Free shows CMW 2013

7 free shows and events at Canadian Music Week 2013

As Canadian Music Week rolls into Toronto (March 19-24), a ton of Canadian and international bands will be preparing to entertain the city - you can check out which ones we've got our eyes we on in this post. Even without a festival wristband, though, you can take advantage of some of the stellar free events around the city. Here's a roundup of the top seven you should probably check out.

February 1 - March 31 | They Shoot Horses | Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art | All-Ages
This exhibition has been going on for the last month and a half, but if you haven't stopped by yet, this is the time to do it. The artist (not the musician) Phil Collins staged an eight-hour dance marathon in Ramallah with nine Palestinian youths, taking video and setting it to era-crossing pop music. The atmosphere of the actual exhibit imitates a club, and you're encouraged to join in as the dancers cycle through states of exhilaration to pure exhaustion. Bet you've never done that before.

Tuesday, March 19 | Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite | The Horseshoe Tavern | 19+
Kicking off the CMF at Toronto's beloved Horseshoe Tavern, Dave Bookman's Nu Music Nite will get your blood pumping in anticipation of this week's awesome events. Featuring Artful Vandelays, The Bloody Five, Inlet Sound, Silver Creek, and Nature Boys, this show starts at 8:40pm sharp, so make sure you get there early.

Thursday, March 21 | Blues and Troubles | The Gladstone Hotel | 19+
The old-school blues, country, and R&B band Blues & Troubles is playing a free show at the Gladstone Hotel. If you're getting overwhelmed by indie and electro pop during CMF, drop by the Gladstone for a palate cleanser and get psyched up for the festival's final all-out weekend shows.

Friday, March 22 | Beat Nation Breakdance Battle | The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery | All-Ages
As the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery celebrates its 25th birthday, they are putting on a free Beat Nation Breakdance Battle. Hosted by Benzo and Q-Rock and featuring three judges and twenty-eight crews, this show will give you the chance to see some seriously talented dancers break it down on the dancefloor.

Friday, March 22 | Andy Shauf, Kopecky Family Band, Mad Ones, Mise en Scene, Bend Sinister | Sonic Boom | All-Ages
As always, Sonic Boom has handpicked some real talent to play free afternoon shows on the weekend. On Friday, a slew of plucky alt-rock bands, including Andy Shauf, Kopecky Family Band, Mad Ones, Mise en Scene, and Bend Sinister, will be taking the floor from 2pm onward to get you in the mood for the night's Indies awards ceremony and performances.

Saturday, March 23 | Grounders,, Mac DeMarco, Sean Rowe, The Grapes of Wrath, Blonde Elvis, Acres of Lions | Sonic Boom | All-Ages
As you might have guessed, Saturday will also feature some fantastic bands at Sonic Boom, starting at 1pm. Grounders,, Mac DeMarco, Sean Rowe, The Grapes of Wrath, Blonde Elvis, and Acres of Lions are bound to entrance your ears and get the blood pumping for the night's headlining shows.

Saturday, March 23 | Laura Repo | The Gladstone Hotel | 19+
If you're looking to turn down the energy on Saturday night (after possibly burning yourself out all week at other events), you can check out acoustic country singer Laura Repo at the Gladstone. Her show begins at 9pm and precedes the Gladstone's weekly Karaoke night. Grab some friends, have some drinks, and lubricate that throat well for your turn in the spotlight.

Writing by Lori Steuart / Photo by Matthew Broszkowski

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