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CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival

Hot Date: Brief Encounters at the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival

Kali the Little Vampire is one of many flicks at the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival

JUNE 5 TO 10 Movies don’t have to be epic to get their point across. The CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival demonstrates this fact with nearly 250 thought-provoking abbreviated-run-time films from more than 35 countries. Each 90-minute screening session features anywhere from five to 22 flicks, including some with big names attached—Pitch Black Heist starring Michael Fassbender, for example, or the animated Kali the Little Vampire, narrated by Christopher Plummer. Also this year, the CN Tower hosts a day-long Towering Shorts series, where viewers can watch movies with the Toronto skyline as a backdrop. Various venues, $10 per screening.

Weekend Roundup, June 3rd to 5th

Friday: View Craig C. Cochrane's burlesque photos, including Tea with Mussolini.

Friday, June 3
For one sassy and sultry week (from June 2 to 7), Yorkville’s Liss Gallery presents Canadian photographer, Craig C. Cochrane’s Toronto Burlesque Photography exhibit. The collection features male and female burlesque performers shot on stage as well as in studio.

Meet one of Hollywood’s original stars at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, which presents the exhibition Mary Pickford & the Invention of the Movie Star in its Canadian Film Gallery. The display chronicles the life and career of the Canadian-born silent film actor, once dubbed “America’s Sweetheart.” Once your interest is piqued, catch a program of four of Pickford’s greatest films.

Marvel at them before they’re gone! There’s just one week left to ogle the late Princess Diana’s famous collection of dresses at the Design Exchange. This exclusive showcase marks the last time the gowns will be shown together publicly, as they’re slated for auction at the end of the month.

Saturday: Plácido Domingo sings beneath the stars

Saturday, June 4
Masterful tenor Placido Domingo is sure to enthrall the audience at Toronto’s new BlackCreek Summer Music Festival, which kicks off tonight at York University’s open-air Rexall Centre. This beloved “King of Opera” will be joined on stage by soprano superstar Sondra Radvanovsky.

Celebrate rhythm at the Muhtadi International Drumming Festival, taking place today and tomorrow at Queen’s Park. Drummers representing Africa, North America, South America, Europe, India, Japan, China, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, South Korea and the Middle East are set to beat their hearts out at this family-friendly event.

The Canadian Film Centre’s Worldwide Short Film Festival continues this weekend, screening more of its 275 films from 36 countries (including 77 Canadian flicks). Among today’s offerings: a set of short films from New Zealand in a program called “New Zealand’s Got Talent” at the Royal Ontario Museum, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday: Be entertained at the Toronto Festival of Clowns (photo by Kathleen Finlay)

Sunday, June 5
The city is also overrun with clowns this weekend, courtesy of the Toronto Festival of Clowns. The event includes full-length shows featuring clowns, physical performers, mimes, buskers and more. Today at 6:30 p.m., catch The Last Man on Earth, a play in the style of a silent that tells of the Devil and his minion as they try to corrupt the last man on the planet.

It’s like a farmer’s market but with beer! Spend a relaxing afternoon at the Artscape Wychwood Barns, which hosts a Brewery Market throughout the summer. Enjoy a slice of pizza from the barn’s outdoor oven while sipping a brew from this week’s featured brewer, Toronto’s Denison’s Brewing Company, best known for its German-style beers. Partial proceeds from the event support The Stop Community Food Centre’s initiatives.

The annual Waterfront Blues festival, one of the only genuine blues-music events in Toronto, wraps up today at Woodbine Park in the city’s balmy east end. Admission is free to watch a dozen performers, including The Gary Kendall Band, Larry McCray and Curtis Salgado.

Weekend Roundup, May 27th to 29th

Friday: See designs by Lux and Luster (and 300 other designers) at the Clothing Show

Friday, May 27
Find a unique treasure amongst the offerings of 300 independent designers and artisans at The Clothing Show. Whether you’re looking for vintage accessories or eco-friendly clothing, you can find it all at this annual event at Exhibition Place’s Queen Elizabeth Building.

Shoot down to the Niagara region for a culinary adventure at the Niagara Food and Wine show. Local chefs and vintners gather all weekend long at the Scotiabank Convention Centre to show off the fruits of their labours. Stop by and pair local wine with delectable gourmet food.

Delighting audiences since the mid-sixties with his soulful voice and authentic lyrics, Gordon Lightfoot returns tonight to Massey Hall for the second of four Toronto shows. Hear the celebrated Canadian singer and songwriter’s favourite hits, including “If You Could Read My Mind” and “Sundown.”

Saturday: the Spadina Museum is one of many Toronto buildings participating in Doors Open

Saturday, May 28
Ever wonder what some of the city’s favourite landscapes look like behind the scenes? This weekend you can get an inside look at 150 buildings across Toronto during Doors Open. The free, annual event allows you to see many of the city’s most interesting and historic spaces—from Spadina Museum: Historic House and Gardens to City Hall’s green roof.

Check out the vintage, classic and modern aircraft and vehicles on display at Downsview Park during the Wings and Wheels Festival. Flight enthusiasts of all ages are sure to be delighted by planes such as the C-130J Super Hercules, plus a variety of other exhibits, vendors and more

Known as the “Pied Piper of Manila,” Carlos Celdran performs If These Walls Could Talk, his world famous “walking tour” of Intramurous, the oldest district of Manila. This entertaining re-telling of the city’s colourful history takes the stage at Harbourfront Centre.

Sunday: Tan Dun appears at Roy Thomson Hall (photo by Chris Lee)

Sunday, May 29
Renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun picks up the conductors baton at Roy Thomson Hall to lead a performance of his personal Water and Paper concertos. The pieces call for unique solo instruments, including some that interact with water and that are constructed from paper.

The CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival kicks off with a free party at Yonge-Dundas Square tonight. In addition to live performances by local bands, a selection of videos will be projected onto a giant cube.

This year’s first Pedestrian Sunday occurs today at Kensington Market. In addition to browsing the neighbourhood’s eclectic boutiques and grabbing a bite at one of many internationally flavoured restaurants, local studios and galleries are also opening their doors to the public.

Weekend Roundup, June 4 to 6

This weekend, feast your eyes on some exceptional artistic showcases and don’t miss a ton of fun festivals.

Friday: The National Ballet of Canada dances the West Side Story Suite (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Friday, June 4
Reflect upon the media’s influence over our understanding of history, images and identity at the debut of Monitors, an exhibition by Steve Lyons and Susan Lakin at Gallery 44. The show opens at 6 p.m., with an artist’s talk at 6:30.

Celebrate a timeless story of star-crossed lovers, presented through music and movement in Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite. The National Ballet of Canada performs the graceful yet powerful work at the Four Seasons Centre, complemented by Robbins’ Opus 19/Dreamer and an untitled world-premiere piece by Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo.

Sing along with Sugarland, the dynamic country music duo of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush. They take to the Molson Amphitheatre stage tonight, with special guests George Canyon, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers. Make a day of it by exploring Ontario Place before the concert starts.

Saturday: Fenulla Jiwani looks for love in 30 Dates

Saturday, June 5
An artistic opportunity beckons this weekend as the Riverdale Art Walk returns. See works by more than 100 local artists in this charming neighbourhood—both at the outdoor show at Jimmie Simpson Park and at studios in the area.

Witness 35-year-old Priti struggle through a string of bad dates in an attempt to end her singledom in the hilarious play 30 Dates. Local playwright and actor Fenulla Jiwani stars in this feel-good show at Berkeley Street Theatre.

Music is a lovely way to end the day at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio. Tonight, the United Sounds Project presents a host of local performers, including Antonitas D’Havila, one of the world’s most unique gypsy flamenco guitarists.

Sunday: Witness a cutesy pooch parade (photo by E3000)

Sunday, June 6
Try seeing movies in a new light; don’t miss the final day of the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, which offers internationally produced short films that run the gamut from celebrity shorts and animated tales to documentaries and music videos.

Head out to a different kind of festival at Woodbine Park, where you can snack on scintillating barbecued fare while bopping to live music. The weekend-long Waterfront Blues Festival continues today with performances by likes of Blackburn and the Canadian debut of the Alexis P. Suter Band.

Travelling can really make you miss your dog, or make you wish you had one (you know, to keep you company as you explore the vast city). Take solace in the surreal sight of 60 dogs dressed like your favourite celebrities as they trod Le Méridien King Edward Hotel’s red carpet for the launch of Woofstock, North America’s largest dog festival.