Serving Toronto's most liveable community with the Annex Gleaner

ARTS: Spring fever brings corridor to life (Spring 2019)

April 23rd, 2019 · No Comments

Annex cultural communities bring their best to the table

By Meribeth Deen

The Bloor St. Arts Corridor offers some of the richest and most diverse cultural opportunities anywhere in Toronto, all within a subway-accessible 1.5 kilometre strip. Each year, more than three million members of the public go to Bloor St. Culture Corridor exhibitions, performances, and events. Each month, the Bloor St. Arts Corridor offers readers of the Annex Gleaner a taste of what we’ve got to offer in upcoming events. This spring brings a plethora of offerings, so get out and make the most of your neighbourhood.


The sounds of the 1930s are bound to get spring swinging in the Arts Corridor, starting at the Bata Shoe Museum on April 10. The museum is welcoming students from some of the city’s most prestigious music programs to play works from the 1930s. This free event (if you register, by emailing or calling 416-979-7799) will provide the perfect mental soundtrack for your viewing of the exhibition Want: Desire, Design and Depression Era Footwear. You may want to continue enjoying the spirit of the age by hopping over to the the Alliance Française for the film Django, on April 11. This film serves as a warm up to the Stephen Wremble Band’s April 13 concert, performing The Django Experiment, celebrating the 109th anniversary of Django Reinhardt’s birth.

On the weekend of April 12, step out onto your experimental edge at the Music Gallery. In co-operation with Arraymusic and Native Women in the Arts, the Music Gallery is hosting the Raven Chacon Mini-Festival. Born on the land of the Navajo Nation, Raven Chacon is acclaimed as a composer of chamber music, performer of experimental noise music, and as an installation artist. The festival will feature the world premiere of For Zitkála-Šá,  dedicated to the first American Indian librettist with the Array Ensemble (Allison Cameron, Nicole Rampersaud, and Germaine Liu) and others. Go to for more information.

If you want to keep mixing up musical melodies, head to the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall on April 14 to experience DakhaBrakha’s “ethnic chaos”. DakhaBrakha was created at the Kyiv Center of Contemporary Art by avant-garde theatre director Vladyslav Troitskyi. Accompanied by Indian, Arabic, African, Russian, and Australian traditional instrumentation, the quartet’s astonishingly powerful and uncompromising vocal range creates a trans-national sound rooted in Ukrainian culture.


Hungry for the taste of spring? Be sure to make your way to the Japan Foundation for a free screening of the Hunt for Matsutake, on April 4. This documentary features the Japanese-Canadian history of Matsutake hunting. The mushrooms are prized for their distinctly spicy and aromatic flavour in Japanese cuisine, and can only be found in the wild.

Speaking of mushrooms, try pairing them with vodka on April 12 at the Museum of Estonians Abroad. Estonia has a long history of producing and enjoying vodka. Sada ja seened (100g with mushrooms) refers to the tradition of having a bite of salted mushrooms or mushroom salad with 100g of vodka. At this event led by Paul Lillakas and vodka specialist Wes Galloway, participants will have a chance to taste different vodkas and learn how to make tasty bites to go along with them. Tickets: $35/$20 (students). 19+ event. Please register by April 8 to 

If you’re still craving a story with flavour, put April 16 in your calendar. Hot Docs is featuring the world premiere of Red Chef Revival, a docu-series showcasing the work of three indigenous chefs from across Canada who bring traditional ingredients to the modern table.  The premiere includes dinner, a cocktail, and a post-film Q&A, all for under $50.


Ever wonder What happened to Yiddish Theatre in Toronto? Well head to the Miles Nadal JCC to find out on April 4 at 1 pm. Ralph Wintrop, founding member and chair of the Jewish Theatre Committee of Toronto, will be offering this entertaining presentation which includes dramatic readings from plays that once graced local stages. 

To zoom out and see humanity from a completely different perspective, head over to the ROM on April 11 at 11 am to discover the museum’s newest permanent project dedicated to the story of the dawn of life. This new space will take visitors on a journey from the origin of life itself, close to 4 billion years ago, to the dawn of dinosaurs, roughly 200 million years ago. Speaker Dr. Jean-Bernard Caron, the Senior Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the ROM, will show spectacular fossils never before exhibited to the public.

Finally, delve into the history of Toronto’s hip hop scene by checking out For the Record: An Idea of North, an interactive mixed-media exhibition at the Toronto Reference Library, which illuminates the emergence of Toronto’s hip hop culture, and includes a panel discussion on Tuesday, April 16, 6:30-7:30 pm, and free guided gallery tours on Tuesdays at 2 pm.

Tags: Annex · Arts