Share your woes with Drake and all his friends, pig out at a food truck festival, and more to do this week
Brave the sweaty masses at OVO Fest
Homegrown hero Drake turns The 6 into hip-hop heaven for the sixth year running. The extended three-day schedule features comedy king Kevin Hart, rap’s most successful understudy J. Cole and witty wordsmith Big Sean. Drizzy himself headlines the fest’s final day, but the real question is which special guests will take the stage with him. Saturday, August 1 to Monday, August 3. $75–$366.30. Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 416-260-5600, ticketmaster.ca.
See the city’s best dancers in Withrow Park
The Dusk Dances fest returns to its hometown after a string of public park performances across Canada. At sunset, a host leads the roaming audience from one site-specific production to another. This year’s program includes a Spanish piece about memory, the premiere of festival founder Sylvie Bouchard’s Photuris Versicolor and an ensemble work set to the music of Chopin. Monday, August 3 to Sunday, August 9. $10 suggested donation. Withrow Park, Hogarth Ave. and Logan Ave., 416-504-6429, ext. 24, duskdances.ca.
Travel to Fellini’s Rome in La Dolce Vita
This week, TIFF screens Federico Fellini’s iconic surrealist opus as part of its Summer in Italy series. The film follows a jaded Italian gossip columnist seeking love and fulfillment among the bored sophists and aristocrats of post-war Rome, and features a star-making performance from the Swedish sexpot Anita Ekberg as the actress Sylvia. It’s a great way to embrace the magic of summer while still enjoying the Lightbox’s arctic air-conditioning—just resist the urge to wade in the fountain at Pecaut Square once it’s over. Saturday, August 1. $13. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-599-8433, tiff.net.
Check out a rarely heard Gothic opera
Just like its hero, Der Vampyr rarely sees the light of day. The Romantic-era opera by German composer Heinrich Marschner is a complicated tale involving a vampire’s need to supply his master with three more victims in exchange for another year of life before being doomed to hell, and is noteworthy for echoing the sound worlds of Wagner and Weber, the composer’s more famous contemporaries. Friday, July 31 to Saturday, August 8. $28. Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College St., 416-366-7723, boxoffice.stlc.com.
Spend a day on the beach at Cobourg’s Sandcastle Festival
The 10th instalment of Cobourg’s beachy bonanza features a roster of international master sculptors creating sandy snakes, giant octopi and majestic palaces. It also includes an inflatable fun park, sculpting lessons, starlit movie screenings and celebratory fireworks. All ages. Saturday, August 1. FREE. Paul Currelly Way, Cobourg Beach, 1-888-262-6874, cobourgtourism.ca.
Let your feathers fly at the Toronto Caribbean Carnival
This week, the event formerly known as Caribana has its grand finale. First up: the colourful costume contest at the King and Queen competition on July 30. Then, on August 1, there’s the Grand Parade, featuring a glam explosion of glitter, feathers and bedazzled bustiers. The after-party takes place on August 2 on the Toronto Islands, with live music, Caribbean dishes, dance shows and a soccer pitch where guests can play with members of the Brazilian Soccer Academy. Thursday, July 30 to Sunday, August 2. Various prices and locations, torontocaribbeancarnival.ca.
Hear an evening of American classical music
A string quartet and a pianist come together for an evening of lush, lovely music at the Toronto Summer Music Festival. Of particular note: a piano quintet by Amy Beach, the rare female composer to make a name for herself in the male-dominated field around the late 19th century; Samuel Barber’s string quartet, with its luminous adagio; and Dvorák’s American Quintet (lesser known than his quartet). Friday, July 31. $47. Walter Hall, 80 Queen’s Park, 416-408-0208, torontosummermusic.com.
Pig out at the Toronto Food Truck Festival
Now that city hall has eased food truck regulations, it no longer takes a full day of Twitter surveillance just to track down street poutine or a Beaver Tail. Nevertheless, you’ll rarely find so many gas-guzzling gourmands in one place as you will at the Toronto Food Truck Festival. The two-day mobile market features glutton fave Bacon Nation, German newcomer Berlin 95, corn kings the Mighty Cob, mozza master Gorilla Cheese and Toronto food truck favourite Fidel Gastro’s. Saturday, August 1 and Sunday, August 2. FREE (except for the food, obviously). Woodbine Park, Lake Shore Blvd. E. and Coxwell Ave., torontofoodtruckfestival.com.
Spend a day with your kid’s favourite CBC stars
The eternally cheerful children’s entertainer Patty Sullivan teams up with her fellow CBC host Sid Bobb for CBC Kids Days, an interactive song-and-dance fest in the Mother Corp. atrium—the under-12 equivalent of North by Northeast. Expect your tots’ favourite stars, including The Moblees, Mamma Yamma, Chirp, Daniel Tiger, Arthur, Bookaboo and Super Why. Ages two and up. Wednesday, July 29 and Thursday, July 30. FREE. Canadian Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. W., 1-866-306-4636.
Sample continental cuisine at the Pan Am Food Festival
If you live in Toronto and find yourself craving a certain type of food—Jamaican, Greek, Italian—you can usually find it. But this three-year-old multinational fest (unaffiliated with the similarly named Games) redefines the concept of selection. For five days, homegrown cooks, including Colombian master chef Federico Martinez and Chilean empanada expert Cristian Heise, will dish out flavours from 41 different North, Central and South American countries. Thursday, July 30 to Monday, August 3. FREE. Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St. E., panamfoodfest.com.