See Kanye at the Pan Am closing ceremonies, go to the WayHome festival and eight other things to do this week
Watch the Pan Am Games’ controversial closing ceremony
Despite a petition protesting his performance, Kanye West will close out the Pan Am Games. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: whatever your thoughts on Yeezus, he puts on an incredible show. He’ll be joined onstage by Floridian novelty rapper Pitbull, Canadian folk-rocker Serena Ryder, and a dazzling complement of dancers and confetti. Sunday, July 26. $50–$205. Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way, ticketmaster.ca.
Check out a body-bending dance show from a celeb choreographer
Betroffenheit, the German term for traumatic shock, is also the name of this dreamy, cerebral production from star choreographer Crystal Pite. The abstract work examines grief and the things we do to overcome it, with six performers and a barrage of sound, text and shadow illusions. Thursday, July 23 to Saturday, July 25. $30–$99. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., 416-368-3110, canadianstage.com.
Camp out with Kendrick Lamar at the WayHome Festival
In a summer teeming with music festivals, this three-day, Bonnaroo-inspired blowout is poised to be the biggest of them all. The inaugural event features CanRock icon Neil Young, Grammy hoarder Sam Smith, rap titan Kendrick Lamar, Brit sensations Alt-J, indie queen St. Vincent, and some 60-odd other artists. Friday, July 24 to Sunday, July 26. $230–$2,500. Burl’s Creek Event Grounds, 134 8th Line S., Oro-Medonte, 705-487-1600, wayhome.com.
See Nicki Minaj take centre stage
The Trinidad-born, New York–raised “Anaconda” singer has unmistakable sass and a wacky wardrobe. But none of that should overshadow the fact that Minaj has become one of hip hop’s premier rappers, forcing her collaborators—Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown et al.—into the background with her in-your-face, show-stealing presence. There are still tickets available for her upcoming Toronto show. Tuesday, July 28. $51–$167. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lakeshore Blvd. W., 416-260-5600, ticketmaster.ca.
Attend a hippie art festival on the Island
The Figment Festival liberates art from the gallery walls and sets it loose in a public park on the Island. Audiences can interact with installations (like local artist David Hynes’s canoe-turned-drum or Geordie Lishman’s animated sculptures) and amuse the kids (with Apple Jack, a wild wading-pool game where costumed players throw wet stuffed animals at each other). There will also be pavement art, live theatre and busker-style performances. Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26. FREE. Olympic Island, toronto.figmentproject.org.
Fight the heat with 300 types of beer
Another weekend, another beer bonanza. Toronto’s Festival of Beer features a stellar selection of suds, courtesy of 80 breweries. Balance the beer with seafood from Rock Lobster and Oyster Boy; comfort food from South Street Burger Co., Smoke’s Poutinerie and Melt Grilled Cheese; and delicacies from the Pie Commission and Tiny Tom Donuts. Friday, July 24 to Sunday, July 26. $39.50–$79.50. Exhibition Place, 200 Princes’ Blvd., 416-635-9889, beerfestival.ca.
Stay up for a glittering Taiwanese night festival
Night It Up, styled after Asian night markets, will turn Markham’s city hall into a maze of food and merchandise vendors, multicultural music venues and sports courts. Partake in a scavenger hunt between the stalls, catch some Asian cinema on the outdoor screen and follow your nose to find the stinky tofu, the fest’s signature street food dish. Friday, July 24 to Sunday, July 26. FREE. Markham Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Blvd., nightitup.com.
Track the history of sportswear
“Smarter, Tougher, Faster” documents the evolution of sportswear from its clunky early incarnations to today’s sleek designs. Focusing equally on fashion (styles, colours) and functionality (weight, performance), this retrospective encompasses everything from antique equipment to tech-outfitted accessories. To Oct. 12. $16. 39 Parliament St., 416-363-6121, toronto2015.org.
Witness the ultimate break-dancing battle
One of the most riveting races to watch at the Pan Am Games has nothing to do with sports: Battle for the North, Canada’s first nationwide breakdancing competition. Sixteen will vie for the championship title in a round-robin tournament, performing seven-minute routines featuring acrobatic tricks like the head slide, jackhammer, air flare and air spin. Competitors include Groundwork Sessions, an elastic-limbed teenage crew from the Yukon, and the superhuman Maximum Efficiency from Toronto. Tuesday, July 21 to Thursday, July 23. From $20. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln., toronto2015.org.
Watch a lumberjack circus
Cirque Alfonse, a family troupe from Quebec, specializes in lumberjack spectacles of acrobatic axe throwing and log-rolling. The brood includes patriarch Alain Caribinier, an actor; his son, Antoine Caribinier-Lépine, an acrobat who juggles axes and jumps through two-man crosscut saws; Antoine’s sister, Julie, a trained dancer and aerial rope swinger; her husband, Jonathan Casaubon, a former gymnast and the company flyer; and their son, four-year-old Arthur, who made his acrobatic debut at six weeks old. Thursday, July 23 to Saturday, July 25. From $20. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., toronto2015.org.