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Douglas Coupland

Weekend Roundup: November 16 to 18

The Gourmet Food and Wine Expo is an epicurean’s dream

Friday, November 16
Nothing warms a cold November day quite like good food and a stiff drink. With more than 1,500 wines, beers and spirits to sample, as well as a selection of gourmet food tastings from Toronto’s top chefs, the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo delivers. The weekend-long event offers access to top winemakers and craft brewers, cooking demos, tasting workshops and much more.

The Design Exchange relaunches as “Canada’s Design Museum” while celebrating the work of cultural “game changer” Douglas Coupland tonight at DX Intersection, its annual fundraiser. Multiple DJs, performers and a silent auction of artist-reimagined Ikea products provide entertainment, while the Food Dudes food truck keeps mouths and stomachs full well into the night.

The Royal Ontario Museum’s Friday Night Live event series brings you good eats, good tunes, and, tonight, a screening of the 1972 Summit Series hockey final in honour of the 40th anniversary of this legendary game. Bite into a sandwich care of Fidel Gastro’s Matt Basile or savour delicious treats by Waffle Bar’s Valerie Bain while you toast the T-Rex skeleton to your left. Don’t miss this chance to enjoy the hockey action you’ve been missing, all while exploring the ROM’s hallowed halls after hours.

The Cavalcade of Lights kicks off the holiday season with music and more

Saturday, November 17
Ring in the holiday season with Toronto’s annual Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Phillips Square. Dragonette and Suzie McNeil are just two of the performers who will grace the stage as City Hall is illuminated and fireworks mark the lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas tree.

Festivities for the 100th Grey Cup have also taken over Nathan Phillips Square. The event’s Adrenaline Zone dares you to take a leap with North America’s tallest urban zip line while Yonge-Dundas Square’s Nissan Family Zone gives you an opportunity to teach your little one how to throw a ball. Later, gather everyone together and check out a screening of Jerry McGuire at the Rushes Football Film Festival at Scotiabank Theatre. How’s that for a touchdown celebration?

To locals, a trip on the 501 Queen streetcar can sometimes feel unbearably long. But for visitors, a trip on North America’s longest surface public transit route is a great way to see the city. Today it’s also a great way to get some grub. Sign up for Foodies On Foot’s Streetcar Food Tour, a six-neighbourhood restaurant-hopping taste-a-thon that’s will help you travel the path from Toronto-dining neophyte to expert in just one night.

Santa makes his triumphant return to downtown Toronto (photo: Gabriel Perez)

Sunday, November 18
Bundle up the kids and head on down to the Santa Claus Parade for an afternoon of elves, upside-down clowns, marching bands, floats and more. Be on the lookout for a Grey Cup float with a four-metre replica of the trophy and Mike “Pinball” Clemons at the helm, as well as a One Direction float inspired by the popular British Boy Band.

Christmas comes early for the canine in your life with Winter Woofstock at the Direct Energy Centre. Lavish your pooch with fashion, food, furnishings and accessories and get their picture taken with Santa. Dog pageants, races and a dating soirees are just some of the fun events that are sure to keep tails wagging.

Matinee and evening shows today offer one last chance to catch the pre-Broadway run of Jekyll and Hyde. The intriguing and dark story of a man fighting multiple identities stars former American Idol contestant Constantine Maroulis and R&B diva Deborah Cox, who deliver performances that are not to be missed.

Hot Art: Nuit Blanche’s All-Night Viewing Party

All Night Convenience is among the interactive displays at this year’s Nuit Blanche

SEPTEMBER 29  Artistic inspiration isn’t subject to the whims of a nine-to-five schedule. It occurs at any time and in any place. During Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, creativity happens overnight, as thousands of residents and visitors descend with the sun to engage with more than 40 commissioned art installations in and around the Entertainment District, City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square, Ryerson University and the intersection of King and Church streets. (An additional 100 independent projects will be displayed across the city.) Among the most intriguing of these dusk-to-dawn displays are All Night Convenience, a 300-square-foot “store” created by Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky that grows darker as patrons carry away its illuminated retail goods, and Museum of the Rapture by Douglas Coupland, which explores the separation of mind and body through a labyrinth of signs and living tableaux in an underground parking lot. Begins at 7 p.m., free admission; click here for more information.

Hot Art: Symbolically Canadian at the Textile Museum

Grant Heaps’ Stag

MAY 23 TO SEPTEMBER 30 The icons of our country have long been ingrained in its citizens through the arts. You’ll see that first-hand in the latest exhibition at the Textile Museum of Canada, which presents functional and artistic quilts, mats and other household articles that comprise a compendium-in-cloth of our national history, community traditions and personal connections to the land we live in. Augmenting the display, dubbed Dreamland: Textiles and the Canadian Landscape, are diverse works by 10 contemporary artists, including Douglas Coupland, Michael Snow, Barbara Todd and Grant Heaps—whose Stag wall hanging, we think you’ll agree, could only have been made by a Canadian.

Staff Picks: 10 Monuments for Paying Respect

Remembrance Day approaches on November 11. Whether on that day or any other, if you find yourself nearby one of Toronto’s many memorial sites, stop for a moment to honour those veterans who’ve served our country in times of war and peace.

The Canadian Airman's Memorial has a prominent place along University Avenue (photo by Ian Muttoo)

48th Highlanders Regimental Memorial
This monument was erected in honour of those who served in World Wars I and II. The tower-like granite memorial is adorned with inscribed bronze plaques and stands at the top of Queen’s Park Crescent (just north of another striking statue—that of a mounted King Edward VII).

Canadian Airman’s Memorial
A soaring monument of bronze and marble—designed in 1984 by Croatian-British sculptor Oscar Nemon—features a stylized figure reaching skyward and pays tribute to the airmen who fought for our freedom. Located at University Avenue and Dundas Street, the sculpture is titled Per Ardua ad Astra (“Through adversity to the stars”) after the motto of the Royal Air Force.

Fort York National Historic Site
The entirety of this historic site is a monument to a significant event in Canadian nation-building—the War of 1812. Built by the British in the late 18th century, it was the site of major battles and is home to the country’s largest collection of original War of 1812-era structures. Fort York is open year-round for tours and general sightseeing. 100 Garrison Rd., 416-392-6907.

Monument to the War of 1812
Well-known author and contemporary artist Douglas Coupland created this modern interpretation of a war memorial, featuring two large toy soldiers characterizing the combatants in the War of 1812 (a gold soldier representing Canada stands, while the silver American soldier lies fallen.) The statue is situated at Lake Shore Boulevard and Fleet Street, just south of Fort York.

Old City Hall Cenotaph
Situated in front of the steps at Old City Hall at Queen and Bay streets, this cenotaph pays tribute to all soldiers who have lost their lives while serving for Canada—“Our glorious dead,” as the monument names them. Due to of its central location, this site is also used for Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11.

Sons of England War Memorial
Commissioned by the Toronto Sons of England, the memorial was fashioned by Charles Adamson, a Scot who served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in World War I. Hundreds of WWI soldiers’ names are engraved on the outside of the memorial, paying tribute to the fallen at University Avenue and Elm Street.

South African War Memorial
Toronto-born sculptor Walter Seymour Allward designed this monument in 1910. (He would later create the iconic Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France.) Honouring Canadians who fought for the British Empire during the Boer War, the memorial at University Avenue and Queen Street consists of bronze figures seated at the base of a granite column.

War of 1812 Memorial
The British Army and Navy Veterans erected this unassuming memorial (another by Walter Seymour Allward) in 1906 to recognize the defense of York and Upper Canada’s Western Front. It sits in a quiet parkette at Portland and Niagara streets.

William Barker memorial at Mount Pleasant Cemetery
A WWI flying ace—he shot down 50 enemy planes—William Barker, was one of Canada’s most decorated war heroes, yet his memory was nearly lost to history. Fortunately a long overdue memorial plaque was unveiled near his final resting place at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. 375 Mount Pleasant Rd., 416-485-9129

World War II Memorial at Osgoode Hall
This WWII memorial sits in the rotunda of Osgoode Hall (at Queen Street and University Avenue), home to the Law Society of Upper Canada. A large bronze woman holds a baby symbolizing hope and a new beginning.

Contact Photo: Daily View #15

The Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival—the world’s largest festival dedicated to the display and discussion of the photographic arts—returns to Toronto this month. There are more than 225 exhibitions to see between May 1 and 31; each day Where Toronto offers a peek at one of them.

Today’s Pick:

Artist: Maria Gadonneix
Title: Mire #8, from the series Remote Control (courtesy of the artist and Gallery Esther Woerdehoff, Paris)

See It @ the University of Toronto Art Centre’s primary Contact exhibtion, “The Brothel Without Walls,” featuring images by Gadonneix, Douglas Coupland, Christopher Wahl and numerous other photographers, May 1 to 31.

For more on this exhibition, click here.