A party with A Tribe Called Red, an evening with Gordon Lightfoot and five other things to see, hear and do in Toronto this week
An evening with Gordon Lightfoot
1 Since 1967, Gordon Lightfoot has performed at Massey Hall 166 times—more than any other artist. It only seems fitting that he’s also the last artist to grace the venue’s stage before it closes for renovations. It’s doubly fitting that a man whose name is practically synonymous with this country should be onstage during Canada Day weekend. Here’s your chance to hear “If You Could Read My Mind” and “The Wreck of Edmund Fitzgerald” straight from the source. Friday, June 29 to Sunday, July 1. $37.50-$124.50. Massey Hall.
A party with A Tribe Called Red
2 Genre-blending hip-hop/Pow Wow crew A Tribe Called Red headline the ninth annual Indigenous History Month Celebration, which brings together art, music, and culture in the heart of the city. Other performers include the Métis Fiddler Quartet, Toronto-based electronic band Keys N Krates, and Canadian pop/electronic singer Iskwé. Wednesday, June 27. Free. Yonge-Dundas Square.
A carnivore’s paradise
3 Carnivores rejoice at this annual celebration of culinary arts in Etobicoke. With food from a curated selection of elite BBQ specialists, nobody leaves with clean fingers or an empty stomach. Take breaks between racks of ribs with performances from local rock, blues and jazz bands or a ride on your friendly neighbourhood mechanical bull. The year’s festivities close with a fireworks show in the evening. Friday, June 29 to Monday, July 2. Free. Centennial Park.
A film festival with a female perspective
4 Now in its sixteenth year, the Female Eye Film Festival returns to Toronto with a lineup of screenings directed by women from around the world. Over the past decade, Female Eye has actively worked to highlight the industry’s gender imbalance and is currently North America’s only competitive film festival for female directors. This year’s feature films include It’s Hard to be Human—an experimental drama about a teenage delinquent who learns about empathy after getting kicked out of heaven, directed by Canadian actress Valerie Buhagiar—and Emmy-nominated American writer and director Becky Smith’s new film, August in Berlin. Tuesday, June 26 to Sunday, July 1. $10-$20. Carlton Cinema.
A summer skate under the Gardiner
5 The Bentway Skate Trail under the Gardiner officially opens for the summer season with the unveiling of an interactive art installation that doubles as 3D terrain for skateboarders, as well as a separate installation from well-known Toronto street artist and skateboarder Pascal Paquette. Whether you’re a veteran skater or a helmet-wielding newbie, you can participate in learn-to-skate clinics, lectures, and workshops happening throughout the summer. Opening weekend features DJ sets, film screenings, a meet-and-greet with pro skaters, and a beer garden. Saturday, June 30 to August 12. Free. Bentway Skate Trail.
An art crawl on Eglinton
6 Thirty-five artists from across the city come together to exhibit their unique connections to their communities in this summer’s Gallery City art initiative. Seven different routes will guide you to different street-side galleries and independent retailers for an afternoon peruse through colourful portraits, desolate landscapes and abstract shapes. Saturday, June 30 to September 3. Free. Eglinton Ave. from Mount Dennis to Kennedy.
Canada Day fireworks
7 You’ll be able to hear them from everywhere in the city, so you might as well head out to a park on Canada Day to go see them. In the east end, Ashbridges Bay Park has the biggest fireworks display in the city. In Vaughan, Canada’s Wonderland has a 6,000-explosion display and in midtown, find fireworks in Downsview Park.