All stories relating to festivals

The Informer

Random Stuff

2 Comments

Group wants to close 10 kilometres of Bloor Street for a giant “Open Streets” festival

The proposed road closures. (Image: courtesy of Open Streets TO)

The proposed road closures (Image: courtesy of Open Streets TO)

Toronto has countless street festivals each year, and most of them are pretty much the same: midway games, Tiny Tom donuts, and a few local musical acts competing for attention with overpriced finger food from neighbourhood restaurants. Open Streets TO is proposing something a little different. The group, a collaboration between councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, 8-80 Cities and other like-minded organizations, aims to stage a massive, multi-part festival along Bloor Street between High Park and Greenwood Avenue, as well as part of downtown Yonge Street.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Culture

Comments

A guide to the summer’s must-attend music festivals

Current Obsession: Travelling Road Shows

(Photographs: Cockburn courtesy of Huntsville Festival of the Arts; Fucked Up by Daniel Boud; Sinclaire and Mumford & Sons courtesy of Universal Music Canada)

Huntsville Festival of the Arts
July 4 to August 28, Huntsville

In a nutshell: Roots music meets Roots clothing.

The highlights: The indie-country duo Whitehorse, the fiddle superstar Natalie MacMaster, a two-night stand from the unerringly earnest Bruce Cockburn and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which backed Dr. John and the Black Keys at last year’s Grammys. The festival also recently started a cottage-country version of Nuit Blanche full of kooky-cool art installations and street theatre.

Who goes: Folkie moms and dads in Tilley hats and cottagers bored of playing Yahtzee.

Where to sleep: Deerhurst Resort, which scored a $2-million reno for the infamous 2010 G8 summit, has three luxe restau­rants and top-notch facilities.


Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Deathwatch

2 Comments

Toasted Tangerine food truck motors down for good

Toronto’s food truck scene took a hit Saturday when The Toasted Tangerine announced it would be winding down. Alyssa Tangerine, co-owner of the truck alongside her husband Adrian, spoke to The Dish about the reasoning behind the closure. Primarily, she told us, the couple decided to pack it in following personal health issues on her part, which made it difficult to continue working on the truck. But in addition to those concerns, she told us that costly city-sanctioned rules and restrictions made it nearly impossible to turn a profit. And it turns out that showing up at big festivals wasn’t much of a solution either—Alyssa explained that vendor fees to park at a three-day event could cost up to $1,000, and that’s on top of the price of gas, employees, propane and food. “I don’t know what they think we’re selling,” Alyssa says of her $8 fare, “there’s no gold in my sandwiches.” The couple plans to take time off for now, but another food-service venture isn’t entirely out of the picture. It’s safe to assume, however, that unless there are some drastic changes in city by-laws, you won’t see these two on another truck. As Alyssa explains, “I don’t see any longevity in the business.”

The Informer

Random Stuff

Comments

GALLERY: the sights of the 2012 Caribbean Carnival parade

Toronto is rich with street festivals, parades and protest marches, but a top contender for liveliest of the lot has to be the grand parade of the festival formerly known as Caribana. The 45th such spectacle had all the requisite elements: pounding dancehall, soca and steelpan music, outrageously hot weather, feathered costumes of every colour, and coconuts, sugar cane, corn and jerk chicken at the finish line. It also had Trinity-Spadina MP Olivia Chow earning some serious cred in a gold and pink beaded number, complete with iridescent wings (she danced her way down Lake Shore Boulevard rather than riding, like some other VIPs). Sure, the crowd seemed a little smaller than usual, and the security and police presence more prominent (the Toronto police sent 450 more officers this time), but Saturday’s parade still did what it does every year: remind us why we love summer in this city.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Events

1 Comment

The Weekender: Rogers Cup, Caribbean Carnival and five other items on our to-do list

Milos Raonic (Image: Christopher Johnson)

1. SCOTIABANK CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL
Technically, this Caribbean cultural extravaganza runs for over three weeks, but everyone knows the best parts happen this weekend: the crowning of the fest’s King and Queen (Thursday); Pan Alive, the steel pan competition and concert (Friday); and, most importantly, the parade (Saturday). We also like to think of this weekend as one of the few days that skimpy outfits, feather headdresses and sequins are perfectly acceptable day wear. To August 12. Ticket prices vary. Parade travels along Lake Shore to Parkside, 416-391-5608, torontocaribbeancarnival.com.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Food Events

Comments

Stinky tofu, octopus balls and a midway greeted revellers at this year’s T&T Waterfront Night Market

T&T Waterfront Night Market 2012

(Image: Igor Yu)

What smells like rotting garbage and brings out block-long line-ups? Stinky tofu at an Asian food festival, of course. T&T Supermarket hosted the most recent one this past weekend at its Cherry Street location, one of three such events in the GTA now. These food festivals are a small glimpse into (and sometimes pale reflection of) the night life of pretty much every city of any size in Asia, with street vendors selling everything from cheap toys to grilled skewers of meat. We dropped by to see how the national Chinese grocer fared at its third annual Waterfront Night Market.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Events

Comments

The Long Weekender: Fireworks, That’s So Gay and six other items on our to-do list

1. CANADA DAY FIREWORKS (FREE!)
In the interest of easing the decision-making process, here’s a round-up of the ideal spots to catch brightly coloured explosives making pretty patterns in the sky this Canada Day. The city’s official fireworks display kicks off around 10:15 p.m. at Mel Lastman Square; Ashbridge’s Bay Park’s display begins at 9:30 p.m.; Canada’s Wonderland’s light show, set to a soundtrack of Top 40 tunes, kicks off at 10 p.m.; Downsview Park’s fireworks will start at dusk; and Amesbury Park’s show (at Keele and Lawrence) will start around 9:45 p.m. Plus, Ribfest and the CHIN picnic also have light shows. July 1. Admission is free. Various locations and times.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

People

Comments

Patton Oswalt, Todd Barry and David Suzuki join Louis CK for JFL42

Last month, we announced that Louis CK is headlining JFL42, a Just For Laughs festival with 42 offerings (duh), including standup, music, poetry and lectures (it’s sort of like the NXNE of the comedy world). And the confirmed participants keep rolling in: Patton Oswalt and Todd Barry have signed on to make people laugh, while David Suzuki has been asked to lecture because, well, he’s awesome. Not interested in laughing or listening to awesome people talk about important subjects? There’s also a poetry slam and some sort of event where people get their naked bodies painted (art!), so there’s something for every kind of person. (For everyone’s sake, we hope the paint isn’t too cold.)

The Informer

People

2 Comments

37 reasons Woofstock should be renamed the Cute Overload Festival

Cute overload (Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)

Puppies and giant dogs alike were on parade this weekend in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood for Woofstock, and we spotted some adorable canines posing for glamour shots at the Paws for the Cause booth and walking the runway in a doggie fashion show. There were certainly many owners who dressed their little dudes and gals in completely ridiculous costumes, but at the heart of it all, it’s one of the biggest dog festivals in North America where dogs can kiss, nuzzle, jump, bark and play under the sun for hours and hours (unfortunately, we were there post-shower, so there was a faint smell of wet fur in the air).

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Culture

3 Comments

Toronto vs. Chicago: movies, musicals and Oprah edition

After hearing that Chicago is crazy jealous of Toronto’s annual Luminato festival—and the international tourists it attracts—we got to wondering how Hogtown really stacks up against its similarly sized cousin. We looked at everything from restaurants named Acadia to notable rich guys to talk show hosts extraordinaire (and a whole bunch of other admittedly arbitrary categories). Here’s how the two cities compare in matters cultural.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Events

1 Comment

The Weekender: Luminato, Woofstock and six other items on our to-do list

1. LUMINATO
Art, theatre, film, dance, books and music—the arts are everywhere in the city this weekend. Clearly, Luminato has arrived. On our radar: Friday’s First Night concert featuring rapper K’Naan; Sunday’s Rufus to the Max program, a two-parter that includes a one-hour tribute to Rufus Wainwright and a concert with the man himself; 1000 Tastes of Toronto, a President’s Choice–sponsored food extravaganza; a late-night performance of Shostakovich’s Eleventh Symphony by the TSO; and t
he New Yorker lit series, which features talks and panels by author Annie Proulx, theatre critic Hilton Als and food critics Calvin Trillin and Adam Gopnik. June 8–17. Various prices. 416-368-3100, luminato.com.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Events

Comments

Today in Toronto: New Ideas Festival and The Black Keys

New Ideas Festival The Alumnae Theatre offers up a solution for opinionated Torontonians with nowhere to vent: the company’s annual new play festival encourages attendees to let ’em have it. Audience participation—in the form of talkback sessions and comment forms—is all part of the process during the three-week juried event, as 15 short works-in-progress find their feet. Find out more »

The Black Keys The guitar-drums duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney has distinguished itself as a more radio-friendly alternative to the gone-but-not-forgotten White Stripes. Their new album, El Camino, once again teams them with hip-hop producer Danger Mouse, who adds a smidgen of contemporary shine to the Keys’ throwback boogie-woogie. British music magazine cover darlings the Arctic Monkeys open. Find out more »

The Informer

Business

2 Comments

Garth Drabinsky still managing to (indirectly) screw people over 

Not even performances from acclaimed musicians like Diana Krall and a healthy dose of optimism could save the nascent BlackCreek Summer Music Festival from stiffing performers. Sure, one obvious explanation for the festival’s malfeasance is that noted financial fraudster Garth Drabinsky provided the artistic direction while out on bail. But it’s really more complicated than that. The Toronto Star reports that the festival was also bogged down by poor ticket sales and crummy weather. Now performers and businesses claim the festival owes them over $100,000 in late payments. A spokesperson for the festival attributed the late payments to poor ticket sales, complications with a credit card–processing company and trouble with financing. “Art festivals take time to become mainstays,” he said. Yes, that’s true. It’s just too bad most creditors don’t take payment in the form of, um, time. Read the entire story [Toronto Star] »

The Informer

Politics

Comments

Toronto mayor Rob Ford set to show his face on the international stage 

Apparently, there are some ceremonial events Rob Ford will attend and there are some ceremonial events Rob Ford won’t attend. The former includes gay festivals in Toronto, while the latter includes ostensibly straight athletic events in Mexico. In other words, the mayor confirmed on Friday that he would, indeed, show up to the Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, where he’ll take part in a sort-of torch-passing ceremony between the current host and Toronto, which is hosting the games in 2015. Ford’s decision was a bit of a nail-biter—he hadn’t confirmed his attendance as of late last week, and snubbing a major event like this certainly wouldn’t be out of character. Then again, the Pan Am Games should feature less glitter than the Pride Parade, so Ford can rest easy. And in typical Fordian fashion, he’ll be paying for the trip out with his own money. Read the entire story [Globe and Mail] »

The Informer

Events

1 Comment

The Weekender: Nuit Blanche, Spring Awakening and six other items on our to-do list

The Weekender: Nuit Blanche, Spring Awakening and the High Park Harvest Festival

1. NUIT BLANCHE (FREE)
We wish good luck to those who aim to see all there is to see at this year’s sundown–to–sun-up contemporary arts fest, but for those who are a little less ambitious more realistic, we offer our picks from the 134 installations on the schedule: The Feast of Trimalchio, a video installation that reimagines Petronius’s Satyricon (Zone A); The Heart Machine by Christine Irving, an interactive sculpture that shoots fire (Zone B); and TIFF Movie Studio Playhouse, which allows visitors to create film shorts that will be projected on the Lightbox atrium wall (Zone C). October 1. Various locations, scotiabanknuitblanche.ca. Check out our expanded 2011 Nuit Blanche guide »

2. SPRING AWAKENING
Spring Awakening is a musical take on Frank Wedekind’s controversial play of the same name, originally banned when it was written in 1892. It’s a coming-of-age tale set in small-town Germany in the late 1800s and follows a group of teens as they discover their own sexuality. Due to adult themes, we do not recommend bringing your children. To October 8. $45–$60. Lower Ossington Theatre, 100A Ossington Ave., 416-915-6747, lowerossingtontheatre.com.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement