WHAT’S ON IN TORONTO – JUNE/2017 (CLICK ON WEBSITES FOR MORE INFORMATION & TICKETS)

<An up-to-date listing of what’s on in North America’s 4th largest city, and where to find it>

MUSIC, MUSICALS & DANCE
– June 21 – Queer Songbook Orchestra and guests, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street, 8pm, http://www.buddiesinbadtimes.com
– June 21-24 – Morro & Jasp in Stupefaction, the clown sisters, Streetcar Crowsnest Theatre, 345 Carlaw Avenue, http://www.crowstheatre.com
– June 21-25 – Indigenous Arts Festival, Fort York, 250 Fort York Boulevard, http://www.fortyork.ca & http://www.toronto.ca/canada150
– June 21-25 – Swan Lake, National Ballet of Canada, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen Street West, http://www.national.ballet.ca
– June 21-25 – Show Stopper: The Improvished Musical, each show created on-the-spot by the Showstoppers, Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge Street, http://www.mirvish.com
– June 21-25 – Strictly Ballroom: The Musical, by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pierce, Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King Street West, http://www.mirvish.com
– June 22,23,24 – ‘Until The Lions’, award-winning choreographer Akram Khan fuses Kathak and contemporary dance, Canadian Opera Company’s Tannenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front St. East, http://www.luminato.com
– June 22,23 (Mattamy Centre Toronto) & 24,25 (Don Montgomery Arena, Scarborough), Vertical Influences, Montreal’s Le Patin Libre, contemporary dance on ice, http://www.luminato.com
– June 23 – Jenn Grant & The Wooden Sky, Massey Hall, 178 Victoria Street, http://www.masseyhall.com
– June 23-25 – Breakin’ Convention, a Sadler’s Wells Project, world’s biggest festival of hip hop dance theatre, details at http://www.breakinconvention.com/toronto
– June 23-25 – NXNE Music Festival, Port Lands, 51 Commissioners Street, http://www.NXNE.com
– June 25 – Choir! Choir! Choir!, Neil Young’s Classic ‘Lotta Love’, The Concert Hall, 88 Yonge Street, 8pm, http://www.torontojazz.com
– June 25 – The Pride Parade, end of LGBTQ Month, Yonge Street, 2pm, http://www.pridetoronto.com
– June 27 – Mavis Staples, Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West, 8pm, http://www.torontojazz.com
– June 27 – September 3 – ‘Beautiful – the Carole King Musical’, Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria Street, http://www.mirvish.com
July 1 – Aretha Franklin, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front Street East, 9pm, http://www.torontojazz.com
– Ongoing – Guys and Dolls, Stratford Festival Theatre, Stratford, http://www.stratfordfesival.ca
– Ongoing – Me And My Girl, Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, http://www.shawfest.com
– Ongoing – Friday Night Jazz at the Aquarium, second Friday of every month, included with general admission, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Rd, http://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada

COMEDY, THEATRE & SPOKEN WORD
– June 21 & ongoing – Confederation and Riel, Video Cabaret’s Michael Hollingsworth, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– June 23 ongoing – Scandal and Rebellion, Confederation Part II, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– Ongoing – The Madness of George III, Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, http://www.shawfest.com
– July 1 & ongoing – Billy Bishop Goes To War, a Canadian classic, with Eric Peterson, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– Ongoing – Everything Is Great Again, American politics, Second City, 51 Mercer Street, http://www.secondcity.com
– Ongoing – Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, excellent theatre, beautiful town, 80 miles southeast of Toronto, for schedule http://www.shawfest.com
– Ongoing – Stratford Festival, 90 miles west of Toronto, excellent theatre, beautiful city, for schedule http://www.stratfordfestival.ca

MUSEUMS & PUBLIC ART GALLERIES
– Until June 25 – Kind Words Can Never Die: Victorian Needlework, Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Street, http://www.textilemuseum.ca
– Until June 28 – Road of Light and Hope, Todai-ji Temple, Nara, photographs by Miro Ito, Japan Foundation, 2 Bloor St. East, 3rd floor, Hudson Bay Centre, for times go to http://www.jftor.org
– Until July 15 – It’s All Happening So Fast, a counter-history of the modern Canadian environment, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, organized by the Cdn. Centre of Photography, http://artmuseum.utoronto.ca/
– Until July 30 – Georgia O’Keeffe, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.net
– Until August 13 – Suzy Lake, Scotiabank Photography Award winner, Ryerson Image Centre, 33 Gould Street, free admission, http://www.ryerson.ca/ric
– Until August 28 – Chromatic Geography: Natural Dyes (Textiles), Craft Ontario Gallery, 990 Queen Street West, http://www.craftontario.com
– Until October 2017 – Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels, Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor Street West, http://www.batashoemuseum.ca
– Ongoing – Syria: A Living History, exhibition, symposium, lectures, performances, Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, Don Mills, http://www.agakhanmuseum,org
– Ongoing – ‘Out of the Depths, The Blue Whale Story’, from the deep a giant emerges, Royal Ontario Museum, tickets at http://www.rom.ca
– Ongoing – The Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 216 Main Street in historic Unionville/Markham, http://www.varleygallery.ca
– Ongoing – Art Gallery of Mississauga, 300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga, http://www.artgalleryofmississauga.com
– Ongoing – Group of Seven Guitar Project, 7 renowned guitar makers, inspired by 7 iconic artists, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 10,365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, http://www.mcmichael.com
– Ongoing – Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial Exhibit, Hockey Hall of Fame, 30 Yonge Street, http://www.hhof.com
– The Power Plant, Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay West, leading public gallery devoted to contemporary visual art, http://www.thepowerplant.org
– Ongoing – Black Creek Pioneer Village, the way life used to be, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, 416-736-1733, http://www.blackcreek.ca

COMMERCIAL ART GALLERIES
– Until June 29 – Rita Letendre, ‘Vitality’, Rumi Galleries, 120 Kerr Street, Oakville, Ontario, http://www.rumigalleries.com
– Until June 30 – Thaddeus Holownia, photography, Corkin Gallery, 7 Tank House, Distillery District, http://www.corkingallery.com
– Until July 31 – Director’s Choice, group show, Christopher Cutts Gallery, 21 Morrow Avenue, http://www.cuttsgallery.com
– Until August 17 – That’s So Gay + 10×10 Photography Project group shows, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, http://www.gladstonehotel.com
– Until August 26 – Mark Jenkins and David Spriggs, Arsenal Gallery, 45 Ernest Avenue

GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bi, transgendered, queer, etc.)
Until June 25 – Queer Pride Festival, queer comedy, cabaret, art, music, parties, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street, http://www.buddiesinbadtimes.com/pride
– Until June 30 – 2nd annual Pride Month in Toronto, http://www.pridetoronto.com/pride-month/
– Ongoing – Rainbow Railroad, a charity which helps individuals in countries where being LGBTQ is an invite to violence, imprisonment or death, http://www.rainbowrailroad.ca
– Ongoing – ProudFM 103.9, Toronto’s LGBTQ radio station, http://www.proudfm.com
– Ongoing – Legit, second Thursday of every month, legal counsel for same-sex couples immigrating to Canada, 519 Community Centre, 519 Church Street, http://www.legit.ca
– Ongoing – Get Out! Running Group, every Sunday, people of all ages and experience levels, 10-11:30am, Fuel Plus 471 Church Street, free, http://www.getoutcanada.com
– Ongoing – Glad Day Bookshop & Cafe, since 1970, oldest LGBTQ bookshop in the Americas, 499 Church Street, licenced, coffee bar, warm welcome, http://www.gladdaybookshop.com
– Ongoing – Out and Out LGBTQ outdoors club, http://www.outandout.ca
– Ongoing – Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps of Toronto (ROTC), colour guard, band, drum corps, baton, dance, http://www.rotctoronto.com
– Ongoing – Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), 115 Simpson Avenue at Howard Street, http://www.mcctoronto.com
– Ongoing – Xtra magazine, gay community news in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, http://www.xtra.ca/toronto.aspx
– Ongoing – The Pink Pages, gay, lesbian, trans, bi, leather, queer directory for Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Hamilton and Niagara/St. Catharines, http://thepinkpagesdirectory.com
Ongoing – (CLGA) Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, second largest in the world, research centre, art gallery, 34 Isabella Street, http://www.clga.ca

THE MOVIES AND OTHER STUFF
– Ongoing – TAPto free walking tours by Toronto Greeters, book online at http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=e14d3a2f287c1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
– Until June 30 – Bike Month, pedal power, several venues including TIFF Bell Lightbox, http://www.bikemonth.ca/toronto
Until December 31 – To Canada With Love, Toronto’s cultural events celebrating the country’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, various venues, http://www.toronto.ca/canada150
Ongoing – Free Arts in the Parks, concerts, films and arts of all kinds, for full events listings and details go to http://www.artsintheparksto.org
– Mount Pleasant Cinema, 675 Mount Pleasant Road, big screen, 2nd run features, some European films, etc., https://www.cinemaclock.com/ont/toronto/theatres/mount-pleasant
– Carlton Cinemas, 9 screens, fully licensed, $5 Tuesdays, 20 Carlton Street, http://www.rainbowcinemas.ca
– Market Square Cinemas, 80 Front Street East, several screens, https://imaginecinemas.com/cinema/market-square/
– Regent Cinema, 551 Mount Pleasant Road, 2nd run features, big screen, https://www.cinemaclock.com/ont/toronto/theatres/regent
– TIFF Bell Lightbox, 5 cinemas, movies that don’t play in the multiplex, for times and schedule go to http://www.tiff.net/whats-on
– Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, specializing in documentaries and films seldom shown in the multiplex, 506 Bloor Street West, http://www.bloorcinema.com
– Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, neighbourhood cinema, second-run, docmentary & foreign features, http://www.revuecinema.ca
– Royal Cinema, documentaries, festivals, foreign, second-run features, 608 College Street, http://www.theroyal.to
– Ontario Science Center Omnimax,770 Don Mills Road, https://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/imax
– Scotiabank Toronto Imax, 259 Richmond Street West, http://www.imax.com/theatres/scotiabank-toronto-imax
– Ongoing – ride the ferry to Ward’s Island & have lunch at the Rectory Cafe (only open restaurant on the Islands), 101 Lakeshore Avenue, 416-203-2152, http://www.therectorycafe.com
– Ongoing – Edgewalk, CN Tower, walk around the edge of our tallest free-standing structure, http://www.edgewalkcntower.ca
– Ongoing – Sunday Antique Market, free, Jarvis Street south of King
Ongoing – Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Boulevard, at the bottom of the CN Tower, http://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada

TORONTO SAVVY is now on the UK-based website ‘Walked Thru’ – http://www.walkedthru.com

We’re all in this together could be the theme behind a new public campaign created by the City of TORONTO and the Black Coalition of AIDS Prevention. The campaign features four racialized transgender and non-binary residents of the city. It will be displayed at transit stations and on social media.

The TORONTO For All campaign comes on the heels of new federal legislation for transgender Canadians. On June 15, senators voted overwhelmingly to support Bill C-16, which makes it illegal to discriminate based on gender identity or expression.

Magazine cover of the week: ‘The Swamp Hotel’ – how Trump’s Washington DC outpost became a dealmakers paradise for diplomats, lobbyists and insiders.

The groundbreaking has taken place for a huge project at the foot of Bay Street in the Southcore Financial District. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is behind a public-private development that will include two office towers, a bus terminal and a one-acre park built over the railway tracks. The complex will be named CIBC Square.

Mayor JOHN TORY at the groundbreaking ceremony said “I love the towers. I love the transit connections. I love the jobs, but I’m particularly interested in the park. This park is going to prove that technologically we know it can be done, it’s been done in many other cities,” he said. “I’ll be looking at it as a bit of a test bed but also as an example to people.”

TORONTO will have its own Indigenous radio station within 10 months after CRTC approval on Wednesday. The First Peoples Radio license is one of five granted across the country – in Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Vancouver and here in TORONTO.  This city is home to nearly 80,000 Aboriginal people.

The new station’s assigned frequency is 106.5 FM.

Ontario premier KATHLEEN WYNNE has welcomed an expansion from Amazon Canada. Headquartered in TORONTO the Canadian branch will be hiring an additional 200 highly skilled individuals to join an already employed 600 on five floors in the Southcore Financial District.

90% of the jobs at Amazon Canada will be technical positions. The office will work on some of Amazon’s highest-priority development projects , including Amazon Fulfillment Technologies, the voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant Alexa, and Amazon Web Services.

A short vacation starts today.  Back near the end of June.

FIRST IT WAS A YIDDISH THEATRE, THEN THE VICTORY BURLESQUE, NOW A BANK & SOON A PHARMACY

This yellow brick building on Dundas Street West at Spadina Avenue opened its doors in 1922 as The Standard Theatre. Designed by architect Benjamin Brown, it was home to Yiddish comedy, original Jewish and translated plays, music, and left-wing politics. It went on to become The Strand, a movie house, and from there the Victory Burlesque. These days it’s a bank, and will soon be home to a 7,000 square-foot Rexall Pharmacy Plus.

In 1961, as the Victory, it was one of three burlesque theatres in town, but by the mid-sixties the other two had disappeared. Ryerson and University of Toronto students became its most loyal fans.

Occasionally The Victory doubled as a music venue. The New York Dolls, Kiss, Iggy Pop and Rush all played there. Once TORONTO’s educational television station did a live New Year’s Eve telecast from the theatre.

Now plans are for a pharmacy at street level, and hope is a community-based space of some kind will appear on the upper levels.

TORONTO SHORT STORIES – JUNE 5-19/2017

Mayor JOHN TORY welcomed ROSS, an artificial intelligence company, headquartered in San Francisco to TORONTO. The company uses computers to do research for lawyers by sifting through thousands of legal documents looking for key information.

ROSS intelligence co-founder and University of Toronto graduate, ANDREW ARUDA, saysopening a research and development centre here a “no brainer.” calling the city “the hub of artificial intelligence development. TORONTO is where we always knew we had to be.” The Centre will be called ROSS North. <PHOTO – CBC>

TORONTO’s movie, animation & television production business continues to boom – from $1.13-billion in 2011 to $2.01-billion in 2016.  The outlook for 2017 is more of the same.

To help celebrate Pride Month/2017, Toronto Public Library has gathered recent and notable LGBTQ books for adults, teens the children.

http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/books-video-music/books/booklists/booklist.jsp?listTitle=LGBTQ&listId=0AuWq260_K8h2dDJLaUw3QlpvLXozSk9zNkYtS2NmaWc&sheetId=ob9

TORONTO Mayor JOHN TORY has no problem with medical marijuana dispensaries, and decriminalizing smokers of small amounts of pot. “That’s something that should have been done years ago.” But he’s not keen on neighbourhood rogue pop-up pot shops.

“The federal government has said nothing about having some wide network of shops on every street corner to sell marijuana,” he said. “They’re in stable neighbourhoods and cause disruptions to families and to other retailers.”

“If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” With that in mind RYERSON University’s DMZ Startup Incubator has opened an outpost in New York City’s financial district. In the past, Canadian startups have moved to the US, but with this free space in Manhattan they can tap the American market while keeping their headquarters in Canada.

DMZ executive director Abdullah Snobar said “Our play here is not to get talent to leave the country; it’s to grow talent internationally.”

“The sizzling real estate market may be cooling, but not so for high-end houses in TORONTO. A foreign buyers tax hasn’t slowed them down at all. Buyers of luxury real estate have a deeper understanding of the long-term value in the market, or they simply don’t have to look at the price as carefully, say realtors specializing in high-end properties.” – Tess Kalinowski, Sunday Star

PETRINA BROMLEY & ROMANO DINILLO, the two Newfoundlanders in the cast of ‘Come From Away’ couldn’t contain themselves when their show won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical.

Director CHRISTOPHER ASHLEY accepted the Tony and dedicated it to the people of Newfoundland. – The Telegram, St. John’s, Nfld. & Labrador

TORONTO artist Janet Romero has unveiled her wood-paneled mural to commemorate those who died in ORLANDO’s Pulse nightclub shooting one year ago. 49 people lost their lives when a gunman opened fire inside the Florida club – the worst mass shooting in US history.

The mural features four faces as well as natural motifs like cacti and birds. Romero wanted to simultaneously honour the Hispanic victims of the Pulse massacre as well as other groups within the LGBTQ community targeted in violent hate crimes. Her piece – at the 519 Community Centre – is entitled Still Estmaos Aqui – Spanish for “we are still here”.

Just a couple of regular guys kickin’ back at Joe Beef – Liverpool House in MONTREAL’s Little Burgundy – President Barack Obama & Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, June 13/2017

Billboards galore – Yonge Street looking south from Gould

TORONTO’S DESIGN EXCHANGE IS HOUSED IN THE OLD TSX STOCK EXCHANGE BLDG., 234 BAY STREET

Opened in 1994, The Design Exchange – or DX – is a non-profit library, archive, art gallery, museum and resource centre in TORONTO’s Financial District.  Formerly the TSX Stock Exchange, the DX building stores the permanent collection of Canadian Industrial Design, the Clairtone, Fred Moffat and Thomas Lamb Archives . . . and designer’s galleries open to the public.

Intact on the second floor, is the deco Trading Floor of the Old Stock Exchange, with its famous clock and spectacular murals by Charles Comfort (1900-1994), who also created the frieze on the building’s facade.

 The Design Exchange mounts regular exhibitions in the ground floor galleries. Some are free.  PHOTOS – Trading floor in colour, Miles Storey/torontoist; clock and “Gold” mural detail, http://www.seemsartless.com

<PHOTO – the Trading Floor when this was the TORONTO Stock Exchange>

Subway stop: KING, and walk to Bay, then south one block.

KLEINBURG ISN’T QUITE WHAT IT USED TO BE – BUT THERE ARE STILL SOME REMNANTS OF THE PAST

<Group of Seven painter A.J. Casson’s depiction of the Kleinburg General Store.>

VAUGHAN, the sprawling mass north of TORONTO, is trying hard to become a city. Within the sprawl are a number of small villages and towns, one of which is KLEINBURG. Home to the superb McMichael Canadian Art Collection which focuses on the famed Group of Seven painters, the historic village has a population of roughly 1,000.

Much of the old town is gone or gentrified, but there are still some traces of the past. KLEINBURG is a popular spot for weddings, art aficionados, and visitors to the nearby Kortright Centre for Conservation and the Humber River Trails.

<KLEINBURG’s McMichael Canadian Collection is one of Canada’s finest art galleries.>

Developers and gentrifiers are updating the village streetscapes.  Bungalows are at the gates.