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ARTS (AUGUST 2017): Prepare for a season of festivals and events

September 13th, 2017 · No Comments

September marks the start of performance season and arts classes

PICTURE COURTESY HEATHER KELLY: The Royal Conservatory’s red piano at Open Streets TO.

By Heather Kelly

Concert season begins!

Fanfares herald Tafelmusik’s 2017-18 concert season and new Music Director Elisa Citterio, who makes her debut directing A Joyous Welcome at Koerner Hall, September 21 to 24. Vivaldi’s Summer, the first in a complete cycle of his The Four Seasons being performed this year, will showcase Tafelmusik’s dynamic new leader. The University of Toronto Faculty of Music starts its concert season September 7 with percussionist Berndt Thurner in a free noon recital and Q&A at Walter Hall. On September 10, the faculty hosts Mysterious Barricades, a free noon concert in honour of World Suicide Prevention Day with Russell Braun, Judy Loman, and more. The Gryphon Trio and clarinetist James Campbell kick off Thursdays at Noon free concerts on September 14, and on September 21 the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Winona Zelenka and the Gryphon Trio’s James Parker perform Bach’s Three Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord. The Miles Nadal JCC presents folk duo Dwight & Sue in a daytime concert honouring Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan on September 14, and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura presents the Vesuvius Ensemble on September 18. The Royal Conservatory’s 2017-18 season begins with a free concert by Ensemble Made in Canada with Scott St. John on October 1 as part of the Bloor St. Culture Corridor hub of Culture Days.

Culture Days

Celebrate Culture Days, the annual weekend of free arts and culture, at the special Bloor St. Culture Corridor hub, Friday, September 29, through Sunday, October 1. The Gardiner Museum will be free all weekend. On Saturday, September 30, the Bata Shoe Museum is free 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. with three special art installations and all galleries open as part of Culture Days and Nuit Blanche. Saturday only, Alliance Française presents an exhibition about the Allied Landing in Provence. On Sunday, October 1, the University of Toronto Faculty of Music’s Bass Day includes a world-record attempt for the most bassists ever to play “The Elephant” from Carnival of the Animals and a fun Bass Petting Zoo for the whole family. Also on October 1, the Royal Conservatory presents a free concert by Ensemble Made in Canada with Scott St. John, and the Museum of Estonians Abroad brings Estonian fashion design to Canada with pop-up stores and a fashion show.

Open Streets

At Open Streets TO on Sunday, September 17, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can dance in the streets as you listen to the University of Toronto Jazz Street Band, or play the Royal Conservatory’s famous red piano in the middle of the road. There will also be folk music, arts and crafts, buskers, and more at the activity hub located at Bloor and Spadina.

Arts & Culture Talks

The Istituto Italiano di Cultura presents Italian-Canadian writers of Calabrese origins with hosts Francesco Loriggio and Damiano Pietropaolo on September 13. On September 8, the Istituto presents Extra Virgin Olive Oil lecture and tasting, and on September 15, a talk and tasting of Italian bread. Alliance Française presents French lectures Louis Riel and language rights in Court with Gérard Lévesque on September 13, Scandal and the peripatetic with Chantal Pontbriand September 20, and English lectures Bill Davis, the life of an Extraordinary Premier with Steve Paikin September 27, and Film memories of the Great War with Brian Jacobson September 28.

The ROM launches ROM Speaks Tuesday, September 19, with author Drew Hayden Taylor Spreading the Gospel of Native Literature. Then, The Next Fire Fight: Transitioning Out of Uniform features the inspiring story of decorated Lt.-Col. David Quick on September 26. The Museum of Estonians Abroad celebrates Tartu College’s 47th anniversary on Saturday, September 23, with a lecture by Estonian Academy of Arts Prof. Mart Kalm (in Estonian). The Gardiner Signature Lecture Series returns September 27, with Chief Curator Meredith Chilton bringing to life Lord Milton’s 1862 cross-Canada odyssey and the Minton bone china commissioned to commemorate the journey. Learn about Canadian cartoonists Josh Silburt and Gary Clement at The Power of Political Cartoons with Ralph Wintrob September 28 at the Miles Nadal JCC, in conjunction with their exhibition A Colourful Life.

Get Creative at Hands-On Classes

The Royal Conservatory School’s music courses for adults and children start on September 9 and their free Band Day on Sunday, September 10, offers people a chance to try instruments and meet instructors. The Bata Shoe Museum offers moccasin-making workshops and new evenings of sketching in the museum after it closes on Friday, September 29. At the Gardiner Museum, choose from hand building, wheel throwing, at drop-in classes every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, or discover the meditative qualities of clay in the new six-week workshop Reclaim This Moment: Finding Your Centre Through Clay.

Heather Kelly is the founder and director of the Bloor St. Culture Corridor. Her column focuses on arts and culture events from the district. More information about events and locations can be found at

Tags: Annex · Arts