Weekend Radar: Smoke's Poutinerie World Poutine Eating Championship, Agamemnon, Louie Palu: Cage Call, Worldwide Extradition Protest for Marc Emery, We Are Photographers?, Glenn Nuotio and Maylee Todd at the Bread and Circus, Found Footage Festival
Saturday, May 22:FOOD | Smoke's Poutinerie World Poutine-Eating Championship
Obesity and chronic heart conditions be damned! Today 12 hungry hopefuls will stuff themselves with as many fries, gravy and cheese curds as possible in an attempt to become the world champion of poutine eating. Presented by Smoke's Poutinerie, you know the event's the real deal because it's been sanctioned by Major League Eating, the same people who annually bring you the Pizza Hut P'Zone Chow-lenge, and possibly the only sports body with less credibility than the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The odds-on favourite in a field of professional eaters is Chicago's Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti, who's ranked third in the world competitive eating circuit (who could forget his heroic performance at the 2007 Turkey Bowl, when he downed 7 pounds of turkey in 8 minutes). Tickets for the event are mostly sold out, but if you're at the Toronto FC game today you should check it out. Just follow the smell of fried food and misplaced ambition.
BMO Field, 170 Princes Boulevard, 12 pm
THEATRE | Agamemnon
If you think Greece has more than its share of troubles nowadays, just take a look at what life used to be like on the shores of the Aegean a few thousand years ago. Economic crisis is one thing, but try living through decades of war, gods raining thunder on everyone, and the high likelihood that you'll end up killing your father, marrying your mother, and damning your hometown for eternity. The plight of the ancient Greeks is still a big draw for modern audiences, and Theatre Cipher's Agamemnon is just one of four productions of Greek tragedies in Toronto this season. The play is Cipher's first and marks the Toronto directorial debut of Michael Wighton, a local boy who spent a decade studying theatre in Europe after completing his acting degree at Yale. Wighton's version of Aeschylus's tragedy about a nation at war has been streamlined, with three actors playing the central roles as well as rotating to form the chorus. This cuts down on acting costs, but also serves to show the subconscious forces at work in the main characters.
Church Hall of Christ the Saviour Cathedral, 823 Manning Avenue, $10 - $20, Wednesday to Sunday 8 pm
PHOTOGRAPHY | Louie Palu: Cage Call
No matter how quickly we build windmills and solar panels, it will be a long time before the world gives up its dependence on coal. Until then, every day men will risk their lives in the depths of mines to feed our addiction to fossil fuels. Photojournalist Louie Palu's new exhibition Cage Call: Life and Death in the Hard Rock Mining Belt documents the work of miners in Northeastern Ontario and Northwestern Québec, capturing haunting black and white images of workers silhouetted against white light 7,000 feet below the surface of the Earth. Palu is the latest addition Kinsman Robinson Galleries' stable of artists, and spent six years as a staff photographer at The Globe and Mail. Before his current project, he spent several years photographing the "War on Terror" in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. He'll be in attendance for the opening reception of Cage Call today, which runs until June 12.
Kinsman Robinson Galleries, 108 Cumberland Street, Free, 2 pm - 4 pm
POT PROTEST | Worldwide Extradition Protest for Marc Scott Emery
British Columbia's so-called Prince of Pot, Marc Emery walked a fine line with law enforcement for ten years, selling marijuana seeds over the internet to marijuana enthusiasts in Canada and the United States. It was cross-border selling that ultimately got him in trouble, and in July 2005 he was arrested by Vancouver police at the request of the US Drug Enforcement Administration. While his crimes would only earn him a small fine here in Canada, in the U.S. they've netted him a five-year jail sentence. Emery was extradited earlier this week, sparking protests (and joints of protest) across the country, including a smoke-in at the office of Abbotsford MP Ed Fast's office. Today Torontonians will do their best to get Emery returned to Canada with a large demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate.
US Consulate, 360 University Avenue, 12 pm
PHOTOGRAPHY | We Are Photographers? at the CONTACT Photography Festival
We've all been there. Alone in a foreign country, with nothing but our camera as a companion, the resulting photographs seem to take on an importance that we'd never achieve by taking snaps at home. But does it mean that they're great art? That's the question behind We Are Photographers?, an exhibition at the Sleeping Giant Gallery showing the photos of five people that document their personal journeys in foreign lands. Presented by Hello Foto, a project by emerging Toronto photographers Hitoshi Murakami and Vincent Luk, tonight's opening is just one of two CONTACT openings this weekend as the festival winds down. And while CONTACT is a prestigious festival, this ain't no snooty art party. Hello Foto promises $3.50 beers, and tons of chocolate chip cookies.
Sleeping Giant Gallery, 789 Dundas Street West, 7 pm
MUSIC | Glenn Nuotio and Maylee Todd at the Bread and Circus
Newfoundland-born experimental musician Glenn Nuotio became famous on the Rock for making melodramatic piano music about queer love and his immodest sexuality. He recently left behind that small pond fame to move to Ottawa with his long-term boyfriend, and has since embarked on some unusual musical projects including setting the on-air outing of federal cabinet minister John Baird to music. His fine piano chops and diva charisma have earned him opening slots with acts like Brasstronaut, and he makes a rare Toronto appearance tonight with indie songstress Maylee Todd playing an opening slot.
The Bread and Circus, 299 Augusta Avenue, PWYC, 10 pm
Sunday, May 23:
FILM | Found Footage Festival
These days it's common to spend an hour or two bouncing between YouTube pages looking at random videos, which makes it easy to forget that there's a whole world of pointlessly entertaining footage that hasn't yet made it to digital. Luckily the guys at the Found Footage Festival are around to collect it. Each year they sort through garage sales and video bins at Goodwill to compile the strangest and most entertaining sequences ever committed to VHS, and then throw them up on the big screen for our viewing pleasure. Highlights of this year's festival include the worst Saturday morning cartoons in history, a 1987 dating video reel, and amateur video of a 1985 heavy metal festival in Washington, DC.
Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West, $15, 7 pm
PARTY | Queer Social
The Press Club pays homage to history's greatest queen tonight by gathering a bunch of lesser queens for a holiday Sunday party. The patio of the little bar is only open til 11 pm, but hey, that will just give you a chance to get closer to your fellow Victoriaphiles. DJ Peachy Keen will be spinning a mix of new wave, punk and electro to get everyone's knickers in a twist. To those who question this party's links to Victoria Day, remember that they had queer socials in the Victorian Age as well, only back then they called them "British Parliament." Take that, Benjamin Disraeli!
The Press Club, 850 Dundas Street West, No Cover, 10 pm
PARTY | Metal Health
Don't bother fighting it, heavy metal hair music is making a comeback. Music trends are all cyclical, so at least you can take some comfort in the fact that even though you may have to endure a revival of Guns n' Roses ballads, future generations will have to relive the ascendancy of Justin Bieber. Tonight's Metal Health jam at Sneaky Dee's celebrates the best of hair bands of the 90s by spinning classic tracks from the like of Motley Crue, Poison, Skid Row, and Twisted Sister, inviting you to headbang the night away with reckless abandon. Are heavy metal parties ironic? I can't even tell anymore.
Sneaky Dee's, 431 College Street, $5, 10 pm
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