See a guitar master, go to an indie-pop festival and six other things to do this week
Watch one of Toronto’s greatest rock bands in the room they were born to play
They may be products of the late-’90s southern Ontario hardcore scene, but the Constantines have never been shy about their populist ambitions. Over the course of four albums, they’ve channeled punk fury and blue-collar romanticism into rousing indie-rock anthems that have made a profound impact on famous fans, including Feist and Arcade Fire. After a four-year hiatus, the band reunited last year to play select festival dates. This week, they achieve true CanRock sainthood with their first headlining show at Massey Hall. Calgary art-pop eccentric Chad VanGaalen opens. Wednesday May 27. $18.94. 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255, masseyhall.com.
Treat your kids to an evening of quality edutainment
Prologue brings performing arts to kids across Ontario during the school year. But even though classes are soon letting out, the non-profit organization is ramping up. The Prologue Children’s Festival for the Arts is a jam-packed event that will include performances by the Sultans of String, as well as Cadence, an a cappella quartet. There will also be a song-and-dance tribute to Harriet Tubman by actor Leslie McCurdy. All ages. Monday May 25, 7 p.m. FREE. Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front St. E., 416-591-9092, prologue.org.
Marvel at the Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar
Unplugged Australian virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel may not have the name recognition of your Rolling Stone-canonized guitar greats, but among six-string enthusiasts he’s revered as a god. Known for playing distinct melodies while beating his guitar like a drum, the unparalleled entertainer has produced unique interpretations of dozens of pop classics. He’s playing two shows this week. Tuesday May 26 and Wednesday May 27. $66. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., 416-366-7723, fingerstyleguitar.ca.
Chill with the world’s greatest cellist
The name Yo-Yo Ma is practically a synonym for cello, the instrument whose sonorities—warm, dark, bright, agitated—he has indisputably mastered, and all of which he’ll call upon for a performance of Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto, one of the British composer’s final masterpieces. Also on the program: Gustav Holst’s The Planets, and the world premiere of a new work by Ed Frazier Davis for orchestra and children’s chorus. Andrew Davis conducts. Friday May 29. $49–$185. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-598-3375, tso.ca.
Get a head start on EDM festival season
Originally launched as a New Year’s Eve party in L.A. in 2007, the HARD brand has exploded in tandem with the global rise of EDM, producing massive roving parties and cruises stacked with A-list DJs. The Toronto stop of the Go HARD tour touches down at Echo Beach with house heavyweight Eric Prydz, moombathon maverick Dillon Francis, Crystal Castles architect Ethan Kath and others. Saturday May 30. $53.75–$76.25. 909 Lakeshore Blvd. W., 1-855-985-5000, hardfest.com.
Peruse new artwork from a consummate Canadian craftsman
The bronze creations of veteran sculptor Joe Fafard are inspired by Canadian iconography, taking cues from both the farmhouse and the House of Commons: a loyal dog standing at attention, a nonchalant Pierre Trudeau sitting cross-legged, Queen Elizabeth II in pearls and white gloves. This week, Fafard debuts a new collection of meticulously detailed pieces at the Mira Godard Gallery. Saturday May 30 to June 20. FREE. 22 Hazelton Ave., 416-964-8197, godardgallery.com.
Venture to an idyllic indie-pop oasis
To celebrate 15 years of fostering creativity on the Toronto Islands, Artscape Gibralatar Point is teaming up with Toronto underground-music boosters Wavelength, youth-advocacy collective 88 Days of Fortune and experimental imprint Healing Power Records to present EXVEE, an outdoor showcase of emerging local bands. The lineup includes electro visionary Digits, rising R&B phenoms bizZarh and dream-pop outfit Etiquette. Art installations, Food Dudes edibles, jugglers and a “fire dancer” will amp up the carnivalesque vibe. Saturday May 30, 4 p.m. $20. 443 Lakeshore Ave., Toronto Islands, wavelengthtoronto.com.
Bask in heavenly harmonies
The Victoria Scholars, a men’s choral group, are named after the 16th-century Spanish Renaissance composer Tomás Luis de Victoria. Despite the vintage monicker, their repertoire ranges across many centuries and musical styles. They leave the Renaissance far behind for this concert, which will include music by composers Pablo Casals, Aaron Copland, Claude Debussy, Zoltán Kodály and Morten Lauridsen. Sunday May 31. $20–$25. Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 3055 Bloor St. W., 416-761-7776, victoriascholars.ca.