The Weekender: TIFF, Roald Dahl Festival, the Cake Boss and six other events on our to-do list

The Weekender: TIFF, Roald Dahl Festival, the Cake Boss and six other events on our to-do list

Toronto goes celeb crazy for TIFF (Image: Karon Liu) 

1. TIFF
It’s that time again—the time of celeb stalking, party crashing, 4 a.m. tipples and maybe catching the occasional movie, also known as the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s shaping up to be a good one: the Scotiabank Theatre doesn’t have bedbugs; Jon (Hamm), Javier (Bardem), James (Franco) and the Ryans (Phillippe and Reynolds) will be in town; and non-boldface names can party at the new Bell Lightbox’s Sunday afternoon block party. Don’t forget to check out our insider coverage of TIFF on The Hype. Sept. 9 to 18. Various locations, 416-968-3456, tiff.net.

2. ROALD DAHL FESTIVAL
This workshop-heavy festival celebrates the silly, quirky oeuvre of kid-lit genius Roald Dahl. For those who want to learn, there are sessions on monologues, character building and illustration. We, however, will be catching screenings of Dahl adaptations, munching on snacks inspired by his Revolting Recipes at Saturday’s Scrumpdiddiliyumptious Storyteller Soiree and possibly doing the (Spider) Monkey at Sunday’s Upside-Down Family Dance Party. On Saturday, Dahl biographer Donald Sturrock makes his only North American stop on his book tour for The Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl. Sept. 11 and 12. Individual workshops $7, all-access pass $21. Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St., smallprinttoronto.org.

3. AN EVENING WTH BUDDY VALASTRO: THE CAKE BOSS
We are unashamedly enthusiastic reality TV watchers (we’ll even watch Lake Shore, as soon as it has an air date and network, that is), addicted to drama, and big fans of cake, which makes TLC’s Cake Boss one of our favourite shows ever. It should come as no surprise, then, that we’re excited about this meet and greet with the Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro. Sept. 11. $53. Queen Elizabeth Theatre, CNE Grounds, 190 Princes’ Blvd., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.

4. CABBAGETOWN FESTIVAL (FREE!)
Sure, summer doesn’t officially end for a couple of weeks, but let’s face it: school is in, TIFF is here and the weather hasn’t exactly been sizzling. Sadly, fall has arrived. Conveniently, Cabbagetown’s annual neighbourhood fest is themed around the harvest season. Sept. 10 to 12. Parliament Street from Wellesley south to Gerrard, cabbagetownfestival.com.

5. THE WEEKEND TO END WOMEN’S CANCERS
It’s 2010; we’ve walked on the moon, shrunk cellphones to the size of postage stamps and invented ways for the D-bags among us to update the world on their epic GTL lifestyles. How can we still be dealing with the dreaded big C? While breast cancer is still among the most frequently diagnosed cancers (upwards of 20,000 Canadian women will be diagnosed this year), other women’s cancers—like ovarian, uterine and cervical—are on the rise, hence this annual walk’s expanded mandate. Walkers will tackle either a 30-kilometre walk, a one-day walk, or a 60-kilometre, two-day trek to raise money for the Princess Margaret Hospital. Sept. 11 and 12. $75. 416-815-9255, endcancer.ca.

6. CELEBRATE CANADIAN TALENT–FESTIVAL IN THE SQUARE (FREE!)
Between stops at Anthropologie and Junors, check out this CanCon-friendly music fest, a first for the Shops at Don Mills. The most genre-bending day is Saturday, when mom-friendly Matt Dusk, Edmonton pop–hip hop (hip pop?) outfit Stereos and the Bob Clegg Jazz Octet all perform. Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy takes the stage on Friday. Sept. 10 to 12. Shops at Don Mills, 1090 Don Mills Rd., shopsatdonmills.ca.

7. TORONTO VEGETARIAN FOOD FAIR (FREE!)
Our meatless Monday New Year’s resolution has been quite successful, considering our deep love of bacon, but we’re always on the lookout for new ways to prepare lentils, something this year’s veggie food fair can help with. Oh, we kid. We know vegetarians eat more than tofu and legumes. If you’re not sure what, though, head to the food fair, if only for the cooking demos. Sept. 10 to 12. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., veg.ca/foodfair.

8. THE HIGH-FLYING ADVENTURES OF PETER PAN
This updated take on J.M. Barrie’s classic tale of the boy who wouldn’t grow up is short, sweet and cheap—it’s only half an hour long, but it manages to pack in lots of laughs, especially due to Tinkerbell’s surplus of attitude and Smee’s love of baking. Sept. 10 to 12. $5. Necropolis Chapel, 200 Winchester St., 416-653-5870, cabbagetowntheatre.com.

9. SLASH
Guitar hero Slash has been around the selling-out-stadiums-with-chart-topping-bands block a time or two. For this tour, though, Slash is front and centre, supporting his first solo CD, Slash. Vocals are courtesy of celeb friends Ozzy Osbourne, Fergie, Iggy Pop and Kid Rock. Sept. 10. $46.50. Kool Haus, 132 Queens Quay E., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.