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Weekend Radar: China's Terracotta Army, Saturday Night Fever, Session Craft Beer Festival, We Are Family, National Canoe Day, Can't Stop the Serenity, Pollinators Festival, PS Kensington, Cooking Fire Theatre Festival

Saturday, June 26

GALLERY | The Warrior Emperor and China's Terracotta Army
Apparently China's first emperor Ying Zheng never heard the expression "you can't take it with you." The 3rd Century BC king had an entire army of life-sized terracotta warriors buried with him just in case anyone decided to mess with him in the afterlife. The 1974 discovery of the 8,000 intricately detailed clay figures in his tomb in Northern China remains unprecedented in the history of archeology, and the collection of Ying Zheng's artifacts rarely leaves Chinese soil. The ROM's exhibition includes ten of the famous terracotta soldiers as well as hundreds of other pieces from the time period, and is the largest display of artifacts related to the emperor king ever shown in North America. The highlight of the ROM's 2010 calendar, the show runs til January 2, 2011.
Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park, $31 General admission, $28 students, Museum hours Monday to Thursday 10 am - 5:30 pm, Friday 10 am - 9:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am - 5:30 pm

STREET PARTY | Saturday Night Fever
If you like your parties with a faint menace of police brutality, grab some noisemakers and take to the streets for Saturday Night Fever. Not quite a protest and not quite a march, this roaming street party will wander through downtown to make the point that the streets belong to the people and not to the president of Japan or whoever else is in town this weekend. Organizers will be taking over an FM frequency to broadcast live music from local politically-minded musicians so bring a boom box if you can, as well as anything else you'd take to a normal party and/or demonstration (think creative casual, but with a gas mask). Organizers are adamant that this is not a political protest, but it is definitely an authorized gathering in the middle of the biggest security exercise in Canadian history, so expect police to respond accordingly. The party starts at 11 pm somewhere in Church Street village, but the exact location won't be announced until 10:30 pm via the party's website and Twitter account.
Church Street Village, Free, 11 pm

FOOD AND DRINK | Session: a Craft Beer Festival
If you weren't able to physically leave the city this weekend to avoid the security crunch downtown, your next best means of escape is via an alcoholic foray into a wide variety of tasty Canadian craft beers. Session will set up shop in the Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion today to bring you live music, great food, and microbrews from across the country in celebration of Ontario Craft Beer Week. The entrace fee gets you a limited edition giant beer stein and access to the pavilion, and once you get inside $1 sample tickets can be exchanged for 4 oz of beer at each brewery's station. Tickets can also be redeemed for food courtesy of Rodney's Oyster House, the Leslieville Cheese Market, C'est What, and the Sassy Lamb
Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion, 1755 Lakeshore Boulevard West, $35 entrance fee, sample tickets $1 each, 12 pm - 8 pm

PRIDE | We Are Family
One of the great accomplishments of events like Pride is that the Canadian generation currently growing will be the first for which the idea of gay equality will be completely normal. Families of all configurations will play a large part in Pride celebrations this year at events like We Are Family, which celebrates the festival's inclusiveness and community building. Held at the 918 Bathurst arts centre, the day's schedule is full of events for parents and kids like Pride-related storytelling, drumming, live music, a family photo booth, board games, and an arts exhibition.
918 Bathurst, Free, 12 pm - 4 pm

WATERSPORTS | Toronto National Canoe Day Festival
As Pierre Burton once said, a true Canadian is some one who can have sex in canoe. I for one am hoping that demonstrating that ability will soon become a prerequisite for obtaining all government documents (passports, drivers licenses etc), but until then we'll have to settle for platonic paddlin' courtesy of Toronto Canoe Tours as part of National Canoe Day. Make like a courier du bois with a trip around the Toronto Islands in an historic 18-person voyageur canoe or wait until after dark for a special full moon paddle beneath the skyline. Yes it will be dark, and you'll be squeezed next to each other in a canoe, but please keep your hands to yourself.
Toronto Canoe Tours, Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre, 283A Queen's Quay West, $10 day trip, 10 am - 6 pm, $20 full moon trip, 8:30 pm - 11 pm

PHOTOGRAPHY | Full Contact - A Tribute to Roller Derby Photographers
Thanks to the ToRD, roller derbies are a fast growing attraction in this town. Half the draw of the hard-hitting sport is the kitschy fashion and sexy style of the athletes, and this photo exhibition at High Park's Cardinal Skate Shop pays tribute to the photographers who capture it all (because taking pictures of fit women in tiny shorts is a thankless task, apparently). Presented by the Rollerbug skate company, the show features work by Kevin Konnyu, Susan Moss, David Artemiw, and Sean Condon, as well as hors d'oeuvres and refreshments
Cardinal Skate Shop, 2142 Bloor Street West, Free, 7 pm - 10 pm

FILM | Can't Stop the Serenity
You can be forgiven if you've never heard of Joss Whedon, but to millions of fans he's beloved as the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the internet musical Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog (starring Neil Patrick Harris), and the short-lived sci-fi TV series Firefly. That show spawned a spin-off movie about a renegade space ship called Serenity, which only further cemented Whedon's status as cult hero. For the past five years the movie has toured North America to raise money for human rights organization Equality Now, and today's screening at the Bloor Cinema will be accompanied by door prizes and raffles for Whedon-related merchandise.
Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor Street West, $15, 11:30 am

Sunday, June 27

ENVIRONMENT | The Pollinators Festival featuring Laurence Packer
Albert Einstein is famously quoted as saying that if the bees were wiped out, humans would only live for another four or five years. It turns out Einstein never actually said that, but nevertheless the rapid and largely unexplained decline of bee populations is a huge concern because believe it or not, bees are responsible for one-third of our food supply. The disappearance of colonies all over the world bad news for people like York University melittologist Laurence Packer, who has spent his life studying the little bugs and their role in our ecosystems. His new book Keeping the Bees raises the alarm about honey-less world, and Packer comes to the Evergreen Brickworks today to discuss the the dramatic consequences of the phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder. His talk is the main event at the day-long Pollinators Festival, which features workshops and information sessions on the life of honeybees and what we can do to save them.
Evergreen Brickworks, 55 Bayview Avenue, PWYC, 10 am - 5:30 pm

COMMUNITY | Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market
In what will be a first for Pedestrian Sundays, the streets of Kensington Market will not be blocked off this Sunday because the event's permit has been revoked during the G20 meeting. This sets up an interesting showdown between unsuspecting motorists and Kensington denizens, as revelers used to owning the streets on the last Sunday of every month aren't about to let a meeting of globetrotting bigwigs stop them from jamming up the laneways with music, dance, and street food. Question is, if they block the streets anyway, can the G20 Integrated Security Force spare enough cops to do anything about it? Appropriately enough for this potentially explosive situation, the theme for this month's PS Kensington is Fire.
Kensington Market, Free, 12 pm - 7 pm


THEATRE | Cooking Fire Theatre Festival
With the downtown core being turned into to an impenetrable fortress this weekend, since Wednesday the Cooking Fire Theatre Festival has been celebrating un-fenced in public space with five days of performances and picnics in Dufferin Grove Park. Each night the Spree Society theatre company leads visitors from site to site throughout the park to see performances that range from childlike fables to mini-operas by companies from across North America including Theatre Populaire d'Acadie, Milwaukee's The Hinterlands, Montreal's Satellite Theatre, and Toronto's own Theatre Smith-Gilmour. Along the way, fresh vegan meals cooked on the parks two wood-fired outdoor ovens will be served. Runs til Sunday.
Dufferin Grove Park, South of Bloor on Dufferin, PWYC, 6 pm dinner, 7 pm shows

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Photo: "Corner of Here and There" by Book 'Em, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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