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Saturday, January 9, 2016

What's happening: January on the Bloor St. Culture Corridor in Toronto

The Bloor St. Culture Corridor, Toronto's most diverse arts and culture district, begins the new year with concerts, classes, exhibitions, and events that are sure to kick off everyone's 2016 with inspiring and enriching arts and culture.
The Talisker Players welcome the new year in style with High Standards, a concert that features the very best of the Big Band era and the golden age of Broadway musicals - songs by Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Frank Loesser and others. These songs have been the soundtrack for the lives of generations of North Americans, and standards for vocal artists of every age.  January 10 at 3:30pm, and January 12 at 8pm.  Tickets and info are available at www.taliskerplayers.ca.
January is an exciting time at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, a.k.a. "The J." The 2016 season of the Toronto Jewish Film Society kicks off with the Swedish WWII drama Simon and the Oaks, featuring guest speaker critic Adam Nayman on January 24. The works of Sheila Thompson are on display at the Resilience exhibition in the gallery January 6-21.
Drop-in daytime lectures include Make 'Em Laugh, a series on legendary Jewish comedians with comedian Jack Newman on January 14 and 21, and Hiding in Plain Sight, an exploration of Jewish life in Hollywood film with critic Kevin Courrier on January 11, 18, and 25. Dance events include Latin Wheel Dance on Sundays starting January 10,  55+ Swing Dance on Tuesdays with Bees Knees starting January 19, and a FREE Beyography dance class with Nicky Nasrallah on January 27 as part of Fitness Month. More information can be found at www.mnjcc.org.
Visit the Royal Ontario Museum to enjoy Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY), featuring 100 stunning images including winning photographs from three Canadian photographers. New in this month is ROM Adult Sleepover: Dinos in the Dark January 15-16. Tickets are $200 for members and $225 for the public. ROM Daytime Lectures this month take place on Thursdays between 11am and 2pm and are free for ROM members and included with general admission. This month's talks include Creating Textile and Fashion Exhibits at the ROM (January 14), and Wild Images (January 28). January's ROM Speaks is a talk called Under the Sea: Celebrating Photography Beneath the Waves with David Doubilet on January 26 at 7pm. Tickets are $18 for ROM members and $20 for the public. ROM Big Weekends: Dinos Rule the ROM takes place January 16-17 with free activities for visitors of all ages. See www.rom.on.ca for details.
The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema invites everyone to travel to Italy for the world's oldest horse race in PALIO (January 16-28).  Ballet dancer Misty Copeland is inspiring in A BALLERINA'S TALE (January 15-28). Social and environmental conflict unfolds in Canada's Pacific Northwest with Hot Docs 2015 films: HADWIN'S JUDGEMENT (January 15) and FRACTURED LAND (January 22-28). The real life of a Hollywood legend is revealed in INGRID BERGMAN: IN HER OWN WORDS (January 8-14). All the favourite docs from 2015 are at the Cinema Eye series including: AMY (January 3-8), MERU (January 10-12), THE WOLFPACK (January 5-9), and more. Please visit www.bloorcinema.com for more information.
The Toronto Reference Library has an exciting schedule of arts and cultural program for the month of January. Original works of art by Maurice Sendak are at the Toronto Reference Library's TD Gallery to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Where the Wild Things Are. The exhibition is on view until January 31. Celebrated chef Gabrielle Hamilton will be at the Appel Salon on January 11, followed by Pulitzer prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout talking about her new book, My Name is Lucy Barton, on January 24. At the end of the month on January 29, is the Black History Month Gala! More information can be found at www.torontopubliclibrary.ca.
The University of Toronto's Faculty of Music is pleased to welcome world-renowned soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan for a musical week of free events, including Show And Share: Living and Surviving as a Singing Artist, an interactive session with the gamUT Contemporary Music Ensemble, opera and chamber music master classes, and a concert with Faculty of Music singers and pianists. On January 25, celebrate Robbie Burns Day at Viva Caledonia! with Alison Melville (baroque flute, recorders), Julia Seager-Scott (baroque harp, larsach) and Margaret Jordan-Gay (baroque cello). The month's free Thursdays at Noon shows feature violist Eric Nowlin and pianist James Parker on January 14; Barbara's master class on January 21; and mezzo soprano Krisztina Szabo, pianist Steven Philcox and speaker Eric Domville performing Xavier Montsalvatage's Cinco Canciones Negras and Luciano Berio's Quattro Canziones Popolari on January 28. The month finishes off with a set of guest lectures by Michael Colgrass, Atom Egoyan and Scott Burnham. More information is at www.music.utoronto.ca
The Japan Foundation, Toronto's Handcrafted Form: Tradition and Techniques exhibition continues through January 12. Starting on January 20, the Japan Foundation and Stuart Jackson Gallery present Legendary Loyalty: The 47 Ronin in Japanese Prints, on display through April 29, 2016. The annual Japanese movie series returns to the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema with The Floating Castle (January 10), Leaving on the 15th Spring and Wood Job! (January 17), and A Story of Yonosuke (January 17). No reservations are required for these free screenings, and all films are subtitled in English. Please visit www.jftor.org for event information.
January concerts at The Royal Conservatory's Koerner Hall include the Maple Blues Awards, the annual all-star concert, awards event, and after party, on January 18. The show will be hosted this year by CBC's Gill Deacon and performers include Colin Linden, David Gogo, Samantha Martin, Harrison Kennedy, Cécile Doo-Kingué, and John Campbelljohn, all backed by The Maple Blues Band. On January 28, violinist Daniel Hope honours his mentor by performing Yehudi Menuhin's signature pieces, including works by Bach, Enescu, Mendelssohn, Walton, Ravel, and Bartók. Lisa Fischer, star of the Oscar-winning documentary film, 20 Feet from Stardom (2013) performs at Koerner Hall on Friday, January 29.Info and tickets are available at www.performance.rcmusic.ca.January is also the perfect time to begin or continue learning an instrument. Learn @ Lunch classes, group classes, ensembles, theory, Music Appreciation courses and the Music Enrichment Program at the Royal Conservatory School are now accepting new registrants to make music in 2016!
The Istituto Italiano di Cultura, on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, (Wednesday, January 27) presents an evening of literature and music at Alliance Française (24 Spadina Road) at 6pm. Michael A. Miranda will read excerpts from Primo Levi's literary work "If This is a Man." Musical intermissions featuring some classic klezmer and Jewish repertoire will be performed by Robbie Grunwald, pianist and Drew Jurecka, violinist. There's still time to visit the exhibition Italy under Construction; Stefano Pujatti, Beniamino Servino: Form Matters before it closes on January 22 at the Istituto Italiano (496 Huron St). Visitors will experience a fictional Italian landscape assembled from the architects built and unbuilt work. On Tuesday, January 19 once again at the Alliance Française (24 Spadina Road) at 6pm, the Istituto presents an evening dedicated to Maria Callas, with the screening of the documentary Maria Callas: Art and Life followed by Act II of Puccini's La Tosca.
The Museum of Estonians Abroad /VEMU presents the exhibition A Touch of Arsenic: Sketching the Past until February 8, 2016. Peeter Põldre will give a lecture From Folk-dancing to the Pan Am Games: Sports Photography January 13 at 7pm, in English. Those Who Dare (Directed by Ólafur Rögnvaldsson, 2015)documentary about Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson, Iceland's former minister of foreign affairs, and his involvement as a spokesman for democracy in Europe during the period of the restoration of the independence of Baltic countries in the early 1990s, will screen January 17 at 4pm. A lecture from the "Life As A Cosmopolitan Estonian" series by Mike Auksi: Ice Hockey in Estonia: A Dream Come True take place January 27 at 7pm in English. Dead Mountaineer´s Hotel (Directed by Grigori Kromanov, Tallinnfilm, 1979), an Estonian sci-fi based on the novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, screens January 31 at 4pm. All events are free of charge. A small donation is appreciated. Visit www.vemu.ca for details.
Alliance Française Toronto is proud to host photographer Zile Liepin's exhibition, No One Says Anything, Everyone Remembers Everything, for one month starting January 13. Children have a special treat in January at the Corpus performance, Camping Royal, on January 17 at 2pm. Free for children, $10 for adults. On January 23, The Roberto Rosenman Quartet introduces the world of traditional gypsy jazz. French singer-songwriter Mathieu Boogaerts will perform an exceptional concert on January 30. $15 for non-members and $10 for members, seniors & students. On January 20 at 7pm Georges Farhat, associate professor at the University of Toronto, will present a lecture titled André Le Nôtre and the French garden in modernity (20th-21st centuries). Every Thursday, Alliance Française Toronto presents a free movie screening at 7:30pm. In January, films include Gemma Bovery, directed by Anne Fontaine, The Wages of Fear directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, The King is Dancing (Le Roi danse) directed by Gérard Corbiau and Saint Laurent directed by Bertrand Bonello. More info is at www.alliance-francaise.ca.
January is the last chance to see the acclaimed exhibition Kent Monkman: The Rise and Fall of Civilization at the Gardiner Museum, on view until January 10, 2016. Praised by the media as "mandatory viewing" and "a cross-fire hurricane of associations and allusions," this large-scale installation by one of Canada's most celebrated artists is not to be missed! From January 5 to 10, works by students from Sheridan College and OCADU created in collaboration with First Nations artists Joanna Bigfeather and Jim Rivera are on view in the lobby. The Gardiner's renowned permanent collection of ceramic art is also on display, including the newly renovated European Porcelain Gallery, which features a show-stopping recreated eighteenth-century dessert table. Enjoy half-price admission on Friday evenings when the Museum is open until 9 pm, or bring the family on Sundays 11am-4pm for a hands-on clay workshop in the lobby included with admission. Visit www.gardinermuseum.com for more information.
Tafelmusik starts the new year with a bang! Participants of Tafelmusik's Winter Institute will perform German baroque selections in a pay-what-you-can concert on January 9 at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre. On January 16, cast your vote for the Audience Choice Award at Tafelmusik's Inaugural Vocal Competition. Enjoy performances from 9 emerging artists, as they enter into the final round of judging for the competition, in front of a live audience. The winners will be awarded a chance to perform with the Tafelmusik Orchestra this spring. Free concert, no tickets required. Romanian violinist Mira Glodeanu makes her Tafelmusik debut as guest director and soloist in Vivaldi L'estro Armonico (January 20-24 at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall), which features Vivaldi's groundbreaking concertos, as well as other works inspired by his music. For more details, visit www.tafelmusik.org.
The Toronto Consort and The Royal Conservatory of Music invite everyone to learn about the music and instruments of the medieval, renaissance and early baroque periods with Toronto Consort ensemble member Katherine Hill and guests, Monday, January 4, 5:30pm-7:30pm. This early music open house is free at The Royal Conservatory of Music. Meet artists, take in the presentations, and learn about the upcoming Music Appreciation Course "Musical Wanderers, 1000-1450" with Katherine Hill which runs January 12 to February 2, on Tuesdays 10am-Noon. Details are at www.rcmusic.ca  and www.TorontoConsort.org

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.

Twitter: @bloorstculture

The Bloor St. Culture Corridor mobile app is free to download 

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

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