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Direct Energy Centre

What to Do in Toronto: Festivals, Concerts and Events this October

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT EVENTS AND CONCERTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY THIS MONTH!

Gavin Creel in The Book of Mormon, North American Tour. © Joan Marcus, 2012.

Gavin Creel in The Book of Mormon, North American Tour. © Joan Marcus, 2012.

ALL MONTH LONG  Tony Award–winning musical The Book of Mormon is back at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The story centres on two missionaries who travel to Uganda in hopes of spreading the gospel but who experience a disconnect with the villagers who are dealing with AIDS, famine, poverty and war. Tickets are $49 – $200; visit mirvish.com for more information and to purchase.

ALL MONTH LONG This season at the Design Exchange, guest curator Jeanne Beker peeks into the wardrobes of iconic fashion designers and pulls out pieces that have made important political statements over the past 50 years for the exhibition “Politics of Fashion.” The striking garments lend both style and substance to longstanding ethical debates, gender issues, anti-war activism and more. General admission is $9.25 – $18.50; visit dx.org for more information and to purchase.

STARTS OCTOBER 3 Known for vibrant, thickly textured canvases that explore the physical and psychological connections between artist and landscape, artist Kim Dorland offers a series of new works for display at Angell Gallery. Expect pieces that continue to expand on the artist’s signature style and thematic concerns, further entrenching his position as Canada’s painter of record. Angell Gallery; 12 Ossington Ave., 416-530-0444. Open Wednesday to Saturday.

STARTS OCTOBER 12 Helen Lawrence, a new media production by visual artist Stan Douglas, mixes theatre, visual art, live action filming and computer-generated simulation in this story set in post-World War II Vancouver. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., 416-366-1656. Tuesday to Thursday 8 p.m., Friday 7 p.m., Saturday 1 & 8 p.m., Wednesday & Sunday 1 p.m.; $30-$99; visit canadianstage.com or call 416-368-3110 to charge.

OCTOBER 17 TO 19 If you’ve ever longed to taste the recipes being made by TV chefs, the Delicious Food Show is your meal ticket. Whether you hunger for the inside scoop on trendy cuisine, advice on grilling the perfect steak, or simply a sinful chocolate cake recipe, celebrity chefs such as Tyler Florence, Chuck Hughes and Mario Batali have you covered. Join them, plus local chefs like DaiLo’s Nick Liu and Yours Truly’s Lachlan Culjak for a feast of workshops, cooking demos and food pairings. Direct Energy Centre, Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., general admission is $22; visit deliciousfoodshow.com for details.

STARTS OCTOBER 23 Giants of the literary world descend upon the waterfront for 35th edition of the International Festival of Authors. A global roster of 200-plus novelists, poets, essayists and more share their passion for the written word during 11 days of readings, panel discussions, interviews and book signings. CanLit darling Ann-Marie MacDonald, poet Dionne Brand, crime fiction novelist James Ellroy, Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard, Irish scribes Colm Tóibín and John Boyne, and critically acclaimed Emma Donoghue are among the expected participants. Harbourfront Centre, general admission $18 for most events; call 416-973-4000 or visit ifoa.org for a schedule and to purchase tickets.

Opera Atelier Alcina. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

Opera Atelier’s Alcina starts October 23. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

STARTS OCTOBER 23  Sorceress sisters weave romantic entanglements in Alcina, the latest offering from Opera Atelier. In the company’s new, period-appropriate production of Handel’s 18th-century masterwork, the handsome Ruggiero finds himself on an island in search of the seductress Alcina; his true love, Bradamante, follows, disguised as a knight, and immediately draws the gaze of Alcina’s sister Morgana. But on this island of illusion, it’s true love that proves to be most magical. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., evenings at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinee at 3 p.m.. Tickets are $38 – $181; call 1-855-622-2787 to charge or visit operaatelier.com for details.

OCTOBER 24 TO 26 Cask Days brings unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally carbonated brews to the masses, allowing breweries the chance to show off their hops. This year’s event has about 300 different cask-conditioned ales by 100-plus breweries from across Canada, the United States and the U.K., including Niagara Oast House, Nelson Brewery, Grizzly Paw, Microbrasserie Le Castor and Grand River Brewing. A special focus on California includes 30-plus breweries from the state. Not into ale? A number of ciders are available, too, as well as gluten-free beer options. Evergreen Brick Works, Friday 6 to 11 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 and up; see caskdays.com to purchase.

TO OCTOBER 26 Cirque du Soleil is back in Toronto, and this season the famed Montreal troupe presents a kaleidoscope of characters and objects in its latest travelling show, Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities. Under the big top, audiences are transported back to the 19th century to meet an inventor who’s able to defy time, space and even gravity—one spectacular scene even features an upside-down dinner party! Grand Chapiteau, 51 Commissioner St., Tuesday to Friday 8 p.m., Saturday 4:30 and 8 p.m., Sunday 1:30 and 5 p.m.; $50 to $160; visit cirquedusoleil.com to purchase tickets.

STARTS OCTOBER 29 Although the Toronto Raptors endured a heartbreaking end to their 2013-14 playoffs this past May, the Dinos have retained their core and begin a new season stronger than ever. Forward DeMar DeRozan, point guard Kyle Lowry and shooting guard Terrence Ross are among the returning stars who’ll take on the world’s best basketball players this fall. The Raptors start their new season at home against the Atlanta Hawks. Air Canada Centre, 7:30 p.m., $12.50 and up; call 416-366-3865 to charge.

ALSO THIS MONTH!

Cancer-stricken Swedish Olympic heptathlete Nadja Casadei. Photo by Peter Holgerson, courtesy of World Press Photo.

The training regime of cancer-stricken Swedish Olympic heptathlete Nadja Casadei, photographed by Peter Holgersson. Courtesy of World Press Photo.

TO OCTOBER 21 World Press Photo, the annual juried exhibition of award-winning photojournalism covering events and issues that impacted the world in 2013, is on display at Brookfield Place (181 Bay St.). Admission is free.

OCTOBER 3 The Blue Dot Tour with David Suzuki—promoting clean drinking water, fresh air and healthy food for all Canadians—comes to Massey Hall, with such special guests as Stephen Lewis, the Barenaked Ladies, Chantel Kreviazuk and Raine Maida. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 – $79.50. Visit bluedot.ca for more information and to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 4 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, the annual all-night art affair, returns with more than 100 public installations, many of which invite visitors to be part of the works themselves. The free sunset-to-sunrise event expands into several new neighbourhoods, including Fort York, Chinatown and Bremner Boulevard, the latter of which hosts a magical night circus. Elsewhere, Máximo González’s installation, Walk Among Worlds, takes on political undertones by way of 7,000 beach balls to visualize first- and third-world states. Visit scotiabanknuitblanche.ca for a list of locations.

OCTOBER 5 TO 7 Part of the National Geographic Live series, award-winning photographer Steve Winter shares his experience travelling the globe in search of tigers, cougars and snow leopards. Tickets are $19.50 – $79.50. Roy Thomson Hall, October 5, 2 p.m.; October 6 and 7, 8 p.m. Visit roythomson.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 6 New York-based indie rockers We Are Scientists take the stage at The Horseshoe Tavern with guests Surfer Blood and Eternal Summers. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $18.50; visit horseshoetavern.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 7 TO 11 Award-winning actor, director and producer Ravi Jain and his mom Asha star in A Brimful of Asha, a family story about the search for the perfect bride. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill St., 416-203-6264.Tuesday to Saturday 9 p.m., Wednesday & Saturday 2 p.m.; $35-$55; visit soulpepper.ca or call 416-866-8666 to buy.

OCTOBER 8 Indie folk-rock chanteuse Cat Power brings her unique fusion sound to The Danforth Music Hall, 8 p.m. Tickets are $36; visit ticketmaster.ca or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

OCTOBER 8 & 9 Pop singer-songwriter Jason Mraz plays at Massey Hall, with the show starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $55.50 – $75.50; visit masseyhall.com to purchase.

Russell Peters

Russell Peters is back bringing the laughs at the Air Canada Centre on October 9.

OCTOBER 9 Brampton, Ontario’s best-known export, Russell Peters, is back with all-new material in his latest headlining show, the Almost Famous World Tour. Hot on the heels of appearances on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and Notorious on Netflix, Peters brings his trademark brand of wit and observation to what is sure to be a well-attended show—back in 2007, he was the first comedian to sell out the ACC. Air Canada Centre, 8 p.m. Tickets are $58.50 – $125.75; call 1-855-985-5000 or see russellpeters.com for information.

OCTOBER 10 Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Esperanza Spalding—who plays both upright bass and cello—brings her distinctive sound to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at Exhibition Place. Tickets are 49.50; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to charge.

OCTOBER 13 Aussie pop star Betty Who—made famous by a flash mob proposal video shot in a Home Depot that went viral—takes the stage at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club, with guests Joywave and Great Good Fine OK. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $19.50; visit livenation.com to purchase.

STARTS OCTOBER 14 A musical journey through the short-lived career of the legendary rock and roll pioneer, who died tragically in a plane crash, Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story features “That’ll be the Day,” “Peggy Sue” and “Everyday.” Various times. Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 416-314-2901. Tickets are $29 – $120; call 1-855-622-2787 or visit ticketmaster.ca to buy.

OCTOBER 15 Brit rock band Bastille makes a stop in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre during their North American tour. Tickets are $34.50 – $42.50; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

OCTOBER 16 TO 18 Bach and breakdancing may seem an unlikely combination—until you witness the Flying Steps, that is. The seven-member all-male dance troupe arrives in Toronto for one of two Canadian stops on its Red Bull Flying Bach world tour. Also featuring Swedish dancer Anna Holmström, this high-energy performance combines fast-footed jumps, head spins, jackhammers, hand hops and more choreographed to a live piano and harpsichord performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. Massey Hall, Thursday to Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., $25 – $70; call 416-872-4255 for tickets; see flying-steps.de for more information.

OCTOBER 18 Christine McVie rejoins her bandmates for a Fleetwood Mac North American tour, making a stop in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre. Tickets are $49.50 – $199.50; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

OCTOBER 21 Bruce McCulloch, of Kids in the Hall fame, chronicles his life as a rebellious teenager in Alberta to her early days in Toronto to fatherhood in Young Drunk Punk. The show, presented by the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, combines stand-up, live music and anecdotes in the lead up to McCulloch’s new book Let’s Start a Riot: A Series of Bravery and Stupidity. General admission is $39; admission plus a copy of the book and a post-show reception is $55. Visit torontosketchfest.com or call 647-505-1050 to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 21 October is breast cancer awareness month, and Eat to the Beat provides a novel way to help. The 19th edition of this popular fundraiser for Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support has 60 of the country’s best female chefs preparing signature bites like duck breast on polenta cream, grilled cheese, brownies and pies. Local culinary favourites include Doona Dooher of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Trista Sheen of Crush Wine Bar and Bonnie Gordon of Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., $175 includes all food and beverages, 7 p.m.; call 416-778-6314 ext. 236 or see eattothebeat.ca for details.

STARTS OCTOBER 21 In the world premiere of The Bakelite Masterpiece, set in Holland following World War II, an artist accused of selling art to the Nazis must prove his innocence by painting a work by Johannes Vermeer in front of a prosecutor and art historian. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827. Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2:30 p.m.; $48-$53; visit tarragontheatre.com to purchase.

OCTOBER 22 TO 26 The crafty and DIYers won’t want to miss the fall Creativ Festival, a massive consumer show bringing together sewing, quilting, beading, knitting, needlework, DIY decorating, crafting, scrapbooking and more. Workshops and seminars begin on October 22, while the Show Floor is open October 24 to 26, offering a chance to browse and buy a variety of goods, including fabrics, fibres, papers, beads, patterns, tools, books, kits and equipment. Show Floor hours are Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for one day is $4 – $15, and a three-day pass is $25 ($5 for students with valid ID). Hands-on classes and seminars are an extra cost. Visit creativfestival.com for more information or to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 24 The ever-bold Irish singer Sinead O’Connor brings her incredible voice to Massey Hall. Tickets are $49.50 – $79.50; visit masseyhall.com to purchase.

Art Toronto

Art Toronto brings together contemporary art from around the world. Photo courtesy of Art Toronto.

OCTOBER 24 TO 27 The 15th annual Art Toronto, a modern and contemporary fine art fair, will feature more than 100 galleries from Canada and around the world. There will be a feature exhibition by Quebec-based collective BGL, as well as fair tours and expert talks. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W.; visit arttoronto.ca for ticket info and further details.

OCTOBER 25 Feist, Sarah Harmer, Jason Collett, Hayden, Lou Canon, Kevin Hearn and other musicians will come together for the first annual Dream Serenade Benefit Concert at Massey Hall in support of services for children with developmental disabilities. Tickets are $50 – $200; visit masseyhall.com or call 416-872-4255 to purchase.

TO OCTOBER 26 In the Henrik Ibsen drama An Enemy of the People, a doctor discovers that his town’s baths are contaminated and must decide if he should inform the public of the health risk or keep it to himself to prevent the local economy from collapsing. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827. Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 2:30 p.m.; $25-$48; visit tarragontheatre.com to purchase.

OCTOBER 27 Canadian synth-pop darling Lights brings her sparkling tunes to The Danforth Music Hall with special guest Rush Midnight. Tickets are $35; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

Hot Shopping: Spring into the One of a Kind Show

MARCH 28 TO APRIL 1 Following up on its always-successful Christmas edition, the One of a Kind Show returns to Toronto just in time for spring. More than 450 artisans and craftspeople offer their wares at this popular event—look for beautiful wooden creations by Don Stinson, textile art by Arounna Khounnoraj of Bookhou Designs, and many other unique fashion, home and even food products. And with warmer days ahead, the seasonal sale also features vendors whose decor creations are perfect for patios and porches. Exhibition Place, Direct Energy Centre, $7 to $14; call 416-960-3680 or click here for details.

15 Must-See Artisans at the One of a Kind Show

Each year in the lead-up to the holiday season, Toronto’s arts and crafts–loving hordes descend on the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place to spend hours browsing the One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale. On from November 24 to December 4, the massive event features hundreds of talented Canadian artisans showcasing their best wares, from designer apparel and unique accessories to glassware, works in metal and more. The sheer selection can be overwhelming, so in advance of the show, Where Toronto offers our 15 favourites.


Farm Livin’ is the Life for Me: Where Toronto Previews the 98th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

For the next ten days, from November 4 to 13, the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place becomes a little less convention centre and a little more barnyard, as it hosts the 98th edition of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. We got a sneak peek at some of what’s on show at this year’s Fair, in the process acquainting our city selves with a bit of the country. By Rasheed Clarke

We crunched through scattered strands of hay and sidestepped splats of manure on our way to see cowboys practicing their riding technique on a bull of the mechanical variety. After a ride of our own on the spinning, bucking machine, Royal Rodeo organizer Ross Millar assured us that the 2,000-pound bulls featured in the Royal Rodeo (Sunday, November 6) will prove more of a challenge to the professional riders. The event, at the adjacent Ricoh Coliseum, pits top riders from across Canada against each other in barrel racing, bronco busting and bull riding competitions.

Next, we walked around the cattle barn and watched farmers trimming, washing and blow drying their livestock with all the attention to detail a Yorkville stylist would put into your coiffure. While the grooming sessions continued around us, we got intimate with an Ontario dairy cow. A few udder squeezes and there was enough milk (unpasteurized, natch) for a pot of coffee.

After dusting off our boots, we made our way to a set of showcases displaying prize-winning cheeses. It’s a shame they were under glass! We did, however, get close to a nearby block of butter and tried our hands at butter sculpting. Well, more like chiseling. The real sculptors will have their artistic creations judged next Thursday.

With butter carving crossed off our bucket list, we strolled the rest of the grounds and got a glimpse of the fair’s many other attractions: gargantuan vegetables, llamas and goats and ponies in the petting zoo, new products for city slickers and farmhands alike, and tasty treats made from local ingredients.

Yes, we can say from experience that this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is loaded with rural-style merriment. Plus, there’s the little matter of the Royal Horse Show, which runs for the duration of the fair at Ricoh Coliseum. This year’s show includes equestrian performances from Olympic gold medalists Eric Lamaze and Mark Todd, and former Toronto Maple Leafs Darcy Tucker, Curtis Joseph and Darryl Sittler trade their sticks for mallets in a game of “horse hockey.”

For more information on the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the Royal Horse Show, and to purchase tickets, call 416-263-3400 or click here.

Weekend Roundup, April 15th to 17th

Friday: Thrill to the operatic feats of Korean soprano Sumi Jo

Friday, April 15
Grammy Award-winning Sumi Jo brings her elegant coloratura soprano voice to Roy Thomson Hall tonight. Joined by pianist Gary Matthewman, this Korean-born operatic singer promises an uplifting evening of songs by Vivaldi, Rossini and many other classical favourites.

Laugh with him—or at him. Discover out how Charlie Sheen continues “winning” when he brings his My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option tour to Massey Hall. Even if you find yourself booing the actor’s rants and antics, rest assured that he is donating some of the show’s proceeds to the Red Cross’s Japanese Earthquake Relief Fund.

Learn how to sustain yourself—and the environment—at the Green Living Show, happening all weekend long at the Direct Energy Centre. Eco-conscious consumers can sample local food at the Good Eats Market, find chic green apparel at the Eco Fashion Show and get crafty in the EcoKids Zone. Admission is free if you bring an old electronic device to recycle.

Saturday: Embrace Night at Factory Theatre (photo by Andree Lanthier)

Saturday, April 16
Witness the convergence of Inuit and southern Canadian culture in Night, presented by multi-disciplinary troupe Human Cargo as part of Factory Theatre’s Performance Spring series. This emotional and poetic play is set on Baffin Island, and is performed in both English and Inuktitut.

Pick up something unique while supporting local artists at Creative Heart Collective’s Spring Show & Sale. West Queen West cultural hub the Gladstone Hotel hosts a range of artists, entrepreneurs and retailers showcasing their one-of-a-kind crafts, jewellery, gourmet food and vintage apparel.

Put on your beacon-red jersey and make sure your vocal cords are ready to cheer on Toronto FC, who return to BMO Field today for a Major League Soccer match against DC United. Arrive early and enjoy the passionate pre-game festivities outside of the stadium, including face painting, street soccer matches and live band performances.

Sunday: See this piece from Matsutani Takesada's Circle series, and more, at the Toronto Art Expo

Sunday, April 17
More than 200 distinguished Canadian and International artists and galleries present their collections at the Toronto Art Expo. Seasoned  connoisseurs and first-time buyers are equally certain to find something special at this exclusive display at the Metro Convention Centre. Be sure to check out the featured installation by Japanese artist Matsutani Takesada.

Education is always entertaining at Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, which presents two ongoing productions: As You Puppet introduces youngsters to the Shakespeare play As You Like It using cute, stuffed-animal puppets, while I Think I Can presents the challenges youth face with bullying through hip urban tap dance.

The clock is ticking for those bells to be ringing! Prepare, plan and purchase everything you need for your wedding at Toronto’s Bridal Show at the Direct Energy Centre. This weekend’s expo features more than 100 industry specialists, prizes, and even a live taping of the reality show Last Bride Standing.

Hot Date: A Floral Affair

MARCH 16 TO 20 Surround yourself with six verdant acres of colourful blossoms and plants at Canada Blooms. The festival of flowers and gardens features numerous vendors catering to the green thumb in everyone, as well as more than 200 hours of seminars, workshops and demonstrations with such speakers as Frank Ferragine, a.k.a. Frankie Flowers, and author Mark Cullen (The Canadian Garden Primer, An Organic Approach). Check out the stylized Juno Rocks Gardens—interpreting the theme of “rhythm” in honour of this month’s Juno music awards. Exhibition Place, Direct Energy Centre, general admission $18; call 416-447-8655 or navigate here for further details.

Weekend Roundup, February 18th to 20th

Friday: Be enthralled by South Pacific's timeless love story (photo by Kim Ritzenhaler)

Friday, February 18
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved, Tony Award–winning musical South Pacific has returned to charm audiences at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. This timeless tropical-island tale follows four lovers who must overcome adversity against a backdrop of World War II.

The Canadian International Auto Show has rolled into town and parked at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Rev your engines while admiring the latest consumer, luxury and concept cars. Classic cruisers and environmentally friendly vehicles are also on display.

Get your eyes—and ears—ready: the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Juno Tour of Canadian Art opens today, to mark the 40th anniversary of Canada’s music awards. This innovative project pairs great Canadian art—as well as the AGO’s collection of Henry Moore sculptures—with tunes and commentary from Juno-winning musicians.

Saturday: See the seductive Saint Carmen of the Main (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Saturday, February 19
A Greek tragedy gets a Canadian twist in tonight’s performance of the Canadian Stage Company’s St. Carmen of the Main. This unique play Carmen leave Nashville and return to her roots in Montreal, where she sings of the hustlers and whores who attend her nightclub shows and sees those on the fringes of society become the heroes of her songs.

Classical music is always in fashion at Roy Thomson Hall, where the Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents masterworks by Brahms and Dvorak. Estonian conductor Eri Klas and Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman are featured in this evening’s performance.

The National Home Show has set up shop at the Direct Energy Centre. Don’t miss an appearance by interior design expert Debbie Travis today at noon, followed by a book signing. Afterwards, check out many other design and renovation features including a futuristic glass house built by Concept PolyHome.

Sunday: Jesse Cook's flamenco stylings heat us the Rose Theatre in Brampton (photo by Simon Law)

Sunday, February 20
Those who head to Brampton’s Rose Theatre tonight are rewarded with a lively performance by Jesse Cook. The Toronto-based nuevo flamenco guitarist has is renowned for his sensuous picking and strumming, showcased most recently on his Juno-nominated album The Rumba Foundation.

Experience the avant-garde as Los Angeles–based art collective My Barbarian offers its Post-Living Ante-Action Theatre performance at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Starting at 2:30 p.m., the show draws on current events and politics—and references avant-garde theatre collectives of the 1960s—to create an interdisciplinary work of art.

Sway to the sultry sounds of R&B-gospel-jazz vocalist Liz Wright, who performs music from her latest album, Fellowship, at Glenn Gould Studio.

Hot Date: Home Decor and More

FEBRUARY 18 TO 27 Colin and Justin of HGTV’s Home Heist are among the guests at the National Home Show, which offers ideas for pros and do-it-yourselfers alike. Direct Energy Centre, $12 to $16; call 416-644-5400 or visit here for details.

Weekend Roundup, January 7 to 9

Friday: Witness the Duel of Ages at the Next Stage Theatre Festival

The weekend immediately following the revelry of New Year’s is a quiet one for many people. But if you’re still itching to get out, Toronto’s got you covered.

Friday, January 7th
Start your weekend with some drama courtesy of the annual Next Stage Theatre Festival. Tonight’s programming includes a history of personal combat in Duel of Ages and the intriguing whodunit Fairytale Ending.

Treat the family to a visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario. Among its numerous current exhibitions is a collection of four shows united under the title Animal Tales: Beasts, Toys and Fables. These displays feature bright and dynamic images celebrating the magic of visual storytelling, and particularly emphasize the fables of Aesop and the illustrations of Walter Trier.

The Second City has extended performances of its latest hit, Something Wicked Awesome This Way Comes. Act fast to get tickets—you don’t want to miss out on discovering just how awesomely wicked this show really is.

Saturday: Take a spin on the Natrel Rink

Saturday, January 8th
It’s not to early to think about summer—and, particularly, how you’ll spend time on the water. So make your way to the Direct Energy Centre, which hosts the Toronto International Boat Show. Among the expo’s highlights are the world’s largest indoor lake, which features wakeboarding and boat-handling demonstrations.

Step back in time a couple of decades at the Horseshoe Tavern, which celebrates Canadian music of the 1980s as part of the Juno Decades 40th Anniversary Concert Series. Featured artists include Maestro Fresh Wes and Platinum Blonde.

Take a spin around Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink tonight while DJ Medicineman drops a hot mix of global grooves and electro hits. The pulsing music is sure to take the edge off of winter’s chill.

Sunday: See the Ontario Science Centre's mythic beasties for a final time

Sunday, January 9th
Just west of the city, Mississauga’s International Centre hosts the North American International Motorcycle Supershow, featuring more than 500 exhibitors and 1,000 motorcycles. These bikes will excite as you ride on over for seminars, a showbike competition and more.

Whether on foot, by car, or on the back of a beast, be certain to travel to the Ontario Science Centre. Its Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns, and Mermaids exhibition, which explore the mystical world of the mythical creatures, concludes today.

Welcome the Toronto Raptors as they return from the road. Today the National Basketball Association squad—featuring rising stars like Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan—take on the Sacramento Kings.

Hot Date: Environmental Expo

Chef Michael Steh of Reds gives advice on sustainable cuisine at the Green Living Show

APRIL 23 TO 25 Browse more than 400 vendors showcasing environmentally friendly products and services at the Green Living Show. Sample biodynamic wines, test drive fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles, learn from eco-activists presenting on the main stage and watch as farmers and top chefs like Michael Steh (of Reds Bistro) whip up a feast. Exhibition Place, Direct Energy Centre, $8 to $12; call 416-360-0044 or visit here for further details.

Hot Shopping: Meet the Makers

Avril Loreti offers Toronto-landmark napkins at the One of a Kind Show

MARCH 31 TO APRIL 4 For five fantastic days, spring shoppers are invited to indulge acquisitive urges by perusing the wares of more than 450 Canadian artisans at the One of
a Kind Spring Show and Sale. Though housed in a massive exhibition hall, this is no department store shopping excursion: face-to-face interaction with the creators of handcrafted jewellery, clothing, home decor pieces, visual art, toys, organic food items and beauty products adds a personal touch—the makers are often eager to share the stories behind their unique goods. Among the pick-up possibilities are charming hats by This is J, aromatherapy candles from Golden Goose Naturals and napkins with local landmarks by Avril Loreti. Exhibition Place, Direct Energy Centre, $6.50 to $12; call 416-960-4515 or check out this site for more information and tickets.

Hot Date: Perennial Favourite

MARCH 17 TO 21 For those who can’t wait any longer for spring to arrive, Canada Blooms provides a sanctuary in which to worship the season’s stunning colours. Here, budding gardeners and veteran green thumbs alike can take pleasure in more than six acres of landscaped gardens, as well as a 100,000-square-foot marketplace with retailers selling everything from patio furniture to flower and vegetable seeds. Edifying workshops and seminars by Canadian horticultural experts are also offered daily. Direct Energy Centre, $14 to $18; call 416-447-8655 or click here for more information and to purchase tickets.