Sage Francis

The top 10 events in Toronto for February 2016

The top events in Toronto for February will have you heading to NBA All-Star Weekend events and winter music fests. The city will be swarming with basketball greats who may or may not pop up at some themed events - make sure you have your iPhone at the ready at all time. If you're more into music, Long Winter, Wavelength and Somewhere There are all on tap for the weeks ahead.

Here are my picks for the top events in Toronto this February.

NBA All-Star Weekend (Feb. 12-14)
Though chances are slim to none that you'll be heading to the main event of All-Star Weekend, there are plenty of events that same weekend worth braving the cold for. While many bars, clubs and venues will be hosting bashes from Friday to Sunday, the Space Jam live read and Shaq's All Star Comedy Jam remain the top contenders for best event of the weekend.

Wavelength (Feb. 12-14)
Instead of spending your Valentine's Day weekend stocking up on SOMA chocolate and trying to nail down reservations at Canoe, why not hit up a music festival? Wavelength is bringing Calvin Love, She-Devils, Soupcans, Duchess Says and more to the Garrison and the Markham House City Building Lab for three nights of shows.

Winter Stations (Feb. 15-March 20)
If you spent the end of January fawning over exhibits at the Toronto Design Offsite Festival, Winter Stations will be right up your alley. The competition will turn up to 13 life guard stations in the Beaches into works of art from February 13 until March 20. If you want a taste of what's to come, check out the winning installations here.

Long Winter (Feb. 17-19)
Long Winter, a seasonal staple, has hosts events throughout these cold months will close off in February with a giant maze and audio-visual experience at Artscape Sandbox and a second event at The Great Hall. Expect to see acts like For Esme and The Wooden Sky plus a bevy of art, performances, installations, dances and readings.

Rhubarb Festival (Feb. 17-28)
Fans of theatre, dance, music, and performance art will flock to Buddies in Bad Times at the end of the month for the venue's annual experimental art fest. The 37th edition of the event will kick off on February 17 with a party featuring performances by Girls Rock Camp and a few special surprises.

The Artist Project (Feb. 18-21)
The Artist Project isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it serves as a safe introduction for those looking to get a glimpse at this city's burgeoning contemporary art scene. Outside of the commercial work, be sure to visit the UNTAPPED Emerging Artist section, which features 20 of Canada's notable up-and-comers.

Blackout 6 Rap Battle (Feb. 19-20)
Venture to 99 Sudbury on February 19 and 20 to watch the lyrically gifted go head-to-head in the city's biggest rap battle event. If you want a taste of what's in store, check out the KOTD event trailer here. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Drake will be making an appearance this year. Tickets will set you back $55 for a two-day GA pass.

Winter Brewfest (Feb. 19-20)
On February 19 and 20, the Enercare Centre will be filled with brew-loving Torontonians for the city's newest beer event: Winter Brewfest. If you couldn't get a ticket for Steamwhistle's frosty beer bash in January (the Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival), this is your chance to sample some of the best craft beverages the city has to offer.

Toronto Poetry Slam Finals (Feb. 27)
If you prefer poetry to three-pointers, this event will be right up your alley. The city's top wordsmiths will take the stage at Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on the 27th for the most eloquent throwdown of the year. Bonus: American hip-hop great Sage Francis will be making an appearance.

Somewhere There Creative Music Festival (Feb. 26-28)
This three-day fest celebrates the city's creative music scene. You'll be able to catch sets by more than 60 performers and composers, including SlowPitchSound, Ronley Teper's Lipliners and the Ugly Beauties. There's also a speakers' series that features homegrown thinkers, educators, and music presenters.

What did I miss? Add more events in the comments.

Photo by Sage Francis.

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