The AGO’s dazzling new Georgia O’Keeffe show, an intimate opera performance and six other things to see, do, hear and read this week
A sweeping ode to one of modernism’s late greats
The AGO follows its Lawren Harris showcase with another blockbuster dedicated to a 20th-century icon: Georgia O’Keeffe. The landmark exhibition chronicles her evolution from little-known abstract expressionist to the so-called Mother of American Modernism through 100 works in her trademark styles: undulating blooms, sun-bleached animal skulls, geometric skyscrapers and flowing New Mexico landscapes. It also provides a glimpse into O’Keeffe’s personal life through a series of black-and-white portraits taken by her husband, the photographer Alfred Stieglitz. Saturday, April 22 to Sunday, July 30. AGO.
A day of Canadian cinema
Proving that there’s more to our national cinema than just Strange Brew and Sicilian Vampire, National Canadian Film Day brings a spectrum of films and filmmakers to theatres across the city. Some of the highlights: Don McKellar talks Last Night at the Revue; Vincenzo Natali skypes in for Cube at the Royal; Robert Lantos introduces Barney’s Version at the Toronto Jewish Film Foundation; Kazik Radwanski discusses Tower at the Carlton; and McKellar and Colm Feore present Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Tuesday, April 18. Various venues.
A spooky Toronto-set novel
Barbara Gowdy writes neo-Gothic psychodrama like no other Canadian. Little Sister, her first novel in a decade, is the spectral tale of a rep-cinema owner from Toronto who finds herself slipping into another person’s consciousness after a thunderstorm—like Being John Malkovich, with a literary twist. Tuesday, April 18. HarperCollins.
An evening with artists
AGO Creative Minds at Massey Hall returns with an eclectic lineup of talent to discuss art, politics, and how they intersect. Artist Christi Belcourt, architect David Adjaye, author Junot Díaz, and CanCon king Paul Gross join moderator Matt Galloway, plus musical guest Whitehorse. (Hopefully someone will ask Gross about Gunless.) Friday, April 21. $19.50-$79.50, Massey Hall.
The city’s buzziest soul singer
With apologies to Drake and Rihanna, the best 2016 song called “Work” belonged to another Torontonian: Charlotte Day Wilson. The sexy organ-driven track is the centrepiece of Wilson’s debut EP, CDW, a soulful R&B effort that’s quickly turned her into one of the city’s most sought-after musical exports. Apple used her music in an iPhone commercial, Netflix put a song in their series Grace and Frankie, and L.A. indie rockers Local Natives took her on tour. In these back-to-back homecoming gigs, she’ll simmer through her sparse repertoire and give fans a taste of what’s next. Wednesday, April 19 and Thursday, April 20. Mod Club.
Opera and dinner, all in one place
Wouldn’t it be nice to hear great opera without being stuck in Ring 5? For Popera (Pop-Up Opera), the Canadian Opera Company teams up with Drake One Fifty to showcase rising stars from the COC Ensemble Studio in an intimate setting. This low-key/high-art event features a three-course dinner as the grand finale. Saturday, April 22. $50. Drake One Fifty.
A gritty, ultra-Canadian graphic novel
When he’s not drawing X-Men comics for Marvel, Jeff Lemire creates gritty graphic novels. His latest, Roughneck, is a dose of blue-collar Canadiana about a grizzled ex–hockey player who reconnects with his troubled sister in a remote northern Ontario hunting camp. Tuesday, April 18. Simon and Schuster.
Free concerts at Sonic Boom
If you make only one pilgrimage on Record Store Day, make it to Sonic Boom. On this annual celebration of independent retailers, Toronto’s most beloved music store will host in-store performances by Luka, Sahara, and Lonely Parade—plus the usual array of deals and exclusive releases. Saturday, April 22. Sonic Boom.