• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Scotiabank Caribana Festival

Weekend Roundup, July 30 to August 2

The Caribbean (plus a whole lot more) comes to Toronto this long weekend!

Friday: Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista swings for the fences (photo courtesy of the Toronto Blue Jays)

Friday, July 30
Start your weekend laughing! Catch one of the last shows of the Bad Dog Theater Short Play Festival, which supports emerging and established Canadian comedic talent. With four hilarious plays to choose from, there’s sure to be one that tickles your funny bone.

Dance and sing the night away with an eclectic selection of musicians performing at Disco Lemonade. This concert at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre features Euro-popsters including Keane, Robyn, Ingrid Michaelson, Kelis, Fran Healy from Travis, Dan Black and Far East Movement.

Catch the Toronto Blue Jays’ final 2010 series against the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe swept our Jays in a four-game stand last month; the home team will be looking to dominate this time around.

Saturday: Vibrant costumes draw crowds at the Caribana parade

Saturday, July 31
Lake Shore Boulevard is awash in the colours of the Caribbean today at the annual Scotiabank Caribana Parade. This spectacular display is the culmination of nearly a month of Caribbean cultural activities in Toronto. More than one million tourists are expected to pour into the city for this event. Are you one of them?

Add some art to your weekend by visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario to catch such current exhibitions as “Drama and Desire: Artists and the Theater” and “Playing with Pictures: the Art of Victorian Photocollage.” Or keep with the Caribbean theme by viewing the Royal Ontario Museum’s Caribana-themed exhibit “From the Soul,” with more than 150 works by African-Canadian artists. A trip to one of these institutions is always a great option for the weekend, and as a bonus, they’re both open on the holiday Monday, too!

Enjoy an evening of Beethoven, Schumann and Shostakovich courtesy of the Summer Music Festival, which tonight hosts respected pianist Menahem Pressler and the Grammy-winning Pacifica String Quartet.

Sunday: Catch the final staging of large-scale musical Miss Saigon (photo by Bruce Bennett)

Sunday August 1
Don’t miss this afternoon’s opening reception of Queen Gallery’s 50/50 exhibition. For this juried show more than 80 artists each completed a piece measuring 20” by 20” in size, and the collected works are all on sale for the same price. These restrictions, of course, stand in contrast to the creativity of the artists.

It’s your last chance to relive the days of Beatlemania! Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles is a unique experience. And not only because of the music; the band successfully embodies the Beatles themselves. Incorporating period photos and video footage this show is sure to transport you back to the ’60s.

The curtain falls on Miss Saigon tonight at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Based on the classic opera Madama Butterfly, this tragic tale of doomed love during the Vietnam War deserves your standing ovation.

Monday: See Fiona Byrne and Diego Matamoros in Turgenev's A Month in the Country (photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Monday August 2
The Irie Music Festival runs all weekend long with Caribbean cultural events in Queen’s Park, Nathan Phillips Square and Yonge-Dundas Square. With dancing, tunes, food and more, it’s the perfect tropical complement to Caribana’s festivities.

And let’s not forget Harbourfront Centre! It’s Island Soul festival, part of the World Routes Summer Festival series, offers one more day of Caribbean cultural activities. Learn how to make ox tail dumplings, listen to steel pan drummers, and enjoy Caribbean films.

Allow Soulpepper Theatre Company to treat you to A Month in the Country. Its production of the Russian classic seamlessly maneuvers between comedy and tragedy, as characters become tangled in complicated summer-love triangles. It’s the perfect way to end a packed weekend.

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.