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Rogers Centre

Hot Date: Disney’s Coolest Cartoons

DECEMBER 23 TO JANUARY 1 Celebrate some of your favourite animated films with Disney on Ice’s 100 Years of Magic. The skating show features Mickey Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, Nemo and more than 60 other characters in re-creations of memorable Disney movie moments. Rogers Centre, $15 to $90; call 1-855-985-5000 or visit here for showtimes and tickets.

Weekend Roundup, October 28 to 30

Friday: Contemporary art overwhelms the historic Gladstone Hotel (photo by Samuel Bietenholz)

Friday, October 28
Immerse yourself in everything artistic at the Toronto International Art Fair, a.k.a. Art Toronto. See Andy Warhol’s 1979 BMW Art Car, a new site-specific installation by Kent Monkman, plus numerous other exhibiting galleries, presentations and discussions with artists, curators, and collectors. The show runs through to Monday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Introduce yourself to dozens of new musical and theatrical acts at the Global Cabaret Festival, a weekend-long event at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts that celebrates songs, stories, and ideas with 150 musicians taking part in 44 performances.

Explore the sometimes-chaotic interactions between nature and culture at upArt, the Gladstone Hotel’s annual contemporary art fair. The exhibition runs throughout the weekend with works by local, national, and international artists and collectives.

Saturday: OCADU Celebrates its 135 Anniversary (photo by Thomas Hawk)

Saturday, October 29
Swing by Lavish&Squalor today as the shop opens its new antiques and vintage objets d’art section, and commemorates the occasion with a store-wide sale. Cocktails, snacks and live music round out your shopping experience.

Happy 135th Birthday, OCAD University! The highly regarded school of art and design invites you to join its anniversary festivities, which today include an open house, digital game-making event and an exhibition of acclaimed works by OCADU community members.

Bright colours, spectacular dances and a musical extravaganza reveal India’s cultural diversity in Bharati, the Wonder That is India. Dancers, actors, singers, acrobats, musicians and martial artists are all part of the show at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Sunday: Roy Thomson Hall welcomes The Wizard of Oz

Sunday, October 30
Take the whole family down the yellow brick road, which, strangely enough, leads to Roy Thomson Hall and Oz with Orchestra. Watch the classic film The Wizard of Oz on a giant screen with live accompaniment provided by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

The NFL moves north of the border (for a day) with the Bills in Toronto Series coming to the Rogers Centre. The Buffalo Bills look to keep their winning season going as they take on the Washington Redskins.

Rare books, maps, prints, and manuscripts from around the world are on display at the Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair. Peruse limited edition, signed volumes, and unusual books of all kinds at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

But wait! There’s More!
As it happens, there are a slew of Halloween-centric activities happening this weekend around the city, too. Check out those bloodcurdling events here. If you dare.

Weekend Roundup, October 14 to 16

Friday: Cheer on the Argos as the seek to stop the Stampeders (photo by John Steadman)

Friday, October 14
Watch Chad Owens as he tries to become the first player in pro football history to rack up 3,000 combined yards in back-to-back seasons when the Toronto Argonauts take on the Calgary Stampeders at the Rogers Centre.

Hear the sweet stringed sounds of Sinfonia Toronto at their first Masterpiece Concert of the new season at the Glenn Gould Studio. The virtuoso chamber orchestra welcomes pianist Davis Jalbert and trumpeter Guy Few for the show.

Tiptoe around corpses, feel the blood on the walls of a darkened maze, and outrun movie slashers come to life! Screemers, the indoor haunted scream park, takes over the Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Place. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, September 16 to 18

Friday: Paul Gross and Kim Cattrall debut in Noël Coward's Private Lives

Friday, September 16
Kim Cattrall and Paul Gross trade the silver screen for the big stage in the Toronto engagement of Private Lives. This straight-from-London production of Noël Coward’s comedy classic opens tonight at the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

Discover Ukrainian culture at the Toronto Ukrainian Festival. The event kicks off tonight and runs all weekend in Bloor West Village. Watch dancers and musicians, taste authentic Ukrainian food and drinks, and shop the sidewalk sale.

Cheer on slugger Jose Bautista, rising star Brett Lawrie, and the rest of the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, as they open a three-game  series against the New York Yankees (and look to spoil the Bronx Bombers’ hopes of another division title).

Saturday: Celebrate the season at Black Creek Pioneer Village

Saturday, September 17
Press some cider, bid on handmade quilts, and take a horse-drawn wagon ride at the 55th Pioneer Festival at Black Creek Pioneer Village. This year’s event celebrates local food and the history of the harvest with fresh-baked pies and a team of volunteers producing 1,000 pounds of sausage throughout the day.

Don your red threads and head over to BMO Field for some Major League Soccer action. See if Torsten Frings and Julian de Guzman can lead Toronto FC to victory against the visiting Colorado Rapids.

Listen to the folk-rock melodies of Wilco at Massey Hall. The Chicago-based band is following up on its 2009 Grammy-nominated, self-titled record with the release of its eighth studio album, The Whole Love, due out later this month.

Sunday: Cheer on the thousands of runners keeping Terry Fox's dream alive (photo by Logantech)

Sunday, September 18
Carry on the legacy and spirit of national hero and support cancer research. Running, walking, and cycling paths of various lengths will be set up at Terry Fox Run sites around the city.

Celebrate “Hangawi,” also known as the Korean Thanksgiving at the Korean Harvest Festival. Concerts, a Korean culture show, and a singing competition are all part of the festivities taking place at Mel Lastman Square in North Toronto.

Polka your way over to Roncesvalles Village for the Roncesvalles Polish Festival. Experience the heritage, art, music, and food of Poland, along with a soccer tournament, and film screenings at the Revue cinema.

Weekend Roundup, July 22 to 24

Friday: Les Ballets Persans perform at the Tigran Iranian Festival

Friday, July 22

Get a taste of exotic art, culture and entertainment at the Harbourfront Centre this weekend with the Tigran Iranian Festival. Explore the concept of “Visions of Eternity” through the work of participating artists and writers, and take in live music from the Paradis Orchestra, Rana Farhan, and the Iranian National Choir.

Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival is more than just a parade—celebrate the salacious sights, sounds and flavours of the Caribbean with an elegant night at the event’s Gala. Dress your best for a night of masquerade models, music and exotic food at the elegant Liberty Grand.

“Do It Again” while “Reelin’ In The Years” when Steely Dan hits the stage at the Molson Amphitheater. The American jazz band still has a commanding stage presence with a slew of hits to play, including “My Old School” and “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”.

Saturday: The Blue Men Group strike up a charging show at the Princess of Wales Theatre

Saturday, July 23

They’re shocking, comedic, and blue—catch the Blue Man Group when they electrify the Princess of Wales Theatre tonight. The multi-media performance with the bald blue men is centered on a large LED curtain and high-resolution screen for a unique theatrical performance.

After starting their regular season on the road, the Toronto Argonauts finally return to the Rogers Centre for their first game of the season. Cheer on the Boatmen as they take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers looking for a win in front of a home crowd.

Cool down with the sound of the soothing melodies of the Forgotten Romantics at Walter Hall as the Toronto Summer Music Festival continues. The Vienna Piano Trio teams up with Canada’s leading chamber musicians to perform The Suite by Moszkowski, the masterful sextet by Louis Spohr, and the piano quintet by Karl Goldmark.

Sunday: Celebrate The Wiggles' 20th Birthday at Ricoh Colliseum (Photo courtesy of Ben Pharr)

Sunday, July 24

Wiggle on down to the Ricoh Colliseum to join in on The Wiggles’ Big Birthday Tour. The 20th birthday celebration will be packed with action including the four Wiggles, Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, and Wags the Dog.

Celebrate over 500 artists at Yonge-Dundas Square this Sunday for a day filled with high-spirited performances and art on display for Youth Day 2011. The square will be filled with inspiring music, dance, art, photography, food, and vendors to keep you entertained all day long.

The Big On Bloor Street festival continues on Sunday with stores along the Dufferin and Lansdowne stretch offering special in-store events, sales and menus. Have a taste of the diverse art, culture, and food that this neighbourhood has to offer.

Hot Date: U2 Plays for T.O.

JULY 11 Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr.—collectively known, of course, as U2—return to wow an audience of over 50,000 with classics like “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Beautiful Day.” Rogers Centre, 7 p.m., $32 to $252; call 1-855-985-5000 or navigate here to buy.

Hot Date: The Indian Oscars

Nominated actress Kareena Kapoor

JUNE 25 Toronto rolls out the red carpet as the International Indian Film Academy Awards come to North America for the first time, after previously wowing audiences in London, Amsterdam and Dubai. Last year’s prestigious ceremony was broadcast to millions of Bollywood film fans around the globe; the Toronto gala is expected to draw a similarly large number of spectators to see the colourful, energetic song-and-dance performances and find out which Indian superstars—including nominees Kareena Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan—will take home the gold. Rogers Centre, 7 p.m., $49 to $150; call 416-341-1234
or click here for more information.

Hot Art: Picturing Bollywood Flicks

An advertisement for the 1972 film Garam-Masala

JUNE 11 TO OCTOBER 2 Bollywood glamour dresses up Toronto in more ways that one this month. Not only will the International Indian Film Academy Awards be handed out on June 25 at the Rogers Centre, but the Royal Ontario Museum also gets into the act with an intriguing display of Hindi cinema “showcards” from the 1950s to ‘80s. A chronological selection of more than 100 of these hand-painted photo collage–style advertisements for vintage movies like Garam-Masala, the exhibition is a glimpse into more than just Mumbai’s over-the-top film industry. It also shines the spotlight on the evolution of graphic design and marketing in modern South Asia.

Hot Date: UFC’s Knockout Spectacle

Head to the Rogers Centre for UFC 129

APRIL 30 Mixed martial arts has a strong following in Canada, so it’s no surprise that UFC 129 in Toronto is expected to be the largest event in the history of Ultimate Fighting Championship. The partisan crowd is sure to cheer as Montreal native and welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre steps in the octagon for a marquee bout against Jake Shields. And before that, Ontario’s own Mark “The Machine” Hominick trades blows with Jose Aldo for the featherweight title. Rogers Centre, 6 p.m., $50 to $800; call 1-855-985-5000 to buy.

Weekend Roundup, April 22nd to 24th

Friday: See Measha Brueggergosman in La Clemenza di Tito (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Friday, April 22
Opening tonight at the Elgin Theatre, Opera Atelier‘s production of La Clemenza di Tito features star soprano Measha Brueggergosman, male soprano Michael Maniaci and dramatic tenor Kresimir Spicer. Known as Mozart’s “most perfect work,” this opera has everything, from unrequited love to assassination plots.

In celebration of Good Friday, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir performs “Sacred Music for a Sacred Space” at St. Paul’s Basilica this evening. The concert features sacred works by renowned Canadian choral composer, Healey Willan.

All weekend long, Easter EGGstravaganza: Toronto’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt takes place on Centre Island. From 11 a.m.  to 5 p.m., children and families can join in the Easter Bunny for activities and games like basket-making, bouncy castles, face painting, egg painting, a petting zoo and Centreville rides.

Saturday: Get a scare at Ghost Stories (photo courtesy of Mirvish Productions)

Saturday, April 23
Halloween isn’t for another six months, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeing Ghost Stories at the Panasonic Theatre. Not for the faint of heart, this is a thrilling, live horror show best suited for audiences 14 years of age or older. Are you brave enough?

Head out of the city for a day trip to Stratford, Ontario and catch the first of the Stratford Festival’s plays for the upcoming season. Previewing this weekend are Grapes of Wrath, based on the novel by John Steinbeck, and Camelot, the renowned musical about the King Arthur and his questing knights.

Free Earth Day Celebrations take place at Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre, from noon to 4 p.m. today. Children and families are invited to learn what they can do to help the planet, create environmentally friendly artwork, tour the wildflower preserve, and learn about the impact of industrialization on the Don Valley’s natural landscape.

Sunday: Cheer on Adam Lind and the rest of the Blue Jays

Sunday, April 24
Catch the last of a three-game tilt between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at the Rogers Centre on Sunday at 1 p.m. Before filling up on cracker jacks and hot dogs, go for a casual Easter Sunday brunch at Cora Breakfast & Lunch, just steps away from the stadium.

For something a little fancier, Casa Loma hosts its annual Easter Sunday Royal Brunch, with a smorgasbord including pastries, leg of lamb, salad, pancakes and waffles, pasta, seafood and dessert. There’s even a children’s buffet. Kids can also take part in the “Egg”-citing Hunt on at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.

Don’t miss your last chance to see In Search of Normal Rockwell’s America, which concludes its run at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection on April 25. This collection juxtaposes Rockwell’s work with that of photojournalist Kevin Rivoli, both telling the story of “everyday life.”

Weekend Roundup, April 8th to 10th

Friday: Marvel at the Harlem Globetrotters' amazing basketball skills

Friday, April 8
For more than 84 years, the Harlem Globetrotters have dazzled fans of sports and showmanship around the world, even presidents and popes. This weekend, they’re dusting off their best moves for three shows at the Rogers Centre: tonight at 7:30 p.m., and tomorrow (April 9) at 2 and 7 p.m.

Kicking off another spring is the Total Health Convention and Exhibition, taking place this weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and featuring more than 200 exhibitors. Attendees can also hear from 60-plus speakers on topics like “The Ancient Healing Art of Ayurvedic” or “Health Effects of Genetically Modified Foods.” Don’t miss the gourmet organic café or the spa oasis!

Learn about and celebrate the traditions of First Nations peoples at Survival of the Indigenous Spirit. The fundraiser will take place at the University of Toronto’s Innis Town Hall offers talks by Anishnabe spiritual leader Dave Courchene and Survivorman Les Stroud. Proceeds support the Vision Quest & Makoose Ka Win project.

Saturday: Kids will enjoy seeing Bugs "conduct" the orchestra

Saturday, April 9
Bring the kids to a classical concert they may actually enjoy, as the Sony Centre and Warner Bros. presents Bugs Bunny at the Symphony. Two showings (at 2 and 7 p.m.) feature the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony performing live while Bugs Bunny at the Symphony and other classic cartoons are projected on the big screen.

Massey Hall welcomes a Canadian music legend tonight, as iconic singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn plays songs from his latest studio album, Small Source of Comfort, and, possibly such past hits as “Lovers in a Dangerous Time.”

Starting today, Veggielicious takes place at more than 20 restaurants and bakeries across Toronto. Specials on vegan dishes or prix fixe menus are on offer at establishments such as Bunner’s Bake Shop—where you can get a Veggielicious Snack Pack for $7.50—and Live Organic Food Bar, where for $25 you can experience a three-course 100 per cent vegan meal.

Sunday: Colborne Lodge offers family Fun (photo by Bobolink)

Sunday, April 10
Get a head start on all the family fun at Easter Traditions at Colborne Lodge, taking place from noon to 4 p.m. Kids and families can tour High Park’s historic Colborne Lodge while they learn and participate in 19th-century Easter traditions like dyeing and hunting for eggs.

For old and young alike, stamp collectors will enjoy spending the day at the National Postage Stamp Show at Exhibition Place’s Queen Elizabeth Building. Check out the North Toronto Stamp Club’s annual show, meet with dealers from across Canada, the United Kingdom, and the U.S., and participate in prize draws.

Three exciting Asian-inspired exhibitions beckon visitors to the Textile Museum of Canada: Beauty Born of Use: Natural Rainwear from China and Japan showcases the historical use of natural elements like straw, bark, vines, and seaweed to create waterproof and eco-friendly clothing; artist Kai Chan’s A Spider’s Logic brings together common household items reminiscent of his Chinese upbringing to create nature-inspired elements; and, new to the museum, Silk Oasis on the Silk Road: Bukhara displays a collection of ikats and silks from Central Asia’s textile- and history-rich Silk Road.

Hot Date: Blue Jays Play Ball!

Jose Bautista

OPENS APRIL 1 Cautious optimism reigns as the Toronto Blue Jays kick off their Major League Baseball season at home against the Minnesota Twins. The team continues to nurture a number of rising stars—at press time, hard-hitting catcher J.P. Arencibia and pitcher Kyle Drabek were among the promising young talents hoping to crack the lineup—in hopes of being contenders in the difficult East Division. Returning players like southpaw hurler Ricky Romero and home run king Jose Bautista no doubt wish for a strong start, too. They’ll be tested as the month goes on against the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and others. Rogers Centre, $14 to $73; call 416-341-1234 or navigate here for tickets and times.