Jann Arden

The Dish

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Meet the five Toronto contestants on Top Chef Canada season three

(Image: Top Chef Canada)

Season three of Top Chef Canada kicks off on March 18, and earlier today Food Network Canada unveiled the slate of 16 contestants, including five from the GTA (that’s one less than in seasons one and two). Returning this year are host Lisa Ray, head judge Mark McEwan and resident judge Shereem Arazm, and just like last season, the winner takes home $100,000 and a new GE Monogram Kitchen (plus a custom Caesarstone countertop installation, which was the prize in episode 12 last year). The celebrity guests will include Montreal chef-hunk Chuck Hughes, U.S. Top Chef season six champ Michael Voltaggio and Food Network regulars David Rocco and Robert Irvine, as well as the usual sprinkling of CanCon’s finest like Trish Stratus, Russell Peters and, gloriously, Jann Arden. Below, we suss out the Toronto contestants’ chances.

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The Informer

Events

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The Weekender: Just For Laughs 42, Gallery Hop and six other events on our to-do list

The mighty Fanfare Ciocărlia appears on Friday as part of the Small World Music Festival (Image: Arne Reinhardt)

1. JUST FOR LAUGHS 42
Because one week just wasn’t long enough, Just for Laughs spreads this year’s staggering 42 acts across eight days. In addition to the usual comics (like Patton Oswalt and current reigning comedy god Louis CK), there are also several unfunny yet still worthy performers (like David Suzuki, and Elizabeth May interviewed by Raine Maida). And the whole “interactive” thing isn’t just lip service: the venue allocations and even the number of shows are all determined by pass holders showing interest in each act via the festival’s iPhone app. Passes are divided into four- and eight-show bundles. September 21–28. $99–$149 for different pass packages. Various venues, 1-855-867-4242, jfl42.com

2. GALLERY HOP (FREE!)
A more sophisticated take on a bar crawl (no booze, more culture), Gallery Hop 2012 Toronto provides tours through 42 Toronto art galleries. No ROM or AGO collections here—instead,  artists and art lovers can chat and mingle in smaller venues and at scheduled talks staggered throughout the day. There are eight different areas, so hitting them all might require the creative use of a Metropass, a bike or a professional getaway driver (some trail mix couldn’t hurt either). One of the featured exhibitions: Christian Marclay’s absolute must-see The Clock at the Power Plant. September 22. Various galleries and venues, 416-368-8854 x101, galleryhop2012.canadianart.ca

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The Informer

Events

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The Weekender: Jann Arden, Spirited Away and six other items on our to-do list

The Weekender: Jann Arden, Spirited Away and The Neverending Story

1. JANN ARDEN
Despite all our attempts to be cool, we have to admit the hilarious Jann Arden is one of our favourite Canadian singers. She even gently poked fun at Pam Anderson’s earnest anti-seal tirade at the 2006 Junos, so we’re kind of in love with her. That’s why we’ll be the ones belting out “Insensitive” during her two-night engagement at Massey Hall. March 9 and 10. $59–$99. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.

2. SPIRITED AWAY: THE FILMS OF STUDIO GHIBLI
Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation and film studio that produced beloved—and much-lauded—animated features like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, gets the Lightbox treatment with this kid-friendly retrospective. Ghibli garners lots of comparisons to Disney—and it’s certainly as influential as the U.S. kid-flick behemoth—but their elegant, fantasy-driven animation is fun for the grown-ups, too. March 10 to April 13. $12. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., tiff.net.

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The Informer

Culture

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New Global singing competition to feature Jann Arden and Vanilla Ice as judges

Stop, collaborate and sing? Vanilla Ice announced as judge for Global reality show (Image: wonker)

Global announced yesterday a new singing competition that is Glee meets American Idol, with a little bit of America’s Best Dance Crew thrown in for good measure—all with a Canadian twist, of course. Canada Sings showcases workplace glee clubs as they learn vocal routines and choreography and, ultimately, compete to perform on a national stage.

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