The Weekender: Canadian Music Week, early St. Paddy’s at the Ceili Cottage and six other things to do this weekend
Our guide to the weekend’s best events includes Canadian Music Week, St. Practice Day at the Ceili Cottage and a modern version of Swan Lake. Read on for the rest.
1. ST. PATRICK’S WEEK
This year, St. Paddy’s Day falls on a Wednesday, which is no deterrent to proud Irish (and Irish-for-a-day) folk but makes celebrating a little difficult for the rest of us. Enter the Ceili Cottage, which has organized a week’s worth of events so no one has to miss out. This Saturday’s St. Practice Day festivities will include Irish dance performances and cocktails mixed by Thirsty Traveller and Iron Chef America reporter Kevin Brauch. Head back on Sunday afternoon after the leprechaun- and clover-heavy parade for more Guinness and dance lessons. March 13 to 17. Prices vary. The Ceili Cottage, 1301 Queen St. E., 416-406-1301, ceilicottage.com.
2. TOTAL HEALTH SHOW
This annual convention, now in its 33rd year, emphasizes a healthy and environmentally responsible lifestyle, with experts speaking on making eco-conscious choices at the grocery store and shopping mall, greener living and traditional healing. Other features include organic snacks, yoga demos and spa treatments. March 12 to 14. $10–$50. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, 255 Front St. W., 416-924-9800, totalhealthshow.com.
3. CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK
Sure, there are plenty of film screenings (When You’re Strange, Nowhere Boy) and speakers (Slash) to check out, but the real draw is the concert portion of CMW, now called Canadian Music Fest. The five-day lineup is 700 groups deep, with stalwarts Our Lady Peace and the Constantines headlining. March 10 to 14. Wristbands $30–$150. Various locations, cmw.net.
4. BLANKET FORTS
Newmindspace’s latest party revisits the rainy days of childhood inside a 2,000-square-foot loft full of blanket forts, including themed sections that include a kitchen fort with midnight snacks, a black-light fort, an underwater fort and whatever else organizers Lori Kufner and Kevin Bracken can dream up. PJs, robes and fuzzy slippers are welcome. March 13. $15. Secret location to be revealed to ticket holders, newmindspace.com/fortsto.
5. WIZARD WORLD
Kick off March break at this magical indoor amusement park. It’s everything an outdoor amusement park is—stage shows, costumed entertainers, arcade games, rides and even a petting zoo and wild jungle cats (though the jungle cats aren’t part of the petting zoo)—without having to hang out in this weekend’s forecasted freezing rain. March 14 to 21. $8.50. Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Blvd., 416-585-9263, wizardworld.ca.
6. LOIN… (FAR…)
Created by French choreographer Rachid Ouramdane, this multimedia performance is a beautiful exploration of identity that plots the journey undertaken by his Algerian father half a century ago. Dance sequences performed by Fabrice Lambert share stage time with video footage and Ouramdane’s poetry. March 11 to 13. $30. Enwave Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
7. THE OVERWHELMING
This intense, appropriately named play by American playwright J.T. Rogers has scooped up more than a few accolades. Playing at the Berkeley Street Theatre in its Canadian premiere, The Overwhelming follows American academic Jack Exley’s search for an old friend who’s gone missing during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. March 8 to April 3. $20–$45. Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs, 26 Berkeley St., 416-386-3110, canadianstage.com.
8. SWAN LAKE
A favourite since its first performance in Moscow in 1877, Swan Lake returns to the National Ballet this weekend with James Kudelka’s 1999 re-imagining of the classic tale. Not a favourite with purists, Kudelka’s modern take on the ballet is darker and more sensual, and has been billed as a ballet for a new generation of fans. March 11 to 21. $20–$121. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., 416-345-9595, national.ballet.ca.