Weekend Radar: CONTACT Photography Festival, Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Salut Wine and Food Festival, United We Rock! The Concert for Human Rights, Spring Bird Festival, Chronologic Dance Party, Broken Social Scene Play Four In-Stores
PHOTOGRAPHY | CONTACT Photography Festival
The CONTACT Photography Festival continues this weekend with yet more receptions for shows in galleries across the city. While there's no shortage of things to see, your best bets are two exhibitions that use photography to examine the past. REWind at the Department is a collection by three members of the Chicago Women in Photography collective who seek to expose the ways photos shape our perception of the past. Patty Carroll documents the artifacts of a long-gone leisure culture, finding inspiration in bowling allies and seedy bars. Mary Farmilant Hospital series tackles a darker subject in the crumbling infrastructure of America's unused health facilities, while Jennifer Greenburg delves into a bizarre American subculture of people who try to live exactly like Hollywood stars of the 1950s in every possible way. In a separate exhibition at Peak Gallery, Venezuelan-born Toronto artist Susana Reisman uses household objects to create photos that echo iconic images in our shared unconscious. Check back at our arts section for ongoing coverage of all the hottest shows at the CONTACT Festival.
REWind: The Department, 1389 Dundas Street West, 12 pm - 4 pm
Selective Affinities: Peak Gallery, 23 Morrow Avenue, 2 pm - 6 pm
BOOKS AND LIT | Toronto Comic Arts Festival
Since the Toronto Comic Arts Festival was founded in 2003, comic books have only gained in credibility and these days graphic novels like Persepolis and Waltz with Bashir are considered art of the highest calibre. The eight annual TCAF touches down at the Toronto Reference Library this weekend to celebrate a medium that's come a long way since the days when Archie and Jughead ruled the rack, exhibiting the work of over 200 writers and illustrators over the next two days. The festival gives the public a chance to get close to their favourite comic book guys like Ghost World creator Daniel Clowes, Drawn and Quarterly's James Sturm, and Ryan North, the Dinosaur Comics dude. There are no less than three events happening tonight after the full day of exhibitions: the ceremony for the prestigious Doug Wright Awards, the Official TCAF Saturday Night Party and a Queer Comic Mixer.
TCAF Exhibition: Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Free, Saturday 9 am - 5 pm, Sunday 11 am - 5 pm
Doug Wright Awards, Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Free with registration, 7 pm
FOOD | Salut Wine and Food Festival
For the next eight days, the Salut Wine and Food Festival will transport Torontonians to the fields of France with exquisite wine and cheese tastings, educational seminars, and delicious one-time only multi-course dinners from some of the world's top chefs. The festival has something to suit the budget of everyone from the boho bon vivant to the wealthiest gourmet, so if you've yet to achieve a tax bracket high enough to benefit from a seminar on how build your own wine cellar why not try an $35 evening of classic wine and cheese pairings? The festival culminates in a $325 a plate dinner from renowned chef Michael Stadtlander reserved for VISA Infinite cardholders, but earlier in the week is a slightly more affordable $95 dinner and wine tasting that features Ontario game and home-smoked meats from chef and sommelier Av Atikian. Organizers suggest you arrange for taxi transportation to and from all events. Because you're an alcoholic.
Toronto's finer food and wine establishments, $35 - $325, check schedule for full details
MUSIC | United We Rock! The Concert for Human Rights
Concerts for social causes will always have a dubious reputation because on the surface at least, rock music has very little to do with famine in Ethiopia, the worldwide debt crisis, or the plight of America's farmers. Nevertheless each year there is an endless parade of concerts for such causes, and we can't really complain because over the years benefit concerts have given us some of the best performances ever seen, and in the end they can't do any harm. The Concert for Human Rights runs all afternoon at Yonge-Dundas Square and will see performances from nine groups including Ottawa sextet Amos the Transparent, Armenian-Irani bandleader Aramik, and indie folk heroes Birds of Wales. The concert commemorates the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and seeks to shed light on current human rights abuses around the world.
Yonge-Dundas Square, Free, 1:30 pm - 6:30 pm
ORNITHOLOGY | Spring Bird Festival
Located beyond Toronto Island, Tommy Thompson park is the city's largest green space. Each spring thousands of birds of all different feathers (over 315 species, in fact) flock together to the park on their way North from their winter habitats, providing a perfect opportunity Toronto's bird watchers. Saturday is the park's annual Spring Bird Festival, and events start just after dawn because, as they say, the early bird gets... er, more birds I suppose. Bird hikes for both beginners and advanced bird watchers are scheduled from 7 am, and other activities throughout the day include Birding by Bike at 2 pm, a Spring Butterfly Walk at 1 pm, a Nature Sketching Workshop at 11:30 am, and a Tree and Shrub Workshop at 2:30 pm. Kids will be entertained by demonstrations of bird banding at the park's research station and educational displays about the marvels of bird migration.
Tommy Thompson Park, Free (most events require registration), 7 am - 3 pm
PARTY | Chronologic Dance Party
The popular Going' Steady DJs return to the Boat tonight for the Chronologic dance party, spinning all the hits from the late 19th century onward in chronological order. Predictably, the party's sparsely attended until about 10:30 pm because nobody wants to dance to phonograph recordings of Thomas Edison singing "Daisy", but after that it's pretty hard to get in so don't leave it too late. The DJs get full marks for creativity, but none for spontaneity I'm afraid. Still, it's a hell of a good time.
The Boat, 158 Augusta Avenue, No cover listed, 10 pm
Sunday, May 9
MUSIC | Broken Social Scene Play Four In-Stores in One Day
On the heels of their long-awaited and apparently quite good fourth album Forgiveness Rock Record, hometown heroes Broken Social Scene are blitzing the city with four free shows in one afternoon to show Toronto that despite their international success, this chaotic collective still really does love you. I can't remember any band this big doing something this cool for their fans in a long time so you'd best accept it for the wonderful gift that it is. There's bound to be a huge line at each of the four record stores they're performing at, but undoubtedly the band will do everything in their power to make sure all their acolytes get a taste of the shows. Knowing Kevin Drew's penchant for utterly sincere, over-the-top gestures, this whole thing could end up with an impromptu jam session at some teary fan's living room.
Criminal Records, 493 Queen Street West, 2 pm
Rotate This, 801 Queen Street West, 4 pm
Soundscapes, 572 College Street, 6 pm
Sonic Boom, 512 Bloor Street West, 8 pm
BOOKS AND LIT | Naked Girls Reading "For the Love of Mother"
The gals from burlesque troupe Skin Tight Outta Sight do their mums proud this Mother's Day by getting naked in front of strangers and reading aloud. They'll be joined by special guests Balonia Wry and St. Stella and will be reading something matriach-related as part of the Naked Girls Reading series, a phenomenon that has swept major US cities and made its Toronto debut this March. If you're looking for some high concept behind the whole thing, don't bother. There's a book, there's a naked lady. That's it. Not sure if the book is necessary, now that I think about it.
The Painted Lady, 218 Ossington Avenue, $15 or $25 per couple, 7 pm
FILM | Special Mother's Day Screening of Who Does She Think She Is?
Show your mother that you understand all the hard choices she's had to make over the years by taking her to this screening of Pamela Tanner Boll's documentary Who Does She Think She Is?. Tanner Boll, who was also behind the award-winning film Born Into Brothels, examines gender inequality through the eyes of female artists who are often forced to choose between their calling and society's expectations of motherhood and family life. The film urges us to address questions like why are 80 per cent of students in art schools female, and yet 70 to 80 per cent of pieces hanging in our galleries are created by men? Today's screening will be followed by a talkback session with Tanner Boll and some surprise guests.
Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, $10 general admission, $8 seniors and children, 4 pm
OPERA | Idomeneo, re di Creta
Possibly Mozart's best opera, Idomeneo tells the story of the Cretan king who on his way home from the Trojan War is saved from certain death by Neptune, god of the sea. In exchange for his life, Idoneneo vows to sacrifice to Neptune the first person he meets on shore, a decision that he figured couldn't possibly have tragic consequences. The first person he meets turns out to be his son however, and much drama and loud singing ensues. Sung in Italian with American tenor and Mozart specialist Paul Groves in the title role, Idomeno is the final production in the Canadian Opera Company's 09/10 season. And like every other Toronto organization, it's looking like the COC's season will end without a single playoff appearance.
Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen Street West, most nights 7:30 pm with special performances at 4:30 pm and 2 pm, $31 - $292
For Toronto movie showtimes, view our Movie Listings section.
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