Radar: Angela Davis, Building Storeys, Black History Month at the CBC, Will Gorlitz's Always Already, Assassins, Strong Words, Guido van der Werve's the King's Gambit

Photo: "By a rope" by johncavacas, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

Events on Toronto's Radar for THURSDAY FEBRUARY 4, 2010... lovingly handpicked from blogTO's events calendar.

BOOKS AND LIT | Angela Davis
Legendary American political activist Angela Davis pays a rare visit to Toronto tonight to discuss her life's work. A central figure in the culture wars of the tumultuous 1960s, Angela Davis was removed from her teaching post at UCLA for her left-wing teachings and membership in the Communist Party. Her activism led to her arrest and 16-month incarceration by the FBI, which sparked massive outrage from the student movement who launched a nation-wide and ultimately successful "Free Angela Davis" campaign. These days Davis continues to work to abolish America's prison system, which that many intellectuals feel is the modern equivalent to the anti-slave movement. She is an essential voice in the story of 20th Century American history, and to hear her in person would be memorable to say the least.
Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., $17.50, $12.50 students advance, $22.50 and $17.50 students at the door, 6:30 pm

PHOTOGRAPHY | Building Storeys
Toronto's neglected historic industrial buildings get paid some much-deserved respect in this photographic exhibit curated by Heritage Toronto. Water treatment plants may be the last place you'd go looking for beauty in a city notoriously thin on architectural gems, but Building Storeys showcases the hidden elegance beneath the pipes and girders of the city's past. A team of photographers ventured out to such unglamorous sites as the Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant, the John Street Roundhouse, and the abandoned CNR Eastern Lines Locomotive Shop to capture images of rust and decay and present us with a fascinating portrait of our city's history. Runs til February 27.
Gladstone Hotel, 3rd and 4th Floors, 1214 Queen St. W., Free, 12 pm - 5 pm daily

PARTY | Black History Month at the CBC
Culture commentator Garvia Bailey moderates this panel discussion of CBC employees who will discuss how black heritage and history have influenced their careers in broadcasting. Canada Live's Andrew Craig, Nick Davis of Metro Morning, Kim Brunhuber of the National, Molly Johsnton of Radio 2 Morning, and CBC broadcast technician Edwin Terry will relate their own personal stories with the aim to inform and inspire those looking to break into the industry. Perhaps no story is more inspiring than Bailey's, who with no prior experience pitched a story to amateur journalist program Outfront five years ago, and has since been a fixture on CBC airwaves. Later on in the afternoon the show Bailey hosts, Big City Small World, will kick off its Black History Month celebrations with a special live broadcast of a performance by ska fusion group the Arsenals.
Panel discussions: Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front St. W., Free, 11:45 pm
Big City Small World with the Arsenals: CBC Atirum, 250 Front St. W., Free, 6 pm

GALLERY | Will Gorlitz: Nowhere if Not Here and Always Already
Argentinian-born painter Will Gorlitz has been working in Canada for over twenty years, making poetic but subtly disturbing works that straddle the boundary between photographic reality and his own imagination. This dual exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art showcases a retrospective selection of his paintings as well as a new series of pieces describing the possible future climates that may result from climate change. Gorlitz's new paintings are as unsettling as they are imaginative, depicting snowbound giraffes and tigers buried beneath the snow of a climate gone haywire. Runs til March 28.
The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, 952 Queen St. W., PWYC, Tuesday - Sunday 11 am - 6 pm

THEATRE | Assassins
This time-bending Stephen Sondheim musical exposes the personal lives of successful and would-be presidential assassins throughout the ages. John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald have never been so fabulous as they are in this play, traversing the centuries to inspire each other to even greater crimes. The play is mounted by BirdLand Theatre, five-time Dora Award winner for their 2005 production of the controversial the Last Days of Judas Iscariot. This play is as dark as musical theatre gets, a damning indictment of the American Dream. Runs til February 20.
The Theatre Centre, 100-1087 Queen St. W., $33, Monday - Saturday 8 pm, Saturday 2 pm

BOOKS AND LIT | Strong Words
Local reading series Strong Words returns tonight with a line up of three Toronto authors. Evan Munday is an illustrator whose work has appeared in Broken Pencil and is the creative mind behind the comic book Quarter Life Crisis, set in a post-apocalyptic Toronto. Munday is joined by playwright Elise Newman and David Derry, who spends his days writing contracts as a legal assistant and by night is a writer of short fiction. The trio reads from their latest work tonight at the Free Times CafĂŠ. As always, Strong Words will be collecting donations of used books for the Toronto Public Library's Book Ends program.
Free Times CafĂŠ, 320 College St., PWYC, 8 pm

GALLERY | Guido van der Werve's The King's Gambit
Aside from having a name that sounds completely made up, Guido van der Werve is a famous pianist and visual artists who works in the medium of sculpture and video installation. He often combines his talents, and one of his most famous pieces was a video in which he crammed an entire orchestra into his small Amsterdam apartment to perform a piano recital. The Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art presents one of his most ambitious projects today in The King's Gambit, a forty-minute long large-scale video installation that muses on chess, another one of van der Werve's obsessions. The multi-movement piece sees the artist playing against chess master Leonid Yusadin in a game he made up on a piano converted into a game board. It's van der Werve's second collaboration with Yusadin, having previously translated the grand master's chess strategy into a score for the piano. Runs til April 24th, with an opening reception tonight.
Prefix Institute for Contemporary Art, 401 Richmond St. W., Free, Reception 7 pm - 10 pm, Gallery hours Wednesday to Saturday 12 pm - 5 pm

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