Free events in Toronto: April 28 - May 4, 2014
Free events in Toronto this week will be dominated by the arts - photography to be exact. It's the opening week of the Contact Festival, the world's largest photography event. Tons of established and independent galleries, shops, and bars will be participating, and anyone you know in the city with a "real camera" will be inviting you to their opening. Go for the free snacks. If photography's really not your thing, there are two large scale community art events in the east end, Jane's Walk, a foosball tournament, and comic books galore (happy Free Comic Book Day).
Here's how to pretend you're not living hand to mouth in Toronto this week.
Foosball Battle Royale at Disgraceland
Good news: it's free to play at this foosball tournament, and there are prizes to be had. This event will be back every night from now on! Team sign ups start at 10:30 and the battles begin at 11pm. Check all the rules here. Monday, April 28, 11pm, Disgraceland (965 Bloor St W).
365 Days of African Liberation Film Series
On Mondays throughout April, the 365 Days of African Liberation Film Series will show a total of four films: Black Power Mix Tape, United States of Africa: Beyond Hip Hop, Mama Africa, and Fela NYC: Fresh From Africa. April 21 and April 28, 6pm, Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Centre (38 Regent St.).
True Stories Told Live
Each reader at TSTL gets ten minutes on stage to tell one true story with no notes. While you can hear plenty of ten minute long+ free stories on public transit, these will be more focused, if not necessarily as entertaining. Tuesday, April 29, 7pm, The Garrison (1197 Dundas St. West)
Kodak Lecture Series: Stan Douglas
As the city gears up for Contact 2014, photographer Stan Douglas (a big name from this years festival and winner of the third annual Scotiabank Photography Award) will give a talk on his most recent work. Wednesday, April 30, Ryerson University (350 Victoria Street, LIB-72).
Coupe Magazine Launch Party
Have you checked out Jam Factory yet? Toronto's newest venue will host the launch of Coupe Magazine International Design Image Annual. It's a good week to be broke in the east end. Thursday, May 1, Jam Factory Co. (2 Matilda St).
GradEx 2014- OCAD University's 99th Annual Graduate Exhibition
Starting on Thursday and running until May 4, you can check out work by the OCAD students who made it through to the other side of art school - 600 art, design and new media students who are terrified of the future. Or not! Opening reception: Thursday, May 1, 6:30-11pm, OCAD University (100 McCaul St.).
Contact 2014 Festival Launch
2014's Contact Photographer Fest will launch at MOCCA at the opening of "Material Self: Performing the Other Within," and "In Character: Self-Portrait of the Artist as Another." Plus you can check out "Hereros," by Jim Naughten in the courtyard. Read our full Contact preview here to find more openings and shows. Friday, May 2, 7pm, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) (952 Queen St W).
Art of the Danforth
Art of the Danforth is a free family friendly east end festival now entering its third year. Learn more about the 20+ large-scale public art projects here. Friday May 2 - May 11, East Danforth.
Spring Beach Studio Tour
More art in the east end - this time to the south. Twenty-four artists at fourteen sites will participate in this open studio event. Wander the Beaches and find a new favourite artist, or just get a peek into what it would be like to get paint all over all your stuff, all the time (#artlife). This is the 20th anniversary of the tour. Fri May 26pm-9pm; Sat May 3 10am-6pm; Sun May 4 11am-6pm. Find the tour map here.
The outdoor events are truly starting up in the city - if you don't want to visit artists' studios but you do need an excuse to get outside, Jane's Walk hosts a huge number of free, locally led walking tours inspired by, of course, Jane Jacobs. To find the right walk for you, visit their website here. Friday May 2 - Sunday May 4.
Free Comic Book Day
It's like Record Store Day, but for comic shops, and the swag is free. Visit events at Dr.Comics,
The Beguiling Books & Art, Little Island, Comic Book Lounge / Temple of Toys, Paradise Comics and more. Saturday, May 3.
Also, check out these regular free events in Toronto
- Elvis Mondays at the Drake
- Art Gallery of Ontario free evening, Wednesday, 6-8:30pm.
- IFOA Weekly, free for supporters, students, & youth under 26, Wednesday, Harbourfront Centre
- Skin of My Nuts Comedy Show, Thursday, Sonic Espresso Bar
- Canadian Opera Company's Free Concerts series
- While nearly all art galleries in the city are free to enter, it's worth noting The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) is always PWYC (but is closed until May 2014).
- The ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) offers discounted tickets on Fridays ($10).