The CNE’s soaring air show, Fan Expo and six other things to see, do, hear and read this week
The loudest weekend of the year
1If you live in the city, you’re going to hear it anyway, so you might as well get a good view of the Canadian International Air Show at the CNE. You know the drill: the Snowbirds will fill the sky with mind-boggling aerobatics and eardrum-splitting sound while you stuff yourself with Tiny Tom Donuts. Saturday, September 2 to Monday, September 4. $19. Exhibition Place.
A trip back to 1990 with Depeche Mode
2Expect a fan-friendly set from synth-pop legends Depeche Mode on their Global Spirit Tour. In addition to a few new tracks from their recent album, Spirit, they’ll reprise favourites like “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy the Silence” for a career-spanning concert, and also incorporate film footage by Dutch director Anton Corbijn. Sunday, September 3. $70–$170. Air Canada Centre.
Canada’s biggest geek culture get-together
3The big story at this year’s celebration of all things pop culture is a Rocky Horror Picture Show cast reunion, bringing together Meat Loaf, Barry Bostwick, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell and the elusive Tim Curry. Fan Expo’s other celebrity guests include stars of Doctor Who (Matt Smith, Billie Piper), Firefly (Nathan Fillion), Game of Thrones (Lena Headey), Jaws (Richard Dreyfuss) and Serial Mom herself, Kathleen Turner. Plus: cosplayers galore, dozens of comic book artists and panels, and more merchandise than Thor can shake a hammer at. Thursday, August 31 to Sunday, September 3. From $25. Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
A wacky Lady Gaga tribute show
4It’s become tradition for celebrities to publicize their pregnancies with glamorous Instagram posts and magazine covers—but imagine if a celeb invited us to witness the birth. In Lady Gaga #Artbirth, tribute artist Athena Reich plays a very pregnant version of the pop diva who plans to welcome Baby Gaga in the ultimate piece of performance art. This outrageous show combines art, music and comedy, anchored by Reich’s uncanny impersonation of the superstar. Thursday, August 31 to Sunday, September 3. $30–$35. Berkeley Street Theatre.
A seminal k.d. lang album revisited
5In 1992, k.d. lang’s album Ingenue marked a new era in the singer-songwriter’s career: a step away from the country twang of her early work, towards a moodier, velvety style. For the album’s 25th anniversary, the Canadian icon will revisit the album’s tracks (including hits like “Constant Craving” and “Miss Chatelaine”), as well as songs from her 2004 release, Hymns of the 49th Parallel. Wednesday, August 30 and Thursday, August 31. $42.98–$122.89. Sony Centre.
An art fair in the Distillery District
6Toronto has a lot of art festivals, but Artfest might be the only one where the setting—the gorgeous Distillery District—is a work of art itself. Browse paintings, photography, sculptures and crafts by local artists, as well as the area’s historic architecture, all Labour Day weekend. Friday, September 1 to Monday, September 4. Free. Distillery District.
The world’s best street performers in one place
7You can see a movie or go to a baseball game any weekend, but how often do you get a chance to see Strong Lady, who can snap solid metal in two, or Jay Mmagic, a local illusionist who’s just 13 years old? See them and 100 other street performers—including the hula-hoop acrobats Duo Hoops and the Australian dance troupe Beat The Streets—at this weekend’s Buskerfest. Friday, September 1 to Monday, September 4. Free. Woodbine Park.
An EDM extravaganza on the Island
8The Islands may have been closed most of the summer, but you can still say goodbye to the season with a big ol’ picnic and dance party at Hanlan’s Point. The final Electric Island of 2017 features DJs and producers Chris Liebing, Claude Vonstroke and Dusky, among others, in two non-stop days of electronic music. Sunday, September 3 to Monday, September 4. $45–$70. Hanlan’s Point.