Radar: Photopia 2010, Friday Nights with Diaspora Dialogues, Captain Abu Raed, Shaun Majumder Raises the Roof, Ehab Lotayef's To Love a Palestinian Woman, Excision at Wrongbar

GALLERY | Photopia 2010
For thirty-one years the Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography has been serving the as a hub for image-production in Toronto, providing gallery space, resources, a darkroom, and production facilities to local shutterbugs. A non-profit organization, the gallery also offers education programs and weekend workshops, with the goal of expanding the understanding of the medium. For the next week, photography enthusiasts will have a chance to give something back at Gallery 44's annual fundraising sale. The work of dozens of artists will be up for auction, and a lottery will be held for some great prizes including a signed copy of Edward Burtynsky's latest book and gifts from Buddies in Bad Times, Type Books, and Come As You Are. Runs til April 24.
Gallery 44, 401 Richmond Street, Free, Opening party tonight 6 pm - 10 pm

BOOKS AND LIT | Friday Nights with Diaspora Dialogues
Diaspora Dialogues is an organization that promotes the creation of new fiction and literature by Toronto's diverse writers. The group offers mentoring activities and publishing opportunities to local authors and each month presents a multidisciplinary performance festival to showcase their work. As part of the Toronto Public Library's Keep Toronto Reading festival, Diaspora Dialogues presents a free event tonight featuring readings and performances by Edeet Ravel, Glenn Sumi, Julia Zarankin, Yiwei Hu, Kerri Sakamoto, Yvette Nolan, Fides Krucker, Nick Beeson, and Martha Baillie.
Palmerston Library, 560 Palmerston Avenue, Free, 7 pm

FILM | Captain Abu Raed
When the Jordanian film Captain Abu Raed debuted in 2009, the small Middle Eastern country hadn't produced a feature film in over 50 years. But good things come to those who wait I suppose, because Abu Raed turned out to be one of the best pictures of the year and won awards and film festivals from Sundance to Dubai. Jordanian-born British actor Nadim Sawalha plays the title character, a janitor who works in Amman's international airport. Having never realized his dreams of traveling the world, he lives an ordinary life until he dons a captain's hat he found in the trash and local children mistake him for an airline pilot. Abu Raed begins entertaining them with fictional accounts of his own adventures, taking them (and himself) on an imaginary trek across the world. The film comes to the Royal tonight for a five night run.
The Royal Cinema, 608 College St., Friday to Saturday and Monday to Wednesday 7 pm, additional screening Wednesday at 9:30 pm

COMEDY | Shaun Majumder and Friends Raise the Roof
Lovably goofy Newfoundland comic Shaun Majumder has become a fixture on the Canadian comedy scene, having completed stints on the seminal CBC shows Just for Laughs and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Like so many of our comics however, he's fled the country in search of American stardom and is currently filming a pilot in Hollywood. But not even a shot at US network television could keep Majumder from Raising the Roof's Weekend of Comedy, an event he's been participating in for years. He's flown back from LA to host two nights of comedy at the Rivoli in support of Raising the Roof (an organization you may recognize from those TV spots of celebrities wearing toques) which aids over 65,000 at-risk youth in Canada and is also responsible for
The Rivoli, 332 Queen Street West, $34.95, Saturday and Sunday 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm

BOOKS AND LIT | Ehab Lotayef's Book Launch of To Love a Palestinian Woman
Ehab Lotayef was born in Cairo but immigrated to Montreal in 1989. A multi-talented artist, Lotayef writes poetry in Arabic and English, is an accomplished photographer and playwright, and a Juno-nominated songwriter. He's also a strong advocate for the end of violence in the Middle East, and as a member of the Canadian Islamic Congress he traveled to Iraq in 2005 to help secure the release of the Christian Peacemaker hostages. Tonight he launches a new book of poetry called To Love a Palestinian Woman at Beit Zatoun House, with readings from the new work and musical performances from Maryem and Ernie Tollar.
Beit Zatoun House, 612 Markham Street, Free, 6 pm

PARTY | Excision at Wrongbar
British Columbian DJ Excision takes you to the dark side of dubstep tonight at Queen Street hotspot Wrongbar. An emerging DJ on the touring circuit, Excision's live sets mix the grooves of hip hop with the aggressiveness of metal, meaning that you'll end up dancing but you'll be kind of pissed about it at the same time. At the age of only 22, Excision has already made his mark on the dubstep scene, having played the Shambhala Music Festival and been asked by electronic stars Pendulum to remix one of their tracks. He's joined by Toronto's own XI, the Killabits, and Hydee.
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen Street West, $16.50, 10

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Photo: "Girl Talk" by the imperfect [shot], member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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