Free events Toronto

Free events in Toronto: March 2 - 9, 2014

Free events in Toronto this week give a lot of love to fans of film and the literary arts (including a very serious debate series on which one novel all of Canada should read, and an entire weekend of free French film screenings) but there's also the odd pancake dinner and open bar. It's a great time to be alive and broke.

Here's how to publicly interact with various aspects of humanity on a budget in Toronto this week.

Toronto New Music Alliance presents New Music 101
The Toronto New Music Alliance (TNMA) has hooked up with the Toronto Public Library to bring you a free peek into the world of contemporary music and composers. On Monday, March 3 New Music Concerts and junctQn keyboard collective will give demonstrations. Programming will continue on March 10th and 17th (also free). Monday, March 3, 7pm, Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street).

Canada Reads 2014 Debates
What is the one novel all of Canada should read? Jian Ghomeshi hosts, Stephen Lewis defends The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood, Wab Kinew defends The Orenda by Joseph Boyden, etc (check out the website). From Monday to Thursday you can stop by the debates at the CBC at 10am - it'll be a stimulating break from trolling online job listings. Reserve tickets by emailing Monday, March 3 - Thursday, March 6th, 10am, CBC/Radio-Canada Canadian Broadcasting Centre (250 Front Street West).

Pancake dinner, featuring pancakes!
You have to hit up a church which might be weird depending on your background, but St. Stephens is pretty and a pay-what-you-can pancake dinner is always a pay-what-you-can pancake dinner. Tuesday, March 4, 7:30pm, Church of St. Stephen in-the-Fields (103 Bellevue Avenue).

Blue Coffee Reading Series #5
This installation of Blue Coffee's fiction and poetry live reading series will feature Jimmy McInnes, Patrick Connors, and Jack Hostrawser. It'll be hosted by Leigh Beadon. It's PWYC, so throw those literary types whatever change you don't need for laundry this week. Monday March 3, 7pm, Magpie Taproom (831 Dundas St. West).

Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids 13
Got book reports, diary entries, poems, letters from camp, or that novel written by a child for adults that at age nine you were sure would break the big time? (Did anyone else do this? Did anyone finish theirs? Does anyone know where mine is?) Sign up here to read 'em live in front of strangers, or just show up and enjoy the show. Monday March 3, 7:30pm, The Garrison (1197 Dundas St. West).

CINSSU's Grease Sing-A-Long
What's better than a Grease Sing-A-Long? If you didn't just mumble "...anything?" then the answer is clearly a Grease Sing-A-Long with a Grease costume contest. Get to this one early if you want a seat. Thursday, March 6, 6pm, Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue).

Feminist Art Conference - Art Exhibition Opening Reception
Beaver Hall Gallery will host an opening reception with spoken word performances, a feminist stand up comedy troupe, music, and free food. Oh, and open bar. Check out all the artists here, or better yet stop in for a drink. Thursday, March 6, 7pm, Beaver Hall Gallery (29 McCaul Street).

If Walls Could Talk
A huge juried illustration centric art exhibit with a focus on the experimental is opening up in the 2nd Floor Gallery at the Gladstone. The show runs until March 30th, so if you miss the opening you have a month to stop in. Opening reception: Thursday, March 6, 7pm, Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen St. West).

FAC Film Screenings at OCADU via STUDENT UNION
On Friday as part of the Feminist Art Conference at OCAD you can see two documentaries for free: Carol Jacobsen's Censorious! and Jennifer Siebel Newsom's Miss Representation. Panel discussions will follow. Friday, March 7, 6pm & 9:30pm, OCAD Room 109 (100 McCaul St).

Co-hosted with The Beguiling and Drawn & Quarterly, Henhouse will host a night for indie comic lovers at the Toronto launch of animator Diane Obomsawin's graphic novel On Loving Women Jaime les Filles, illustrated tales of "coming out, first love, and sexual identity." Friday, March 7, 9pm, Henhouse (1532 Dundas St. West).

Sound Image 2014: Music Photo Contest & Opening Night Party
Analogue Gallery's 3rd Annual Sound Image Music Photography contest and exhibition goes down next weekend. Only one photo will win the prize and glory - and full disclosure, some of our own photographers have concert shots in the show. The opening is RSVP only - click attending on the Facebook event or contact the gallery by phone (416 901 8001) or email ( Friday March 7, Analogue Gallery (673 Queen Street West).

Bag Heads - Works by Shea Chang
This is just a chill little Huntclub art opening, but Shea Chang's graphite portraits are combined with collage and the results are lovely. You have until March 21 to see the exhibit. Friday, March 7, 7pm, Huntclub (709 College St).

B.T.R.O Project
Hey rap fans, head to May on Dundas West on Saturday to take in a free hip hop show. B.T.R.O Project, aka Beats Timian Rhymes Oso, will be joined by special guests and DJ Steelo. Doors are at 8pm and music starts at 9pm. Saturday, March 8, 8pm, May (876 Dundas St. West).

Healing Power Records at the Tranzac 2
Drumheller and Body Help are on this month's Healing Power showcase, a micro label which merges Toronto's underground dance, lo-fi, and experimental jams together whenever they can. Show 'em some love. It's PWYC, so show 'em whatever's sitting on your dresser, too. Unless all your money is in a wad on your dresser. Then do whatever seems rational. Saturday, March 8, 9:30pm, The Tranzac (292 Brunswick Ave).

CINSSU & The Consulate of France present: Contemp French Cinema Fest
Wow Toronto, look at all these free films. They're actually good, too! The Minister and Rust and Bone show on Saturday, then Blue is the Warmest Colour on Sunday and Rubber and The New Faces of French Animation on Monday. Click here for showtimes. March 8 - 10, Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue).

Video Vengeance #4 - Kingdom of the Spiders
Freak out with Kingdom of the Spiders on VHS in a bar full of people who are also totally freaked out! William Shatner, spiders, and a free raffle are awaiting you at KITCH. Sunday, March 9, 7:30pm, KITCH bar (229 Geary Ave).

Also check out these regular free events in Toronto

Do you want everyone to know about your kinda random free or pay-what-you-can event? Submit it to our event section. (You can also submit your for-money events here, greedy-pants.)

Photo by 2013 Sound Image winner Tobias Wang

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