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Sarah McLachlan

Weekend Roundup: November 30 to December 2

Gather for the opening of the Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market

Friday, November 30
The Distillery Historic District kicks off its annual celebration of the season with a performance by Canadian opera star Measha Brueggergosman at the opening night of the Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market. Bring the whole family and enjoy the sights and sounds, including festive treats and gifts, holiday decorations and a sit down with Santa Claus himself.

Pull out your ugliest Christmas sweater and head over to the Gladstones Hotel‘s 12 Beers of Christmas tasting party. Favoured local brews will be on tap, free prizes will put you in the giving spirit, and classic holiday tunes from the likes of Mariah Carey, Boyz 2 Men and the Jingle Cats (yes these Jingle Cats) will take your mind off the cold winter weather.

Slightly more sophisticated tunes are on offer with the Art of Time Ensemble’s Big Band Show at Harbourfront Centre‘s Enwave Theatre. The group is scheduled to treat audiences to a rendition of Tchaikovsky’s classic Nutcracker Suite—reimagined by jazz great Duke Ellington—plus its own unique takes on Igor Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite No. 1.

Justin Bieber sings, audiences swoon (photo: Shelby Casanova)

Saturday, December 1
Coming off a performance at 100th Grey Cup last weekend, pop music’s current king, Justin Bieber, tonight returns to the Rogers Centre to woo his legion of fans. Sweetening the pot is an appearance by emerging star Carly Rae Jepsen, whose Call Me Maybe is arguably as mega-popular as the Biebs’ recent hits.

While the kids are revelling in their Bieber Fever, more mature music fans can treat themselves to an intimate evening with eight-time Juno winner Sarah McLachlan. The celebrated songstress performs tonight at hallowed Massey Hall.

Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire at Black Creek Pioneer Village’s Christmas celebrations. Activities include puppet shows, horse-drawn wagon rides, visits with Santa and more. Visitors can also ogle a miniature gingerbread replica of the Village and try their hands at a traditional taffy pull, a sticky Christmas tradition we’re happy to get on board with.

Sir Jerry makes magic even more fun than it already is!

Sunday, December 2
Watch your children’s eyes light up while the watch the mystical, magical performance of Sir Jerry today at the Drake Hotel. Touted as “the most innovative kids performer since Pee Wee Herman,” Sir Jerry offers a show full of song, dance and Monty Python-esque humour for the whole family to enjoy.

Raffi’s kid-friendly tunes have been entertaining and educating kids for more than 30 years. The beloved singer and songwriter today takes the stage at Roy Thomson Hall to strike a nostalgic chord with classics including “Baby Beluga” and more.

Much Music’s Big Jingle Holiday Concert this evening brings holiday cheer to teens and tweens at the Air Canada Centre. Performances by Simple Plan, Cody Simpson and The Wanted are sure to be a blast, while Carly Rae Jepsen’s third Toronto appearance in the past seven days makes this event an early Christmas present the kids won’t forget.

Hot Date: Canada’s Walk of Fame Puts New Stars on the Street

Sarah McLachlan is one of the 2012 inductees to Canada’s Walk of Fame

SEPTEMBER 22  First we rolled out the red carpet for the Toronto International Film Festival, then we’re doing it again for the Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards Show, which pays tribute to musicians, writers and other icons who have made lifelong contributions to Canadian culture. This year’s inductees include Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Sarah McLachlan, rock legend Randy Bachman, renowned quarterback Russ Jackson, prima ballerina Sonia Rodriguez, the late comedian and actor Phil Hartman, and the entire 1972 Team Canada hockey squad. Ed Mirvish Theatre, 5 p.m., $29 to $49; call 416-872-1212 or visit here to purchase tickets.

Hot Date: Canada’s Walk of Fame Offers Top Concerts

K’Naan performs with Sarah McLachlan as part of the Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival (photo by Patrick Hoelck)

SEPTEMBER 19 TO 23  This country has a long list of people who have made positive contributions to our national culture. Think: Michael J. Fox, Joni Mitchell, Christopher Plummer and many more. Canada’s Walk of Fame honours these influential artists in granite along King Street West. Leading up to the presentation of this year’s Walk of Fame inductees is a series of must-see concerts by the
likes of Randy Bachman, Jann Arden, Johnny Reid, and a special joint performance by Sarah McLachlan and K’Naan. Various venues, $49.50 to $173; click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Weekend Roundup, March 18th to 20th

Friday: Sarah McLachlan sings

Friday, March 18
The sweet melodies of Sarah McLachlan (along with band members Butterfly Boucher and Melissa McClelland) echo through Massey Hall as she stops in Toronto on her Sarah and Friends tour. Sing along to classic favourites and listen in on new hits from her gold-certified new album Laws of Illusion.

Satiate a hunger for fine contemporary art today: talented Toronto-based artist Anitra Hamilton displays her most recent mixed-media works in an exhibition at Georgia Scherman Projects.

The Direct Energy Centre is now in full blossom, as Canada Blooms has taken over its enormous exhibition space. The stunning show features six acres of fragrant flowers, including those displayed in Canada’s largest floral competition, as well as the Juno Rocks Gardens dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the Juno music awards.

Saturday: See Onegin brought to life (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Saturday, March 19
See the written word translated into dance as the National Ballet of Canada stages an adaptation of Pushkin’s Onegin. Choreographed by John Cranko, the performance offers a compelling combination of physical movement and literary inspiration at the Four Seasons Centre.

The Lost Fingers, an acoustic trio from Quebec City, strums out swing-jazz versions of pop hits from the 80’s at Glenn Gould Studio. Expect to hear intriguing renditions of classics by the likes of Michael Jackson and AC/DC, along with French-language hits of the band’s own creation.

St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, and now it’s your final chance to see the Irish comedy Good Mourning Mrs. Brown at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The droll performance follows Mrs. Brown and her sons as they plan a funeral for Granddad Brown in an oddball effort to show him how much he is loved.

Sunday: Jane Coop tickles the ivories

Sunday, March 20
Enjoy an afternoon of classical pianoworks by an internationally renowned chamber musician, as University of Toronto alumna, scholar and pianist Jane Coop returns to the city to deliver an exquisite recital of works by Beethoven and Scriabin.

At Papermill Theatre, local troupe Theatre Archipelago presents I Marcus Garvey, a play honouring the Jamaican journalist and entrepreneur who inspired Garveyism, a global movement of African Redemption. This production uses music and other media to detail Garvey’s life and his journey of activism in Jamaica, England, the United States and Canada.

Wind down the weekend at International Centre, home to the Toronto Wine and Cheese Show. A plethora of pairings and tastings with wine, beer, cheese and other fare are available. Or, check out the vendor booths and see ongoing demos by Food Network chef Chuck Hughes in the Bosch Sip & Savour Kitchen.

Weekend Roundup, July 23 to 25

Come rain or shine, Toronto has a bustling weekend ahead with entertainment for everyone!

Friday: Sting gets serious

Friday, July 23
World-famous pop tunesmith Sting has entered the stage of his career where reinterpreting old hits seems enough to satisfy his creative spirit. And so he arrives this evening at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre with a coterie of classical musicians: The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra accompanies the former Police man in a unique performance of his most memorable songs, from “Roxanne” to “Fields of Gold” and much more.

Whet your appetite for Caribbean culture as part of the ongoing Scotiabank Caribana Festival. The big parade may be a few weeks away, but you can get in the mood at the Royal Ontario Museum, which showcases more than 100 works by African-Canadian artists in its “From the Soul” exhibition.

Get ready to (affordably!) strut down the streets of Toronto. Frugal Fashion Week offers an evening of food and apparel at the Bata Shoe Museum, including an exhibition of celebrity- and designer-created shoes, a silent auction and more.

Get to know your prairies as Love, Saskatchewan kicks off at Harbourfront Centre. This weekend-long event features an exhibition on cowboy culture, author readings and performances by such bands as Wide Mouth Mason and Little Miss Higgins.

Saturday: See some stars in Love, Loss and What I Wore

Saturday, July 24
Celebrate women in music with the return of Lilith Fair. The Sarah McLachlan–founded festival was popular in the late ’90s, and has been revived for 2010 with performers including Mary J. Blige, Chantal Kreviazuk and, of course, McLachlan herself.

Take a close friend or loved one to a performance of Love, Loss and What I Wore. The production features a star-studded cast of women who relate dynamic, often hilarious, and always poignant stories from the popular book of the same name.

Steer towards the Young Centre for the Performing Arts to check out the venue’s Saturday Night Cabaret Series. Tonight, acclaimed vocalist Heather Bambrick will have you tapping your toes to infectious jazz rhythms, and on your feet applauding by the end of the evening.

Prepare your best Elizabethan laugh for Canopy Theatre’s production of Twelfth Night, one of Shakespeare’s most affecting romantic comedies. Fall in and out of love with the timeless characters as they’re brought to life under the stars at the University of Toronto’s Philosopher’s Walk.

Sunday: The Bolton Shop sheds light on early photography at Black Creek Pioneer Village

Sunday, July 25
A visit to charming Black Creek Pioneer Village is a journey back to the 19th century. The experience is even more immersive thanks to the venue’s new Bolton Shop photography studio. Here, you can put away your digital SLR and discover the fascinating techniques used to capture and develop images more than a century ago.

“Who let the dogs out?” indeed! Prepare to have your heart melt at Ontario Place—the Purina PropPlan Dog Show is in full swing with canines of all shapes and sizes strutting their stuff.

Finish your weekend with some funny—a night of stand-up comedy—as emerging troupe NBAcomics presents its somewhat strangely named Summer Fest 97’ at Toronto’s renowned giggle garage The Second City.