The Weekender: Luminato, Woofstock and six other items on our to-do list
Art, theatre, film, dance, books and music—the arts are everywhere in the city this weekend. Clearly, Luminato has arrived. On our radar: Friday’s First Night concert featuring rapper K’Naan; Sunday’s Rufus to the Max program, a two-parter that includes a one-hour tribute to Rufus Wainwright and a concert with the man himself; 1000 Tastes of Toronto, a President’s Choice–sponsored food extravaganza; a late-night performance of Shostakovich’s Eleventh Symphony by the TSO; and the New Yorker lit series, which features talks and panels by author Annie Proulx, theatre critic Hilton Als and food critics Calvin Trillin and Adam Gopnik. June 8–17. Various prices. 416-368-3100, luminato.com.
2. TORONTO DRINKS SHOW
Despite feeling more like a party than a trade show, the Toronto Drinks Show is an alcohol aficionado’s ideal convention. Look out for the city’s best bartenders serving up dozens of artisanal drinks, and make sure to test your recipe at the whiskey cocktail mixing competition. There’s also a Rock, Paper, Scissors competition for anyone who still has coordination after sampling all those libations. June 8 and 9. $30. 99 Sudbury St., 416-504-0504, drinksshow.ca.
3. WOOFSTOCK (FREE!)
Pups and their owners take over the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood this weekend for the largest doggie-focused festival in North America. Fashion shows, a trick contest and speed dating are on offer—though, that last one’s more for the people than the puppies. A Purina-sponsored dog show will take place to amaze and induce jealousy in competitive canines, while especially attractive pets can go for the title of Ms. or Mr. Canine Canada. June 9 and 10. Admission is free. St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, woofstock.ca.
4. WORLDWIDE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
This annual film festival, which features a lineup of almost 250 films from 35 countries, has a lot to offer. Catch one-off screenings or take advantage of themed programs, like Iron Ladies (Saturday), a seven-film lineup of shorts starring butt-kicking women; and the Scene Not Herd (Friday) film program, which includes videos from artists like Gotye, M.I.A., Rihanna and Fleet Foxes. Children with short attention spans, or an interest in film, will enjoy the adventure-themed movies in Shorts for Shorties on Saturday. To June 5–10. $10. Various locations. 416-445-1446, ext. 815, worldwideshortfilmfest.com.
5. VILLAGE DAY (FREE!)
‘Tis the season for warm weather–dependent neighbourhood festivals. This one, in Yonge Lawrence Village, will have sidewalk sales, live music, face painting, family-friendly activities and BBQs. We can’t think of any better ways to usher in the summer sun. June 9. Admission is free. Yonge Lawrence Village, yongelawrencevillage-bia.com.
6. STAR TREK LIVE
Let’s get one thing clear: no matter how much we love Mr. Spock, the science in this super-popular science fiction franchise isn’t really, well, real. But Captain Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise crew do make for a fun—and less textbook—entry into learning about real science. This interactive show explores space travel, communication and NASA technology through the lens of an adventure at Starfleet Academy. Technically it’s aimed at kids from the ages of six to 12, but we know a few grownups who wouldn’t mind sitting in. To September 3. $20. Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Rd., 416-696-1000, ontariosciencecentre.ca.
7. TORONTO ISLAND HOUSE AND HISTORY TOUR
The Islands consist of one of Toronto’s most unique neighbourhoods. The 262-home community started as a tent city in the early 1900s, and in the ’30s some residents actually bought their houses from the Simpson’s catalogue. Obviously there’s lots of history here, which we can see from looking at the neighbourhood’s architecture alone. This tour, hosted by the Toronto Island Grannies in Spirit, allows attendees to explore several “historic, renovated, original and new homes,” meet Island residents and take a peek at historical ephemera. Proceeds go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, as part of the Grandmother to Grandmother campaign. June 10. $45. Wards Island Clubhouse, http://torontoislandhousetour.weebly.com.
8. QUEER PRIDE 2012
Kick off the Pride season with this “community-focused festival,” which features comedy, art, theatre, music and many, many parties. This weekend, start things off with a dance party courtesy of JOY!, the prematurely shuttered after-hours club. June 8–July 1. Various prices. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St., 416-975-8555, buddiesinbadtimes.com.