The Long Weekender: Divisadero—A Performance, the National Home Show and six-other can’t miss events
1. THE JUNO TOUR OF CANADIAN ART
This collaboration between the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences aims to pair great Canadian art with great Canadian music (it’s also part of the Juno Awards’ 40th anniversary celebrations). The big night isn’t until the end of March, but CanCon aficionados can check out an exhibit featuring Buck 65, Measha Brueggergosman and Gord Downie right now. They, and several of their award-winning peers, visited the gallery, and chose a piece of work to serve as the inspiration for their own artistic creations. To August 31. $19.50. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648, ago.net.
2. BJOERLING’S LARYNX (FREE!)
Named after Swedish tenor Jussi Björling, this exhibit by American fine art photographer David Leventi gives viewers a sneak peek into some of Europe’s gorgeously opulent opera houses. This exhibit isn’t just architectural photography, though; it’s also a tribute to Leventi’s grandfather, a trained cantor who was interned at a POW camp in the Soviet Union, where he performed for his fellow prisoners. The exhibit was also inspired by Leventi’s parents, both architects. To March 8. Bau-Xi Photo, 324 Dundas St. W., 416-977-0400, bau-xiphoto.com.
3. DIVISADERO: A PERFORMANCE
CanLit giant Michael Ondaatje’s novel Divisadero doesn’t immediately spring to mind as the most natural fit for a translation to the stage: perspective shifts abound, it’s set on two different continents and the characters don’t really talk that much. Ondaatje, director Daniel Brooks and star Justin Rutledge took on the ambitious task of turning the book into a play over a three-year period. Catch the Necessary Angel production before it closes on Sunday. To February 20. $25–$35. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., 416-504-7529, artsboxoffice.com.
4. MUSIC WITH BITE: LES TÊTES DANS LES NUAGES (FREE!)
This regular concert series is classical music 101 for the under-12 set. The Family Day show is presented in French, and features Annabelle Renzo, the principal harpist for Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil. She tells the story of a little girl who magically sprouts wings and visits a world hidden in the clouds where she meets three birds named Handel, Debussy and Albeniz. February 21. Brigantine Room, York Quay Centre, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
5. NATIONAL HOME SHOW
Some people count down the days until patio season; others count down the days until reno season. For HGTV lovers, there’s the annual National Home Show, a ten-day extravaganza of celeb speakers (Debbie Travis, Colin and Justin, Janette Ewen), shopping, workshops and even a demonstration man cave. Kids get in for free, and on Family Day, childcare is also gratis. February 18–27. $16. Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Blvd., 416-263-3000, nationalhomeshow.com.
6. WINTERFOLK IX BLUES AND ROOTS FESTIVAL (FREE!)
Now in its ninth year, this laid-back, all-ages music festival takes over restaurants, pubs and a church or two at Broadview and Danforth for concerts by veteran and up-and-coming folk artists like The Horables, Betty Supple, Erin Hill and her Psychadelic Harp and David Essig. February 18–21. Various locations, Broadview and Danforth, winterfolk.com.
7. A NIGHT WITH LE TROU DU DIABLE (FREE!)
This Saturday night, Bar Volo is having some friends over. The founders and brewers from Le Trou du Diable, a popular microbrewery in Shawinigan, are in town and they’re taking over: only Le Trou du Diable beers are on tap all evening. Also, starting at noon, House Ales (Bar Volo’s in-house label) and the Quebec contingent will be making a special one-off collaboration batch brew, which should go on sale after the beer ferments in a couple weeks. February 19. Bar Volo, 587 Yonge St., barvolo.com.
8. BRICKOLAGE (FREE!)
This city has no shortage of imaginatively repurposed industrial buildings, but 401 Richmond might be our favourite. William Huffman, the associate director of the Toronto Arts Council is no stranger to 401: he used to be the director of the first-floor A Space Gallery. He leads a monthly tour of the various studios, galleries and artist-run centres in the building. February 19. 401 Richmond St. W., 401richmond.net.
(Images: Debbie Travis courtesy Debbie Travis, Margravial Opera House by David Leventi courtesy Bau-Xi Photo, Divisadero by Cylla von Tiedemann)