Serving Toronto's most liveable community with the Annex Gleaner

ARTS: Openings and anniversaries (October 2018)

October 16th, 2018 · No Comments

Celebrate 100 years of Estonian independence

By Heather Kelly

It’s the time of year when arts organizations launch new concert seasons, new exhibitions, and new film and talk series. Arts and language classes start again, too.  Not only are there enriching and fun arts events coming up all across the Bloor St. Culture Corridor, but some of our cultural organizations are also celebrating momentous anniversaries.

From 10 to 100, arts organizations in the Annex are marking milestone anniversaries. The University of Toronto Faculty of Music is celebrating its 100th anniversary and the Museum of Estonians Abroad/ VEMU is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Estonia’s independence.

The University of Toronto Faculty of Music kicks off its 100th anniversary with Handel’s Dixit Dominus  on September 30. Canadian music legend Phil Nimmons teams up with JUNO Award-winning pianist and composer David Braid for an evening of improvisation and reflection on almost a century of music making on October 1, hosted by jazz vocalist Heather Bambrick.

On October 10, Jeanne Lamon and David Breitman present an all-Mozart program of Sonatas for Fortepiano and Violin. On October 15, America’s foremost baritone Thomas Hampson presents a free, public master class in Walter Hall. The Faculty of Music’s free concert series Thursdays at Noon continues the centenary celebrations with pianist Younggun Kim performing The Music of Walter Buczynski on October 11, Music and Poetry on October 18, and more.

Also celebrating a centenary, the Museum of Estonians Abroad/VEMU is celebrating Estonia 100. A new photo exhibition “Estonia Through 100 Pairs of Eyes” dedicated to Estonia 100 opens on September 22. The exhibition is 100 portraits of 100 Estonians aged from 1 to 100, a visual memory spanning 100 years, created by Kaire van der Toorn-Guthan and Toomas Volkmann. Each beautiful black-and-white portrait depicts an Estonian born in a different year during Estonia’s hundred years, accompanied by an insight into the person’s story.

The Toronto Consort’s season, The Colours of Early Music, kicks off in the musical world of one of Italy’s most celebrated early Baroque luminaries, Girolamo Frescobaldi, and his contemporaries Palestrina, Landi, and Caroso. This is a multi-media event, so the music will be enhanced with images of Rome’s glittering treasures. Frescobaldi & The Glories of Rome takes place October 19 and 20 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre.

Opening October 11, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura presents Guido Guidi – A New Map of Italy, an exhibition of more than 50 works from the collection of the Canadian Centre for Architecture of Montreal. Guidi focuses on spontaneous suburban architecture, on harsh secondary roads, on piles of garbage, on spray-painted walls, abandoned depots and construction sites to form a complex and stratified portrait of the contemporary landscape. Admission is free.

The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto’s first Big Drum Social of the season, “Waabaabaga Giizis” on September 20 at 6:30 p.m., will be a special night of teaching, dancing, and singing, with door prizes, a community craft table, and more.

The Music Gallery’s marquee event is the X Avant New Music Festival from October 11 to 14. The theme of the festival, which is curated by Bear Witness (from A Tribe Called Red), is “The Halluci Nation”, promoting inclusivity, empathy, and acceptance amongst all races and genders in the name of social justice.

The Six Pianos musical spectacle opens Soundstreams’ 36th season at Koerner Hall on October 12. The contemporary repertoire for multiple pianos is exemplified by Steve Reich’s seminal work, and includes a world premiere for multiple pianos from Canadian composer André Ristic. The performance features a who’s who of pianists/percussionists, including Russell Hartenberger, Greg Oh, Jamie Parker, Stephanie Chua, Ryan Scott, and Midori Koga.

Hot Docs’ Curious Minds Speaker Series kicks off with The CanLit Boom: 1950s – 1970s on Wednesdays from September 26 to November 7. Other talks include Joni Mitchell: Words and Music on Mondays, and Around the World with Art Nouveau. And Hot Docs opens its Doc Soup season October 3 and 4 with the extraordinary film, The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, followed by an extended Q&A.

The Gardiner Museum’s chief curator, Sequoia Miller, will lead a talk on conceptual ceramics, kicking off the first Gardiner Signature Lecture of the fall season, on September 25. And the Japan Foundation opens its new gallery exhibition, Noriko Maeda Foundations, on October 16, showcasing Japanese Contemporary Calligraphy.

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