october events toronto 2014

The top 10 events in Toronto for October 2014

The top events in Toronto this October don't offer something for everyone, as the saying normally goes. If you're not up for all things arty, sexy, or scary, don't stay home and wilt like the falling leaves -- you could try snagging a last minute ticket to Cask Days here, or begging one off some lucky pal. Then there's Fashion Week for the fancy, the Psychic Fair for you spooky Mulders, and tons of other events you'll catch by perusing our events hub. Most importantly, don't forget to vote on October 27.

Yet not every event can be as equal as others. Here are October's can't-miss events in Toronto.

Alex Colville + Tim Hecker at the AGO
The AGO's Alex Colville exhibit is supposed to wow you with the tension in the painter's riffs on Canadiana-realism's doldrums. I'm not sure what the fuss is about, but Polaris-long-listed Montreal ambient composer Tim Hecker is a fan - maybe he'll explain with his live performance at the AGO's pre Nuit Blanche First Thursday party October 2. It's also a good chance to vote on the Aimia Photography Prize if you haven't caught the art truck. Later this month Michelangelo: Quest for Genius opens up (October 18-January 11) - busy month at the AGO.

Nuit Blanche
Toga party disguised as Toronto's biggest art event? Throwback to crafty dress-up sleep-overs past? Important step forward in bridging fine art with the unwashed rabble? Toronto's all night, multi-zone party October 4 means congested transit and Dollar Store feather boa trails across the city's all night eateries, but maybe you'll have a meaningful moment between Instagram opps - though zone titles like "The possibility of everything" and "The Night Circus" are highly suspect, and there's no number to call this year to ask "is it art?"

After Dark Film Festival
Toronto's haunted film fest is back from October 16-24. Featuring the Toronto premieres of the greatest in horror, scifi, action and cult, (let's be honest, the only film genres that matter) this year's After Dark looks to have topped itself in its delivery of vomit-inducing gross-outs, stupidly gratuitous violence and pants-wetting frights. From October 16-24 catch a total of 20 films at the Scotiabank Theatre. Look out for our upcoming preview of the gore-fest. Aaron Broverman

X-Avant IX
The Music Gallery's X-Avant Festival is without a doubt what many experimental, pop, jazz, noise, classical, and wtf-ever music fans will call one of the year's most exciting times, and what some other music lovers would hesitatingly call "interesting." Yet the five concerts and three outreach events on the year's (admittedly cliche) theme of "Transculturalism: Moving Beyond Multiculturalism," spanning October 17-19, promise strong enough curation that those even slightly intrigued in expanding their musical horizons will be glad they took the dive. Uma Nota runs this weekend as well.

Buffer Festival
Toronto's first-ever YouTube-centric convention is back for a second year October 17-19. If the words "like, comment, subscribe" mean anything to you, you'll be thrilled to know that the 2014 roster of guest YouTubers, in addition to returning faces like Charlie McConnell, has been beefed up with additions like Epic Meal Time, Shay Carl, Rhett and Link. I'm taking bets to see if Davey Wavey wears a shirt. Tickets to each event are $15, and going fast for some of the bigger names. (If you're not around that weekend, fast rapper and pale kid Watsky plays the Danforth Music Hall on November 10.) Natalia Manzocco

Can't wait for the city's newest big lit event Toronto International Book Fair in November? The International Festival of Authors will return at the Harbourfront from October 23 - November 2. Book lovers can button up their cardigans and catch readings, awards ceremonies, workshops, and much more at the annual mega-fest, including a reading by David Cronenberg opening night. Check out the program here.

Feature Art Fair
Autumn's Art Toronto (Oct 24-27, 2014) is the city's biggest arts fair by a long shot, but newbie Feature: Contemporary Art Fair (Oct 23-26) doesn't seem interested in competing. Rather the lovingly curated fair of a modest 23 galleries and 60 artists at the Opera Centre will compliment the bigger, glitzier, ordeal at the Metro - where surely more money will change hands, yet perhaps a fair less driven by opening galas than charted by challenging work is long due.

The Everything to Do with Sex Show
Got a burning desire? Looking for some sexy results? Want to play a wicked game? The Everything to Do with Sex Show October 24-26 at the Direct Energy Centre can probably help with that. Unless it involves a rash, then you need a doctor.

Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition
Can you stomach seeing those blue dresses the scary twins wore in The Shining up close? Opening Halloween night, TIFF's Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition is next in a long line of steller, fan-pleasing installs at the King Street cinema (such as this creep-out Cronenberg tribute). The exhibit, featuring documents, swag, and props like 'Starchild' from 2001: A Space Odyssey, runs until January 25, which might give me time to get over those Shining nightmares I had from age 7-13. Maybe.

Halloween is huge in Toronto and I can't wait to see what your dogs dress up as this year. The Church Street Halloween Block Party, Sorauren Pumpkin Parade, Night of Dread, Zombie Walk, and Death to TO are must-hits, then look out for our upcoming guide of parties, parties, parties. Unacceptable costumes for 2014: Rob Ford, Rob Ford's [anything], Rob Ford as [anything], [anything] as Rob Ford. Leave your political snark where it belongs - in the ballot box (Doug probably won't be swinging by Pride 2015 either).

Photo via KiddNation Radio

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