Bay and King

Radar: Caribana Launch, Blank State Volume One Book Launch, Toronto Tree Portraits, The Dead Weather, Casual Encounters, Tasty Thursdays

FESTIVAL | Caribana Launch
The latest festival to take over Toronto is Caribana, a colourful and extravagant two-week celebration of Caribbean culture. The highlight of the festival isn't until the end of the month, when the Caribana Parade will drop like a sex bomb on the Lakeshore, but until then you can get your groove on at over 100 official nightlife and family-friendly events, and the festival kicks off today with an afternoon celebration in Yonge-Dundas Square. Live music from the parade's band will provide the soundtrack to costume displays, a Caribbean feast, and art exhibitions depicting the Caribbean experience.
Yonge-Dundas Square, Free, 12 pm - 2 pm

BOOKS AND LIT | Blank State Volume One Book Launch
Imagine a Toronto in which the Eaton Centre has been transformed into a macabre bazaar and the city's artists are so desperate to prove they understand the dark side of life that cannibalism is considered a legitimate performance art. That's the vision of our hometown in Dave Proctor's Blank State, a serialized book that views Toronto through the lens of satire and dystopian fantasy. Volume One is actually the second issue of the story, and is the follow up to Volume Zero: Condopocalypse Now!. The inventive book is launched tonight with a party that features live painting, performances by local indie bands Teenage Kicks and Arietta, and a reading by the author.
Hard Luck Bar, 812 Dundas Street West, $10 for entry and copy of Volume One, $17 for both volumes, 8 pm

GALLERY | Toronto Tree Portraits
This new exhibition of photographs by Vincenzo Pietropaolo turns the lens on the city's leafy giants. Sixteen prominent Canadians, including Atom Egoyan, Jian Ghomeshi, and Adrienne Clarkson were asked by the artist to choose a tree in the city that they felt close to, and the result is a series of portraits that celebrates our the importance of our beautiful urban forest. The show is organized by local conservation nonprofit LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) and runs until August 12 at the Side Space Gallery.
Side Space Gallery, 1080 St. Clair West, Free, Reception tonight 7 pm

MUSIC | The Dead Weather
When the dust settles on the first decade of the dowloadable music era, Jack White will be remembered as front and centre on the barricades of a musical revolution. As if helming the highly influential White Stripes wasn't enough, White's also had a string of hits with his other band the Raconteurs, been the subject of one of the coolest rock documentaries of all time, and has now reinvented himself as the drummer of indie supergroup the Dead Weather. Featuring members of the Kills, the Queens of the Stone Age, and the Greenhornes, the newly-formed band lights up the cavernous Sound Academy tonight.
Sound Academy, 11 Polson Pier, $35, 7 pm

GALLERY | Casual Encounters
A quick glance at the back pages one of this city's alt weeklies will give you some idea of the number of weird and wonderful ways people are trying to connect with each other. Personal ads, escort services, and Craigslist personals are the inspiration for Casual Encounters, a new show by erotic artist Kim Hurter that examines the methods we use to seek out intimacy. Hurter's calling tonight's reception for the show her "coming out" party (this is her first solo show), and is celebrating by offering erotic cookies and crafts. Runs til July 31.
Come As You Are, 701 Queen Street West, Free, Reception tonight 7 pm

FOOD | Tasty Thursdays
Five bucks will get you a taste of the best international cuisine Toronto has to offer today at Nathan Phillips Square. Every Thursday until the end of the summer, Tasty Thursdays is feeding body and soul with cheap meals courtesy of the Real Jerk, Coco Rice Thai Cuisine, Kathmandu, Woody's Burgers and more, accompanied by free concerts. Today's featured performers are African-infused roots duo Ruth Mathiang and Waleed Kush.
Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West, Free, 11 am - 2 pm

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Photo: "Bay + King... Bling Bling" by neilta, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.


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