The Bloor St. Culture Corridor, Toronto's most diverse arts and culture district, is where people come to enjoy more than a hundred different films, exhibitions, concerts, museum events, and art talks every month. February event highlights are below. Complete event listings are on the Bloor St. Culture Corridor web site at www.bloorstculturecorridor.com and on the BloorStCulture mobile app.
The Toronto Consort presents The Way of The Pilgrim - Medieval Songs of Travel February 12 and 13 at 8pm. From travellers en route to a sacred shrine, to wandering scholars searching for the perfect teacher, this concert features pilgrim songs, crusaders' laments and ecstatic dances from Spain, France and Germany which evoke this exotic world. The concert marks the re-release of the Consort's The Way of the Pilgrim CD, now appearing on the Marquis label. Visit www.torontoconsort.org for more details.
The University of Toronto's Faculty of Music welcomes Louis Applebaum Distinguished Visitor in Film Composition, Lawrence Shragge, on February 9 for a free guest lecture. The People Shall Hear, an evening of great choruses by Bach and Handel will be performed by the Schola Cantorum and Theatre of Early Music on February 28, and a chamber music performance featuring tenor Benjamin Butterfield, accompanied by Steven Philcox on piano, is on February 29. More information can be found at www.music.utoronto.ca.
The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema invites you to into the world of PEGGY GUGGENHEIM: ART ADDICT, starting February 5. Four astronomers embark on a road trip across the Southern United States in STAR MEN, February 12. Crank up the volume for some Motörhead on February 12 with LIVE FAST, DIE OLD: A TRIBUTE TO LENNY. Sing your heart out with Good Enough Live Karaoke on February 13 at BROKEN HEARTS, JILTED LOVERS & LOST SOULS. Spend Valentine's Day with cult classic HAROLD & MAUDE and Exhibition on Screen: REMBRANDT. Journey to the outer orbit with LAST MAN ON THE MOON on February 26 and "to be or not to be" is the question on everyone's minds in the National Live Theatre's production of HAMLET on February 20. More info: www.bloorcinema.com
Visit The ROM this month to enjoy the stunning Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition featuring 100 images from our natural world. New this month, teens take over the ROM with ROMTeen Friday on February 12, and explore their way through art making, performances and gallery activations (tickets are $5 for ROM Teen Members, $10.80 ROM Teen Group, $13.50 for general teen admission, free for one parent/guardian and $5 for each additional parent/guardian). February's ROM Daytime Lectures include Mozart Noir on February 11, and Editorial Cartoons on February 25. Lectures take place on Thursdays between 11am and 2pm and are free for ROM Members and included with General Admission. February's ROM Speaks is A Life in the Past Lane with Dave Rudkin, Assistant Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology, on February 23. Tickets are $18 for ROM Members and $20 for the public. Celebrate Lunar New Year with a weekend full of events on February 13 to 15. For details and ticket information visit rom.on.ca.
The Gardiner Museum will unveil the special exhibition, Beneath the Surface: Life, Death, Gold and Ceramics in Ancient Panama, on February 18, featuring the single largest grouping of grave goods ever unearthed in Panama-golden plaques and pendants with animal-human motifs, precious and semi-precious stones, animal bone ornaments, and literally tons of detail-rich painted ceramics. The centrepiece of the show is a three-tiered recreation of the cemetery's wealthiest and most important burial site, where archaeologists encountered the remains of the "Paramount Chief", a powerful ruler and war leader in the Coclé region. Delve deeper beneath the surface with an incredible roster of exhibition programs, including a coffee and chocolate tasting, special lectures, and an artist talk. Events include a lecture, The Search for Kings and Queens in Ancient Panama, on February 16, Commedia dell'Arte Day on February 25 including Harlequin Romance: Europe's Love Affair with Commedia dell'Arte, and more. Visit www.gardinermuseum.com to learn more.
Alliance française opens photographer Patrick Lajoie's exhibition, Loosely translated, on February 10. Acclaimed historian Benjamin Stora presents a lecture dedicated to Jewish-Muslim relationships on February 11. On February 27 at 7pm, Salomé Viguier and la Société d'Histoire de Toronto presents a lecture about the identity of the city of Toronto. February is also a month of music! On February 5, Hampaté & Sahel Blues introduces the world of traditional Senegalese music. Dance company, Smash Entertainment will perform a show inspired by the French touch, a style of music produced by French artists, on February 20 . Classical music will also be featured with musical duo, harpist Caroline Léonardelli and the mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah, on February 27. Wine lovers get their fill on February 17 at 7pm, as Alliance française Toronto's famed Wine & Cheese soirée returns! On February 21 at 2pm, short movies for little ones will be screened. Every Thursday, Alliance française screens a film at 7:30pm. February sees screenings of Persépolis directed by Marjane Satrapi, Les citronniers directed by Eran Riklis and Le Passé (The Past) directed by Asghar Farhadi. Free entrance. In French with English subtitles. More info is at www.alliance-francaise.ca.
The Museum of Estonians Abroad/VEMU presents a one day conference, "The Story of the Baltic University (1946-1949). Adventure and Struggle" in collaboration with the Chair of Estonian Studies at the University of Toronto, on Saturday, February 13 starting at 1pm. The documentary by Helga Merits, The Story of the Baltic University (2015), will be screened followed by Helga Merits' talk and an exhibition opening. In English. February 27 at 7pm the multi-talented cultural figure from Estonia, Mart Sander, will perform his own psycho-horror drama titled Behind the Random Denominator. In English. The premiere took place in the fall 2015 in New York at the Broadway theatre festival United Solo. Tickets on sale at vemu.ca and the Tartu College Office. Wednesday, February 24 at 12pm, celebrate the Republic of Estonia's 98th Anniversary with a documentary film screening of Jaan Poska (Videomeedia OÜ, 2016, 75 min). On February 28 at 2pm, Eerik Purje's life stories book Mesipuu poole (Towards the Beehive) will be presented. In Estonian. All events take place at Tartu College, 310 Bloor St. W., and are free of charge. A small donation is appreciated. Visit www.vemu.ca for details.
February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM) at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, aka "The J," featuring innovative events: the Voicing Perspective exhibition featured visual art and photography by people with disabilities; Celebrate Body Positive Storytelling is a FREE interactive event on February 9; the Toronto Jewish Film Society screens Special Interview on February 21. FREE February 15 Family Day activities run from 9:30am - 5pm, including a Jungle Gym, Frozen Princesses performances and active movement classes for ages 3-8. Drop-in programming includes a special Valentine's Romance on Film lecture February 11, and Swing Dance classes on Tuesdays. Learn to sing opera from Maestro Alvaro Lozano Gutiérrez with Opera For All starting February 24, and dance the night away with Hilario Durán at Havana Nights on February 29 in support of the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre's music programs.
i LOVE SOUTH AFRiCA, taking place at 918 Bathurst on Saturday, February 13, at 2pm and again at 7pm, is a Valentine's Day discovery of the wonders of South Africa with a tasting experience featuring more than 20 wines paired with delectable snacks, a live band and more! #iLoveSAwine. Tickets are $59 per session available by clicking here.
Soundstreams kicks off February with Squeezebox, a cross-cultural concert celebrating all things accordion on February 10, 8pm, at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre. Featuring pioneering Canadian accordionist Joseph Macerollo alongside one of his current protégés, Michael Bridge, the concert features various members of the accordion instrument family for a playful evening of contemporary works inspired by its folk, vaudeville, and traditional music roots. Macerollo and Bridge will perform pieces by acclaimed Canadian composers R. Murray Schafer, Alexina Louie, and Marjan Mozetich, while Argentinean bandoneon player Héctor del Curto will delight the audience throughout with popular tangos by Astor Piazolla and others. The concert will also feature a world premiere by Canadian composer Anna Pidgorna. Tickets are $22 to $67.50 and can be purchased online at www.soundstreams.ca or by calling 416.408.0208.
February Concerts at The Royal Conservatory's Koerner Hall include the Grammy-nominated, risk-taking jazz diva René Marie's celebration of the musical spirit of the divine Eartha Kitt on February 19 in René Marie's I Wanna Be Evil (With Love to Eartha Kitt) with special guest Wycliffe Gordon. On February 20, the Grammy-winning female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey In The Rock presents two concerts in one day - an evening one as well as an afternoon family concert. Accompanied by American Sign Language interpretation, the group sings spirituals, songs of the civil rights movement and of the struggle for justice everywhere.American violin master Gil Shaham and The Knights "one of Brooklyn's sterling cultural products," [The New Yorker] perform pieces by Jean-Féry Rebel, Prokofiev, Wagner, Sufjan Stevens, and Dvořák on February 17. On February 26, violinist Christian Tetzlaff teams up with his sister, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff, and pianist Lars Vogt to perform three of the best-loved piano trios in the repertoire: Schumann's Piano Trio No. 2, Dvořák's Piano Trio, "Dumky," and Brahms's Piano Trio No. 1. Tickets are available at www.performance.rcmusic.ca, by calling 416.408.0208, or in person.
The Bloor-Yorkville BIA presents the 11th Annual Icefest on Saturday, February 20 and Sunday, February 21, noon-5pm. Inspired by Heart Month and the Valentine's Day season, this year's "Expressions of Love" theme will transform the neighbourhood into a magical showcase of 20,000 lbs. of crystal-clear ice sculpted into iconic expressions of amour. Attendees will be dazzled by ice creations, including an iconic LOVE sculpture, a giant tribute to world peace, an abstract couple embracing, a winter-themed heart, and a depiction of the ultimate love story - Romeo and Juliet. For a donation, children can look forward to "Ice Kiddie Cubes" with a surprise toy inside, and all visitors can indulge at the taffy station. On Saturday, February 20, the 15th Annual Sassafraz Ice Carving Competition will start at noon, and the People's Choice Sculpture will be announced at 5:15pm. On Sunday, February 21, visitors will enjoy ice-carving demonstrations in The Village of Yorkville Park. This is an all ages family friendly, free event! #Icefest16 More information is at: http://www.bloor-yorkville.com/icefest/
A complete calendar of events and programs, including links to each presenting organization and admission and ticket information, are at www.bloorstculturecorridor.com and on the Bloor St. Culture Corridor mobile app, available for free download from the Bloor St. Culture Corridor web site, the iTunes App Store, or Google Play.
The Bloor St. Culture Corridor, Toronto's most diverse arts and culture district, is a true creative cluster; an arts and culture destination, and a sector-enhancing and community-building collaboration between some of Toronto's most dynamic arts and culture organizations. All 19 of the Bloor St. Culture Corridor partner organizations present arts and cultural events for the public year-round in destination venues - all located in a cluster along a vibrant stretch of Bloor Street West. The Bloor St. Culture Corridor offers the public a wide variety of arts genres, from museum experiences to films, art exhibitions to music concerts, and opportunities to experience some of Toronto's cultural diversity, including French, Jewish, Italian, Japanese, Estonian, and Aboriginal arts and culture. Each year more than three million members of the public go to Bloor St. Culture Corridor arts and culture destinations, and attend exhibitions, performances, and events. Together, the Bloor St. Culture Corridor organizations generate more than $629,500,000 in economic impact each year.
Bloor St. Culture Corridor partner destinations include:
Alliance Française de Toronto: 24 Spadina Road www.alliance-francaise.ca
Bata Shoe Museum: 327 Bloor Street West www.batashoemuseum.ca
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema: 506 Bloor Street West www.bloorcinema.com
Gardiner Museum: 111 Queen's Park www.gardinermuseum.com
Istituto Italiano di Cultura: 496 Huron Street www.iictoronto.esteri.it
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre: 750 Spadina Ave. www.mnjcc.org
Native Canadian Centre of Toronto: 16 Spadina Road www.ncct.on.ca
Royal Ontario Museum (ROM): 100 Queen's Park (Entrance on Bloor Street W.) www.rom.on.ca
The Royal Conservatory of Music / Koerner Hall: 273 Bloor Street West www.performance.rcmusic.ca
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Chamber Choir: 427 Bloor Street West www.tafelmusik.org
Talisker Players: 427 Bloor Street West www.taliskerplayers.ca
The Toronto Consort: 427 Bloor Street West www.torontoconsort.org
University of Toronto Faculty of Music: 80 Queen's Park www.music.utoronto.ca
Bloor St. Culture Corridor associates include:
918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media + Education: 918 Bathurst St. www.918bathurst.com
The Japan Foundation, Toronto: 131 Bloor Street West www.jftor.org
Museum of Estonians Abroad/VEMU: 310 Bloor Street West www.vemu.ca
The Randolph Centre for the Arts: 736 Bathurst St. www.randolphcentreforthearts.com
Soundstreams: various venues on the Bloor St. Culture Corridor www.soundstreams.ca
Toronto Reference Library: 789 Yonge Street www.torontopubliclibrary.ca