The Weekender: TIFF 2011, Pearl Jam and five other items on our to-do list
1. TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Things have changed a little in TIFF-land—there’s a whole extra day, some new programming and an overall westward shift. But luckily for the city’s party monsters, the best things haven’t changed. There will still be plenty of crash-worthy VIP parties, celebrity sightings at every turn (think Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gerard Butler, U2 and even Madonna) and more movies than it’s possible for one person to see. Get the scoop all festival long at tiff.to. September 8 to 18. Various locations, 416-599-8433, tiff.net.
2. PEARL JAM
These quintessential ’90s rockers may have faced a backlash for being pioneers of what critics described as “synthetic grunge,” but in the 20 years since their first album, Eddie and the boys have become one of the most popular rock bands ever. Movies aren’t made about just any band. September 11 and 12. $69.50. Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St., 416-870-8000, ticketmaster.ca.
3. VEGETARIAN FOOD FESTIVAL (FREE!)
Not to get preachy, but we’re fairly certain that just about everyone could benefit from adding more veggies to their diet, even if Meatless Mondays and full-on vegetarianism seem impossible. Get culinary inspiration at this huge veggie-friendly festival, which celebrates its 27th birthday this year. September 9 to 11. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-544-9800, veg.ca/festival.
4. THE ROARING TWENTIES: HEELS, HEMLINES AND HIGH SPIRITS
When we think of the ’20s, we think flappers, speakeasies and dancing the Charleston. The Roaring Twenties exhibit and the accompanying programming explore the fashion of the decade, the music, the movies and the influence of modernism. To June 30, 2012. $12. Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor St. W., 416-979-7799, batashoemuseum.ca.
5. TORONTO URBAN FILM FESTIVAL (FREE!)
Every year during TIFF, another festival screens 63 films. Sure, the films are all only a minute long (and silent), and the screens are all underground at TTC stations, but that doesn’t make TUFF any less exciting. This year’s celebrity guest judge, Atom Egoyan, will award the NAISH McHugh Award—a cash prize awarded to an emerging GTA filmmaker—at the Drake Hotel next weekend. September 9 to 18. Various locations, screenings at Drake Hotel, torontourbanfilmfestival.com.
6. ¡PATRIA O LIBERTAD!: ON PATRIOTISM, IMMIGRATION AND POPULISM
This new AV-heavy art exhibit argues that immigration, globalization and recession are responsible for a rise in patriotism. Contributing artists include Adel Abidin, Maja Bajevic, Marc Bijl, Alexander Apóstol and Ivan Candeo. Check out the opening reception on Friday night. September 9 to October 30. PWYC. Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, 952 Queen St. W., 416-395-0067, mocca.ca.
6. THE UGLY DUCKLING
Reward the kiddies for a good first week back to school with a show. The latest offering from Solar Stage, aimed at kids aged three to 10, is a fun take on “The Ugly Duckling.” Expect colourful costumes, music and some sneakily learned lessons about courage and perseverance. September 10 to October 2. Opening weekend $12, other shows $14. Solar Stage Children’s Theatre, 4950 Yonge St., 416-368-8031, solarstage.on.ca.
Kid-focused charity OneXOne takes over Toronto this weekend, starting on Friday with a free pancake breakfast hosted by celeb chef David Rocco. That evening, there’s a gala with some mom-friendly crooning by Harry Connick Jr., and on Saturday, rapper Lupe Fiasco and Toronto natives Kardinal Offishall and Melanie Fiona will take the stage at Kool Haus. September 9 and 10. Various locations, 416-901-1291, onexone.org.
(Images: Ryan Gosling, Drive; The Ugly Duckling, Stuart Richards; Pearl Jam tour poster)