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ARTS: Keep. Craving. Culture. (Dec. 2020)

December 21st, 2020 · 3 Comments

Many ways to engage 

By Meribeth Deen

Welcome to December, month ten (give or take, depending on what date you track back to) of life in a global pandemic. Understandably, you might be struggling to conjure holiday feelings this month. Let’s remember, however, that it is “always darkest before the dawn,” and that on December 22, the days start getting longer. So let’s find out what the institutions associated with the Bloor St. Culture Corridor have in store.

Keep traditions alive. You can’t go see live music, but you can support musicians so that they can keep playing music and so that one day, when we’re all allowed to sit shoulder to shoulder once again, there will be people to play for us. So if you are into Christmas traditions, be sure to purchase tickets for A Tafelmusik Christmas. This event brings members of the Tafelmusik choir and orchestra together for the first time in 2020, and will see them perform a joyous chorus and tender chorales from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio paired with a radiant chorus from Charpentier’s Christmas Pastorale. Ticket holders will have access to the concert for 48 hours following the broadcast date on December 12 at 8pm EST.

Enjoy riffs on tradition. Register to enjoy Electric Messiah, a full-length music video that reflects the city of Toronto as it is today with a feast of musical styles ranging from jazz, to soul and hip-hop. Included, of course is a re-imagining of Handel’s Messiah, brought to you free by Soundstreams on December 17. This event is free.

Connect. If you are a senior feeling isolated, the Miles Nadal JCC has set up a program to help you feel less alone. The community centre hosts a bi-weekly seniors support group led by Zoe Levitt, a trained social worker who specializes in working with older people and their families, and who is passionate about helping people work through social, emotional and physical challenges that may be acting as a barrier to the life they want to live.

Learn. Brushing up on your French is easy through the Alliance Francaise. Their Frantastique program sends play-based French lessons to your inbox DAILY regardless of your fluency level.

Give. Want to help keep an important Bloor/Annex cultural institution open? Buy a brick and help A Different Booklist Cultural Centre (ADBCC) move to its new location in the new Westbank Development. With a minimum $100 donation, your name will be engraved in a legacy brick at the ADBCC for all to see.

Get Outside (while staying inside). Enjoy a descriptive audio tour of Royal Ontario Museum’s winning Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. This is the 56th year of the competition, and it brings photographs from around the world to the ROM. There are 13 intriguing stops on the tour, the only problem being that before getting too far in – you’ll be so keen to see the photos that you’ll purchase a membership at the ROM.

Plan to shake things up in 2021. A better world is possible. Here’s hoping 2021 allows us out of the house long enough to re-shape it.  For endless inspiration on the work that has been done and will continue, for stories of visionaries, daring leaders and joyful change, check out the streaming line-up at Hot Docs. Watch First We Eat, a story about a family in the Yukon that bans all store bought groceries for a whole year; or I am Greta, to get up close and personal with teen climate icon; or Rock & Roll President, the story of how a late night bottle of scotch with Greg Allman brought Jimmy Carter to the Whitehouse.

Creators have not stopped creating, and culture is still worth craving, so don’t stop. Keep seeking ways to engage, wear your masks and stay safe. A new year is coming, let’s make it the one where we kick COVID-19 to the curb.

Tags: Annex · Arts

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