Cie Carabosse's Nights Of Fire warms up Nathan Phillips square

WinterCity Sees City Hall Engulfed In Flames

The 5th annual iteration of Toronto's official WinterCity Festival commenced last Friday and is running through to next Monday, featuring the WOW! series of installations, music and performances around Nathan Phillips Square.

If you somehow missed the crowds and the fact that city hall was ablaze last week, or if like me you only managed to catch part of what was going on, the days to check it out are this Friday and Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m., plus the finale Sunday evening at 6.

Nights of Fire by France's Cie Carabosse (French language only at the moment, here's the Google translation) is the obvious centrepiece of this year's festival. The fiery installation, in North America for the first time ever, consists of 1500 flaming clay pots placed around the square on existing and constructed supports and has managed to both magically rework the feel of the environment while doing a wonderful job of actually warming the area. I recall being freezing cold during last year's performances, so setting the place on fire gets a few thumbs up from me. Check that out Friday and Saturday between 6 and 9 p.m. (early if you want to watch the lighting).

The Netherlands' Theater Gajes is presenting their version of Alice in Wonderland, also for their North American premiere. I didn't get to catch this last Saturday since I was over at Left Feet's chili cook-off, but I definitely will this weekend. Performances take place outdoors at 2 and 5 p.m. (60 minutes each) on both Friday and Saturday.

Tokyo Police Club was the live concert act for last weekend and only last weekend, but The Weakerthans will be on stage this Saturday from 8:45 to 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, the WinterCity Lodge plays host to Second City improv, dancing with the Promise DJs, and interactive art in the form of the Lost Mitten project (donate a spare if you've got one) and Newmindspace's chalkable snowman sculpture.

Photo: Fireball by blogTO Flickr Pool contributor . Spiral .


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