This photo installation by Leslie Hossack simulates a walk along a stretch of the Berlin Wall. (Photo: Leslie Hossack, courtesy of the Diefenbunker)
The Diefenbunker’s 25 | Berlin commemorates the thousands of acts of civil courage that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall — and, in consequence, the end of the Cold War. It includes three exhibitions: one uses rare photographs, newspaper clippings, and political cartoons to delve into Europe’s 20th century conflicts; another is a mural painted by Canadian and German graffiti artists; and the last is a photo installation that simulates a walk along a stretch of the Berlin Wall. On at the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum until March 31,
•Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum, 3929 Carp Rd., Carp, 613-839-0007. diefenbunker.ca
•Map and reviews
THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN MARCH!
Japan’s Kodo Drummers beat out a rhythm this month at the Sony Centre
MARCH 8 TO 10 Over the course of 10 frigid days, four experienced climbers navigated a new frontier: a 2,000-foot spire called Bertha’s Tower in Antarctica’s Wohlthat Mountains range. Explorer Mike Libecki and photographer Cory Richards were among the adventurous quartet. Now back from the pole, Libecki and Richards talk about their uncharted summit in the latest installment of the National Geographic Live series, Untamed Antarctica. Roy Thomson Hall, Sunday 2 p.m., Monday and Tuesday 8 p.m., $19.50 to $79.50; call 416-872-4255 or visit roythomsonhall.com to charge.
MARCH 12 Japan’s famed percussion troupe, the Kodo Drummers, returns with an all new experience. It’s latest show, Mystery, brings together 15 artists in a pounding performance that ranges from pulsating rhythmic beats to more measured taps—particularly fitting as “kodo” in Japanese can mean both “heartbeat” and “children of the drum.” Japanese folk art and rituals are explored in this tale about sacred creatures and gods from another world. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 8 p.m., $55 to $95; call 1-855-872-7669 or see kodo.or.jp for details.
THE ANNUAL SCHOOL BREAK MEANS THERE ARE MANY CHILD- AND FAMILY-FRIENDLY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO!
March Break brings many families to Toronto. More specifically, it brings parents who are looking for ways to keep their kids entertained. Whether your charges are tiny tots, school-age kids or tweens and teens, there are myriad ways to keep everyone happy this month.
Allegro Ristorante in the heart of Little Italy serves up classic Italian fare.
Allegro Ristorante is a long-running Ottawa establishment that recently changed ownership. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is its chef, which means you too can sample the hearty Italian food Ottawans have been enjoying for 20 years. They offer all your Italian favourites: fettuccine in pesto alfredo, linguine with shrimp, tortellini and prosciutto in a mushroom sauce, and good old spaghetti carbonara. The service is exceptional, too. —Amy Allen
•422 Preston St., 613-235-7454, allegroristorante.ca
Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari explores the act of letter writing during the Lebanese Civil War. (Photo: Akram Zaatari, Letters From Askalan (2007), C-print, courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery)
Written correspondence may be a dying art in this day and age, but Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari brings it to the forefront in a new exhibition at the Carleton University Art Gallery. All Is Well explores themes of friendship, love, historical events, and political resistance in Lebanon from the early 1990s to the present, with a special focus on letters received by political detainee Nabih Awada during his time in an Israeli prison. On display until March 29.
•Carleton University Art Gallery, St. Patrick’s Building,1125 Colonel By Dr., 613-520-2120. cuag.carleton.ca
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DOUGLAS COUPLAND, ONE OF CANADA’S BEST-KNOWN CREATIVE ARTISTS, GETS A DOUBLE-BARRELLED RETROSPECTIVE IN TORONTO.
More than 100 works by Douglas Coupland are now on display at MOCCA and the ROM
JANUARY 31 TO APRIL 26 He’s not quite ubiquitous, but this spring Douglas Coupland has managed to take over a pair of Toronto’s most notable institutions, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and the Royal Ontario Museum. The dual exhibition, Everywhere is Anywhere is Anything is Everything, represents the Vancouver-based artist, designer, author and cultural guru’s first major survey in more than a decade, and offers an updated perspective on the subjects he’s explored since his first novel, Generation X. Through more than 100 varied works (approximately two-thirds of which are at the ROM), Coupland tackles questions of identity, language, and technology in 21st-century Canada. —Craig Moy
Editor’s Note: MOCCA’s portion of the Douglas Coupland exhibition closes April 19.
• Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-586-8000; rom.on.ca
• Map and reviews
• Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, 952 Queen St. W., 416-395-0067; mocca.ca
• Map and reviews
Beloved characters skate to songs from four classic Disney tales.
FEB. 25 TO MARCH 1 This winter, four beloved tales from the Disney archives come to life on the rink with Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy. Join Mickey and Minnie Mouse on a roadtrip, where they encounter characters from Cars, The Little Mermaid, Tinker Bell, and the Toy Story franchise. The show is the perfect combination of modern and classic Disney, and it’s great for the whole family.
•Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Dr., 877-788-3267. canadiantirecentre.com
THE BLOOR-YORKVILLE ICEFEST RETURNS FOR ANOTHER YEAR OF STUNNING FROZEN SCULPTURES.
FEBRUARY 21 & 22 Bloor-Yorkville transforms into a frozen paradise—and all without the magical powers of Elsa, Princess of Arendelle. The annual IceFest returns for another year, as 12 master ice carvers (along with their assorted picks, chisels and chainsaws) chip away at 20,000 pounds of ice to create glacial works of art. Given that the theme for the 2015 incarnation is archaeology and prehistoric times, expect to see the likes of dinosaurs, sabre-toothed tigers, pyramids and Egyptian gods. Visitors can cast their vote for their favourite ice sculpture, as well as sample maple syrup taffy. Village of Yorkville Park (at Cumberland and Bellair streets), noon to 5 p.m., free; see bloor-yorkville.com for more details. —Linda Luong
Shine a Light features the best of the National Gallery of Canada’s acquisitions over the past year, including this painting by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. (Photo: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Red Man Watching White Man Trying to Fix Hole in the Sky, 1990 acrylic on canvas, 142.3 × 226.1 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Photo © NGC)
Canadian and Indigenous artists get their moment in the limelight in a new exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada. Shine a Light highlights best of the best of the gallery’s acquisitions over the past year, including works by artists such as David Armstrong Six, An Te Liu, Jutai Toonoo, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (pictured), and others. On display until March 8. —Amy Allen
•National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985. gallery.ca
•Map and reviews
ANNUAL FAIR THE ARTIST PROJECT SHOWCASES THE WORK OF INDEPENDENT CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS AT EXHIBITION PLACE
FEBRUARY 19 TO 22 A response to the (debatable) stuffiness and exclusivity of traditional art fairs, The Artist Project assembles more than 250 independent artists from Canada and elsewhere in a colourful showcase of contemporary works. The juried expo is especially suited to art lovers with wide-ranging tastes: this year’s offerings range from digital paintings by Matthew Catalano to experimental cityscape photos by Chris Albert to collage-based pieces by Robyn Thomas. Additional attractions include the requisite art talks, a display featuring the Canadian finalists for the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards, and a number of striking, large-scale installation works, including a 100-foot-long piece by Bruno Billio. —Craig Moy
• The Artist Project, Exhibition Place’s Better Living Centre, 195 Princes’ Blvd., 416-960-4516; theartistproject.com
THE COUNTRY’S LARGEST CAR EXPO, THE CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW, BRINGS TO TORONTO THE LATEST IN VEHICULAR TECHNOLOGY.
Audi’s AQ3 is among the many cars to be featured at the Canadian International Auto Show
FEBRUARY 13 TO 21 Whether you’re in the market for a new vehicle or just scoping out the latest models and features, the Canadian International Auto Show is the place for car enthusiasts. The annual showcase is all encompassing, with many top manufacturers—ranging from “sensible” carmakers like Ford, Hyundai, Toyota and Honda to luxury producers including Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW—revealing their newest rides. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., general admission $25; call 905-940-2800 or visit autoshow.ca for details. —Linda Luong
MUSIC STEALS THE SPOTLIGHT FOR THE SOULPEPPER CONCERT SERIES
P.E.I. singer-songwriter Mike Ross kicks of the 2015 Soulpepper Concert Series
Though best known as an artist-founded stage ensemble, Soulpepper Theatre Company also produces a popular concert series, which returns for a second season of acoustic performances and stories. A Moveable Musical Maritime Feast (February 15, 20 and 22) kicks things off with a classic East Coast kitchen party hosted by P.E.I.’s Mike Ross. The Nina Project (February 16) sees three Canadian songbirds—Jackie Richardson, Shakura S’Aida and Kellylee Evans—pay tribute to legendary crooner Nina Simone. And American Pie—A Songbook Investigation (February 27) reflects on the standards that defined a generation, with tunes by such artists as Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and The Rolling Stones. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, various times, $15 and up; call 416-866-8666 or visit soulpepper.ca to reserve. —Linda Luong