Toronto waterfront

Radar: Alli's Journey, Circus Camp for Adults, Critic's Talk by Nadja Sayej, Maternity Rolls Book Launch, Peace Series, Hear/Hear Reading Series

MUSIC | Take My Hand 2010 - Alli's Journey
Koerner Hall, the Royal Conservatory of Music's new 1100-seat venue, has played host to a wide variety of classical, jazz and pop performances since it opened last fall. But tonight the so-called "temple of tone" will open its doors to the indie crowd when Jully Black, Dan Mangan, Ohbijou, the Rural Alberta Advantage, Evening Hymns and more hit the acoustically perfect stage to raise money for Alli's Journey, an organization dedicated to helping young adults with cancer. The Conservatory isn't exactly snooty but it will be amazing to see these bands play in a such a fabulous space.
Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West, $35 and $99, 7:30 pm

PERFORMING ARTS | Circus Camp for Adults
Run away and join the circus (for six weeks at least) with Harbourfront's Circus Camp for Adults, beginning today. Instructor Marsha Kennington is well versed in several forms of tomfoolery and has been performing aerial acrobatics since 1977. She's appeared on the Johnny Carson Show, the Hollywood Rosebowl halftime show, and was even the stunt double for Daryl Hannah at one time (va-va-voom!). The six-session course begins today, but you can also sign up for single lessons if you think you'll be able to master tightrope walking, juggling or trapeze acrobatics in one day.
York Quay Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, $150 for six lessons or $30 single, 6:30 pm

ART | Critic's Talk by Nadja Sayej
Nadja Sayej has her fingers in a lot of arty pies these days. Besides hosting the gonzo art vlog ArtStars*, she's also a critic who's work has appeared in the Globe and Mail and The New York Times, and the host of the Press Club's monthly journo schmooze party Press Pass. Tonight the always entertaining and frequently annoying local icon will be giving a talk about the future of ArtStars*, which she says is about to embark on an odyssey to expose the obsolete in Toronto's art scene and point the direction towards a new unpretentious world of creativity. Sayej will be giving out prizes to those who demonstrate superior ArtStars* knowledge in her quiz and there will be a cash bar to make the whole thing go down easy.
Toronto School of Art, 410 Adelaide Street West, PWYC, 6:30 pm

BOOKS AND LIT | Maternity Rolls Book Launch
We tend to think of pregnancy as following certain predetermined steps: the woman gets pregnant, she goes through a rollercoaster nine months, and then she gives birth. But outside of that basic outline, each woman's experience is vastly different. When Paralympic target-shooter Heather Kuttai became pregnant with her first child, she found that there was no handy motherhood guide for disabled women, and that the health care system and society in general seemed indifferent to the challenges she faced. Determined that others in her situation would be able to learn from her experience, Kuttai wrote Motherhood Rolls, a book that combined her own personal struggles with academic research on pregnancy and disability. She comes to Toronto tonight to launch the book through progressive book imprint Fernwood Publishing.
Alternative Grounds, 333 Roncesvalles Avenue, Free, 7 pm

BENEFIT | Peace Series
For nearly twenty years, the southeast African country of Uganda has been torn by a civil war in which the Lord's Resistance Army has terrorized civilians with a campaign of kidnaping, murder, and mutilation. Thousands of children have fled the countryside for the capital city of Kampala where they now live in shanty towns and face new threats of drug abuse, prostitution, and rampant HIV infection. One of the keys to allowing them to escape their situation is a proper education, and the Namuwongo Literacy Project is currently running programs to do just that. The Steamwhistle Brewery hosts a benefit for the organization tonight with delicious hors d'oeuvres from Rodney's Oyster House, a raffle of local art based on the idea of peace, and of course some cold ones from Steamwhistle themselves.
Steamwhistle Brewery, 255 Bremner Boulevard, $45, 7:30 pm

BOOKS AND LIT | Hear/Hear Reading Series
Descant magazine has been a force on the Canadian literary landscape for over twenty years, publishing the work of local and international writers and visual artists in thematic, exquisitely produced volumes. The magazine also has its own outreach program called Now Hear This, which connects professional writers with students and aspiring authors to promote literacy and literature in our country. Sounds like a pretty good idea. Now Hear This hosts the seventh edition of its reading series Hear/Hear tonight, featuring poet Elisabeth de Mariaffi, detective novel enthusiast Angela Szczepaniak, and Natalie Zina Walschots, who wrote an entire book of poems about sadomasochism and consensual pain. There will be special door prizes from This Ain't the Rosedale Library to boot.
Free Times CafĂŠ, 320 College Street, PWYC, 6:30 pm

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

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