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ARTS: Commit to culture in 2020 (Jan. 2020)

January 31st, 2020 · No Comments

A myriad of activities meet the new year in the Arts Corridor

The African oxpecker consumes the blood of its host. Featured in the ROM’s Bloodsucker exhibition. Courtesy the Royal Ontario Museum

By Meribeth Deen

How about making the most of the city’s culture as a resolution for 2020? 

It’s easy, too. All you need to do is make your way up to Bloor Street and pop into any one of the many galleries, music venues, cinemas, museums, and cultural centres that make up the Bloor St. Culture Corridor. This month, there’s lots to hear, touch, see, and learn.

Bring the kids (ages 7 – 14) down to the Gardiner Museum (111 Queeen’s Park) to get their hands dirty and learn ceramics from a professional artist for Saturday morning kids clay classes. Adult classes are also ongoing.

Head to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at U of T to get the big-picture story of CanLit. There are many names to know in the CanLit scene beyond Atwood, Ondaatje, Gallant, and Davies. 

The writers were and are supported by a host of editors, publishers, illustrators, marketers, and book sellers. 

Drawing on the rich archival material in the library (including the first draft of A Handmaid’s Tale) this exhibition explores the diverse community that shaped CanLit.

For a shot of colour, head to Galerie Pierre Léon (at the Alliance Française, 24 Spadina Rd.) to see the work of Laurianne Simon in the exhibit, The Parrot’s Intrigue. 

Simon has been painting birds since 2012, and says that “for a long time now, my paintings of birds, more specifically of fighting cocks and parrots, have been a metaphor for the artist. More recently, I have come to realize that they are perhaps more a metaphor for human beings.”

Learn about the diversity of nature’s vampires as well as the myths, legends, and pop culture they have inspired at the ROM’s Bloodsuckers: Legends to Leeches exhibit on until March 22. 

You’ll get to know the vampire bat, who exclusively feeds on the blood of birds and mammals, and on occasion, humans. 

They cut the skin using razor-sharp teeth, lapping up blood from the wound. 

You’ll get some rare images of the human practice of bloodletting, and get to dive in deep on blood-related topics at talks running on various evenings until the exhibition closes in March.

On January 25, head to 918 Bathurst to celebrate the release of Anishinaabe experimental-electronic producer Ziibiwan’s debut album Giizis, featuring Phedre and Melody McKiver. 

Ziibwan is a genre-hopping producer who experiments with hip hop, triphop, R&B and more. 

He was nominated for the Best New Artist award and best instrumental category for his album, Time Limits. Tickets are available online.

And why not head to HotDocs, where this month you can get your fill of bio-docs at the Game Changer Series which is sure to inspire with the stories of Malcom X, Edward Said, Susan Sontag, and more.

Tags: Annex · Arts