The Weekender: Buskerfest, Fan Expo and six other events on our to-do list

The Weekender: Buskerfest, Fan Expo and six other events on our to-do list

Silver Elvis returns to Buskerfest this year (Image: Buskerfest)

Last year, over a million people descended upon Front Street to see the world’s top buskers, making BuskerFest the largest street performer festival in North America—and this year it’s expected to get even bigger. With over 100 buskers from Japan, Mexico, Ireland, New Zealand and the U.K. (among other places), expect a mind-boggling variety of performers. There’s also plenty of Canadian representation, of course, like Toronto’s Stilt Guys and the Canadian-Australian duo CACDUS, who will perform a set that includes the decidedly nationalistic (and hopefully animal-friendly) stunts “Beaver Bowling” and “Koala Chucking.” The event raises money for Epilepsy Toronto. August 23 to August 26. PWYC. St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood (Front Street, between Jarvis and Yonge),

Billed as the Comic Con of the North, Fan Expo brings a slew of gaming, horror, comic, sci-fi and anime fans, stars and industry insiders together this weekend for the largest gathering of its kind in Canada. If you’re a total Neo (meaning you’ve never been to the expo before), you might want to brush up on the lingo used by the predicted 80,000 fans: with appearances by two generations of Star Trek celebrities (Kate Mulgrew from Star Trek Voyager and Levar Burton from Star Trek: The Next Generation), it’s best to arrive with the Trekkers/Trekkies distinction down pat. Also attending: Stan Lee (of Spiderman fame), Back to the Future’s Christopher Lloyd and Doctor Who’s John Barrowman. $25–$45, weekend pass $95. August 23 to August 26. Metro Toronto Convention Centre,

3. FAKE PROM 2012
Toronto’s annual “completely fraudulent” prom-style event has almost everything a real prom has: a live band of indie kids (strumming tunes from the ’50s through the ’90s, with some contemporary hits for good measure), a fancy venue (the Palais Royale) and a theme that invites delightfully kitschy attire (Enchantment Under the Sea). What it lacks: ties to an actual educational facility or a graduating class, not to mention the tormented emotional extremes of your high school years. Organizer Dylan Reibling promises to go out with a bang for this 10th and final year of the event—he’s set up an interactive photo booth and balloon arches to take the classic prom portraits, along with chances to be the fake prom king or queen and a matchmaking service for single guests (be sure to register in advance). Pre-sale tickets are sold out, but there will be 100 tickets available at the door (additional guests will be let in after midnight if space allows). August 24. $30. Palais Royale, 1601 Lake Shore Blvd. W.,

The Molson Canadian Amphitheatre goes decidedly PG this weekend when Family Channel stars hit the venue on Sunday for the Big Ticket Summer Concert. Good Luck Charlie star Bridgit Mendler headlines, and a slew of tween favourites follow, including Radio Disney’s Next Big Thing contestants Allstar Weekend, R5 (made up of four R-named siblings and their friend, Ratliff) and Toronto’s Justin Bieber-esque Tyler Medeiros (he sings, he dances, he croons about the ladies). Degrassi star Demetrius Joyette hosts. August 26. $24-$55. Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 1-855-985-5000,

5. NBA 3X (FREE!)
Yonge-Dundas Square is set to be inundated with basketball fans this weekend as the NBA 3X challenge touches down in Toronto. The big draw: compete in a 3-on-3 tournament for the chance to score a finalist position on either LeBron James’ Team Intense or Kobe Bryant’s Team Sudden in the Sprite Uncontainable Game during the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. Raps commentators Jack Armstrong and Leo Rautins will be on hand Saturday to provide live coverage of the men’s 18-plus final, Canadian baller (and Cavs first-round draft pick) Tristan Thompson will sign autographs on Sunday and the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy (like the Stanley Cup, but for basketball) will be on-site to be gawked at all weekend. Oh, and the Raptors Dance Pak are set to perform Friday night. August 23 to August 26. Yonge-Dundas Square,

A hodgepodge of shops in The Junction will be open late this Friday as part of the Junction Design Crawl. Mjölk will host the launch of its limited-edition design and travel guide, Mjölk Volume 1 (featuring interviews with artists showcased in the store and the rundown on Stockholm, Reykjavik and Hokkaido), while things will get outdoorsy at Telephone Booth Gallery, with screenings of the short Canadian wilderness flick Mystic Morning and a 1988 VW Westfalia camper van-cum-gallery, studio, library and classroom named the Carl Wagan. Other stores include Russet and Empire, Smash and Narwhal; all locations are within a few blocks of each other. August 24. 7-11 p.m. Various locations,

The AGO has extended its operating hours for Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris, in order to sate Toronto’s apparently ravenous appetite to view the personal collection of the prolific Spanish artist. The exhibit will remain open until 7 p.m. from Thursday August 23 to Sunday August 26, allowing visitors to purchase tickets for entry at 5 and 6 p.m. After Sunday, the party’s over. To August 26. $25. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648,

Take a walk through Toronto’s St. James Cemetery this Sunday as part of the ROMwalks 2012 series. While cemetery excursions are rarely a jovial experience, this one will be downright gossip-y: the event promises to divulge the “scandals, triumphs and tribulations of the rich and powerful citizens of the Town of York and Toronto.” Oh, the intrigue! August 26. 2 p.m. Meet at the St. James entrance on Parliament Street, north of Wellesley,