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Live Green Toronto Festival

Weekend Roundup: July 20 to 22

Friday: Speed-the-Plow satirizes the movie industry (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Friday, July 20
Expect cracking dialogue and fierce satire this evening as Soulpepper Theatre Company performs David Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow. The play examines the lives of two American film producers while dissecting the relationship between art and commerce.

The Toronto Summer Music Festival returned earlier in the week and brought with it a full slate of concerts, master classes and lectures for classical music lovers. Tonight, the acclaimed Borodin Quartet presents Music of Russia, a program of string quartets by Russian composers, including Borodin, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky.

Once again the Harbourfront Centre becomes of a cultural smorgasbord of music, dance, international fare and more as the Hot & Spicy Food Festival occupies the downtown waterfront. The festival kicks it up a notch with exciting competitions like tonight’s Taco Takedown—where you decide which taco reigns supreme—and the annual Iron Chef competition, held over the weekend and concluding Sunday afternoon. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, July 15 to 17

Friday: Hear all manner of music as the Beaches International Jazz Festival begins

Friday, July 15
Kick off your weekend at the 23rd annual Beaches International Jazz Festival, which begins tonight at Woodbine Park. With acts ranging from jazz, blues, calypso and more—legendary Toronto rocker Carole Pope is even part of this evening’s bill—the festival offers ear candy for a wide variety of listeners.

The Colombian Colours Il Diaspora Festival also starts this evening an continues all weekend long. Part of Harbourfront Centre’s summer line-up of cultural celebrations, it features performances by Colombian musicians, dancers and other artists proudly representing their distinct heritage.

Do you have tickets to see Grammy-winning sensation Taylor Swift belt out her hits at the Air Canada Centre? The contemporary country singer’s Speak Now Tour brings one of 2011’s hottest concerts to Toronto for one night only.

Saturday: Sarah Harmer and other artists celebrate Parks Canada's 100th anniversary

Saturday, July 16
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada—the world’s first national park service—with a free festival on Centre Island. Starting at noon, the special Parks Day event showcases the country’s diverse natural heritage, and boasts live performances by musicians including Serena Ryder and Sarah Harmer.

Yonge-Dundas Square also offers an event for the environmentally aware—the Live Green Toronto Festival features hundreds of vendors with eco-friendly products, live music and more.

Sit back and relax with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band at the Molson Canadian Ampitheatre. The “Margaritaville” singer instills a beachy state of mind as part of his Welcome to Fin Land tour.

Sunday: Slurp up some seafood at the Souther Ontario Oyster Festival

Sunday, July 17
Foodies are invited to take part in a truly succulent tasting at the much-anticipated Southern Ontario Oyster Festival hosted by Toronto’s mollusk mecca Rodney’s Oyster House. Attendees can enjoy live music, cheer on the oyster shucking contest, and, of course, indulge in fresh oysters. Tickets are $30 and help benefit the Environmental Defense organization.

Spend your Sunday night with British indie-rock band Gomez as they fill the Phoenix Concert Theatre with their distinctively rootsy sound.

Experience the rich culture of the Asian subcontinent at the 39th annual Festival of India, taking place on the Toronto Islands. This free event, celebrating Toronto’s large Indian community, includes an arts and culture showcase, a South-Asian bazaar, and much more.

Weekend Roundup, August 27 to 29

This last August weekend is jam-packed with activities—make it count!

Friday: See the Rom Shing Hakka Opera at Telus TaiwanFest

Friday, August 27
Canada’s largest fair continues! The Canadian National Exhibition has something for everyone, including rides and games, a working farm, daily parades, celebrity chef demonstrations, live concerts and entertainment, and so much more. See you at The Ex!

Exploring the concept of the “crossover,” this year’s Telus TaiwanFest offers a number of cultural events—both traditional and contemporary—related to the intermingling of Taiwanese, Canadian, Dutch, Japanese and indigenous cultures. Harbourfront Centre is home to this weekend-long festival, featuring dance, theater, fashion, food and live music. Tonight, witness a performance by the Rom Shing Hakka Opera Troupe.

Scotiabank Buskerfest takes over the streets of the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood beginning tonight! Some of the world’s most talented street performers, including members of the renowned Cirque Éloize, are on hand to show off their unique skills. A donation to the Epilepsy Toronto charitable organization is encouraged.

Saturday: Laugh with Graham Harley and the cast of What the Butler Saw (photo by Sian Richards).

Saturday, August 28
Attention all comic book enthusiasts, sci-fi aficionados and anime experts: Fan Expo Canada has arrived. The largest event of its kind in the country features top names in geekdom, plus vendors, panel discussions and more. Don’t miss the Masquerade on Saturday morning, when die-hard fans show off original costumes of their favourite characters!

Enjoy a theatrical night out with a performance of What the Butler Saw, an inappropriately hilarious play on now at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. The witty farce is set in a psychiatrist’s office and is certain to keep the audience guessing which characters are the sane ones.

Cheer on “The Reds” this evening, as Toronto FC squares off against Real Salt Lake, one of Major League Soccer’s top teams. Can Dwayne DeRosario and company sneak into the playoffs with a win tonight? Head to BMO Field to find out!

Sunday: Sunnyside Pavilion hosts an art fair (photo by Imnop88a)

Sunday, August 29
Against all odds, ’90s grunge stalwarts Stone Temple Pilots are back with their first original album in a decade. The Scott Weiland-led rockers are set to riff on their newest tunes and popular classics at the Air Canada Centre.

Yonge and Dundas Square turns green this weekend. The Live Green Toronto Festival brings together more than 100 exhibitors featuring eco-friendly products and services, as well as live music, street performers, a farmer’s market and more.

The Sunnyside Beach Juried Art Show & Sale returns for another year of fine visuals. Hosted within the historic Sunnyside Pavillion on the shores of Lake Ontario, the event features artworks in various media created by emerging artists. Cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award to give your favourite artist the chance to win a cash prize.

Weekend Roundup, August 28 to 30

Friday: See pyrotechnic performers at Buskerfest.

Friday: See pyrotechnic performers at Buskerfest.

Friday, August 28
Try making Chia-A-Noodle, a dish going back to the days of a mostly poor, agricultural Taiwanese society, at Taiwanfest. While slurping up your fresh-made noodles, take in art exhibitions, fashion, music, demonstrations and films at two festival venues: Harbourfront Centre and the Distillery Historic District.

Ooh and ahh as Dream State Circus, The Fast Horses, Trulee Odd, PyRomeo and Circus Orange light it up in a nighttime fire show, the “hottest” gala performance at the 10th annual BuskerFest in Old Town Toronto.

Lose yourself in your thoughts while walking the Toronto Public Labyrinth in Trinity Square (between Queen and Dundas streets, entrance off Bay Street), an oasis of peace in the heart of the bustling city.

Saturday: The historic Sunnyside Pavilion hosts an art show.

Saturday: The historic Sunnyside Pavilion hosts an art show.

Saturday, August 29
Taste specialties of African cuisine at the Toronto African Film & Music Festival marketplace on Bloor Street, between Ossington and Christie Streets.

Get ready for dark humour as Soulpepper Theatre Company opens Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? Edward Albee’s 1962 boundary-crossing masterpiece provides an honest glimpse into married life at the time.

View paintings, photography, sculptures and fashion (and meet the artists!) showcased in the annual Sunnyside Beach Juried Art Show & Sale at the historic Sunnyside Pavillion.

Sunday: Hear music at Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Sunday: Hear music at Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Sunday, August 30
Make yourself comfortable amongst the graves and gardens at Mount Pleasant Cemetery for its Music at Mount Pleasant series. Today, a Royal Conservatory of Music brass quintet performs Bach and other classical works.

Take a walking tour of the city’s most eco-friendly sites and spaces as part of the Live Green Toronto Festival. Be sure to return to the festival hub at at Yonge-Dundas Square to check out over 100 green exhibitors and hear live music by The Philosopher Kings, Samba Squad, Carly Rae Jepsen and more.

Blow bubbles in the streets at today’s air-themed Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market. With cars banned for the day, it’s easy to experience the multicultural neighbourhood’s many charms.