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Events

Here & Now: What To Do In Winnipeg in May and June

Our picks for must-see and do activities during your stay.

Photo courtesy of Winnipeg Wine Festival

Photo courtesy of Winnipeg Wine Festival

WINE DOWN

APR 30-MAY 1 The 16th annual Winnipeg Wine Festival showcases wines from across the world. The year’s theme spotlights Canada’s 150th birthday with Canadian wine, featuring British Columbia VQA and VQA Wines of Ontario. Swirl and sip through homegrown vintages and discover the diversity of flavour that has earned Canada a reputation as the most exciting New World wine region. Tickets available at winnipegwinefestival.com. RBC Convention Centre, 375 York Ave

Photo by Matt Duboff.

Photo by Matt Duboff.

SACRED SITE

MAY 17-21  The 12th annual Manito Ahbee Festival celebrates Indigenous arts, culture and music. Aiming to unify, educate, and inspire, the five-day event is filled with art expos, jigging and square dancing competitions, and an Indigenous marketplace and trade show. This cultural fest is famed for hosting one of the largest powwows in North America. Various Winnipeg venues. Tickets at manitoahbee.com or call 204-956-1849.

Pride Festival courtesy of Pride Winnipeg.

Pride Festival courtesy of Pride Winnipeg.

FULL OF PRIDE

MAY 26-JUN 4  The Pride Winnipeg Festival marks its 30th anniversary with a week full of events leading up to the signature parade on Pride Day. This year, the parade moves to Portage Avenue, retracing the steps of Winnipeg’s first Pride march, to celebrate this important milestone in the community. Visit pridewinnipeg.com for full list of venues and events.

Courtesy of Doors Open Winnipeg

Courtesy of Doors Open Winnipeg

EXCLUSIVE VISIT

MAY 27-28  Explore the fascinating architecture of more than 85 unique buildings during Doors Open Winnipeg. The two-day free event presents the opportunity to learn about the history of some of Winnipeg’s oldest buildings, including many heritage sites not typically open to the public. Discover hidden secrets and architectural quirks inside buildings like the Manitoba Legislature. Visit doorsopenwinnipeg.ca for more details.

CONCERT CALENDAR

MAY 12  DEAN BRODY
Popular Canadian country music artist returns to the MTS Centre.

MAY 19-20  INVESTORS GROUP STARS ON ICE PRESENTED BY LINDT
Three icons in Canadian men’s figure skating tour together for the first time during this award-winning show. MTS Centre

MAY 19  CHRIS HADFIELD
The first Canadian to walk in space celebrates the country’s milestone birthday with a discussion of our history and future. Burton Cummings Theatre 

MAY 19-20   WINNIPEG NIGHT MARKET
Discover and buy local products at this open-air market. Assiniboia Downs 

MAY 25  ROYAL CANOE WITH THE WSO
Winnipeg indie rock band teams up with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for an extraordinary musical experience at the Centennial Concert Hall.

MAY 31  THE HEAD AND THE HEART
American indie folk outfit rocks the stage at the Burton Cummings Theatre 

Martin girard/shootstudio.ca (kurios - costumes by philippe guillotel, © 2014 cirque du soleil)

Martin girard/shootstudio.ca (kurios – costumes by philippe guillotel, © 2014 cirque du soleil)

INTRIGUING ACROBATICS

STARTS JUN 2 Enter into a curious world inside Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities. This Cirque du Soleil show features a cast of otherworldly characters performing amazing acrobatic feats, with elaborate costumes, staging, and mechanical set pieces plucked from a world that can only exist in the imagination. Take a seat inside the immense big top tent and let the magic begin. Kenaston Blvd and Sterling Lyon Parkway, visit cirquedusoleil.com for tickets.

Courtesy Winnipeg International Children's Festival

Courtesy Winnipeg International Children’s Festival

JUST KIDDING

JUN 8-11 Long running festival of fun, the Winnipeg International Children’s Festival returns for a 35th year. Silly shenanigans and wacky entertainers thrill all ages. Returning favourite performers like Les Soeurs Kif Kif, Fred Penner, and Splash’n Boots delight with funny songs and goofy comedy. Circus workshops teach budding acrobats how to fly high. Tickets available at the gate or on kidsfest.ca. The Forks, 1 Forks Market Rd, 204‑958‑4730

Gregory Porter courtesy of Jazz Winnipeg

Gregory Porter courtesy of Jazz Winnipeg

ALL THAT JAZZ

JUN 15-25 A stellar line up of talented musicians converge on the city for the annual TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival. This yearly fest features a genre-spanning range of artists from pop to blues to bebop. Iconic songstress Mavis Staples headlines the festivities, joined by artists like Gregory Porter, one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary jazz vocalists. Also take in free lunchtime and evening open-air concerts in Old Market Square featuring local talent. Various venues. Call 204‑989‑4656 or visit jazzwinnipeg.com for full schedule and tickets.

Courtesy of Red River Exhibition Association

Courtesy of Red River Exhibition Association

RIDE OF YOUR LIFE

JUN 16-25 Dreams of carnival treats, live music and heart-pumping rides draw a crowd to the Red River Exhibition. Nightly concerts, agricultural exhibits, and the world’s largest travelling midway are all a part of this classic summer event. New this year, see a motorcycle stunt show, up close farm animal exhibit, and fireworks to celebrate Canada’s 150th. Visit redriverex.com for tickets, or purchase at the fair gates. Red River Exhibition Park, 3977 Portage Ave, 204‑888‑6990

CONCERT CALENDAR

JUN 3  JON MULANEY
Comedian sheds his Oh Hello on Broadway persona for sidesplitting stand up. Burton Cummings Theatre

JUN 7  TIM MCGRAW AND FAITH HILL
Country powerhouse duo join forces for the Soul2Soul world tour. See them perform at the MTS Centre

JUN 8  INTERNATIONAL SOCCER: CANADA VS COSTA RICA
Canada’s Women’s National Team faces off against Costa Rica at Investors Group Field.

JUN 13  BONNIE RAITT
Roots and blues icon is still going strong with Grammy-nominated 20th album, Dig in Deep. Catch her at the Burton Cummings Theatre.

JUN 9-16  AGASSIZ CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL
Celebrate Canada’s 150th with gorgeous chamber music and the premiere of new work that pays tribute to Manitoba’s 100,000 lakes.

JUN 17  THE FAB FOUR
Emmy-winning Beatles tribute band takes the stage for note-perfect renditions of classic hits. Club Regent Casino and Event Centre

More Winnipeg Stories:

20 Free Things To Do in Winnipeg
Why You Need To Visit The Canadian Museum For Human Rights
5 Only in the ‘Peg Foods
5 Winnipeg Shopping Districts

Hot Art: January and February

Exhibits worth seeking out during your stay.

Courtesy of the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant. Courtesy of the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

ACTS OF RECLAMATION

JAN-FEB

Two major exhibits at the Winnipeg Art Gallery explore the concept of land ownership through the intersection between Indigenous identity and sport. Boarder X features contemporary Indigenous artists from across Canada, drawing parallels between areas prohibiting snowboarding, or the surfer’s search for uncrowded waves, and the contested spaces of politics, identity, and land. Presented alongside this exhibit, Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant engages with territorial disputes centred around Australia’s beaches. Traditional Aboriginal designs and colours turn surfboards into works of cultural meaning. 300 Memorial Blvd, wag.ca

Drop Shadow by Nancy Kerr. Courtesy of Wayne Arthur Gallery.

Drop Shadow by Nancy Kerr. Courtesy of Wayne Arthur Gallery.

STRIKING SIMPLICITY

TO FEB 1

The Through Her Eyes Photography Collective presents an exhibit of black and white minimalist photography at the Wayne Arthur Gallery. Dramatically reduced design elements create imagery that is striking and thought-provoking, imbuing everyday items with unfamiliar beauty. 186 Provencher Blvd, waynearthurgallery.com

OTHER EXHIBITS

TO JAN 8: Our Land: Contemporary Art From the Arctic showcases artists from Canada’s north at the Winnipeg Art Gallery300 Memorial Blvd, wag.ca
TO JAN 19: Megan Krause’s abstracted landscapes act as a visual exploration of the effects of climate change and a rising global population in Fertile AshMennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, Canadian Mennonite University, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd, gallery.mennonitechurch.ca
TO JAN 19: Interna is a collection of non-objective abstract paintings by Dale Boldt. Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, Canadian Mennonite University, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd, gallery.mennonitechurch.ca
TO JAN 20:
Climate Changes by Mathieu Gotti explores the metamorphosis of animals in their environment at La Galerie inside the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain. 340 Provencher Blvd, ccfm.mb.ca
TO JAN 25: Christian Worthington’s Sermons To The Birds explores the influence of historical religious art in a secular post-modern world. Gurevich Fine Art, 2nd floor, 62 Albert St, gurevichfineart.com
JAN 6-24: 99 Pieces of Art on The Wall is an exhibit and sale featuring Cre8ery members. Pieces are priced $40-$200 and sold on site. Cre8ery, 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, cre8ery.com
JAN 6-FEB 4: Catch To Step is To Rise, a solo exhibition of new work by Montreal based artist Jeanette Johns, at Lisa Kehler Art + Projects. 171 McDermot Ave, lkap.ca
JAN 12-FEB 18: University of Winnipeg gallery, Gallery 1C03, displays video exhibition Moving Images. This group show features 23 short films and videos, including work by acclaimed filmmaker Guy Maddin. 1st floor, Centennial Hall, University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave, uwinnipeg.ca/art-gallery
JAN 20-FEB 25: Hireath is a collection of pieces by printmaker Heather Lier exploring the nostalgia and wonderment of childhood memory. Martha Street Studio
11 Martha St, printmakers.mb.ca
FROM JAN 26: A collection of portraits by Michel Saint-Hilaire observes and questions our social environment, showing that we all have a story to tell. La Galerie inside the Centre Culturel Franco-Manitobain. 340 Provencher Blvd, ccfm.mb.ca
JAN 27-FEB 7: The Society of OUTstanding Artists group show features this collective formed through the LGBTQ Rainbow Resource Centre.Cre8ery, 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, cre8ery.com
FROM FEB 3: 
Wally Dion blends Indigenous craft with modern technology, drawing connections between quilts and circuit boards. Urban Shaman, 203‑290 McDermot Ave, urbanshaman.org
FROM FEB 3: Barry Ace’s Niibwa Ndanwendaagan (My Relatives) is a suite of Anishnaabe bandolier bags (or ‘friendship bags’) adorned with electronic components and a tablet screening historical family photographs and archival film of Indigenous peoples. Urban Shaman, 203‑290 McDermot Ave, urbanshaman.org
FROM FEB 3: The Manitoba Society of Artists exhibit Visual Voices in Manitoba, a group show highlighting emerging and professional visual artists in the province, at the Wayne Arthur Gallery. 186 Provencher Blvd, waynearthurgallery.com
FEB 9-21: Artworks featuring horses pay homage to the 43 horses recently killed in a barn fire in Ontario in the group show 43 Horses: Enduring Spirits. Cre8ery, 2nd floor, 125 Adelaide St, cre8ery.com
FROM FEB 10: Yapci Ramos’ Perras y Putas is an intimate dialogue through photography with women in prostitution in different parts of the world. Lisa Kehler Art + Projects, 171 McDermot Ave, lkap.ca

More Things To Do in Winnipeg:

Here & Now: Must-see and Do Activities During Your Stay
Why You Need to Visit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
All About Winnipeg’s Convention Centre
Best New Restaurants 2016: What’s Hot Right Now for Food Lovers

Winnipeg’s Drummer Boy

Sean Quigley has turned his viral internet success into an opportunity to change the world and explore his passion, one song at a time.

Photo courtesy Sean Quigley

Photo courtesy Sean Quigley

By Joelle Kidd

When asked, “why The Little Drummer Boy?”, a grin creeps over Sean Quigley’s face.

“Do you want the cheesy answer—or the real answer?”

The question, of course, refers to Quigley’s video of the same name, which as racked up almost 3.3 million views to date on YouTube. In it, the then 16-year-old, clad in shorts, a toque, and Hudson’s Bay Canada mittens, carries a drum through snowcapped scenes of a Winnipeg winter while an updated version of the carol—complete with buzzy guitar and a drum solo—plays. The video has resonated with a huge number of people, winning internet fame, and has had long lasting impact on many fans.

At the time, Quigley had not the faintest idea that his project would be so successful. “To be honest, I chose the song because of the Boney M Christmas album,” he says. “I just wanted to put my own spin on it.”

Armed with nothing but a borrowed video camera and a school computer covertly loaned by one of his High School teachers, the teenager set out to make a music video. The original plan was to shoot indoors, which turned up too dark on camera. Then, the morning of the planned shoot, Sean awoke to a dazzling snowfall. “I just knew, we can’t miss this,” he says. He and his sister formed a makeshift film crew, loading his drums into the back of her car and driving to his favourite spots around the city.

“I think people relate to its authenticity,” he says. The video was made on a whim, with DIY spirit, at next to no cost, by a young musician. For Quigley, the video’s story is one of searching and finding—a version of his own personal journey. “At the time, I felt like I didn’t have anything to offer the world except music,” he remembers. At the end of the video, the lone drummer stands, overlooking the city, playing his snare drum, his voice finally heard.

In the five years since The Little Drummer Boy was originally posted, Quigley has come a long way. The burst of success that followed his viral video sensation originally took him to Los Angeles, where he ended up on the edge of a quarter million dollar record contract.

But this record deal required compromising the authenticity that had won him fans in the first place. “I couldn’t do it—it didn’t feel right,” he says. “So I walked away.”

Quigley has never regretted turning down the offer. Instead, he has found purpose and the freedom to express himself here in his hometown of Winnipeg.

Online success opened the door to promoting charitable organizations. In one instance, he was offered a partnership deal with Hudsons Bay Company, after they saw the iconic Canada mittens featured in the Little Drummer Boy video. Like the rest of the video shoot, the mittens were chosen for practical reasons—Sean’s hands were cold and he grabbed some mitts out of the car. But he used his newfound clout to collect mittens for Winnipeg’s homeless, and held a special concert with proceeds going to local shelter Siloam Mission.

He has also worked with World Vision, and while travelling with the organization met fellow Winnipegger Karli Gerbrandt, who was working at a non-profit in Cambodia. The two musicians and world travellers reconnected when they returned home to Winnipeg, got married, and began playing music together.

Under the name Bold As Lions, the duo released a full studio album in 2014 called The Hope Movement, a collection of crisp harmonies, earworm hooks, and poignant lyrics. Another album is in the works to be released this year.

For this couple-turned-band, roots in this city go deep. “There’s something special about Winnipeg,” Sean says. “I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world, but I never feel there’s anything I can’t do right here.”

Find concert schedule and music online at boldaslions.ca.

See the video that started it all:

More Like This:

Hot Art: Shifting Perspective

Photo by Leah Snyder Courtesy Plug in ICA

Ode To Miss Eagle Testickle by Ursula Johnson (photo by Leah Snyder)

To Jan 1

Group exhibition Superimposition: Sculpture and Image at Plug In ICA features artists Nadia Belerique, Valerie Blass, Ursula Johnson, Kelly Lycan, Ursula Mayer, Kristin Nelson, Dominique Rey and Andrea Roberts. The exhibit includes a variety of mixed media pieces exploring superimposition—a technique usually unique to image—in three dimensional space. The collection, which draws inspiration from fashion, film, architecture, and performance, incorporates bright colours, text and texture to create sculptural works that play with the conventions of graphic design. Unit 1-460 Portage Ave, 204‑942‑1043, plugin.org

Top 5 Restaurants with Live Music

Photo courtesy Prairie Ink Restaurant

Photo courtesy Prairie Ink Restaurant

Dining is not just about taste; get the other senses involved at these restaurants, which offer live music in harmony with mouth-watering flavour.

Prairie Ink Restaurant (pictured), inside McNally Robinson Booksellers, hosts sweet music every Friday and Saturday night. Acoustic crooners and jazz trios are the backdrop to healthful eats like kicky curried spaghetti squash. Reservations preferred. 1120 Grant Ave, 204‑975‑2659, mcnallyrobinson.com/restaurant

Hip venue The Good Will slings java during the day and sates late night cravings with slices from Little Pizza Heaven. Indie rock, jazz, and hip hop artists usually take the stage. 625 Portage Ave, 204-221-1577, thegoodwill.ca

Excellent pub grub, like indulgent pulled pork poutine, makes Le Garage the place to lounge. Consistent live shows range from local legends to open mics. 166 Provencher Blvd, 204‑237‑0737, garagecafe.ca

Expert musicians tickle the ivories at swanky Palm Lounge inside the Fort Garry Hotel while the kitchen plays with on seasonal, scratch-made fare. Jazz and classical piano is de-rigeur, often with a talented vocalist joining in. 222 Broadway, 204‑942‑8251, fortgarryhotel.com/dining

Winnipeg’s stellar jazz scene can be found at Nicolino’s every week at the Wednesday Night Hang. Budding musicians and seasoned pros share the stage, while diners sample rustic Italian cuisine. 2077 Pembina Hwy, 204‑269‑5004, nicolinosrestaurant.com

Why Winnipeg’s Convention Centre is a Destination of its Own

With its stunning design and massive footprint, the RBC Convention Centre represents the vibrancy of Winnipeg’s downtown. 

By Joelle Kidd
Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Even the most lively discussion seems to pause when a group of travellers reaches York Avenue. Suddenly, they are awash in colourful light from glittering bulbs suspended over their heads. Most likely, the colours were chosen by an event organizer; rainbow stripes for the city’s Pride Parade, the logo colours of a corporation hosting a conference. Streetside, it hardly matters—all eyes are gazing upward.

This display is part of what has surely become downtown’s new showpiece. It’s hard not to gush about the newly expanded RBC Convention Centre, with its colourful lights, spectacular glass facade, and airy, open spaces stretching on and on.

What can’t be seen are the years of dreaming and meticulous planning that led to this building’s creation.

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

The Vision

The Winnipeg Convention Centre (as it was then called) has been a staple of the city’s downtown since 1975. Holding the distinction of being the first purpose-built centre of its kind in Canada, the space was imagined as a revitalizing force for Winnipeg. The project had its share of detractors—after all, it involved recognizing the destination potential of a relatively small prairie city. But jump forward a few decades and demand had far outgrown the building’s limitations.

Winnipeg, steadily and surely, has been growing, and with that growth have come numerous attractions: the MTS Centre and the return of the beloved Winnipeg Jets, an award-winning airport, the state-of-the-art Journey to Churchill Exhibit at Assiniboine Park Zoo and the stunning Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The energy is infectious, and the Convention Centre found itself at the heart of it all. With everything from annual trade shows to massive conventions clamouring for the space, it was clear that it was time for an upgrade.

Plans for the expansion began in 2000, when the Convention Centre’s architectural firm, LM Architectural Group, was approached by President and CEO Klaus Lahr. As architect Terry Danelley remembers, “We made drawings, created budgets … and then we waited.” The process of approval for plans and funding led to a 16 year gestation period. Finally, ground was broken for the new addition in 2012.

More than three years and countless man-hours later, in late November of 2015, the project was nearly complete. A one-day occupancy permit was secured to celebrate the way Canadians do: by watching the Grey Cup. The Big Game was being hosted in Winnipeg. It was the perfect time to show off the new space. At the end of the glittering gala that took place in the newly completed City View Room, a shower of fireworks rained over the glass walls.

The showy display was not just a celebration of the city and the event; it was recognition of an accomplishment more than a decade in the making.

Spectacular Space

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

SEE AND BE SEEN

The most striking feature of the new Convention Centre is its glazed facade, the glass walls of the third floor exhibition space (the City View Room) flooding the building with sunlight during the day and transforming it into a glowing beacon at night. This design choice was born out of the need to create a large enough exhibition space by spanning over York Avenue, which presents an architectural challenge: to build across the street without blocking light or disrupting flow. The floor to ceiling windows of the Centre’s public spaces along York Avenue and Carlton Street keep these downtown thoroughfares pedestrian friendly, giving passersby a glimpse at the excitement inside.

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

LOCAL FLAIR

By its very nature, a convention centre has to be able to transform into anything—which makes it difficult to build a space that captures the spirit of its city. From first designs to final result, maintaining a local connection in the building has been an important consideration. In the planning stages, Winnipeg-based companies LM Architectural Group and Number Ten Architecture partnered with a design team from LMN Architects in Seattle. To ensure the design represented Manitoba and its people, they prepared a collection of 18 images of the province, carefully selecting photos that showed off the colours and textures of Manitoba’s many environments. The open design showing the vast prairie sky, colour scheme, and use of wood all reflect these themes. Most impressive is the lighting installation criss-crossing the ceiling of the City View Room, the snaking, geometric pattern of which was inspired by a photo of cracked ice. The commitment to Manitoba’s land and people goes beyond stylistic choices, however: the building is LEED Silver Certified for sustainability, and on the walls you’ll find a donated collection of 60 pieces of Indigenous art.

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

LUNCH BREAK

The original building has been seamlessly integrated into the new addition with its own décor update. Along with multipurpose meeting and conference rooms, the space houses the Centre Place Café. The Centre’s stellar food service team shows off their skills to visitors at this cafeteria-style spot. Full entrées are offered daily for lunch, like fillet of salmon and carved roast beef, ringing in at a very per-diem-friendly $10-$15. In lieu of a dining room, seating is spread throughout the glass-enclosed walkway over York Avenue that separates the original building and the new addition, giving diners a birds eye view of the downtown street.

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

Photo courtesy RBC Convention Centre

CHANGING IT UP

A far cry from the fusty images of chintz and chandeliers that may be conjured up by the word “ballroom”, the York Ballroom is an ultra-modern and tech-integrated addition with free Wi-Fi, massive projection screens, and a stylish mix of hanging pendant and round lights to match the glittering eye candy hanging over York Avenue. The ballroom, like the third floor exhibition space, is infinitely customizeable. This flexibility was proven over one weekend, when the RBC Convention Centre played host to a business forum with attendance in the thousands, a national dance competition, and the biennial convention of the Liberal Party of Canada. Since opening, the third floor exhibition space has hosted events as diverse as a massive boat show, volleyball championship, and International pow wow. Visit the RBC Convention Centre’s website for upcoming events.

Paint Night at Tavern 1883

Dec. 17, 2015
By Afton Aikens

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when my friend Kaari and I signed up for the Christmas in Canmore Paint Night event at Tavern 1883. I’d heard about these fun, casual painting classes taking place at Calgary restaurants, but hadn’t seen any pop up in the Bow Valley and was eager to try it (I need the instruction!).

When I met Kaari at the Tavern, it seemed like the fun had already started. Our ticket included a free drink, but many people had already grabbed a beverage and the excited energy level was contagious. (So much so that at one point someone spilled a drink into another attendee’s paint).

IMG_2172

The set-up was as follows. Our stations were complete with easel, canvas, paint, brushes, water and apron. The instructor Wanda Ellerbeck, a Canmore-based artist and art teacher, had a canvas displayed at the front of the room with the finished product we were to create—a raven sitting on a moonlit, snow dusted tree branch.

(more…)

Canadian Rockies Entertainment: Favourite Events

By Afton Aikens & Olivia Grecu

Photo: Rita Taylor, The Banff Centre

Photo: Rita Taylor, The Banff Centre

Inspired Outdoor Shows

Watch artists perform against a mountain backdrop at The Banff Centre’s Shaw Amphitheatre, where the Centre’s theatre students help build sets and operate lighting. Must-see Canadian musical acts:

  • Art of Time Ensemble’s rendition of the Beatles album Abbey Road (June 27).
  • Blue Rodeo’s iconic country-rock (July 5).
  • Royal Wood’s folk-pop tunes (July 26).

(more…)

What to Do in Toronto: Festivals, Concerts and Events this October

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT EVENTS AND CONCERTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY THIS MONTH!

Gavin Creel in The Book of Mormon, North American Tour. © Joan Marcus, 2012.

Gavin Creel in The Book of Mormon, North American Tour. © Joan Marcus, 2012.

ALL MONTH LONG  Tony Award–winning musical The Book of Mormon is back at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The story centres on two missionaries who travel to Uganda in hopes of spreading the gospel but who experience a disconnect with the villagers who are dealing with AIDS, famine, poverty and war. Tickets are $49 – $200; visit mirvish.com for more information and to purchase.

ALL MONTH LONG This season at the Design Exchange, guest curator Jeanne Beker peeks into the wardrobes of iconic fashion designers and pulls out pieces that have made important political statements over the past 50 years for the exhibition “Politics of Fashion.” The striking garments lend both style and substance to longstanding ethical debates, gender issues, anti-war activism and more. General admission is $9.25 – $18.50; visit dx.org for more information and to purchase.

STARTS OCTOBER 3 Known for vibrant, thickly textured canvases that explore the physical and psychological connections between artist and landscape, artist Kim Dorland offers a series of new works for display at Angell Gallery. Expect pieces that continue to expand on the artist’s signature style and thematic concerns, further entrenching his position as Canada’s painter of record. Angell Gallery; 12 Ossington Ave., 416-530-0444. Open Wednesday to Saturday.

STARTS OCTOBER 12 Helen Lawrence, a new media production by visual artist Stan Douglas, mixes theatre, visual art, live action filming and computer-generated simulation in this story set in post-World War II Vancouver. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., 416-366-1656. Tuesday to Thursday 8 p.m., Friday 7 p.m., Saturday 1 & 8 p.m., Wednesday & Sunday 1 p.m.; $30-$99; visit canadianstage.com or call 416-368-3110 to charge.

OCTOBER 17 TO 19 If you’ve ever longed to taste the recipes being made by TV chefs, the Delicious Food Show is your meal ticket. Whether you hunger for the inside scoop on trendy cuisine, advice on grilling the perfect steak, or simply a sinful chocolate cake recipe, celebrity chefs such as Tyler Florence, Chuck Hughes and Mario Batali have you covered. Join them, plus local chefs like DaiLo’s Nick Liu and Yours Truly’s Lachlan Culjak for a feast of workshops, cooking demos and food pairings. Direct Energy Centre, Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., general admission is $22; visit deliciousfoodshow.com for details.

STARTS OCTOBER 23 Giants of the literary world descend upon the waterfront for 35th edition of the International Festival of Authors. A global roster of 200-plus novelists, poets, essayists and more share their passion for the written word during 11 days of readings, panel discussions, interviews and book signings. CanLit darling Ann-Marie MacDonald, poet Dionne Brand, crime fiction novelist James Ellroy, Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard, Irish scribes Colm Tóibín and John Boyne, and critically acclaimed Emma Donoghue are among the expected participants. Harbourfront Centre, general admission $18 for most events; call 416-973-4000 or visit ifoa.org for a schedule and to purchase tickets.

Opera Atelier Alcina. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

Opera Atelier’s Alcina starts October 23. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

STARTS OCTOBER 23  Sorceress sisters weave romantic entanglements in Alcina, the latest offering from Opera Atelier. In the company’s new, period-appropriate production of Handel’s 18th-century masterwork, the handsome Ruggiero finds himself on an island in search of the seductress Alcina; his true love, Bradamante, follows, disguised as a knight, and immediately draws the gaze of Alcina’s sister Morgana. But on this island of illusion, it’s true love that proves to be most magical. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., evenings at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinee at 3 p.m.. Tickets are $38 – $181; call 1-855-622-2787 to charge or visit operaatelier.com for details.

OCTOBER 24 TO 26 Cask Days brings unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally carbonated brews to the masses, allowing breweries the chance to show off their hops. This year’s event has about 300 different cask-conditioned ales by 100-plus breweries from across Canada, the United States and the U.K., including Niagara Oast House, Nelson Brewery, Grizzly Paw, Microbrasserie Le Castor and Grand River Brewing. A special focus on California includes 30-plus breweries from the state. Not into ale? A number of ciders are available, too, as well as gluten-free beer options. Evergreen Brick Works, Friday 6 to 11 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 and up; see caskdays.com to purchase.

TO OCTOBER 26 Cirque du Soleil is back in Toronto, and this season the famed Montreal troupe presents a kaleidoscope of characters and objects in its latest travelling show, Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities. Under the big top, audiences are transported back to the 19th century to meet an inventor who’s able to defy time, space and even gravity—one spectacular scene even features an upside-down dinner party! Grand Chapiteau, 51 Commissioner St., Tuesday to Friday 8 p.m., Saturday 4:30 and 8 p.m., Sunday 1:30 and 5 p.m.; $50 to $160; visit cirquedusoleil.com to purchase tickets.

STARTS OCTOBER 29 Although the Toronto Raptors endured a heartbreaking end to their 2013-14 playoffs this past May, the Dinos have retained their core and begin a new season stronger than ever. Forward DeMar DeRozan, point guard Kyle Lowry and shooting guard Terrence Ross are among the returning stars who’ll take on the world’s best basketball players this fall. The Raptors start their new season at home against the Atlanta Hawks. Air Canada Centre, 7:30 p.m., $12.50 and up; call 416-366-3865 to charge.

ALSO THIS MONTH!

Cancer-stricken Swedish Olympic heptathlete Nadja Casadei. Photo by Peter Holgerson, courtesy of World Press Photo.

The training regime of cancer-stricken Swedish Olympic heptathlete Nadja Casadei, photographed by Peter Holgersson. Courtesy of World Press Photo.

TO OCTOBER 21 World Press Photo, the annual juried exhibition of award-winning photojournalism covering events and issues that impacted the world in 2013, is on display at Brookfield Place (181 Bay St.). Admission is free.

OCTOBER 3 The Blue Dot Tour with David Suzuki—promoting clean drinking water, fresh air and healthy food for all Canadians—comes to Massey Hall, with such special guests as Stephen Lewis, the Barenaked Ladies, Chantel Kreviazuk and Raine Maida. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 – $79.50. Visit bluedot.ca for more information and to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 4 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, the annual all-night art affair, returns with more than 100 public installations, many of which invite visitors to be part of the works themselves. The free sunset-to-sunrise event expands into several new neighbourhoods, including Fort York, Chinatown and Bremner Boulevard, the latter of which hosts a magical night circus. Elsewhere, Máximo González’s installation, Walk Among Worlds, takes on political undertones by way of 7,000 beach balls to visualize first- and third-world states. Visit scotiabanknuitblanche.ca for a list of locations.

OCTOBER 5 TO 7 Part of the National Geographic Live series, award-winning photographer Steve Winter shares his experience travelling the globe in search of tigers, cougars and snow leopards. Tickets are $19.50 – $79.50. Roy Thomson Hall, October 5, 2 p.m.; October 6 and 7, 8 p.m. Visit roythomson.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 6 New York-based indie rockers We Are Scientists take the stage at The Horseshoe Tavern with guests Surfer Blood and Eternal Summers. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $18.50; visit horseshoetavern.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 7 TO 11 Award-winning actor, director and producer Ravi Jain and his mom Asha star in A Brimful of Asha, a family story about the search for the perfect bride. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill St., 416-203-6264.Tuesday to Saturday 9 p.m., Wednesday & Saturday 2 p.m.; $35-$55; visit soulpepper.ca or call 416-866-8666 to buy.

OCTOBER 8 Indie folk-rock chanteuse Cat Power brings her unique fusion sound to The Danforth Music Hall, 8 p.m. Tickets are $36; visit ticketmaster.ca or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

OCTOBER 8 & 9 Pop singer-songwriter Jason Mraz plays at Massey Hall, with the show starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $55.50 – $75.50; visit masseyhall.com to purchase.

Russell Peters

Russell Peters is back bringing the laughs at the Air Canada Centre on October 9.

OCTOBER 9 Brampton, Ontario’s best-known export, Russell Peters, is back with all-new material in his latest headlining show, the Almost Famous World Tour. Hot on the heels of appearances on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and Notorious on Netflix, Peters brings his trademark brand of wit and observation to what is sure to be a well-attended show—back in 2007, he was the first comedian to sell out the ACC. Air Canada Centre, 8 p.m. Tickets are $58.50 – $125.75; call 1-855-985-5000 or see russellpeters.com for information.

OCTOBER 10 Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Esperanza Spalding—who plays both upright bass and cello—brings her distinctive sound to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at Exhibition Place. Tickets are 49.50; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to charge.

OCTOBER 13 Aussie pop star Betty Who—made famous by a flash mob proposal video shot in a Home Depot that went viral—takes the stage at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club, with guests Joywave and Great Good Fine OK. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $19.50; visit livenation.com to purchase.

STARTS OCTOBER 14 A musical journey through the short-lived career of the legendary rock and roll pioneer, who died tragically in a plane crash, Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story features “That’ll be the Day,” “Peggy Sue” and “Everyday.” Various times. Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 416-314-2901. Tickets are $29 – $120; call 1-855-622-2787 or visit ticketmaster.ca to buy.

OCTOBER 15 Brit rock band Bastille makes a stop in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre during their North American tour. Tickets are $34.50 – $42.50; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

OCTOBER 16 TO 18 Bach and breakdancing may seem an unlikely combination—until you witness the Flying Steps, that is. The seven-member all-male dance troupe arrives in Toronto for one of two Canadian stops on its Red Bull Flying Bach world tour. Also featuring Swedish dancer Anna Holmström, this high-energy performance combines fast-footed jumps, head spins, jackhammers, hand hops and more choreographed to a live piano and harpsichord performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. Massey Hall, Thursday to Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., $25 – $70; call 416-872-4255 for tickets; see flying-steps.de for more information.

OCTOBER 18 Christine McVie rejoins her bandmates for a Fleetwood Mac North American tour, making a stop in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre. Tickets are $49.50 – $199.50; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

OCTOBER 21 Bruce McCulloch, of Kids in the Hall fame, chronicles his life as a rebellious teenager in Alberta to her early days in Toronto to fatherhood in Young Drunk Punk. The show, presented by the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, combines stand-up, live music and anecdotes in the lead up to McCulloch’s new book Let’s Start a Riot: A Series of Bravery and Stupidity. General admission is $39; admission plus a copy of the book and a post-show reception is $55. Visit torontosketchfest.com or call 647-505-1050 to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 21 October is breast cancer awareness month, and Eat to the Beat provides a novel way to help. The 19th edition of this popular fundraiser for Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support has 60 of the country’s best female chefs preparing signature bites like duck breast on polenta cream, grilled cheese, brownies and pies. Local culinary favourites include Doona Dooher of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Trista Sheen of Crush Wine Bar and Bonnie Gordon of Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., $175 includes all food and beverages, 7 p.m.; call 416-778-6314 ext. 236 or see eattothebeat.ca for details.

STARTS OCTOBER 21 In the world premiere of The Bakelite Masterpiece, set in Holland following World War II, an artist accused of selling art to the Nazis must prove his innocence by painting a work by Johannes Vermeer in front of a prosecutor and art historian. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827. Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2:30 p.m.; $48-$53; visit tarragontheatre.com to purchase.

OCTOBER 22 TO 26 The crafty and DIYers won’t want to miss the fall Creativ Festival, a massive consumer show bringing together sewing, quilting, beading, knitting, needlework, DIY decorating, crafting, scrapbooking and more. Workshops and seminars begin on October 22, while the Show Floor is open October 24 to 26, offering a chance to browse and buy a variety of goods, including fabrics, fibres, papers, beads, patterns, tools, books, kits and equipment. Show Floor hours are Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for one day is $4 – $15, and a three-day pass is $25 ($5 for students with valid ID). Hands-on classes and seminars are an extra cost. Visit creativfestival.com for more information or to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 24 The ever-bold Irish singer Sinead O’Connor brings her incredible voice to Massey Hall. Tickets are $49.50 – $79.50; visit masseyhall.com to purchase.

Art Toronto

Art Toronto brings together contemporary art from around the world. Photo courtesy of Art Toronto.

OCTOBER 24 TO 27 The 15th annual Art Toronto, a modern and contemporary fine art fair, will feature more than 100 galleries from Canada and around the world. There will be a feature exhibition by Quebec-based collective BGL, as well as fair tours and expert talks. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W.; visit arttoronto.ca for ticket info and further details.

OCTOBER 25 Feist, Sarah Harmer, Jason Collett, Hayden, Lou Canon, Kevin Hearn and other musicians will come together for the first annual Dream Serenade Benefit Concert at Massey Hall in support of services for children with developmental disabilities. Tickets are $50 – $200; visit masseyhall.com or call 416-872-4255 to purchase.

TO OCTOBER 26 In the Henrik Ibsen drama An Enemy of the People, a doctor discovers that his town’s baths are contaminated and must decide if he should inform the public of the health risk or keep it to himself to prevent the local economy from collapsing. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827. Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 2:30 p.m.; $25-$48; visit tarragontheatre.com to purchase.

OCTOBER 27 Canadian synth-pop darling Lights brings her sparkling tunes to The Danforth Music Hall with special guest Rush Midnight. Tickets are $35; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

Cheer on the Canucks

By MICHAEL LEUNG

Canucks fans ready to cheer their team to victory. (Photo: Canucks fans by Bob Young/Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Tourism)

Canucks fans ready to cheer their team to victory. (Photo: Bob Young/Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Tourism)

March 2, 8, 10, 19, 23, 29

The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games may be over, but hockey fans can still watch their favourite ice sport when the NHL resumes its regular schedule this month. Cheer on the Vancouver Canucks live at Rogers Arena as the race to secure a spot in the playoffs begins. The Canucks face off in six home games this month. Go Canucks go!

Hot Dates in Halifax: May

Beauty and the Beast plays a five-show engagement May 24-26. Photo: Joan Marcus

Beauty and the Beast plays a five-show engagement May 24-26. Photo: Joan Marcus

May 9:  Acclaimed roots singer/songwriter David Myles, fresh off a collaboration with rapper Classified, plays the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

May 10: Steve Patterson, host of The Debaters on CBC Radio brings his This is Not Debatable tour to Halifax. 

May 12: The Saint Cecilia Concert Series wraps up another season of celebrating classical music with a matinee concert at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts on Chebucto Road. Musician-in-Residence and cellist extraordinaire Shimon Walt performs, joined by his colleagues in the Rhapsody Quintet. Their varied repetoire includes a show-stopping rendition of the rock standard “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

May 15: One of the godfathers of outlaw country, Merle Haggard is enjoying a renaissance of late, releasing a string of critically acclaimed songs. He performs at the Halifax Metro Centre.

May 17 to 19: Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Blue Nose Marathon has plenty for both experienced runners and newcomers to the sport, including a youth run, a 5K and a 10K. The full marathon begins at the Old Town Clock on Sackville Street on May 19. It runs past Halifax Citadel, through the North End, back through the downtown along Barrington and Hollis streets, around Point Pleasant Park and back up to the Clock.

May 24 to 26: The classic Disney fairy tale Beauty and the Beast comes to life, as the touring version of the Broadway production plays a five-show engagement at the Halifax Metro Centre on Duke Street. Young fans will love the opulent costumes, detailed sets and familiar music.

 

Editor’s Choice

May 27 to June 9: The Scotia Festival of Music, Atlantic Canada’s largest annual celebration of chamber music, returns with a roster that reads like a who’s-who of chamber-music scene, including conductor Kenneth Woods, pianist Lynn Stodola, violinist Robert Uchida, cellist Denise Djokic, trumpeter Richard Simoneau, Composer-in-Residence Tim Brady and many more.

 

 

Hot Dates in Halifax: 5 for Music Lovers

Blue Rodeo returns to Halifax on January 18th at the Halifax Metro Centre. Photo: Warner Music

January 18: P.E.I. singer/songwriter Lennie Gallant joins Symphony Nova Scotia at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

January 18: With solid musical chops, distinctive song-writing and deep roots, it’s little wonder that Blue Rodeo remains one of Canada’s hottest musical acts. See them at the Halifax Metro Centre on Duke Street.

February 2: One of Canada’s biggest rock bands for two decades, the Tragically Hip never stay away from Halifax for long.

February 24: Tafelmusik’s Jeanne Lamon joins Symphony Nova Scotia for a celebration of Baroque music at Saint Andrew’s United Church on Coburg Road.

February 28: Celtic Woman, an ensemble of female performers, perform Celtic tunes at the Halifax Metro Centre on Duke Street.

Editors Choice
February 9: Southern gospel staples since 1939, the Blind Boys of Alabama offer an uplifting celebration of American gospel, roots and blues. Three blind singers, joined by four other musicians, offer timeless hits like “Way Down in the Hole,” “Soldier” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” The concert will be held at Dalhousie’s Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.