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serena ryder

Weekend Roundup, July 15 to 17

Friday: Hear all manner of music as the Beaches International Jazz Festival begins

Friday, July 15
Kick off your weekend at the 23rd annual Beaches International Jazz Festival, which begins tonight at Woodbine Park. With acts ranging from jazz, blues, calypso and more—legendary Toronto rocker Carole Pope is even part of this evening’s bill—the festival offers ear candy for a wide variety of listeners.

The Colombian Colours Il Diaspora Festival also starts this evening an continues all weekend long. Part of Harbourfront Centre’s summer line-up of cultural celebrations, it features performances by Colombian musicians, dancers and other artists proudly representing their distinct heritage.

Do you have tickets to see Grammy-winning sensation Taylor Swift belt out her hits at the Air Canada Centre? The contemporary country singer’s Speak Now Tour brings one of 2011’s hottest concerts to Toronto for one night only.

Saturday: Sarah Harmer and other artists celebrate Parks Canada's 100th anniversary

Saturday, July 16
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada—the world’s first national park service—with a free festival on Centre Island. Starting at noon, the special Parks Day event showcases the country’s diverse natural heritage, and boasts live performances by musicians including Serena Ryder and Sarah Harmer.

Yonge-Dundas Square also offers an event for the environmentally aware—the Live Green Toronto Festival features hundreds of vendors with eco-friendly products, live music and more.

Sit back and relax with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band at the Molson Canadian Ampitheatre. The “Margaritaville” singer instills a beachy state of mind as part of his Welcome to Fin Land tour.

Sunday: Slurp up some seafood at the Souther Ontario Oyster Festival

Sunday, July 17
Foodies are invited to take part in a truly succulent tasting at the much-anticipated Southern Ontario Oyster Festival hosted by Toronto’s mollusk mecca Rodney’s Oyster House. Attendees can enjoy live music, cheer on the oyster shucking contest, and, of course, indulge in fresh oysters. Tickets are $30 and help benefit the Environmental Defense organization.

Spend your Sunday night with British indie-rock band Gomez as they fill the Phoenix Concert Theatre with their distinctively rootsy sound.

Experience the rich culture of the Asian subcontinent at the 39th annual Festival of India, taking place on the Toronto Islands. This free event, celebrating Toronto’s large Indian community, includes an arts and culture showcase, a South-Asian bazaar, and much more.

Hot Rock Relaxation

There’s nothing like a massage after a strenuous day to achieve sublime serenity. Take relaxation and indulgence to the next level with a Warm Earth hot stone massage ($169) from Red Earth Spa. Smooth lava rocks transfer heat deep into the muscles. “It’s 90 minutes of pure bliss,” says spa director Suzannah Patmios. A unique twist is the optional use of cold stones to add an extra therapeutic benefit. —Lisa Stephens


Hot Date—Huntsville Festival of the Arts

 

Hawksley Workman

Hawksley Workman

July 3 to August 26:  The Huntsville Festival of the Arts packs an eclectic punch of musical entertainment over six fun-filled weeks. Headlining musicians include returning favourites Hawksley Workman on August 12 and Jim Cuddy on August 25 and 26, as well as folksy singer and songwriter Serena Ryder on July 9 and a tribute evening to country music singer Patsy Cline on July 25. Don’t miss the annual homage to Dixieland at the Huntsville Jazz Festival, from July 30 to August 1. This fest-within-a-fest features vibraphone specialist Peter Appleyard. Most performances at Algonquin Theatre, tickets $25 to $45; call 705-789-4975 to purchase.