Long Winter Fair Toronto

The top 5 things to see and do at Long Winter Fair

Long Winter Fair, part of Toronto's monthly music, performance and art festival, is taking over the street, expanding outside of The Great Hall along Queen St. West to the Theatre Centre and 99 Sudbury.

On Friday February 13, expect to see the neighbourhood come alive with a street market complete with local crafts and warm treats. Sip on hot toddies and mulled wine as you sample sugary donuts and apple crisps. But don't let the food and fair distract you from the art.

Here are my picks for the top things to see and do at Long Winter Fair.

99 Sudbury
It's Friday the 13th, so if you're in the mood for a dark party vibe head to 99 Sudbury. You'll get to see Dead Tired now with George Pettit from Alexisonfire; LIDS featuring Alex from METZ and Brian from Holy Fuck; MEKELE, a crowd favourite at the AGO Long Winter show last year, and Cross will also be there. Stay late for a moody set by Nautiluss.

Long Night with Vish Khanna
One of the best traditions of Long Winter is the event's late night talk show, Long Night, hosted by Vish Khanna. This time the guests include Canadaland's controversial host Jesse Brown, who broke the Jian Ghomeshi story, as well as author Susan Fast, comedian David Heti, and musician Lisa Conway.

Choir! Choir! Choir!
Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman's Choir! Choir! Choir! is a hit at any event. The group's known for singing catchy arrangements of pop songs that can get anyone humming along. Their various claims to fame include performing with Patti Smith at the AGO and Tegan and Sara at the Juno Awards.

Art in unexpected places
What makes Long Winter unique is the juxtaposition of visual art pieces with performance pieces, so make sure to keep an eye out for Andrew Lamb's giant puppets wandering the streets as well as Melissa Fisher and Brett Zadravetz's video installations.

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the fair, head over to the theatre for Margarete, a performance about an artist's obsessive journey to find a woman he sees in a set of private 8mm films. For this intimate piece, the audience is comfortably seated on chairs and cushions and served coffee and tea as the artist tells his nerdy tale with humour and irony. Part of SummerWorks' Progress Festival.

BONUS: Let's hear it for the girls
I'm a sucker for an all-girl act so don't forget to check out junk punk band, The Beverleys who will have you feeling like an angsty teen in no time. Or if electronic indie pop is more your speed, you'll love Sea Oleena's ethereal voice and atmospheric sound.

Photo of Choir! Choir! Choir!

Follow Sima Sahar Zerehi on Twitter @SimaSaharZerehi.

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