Camp out on the Islands, see some buskers and seven other things to do this week
Attend an indie-rock campout on the Islands
For five years, Toronto’s friendliest music fest, ALL CAPS!, offered listeners of all ages an idyllic island retreat and intimate shoreside sets from the country’s finest indie bands. Now, ALL CAPS! organizers Wavelength are resurrecting that festival’s rustic-getaway vibe—overnight camping included—with Camp Wavelength, a Canada-centric lineup featuring Toronto roots rockers the Wooden Sky, singer-songwriter the Weather Station and dubby psych-pop trio Doomsquad. Friday, August 28 to Sunday, August 30. $75; $150 with camping access. Artscape Gibraltar Point, 433 Lakeshore Ave., Toronto Islands, 416-546-2745, wavelengthtoronto.com.
Spend the day with Silver Elvis and friends
A guy juggling torches while riding a skateboard, a real-life windup doll, a disco dancer on stilts in Yonge-Dundas Square—these are just a few of the attractions that have appeared at this annual street performer showcase in support of Epilepsy Toronto. Dozens of entertainers (including the requisite Silver Elvis) will serve up a mix of music, magic and everything in between. Thursday, August 27 to Sunday, August 30. PWYC. Yonge St. from College to Queen, torontobuskerfest.com.
Go west for a food truck frenzy
Don’t look for food trucks in Toronto this Saturday, because there won’t be any to find. Instead, more than 30 mobile restaurants from all over Ontario will gather in Mississauga for AwesTRUCK’s street food awards, part of the city’s SoundBite festival. Diners can get their fill of food on sticks (or in ball form, or unholy poutine interpretations) and at 10 p.m., they can dance it all off when July Talk takes the stage. Saturday, August 29. FREE. Mississauga Celebration Square, 300 City Centre Dr., mississaugacelebrationsquare.ca.
Hear Earth, Wind and Fire’s cool, classic R&B
Despite amassing enough ex-members to fill a phone book, resident belters Maurice White and Philip Bailey are going strong after four decades with their still-distinctive blend of disco, soul, R&B and gospel. Here, the funk pioneers will be joined by fellow Windy City veterans Chicago. Friday, August 28. $34.75–$167.50. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 1-855-985-5000, ticketmaster.com.
Peek inside the sketchbooks of 4,500 artists
The Brooklyn Art Library is home to the world’s largest collection of sketchbooks, which feature the scribbled-out ideas of thousands of artists from around the globe. Every year, its keepers pack 4,500 of their tomes into a mobile library (think food truck for books) and travel across North America. When the project makes its Toronto stop at the Distillery District, search through a digital database of what’s available and spend an afternoon flipping through doodles, diaries and comic-style mini-narratives. Friday, August 28 to Sunday, August 30. FREE. Distillery District, 55 Mill St., sketchbookproject.com.
See a Stratford world premiere about Henry VIII’s final bride
The Last Wife, a world premiere from actor-playwright Kate Hennig, tracks the tumultuous life of Henry VIII’s sixth spouse, the wealthy widow Katherine Parr. As her husband’s health fades, she’s caught between the irresistible appeal of power, the allure of extramarital love and the welfare of her children. To October 7. $97.50–$127.50. Studio Theatre, 34 George St. E., Stratford, 1-800-567-1600, stratfordfestival.ca.
Check out a musical art installation from Montreal artist Naomi Cook
The centrepiece of Cook’s new work, The Pianola Project, is a four-by-18-foot roll of paper: an enlarged player-piano scroll of Pete Wendling’s ragtime ditty “Hesitation Blues.” Cook amends the familiar patterns of wandering dots and looping lines with foreign figures, like cloud-shaped curves and waves. The resulting sound (produced by a program designed specifically for the project) is an eerie shadow of its formerly giddy self, filled with unsettling screeches and keyboard-like sounds. To Saturday, September 5. FREE. Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain, Centre Space, 65 George St., 416-323-1373, pfoac.com.
See a quirky Canadian sci-fi movie musical
The runaway Canadian hit from last year’s TIFF was Bang Bang Baby, a sherbet hued ‘60s musical about a young Canadian woman (an effervescent Jane Levy) who dreams of ditching her small burg to become a New York pop star. Then there’s a chemical spill, and the whole town turns into mutants. The film is buoyant, funny and weird, like Hairspray filtered through the lens of David Cronenberg. Various prices. Various theatres and times, facebook.com.
Hear the Pokémon soundtrack played by a symphony orchestra
For our grandparents, it was The Wizard of Oz. For Gen Xers, it’s the theme to Star Wars. But for today’s teens, there is no soundtrack more transcendent than the one they heard playing on an infinite loop as they stared at their Game Boys for hours on end while manoeuvring digitized Japanese pocket monsters. Here, those eight-bit ditties are reimagined as orchestral anthems. Friday, August 28. $34–$119. Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front St. E., 1-855-872-7669, sonycentre.ca.
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Go to the Toronto Burlesque Festival – shows Thursday through Sunday. More details here – http://torontoburlesquefestival.com
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