art on the danforth

Radar: Better Ballots Town Hall, Oral: Adventures in Erotica, Poor No More, Blue Jays vs. Red Sox, Kevin Bloom's Ways of Staying in South Africa

COMMUNITY | Better Ballots Town Hall
With Toronto City Hall representing more people than several Canadian provinces and the population of the GTA continuing to expand, our municipal government directly affects the lives of over 5 million people. You'd think that some one would care who's running the place, but every municipal election only between 30 and 40 percent of citizens bother to vote. With the next mayoral election looming in October, the Better Ballots Town Hall meetings are proposing 14 specific ideas to encourage voter turnout and make our city government more representative. Proposals being put forward include term limits for city councillors, a lower voting age, and online voting. The town halls have been rotating through different Toronto neighbourhoods for the past two weeks, but tonight come to City Hall itself, giving downtown dwellers a chance to have their voices heard.
City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Free, 7:30 pm

BOOKS AND LIT | ORAL: Adventures in Erotica
Pity our ancestors. Before the computer (a.k.a. "the porn machine") was invented, anyone curious about the ins and outs of sex had only one place to turn; books. Many hours were spent covertly thumbing through the more suggestive titles on parents' bookshelves. Time consuming, yes, but it did result in an entire generation of well-read, if rather horny, book lovers. The Oral reading series is reviving the art of erotic writing, each month featuring readings from the city's foremost purveyors of literary smut, an open mic session for aspiring erotica authors, and of course the Quickie, a five-minute erotica writing contest with a prize from Come As You Are. Tonight's session will see readings from the city's maestros of the dirty word, including sex columnist and burlesque artist Sasha Van Bon Bon, journalist and former Rheostatics guitarist Dave Bidini, and award-winning novelist Emily Schultz.
The Renegade, 1266 Queen Street West, Free, 7 pm

FILM | Poor No More
We'd all like to believe that the harder we work, the more successful we'll be. But as anyone who's tried to make a living as a freelance blogger can tell you, it just ain't true. Poor No More, a new documentary by filmmaker Bert Deveaux, explores the world of the working poor and finds that in Canada thousands of people are toiling at menial jobs and are getting nowhere. The recession has only made matters worse, wiping out savings and plunging many of the working class into seemingly inescapable debt. Hosted by This Hour Has 22 Minutes alumnus Mary Walsh, Poor No More follows the lives of several Canadians who are struggling to cope in the new economic climate, and takes us to Sweden and Ireland where governments have found innovative ways to take on poverty while strengthening their economies. The film makes its Toronto debut at the Royal tonight.
Royal Cinema, 608 College St., $10 general admission, $8 students, 7 pm

SPORTS | Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox, baseball's lovable underdogs, are in town tonight to start a three game series with the Jays, which means Bostonians in ball caps will be a regular sight on downtown sidewalks this week. While most of the sporting world considers the Red Sox fans to be the gold-hearted rebels to the New York Yankee's Evil Empire, as a Leaf fan I have a bone to pick with Red Sox nation. They waited 86 years for their team to win a championship, and yet they're revered as the best fans in the sport. Leaf fans have only waited 43 years, and yet they've been branded a national joke, losers supporting a lost cause. Sure, we may be naive and stupid, but we're loyal. Doesn't that count for anything? Anyway, along with visits from the Yankees, Red Sox games are the highlights of the Jays' season, but with attendance plummeting faster than a Dave Stieb slider there will still be plenty of seats left for tonight's match-up.
Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way, $14 - $210, 7:10 pm

BOOKS AND LIT | Kevin Bloom in Conversation with Richard Poplak
The end of South African apartheid in 1994 was hailed around the world as a great victory for the forces of hope and justice. But the struggles of the divided country did not end with the collapse of its oppressive government, and for the last 16 years South Africa has faced a disturbing tide of racial violence. In his new book Ways of Staying, award-winning journalist Kevin Bloom tells the story of the post-apartheid from era the perspective of white South Africans, a community on the wrong side of history that nevertheless has its own adversities to face. Bloom's feelings for his native South Africa were thrown into confusion when his cousin was murdered in a violent attack, leading him to consider leaving the only country he'd ever called home. Bloom will be at the Gladstone tonight to discuss the question "Why stay in South Africa?" with fellow countryman and journalist Richard Poplak as part of This Is Not a Reading Series.
Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, $5, 7:30 pm

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Photo: "Art Of The Danforth 2010-7791" by sniderscion, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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