free events toronto

The top 5 free events in Toronto: Jan 19 - 25 2015

Free events in Toronto this week give you plenty of options even if you're too busy rushing off to work to take in the free art festival at Union Station. Villa itself, along with Design Offsite Festival, will dot Toronto will free art, performance, and design happenings, while Wavelength is starting their festival early with a pop up photo show, free music, and more. Add that to events for lovers of motown music and cult films, but not both at the same time, which is too bad, but we're broke so we won't complain.

Here are seven ways to have fun for free this week packaged as five, because you deserve a deal.

1. Villa Toronto (January 16-23, Union Station)
Over 20 galleries have taken over Union Station this week for a major contemporary art festival. Free events and parties will take place on site and around Toronto, where you'll see predictable sillyness like this kale-focused exhibit, but from stalls to screenings, most programming looks fascinating. Check out our full preview here.

2, Toronto Design Offsite Festival (January 19-25)
Each winter, design installations and unusual prototypes get rolled into public spaces for the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. Come Up to My Room at the Gladstone is not free, but many events are. Hit up the opening party at SMASH, check out our preview here, and learn more on their website.

3. Wavelength Pop-Up Gallery (Jan 22-Feb 15, Huntclub)
Wavelength Fest isn't until February, but their pop up gallery show at Huntclub opens up this weekend with a free opening party featuring Petra Glynt and Zoo Owl. Art, talks, parties, and shows will continue for weeks: the free Toronto Music Moment panel will be hosted on Saturday (full disclosure, I'll be on that causing trouble)

4. Motown Party on Ice (January 24, Harbourfront Centre)
Toronto's soul party has traveled around the world, and it's back home at the Harbourfront. Sean Caff Steve Rock and DJ Misty will play your favourite motown tracks at the dancefloor / rink.

5. Video Vengeance (January 25, KITCH Bar)
This free VHS cult screening series is back with Slumber Party Massacre, Rita Mae Brown's feminist spoof on slasher flix. Wear your coat over your PJs ps you'll regret it.


6. Movie Night at the Garrison (January 21, The Garrison)
The Garrison wants to warm you up on Wednesdays this month with free cult movie screenings, drink specials, and snacks. Mexi-style popcorn is 3 bucks - $1 per person if you split it with three handy pals.

7. Good Enough Live Karaoke (Thursdays in January, The Garrison)
Is your singing voice sometimes meh, sometimes great, but mostly just good enough? Good Enough's live karaoke band will be at the Garrison every Thursday this month, and admission is free. Sing your heart out with a live, Buck-65-approved backup band January 15, 22 and 29.

Also check out these regular free events

Elvis Mondays (Mondays, The Drake)
Toronto's longest running indie showcase, William New's free show has put thousands of bands on stage. It's at the Drake Underground every Monday.

Free Nights at the Horseshoe (Monday/Tuesday, The Horseshoe)
The Legendary Horseshoe has a storied history, and hosts free indie rock shows in the early week with Shoeless Mondays and Dave Bookman's Nu Music Night on Tuesdays.

Free Evening (Wednesday, AGO)
The Art Gallery of Ontario's free evening runs from 6-8:30pm. It can be a little crowded, but sometimes the people watching is as good as the art (sometimes).

CINSSU's Free Friday Films (Fridays)
Though the Innis Town Hall is still under construction, you can follow the Cinema Studies Student Union for reliable Friday night movies and solid picks at Isabel Bader Theatre and/or Alumni Hall 100.

Canadian Opera Company (Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre)
September through to early June, catch free classical shows at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts "most Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon, and some Wednesdays at noon or 5:30 p.m."

MOCCA (Monday - Sunday)
While nearly all art galleries in the city are free to enter, it's worth noting The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) is always PWYC.

Have a free event you'd like to plug? Submit it using this form.

Photo of Petra Glynt by Jeff Karpala

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