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What to See Toronto

Toronto Weekend Events: July 25 to 27

THESE WEEKEND EVENTS AND PERFORMANCES ARE GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOUR TIME IN TORONTO EVEN MORE MEMORABLE!

This weekend, Taste of Toronto brings ample flavour to Fort York

This weekend, Taste of Toronto brings ample flavour to Fort York

THE MAIN EVENT
A weekend full of flavour awaits as Taste of Toronto invites foodies to Fort York—to indulge in a range of inventive small plates from a who’s who of the city’s chefs: Carl Heinrich of Richmond Station, Cory Vitiello of The Harbord Room, Geoff Hopgood of Hopgood’s Foodliner, and more than a dozen others. A cooking demonstration stage provides entertainment and education between bites, while a vendor market featuring more than 50 premium local producers—from cheesemongers to juice slingers to maple syrup makers—ensures you can take home some treats, too.

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The Textile Museum Features Ying Gao’s Sci-Fi Fashion

Science-inspired threads by Ying Gao are on display at the Textile Museum of Canada

Science-inspired threads by Ying Gao are on display at the Textile Museum of Canada

MAY 7 TO SEPTEMBER 1  Sure, we’re all waiting for the jacket with built-in Wi-Fi, or the trousers that can charge smartphone batteries, but so-called wearable technology can be more than merely utilitarian. Ying Gao demonstrates as much at her Textile Museum of Canada exhibition, Fashioning the Intangible. Combining fashion with ideas about architecture, urban environments and multimedia art, the university professor and designer creates garments that incorporate novel materials and sensory systems to playfully highlight the effects of external stimuli on individuals. Featuring such artfully crafted items as diaphanous Science is Fiction garments and (No)where (Now)here dresses that move when gazed upon, the show lends materiality to the immaterial elements of our environment.  —Craig Moy

• Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Ave., 416-599-5321; textilemuseum.ca
Map and reviews

Take in Outdoor Theatre, Film and Music This Summer in Toronto

Shakespeare in High Park's summer 2013 performance of MacBeth (photo: David Hou)

Shakespeare in High Park’s summer 2013 performance of MacBeth (photo: David Hou)

THE PLAY’S THE THING
Grab a blanket, pack a picnic and head to the west end for a summertime staple, Shakespeare in High Park. For more than 30 years, residents and visitors alike have flocked to the park’s scenic outdoor amphitheatre for evening performances of the Bard’s most cherished works. This season, the Canadian Stage presents two plays on alternating nights: the pastoral comedy As You Like It and the bloody tragedy Titus Andronicus. Tuesday to Sunday 8 p.m., pay-what-you-can admission ($20 suggested), or reserve a premium spot for $25; see canadianstage.com to buy tickets.

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Discover the Science of Rock ‘n’ Roll This Summer in Toronto

Ontario-Science-Centre-Rock-and-Roll-Exhibition

JUNE 11 TO OCTOBER 26  When one thinks of science, images of beakers, test tubes and lab coats immediately come to mind. But what about the mp3 player in your pocket, the earphones around your neck, the car radio, or the streaming site on your computer? Science and technology have helped to make our lives more melodic in countless ways, many of which we may be unaware of. The Science of Rock ‘n’ Roll, a new exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre, aims to educate audiences about how the latest tracks by Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake have been touched by technological innovation. From the way music is recorded to its effects on a listener, the interactive display explores the evolution of chart-topping hits from the 1950s to the present day.  —Linda Luong

• Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Rd., 416-696-1000; ontariosciencecentre.ca
• Map and reviews

Penelope Stewart’s Buzz-Worthy Show at Koffler Gallery

Penelope Stewart's Vanitas covers an entire room in intricately carved beeswax

Penelope Stewart’s Vanitas covers an entire room in intricately carved beeswax

JUNE 26 TO AUGUST 31  The cyclical nature of life and art, from creation to degradation, finds intricate and unexpected expression in Vanitas, artist Penelope Stewart’s site-specific installation at the Koffler Gallery. Taking its name from the Latin word originally used to describe the transient nature of earthly goods—in art, it typically refers to still-life works—Stewart’s show sees her covering the gallery space in high-relief tiles, floral forms, vines and “household detritus,” all made from beeswax. Evocative of ancient ruins while also alluding to the modernist architecture of Le Corbusier, the immersive environment contemplates “the fragility of our utopian aspirations of transforming nature through culture.”  —Craig Moy

• Koffler Gallery, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw St., 647-925-0643; kofflerarts.org
Map and reviews

At the AGO, Photographer Scott McFarland Shows Land- and Cityscapes

Scott McFarland's Man on Ladder, Royal Street, New Orleans

Scott McFarland’s Man on Ladder, Royal Street, New Orleans

MAY 14 TO AUGUST 10  Take a good long look at the photos of Scott McFarland, and in doing so, consider the purpose of photography itself. Held over from May’s Contact Festival, the B.C.-born, Toronto-based image maker’s solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario features more than 40 of his recent works, shot in Toronto, New Orleans and other locales. At first glance the pieces appear to be typical, if highly detailed, land- and streetscapes. In fact, they’re meticulously crafted composites: closer inspection reveals subtle anomalies that shift the idea of a photograph capturing a singular scene or moment, forcing viewers to question the “authentic” makeup of a depicted place.  —Craig Moy

• Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648; ago.net
Map and reviews

The Luminato Festival Kicks Off a Sexy Summer

BY CRAIG MOY

This year's Luminato performances include (from left): Pina Bausch's Kontacthof, Paradisiacal Rites, All the Sex I've Ever Had, and Isabella Rossellini in Green Porno (photos: Luminato Festival)

This year’s Luminato performances include (from left): Pina Bausch’s Kontacthof, Paradisiacal Rites, All the Sex I’ve Ever Had, and Isabella Rossellini in Green Porno (photos: Luminato Festival)

JUNE 6 TO 15  You may have heard: Toronto has a reputation as a buttoned-down sort of burg, its residents cocooned in condos and cubicles. “Hogwash!” shout Hogtown’s hordes. We may be slow to warm up—particularly after a long, cold winter—but we’re hardly frigid. Just look at Exhibit A: the 10-day orgy of theatre, dance, film, music and literature that is the Luminato Festival.

The event’s eighth edition is set to be its most stimulating so far, organized as it is around the theme of sex. Common and creative sense, then, tell us to leave our stuffed shirts at home (or, at least, in our hotel room). The festival’s centrepiece performances are best experienced with an open heart and open mind:

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Make a Visual Investment at Love Art Toronto

Wir Sind Alle Dafür ist Alles Möglich by Cluca—just one of thousands of works available at Love Art Toronto (photo: Galerie Youn)

Wir Sind Alle Dafür ist Alles Möglich by Cluca—just one of thousands of works available at Love Art Toronto (photo: Galerie Youn)

MAY 8 TO 11  Start scoping out wall space—you’ll need it to hang your latest acquisitions from Love Art. Founded by London art dealer Will Ramsay, who also created the global Affordable Art Fair, this unpretentious expo emphasizes that you need not be a millionaire to own beautiful contemporary art. The show, which is making its Toronto debut, draws from more than 50 Canadian and international galleries—from Montreal’s Galerie Youn to Artspace Warehouse in Los Angeles—representing works that range in price from $100 to $10,000. More than half of the paintings, photos and sculptures on display are less than $5,000, making it even easier to justify a purchase or two! Direct Energy Centre, $12; call 647-539-1149 or visit loveartfair.com/toronto for more information.  —Kait LaForce

Best of Toronto: 30 Things We Love About Our City This May

Each and every month we scour the city to bring you all the very best that Toronto has to offer! Check out our latest favourites below.

Best of Toronto #1: New sunglasses from Spectacle

Best of Toronto #1: New sunglasses from Spectacle

1  Picking out chic new sunglasses from Spectacle, in preparation for a bright spring and a balmy summer.

2  Not only the 200-plus exhibitions, but also the numerous artist talks and related events of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.

3  Ordering Fonda Lola‘s “Mexican Fiesta” to indulge in everything on the restaurant’s menu.

4  Learning a few of the intriguing stories from Toronto’s past while on a local jaunt with Muddy York Walking Tours.

5  Discovering which contemporary artists Kim Dorland favours—the acclaimed painter has curated a group show that opens May 8 at Angell Gallery.

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Picturing People at the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival

BY CRAIG MOY

This year's Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival examines the theme of Identity—though portraits and other photo-based works of art (see the gallery at the bottom of this article for full caption details)

This year’s Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival examines the theme of Identity—though portraits and other photo-based works of art (see the gallery at the bottom of this article for full caption details)

MAY 1 TO 31  In Toronto, the arrival of May reliably brings flowers, crowded patios and thousands of thought-provoking images. All month long, the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival makes what is arguably the most populist of visual art forms even more accessible at museums, commercial galleries and other culturally inclined spaces. More than 200 venues have caught the shutter bug this year.

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The Gardiner Museum Examines Ron Thom’s Micro-to-Macro Vision

Architect Ron Thom's Forrest House (photo: Selwyn Pullan)

Architect Ron Thom’s Forrest House (photo: Selwyn Pullan)

FEBRUARY 13 TO APRIL 27  Visit one of the city’s best-designed buildings to discover the man behind even more admirable Canadian architecture. This spring, the Gardiner Museum examines the legacy of midcentury architect Ron Thom, known for his work on Massey College in Toronto and Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Originally a visual artist, Thom believed that every detail was important to his structures, right down to the textiles and ceramics with which they were decorated. As such the exhibition features paintings, photographs, architectural drawings, furniture prototypes, ceramics and more, to offer a unique perspective on how, in design, small details can inform a much wider vision.  —Brock Sutherland

• Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen’s Park, 416-586-8080; gardinermuseum.on.ca
Map and reviews

The AGO Introduces Francis Bacon to Henry Moore

Francis Bacon's Study for Portrait II (After the Life Mask of William Blake) and a detail view of Henry Moore's Falling Warrior (photos: Estate of Francis Bacon/Art Gallery of Ontario; Henry Moore Foundation/Art Gallery of Ontario)

Francis Bacon’s Study for Portrait II (After the Life Mask of William Blake) and a detail view of Henry Moore’s Falling Warrior (photos: Estate of Francis Bacon/AGO; Henry Moore Foundation/AGO)

APRIL 5 TO JULY 20  In Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty, the Art Gallery of Ontario brings together two giants of 20th-century British modernism, conflating the former’s raw, expressionistic paintings with the latter’s abstract sculptures. The impact of World War II—especially the bombardment of London—on the artists’ work is a particular focus, with careful juxtaposition encouraging viewers to consider how two minds reflected on a singular torment in two distinct art forms. The AGO is already known for its considerable collection of Moore sculptures; additional loans from other institutions, bulwarked by a plethora of post-war photographs and drawings, ensure you’ll leave the exhibition both intellectually aroused and emotionally eviscerated.  —Brock Sutherland

• Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648; ago.net
Map and reviews