in love with Franco-Fete, the Harbourfront Centre festival celebrating French heritage through cooking classes, music performances and family activities.

Spend the day dancing in the streets as the Big on Bloor festival spreads a wave of joy with artwork, music and patios a-plenty in downtown’s west end.

Climb aboard the ferry to the Toronto Islands to cheer on the many teams paddling for victory through Lake Ontario during the Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival.

Sunday: See intricate Aboriginal footwear at the Bata Shoe Museum (photo by Matthew Plexman).

Sunday: See intricate Aboriginal footwear at the Bata Shoe Museum (photo by Matthew Plexman).

Sunday, June 21
Combine fashion with history and head to the Bata Shoe Museum for National Aboriginal Day. The museum has a renowned collection of moccasins and other indigenous footwear.

Experience Mozart’s classic battle of the sexes as two young men test the honour of their fiancées’ love in Cosi fan tutte, presented by the Canadian Opera Company.

Weekend Roundup, May 8 to 10

There’s much to see and do this weekend in Toronto.

Friday, May 8
Partake in a tutored tasting at the Spirit of Toronto Whiskey Gala, featuring more than 100 single malts and premium spirits.

Sit in awe of Canadian violin virtuoso Alexandre Da Costa as he performs in Nostalgia, the final concert of Sinfonia Toronto‘s 2008/09 Masterpiece Series.

Enjoy an evening of frat-boy antics and one-liners with comedian Dane Cook.

Dane Cook is about comedy this Friday (Photo by Tony Duran).

This Friday, Dane Cook gets serious about comedy (Photo by Tony Duran).

Saturday, May 9
Explore a world of words and illustration in the York Quay Gallery exhibition Graphic Novels: the Creation of Art and Narrative, presented by the 2009 Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

Drape yourself in vintage couture—an art deco–era gown perhaps?—from venerable Yorkville boutique Divine Decadence.

Escape the downtown bustle amid Trattoria Sotto Sotto’s romantic ambience, while savouring fresh whole-fish and seafood dishes inspired by Italy’s Amalfi coast.

Sunday, May 10
Treat mom to the lakefront scenery and gourmet brunch buffet on a two-hour Mother’s Day voyage with Mariposa Cruise Lines.

Travel back to the ’60s with Jersey Boys. The Tony Award–winning musical tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ rise to fame.

Join expert Kerri M. Lee to learn about the history of the traditional English afternoon tea (complete with tasting) at the Bata Shoe Museum.