King St. transforms into Festival Street for TIFF
TIFF 2015 is gearing up to be a 40th anniversary celebration to remember. And what's a party without a street fair? Just like last year, TIFF will shut down King Street West from University to Peter on September 11-13 for its Festival Street. It'll feature movie-themed art installation, a family zone and free, live musical performances.
The free concert series run all weekend at John and Mercer. It kicks off Friday evening at 5:45 p.m. with a one hour set from Toronto-based band Ascot Royals followed by DJ Sunclef and Bruce Peninsula. The evening wraps up with NARI, a multimedia performance by Gingger Shankar, Dave Liang and Sun Yunfan.
The shows will run all day Saturday starting at 1:30 p.m. with a live performance of Telefilm's Canada's Got Game. Afterwards, DJ Chico will spin and later, songwriter Jillea and Titicut Follies - The Ballet, a dance, music and film performance based on the eponymous documentary. Giant Motown band The Big Sound will cap the night with what's sure to be an energetic performance running from 9:30-11 p.m.
Sunday will be another packed day with concerts scheduled from noon until 10 p.m. Steve McNie will open the show with a movie-themed uke jam. Puppet rock band Bookaboo will go next followed by country-singer Jessica Mitchell, DJ John Kong and Theo Tams, respectively. Mohammed Assaf, the first Arab Idol winner, will perform at 7:45 p.m. and Toronto's River Tiber will close out the night.
EAT AND DRINK
King West is already rife with food options and for this upcoming weekend, Restaurant Row will become more appealing thanks to a patio extension, meaning you can star gaze while noshing at one of the participating eateries.
ART AND INSTALLATIONS
If we learned anything this summer, it's that Torontonians and tourists love taking pictures with signs. You can get your insta fix on Festival Street because the bright orange TIFF letters are set to return.
The Festival Piano is also making a comeback. Designed and painted by Toronto artist Jonathan Peterson, the instrument gives passersbys a chance to feel like a star.
TIFF is opening a blockbuster Andy Warhol exhibition on October 30. But the pop artist will also make an appearance an appearance at the Andy Warhol: Stars of the Silver Screen Photo Booth. This installation lets visitors turn photos into GIFs because as Warhol showed us, a portrait can beget fame.
If you don't have tickets for a TIFF movie yet, you can still catch a film on festival street at the The Situated Cinema Project; in-camera -- a micro-cinema project by the media arts group Pleasure Dome. You'll get to see Pilgrimage, an experimental film by Solomon Nagler and Alexandre Larose. Architects Jonathan Mandeville and Thomas Evans helped design the installation.
Much of TIFF's programming isn't suitable for kids, but they can still get into the festival spirit thanks to magicians Chris Mayhew and James Alan who'll be performing on King Street and a giant colouring book created by local artist Jeff Blackburn. And, anyone can line up to get a hand-drawn, two-minute headshot from Steve Manale.
Let us know what you're looking forward to at TIFF's street festival in the comments.
Photo by Jesse Milns
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