Scream for One Direction, gorge on fried food at the CNE and eight other things to do this week
Watch Ghostbusters from the prow of your yacht
Walk down any Toronto block this summer and you’re bound to bump into a free outdoor screening series. But Sail-In Cinema trumps them all. Featuring the world’s first floating two-sided screen, the three-night film fest welcomes both landlubbers, who congregate on the shore, and sailors, who watch from anchored boats. The ’80s lineup includes E.T., Ghostbusters and The Goonies. Thursday, August 20 to Saturday, August 22. FREE. Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Dr., sailincinema.com.
Eat your weight in cake poutine at the CNE
The festival that gave us chocolate-covered bacon and deep-fried butter returns with a slew of special events, including a cooking demonstration from Bob Blumer (August 28) and a concert by Tokyo Police Club (September 3). And, of course, there’s the Labour Day air show, the arts and crafts pavilion, and the Ferris wheel you rode with your teenage crush. Friday, August 21 to Monday, September 7. $15–$18. Exhibition Place, 200 Princes’ Blvd., 416-263-3800, theex.com.
Scream for your favourite One Direction star
The inescapable British boy band lost one of its five original members, Zayn Malik, earlier this year, but don’t expect that to keep the local legion of Directioners at home when the heartthrobs hit Toronto with their precision-produced, Auto-Tuned anthems. If you have no desire to hear “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Best Song Ever” belted over the excited screams of teenage girls, we recommend you head in one direction: away from the Rogers Centre. Thursday, August 20. $43.50–$143.90. Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way, 1-855-985-5000, rogerscentre.com.
Drink whiskey at the Shaw Festival’s boozy new cabaret
The Next Whisky Bar transforms a sleepy Niagara-on-the-Lake theatre into a raucous port-town pub in Germany circa 1923. Sailors, vagrants and prostitutes share their dreams and disappointments to the classic songs of German composer Kurt Weill, as performed by a six-piece band. Thursday, August 21 to September 5. $30–$35. Studio Underground, 10 Queen’s Parade, Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1-800-511-7429, shawfest.com.
Hear your favourite CanCon karaoke classics
At Oh Canada What a Feeling, a talented ensemble sings its way through Canadiana classics by performers like Paul Anka, Loverboy, Bryan Adams and Neil Young, all to a projected backdrop of footage documenting our nation’s rich musical past. To Sunday, August 23. $32–$119. Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W., 416-872-1212, mirvish.com.
See a trippy art installation from Naomi Cook
The centrepiece of this Montreal artist’s new work, The Pianola Project, is a four-by-18-foot roll of paper, an enlarged player-piano scroll of Pete Wendling’s ragtime ditty “Hesitation Blues.” Cook amends the familiar patterns of wandering dots and looping lines with foreign figures, like cloud-shaped curves and waves. The resulting sound (produced by a program designed specifically for the project) is an eerie shadow of its formerly giddy self, filled with unsettling screeches and keyboard-like sounds. To September 5. FREE. Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain, Centre Space, 65 George St., 416-323-1373, pfoac.com.
Hear Blue Rodeo twang through their greatest hits
Over the past three decades, Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor’s CanCon institution has released 14 albums of tastefully restrained, slow-burning country rock. After a summer on the festival circuit, the veterans make their annual appearance at the Amphitheatre. Their latest was a Christmas album, and the guys aren’t likely to bust out those tunes on a hot August night, so expect a set filled with old favourites. Saturday, August 22. $32.50–$136.75. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 1-855-985-5000, bluerodeo.com.
Bike your way across the city’s gallery scene
Art Spin leads more than 300 cyclists through a city-spanning maze of commercial galleries, personal studios and site-specific installations. Expect parking-garage performances, outdoor exhibitions and warehouse-wall projections. Thursday, August 20. $5. Various locations, artspin.ca.
See a dazzling art show that examines what it means to be Torontonian
What kinds of experiences do gay Muslims, transitioning Chinese women or Buddhist same-sex couples face on a daily basis in Toronto? In the weeks leading up to the implementation of Ontario’s new sex ed curriculum, a group of local artists presents a range of multidisciplinary works that explore the intersection of sexual, cultural and religious identities. To Sunday, August 23. FREE. Gerrard Art Space, 1475 Gerrard St. E., 416-778-0923, gerrardartspace.com.