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Weekend Radar: Kultura Filipino Arts Festival, Jump Up, Jump Up, Oliver Mtukudzi at the Opera House, New Bloor Festival, Ride the Tiger at the Dakota, Deli Duel, Pedestrian Sunday, Love, Saskatchewan

Saturday, July 24:

FESTIVAL | Kultura Filipino Arts Festival
The industrious young folk at the Kapisanan Phillipine Centre in Kensington Market have been fostering the city's Filipino artistic community for five years, churning out concerts, gallery shows, and art festivals at an impressive rate. Saturday they're taking over the South end of the Market to stage the Kultura Filipino Arts Festival, a day-long event centred around the theme of "the Chosen Narrative" and featuring performances of music, spoken-word, theatre, a multi-media art installation and a smorgasbord of tasty Filipino food. A visual art exhibition inside the centre will showcase the work of ten young artists, and in the evening four new plays will have staged readings.
Bellevue Square Park and Kapisanan Phillipine Centre for Arts and Culture, 167 Augusta Avenue, Free, 12 pm - 8 pm

MUSEUM | Jump Up, Jump Up: Caribana Celebrations at the ROM
Caribana is known for its annual sexy parade and a litany of hot nightclub parties, so this exhibition at the ROM is on the tamer end of the spectrum of the festival's events. But hey, there's more to Caribbean culture than extravagant costumes and a happening nightlife, so just think of the exhibit as the healthy dose of veggies your auntie makes you eat before you scarf down a johnny cake. Sandra Whiting will be telling traditional Caribbean stories all weekend, and Earl St. Pierre will make the museum galleries ring with his impressive steel pan drum playing. For the kids, there's daily carnival mask decorating workshops. Runs til Sunday.
The Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen's Park, Free with museum admission (kids $16, students $21, general $24), Saturday and Sunday 11 am - 4 pm

MUSIC | Oliver Mtukudzi at the Opera House
Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi is the most famous musician ever to emerge from Zimbabwe, and has been so innovative over his 33-year career that he's credited with creating a new style of music called "tuku music." Blending a mixture of African genres with Western influences, Tuku's released over forty albums filled with songs that reflect the daily struggles of Zimbabweans. Despite his native country's shameful deterioration under the Robert Mugabe regime, the musician refuses to leave and has released several singles that indirectly criticize the aging despot, including the cheeky Wasakara (You Are Getting Old). Toronto's African music community is buzzing over his rare appearance in our city tonight.
Opera House, 735 Queen Street East, $30 advance, $35 at the door, 8 pm

STREET FESTIVAL | New Bloor Festival
The stretch of Bloor between Dufferin and Landsdowne is laying claim to the title of "the New Bloor Street", in a nod to the ever westward march of gentrification along downtown Toronto's main thoroughfare. In celebration of the neighbourhood's increasingly vibrant culture, the New Bloor Festival is shutting down the street this weekend and inviting over 200 local vendors and artists to show their stuff. Musicians including three-piece garage rockers Ethel and the Mermen, singer-songwriter Beware! The Leopoard, and musical duelers Casey vs. Jon, will be performing on two stages throughout the day, and the Bloorcourt Affordable Art Fair will be offering up the work of talented local painters, sculptors and photographers on the cheap.
Bloor Street between Dufferin and Landsdowne, Free, 1 pm - 9 pm

MUSIC | Ride the Tiger at the Dakota Tavern
The Dakota Tavern may be the city's most authentic country music bar, but tonight the Wrangler shirts, cowboy boots and banjos are being put into storage as the incredible live soul band Ride the Tiger, takes over the stage for a marathon evening of three sets. Playing classic covers of songs by Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye, these guys have the chops to play the greats with the respect they deserve. Possibly the most soulful white band since the Blues Brothers.
The Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Avenue, $5, 10 pm

BURLESQUE | The Burlesque Ball
The Toronto Burlesque Festival reaches its tasseled climax tonight with an evening of performances from the best burlesque dancers in the world. Gracing the greasy stage at the Mod Club will be a line up of fourteen Canadian and international artists including Japan's Cherry Typhoon, New Zealand's Magenta Diamond, Seattle's Miss Indigo Blue, and our own Roxy Dlite. Hosted by Burlesque Hall of Famer Miss Astrid.
Mod Club Theatre, 722 College Street, $35 advance, $40 at the door, 9 pm

Sunday, July 25

FOOD | Deli Duel
Three of the city's best delis go head to head for brisket supremacy on Sunday in a competition benefitting the Stop Community Food Centre. Caplansky's, Goldin's, and the Stockyards will be serving up smoked meat sandwiches all afternoon for the tasty price of $3, so try all three and vote for the winner. You can wash it all down with lemonade, or beer courtesy of Steamwhistle and Mill Street.
Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street, Free, 1 pm - 5 pm

COMMUNITY | Pedestrian Sunday in Kensington Market
Cars are banished from Kensington Market again today for Pedestrian Sundaythe monthly celebration of bipedal locomotion and community building. This month's theme is Water! Streams of Consciousness, which means in addition to the usual street performers, games, and patio lounging there will be plenty of aqua activities to engage in like singing sea chanties with island musicians, and taking the water conservation challenge. This month's edition will also feature a staging of the super cool Gentrification: the Game, in which players divide into teams of developers and locals and run around the neighbourhood claiming real estate, building metaphorical chain stores, and shaping the streets in their own vision. The innovative game won the Best in the Fest award at New York's Come Out and Play festival.
Kensington Market, Free, 12 pm - 7 pm


FESTIVAL | Love, Saskatchewan
Toronto may be the centre of the universe, but Saskatchewan is the Centre of Canada, and the Love, Saskatchewan festival aims to shine a light on the arts and culture of the prairie province. A line up of artists and performers from Rough Rider country takes over Harbourfront this weekend, including a cowboy-themed art exhibition, a live reading from farmer radio station BERTradio's Jack Humeny, a tailgate party and country jam, and a set from eight-piece Regina pop band Library Voices. Runs til Sunday.
Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Free, Friday 10 am - 12:30 am, Saturday 10 am - 2 am, Sunday 10 am - 7 pm

FESTIVAL | Masala! Mehndi! Masti!
The largest festival of South Asian culture in North America takes over Exhibition Place this weekend, offering up three days of musical performances, food vendors, and parties. The Meena Bazaar and Community Lane will save you a trip to the streets of Mumbai by offering up the latest in South Asian fashion, while on Saturday international singing star Salman Ahmed of the band Junoon and Suzanne D'Mello of the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack will take the stage. After all the performances end, Revival hosts an afterparty to mark the festival's tenth anniversary. Runs til Sunday.
Exhibition Place, 200 Princes Boulevard, most events free except for afterparties, Saturday 12 pm - 2 am, Sunday 12 pm - 8 pm

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Photo: "Alone in Water" by BrHoOoM, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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