Easter Weekend events in Toronto 2014
Weekend events in Toronto is our guide to events happening this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here's what's happening in Toronto this April 18-20, 2014.
Ah, yes. Each year, hundreds gather at Yonge-Dundas Square to smoke out the domineering billboards and give peace a chance, while the police will look on and wish the day would end so they could go home and party, Canada-style, themselves. If you're going to brave the crowds, remember not to operate heavy machinery within the next few hours and don't ride the dogs with the pot leaf bandanas, because they are dogs, not dragons. Sunday, April 20, 4:20-ish, Yonge-Dundas Square.
HAIVKY! Spring Revels in the Park on Easter Sunday
Toronto folk collective Kosa Kolektiv, together with a lot of good friends, will host a singing procession that starts at the main gates of Trinity Bellwoods Park and then leads into park for a picnic (BYOsnacks) under a red tent, folk dancing, games and walking formations, Ukrainian and Breton folk dances led by local musicians, Village Voice singing, and games for little sugared-up ankle-biters. If it rains, activities might move into the church basement hall of St. Nicholas Church, 4 Bellwoods Ave. Sunday, April 20, 4pm-dark, Trinity Bellwoods Park.
- Craft Pop-Up: Easter Egg Pinatas (The Shop)
Girls Just Wanna Have Punk (Friday, Smiling Buddha)
Female-driven punk bands are taking over Smiling Buddha tonight to celebrate the release of international punk compilation This is Not a Test from TO label High Art For The Low Down (HA4TLD). And yes, one of the bands is named Beaver Slaps. Read our preview of the night here. Friday, April 18, 7pm, Smiling Buddha (961 College St.), $10-$12 including a copy of This is Not a Test. All ages.
Folk the Winter
A parade in a FreshCo. parking lot sounds underwhelming, especially from promoters who think mixing "fuck" and "folk" is clever. But just trust us: messing around on the street in West Queen West is more or less time well spent, and this will be a good time if you don't mind some lil' kids hanging around. A surprise guest band is in store - who will it be? Friday, April 18, 7pm, Gladstone Ave. & Queen St. West.
Record Store Day
If you only shop at record stores on RSD, then the industry truly is screwed, but the event is still a fun thing. For music fans and industry peeps, the third Saturday of April is Thy Holy Day of Records, which since 2007 has been a global pep rally for struggling (or are they?) (yes, they are) independent record shops. Mark Sonic Boom's party down - DIANA, Greys, PS I Love You, Unfinished Business, HSY, and The Bicycles are playing for free - then read our full preview of Record Store Day in Toronto here. Saturday, April 19.
Did you love the Long Winter series so much you betrayed us and used dark forces to make the winter longer, and longer, and longer? You committed a severe error in judgement, because Long Winter will rebrand itself this summer as Construction, an all-ages music series for the hot weather, a.k.a. construction season. The first show is Saturday at Double Double Land (other shows will hop between DDL and Smiling Buddha) with Tasseomancy, Wish, and RLDML. Saturday April 19, Double Double Land (209 Augusta Ave.), PWYC.
Southern Souls Screening
Southern Souls film bands. A lot of bands (well over 1,000), all around Ontario - the list includes names like Austra, Whitehorse, Young Galaxy, and July Talk. This will mark their first screening after five years of hard work. This will also be one of the last shows at Oz (sadface). Read our interview with Southern Souls creator Mitch Fillion here. Saturday, April 19, 9pm, Oz Studios (134 Ossington Ave.), free.
Other Easter Weekend concerts
- Big Shiny Dwayne: Songs of the 90's (Friday, The Phoenix)
- Loving in the Name Of (Friday, Mod Club)
- Hip Hop Karaoke (Friday, Revival)
- Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks (Saturday, Lee's Palace)
- Healing Power 3 (Saturday, The Tranzac)
- Mount Eerie & Wyrd Visions: HalfEaten Guitar Reissue (Sunday, Soybomb)
- Telephone Maison Cassette Release (Sunday, The Tranzac)
Confession: when I was sixteen, I watched Empire Records over, and over, and over. It gave me this strange idea that working in a record store would be the best thing ever, and I applied to my favourite downtown Winnipeg shop (shout out to Into the Music) with a resume that I airbrushed with green paint so that one of the guys from Love was silhouetted onto it. Needless to say, I looked crazy and I didn't get the job. Celebrate Record Store Day early tonight at this Empire Records-themed comedy show. Friday, April 18, 7pm, Black Swan (154 Danforth Ave).
Bad Day Issue 17 Release Party
Bad Day Issue 17 contains work by Sean Nicholas Savage, Kelela, Roe Ethridge, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Gia Coppola, Jon Rafman, Telfar, Kristie Muller and more. Pick up a copy of this biannual arts and culture interview magazine (apparently Guy Maddin is a fan) and see a performance by up-and-coming Toronto band Ice Cream. I know you like to be fashionably late, but show up early for this one. Friday, April 18, 10pm, Brockton Collective Inc. (442a Dufferin St).
Studio Warming Party for Papirmass & Paper Pusher
Papirmass and Paper Pusher are two names in Toronto's DIY scene that you need to know. They're inviting you to their brand new studio tonight, so see the magic for yourself. Note: I know you're shy about IRL phone calls, but after 5pm you've got to call the number listed on the page here in order to get inside. Friday, April 18, 4-10pm, #406 196 Spadina Avenue.
- Queer Eclipse: A Reading with Leah Horlick & Friends (Friday, The Steady)
Montreal's unique MUTEK festival has been delivering impressive programming of electronic music and digital art since 2000. This Saturday, the Montreal fest will present AVANT_MUTEK at 99 Sudbury, together with lauded Toronto promoters breakandenter. Swedish duo Minilogue, who've played MUTEK proper twice, will play a delirious four hour set, and mark their first and last time in Toronto - the duo will take an indefinite hiatus after their current tour. Read our quick interview with MUTEK here. Saturday, April 19, 99 Sudbury.
Dance music has made a huge comeback in recent years thanks to the mainstream EDM boom, but that doesn't mean that the old school rave scene has disappeared. If anything, drum 'n' bass seems on the verge of a comeback. See for yourself when UK jungle pioneer Mickey Finn headlines this all-ages Easter Long Weekend party. Sunday, April 20, Opera House (735 Queen St. East), 9pm, $40.
- Armin Van Buren (Saturday, Metro Toronto Convention Centre)
- Deep Endz (Saturday, The Steady)
- Blunt Hunt Deal001 (Sunday, Opera House)
For more dance listings, check out our Top Dance Parties in Toronto in April post.
Michel Brault, maitre
If you got a taste of the (sadly) late Michel Brault at Hot Docs last year, you'll no doubt consider TIFF's retrospective of his more fictional work in this week-long retrospective a can't-miss event. A pioneer of the Direct Cinema movement, Brault's eclectic filmography also features some of the most rapturously poetic and scathingly political films in the history of Quebecois cinema, reaching its zenith in 1974 when he won the Best Director prize in Cannes for Les Ordres. April 17-22, TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St. West).
Spring's getting into high gear, we had a day this week where shorts were permissible, and studios figure what better way to heat things up than to unleash a $100-million Johnny Depp sci-fi vehicle. I get the logic, I really do - especially in a post-Inception age when anything quasi-future/dream/dystopias appears to be the next opportunity to blow the public's eyeballs and minds. Unfortunately, there's also this thing called a script.
Also opening in theatres this week
- Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq (The Bloor)
- Authors Anonymous (Carlton)
- The Battery (Cineplex Yonge & Dundas)
- Bears (Carlton, Cineplex Yonge & Dundas)
- The Face of Love (Varsity)
- A Haunted House 2 (Scotiabank)
- Heaven is for Real (Cineplex Yonge & Dundas)
- Hold Fast (Carlton)
- Journey to the West (The Royal)
- Kid Cannabis (The Royal)
- Small Time (Carlton)
- Stress Position (Carlton)
- That Demon Within (Cineplex Yonge & Dundas)
- Trailer Park Boys: Don't Legalize It (Carlton, Scotiabank)
- 2 States (Cineplex Yonge & Dundas)
For more film events, check out our Top film events this spring post.
Brewer's Backyard: Great Friday
The weather's been moody as hell (maybe it needs a good patio brew?) but Double Trouble, Junction Craft and Mill Street will treat you right at tonight's Brewer's Backyard. Bricks & Mortar are supplying the food, and the after party's at Mill Street Beer Hall. Feeling over regular transit, yet not ready for cycling? A free shuttle bus will run from Evergreen Brick Works to Mill Street Beer Hall. Friday, April 18, 12-6pm, Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview Ave.), free.
Red Bull Race the Place
Ontario Place is opening back up this Saturday for a public urban bike race. Watch as "dozens of seasoned cyclists to chase through the island's abandoned industrial jungle, on a track chock-full of both natural and man-made obstacles." Tires will be flashing mad bling (no? Aw.) while a vendors' village and on-site bike demonstrations amuse those who'd not rather be at the ponies. Learn more here. Saturday, April 19, 10:30am-6:30pm, Ontario Place (995 Lakeshore Blvd. West), free for spectators.
Spring Gallery Crawl
Akin Collective on Wade wants to take you on a tour of west end art galleries this Saturday. The galleries on the crawl are Mercer Union, Stella, Daniel Faria Gallery, Scrap Metal, and Division Gallery, and the walk starts at noon. Saturday, April 19, 12-5pm, Akin Collective (87 Wade Ave.).
For more art listings, check out our Top 10 Must-See Art Shows This Spring post.
Amy Herzog's Belleville is frighteningly intense. So intense, even, that you may find yourself holding your breath and digging fingernails into your seat during one of the many unnerving scenes. Read our review here. Until May 4, Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley St.).
Beatrice & Virgil
The follow up to his widely celebrated, Booker Award-winning novel Life of Pi, Yann Martel's Beatrice & Virgil is adapted for the stage by Lindsay Cochrane in a collaboration between Factory Theatre and Canada's National Arts Centre. A visit to a taxidermist inspires a journey through the complex story of a donkey and a howler monkey only reached and understood through art, imagination, and the little facts that help sketch the full picture. Given that an adaptation of the visually-stunning Pi was only possible with the most advanced big-screen technology, it will be special to see the celebrated author's work in a smaller, more intimate setting. April 17-May 11, Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St.), $30-$45.
For more events on stage, check out our The top theatre productions in Toronto April 2014 post.
Lead photo by Tom Ryaboi. Film writing by Blake Williams. Contributions by Keith Bennie, Ben Boles.