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Planet in Focus

Weekend Roundup, October 15 to 17

Scream, laugh, marvel and applaud! There are many performances to see this weekend!

Friday: Applaud for Aida (photo by Michael Cooper)

Friday, October 15
Be afraid, be very afraid; The Halloween tradition Screemers returns to Exhibition Place! With  terrifying attractions like the Haunted House and Maniac Maze—plus a licensed Vampire Lounge—even the bravest are sure to feel chills!

The Canadian Opera Company’s Aida continues to engage audiences at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. This new production of Verdi’s masterpiece tells the tale of forbidden love between an Egyptian king and an Ethiopian slave, as war and a jealous Egyptian princess tear the two apart. In the title role, soprano Sondra Radvanovsky gives a stunning performance.

Don’t miss Out of Context—For Pina—after garnering rave reviews in Europe, this innovative contemporary dance production makes its Toronto debut at Harbourfront Centre. Choreographer Alain Platel uses body language to communicate emotion; the result is raw and deeply moving.

Saturday: Be moved by Joseph Ziegler in Death of a Salesman (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Saturday, October 16
Head to the Drake Hotel for its annual Fall Market! With unique vintage items, handmade knitwear, fresh flowers, baked goods and free gifts, there’s definitely something for everyone.

The Planet in Focus International Environmental Film and Video Festival continues through the weekend, with a slate of films that strive to enlighten audiences about eco-issues and encourage discussion on the state of the environment. Catch such anticipated films as Land of Destiny in various theatres across the city.

Arthur Miller’s classic play Death of a Salesman opens tonight at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Talented Soulpepper Theatre founders Joseph Ziegler and Nancy Palk take to the stage as Willy and Linda Loman. Don’t miss this production of this masterpiece of America theatre!

Sunday: Find a brunch-time seat at the Roosevelt Room

Sunday, October 17
Gather at the Roosevelt Room this morning for “The Breakfast Club,” the swanky venue’s monthly brunch party! Featuring a filling prix fixe menu, beats by DJ Jacques Dumas and plenty of champagne to go around, it’s breakfast done decadently right.

Yuk it up at the Best of Canadian Comedy Awards, part of the Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival! See top Canadian comedians like Mary Walsh, Colin Mochrie, Members of the Royal Canadian Air Farce and more perform at the beautiful Winter Garden Theatre.

It’s your last chance to see the Textile Museum of Canada’s intriguing Person Place Thing exhibition. The works of three contemporary textile artists test the boundaries of their medium: Lia Cook examines faces in her large weavings, David R. Harper embroiders portraits on animal skins, and Stephen Schofield creates huge patchwork figures.

Hot Date: Ecological Lens

Margaret Atwood is the subject of Ron Mann's film, In the Wake of the Flood

OCTOBER 13 TO 17 The leaves may be changing colours, but we can still think green. This month, the Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival returns to Toronto to showcase the rapid emergence of ecologically conscious cinema. Opening the festival is Ron Mann’s much-anticipated In the Wake of the Flood, which chronicles a unique book tour undertaken by Margaret Atwood to promote her enviro-apocalypse novel The Year of the Flood. Approximately 90 other films and documentaries are on view, including Liz Marshall’s Water on the Table, bringing environmental issues to the big screen. Various venues and times, tickets $15 to $22; call 416-968-3456 or visit here for further details.

Weekend Roundup, October 23rd to 25th

This weekend is packed with plenty of opportunities to celebrate the city!

Friday: Catch a screening at the Planet in Focus Film Festival.

Friday: Catch a Planet in Focus film festival screening.

Friday, October 23rd
At the Planet in Focus film festival, become a Toronto architecture maven by watching Time—a four-minute time-lapse video of the city’s building-design history—and Toronto2020, about the vision of Hogtown 10 years from now.

Indulge in chocolate drinks, fountains, desserts and other chocolate-infused foods at The Chocolate Ball, the gala event of Chocolate Fest.

Gasp in horror as a train of cheery passengers goes off the rails in Runaway, a short in the Animation Feast screening for the National Film Board’s Get Animated!, a series of animation films, workshops and activities that launches today.

Saturday: Relive a revolution through song with Rock 'n' Roll.

Saturday: Relive a revolution through song with Rock 'n' Roll.

Saturday, October 24th

Catch the Canadian Stage Company’s final performance of Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘n’ Roll to see how the music of Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and their ilk influenced the crumbling of communism in Czechoslovakia.

Carve a pumpkin, hunt for treasure and collect treats at the family-friendly Halloween Festival in Bloor West Village.

Tie colourful streamers in your hair and join gigantic puppets, fire spinners, stilt walkers and other revelry-makers in Clay & Paper Theatre‘s Day of Dread parade, inspired by traditional death festivals around the world.

Sunday: View this untitled Geoffrey Pugen image at Angell Gallery's TIAF booth, then visit dozens of other participating galleries.

Sunday: View this untitled Geoffrey Pugen image at Angell Gallery's TIAF booth, then visit dozens of other participating galleries.

Sunday, October 25th
Browse through unretouched prints by “anti-Photoshop photographer” ilexi at popular independent fashion and art market Portobello East.

Walk with river enthusiasts dressed in blue to create a Human River along the route Garrison Creek, a lost waterway that long ago flowed through Toronto and helped define its landscape.

Peruse contemporary works from Stephen Bulger Gallery, Angell Gallery, Ingram Gallery and other renowned showrooms at this city’s annual one-stop art shop—the Toronto International Art Fair.

October Editor’s Picks: Entertainment

Fall Home ShowOCTOBER 1 TO 4 Just because you’re travelling doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally think about home. It’s easy to do this month at the Fall Home Show, which showcases home-improvement products and services from more than 300 retailers, all under one huge roof. And if you’re in need of project ideas and tips, a slew of experts are on-hand to discuss the latest and greatest innovations—from technology solutions, to helpful hints for holiday entertaining offered by top Ontario chefs, beverage experts and event planners. Exhibition Place, Better Living Centre, general admission $13; click here or call 416-644-5400 for more information.

10-09-HotEnt(PlanetFocus2)OCTOBER 21 TO 25 Now that the glitz of September’s Toronto International Film Festival is behind us, it’s time to shift attention back to real issues. Planet in Focus does just that with more than 70 of the finest Canadian and international environmental films and documentaries. To mark its 10th anniversary, the festival spotlights works that look forward a decade in the future and examine the challenges—and potential solutions—that lie ahead. Of course, the medium of moviemaking is meant not only to stimulate, but to educate. In keeping with that mandate, pre- and post-film discussions and workshops are offered with many screenings. Various venues, $10 per film or $100 for a festival pass; call 416-531-4689 for tickets.

David GrayOCTOBER 26 One of Toronto’s most venerable concert halls echoes with earnestly strummed guitars, electronic samples and cathartic melodies, as British folk-rocker David Gray ambles into town to promote his latest album, Draw the Line. The affable troubadour boasts a repertoire of commercial chart-toppers (“Babylon” and “Please Forgive Me” propelled his 1999 record, White Ladder, to more than 12 million in sales worldwide) as well as those lesser-known tracks that hold special significance to his fervent fans. Arrive early for opener Lisa Hannigan—the willowy singer-songwriter was recently nominated for Britain’s prestigious Mercury Prize. Massey Hall, $54.50 to $64.50; call 416-870-8000 or visit Ticketmaster to purchase.