The Ex, a dockside movie screening and seven other things to see, do, hear and read this week
A giddy, greasy summer tradition
1Smell that? Yep—it’s the scent of Tiny Tom doughnuts wafting from Exhibition Place, and that can mean only one thing: the CNE is back. You know the drill: be rattled out of bed by the Air Show, win a stuffed Minion on the midway, learn how cows are milked at the farm, try your luck at the casino, shop for appliances in the At Home Pavilion, enjoy some deep-fried monstrosities at the Food Building, try desperately to keep that food down on the rides, and listen to some live music at the Bandshell—Steppenwolf and Kiefer Sutherland are on hand this year. Friday, August 18 to Monday, September 4. $19. Exhibition Place.
A stroll down Yonge Street
2For four hours this weekend, Open Streets turns Toronto into a “paved park.” Between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, large sections of Yonge and Bloor will close to car traffic, allowing city-dwellers to walk, run or bike at will. Watch for workshops, pop-up concerts, ball hockey, jump-rope stations, sidewalk chalk drawing and other activities, or just enjoy a new perspective on a familiar city—without the fear of being run over. Sunday, August 20. Free. Various locations.
A landlocked Camp Wavelength
3Flooding may have forced Wavelength’s indie fest to take a break from the Island this year, but it’s still a much-needed late-summer retreat. The weekend of music and art features veteran noise rockers Deerhoof, Hamilton singer-songwriter Jessy Lanza, and Rich Aucoin, whose celebratory shows involve sparklers and a giant parachute. Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 20. $25–$65. Sherbourne Common.
The city’s coolest outdoor screening
4Sail-In Cinema, Ports Toronto’s dockside screening series, offers two choices for the nautical cinephile: grab a blanket and watch the movie from Sugar Beach, or drop an anchor in Toronto Harbour and enjoy the flick from the water. The floating, two-sided screen will show three popcorn classics chosen by audiences: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Edward Scissorhands and the new live-action Beauty and the Beast. Thursday, August 17 to Saturday, August 19. Free. Sugar Beach.
A nutty colonial comedy
5Cultural appropriation gets a side-splitting spoof in The Berlin Blues, a comedy about two gung-ho German developers who show up at a sleepy First Nations reserve with plans to build a “native” theme park. Bumper canoes, anyone? How about a giant laser-beam dream catcher and an on-site hotel called Haida Way? The Ojibwa playwright and humourist Drew Hayden Taylor gleefully satirizes the profitable exploitation of Indigenous heritage in this tour de farce. To Saturday, Aug. 19. $35–$39. Blyth Centre for the Arts, Blyth, Ontario.
A zine paradise
6Say what you will about the decline of print, but a zine just isn’t the same on a smartphone. Zine Dream, the annual small-press showcase, returns for its 10th year with over 100 exhibitors—including the Toronto Zine Library and the feminist Milkweed zine—selling their hand-made zines, books, comics, crafts, art prints, and more. Get there early and you might get a slice of 10th-anniversary cake. Sunday, August 20. PWYC. Polish Combatants Hall.
Green Day in the Trump era
7The go-to punk rockers of Bush-era American (that’s W. and H.W.) step into Trumpier waters with their angsty-as-ever 2016 album Revolution Radio, ready to awaken the rebellious suburban teen in all of us. Billie Joe Armstrong has been know to invite lucky fans onstage to play guitar, so keep your fingers crossed. Friday, August 18. $34.25–$103.75. Budweiser Stage.
A look back at Robert Mapplethorpe’s New York
8From the late 1960s until his death from AIDS in 1989, Robert Mapplethorpe’s photography captured New York’s gay community with beauty, candor and style. As part of Hot Docs’ Great Photographers series, Ryerson Image Centre director Paul Roth will lead an onstage discussion of Mapplethorpe’s work after a screening of the 2016 documentary Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures. Sunday, August 20. $16. Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
An Indian extravaganza
9Nathan Phillips Square turns into a little slice of South Asia this weekend, when the city’s Indian community commemorates the 70th anniversary of independence. The India Day Festival and Grand Parade offers the food, music and culture of the subcontinent, with Bollywood star Shetty Kundra; musicians Sharayu Date, Manj Musik, Nindy Kaur and Parvaaz; and cricket, food stalls and a kids’ zone. Sunday, August 20. Free. Nathan Phillips Square.