NOW Magazine - 2021-06-10


Worth a click



Pride Month — Yes, Pride is once again online. The 40th anniversary celebration will culminate with Canada’s reigning drag superstar Priyanka hosting the Parade, which also features performances by Allie X and iskwē. But after scrambling last year to go virtual organizers have the digital thing down, so there are 70 events spread over the month, from virtual dance parties by Yes Yes Y’All, Blockorama and Alternaqueer, to Dyke Pride and Trans Pride, and trivia nights, human rights panels and IRL art installations. ß To June 27. Various times. Read our top Pride Month event picks at What Is: Soul — The Music Gallery’s new series is also the first curation by new artistic director Sanjeet Takhar. It’s described as a “multi-part workshop, talk and performance series focusing on the embodied, transcendent, dreaming parts of music that exist beyond genre.” There are five different events that cover everything from putting soul into computer music, the art of the record store with Play De Record and singing on the toilet. ß To June 12. Free. Around The World in 80 Plays — Soulpepper’s series of eight audio dramas concludes with a production of Wole Soyinka’s Death And The King’s Horseman, directed by Tawiah M’Carthy. ß Premieres June 9 and runs to June 30, along with the other seven plays. Pay what you can. Horseshoe Hootenanny — The Horseshoe Tavern launched its first ever livestreams during this pandemic, but it’s been a frustrating time of scheduling and postponing while provincial regulations have waffled. Now it seems like the reopening is really happening and suddenly there’s a glut of virtual shows this summer. Check out their schedule for show dates by Hawksley Workman, the Trews, Birds of Bellwoods, UIC, comedian Shaun Majumder, Terra Lightfoot playing T. Rex and more. ß June 12-September 18. Various prices. Global Toronto — Small World Music’s showcase and conference is online for the second straight year, and it’s one of the more thoughtful virtual events of its kind that you’ll find. There are panels on subjects like anti-racism, how capitalism has failed the music industry, the role of music in protest and accessibility. They’re available to watch online in advance so you can discuss them with others during the festival itself. And the lineup of virtual performances is one of the most diverse you’ll find: AfrotroniX, the Commotions, Moneka Arabic Jazz, Pantayo, Turkwax and more. ß June 14-18. PWYC, $75 suggested. CHILD-ish — Sunny Drake’s four-episode web series created from the words of actual children (an earlier version premiered at SummerWorks) launches with a free virtual event. ß June 22 at 7 pm. Free. You Can’t Get There From Here — Factory Theatre’s excellent series of eight audio dramas inspired by Toronto neighbourhoods or landmarks – and written by Anusree Roy, Matthew MacKenzie, Yvette Nolan, Keith Barker and Luke Reece – continues to stream live on various podcast platforms until the fall. ß To September 25. Free. Sāvitri — Against the Grain Theatre presents a 40-minute film of Gustav Holst’s outdoor chamber opera based on the Indian legend about a princess who falls in love and marries an exiled, doomed prince. ß Premieres June 23 at 7:15 pm, with pre-show discussion with artists; thereafter available on demand until July 11. By donation. Daniel Avery: Together In Static — The UK techno producer’s moody and meditative joint album Illusion Of Time with synth master Alessandro Cortini of Nine Inch Nails was perfectly timed for anyone needing to zone out when the first lockdown hit. During the second and third, Avery set about recording new music to play at intimate, COVID-safe live gigs, but those sessions evolved into a new album and global livestream at the East London church that inspired it all. The affordably priced show was directed by Tom Andrew and Sam Davis, so dim the lights and get ready for a visual trip. ß June 23, 8 pm. $8. Ace of Wands — Toronto psych-rockers Ace of Wands are putting out their new Vibrations/Rid Of Me (yes, that’s a PJ Harvey cover) single with a Wavelengthpresented virtual variety show. The band tells NOW the theme is “creativity in isolation” and to expect VHS/public access vibes, found footage and interviews and performances with artists Robin Hatch and Zinnia. It’s directed by Sam Scott, who recently did a concert film/documentary for the band Beams, so expect this to go a step beyond your usual livestream concert. ß June 29 at 8 pm. Free. Toronto Outdoor Art Fair — The 60th annual art fair goes online for a second straight year to showcase works by more than 400 juried artists. The chill summer afternoon vibes of browsing stalls at Nathan Phillips Square will be replaced with online artist-led studio tours, Instagram Live artist chats and virtual panel discussions produced with the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and StreetARToronto. ß July 2-11. Free. Stupidhead! Live Digital Radio Broadcast — Katherine Cullen and Britta Johnson present live-to-air audio performances of their musical about living with dyslexia. (See related story, page 14.) ß July 7 to 16. $15. Venus Fest summer keynote presentations and mentorship program — Toronto’s festival and organization dedicated to women and gender-diverse people in music is launching a new mentorship program. Those chosen will get an honorarium and one-on-one sessions with mentors like Austra’s Katie Stelmanis, Bonjay’s Alanna Stuart and Zaki Ibrahim. There will also be a series of keynote presentations that are free and open to the public: Jully Black on July 14, Ezra Furman on August 4 and iskwē on August 18. Those are all artists whose words you want to hang onto. ß July 14-August 18. Free. Digital Toronto Fringe Festival — The festival of indie theatre and performance presents pre-recorded video, audio and text works for their On-Demand series, with some shows in its Fringe Primetime series offering audiences live and interactive experiences. ß July 21-31. Pass prices available TBC. Toronto Caribbean Carnival — Organizers have yet to announce details of this year’s event but have staged virtual costume presentations to keep the carnival spirit alive as the third wave shut down months of advance preparation. Last year, Carnival reimagined the Grand Parade as a 13-hour-long livestream event featuring DJs and musical acts from around the world. ß Early August, dates TBA. SummerWorks — The performance festival presents a month-long series of works on multiple platforms, with all programming free. ß August 1-31. Free. Björk Okestral — When lockdown first hit, the Icelandic pop innovator announced four acoustic gigs that would stream live from Reykjavík’s Harpa hall and feature more than 100 musicians that had worked on her various studio recordings. Each show would feature a different lineup of players, instrumentation and set list. The idea was to help out-of-work musicians and raise money for a local women’s charity. Of course, the pandemic didn’t let up and Björk’s typically ambitious plans have been rescheduled multiple times. With zero new COVID cases in Iceland lately, it’s looking good the gigs will finally happen. ß August 29, September 5, 12 & 19. 10 pm. £15 (single), £45 (bundle).



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