No. 1—MUSIC: Attend a music festival in this guy’s backyard.
After experiencing Austin’s South by Southwest festival in 2009, local photographer/sound man Tim McCready wanted to bring some of that city’s casual barbecue-concert culture back home. Click here to learn more about the plan he devised that’s become an unofficial daytime complement to Toronto’s own North by Northeast bonanza.
The 159 Manning barbecues happen June 13 (Buck 65, Biblical, Golden Dogs, Choir!Choir!Choir!, and more) and June 20 (KC Acccidental, Xiu Xiu, Light Fires, and more), noon–11 p.m. $20 each day; advance tickets available at Soundscapes and Rotate This. BYOB.
No. 2—ART: See some snapshots of Toronto’s cultural complexity.
Toronto is known for its ethnic diversity and queer-positive attitude (current mayor excepted). In real life, those communities intersect, but that’s not often reflected in media and art. Local writer and photographer Samra Habib aims to change that with her new exhibit, Just Me and Allah: Photographs of Queer Muslims, which will be on display at several locations around Toronto this summer. Click here for her insights into the motivation behind the show.
Just Me and Allah: Photographs of Queer Muslims will be on display June 18–July 9 at Parliament Street Library (269 Gerrard St.); June 24–Oct. 5 at Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (34 Isabella St.); July 10–July 15 at Videofag Gallery (187 Augusta Ave.). queermuslimproject.tumblr.com.
No. 3—ART: Find out what the big (General) Idea is.
Twenty artists from around the world are in Toronto right now to study and mimic General Idea, the pioneering Toronto trio whose subversive, late-20th-century work addressed pop culture and the AIDS crisis. Take in talks by participants in the Copycat Academy and get a sense of the group’s lasting legacy when Philip Monk—director of the Art Gallery of York University and a former curator at the AGO and Power Plant—delivers a free lecture on their career. —Luc Rinaldi
To June 14. The Theatre Centre. 1115 Queen St. W., 416-538-0988, luminatofestival.com.
No. 4—SPORTS: Kick off FIFA fever.
For the next month, Toronto will resemble a true global metropolis—and one overrun by footie fanatics. Head to your World Cup HQ—Little Italy, Little Portugal, Koreatown, a Brazilian sports bar, your local pub, or the impartial Football Factory on Bathurst (see our handy map on page 30)—to watch the tournament’s opening ceremony and first match, between Brazil and Croatia.
To July 13. Various venues.
No. 5—COMEDY: Unearth your grade-school notebook.
Before the premiere of his reading-series-turned-radio show, Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids, we asked CBC Radio producer Dan Misener to break down a piece of his own juvenilia to help us get in the weird and wonderful headspace of an eight-year-old. Click here to see what he had to say about his old art.
June 16 (sold out). The Garrison. 1197 Dundas St. W., 416-519-9439, grownupsreadthingstheywroteaskids.com. Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids premieres on CBC Radio 1 at 9:30 a.m. on June 25.
No. 6—MUSIC: Choose your own musical-dreamboat adventure.
As part of the festivities at Luminato (the festival overseen by his boo, Jörn Weisbrodt), Rufus Wainwright has organized If I Loved You: Gentlemen Prefer Broadway, in which nine suave crooners team up for romantic duets. We’ve assessed the qualities of three of the performers on the bill in this nifty chart.
June 14. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. $45–$150. 1 Front St. E., 416-368-6161, luminatofestival.com.
No. 7—NIGHTLIFE: Party like you’re in Thailand.
On the eve of every full moon, thousands of people (a few locals and a mob of drunk Westerners) descend on the beaches of Thailand for an all-night dance party. Save on airfare by hitting up this week’s midnight madness at Hanlan’s Point instead. Ferries run until 11:30 p.m., so bring a blanket just in case.
June 13. Hanlan’s Point.
No. 8—MUSIC: Schmooze with some special guests.
As the de facto nightly repository for after-hours Luminato activity, Jason Collett’s Basement Revue—the local singer-songwriter’s recurring mystery-bill showcase—is sure to attract a cast of big names. (David Byrne and Daniel Lanois are in town. Just sayin’.)
To June 15. Edward Day Gallery. 952 Queen St. W., Unit 200, 416-921-6540, luminatofestival.com.
No. 9—THEATRE: See a two-part, six-hour epic.
If a Pulitzer, Emmy, Golden Globe, and two Tonys can’t convince you to set aside a day to watch Angels in America, Tony Kushner’s ambitious 1991 account of the AIDS epidemic, then perhaps the clout of Soulpepper can. The local theatre company recently won a handful of Toronto Theatre Critics Awards for its production, which returns to the Young Centre this week.
To July 12. Young Centre for the Performing Arts. 50 Tank House Ln., 416-866-6666, soulpepper.ca.
No. 10—BOOZE: Get punk in drublic.
Two days. Thirty breweries. One hundred craft beers. Session Craft Beer Festival: have at it.
June 13–14. Yonge-Dundas Square. 1 Dundas St. E., 705-646-0706, sessiontoronto.com.
No. 11—BOOKS: Laugh at rotten writing.
At the Say Wha? reading series, entertainers recite horrible, no-good, awful, terrible passages from the worst novels ever written so you don’t have to.
June 15. Comedy Bar. 945 Bloor St. W., 416-551-6540, sarabynoe.com.
No. 12 MUSIC: Sing a song for Toronto.
Back in 2010, when Toronto poet laureate Dennis Lee set out to resurrect the greatest songs ever written for our good city, he hit a snag: There aren’t any. Stop by the Edward Day Gallery this week to witness The Lost Songs of Toronto, the Soulpepper-produced cabaret of love ballads and rock anthems that Lee and five musically inclined friends wrote to fill the void.
June 15. Edward Day Gallery. 952 Queen St. W., 416-921-6540, luminatofestival.com.
No. 13—THEATRE: Party with an old Buddy.
Not only is Buddies in Bad Times a local hub for LGBTQ performing arts, it’s the world’s largest and longest-running queer theatre. Raise a glass when the venerable establishment turns 35 this week.
June 12. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 12 Alexander St., 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.
No. 14—MUSIC: Bring Long Winter into the summer (apart from the weather).
It may not officially be summer yet, but construction season—the only part of the year in Toronto that’s not winter—is well underway. So is Construction, the all-ages summer concert series from the folks who brought you Long Winter. Check out the third volume for some local psych-rock courtesy of Comet Control and Mimico.
June 13. Smiling Buddha. 961 College St., 416-788-7586.
No. 15—COMMUNITY: Find out why Toronto’s next mayor needs a creative director
Jason Logan—a creative director, illustrator, and educator—is into city building. He believes design thinking and visual language should be part of any mayoral candidate’s platform. So he invented a new municipal position—Creative Director of Toronto—and now he’s running to fill it. His official campaign kick-off happens at The Theatre Centre on June 18, where there will be music, discussion, and an edible cloud (seriously). We asked him to outline his platform for us.
After School presents Jason Logan in conversation with Shauna Levy (Design Exchange), Alexander Josephson (Partisans), Zahra Ebrahim (archiTEXT), and moderator Nicola Spunt at The Theatre Centre on June 18 at 7:30pm, $20, afterschooltoronto.com.
No. 16—MUSIC: Let Rick Ross fool you into thinking he’s a boss.
’Cause there’s nothing more OG than rapping about dealing cocaine when you were once a corrections officer with a perfect attendance record.
June 15. Sound Academy. 11 Polson St., 416-649-7437, sound-academy.com.
No. 17—ANIMATION: Wrap your head around an animated Noam Chomsky.
Make the trek to Corus Quay for the third annual Toronto Animation Arts Festival, which includes a global cornucopia of animated feature and short films, including Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?, Michael Gondry’s (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) one-of-a-kind documentary about the life of linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky.
June 13–16. Corus Quay. 25 Dockside Dr., 647-785-0774, taafi.com.
No. 18—FILM: Mark National Aboriginal History Month.
Get an early start on October’s imagineNATIVE festival with a pair of short-film screenings. For
an award-winning line-up, hit the Bloor/Gladstone Library on June 13; for some more youth-produced fare, try the Bloor/Spadina Library on June 19.
June 13. Bloor/Gladstone Library. 1101 Bloor St. W. June 19. Bloor/Spadina Library. 10 Spadina Rd., 416-585-2333, imaginenative.org.
No. 19—FILM: Pay homage to The Big Bop.
Remember the good old days, four years ago? Rob Ford wasn’t yet mayor, Canada dominated the Winter Olympics, and The Big Bop—the purple punk haven on Queen West that housed the Kathedral, Reverb, and Holy Joe’s—hosted its last mosh pit and made way for CB2. Pay your respects to the all-ages venue and discover what the community lost when the club closed its doors at the NXNE screening of local documentary At the Corner of Queen and Bathurst.
June 14. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema. 506 Bloor St. W., 416-637-3123, nxne.com.
No. 20—BOOKS: Dig into five years of queer comics.
This week, local artist Elisha Lim launches an autobiographical graphic novel called 100 Crushes, a compilation of five years of illustrations, comics, and gossip that documents being queer, transgender, and non-white in Toronto, Berlin, Singapore, and beyond.
June 15. OCADU. 230 Richmond St. W., 416-977-6000 (x 2208), ocadu.ca.
No. 21—FAMILY: Treat your dad.
To figure out what you should do for Father’s Day, take a look at what’s on pop’s nightstand. A beautiful sculpture? Try brunch at the AGO. A candy bar? Go for a chocolate tour of Trinity Bellwoods. A pistol and non-perishables? Then a survivalist workshop at the Kortright Centre for Conservation sounds just right (nothing says bonding with dad like seeing how long you can stay alive in the woods).
June 15. ago.net, tastytourstoronto.com, kortright.org.
No. 22—THEATRE: Catch Modern Family, Shakespeare-style, at Stratford.
On the cusp of Toronto’s WorldPride festivities, the Stratford Festival has crafted the perfect family celebration of diversity with its new production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Read more about it here.
To Oct. 11. Stratford Festival. 55 Queen St., Stratford, ON, 1-800-567-1600, stratfordfestival.ca.
Not your bag? Try this: Check out some adults-only theatrical fare.
No. 23—FOOD: Chill right out
At one of the city’s best neighbourhood ice cream shops.
No. 24—FOOD: Eat second (and third) supper.
If your stomach isn’t still full from Burger Day, head to Honest Ed’s to give the anti-poverty food gurus at The Stop another boost. The community food centre hosts a two-night, all-you-can-eat (-and-drink!) market with grub and suds from the likes of Woodlot, Fidel Gastro’s, and Junction Craft Brewing.
June 17–18. Honest Ed’s Alley. 581 Bloor St. W., 416-652-7867 (x 225), nightmarket.thestop.org.
No. 25—WTF?: Solve the “8-11” mystery.
Take a stroll around Spadina and Sullivan sometime this week and try to spot two inflatable blue aliens and a trampoline inside a white-washed, brightly lit “8-11” store. Points to whoever can tell us what this is all about.
No. 26—MUSIC: Start your NXNE sleep schedule.
It’s that time of year, music nerds. Get ready to barhop, lose your hearing, and eat McDonald’s at 4 a.m. It’s up to you how you start your North By Northeast—step into any venue in the city and you’ll run into a showcase—but, if you’re asking, we suggest you spend the first night with Kirin J Callinan at the Great Hall or Greys at Smiling Buddha.
June 18–22. Various venues, nxne.com.
No. 27—FILM: Prepare for another great moment in Channing Tatum history.
22 Jump Street opens June 13. 14A. 112 min.
No. 28—DVD: Experience time as a flat circle.
You don’t have to be a procedural-drama nut to get behind the first season of HBO’s True Detective (new on Blu-ray/DVD). But you might want a sweet home-theatre setup to fully appreciate the show’s ace cinematography and heart-pounding soundtrack. While those two elements alone make it worth sitting through the entire eight-episode arc, Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are equally brilliant as homicide detectives scouring Louisiana for a serial killer. When you finish that beautiful and bleak drama, try streaming series director Cary Fukunaga’s two feature films, which are as sad and disparate as McConaughey and Harrelson’s quarrelsome detectives. 2009’s Sin Nombre (iTunes) follows a Honduran girl who hooks up with a run-away gangster en route to the Mexican-American border, while 2011’s Jane Eyre (iTunes) sees Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender taking on Charlotte Brönte’s classic novel.—Neil Karassik
No. 29—TV: Binge-watch Game of Thrones.
If you aren’t already watching the Lannister vs. Stark throwdown, what are you doing with your life? Take the weekend to devour every episode of the acclaimed series before Sunday’s season finale, which, if you don’t have HBO, will screen at a number of local Cineplex locations, including the theatres at Yonge and Dundas.
June 15. HBO.
No. 30—FILM: Learn the truth about the man on the Burt’s Bees tin.
Sure, his wrinkly eyes and bushy beard may lead you to believe the character behind Burt’s Bees smells like he hasn’t showered since Jimi played Woodstock. But do you really know anything about the man on the tin? Read Jason Anderson’s review of Burt’s Buzz here.
Opens June 13 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. STC. 88 min.
Not your bag? Check out The Double, a nervy adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s tale starring Jesse Eisenberg or All Cheerleaders Die, a freshened-up teen-horror flick with a mix of shock, schlock, and satire.
No. 31—FILM: Get acquainted with the most hirsute lawmaker around.
Blessed with a great title and an equally kick-ass tagline (“Dirty Harry…only hairier!”), WolfCop offers the kind of winning combo that few genre-movie fans can resist. No wonder the Regina-based folks behind the new horror-comedy, a hybrid of a werewolf flick and a movie about a lawman who has his own brand of justice, trounced the competition in CineCoup, a nationwide contest that nets the winner a $1 million budget and a national release on Cineplex screens. Here’s a rundown of the events that made WolfCop inevitable.
WolfCop opens June 13. 18A. 79 min.
No. 32—MUSIC: Catch up with TV on the Radio’s very busy frontman.
Having fronted one of America’s most adventurous bands for the last 13 years, Tunde Adebimpe is as surprised as anyone that TV on the Radio has made it this far. We caught up with him ahead of his group’s appearance at Luminato.
June 13. Festival Hub, David Pecaut Square. 215 King St. W., luminatofestival.com.
› 07.08 Jurass is grass: Dinosaur Zoo animates massive prehistoric puppets at the Panasonic Theatre. (Jeff Goldblum not included).
› 07.10 Basia Bulat weaves autoharp-enhanced enchantments at Massey Hall.
› 07.15 Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell brings mondo twang to the Phoenix.
› 07.25 Tiki Bar pop-up = polymorphous Polynesian delights at Bento Miso.
› 08.14 Floating flicks return to Sugar Beach with Sail-In Cinema.
› 08.29 Yasiin “Mos Def” Bey, Will Forte, Tim Robbins, and Jennifer Aniston explore a Life of Crime.