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Radar: Trampoline Hall, Sketch Wars, Salut Iron Chef Duel, CanStage Festival of Ideas and Creation, Support Women and the Environment in the Congo

BOOKS AND LIT | Trampoline Hall
Monthly amateur lecture series Trampoline Hall keeps on truckin' tonight with yet another installment of inexpert discourse. Daniel Vila, the man behind the guerrilla concert series Extermination Night, has curated this edition and chosen a typically eclectic mix of speakers and topics. Ex-Creeping Nobobies guitarist Val Uher will be discussing "the coming insurrection" (count me in!), while DJ Luca Lucarini will tackle "cultural entropy in the internet era" and Eye Weekly contributor Nick Flanagan takes on "happiness/misery as inspiration." The event usually sells out but as always a small group of tickets will be released at the doors at 6:30. Otherwise, tickets are available at Soundscapes for 6 bucks.
The Garrison, 1197 Dundas Street West, $5 - $6, 8 pm sharp

COMEDY | Sketch Wars
Four sketch troupes go head to head tonight at Bloor West's cathedral of comedy. The troupes were each given topics on which to base their material just one week ago, and tonight they put their chops to the test in an adjudicated competition hosted by local institution and former This Hour Has 22 Minutes writer Bob Kerr. Your contestants for this evening: Plum Thunder, Shoeless, Elephant Empire, and Uncle Mao and the Red Star Rev...iew. Since when did comedy troupes have more creative names than indie bands, anwyay?
Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor Street West, $5, 8 pm

FOOD | Salut Chef Duel
As part of the Salut Wine and Food Festival that began this weekend, Toronto's top chefs begin a two-day battle royale tonight at Nyood. The swanky Queen West restaurant will be converted into a French-style promenade for the occasion, which you can wander about while the chefs duke it out in the stadium kitchen for city-wide supremacy and the until-now-unheard-of but apparently highly coveted Salut Iron Chef Duel award. If competitive onion chopping does hold your attention they'll be plenty of wine and food demonstrations throughout the evening, guaranteeing at least a few tasty treats.
Nyood, 1096 Queen Street West, $75, 6:30 pm

THEATRE | CanStage Festival of Ideas and Creation
When the curtains are finally drawn on opening night, thousands of hours of work have already gone into producing a new play. The CanStage Festival of Ideas and Creation takes you behind the scenes to participate in the development of new dramatic works, and gives artists and playwrights a chance to present new ideas in the hopes of turning them into something more concrete. The festival is divided into two parts; one program for industry and artists that includes intensive classes and seminars, the other a series of readings and performances for theatre-goers. Events kick off tonight with an opening night party at the Berkeley Theatre's Festival Lounge and a talk with Bretta Gerecke, who designed the innovative paper sets for the CanStage's current production of Frankenstein.
Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley Street, Most events free with registration, check schedule for full details

COMMUNITY | Support Women and the Environment in the Congo
The conflict that has spent the past twelve years tearing apart the central African country of the Congo has been so deadly and drawn in so many of its neighbours that it has been dubbed Africa's World War. Portland native Lisa Shannon traveled to the Congo after hearing of the disproportionate effects of the conflict on women and children, and has since founded the Run for Congo Women foundation to help survivors lead better lives. To date the foundation has sponsored over a thousand women who between them are raising five thousand children. Shannon comes to the Manulife Centre to raise funds for her organization tonight with a private reception followed by free reading from her book A Thousand Sisters.
Reception: Panorama Lounge, Manulife Centre, 55 Bay Street, $150, 5:30 pm
Reading: Indigo Books, Manulife Centre, 55 Bay Street, Free, 7 pm

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Photo: "Untitled" by phocrastinating, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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