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Weekend Radar: Afrofest, Loadbang, National Day of Action for Civil Liberties, Sol LeWitt: A Mercer Union Legacy Project, the Keyhole Sessions, the Scream's Moustache Gala, the World Cup Final at the Revue Cinema, Beats, Breaks and Culture

Saturday, July 10:

FESTIVAL | Afrofest
If you've never visited Afrofest, you're missing out on a great Toronto tradition. The city's annual celebration of African culture takes over Queen's Park this weekend, boasting an unparalleled roster of African musicians including Zimbabwe's "Rebel Woman" Chiwoniso, Congolese songwriter JP Buse, Cameroon-Canadian world beat all-star Muna Mingole, and the Occidental Brothers Dance Band International. The festival is a great way to spend a hazy summer weekend, whether you want to dance along to some happy grooves at the crowded concert stage, sample delicious African cuisine washed down with a cold brew, or just wile away the day kicking a soccer ball around the park.
Queen's Park, Free, Saturday and Sunday 1 pm - 11 pm

GALLERY | loadbang
The Butcher Gallery on Queen East has dedicated itself to the ambitious project of transposing online and virtual art from the screen and into real-life three dimensional space. The gallery's sexy new exhibition loadbang isn't the first attempt to turn online erotica into reality (men have been trying that since the days of Web 1.0), but these artists have more on their minds than logging on and getting off. Projections of randomized videos, collected as a response to the curator's open call for trashy videos inspired by the internet, prompt the audience to consider how webcams, avatars and porn affect our expectations in art and life. At 9 pm Ann Hirsch will perform Scandilicious, her scarily accurate parody of internet voyeur culture.
Butcher Gallery, 234 ½ Queen Street East, Free, 7 pm - 11 pm

PROTEST | National Day of Action for Civil Liberties
The recent announcement that the Ontario ombudsman will probe the so-called five meter rule that gave police unprecedented search powers at last month's G20 summit will do little to placate growing calls for a full inquiry into the massively expensive security operation. Organizations like Amnesty International and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association have accused the police of acting with disproportionate force and trampling the rights of protesters as they cracked down on demonstrations that posed no apparent security threat to the summit. Thousands are expected to converge on Queen's Park today in Toronto's contribution to a national day of action to demand a full independent inquiry into the events of the summit.
Queen's Park, 1 pm

GALLERY | Sol LeWitt: A Mercer Union Legacy Project
The Mercer Union gallery has been a Toronto institution for thirty years now, first at its original location on Queen West and since last year at its new digs at Bloor and Lansdowne. A haven for contemporary art, Mercer is celebrating its pearl jubilee with an exhibition paying tribute a work by minimalist pioneer Sol LeWitt that first graced the gallery in 1981. Entitled Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing #349, the project is an homage to the original work and its place in Mercer's history, while also pointing towards a new generation of artists. The opening bash this afternoon features a talk at 3 pm by LeWitt's draughtsman Anthony Sansotta. Runs til August 28.
Mercer Union, 1286 Bloor Street West, Reception today 2 pm - 5 pm, Gallery hours Tuesday - Saturday 11 am - 6 pm

GALLERY | The Keyhole Sessions
I don't know why they call it "life-drawing" when what they really mean is "drawing naked people." It's kind of like calling porn "nature videos." Anyway, the Keyhole Sessions is a "life-drawing" class that is unabashed in admitting the fact that yes, these artists draw naked women, and yes they get off on doing it. For fifty-five consecutive Tuesdays the session has brought hot models and their artistically proficient acolytes together at the Great Hall for evenings full of fevered painting, sweat-inducing soundtracks, and occasional displays of Japanese bondage, and after a year it's time to show off the fruits of their debaucherous labour. For the next four days the Gladstone is letting you peek through the keyhole to see resulting art. Runs til July 13.
Gladstone Hotel Art Bar, 1214 Queen Street West, Free, Reception tonight 7 pm - 10 pm, Gallery hours 12 pm - 5 pm

PARTY | Wax and Comb: the Scream's Moustache Gala
Essential to crafting the perfect literary persona is proper facial hair. Hemingway had his beard, Mark Twain had his bushy crumb-catcher, and even James Joyce sported a modest lady tickler on his upper lip. The Scream Literary Festival is calling all Van Dykes, Grouchos, handlebars, and fu manchus for its annual moustache-themed party tonight, offering prizes in the categories of best moustache, best beard, scariest facial hair, and best original creation. If you can't grow facial hair of your own, don't worry; the Scream will be happy to supply you with a false stache. Henri Fabrege (himself the proud owner of a fine pair of mutton chops) and Maylee Todd (who according to rumours is capable of growing a stache, but prefers to wax) will supply the live music, with DJ Green manning the decks.
Hugh's Room, 2261 Dundas Street West, $12, 7 pm

Sunday, July 11

ENVIRONMENT | Community Environment Day
Throughout the summer the city is holding Community Environment Days in neighbourhoods all over town to give Torontonians a chance to be good l'il eco-citizens and recycle their unwanted household items. This Sunday the Dufferin Mall will be a drop-off point for hard-to-dispose of waste like old computers and electronics, cleaning supplies, solvents, fluorescent bulbs and gas-powered gardening equipment. You can also donate old art supplies for reuse in local schools, as well as sporting goods, books, and small household items like dishes and ornaments. In return you can pick up some free leaf compost for your backyard garden. Check the City's website for a full list of acceptable items for disposal.
Dufferin Mall, 900 Dufferin Street, 10 am - 2 pm

SPORTS | The World Cup Final at the Revue Cinema
Much of the world will grind to a halt on Sunday to tune into the final game of the 2010 World Cup. It's been an eventful tournament, filled with upsets, controversy, and the first ever World Cup games played on African soil. All the pretenders have been tossed into the dustbin of history and now its down to Spain and the Netherlands, neither of which has ever won the title before. It's sure to be an exciting game, and there's no better way to watch it than on the big screen at the Revue Cinema. The Roncesvalles theatre is showing the game for free, so pack a thermos of something (blogTO does not endorse the consumption of alcoholic beverages in unlicensed venues, btw) and invite all your friends.
Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, Free, 2 pm

COMMUNITY | Russian Canadian Festival
It's been a long time since Red Dawn struck fear into the hearts of a generation of North Americans. Things have changed since then. These days Russia and the rest of the democratic world are good comrades buddies, and the Russian Canadian Festival is here to celebrate the connection between Canada and the great Eurasian country with a line up of street performers, musicians, comedians, and rock bands from the former USSR. For the past six years the festival has been held in Mel Lastman Square in Mississauga, but it's proved so successful that it's made the move to the heart of Toronto. Culturally appropriate food provided by local delicatessens.
Yonge-Dundas Square, Free, 11 am - 11 pm

Continuing:

MUSIC | Beats, Breaks and Culture
With the keytar making a comeback and recording software more accessible than ever before, electronic music is where it's at these days. Since Friday the Beats, Breaks and Culture festival has been celebrating the age of the digital ditty with a full schedule of DJ sets and live performances by both local and international stars, and a unique program of film and dance events. The highlight this weekend is a 9:30 pm set by the legendary New York MC Rakim. From 2 pm to 6 pm Saturday and Sunday the Marca College of Hair and Design will be giving out free haircuts so that your shag doesn't get in the way of your headphones, and acolytes of Staten Island streetwise troubadours the Wu-Tang Clan can check out a Saturday afternoon screening of the doc Wu with director Gerald Barclay in attendance.
Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Free, Friday 7 pm - 2 am, Saturday 2 pm - 2 am, Sunday 2 pm - 7 pm

OUTDOOR GALLERY | 49th Annual Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition
Canada's largest outdoor art exhibition brightens up Nathan Phillips Square this weekend, bringing together over 400 artists to display their creations of ceramics, digital media, textiles, jewelry, painting, photography, sculpture... well, you get the idea. This year organizers have added a programming initiative to the exhibition that offers free guided tours, a speakers series and artist workshops. Today at 12 pm you can learn the art of claymaking with the Taking Control of the Wheel workshop, or later in the afternoon at 5 pm learn the fundamentals of photography in a session called From the Negative to the Positive. Runs til July 11.
Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen Street West, Free, Friday and Saturday 10:30 am - 7:30 pm, Sunday 10:30 am - 6:30 pm

FOOD | Summerlicious
Toronto's foodies are salivating at the news that 150 restaurants across the city have launched special three-course prix-fixe menus as part of Summerlicious. The festival has something for all tastes, whether you're hankering for kitschy tex-mex from the Lone Star Texas Grill, a juicy locally-raised beef burger from the Rosedale Diner, or a roasted pheasant from Sassafraz, Yorkdale's glitzy celebrity hub. Lunch menus are priced at very affordable prices points of $15, $20, or $25, while dinner goes for $25, $35, or $45, meaning that even the most money-grubbing glutton will be able to take part. Reservations are recommended at most establishments. Runs til July 25.
Restaurants across Toronto, check website for locations and menus

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For Toronto movie showtimes, view our Movie Listings section.

Photo: "Hands Up" by rvnix, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.


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