Downtown Buildings

Radar: Where the Blood Mixes, Ministry of Artistic Affairs, Stephen Lewis at People vs. Cancer, Mass Exodus: In Bloom, Margaret Wente, Arctic Circle: Battle for the Pole

GALLERY | The Ministry of Artistic Affairs
A new arts organization hits the Toronto scene tonight with the launch of the Ministry of Artistic Affairs. A membership-based organization, the Ministry will offer a full calendar of events to young art lovers looking to experience the best gallery shows the city has to offer and learn about different facets of the art scene, including how to start their own collections. A one-year membership fee of $150 will get you access to exclusive events including exhibition previews, film screenings, and visits with artists and prominent collectors. Get a free taste of what the Ministry has to offer tonight at their launch event, an intimate meet and greet with New York City-based collagist Greg Lamarche.
Show and Tell Gallery, 1161 Dundas St. West, Free, 7 pm - 9 pm

THEATRE | Where the Blood Mixes
Where the Blood Mixes is Kevin Loring's first play, but the British Columbia playwright is not exactly a slow starter. The play was the hit of the 2008 Toronto Luminato Festival and has since been produced at the Magnetic North Festival and by the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company. Dealing with the painful legacy of Canada's residential school system, the drama centers on the story of a school survivor reuniting with his estranged daughter. Despite its dark subject matter, the play is as funny as it is honest and is the deserving centrepiece to Factory Theatre's Spring Performance Festival. It's also a testament to Factory Theatre's development process, as it was originally workshopped as a work-in-progress at the theatre's 2004 CrossCurrents festival under the title The Ballad of Floyd. Good call on that title change. Runs til April 18.
Factory Theatre Mainspace, 125 Bathurst St., $25 - $35, Tuesday to Saturday 8 pm, Sunday 2 pm

COMMUNITY | People vs. Cancer featuring Stephen Lewis
Having already inspired millions of people around the world to take up the fight against AIDS, Stephen Lewis is calling on Canadians to devise new ways to confront cancer. Lewis, the former UN special envoy on HIV/AIDS and an incomparable public speaker, is currently on a tour of Ontario universities as part of the Campaign to Control Cancer. The organization is a coalition of over 70 cancer agencies that are aiming to reshape Canada's response to the fatal disease by educating the public and encouraging an open dialogue on a topic that tends to evoke fear and is shrouded in misinformation. Lewis comes to U of T tonight to encourage Torontonians to use their skills to help those afflicted by the disease to take control of their lives.
Medical Sciences Building, Rm MS 2158, 1 King's College Circle, Free, 5 pm

FASHION | Mass Exodus: In Bloom
Once derided by its rivals at U of T as "Rye High", Ryerson University has become central to creative industries in this city. Each year it churns out talented graduates who will go on to make names for themselves in the fields of fashion, art, and design. Tonight the school unveils Mass Exodus: In Bloom, an end of year show featuring the work of graduating fourth-year fashion and fashion communication students. The show has two components: a series of runway shows by budding fashion designers and a three-day exhibit by fashion communication students that ranges from personal artistic expressions to projects concerned with branding and packaging. There's a good chance that many of these graduates will be at the forefront of Canada's fashion industry in the coming years, either on the runway or behind the scenes, and this is a chance to celebrate their achievements as well as get a glimpse of things to come.
Oakham House, 55 Gould St.
The Runway: $20 - $30, Wednesday 12:30 pm, 6 pm, and 8:30 pm, Thursday 12:30 pm and 6 pm
The Exhibit: Free, Thursday to Friday all day

BOOKS AND LIT | eh List: Margaret Wente
Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente is one of the country's most infuriating journalists. Her greatest hits include calling the entire province of Newfoundland the world's most "scenic welfare ghetto" and labelling Canada's pre-colonial Aboriginal inhabitants as savages. Those distasteful views have polarized the reading public, but that hasn't stopped her from winning the National Newspaper Award twice and becoming the most talked about columnist in the country. The Toronto Public Library hosts an afternoon chat with Wente as part of its eh List authors series and are holding the event in their largest library, which still might not be big enough to accommodate both Wente's haters and fans.
Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., Free, 12:30 pm

FILM | The Arctic Circle: Battle for the Pole
One of the most dramatic international struggles that will take place in the coming years is the race to control the resources of the planet's northern seas. With the polar ice caps melting at an alarming rate, Canada is vying with its northern neighbours for access to vast oil reserves that have been buried beneath the ice for centuries. The Arctic Circle: Battle for the Pole is a visually stunning high definition film directed by Wally Lungol and Takashi Shibasaki that follows the people on the front lines of Arctic oil drilling. Although those against oil exploration in the North warn of the environmental destruction that will surely result from large-scale energy projects in the region, to engineers and oil rig crews the race is an exciting opportunity to go where no one has gone before. The film screens as part of the National Film Board's Green Screen program tonight, and will be followed by a panel discussion with Peter J. Ewins, senior officer of species conservation at the World Wildlife Fund.
The National Film Board Mediatheque, 150 John St., Free, 7 pm

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Photo: "Downtown Buildings" by Todd Michael M., member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.


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