This week’s best parties include The Junction Design Crawl, an intimate tribute to reggae, and the last-ever Fake Prom.
Friday: Junction Design Crawl
Featuring various attractions. Dundas Street West & Keele Street. #JNC Free. 7 p.m.
If the Junction Flea isn’t enough to make you hit Toronto’s latest little darling-of-a-hood, maybe the area’s second annual Design Crawl will do the trick. To set the mood, interior design firm Mason Studio will transform the Junction Train Platform, describing their work like so: “Through a large series of manufactured objects, a sculptural installation will light up the neighbourhood creating a beacon of beauty and music with the coming of dusk.” (The event’s tagline is “be guided by the lights,” and all participating retailers will be bathed in a white glow.) From city favourites like Smash and Russet & Empire, see a map of events here. Narwhal, a new addition to The Junction, will also be doing something extra-special with a Mystic Garden Party that doubles as an opening celebration of their new exhibition, Echo Bell. Artist and chef Julia Kennedy will share goods from her farm, and Clara Venice will be performing love songs. We hear there’s a bonfire brewing too. Once you’ve experienced the Crawl, stop by one of The Junction’s booming after-dark bars, which I happen to know a thing or two about.
Friday: Fake Prom 2012
With The Ford Prefects, DJs Dougie Boom and Shit La Merde. Palais Royale, 1601 Lakeshore Blvd West. #RON $30 at the door. Doors at 9:30 p.m.
Have you ever been to a Fake Prom? If you’re caught up on your TheGridTO.com readings, you’d know that after 10 glorious, nostalgia-tinged, (re)graduating classes, the prom committee is bidding farewell to this yearly formal. And with it, we say goodbye to all the themes and memories. Fake Prom has traveled from Sneaky Dee’s to Lee’s Palace to The Gladstone over the years, and will land once again at Palais Royale for “Enchantment Under The Sea.” (Hey, it’s a room with a view.) The first Fake Prom band, The Ford Prefects, will perform. My favourite DJ Dougie Boom will spin tunes alongside Shit La Merde. Plus, all the fixings: a fake king and queen, a couples’ photography booth, an AVEDA pop-up salon, slow dancing, and spiked punch. Oh, and did I mention there’s a matchmaking service? Advance tickets are sold out, so arrive early to snag one of the 100 tickets available at the door. Find out more here.
Sunday: #CrushTO end of summer picnic
Trinity Bellwoods Park. #WQW Free. 2 p.m.
If bars aren’t your thing, but you want to meet new, cute, totally chill people, then head to #CrushTO’s end of summer park picnic. (And, sadly, it really is the end of summer, and this is probably one of the last daytime shindigs coming across the radar.) Brought to you by the folks behind I’d Tap That, a new sex-positive resource for young people, it’s in the vein of their digital-ish singles mixers that have doubled in popularity since we stumbled upon the inaugural edition earlier this summer. In advance of their August 31 summer send-off, come meet the organizers and other like-minded sexperts for some one-on-one face-time, sans Twitter. Bring whatever, wear whatever, do whatever, with whomever. Look for the pink balloons.
Sunday: Super Nintendo Tournament, a Fan Expo after-party
Handlebar, 159 Augusta Avenue. #KNM Arrive early for registration. Free. Doors at 8 p.m.
Arriving this weekend at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is Fan Expo Canada, which is basically, as I hear, the Comic-Con of the True North. Celebrating the best of horror, anime, comics, and The Big Bang Theory, super-fans will have a day in the sun—and in costume—to meet Gillian Anderson, Stan Lee, the stars of True Blood, and more. But another crucial aspect of Fan Expo is gaming, and every good convention needs a good after-party. On Sunday, head to Handlebar, Kensington’s newest outpost of cool and comfortable, for a fuck-yeah Super Nintendo tournament. At 8:30 p.m., there’s a round of Streetfighter II Turbo (I used to kick ass as Chun-Li, so watch it), and a Mario Kart round starts at 10:30 p.m. There will be prizes and, after trying them last weekend, special cocktails that I guarantee will kick ass. Find out more here.
Wednesday: Ah Sey One: A Reggae Insider’s Musical Journey
With various performers. Harlem Restaurant, 67 Richmond Street East. #DTN $59 for members, $79 for non-members. Doors at 8 p.m.
“Ah Sey One” is the second instalment of inTO, the intimate new party/food/music series that aims to connect you with an artist’s creative process and take you a step beyond the traditional performance/audience experience. After the sold-out success of the first “Living Room Jam” at Kitsch Bar featuring Eight and a Half—with an all-inclusive menu that included hot dogs, gourmet mac & cheese and custom Canadian Club cocktails—the series is on to chapter two: all about reggae, coinciding with the 50th anniversary celebrations of Jamaica’s independence. Hosted by TIFF’s artistic director Cameron Bailey (a purported “reggae aficionado”), expect music from Juno winners The Sattalites (“Canada’s longest standing reggae group”), Brendan Canning (who has a wild collection of the genre on vinyl), and his band Cookie Duster. As of this morning, only 30 tickets are left from the 100 that were released for public sale. Find out more here.