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Royal Ontario Museum

Big Things are on Display at the ROM

By EVA VOINIGESCU

Earlier this week we told you about the Royal Ontario Museum‘s massive new exhibition. Literally titled “Big,” the show—opening November 3—draws from the ROM’s permanent collection of 50,000 textiles and costumes to demonstrate the huge impact that simple cloth can have. Dozens of historically important artifacts were chosen for their relations to big fashion (such as couture by John Galliano for Dior, Yves St. Laurent and Alexander McQueen), big events (textile innovations that inspired the Industrial Revolution), big messages and much more. Check out the gallery below to get a glimpse of some of the ROM’s most prominent pieces, then visit the museum to see for yourself how big they really are.

All images courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum

Hot Art: Bigger is Better at the ROM’s Textile and Costume Gallery

André Édouard Marty’s La Vie en grand air wall hanging (photo: Royal Ontario Museum)

STARTS NOVEMBER 3  The Royal Ontario Museum dips into its enormous collection of artifacts to bring a “big” new display to its Patricia Harris Gallery of Costume and Textiles. Uniting pieces from across time and around the globe, the exhibition features among its many eye-catching visuals a Christian Dior coat-dress that took more than 500 hours to produce, and a 1925 woodblock-printed wall hanging (pictured above) that beautifully emulates the style of historic woven tapestries. In all, it comprises a major showcase of large sizes, huge events, massive scope and grand-scale innovation.  —Eva Voinigescu

Hot Art: Discover New Dinos at the ROM

Murals by Julius Csotonyi add a colourful dimension to the ROM's Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibition

OPENS JUNE 23 Admit it: at some point in your childhood you were fascinated by dinosaurs. Perhaps you even fancied yourself an expert, having stared at so many tyrannosaurs, triceratops and velociraptors. The Royal Ontario Museum, however, thinks it’s a safe bet that you’ve never seen anything like the terrible lizards in Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants from Gondwana. This world-premiere exhibition, created by the ROM and its associate curator of vertebrate palaeontology, David Evans, reveals bizarre beasts that evolved on the prehistoric supercontinent comprising South America, Africa and Madagascar. Featuring fossils, bones, and 17 full-scale skeletal casts displayed against environmental murals and enhanced by augmented reality technology, the exhibition is an exciting introduction to the likes of the 110-foot-long Futalognkosaurus, the fearsome Giganotosaurus, the crocodilian Suchomimus and many others.

Hot Art: Deborah Samuel Gets Down to the Bone

Deborah Samuel's Barred Owl I

TO JULY 2 Science and art converge at the Royal Ontario Museum, which this month offers an intimate look at life and death courtesy of Deborah Samuel. For her Contact Festival feature exhibition, entitled Elegy, the photographic artist scanned the skeletons of birds reptiles and other animals to create poetically minimal, x-ray-like images. Reminiscent of photos in an anatomy textbook, Samuel’s works seem to offer an objective, unmediated look at their subjects. And yet, the pieces transcend simple documentation, inviting the viewer to contemplate each specimen’s fate, and the fragility of our own existence.

Weekend Roundup: April 6 to 8

Friday: See Hudson the polar bear, then enjoy some Easter-themed family fun (photo courtesy of the Toronto Zoo)

Friday, April 6
Treat the kids this long weekend with a trip to the Toronto Zoo. In addition to admiring animals from around the world, including a brand new baby polar bear named Hudson, kids can take part in the annual Easter Egg-Stravaganza, which offers a lineup of fun activities as well as the Beary-Bunny Easter Parade at noon and 2 p.m.

Hilarious comedy troupe The National Theatre of the World brings back its side-splitting Carnegie Hall Show to The Second City. The award-winning improv production features four of Toronto’s best comics acting out scenes based on mundane everyday activities. Also enjoy special performances of dance, Burlesque and even acrobatics.

Calling all music lovers! Grammy-nominated British duo The Ting Tings are set to rock the Phoenix Concert Theatre tonight, in promotion of their latest album, Sounds from Nowheresville. Perhaps you’ve heard of their hit, “Shut Up and Let Me Go”?

Saturday: Examine the patterned works of Marlis Saunders at the Design Exchange

Saturday, April 7
There are more than 100 colourful works to view in Marlis Saunders’ exhibition, entitled Stop, Drop, Repeat, at the Design Exchange. The German-Canadian artist is recognized as a pioneer of the Bauhaus school, and her patterned works are exemplars of that style.

A response to the classic play A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park is a story of race and real estate set in a Chicago neighbourhood and spanning two generations. The dark comedy starts out in 1959, as a black family looks to move into an all-white neighbourhood, then fast-forwards to 2009, when a white family moves into the same house in what has become an all-black area.

Enjoy homegrown drama as renowned Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor brings Was Spring to the Tarragon Theatre. It’s a story of three generations of women who confront each other about a tragic event from their past.

Sunday: Ajax and Little Iliad is on stage at Harbourfront Centre

Sunday, April 8
The latest production in Harbourfront Centre’s popular World Stage series, Ajax & Little Iliad sets out to define the “theatre of war” for civilian audiences. Only 30 seats are available for each performance of this intimate show; each audience member listens through a pair of headphones for a truly personal experience.

The end is near! The end of the Royal Ontario Museum’s Maya exhibition, that is. After calling the institution home for the past four months, the Maya: Secrets of Their Ancient World mega-show moves on Monday. Take advantage of your last chance to discover priceless Mayan artifacts, learn about their sophisticated rituals and explore the mysterious end-of-days legend.

And if you don’t feel like venturing into the kitchen this Easter weekend, Toronto has plenty o’ places that’ll do the work for you, especially for that most comforting of meals—brunch. Check out some of the restaurants offering a holiday-Sunday repast here.

Weekend Roundup: March 30 to April 1

Friday: The Tao Japanese Drummings pound out a beat

Friday, March 30
Give your evening a bit (err… a lot) of rhythm at an explosive performance by the Tao Japanese Drummers, a 13-piece ensemble that fuses Japanese-style drumming with influences from Korea, Indonesia, New Zealand, and elsewhere in the Far East to create a  spectacle of modern and traditional sound.

Operatic tenor Michael Schade returns to his hometown for a recital with Italian bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni—making his Canadian debut—and Justus Zeyen on piano. On the program are the expressive words and music of German lieders by the likes of Schumann, Brahms, and Schubert, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Greer.

Vanguard indie-pop band The Magnetic Fields take the stage at the Sound Academy to promote their 10th album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea. As always, the band, formed by musician/songwriter/producer Stephin Merritt, promises a unique mix of tongue-in-cheek lyrics and synth-pop-meets-alt-folk sonics that really are not to be missed! (more…)

Staff Picks: 10 Best Bets for March Break

The Royal Ontario Museum is always a popular venue during March Break (photo by Michele Nastasi)

The kids’ annual spring holiday week is just around the corner. If you’re still wondering how to keep them occupied, well, wonder no more. There’s lots of family fun to be had right here in Toronto. Check out our 10 picks for cool—and often educational—activities after the jump! (more…)

Weekend Roundup: February 24 to 26

Friday: See Eric Peterson in Seeds (photo by Maxime Cote)

Friday, February 24
Journalism makes for compelling theatre in Annabel Soutar’s Seeds. Outlining the David-and-Goliath legal battle between a Saskatchewan farmer and a biotech company over canola seeds, the play is a suspenseful and insightful nail-biter. Starring Eric Peterson, it’s on stage now at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts.

Be there as The Canadian Art Foundation’s Reel Artists Film Festival kicks into high gear with today’s free afternoon filmmakers panel, and a trio of fascinating documentaries. Portrait of Resistance takes you into the heart of activist art, Thomas Ruff peeks behind the scenes of the German artist’s studio, and Mark Lewis explores the intricacy behind the filmmaker’s deceptively simple works. All screenings take place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox; there are even more on Saturday and Sunday!

Die-hard Grease fans rejoice! Now you can show your passion for Danny, Sandy and the gang by singing in the aisles during a Sing-Along Grease screening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox . Wear your poodle skirts and skinny ties, learn to hand jive, and most definitely be there for this touring sensation’s one-and-only Toronto stop. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: February 17 to 19

Friday: Only a few shows remain for Cruel and Tender (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Friday, February 17
Don’t miss one of your final opportunities to see Atom Egoyan’s return to his theatre roots as he directs his wife, Arsinee Khanjian, in Martin Crimp’s tour-de-force Cruel and Tender. This drama, which contrasts private battles and public wars, is on stage at the Bluma Appel Theatre until February 18.

Independent music showcase Wavelength celebrates its 12th anniversary with a four-night extravaganza of the newest and brightest in pop, rock and electronic music. Tonight’s lineup features Toronto’s own critically lauded hardcore band F*cked Up.

Virtuosic pianist Leon Fleisher commands the attention of the audience at Koerner Hall, as he and the Royal Conservatory Orchestra perform a bold selection of works by such masters as Ravel, Beethoven and Prokofiev.

Bonus Pick! Make your way to Indigo’s Manulife Centre location tonight to hear newly minted Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan discuss her acclaimed novel, Half-Blood Blues, with the Globe and Mail‘s Sandra Martin. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: January 6-8

Friday: Demar DeRozan looks to lead the Raptors to a third straight victory

Friday, January 6
The NBA lockout finally concluded on Christmas day, the shortened basketball season is starting to pick up and our hometown Raptors are on a two-game winning streak. Cheer them on tonight as they take on the New Jersey Nets (including former “Mr. Kardishian” Kris Humphries) at the Air Canada Centre.

The Next Stage Theatre Festival is back for another year at Factory Theatre. The festival’s first weekend features top independent stage shows including The Tiki Bikini Beach Paradise Party A-Go-Go! and Living with Henry.

Drama meets punk rock as Broadway smash American Idiot continues its short-term run at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Featuring tunes such as “Wake Me Up When September Ends” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” from Green Day’s Grammy-winning album, this contemporary musical is not to be missed.

(more…)

Weekend Roundup, November 18 to 20

Friday: The National Ballet of Canada interprets Romeo and Juliet (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Friday, November 18
See one of the greatest dance dramas in a brand new light when the National Ballet of Canada presents Romeo and Juliet. Choreographer Alexi Ratmansky gives the classic tale with a modern edge for a fresh show at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

One of Canada’s best-known musical voices, Steven Page, interprets the tunes of Elvis Costello, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman and others in Songbook 6. The always innovative Art of Time Ensemble accompanies the singer at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre.

Find unique Aboriginal arts, crafts and fashions at the Thunderbird Centre’s presentation, Very Beautiful Things. The exhibition and sale at the Gladstone Hotel will be a trove for discerning gift buyers and Aboriginal art collectors.

The rest of the weekend is just a click away!

30 Things We Love About Toronto This November and December

2. Spirits by Karoo Ashevak (photo courtesy of the Museum of Inuit Art)

1. Crunching into stone-baked pizzas and grilled panini at Café Uno in the the Distillery Historic District.

2. Marveling at finely crafted stone and bone carvings at the Museum of Inuit Art.

3. Horses and llamas and cows (oh my!), plus a giant vegetable competition and more at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

4. Admiring Grace Kelly’s glamourous gowns, Oscar and more at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

5. Savouring straight-from-the-tandoor-oven naan—alongside chicken tikka and palak paneer—at Little India. (more…)