The Weekender: Ian McEwan comes to Toronto, Ballet Creole’s 20th anniversary and six other weekend events

The Weekender: Ian McEwan comes to Toronto, Ballet Creole’s 20th anniversary and six other weekend events

Ballet Creole's Drum MasQ/TRANS-formation (Image: Ballet Creole) 

1. DRAKE SPRING MARKET (FREE!)
The Drake’s first urban market last fall was a success, so it’s reprising the event this weekend, with treasures at the free-cycling table, and booths from local shops and designers selling handmade cards, vintage vinyl, jewellery and seeds. Some of the hotel’s furniture (including chairs and tables) and decor is also up for grabs at “lawn sale prices.” April 17 and 18. The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042, thedrakehotel.ca.

2. CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE PERFORMS PINK FLOYD: THE WALL
Floyd fans can whet their appetites for Roger Waters’s Toronto performance of The Wall this September, with Classic Albums Live’s recreation of the legendary 26-song concept album. April 17. $39.50–$49.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, masseyhall.com.

3. SPROCKETS TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FOR CHILDREN
With almost 70 films on offer, this TIFF-affiliated fest has a full lineup of kid-friendly flicks, including a new program aimed at teens. Crafts (weekends only at Canada Square) and post-screening meet and greets with directors are great for film buffs in the making. April 17 to 23. $6.60–$10.61. Canada Square, 2190 Yonge St.; Cineplex Odeon Sheppard, 4861 Yonge St.; 416-968-3456, sprockets.ca.

4. PARTY FOR THE PLANET 2010
Celebrate Earth Day’s 40th anniversary by heading to the zoo for its Party for the Planet. The biodiversity-themed event takes place in the zoo’s new Tundra Trek section and features talks with the polar bear keepers, activities, trivia and an appearance by Henry the Recycling Hornbill. April 17 and 18. $21. Toronto Zoo, 2000A Meadowvale Rd., 416-392-5929, torontozoo.com.

5. IAN MCEWAN
This Sunday afternoon, catch best-selling author Ian McEwan (Atonement, Solar) in conversation with journalist Ian Brown (The Boy in the Moon) as part of the Globe and Mail’s Open House Festival. April 18. $15. Toronto Reference Library, The Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, 2nd flr., 789 Yonge St., randomhouse.ca/openhouse/speakers.html.

6.    TORONTO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
Now in its 18th year (a lucky number in Judaism), this fest is, unsurprisingly, all about celebrating Jewish culture and heritage. The lineup features comedies and romances, documentaries and dramas and even a special series on the Jewish impact on comic books. This weekend, don’t miss Sipur Gadol (A Matter of Size), about a group of sumo wrestlers; Off and Running, about an African-American teen whose adoptive parents are white Jewish lesbians; and Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood, a documentary about the actors exiled once Hitler was elected, and the role they played in Hollywood. April 17 to 25. Tickets $7–$20, passes $60–$140. Various locations, 416-967-1528, tjff.com.

7. SANKOFA
Ballet Creole’s 20th anniversary production looks to the company’s sizable repertoire for inspiration. It features three works: Requiem for My Parents, a world premiere by Gabby Kamino; a remount of the popular Drum MasQ/TRANS-formation; and Dancing Spirits, a collaborative ballet that incorporates Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and Afro-Caribbean traditions. April 15 to 17. $20–$45. Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 207 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.

8. GIIWEDIN
One of only a few native-penned operas, this world premiere by composers Catherine Magowan and Spy Dénommé-Welch combines baroque music with traditional indigenous music to explore 150 years of native history in northern Ontario. To April 24. $10–$25. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., 416-504-7529, artsboxoffice.ca.