The Weekender: Lil Wayne, Wild Blueberry Festival and five other items on our to-do list
1. CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION
The Ex is back, which means wobbly rides, carnival games and plenty of midway food. Whatever your cultural affectation (hipster, Bay Street babe, hip-hop head), this end-of-summer tradition is a must-attend. It’s been around for 133 years; who are we to argue with over a century of cotton candy–eating fun? Aug. 19 to Sept. 5. $16. Exhibition Place, 416-393-6300, theex.com.
2. SAIL-IN CINEMA (FREE!)
This is the best take on the drive-in, ever. All you need is a boat, or a friend with a boat, or a blanket on the mainland. Part of the Toronto Port Authority’s 100th anniversary celebration, this weekend’s outdoor screenings include 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Thursday), Jaws (Friday) and Finding Nemo (Saturday). Tickets required for “landlubbers.” Aug. 18–20. Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Dr., torontoport.com.
3. WILD BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL
Sometimes, among the mango and dragon fruit and guava–laden shelves of the grocery store, it’s easy to forget the humble blueberry. But then somebody plans an entire foodie festival around ‘em and we’re reminded. Head to the Evergreen Brick Works this weekend for a “wild blueberry feast” that includes a pie bake-off, wild blueberry taste testing and treats from Café Belong chef Brad Long and Ottawa’s Whalesbone Oyster House chef Charlotte Langley, among others. Aug. 20. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave., ebw.evergreen.ca.
4. DUSK DANCES
Everything is more magical at dusk, especially these dance performances by choreographers including Santee Smith, Jenn Goodwin and Lua Shayenne. Aug. 18–21. PWYC; suggested donation $10. Earlscourt Park, St. Clair Ave. W. at Caledonia Rd., duskdances.ca.
We generally think of IKEA as the go-to place to score cheap everything for our slowly-approaching-grown-up abodes, but there’s actually some good design happening at everyone’s favourite Swedish outpost. Evidently there are enough home goodies to entrust four Toronto artists with the task of creating installations inspired by the Swedish staple. The lineup includes fashion designer David Dixon, celeb photographer George Whiteside, sculptor Burno Billio and painter Thrush Holmes. Aug. 18–21. M5V Condos, 363 King St. W., ikea.com/ca/en.
6. LIL WAYNE
We were sheltered kids once upon a time, which is why we can either credit or blame Weezy (that’s Lil Wayne) for our discovery of just what cough syrup has to do with partying. But while we love that the tattooed rapper is kind of breaking down barriers with his acoustic crooning and Harry Belafonte samples, we’d actually rather he leave the drink at home—he’s already kind of mumbly, and we’ve only got lawn seats for this weekend’s show. Aug. 19. $43.25–$131.75. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 1-855-985-5000, ticketmaster.ca.
7. MASALA! MEHNDI! MASTI!
The mother of all South Asian cultural fests hits Harbourfront this weekend—brace yourself for singing, dancing, films and food. We’re excited for the annual Bhanging by the Lake Bhangra Concert, a midnight yoga class and theatrical comedy performances, including Dirty Pakistani Laundry, a U.S. play about six Pakistani-American women who hilariously, offensively and honestly air their dirty laundry about the East-meets-West culture clash. Aug. 19–21. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.