Weekend events in Toronto: March 14-16, 2014
Weekend events in Toronto is our guide to events happening this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here's what's happening in Toronto this March 14-16, 2014.
Pages Festival + Conference
Great news for Toronto's literary scene - Pages Fest, brought to you by Marc Glassman, former owner of Pages Books & Magazines as well as founder of This Is Not A Reading Series, debuted last night. The format challenging fest explores new technologies in publishing and literary arts, mixing lauded Canadian writers with digital media artists and more. The remaining line up includes Atom Egoyan (Friday), Bob Stein (Friday), a tribute to Susannah Moodie (Saturday), and a graphic novel talk with Seth, Fiona Smyth, and Michael DeForge (Saturday). March 13 - 15, The Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst St) and The Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick Ave). Passes $60, tickets $15, half price for students.
Last year Foundry brought together a wide network of underground dance music promoters and scenesters to throw an eclectic mini-festival. This year they return with another talent-stacked lineup, including the unpredictable experimentalist Four Tet and Canadian electronic duo Purity Ring. This weekend's line up in full is Four Tet + Anthony 'Shake' Shakir + Gingy + DJ Colin (Friday) and Purity Ring [DJ Set] + Shigeto [Live] + Blue Hawaii [DJ Set] (Saturday). Note: the fest was moved at the last minute from the Tower Automotive Building to 99 Sudbury. Check out our preview of the fest here. March 14th to April 5, 99 Sudbury St, 10pm, $99.50 series pass, $19.50-$49.50 single nights.
For more dance listings, check out our Top Dance Parties in Toronto in March post.
ST PATRICK'S DAY
St Patrick's Day Loft Party
While St. Patrick's Day is Monday, there will be no shortage of partying in green (til you're green) this weekend. One good bet is Saturday (March 15) -- a 400 person courtyard ping pong spectacular at 2nd Floor Events Loft. NTRL ANML, No Big Deal, Gray, Jay Joliffe, Andrew Green and more will provide music. Saturday March 15, 2nd Floor Events (461 King St. West).
Emergents III: FAWN Opera & New Music Michael Vincent, curated by Chelsea Shanoff
This looks to be an amazing Music Gallery show for lovers of dramatic performances and experimental music. FAWN is all about "Synesthesia concerts" which apparently usually take place in art galleries. Music and visuals will combine for some kind of psychedelic contemporary opera, with a whole lot of weirdness, naturally. Watch below. Friday, March 14, 8pm, The Music Gallery (197 John Street), $12.
If you haven't heard, Smiling Buddha is totally different now - well, except for a few things that the new owners just couldn't change. Mark Pesci (of Mark Pesci's Toronto Punk and Hardcore Shows) is booking gigs now, so it remains to be seen if this will still be the city's best bet for shows where you have no idea what is going on. Montreal loud-band Crosss is joined by loud-bands Soupcans, Special Noise, and Ketamines. Saturday, March 15, Smiling Buddha, $8.
Optical Sounds: Psych Pop Vol.2 Release Party
Local label Optical Sounds is celebrating the release of their new comp Psych Pop Vol.2 with performances by eight (count 'em) eight bands. In Moscow they call that a festival. The line up include B-17, Tess Parks, The BB Guns. The Auras, Prince Ness, Sun Stone Revolvers, Mimico, and The Disraelis. March 15, 9pm, The Great Hall (1087 Queen W), $10.
For more music listings, check out our This Week in Music and March Concerts posts.
Bell Free Weekend at the Lightbox (March 15 & 16)
As is the annual tradition now, the TIFF Bell Lightbox is opening its doors on St. Patrick's Day weekend and allowing one and all to gorge on as much cinema as we can handle, all for the price of zero. This indeed includes all of their new releases, all of their rep screenings (don't miss Teorema, for real), all their exhibitions, and all of their special Bell Free Weekend programming and events. Everything. Free. So indulge, but just remember to brace yourself (especially your feet) for line-ups. You have to show up two hours (!!) before the movie you want to see, but that's easy compared to the nine hours you waited to get an Honest Ed's sign. Here's the schedule for Saturday and for Sunday.
New in Theatres
Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo, Pontypool, Roadkill) is back with a new feature. Toronto ad-agency copywriter Henry (Maxwell McCabe-Lokos) is "saddled with an infant son, a lousy job and a wife doing jail time for sleeping with a 14-year-old student." Sounds like comedy in the making. Bruce and cast members will be in attendance on Friday at 7pm. Various times (free between 10am - 6pm Saturday and Sunday), TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 Kind St W).
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Varsity)
It's difficult to describe why a filmmaker's work can be so hit-and-miss when that filmmaker is Wes Anderson, because Anderson makes essentially the same, precise film everything two or three years (even his foray into stop motion animation). Just as Moonrise Kingdom was yet another Rushmore, and The Darjeeling Limited yet another The Royal Tenenbaums, The Grand Budapest Hotel is yet another Fantastic Mr. Fox. Fortunately, Fox is one of Anderson's best, and now so is Grand Budapest, owing to the fact that it doesn't get bogged down in his precious twee tendencies. May be as close to the pure, frenzied fun of Lubitsch as we'll ever see again.
Also opening in theatres this week:
A dose of pop surrealism and vibrant colour might be exactly what you need to break you out of this winter despair zone (and it is a despair zone officially, I checked). Goldsmith's art graced the cover of that one Our Lady Peace album everyone had, but don't let that keep you away (besides, pre-teen you stared at that cover for hours). Collage paintings of human figures, kitties, goaty-horse kinda animals and other images exist with no spacial rules but a deep understanding of colour, and, dare I say, cheerfulness. But not too much cheerfulness. March 14 - April 19, Alison (198 Walnut Ave. Suite 3).
For more art listings, check out our Top 10 Must-See Art Shows This Winter post.
6 Essential Questions
Poet and novelist Priscila Uppal has adapted her celebrated memoir, Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother, into a play that considers the deep ties of family and questions left unanswered. In pursuit of the mother who abandoned her at age five, Renata travels to Brazil to learn the truth of her beginnings. The play is directed by Leah Cherniak and features Maggie Huculak, Mina James, Elizabeth Saunders, and Richard Zeppieri. Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St), March 7-30, Tues-Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm, $23-$45.
For more events on stage, check out our The top theatre productions in Toronto March 2014 post.
The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival
The fun never ends -- or not until Sunday, anyway. Sketchfest promises to make Toronto "a funnier place to be" through scripted comedy, and it will be the place to be this weekend for anyone looking to chip the ice away from the corners of their dour winter face. Ouch? During the fest look for Kids in the Hall, The Irrelevant Show, Gavin Crawford, Falcon Powder and many more from across Canada and the US here on their website. Until March 16, various venues, showtimes, and prices.
Toujours x FidĂ¨le pop-up shop
Tonight Toujours x FidĂ¨le - a Toronto start-up that was born in Paris - is opening a magical pop-up shop at 2 Lakeview Avenue, complete with pink lemonade and love letters. Celebrate the launch from 8pm until 1am, and get first dibs on the limited-edition womens' clothing and glassware made by local artists using deadstock materials. If you can't make it, the Suburban Daydream will be open until March 30. Friday, March 14, 8pm, t x f house (2 Lakeview Avenue).
For more fashion listings, check out our This Week in Fashion post.
National Home Show
Now on at the Direct Energy Centre, 700 exhibitors and home and garden design authorities will gather to help you Martha-Stewart up your pad (or the pad you dream about from your basement suite). HGTV's Bryan Baeumler and interior design guru Sarah Richardson will be in attendance, plus look for eco-friendly presenters and more. March 14-23, Monday - Saturday: 10am - 9pm, Sunday 10am - 5pm, Direct Energy Centre (100 Princes' Blvd).
The 18th Canada Blooms shares a location with The National Home Show at the Direct Energy Centre, and has been named one of North America's Top 100 Events by the American Bus Association. Expect six acres of flowers (so take your allergy meds). Find tickets here. March 14-23, Monday - Saturday: 10am - 9pm, Sunday 10am - 5pm, Direct Energy Centre (100 Princes' Blvd).
Have an event you'd like to plug? Submit your own listing to the blogTO Toronto events calendar or contact us directly.
Lead photo courtesy of Steam Whistle
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