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culture

Four Must-see Art and Museum Exhibits for Fall

From imaginative monsters to Nazi history to indigenous art to crafted textiles, there’s a wealth of exhibits to experience this season

Delve into the collection of imaginative items at Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters.

 

Raise a Flag: Works from
the Indigenous Art Collection (2000–2015)

To Dec. 10

OCAD University, Canada’s largest art and design school, christens its new 8,000-foot flagship galley in September with an exhibit that creates a dialogue surrounding Canada’s national identity. Works by more than two dozen First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists will be on display from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s comprehensive art collection.

Onsite Gallery, 199 Richmond St. W., ocadu.ca

 

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters

To Jan. 7

Few modern filmmakers have made their stamp on the fantasy genre like Guillermo del Toro. This fall, the Art Gallery of Ontario exhibits a selection of items from del Toro’s famous personal collection of curiosities, including art, books and ephemera surrounding the afterlife, magic, occultism, alchemy, freaks and imaginary creatures. This show provides a window into the creative process of the mind behind Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim and The Hobbit.

Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W.

 

The Evidence Room

To Jan. 28

In 2000, architectural historian Robert Jan van Pelt proved in a landmark court case that Auschwitz was purposefully designed by the Nazis as a death camp. His research became a source for the emerging discipline of architectural forensics. The Evidence Room—an acclaimed exhibition when it debuted last year at the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice—displays key objects central to that research, including full-scale reconstructions of three major components of the Auschwitz gas chambers along with more than 60 plaster casts of additional architectural evidence.

Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park

 

Diligence and Elegance: The Nature of Japanese Textiles

To Jan. 21

This exhibit displays 19th- and 20th-century fabrics and garments from Kyoto’s professional weaving workshops alongside Canadian-made cotton, cloth and silk kimonos created using traditional techniques. The show features work by contemporary artists Hiroko Karuno and Keiko Shintani, both of whose work has evolved from Japanese textile traditions.

Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Ave.

The Bloor Street Culture Corridor

THE STRETCH OF BLOOR STREET BORDERED BY BATHURST STREET AND BAY STREET HAS BEEN DUBBED THE “BLOOR STREET CULTURE CORRIDOR.” IT TAKES ABOUT 30 MINUTES TO WALK FROM ONE END TO ANOTHER, BUT THERE’S A WEALTH OF PROGRAMS EXHIBITS, RESOURCES, AND PERFORMANCES TO DISCOVER.

Cartier

Head to the Gardiner Museum for exhibitions like True Nordic and view works like this vase by Jean Cartier. (Collection of the Gardiner Museum, gift of Léopold L. Foulem.)

  1. The multi-purpose 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media and Education is a space for everything from ‘zine fairs to live performances, such as the unscripted Like Mother, Like Daughter (October 24 to 30), which explores the stories of newcomers’ parent-child relationships. 918 Bathurst St., 416-538-0868.
  2.  Housed in a heritage building and former church dating back to 1888, the Randolph Centre for the Arts features a number of theatre and music performances year-round. Check the calendar at randolphcentreforthearts.com for upcoming shows and events. 736 Bathurst St., 416-924-2243.
  3.  Informative and captivating motion pictures await at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (506 Bloor St. W., 416-637-3123). The century-old movie house presents Canadian as well as international documentaries year-round, in addition to hosting independent film festivals, screening series, and other special film presentations. 
  4. For more than 30 years, the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir have skillfully performed music from the baroque and classical eras among others, often providing a unique take on time-honoured pieces. Catch one of their shows at the historic Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, like Christophe Coin’s October concertos by Haydn and Boccherini. Visit tafelmusik.org or call 1-866-882-9844 for a schedule.
  5. Footwear aficionados can explore four galleries at the Bata Shoe Museum, which contains more than a thousand shoes and related artifacts. The collection All About Shoes has an impressive assemblage of 20th-century footwear from various celebrities, like a pair of Elton John’s monogrammed boots, as well as sneakers, high heels and more from almost every culture in the world.
  6. Spend a day at the Royal Ontario Museum —one of the largest institutions in North America—perusing suits of armour, ancient Greek pottery and rare
    prehistoric creatures, among many other fascinating artifacts. Along with the permanent collection, which includes 6,000,000 items, check out a newly discovered dinosaur in the triceratops family, and the colourful exhibit by glass artist Dale Chihuly, on through to January 2017.
  7. Enjoy one of the world’s oldest art forms at the Gardiner Museum, which is dedicated to ceramics. Drop in for a clay class and the True Nordic exhibit on Scandinavian design.
  8. Tour the Japan Foundation’s public gallery, home to exhibits on graphic design, visual art, and handicrafts from the far East. The cultural centre also boasts a library of about 20,000 items along with free screenings and lectures.  —Karen Stevens

Culture Crawl: Nuit Blanche 2016

EXPERIENCE ART AND CULTURE ALL NIGHT LONG AT NUIT BLANCHE ON OCTOBER 1ST.

Daniel Canogar's project Asalto Toronto

Daniel Canogar’s project Asalto Toronto.

Nuit Blanche, the all-night contemporary art event that transforms Toronto streets into a public gallery, returns for its 11th edition on October 1 featuring more than 80 projects. For 12 hours from sunset to sunrise, see the likes of sculptural works, dance, films, photography, interactive displays, and more at various locations including Nathan Phillips Square and along the Waterfront. Among the exhibits is Asalto Toronto (pictured) by Daniel Canogar, which is part of a broader display that examines metamorphosis and transformation, while Oblivion, including Pneuma by Floria Sigismondi, explores the cosmic universe as both a state of being and a state of nothingness. —Linda Luong Luck

 

 

The Play’s The Thing

By Janice Tober

Winnipeg has long been known for its rich cultural scene, generating artists who dazzle the world with creativity in both the visual and performing arts. It is our theatre scene, however, that wins Winnipeg the cultural crown.

In a city home to the country’s oldest English regional theatre, as well as Canada’s longest-running French company, theatre is ingrained in the hearts of Winnipeggers who grow up experiencing thought-provoking plays produced by these venerated institutions. It is these early companies that have emboldened aspiring artists to create theatre groups of their own, in all shapes and sizes. WHERE Winnipeg offers a sneak peek of the plays that promise to be the most talked-about dramas, inspiring stories and laugh-out-loud comedies of the 2016/17 season.

RMTC

Royalty Lives Here

Winnipeggers often look to the city’s most prominent stage, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, to keep them entertained. It is the only theatre in Canada to receive royal designation, and is housed in a stunning Brutalist-style building in the Exchange District that commands respect. With a 58-year history, the company has a record of producing plays that hit the mark with audiences.

Steven Schipper, the company’s Artistic Director, states, “planning seasons is the only thing that I don’t delegate,” as he works to find plays that appeal to Winnipeg’s sophisticated artistic palate.

RMTC’s season opener, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (adapted by Simon Stephens), is a co-production with Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre. This Tony Award-winner, based on Mark Haddon’s bestseller of the same name, begins when fifteen-year-old Christopher is accused of killing his neighbour’s dog. The story follows Christopher, diagnosed with autism, as he works to clear his name and solve the mystery on his own. A strong and stimulating choice, this coming-of-age tale exposes Christopher’s vulnerabilities as well as his strengths with insight and humour. The show runs from Oct 20 to Nov 12.

Just down the street from RMTC is its second stage, the Tom Hendry Warehouse. With its own full season curated by Schipper, the Warehouse focuses on works that are more provocative and controversial than those seen on the mainstage.

The season begins with another play based on a novel: My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok. Running Oct 13-29, Aaron Posner’s stage adaptation is a thoughtful meditation on how an artist and his or her work can be driven by a compulsion that threatens both family and tenets once held dear. This co-production with Montreal’s Segal Centre is well-suited to the Warehouse’s smaller space where theatregoers are close to the drama unfolding in front of them. “It’s a perfect play for our intimate Hendry Theatre,” says Schipper. “Audiences embrace work that touches, challenges, and entertains, while asking important questions about how we may best live our lives.”

Courtesy Theatre Cercle Moliere

Courtesy Theatre Cercle Moliere

Multiculti Stages

Winnipeg’s multicultural makeup is mirrored in the city’s arts groups. In St Boniface, signs and snippets of conversation en français are reminders that French voyageurs settled here, and it is Théâtre Cercle Molière—the oldest French theatre in Canada—that best reflects this distinct Francophone community.

Geneviève Pelletier, Cercle Molière’s Artistic and General Director, chose to open the season with Et que ça saute!, an original piece by Winnipeg playwright, Danielle Séguin-Tétreault. Pelletier says she wanted to “kick off the season with a real side splitter,” and, with a title that translates to mean, “And make it snappy!” expect fast-paced dialogue and quick comedic timing. Centred around five people in an apartment building who are all searching for something in their lives, the play takes the audience through what Pelletier calls “the twists and turns of a day gone wrong.” The play opens on Oct 13 and runs until Oct 29 with simultaneous translation on certain dates.

In the late 19th- and early-20th centuries Winnipeg welcomed many Jewish immigrants and settlers to the city, many of whom helped create its arts institutions. The Winnipeg Jewish Theatre had its inaugural season in 1987 and has a history of showcasing original plays by some of Canada’s top playwrights—such as work by Winnipeg-born Vern Thiessen, recipient of the Governor General’s award for his moving drama, Einstein’s Gift—that highlight and lay bare the Jewish experience with emotion, comedy and accrued insight.

Running from Oct 27-Nov 6, the 2016 season opener is the Canadian premiere of Another Way Home by Anna Ziegler. Set in the summer during visiting day at Camp Kickapoo, on the surface Another Way Home is simply a witty story that catches parents in the midst of escalating conflict with their son, Joey. But amidst the barbs, the play examines what it means to be a family desperately trying to deal with a troubled son.

Courtesy Soul Pepper Theatre Company

Courtesy Soul Pepper Theatre Company

Bring the Kids

Manitoba Theatre for Young People evolved from Actor’s Showcase, an amateur theatre group that offered training for local talent, and grew with a new mandate to become one of the most respected stages in Canada for its creative, built-from-scratch productions and innovative children’s programming. Since its beginnings in 1982, the company has never rested on its laurels, winning its first award in 1992—the Canadian Institute of the Arts for Young Audiences Award—before earning a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production in the Theatre for Young Audiences category in 2007.

The 2016 season opens with Alligator Pie (running Oct 26-Nov 6), an original Dora Award-winning production by Toronto’s Soulpepper company. “The whole play is built around the beloved poems of Dennis Lee,” comments Pablo Felices-Luna, the company’s new Artistic Director, “so all of our fun is made possible through the work of an outstanding Canadian poet. And that’s how we wanted to launch, [with] all of the wildness you can experience at our theatre.” The play is full of infectious musical numbers and theatrical zaniness, but underlying the high-energy production is a message about the importance of friendship.

Courtesy Prairie Theatre Exchange

Courtesy Prairie Theatre Exchange

Go Grassroots

Since opening its doors in a ramshackle building in the Exchange District, Prairie Theatre Exchange has always been a small company rooted in the community. The theatre offered its rehearsal space to amateur groups and allowed them to perform on its stage between its own shows. Today, PTE is found in a downtown shopping centre, and it still belongs to Winnipeggers: in 2007 it opened its Playwrights Unit, where experienced and new local playwrights are provided with an office, the resources needed to put on a live reading or workshop, and input from fellow auteurs.

PTE continues its focus on work by Manitoban and Canadian artists with the play The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble, penned by Canadian playwright, Beth Graham. Running from Oct 12-30, the play centres on Bernice’s daughter, Iris, as her Mom calls the family together to announce that she has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. The emotionally heavy story can be challenging for audiences, but when asked about this selection for the 2016/17 season, Artistic Director Robert Metcalfe explains, “This play was nominated for a Governor General’s Award in 2015, and I love it because of its fundamental honesty and heart in addressing some very serious subject matter—including the unique relationship between mothers and daughters—and the choices we make, both in parenting and in life.” Metcalfe has no need to shy away from difficult work, knowing that the city’s erudite audience is up for the challenge.

(more…)

Celebrate Summer

Halifax’s festival season heats up with music, art, culture, food and more

By Trevor J. Adams

Images-From-Tattoo_3265-06

A busy month of festivals and cultural celebrations begins with the Scotia Festival of Music. Continuing through June 7 at venues around the city, this event is a must for serious music fans, showcasing the best in Chamber music. This year, the lineup includes coductor Kenneth Woods, cellist Denise Djokic, violinist Giora Schmidt and pianist Simon Docking. A gala matinee concert at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on June 7 concludes the festival, featuring works by Elgar, Beethoven and Benjamin. Concurrently, Halifax’s vibrant Lebanese community celebrates its roots with Cedar Festival from June 4 to 7 at Our Lady of Lebanon Parish on Joseph Howe Drive. Festivities include a special mass, musical performances, art exhibitions, food tastings, games, dancing and more. June also sees the return of one of Halifax’s biggest and most popular festivals. Running this year from June 11 to 14, Halifax Greek Fest always attracts thousands to Saint George’s Greek Orthodox Church on Purcell’s Cove Road.June---Antique-Car-Show_admirers Lively music and dancing abound, along with cultural exhibitions and Greek cuisine aplenty. This year’s schedule features the Poseidon live band, a screening of FIFA Women’s World Cup soccer (Greece vs. Colombia), Greek language classes, a sommelier-hosted Greek wine and food tasting, and more. That same weekend, Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte hosts the Father’s Day Antique Car Show. Scheduled for June 21, (rain date June 29), the show is a rite of Father’s Day. There are dozens of lovingly restored classic cars, plus live entertainment and Kub Kar races. This month also features one of Halifax’s longest-running summer events: the Nova Scotia Multicultural Festival. Running from June 26 to 28 at the Halifax Seaport Harbourwalk at the corner of Terminal and Marginal roads, the festival showcases Nova Scotia’s many traditional-dancers2cultural communities with music, food, art, cultural exhibitions and more. The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo closes out the month. Running from June 30 to July 7 at Scotiabank Centre on Duke Street, it’s the world’s largest annual indoor show of its type. The lineup includes an exciting mix of military and civilian drill teams, bands and performers from around the globe. This year’s highlights include the Halifax debut for Sweden’s Home Guards Band of Eslöv, His Majesty the King’s Guard Band and Drill Team of Norway, the Gym Wheel Team Taunusstein of Germany and the Paris Police Gymnastics Team.

 

 

6 Canadian Rockies Galleries & Museums

Photo: Rundle After September Snow, by Wendy Bradley

Photo: Rundle After September Snow, by Wendy Bradley

By Afton Aikens & Lisa Stephens

Western Canadian Art 

Canada House Gallery in Banff displays paintings by Wendy Bradley (among many other artists). This third-generation Banffite hikes, climbs and snowshoes to vantage points where she paints en plein air, in temperatures that have dipped to –16°C.

(more…)

Travel Tip of the Day

Brazil’s most famous novelist, Paulo Coelho, has some not-so-common tips for travellers: forget museums and hang out in bars. “People feel obliged to go to museums because they learned as children that travelling was about seeking out that kind of culture”, he says, whereas popping into a local pub and striking up a conversation is the way to really get to know a place.

You Are Here: Old Strathcona

Image courtesy of Noel Zinger

With over 600 eclectic, independent and alternative shops and services to explore, it’s little wonder Old Strathcona is regarded as the place to experience Edmonton’s finest live theatre and music, boutique shopping, dining and nightlife. Read on for some of our top spots in this historical district and then visit www.oldstrathcona.ca for even more. (more…)

The Curtain Rises on Toronto’s Stage Shows

The fall stage season is in full swing with numerous productions—rousing, provocative, humorous and more—presented by the city’s top theatre companies.  BY CRAIG MOY

Paul Gross and Kim Cattrall star in Private Lives (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

 

 

BIG TICKETS

Whether it’s a brassy, crowd-pleasing musical you’re after, or an impressive performance by a star or two, Toronto’s largest company, Mirvish Productions, has you covered with Broadway-style shows.

Private Lives
SEPTEMBER 16 TO OCTOBER 30 Over the decades, many talented thespians—from Robert Stephens and Maggie Smith to Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor—have stepped into the shoes of Elyot and Amanda, a divorced couple who end up honeymooning with their new spouses in the same hotel. Canadian stars Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross portray the pair in this latest, straight-from-London revival of Noël Coward’s classic comedy of manners. Glamour and decorum give way to witty impropriety as the characters rekindle old passions—and dig up past resentments. (more…)