April was nice but we have lots to look forward to in Toronto in the month of May! Spring has definitely set in and warmer days are ahead. This month we celebrate all the moms in our lives and yes, every restaurant and shop is vying for our attention. We see you. We are also acknowledging Asian Heritage Month and of course we have Victoria Day coming up! It’s also the beginning of prom season! I’m not crying, you’re crying…okay, I’m crying. So, with everything that’s happening here are just a few highlights in our May issue of “A City Girl’s Guide to Toronto” if you’re looking for something inspiring to see and do!

SMASH: Between Worlds: Gardiner Museum, May 30. One of my favourite annual fundraising events returns to the Gardiner Museum. SMASH is a night celebrating the next generation of artists, art enthusiasts, and cultural philanthropists in our city. This year’s theme explores the boundaries between states, parallel worlds, and altered realities through mind-bending installations, art, fashion, food, drinks, music, and more. This year’s installations include works by Briony Douglas, GUNNAR Floral, and Acid4Puppies.

International Ceramics Art Fair Preview Gala: Gardiner Museum, May 22. If you’re a collector or passionate about ceramics this event is not to be missed. The annual 10-day exhibition features the recent works of established and emerging artists. This preview gala is an opportunity to see them first and a chance to purchase before it opens to the public. This year’s theme gathering explores ways clay brings us together through experiences and needs. It also explores how we gather or collect our resources both internal and external for healing and survival.

The Power Plant Opens for the Season: May 2.New exhibition June Clark: Witness is the first survey in Canada of the Toronto-based artist June Clark, who, since the late 1960s, has developed a unique and groundbreaking practice spanning photo-based work, text, collage, installation, and sculptural assemblages. Born in Harlem, New York, Clark immigrated to Canada in 1968 and subsequently made Toronto her home. The questions of identity formation and their connection to our points of origin fuel her practice. In this deeply personal exhibition, she explores how history, memory, and identity—both individual and collective—have established the familial and artistic lineages that shape her work. Admission is free.

Another new exhibition at The Power Plant is Terence Gower: Embassy  (opens May 3) the largest survey in Canada of the New York-based artist. Gower, who has lived and worked internationally for many years, employs a range of media to investigate postwar material and intellectual histories, particularly as they connect to art and architecture.

Terence Gower: Embassy will feature over a decade-worth of work stemming from his investigation into the diplomatic architecture of the United States. Four multi-part installations form a larger study of American embassy buildings that have played important roles in recent international events in Baghdad, Havana, and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), as well as one unbuilt project for Ottawa. These expansive artistic constellations, including archival documents, sculptures, videos, and works on paper, are the outcome of the artist’s extensive research process.

OCAD’s GradX109: OCAD University’s Annual Graduate Exhibition – Toronto’s largest free art and design exhibition – is taking place from May 1 to 5, 2024, featuring the work of more than 800 emerging artists and designers. The event features displays from graduating students in every discipline, sales of student work, an alumni lounge and a special exhibition of medal-winning student work in the Great Hall. A supplemental online exhibition will also launch on May 1.

Spring Market Sip ‘N’ Shop: The Kimpton Saint George Hotel (280 Bloor Street West), May 5 from 11 am to 4 pm. Celebrate all things spring with some of Toronto’s favourite luxe and local shops. Perfect opportunity to jump into your Mother’s Day shopping if you’re looking to support locally owned businesses. Enjoy a glass of wine and listen to live music while you check out the goods!  Admission is free but register here.

INLAND: May 9 to 12 at CF Toronto Eaton Centre.

The iconic Canadian fashion popup is thrilled to be marking its 10th anniversary with a popup at one of North America’s busiest shopping centres, attracting over 50 million visitors annually. INLAND’s curated popup shop will feature over 40 of Canada’s most exciting emerging brands, including Amanda Maria, Bustle Clothing, Christopher Bates, Diana Coatsworth, Golshaah, LLiM, Lobat and Trèsolz. Continuing last year’s partnership, Toronto Metropolitan University fashion students and alumni will showcase and sell their concepts and designs in collaboration with The School of Fashion.

INLAND 2024

INLAND designers (L-R, top to bottom): WILYMI, Goreea, Lobat, Narvan Apparel,
Narvan Apparel, Selfish Swimwear, Michelle Miller, GALLERIADEL

Outside Looking In: Canada’s largest Indigenous youth performance, Outside Looking In, returns to Toronto for its 17th Annual Showcase on Friday, May 10 at Meridian Hall. Produced by Anishinaabe/Ashkenazi multi-disciplinary artist Tamara Podemski (Amazon’s Outer Range), the exhilarating showcase will kick off with a thrilling new opening piece and call upon the powerful messaging found in street art and murals to inspire a theatrical storyline. This unforgettable dance spectacular features 175 Inuit, Metis and First Nations youth from 14 communities and will seamlessly fuse Indigenous culture, drumming and musicians, with hip-hop and street art in an embodiment of the concept “leave your mark.”

An exciting lineup of leading Indigenous musicians will join the students on stage: JUNO Award-nominated musical group Nimkii & the Niniis; STOiK, known for a fusion of EDM and traditional Indigenous music; award-winning Ojibway Cree hip-hop artist and producer Plex; CBC Trailblazer Award recipient, Jah’kota; and Kanien’kehà:ka (Mohawk) pop electro-RnB songwriter, producer, and multidisciplinary artist Semiah Smith.

Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival: May 30 to June 2.
Over 100 Indigenous artists, designers, makers, brands and pundits from Canada and worldwide. The IFA Festival will take place over four days with runway shows and a 70-vendor marketplace at CF Toronto Eaton Centre, with the Fashioning Resurgence symposium and workshop series at Toronto Metropolitan University’s Student Learning Centre. In 2024, IFA plans to welcome its biggest audience yet, with attendees experiencing the dynamic Indigenous talent in fashion today. Tickets are available now through indigenousfashionarts.com.

The Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival Marketplace presented by Holt Renfrew will be held June 1 and 2 at CF Toronto Eaton Centre during business hours for attendees to explore, shop, and connect with 75+ Indigenous artists, designers, collectives, and brands worldwide. These exhibitors reflect the diversity and distinction of Indigenous fashion, craft, and textiles with a wide variety of quality-made clothing and accessories with gender and size-inclusive, ready-to-wear, bespoke and upcycled options. The Marketplace will be divided into several sections, each highlighting different aspects of Indigenous fashion with beadwork, weaving, metalwork, fur and leather, home textiles, quillwork, and fine craft. The full list of Marketplace exhibitors is available HERE.

The IFA Marketplace will also feature collectives and brands from the Mainstage Runway in three sections including the Sharing Circle which uplifts the Indigenous fashion community by representing several artists on their platforms; Shoulder Dusters for those who love statement earrings; and The Showroom, displaying legacy pieces, including high fashion, jewelry, and accessories.

Les Misérables : Princess of Wales Theatre until June 1. This world renowned musical based on the 1862 novel of the same name by French author Victor Hugo is a favourite for many. The story follows the life of Jean Valjean, an ex-convict who seeks redemption after serving a lengthy prison sentence for stealing a loaf of bread. And, whether you’ve seen it hundreds of times, several times or never, the current production in Toronto at the Princess of Wales Theatre is a definite must-see. It’s onstage at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

Les Misérables - Toronto - Mirvish

“One Day More” from Les Misérables. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy & Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

Jesus Christ Superstar: CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre. May 3 to May 12.
Following critically acclaimed, sold-out engagements in the UK, the reimagined 50th Anniversary tour of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR will dazzle once again in Toronto! The story is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ, as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’, ‘Gethsemane’ and ‘Superstar’.

Hadestown: CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre. May 15 to 26.
Winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards including Best Musical and the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album, this acclaimed new show from celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and innovative director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) is a love story for today… and always.

Hadestown intertwines two mythic tales — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — as it invites you on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers and singers, Hadestown is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you and never lets go.

SIX The Musical: Royal Alexandra Theatre until May 26. This is your LAST CHANCE to catch this highly entertaining musical that part “her-story” about the wives of King Henry VIII (yes, not really about him) and it’s all girl-power! Read more about this incredible production here.

#BEYONDTO FESTIVAL: May 10-18. Theatre Passe Muraille is pleased to announce the return of #BeyondTO this spring, for the ‘mini festival’s’ second iteration featuring two pieces that explore the breadth of human experience and showcase perspectives rarely seen on stage; CAMILLE: THE STORY by Audrey-Anne Bouchard (Montréal) and SOLILOQUIO (I woke up and hit my head against the wall) by Tiziano Cruz (Argentina). Running at the historic Theatre Passe Muraille building on Ryerson Avenue, #BeyondTO is on stage from May 10th to 18th. Opening the festival on May 10th is CAMILLE: THE STORY, an immersive performance designed to engage all of the senses—except sight. After his close friend Camille’s departure, Pierre navigates her absence and revisits memories that take shape through movement, smell and sound. Grounded both in the real and the surreal, the story sheds light on Pierre’s emotional journey as he faces the loss of a meaningful friendship and tries to create ties with new people. From Montreal based artist Audrey-Anne Bouchard and her team of collaborators, CAMILLE: THE STORY offers a sensory experience that is accessible to people who are Blind, Low Vision, or sighted. Sighted and Low Vision audience members will be asked to wear a blindfold for the duration of the work. The work will be offered in both English and French versions. Bouchard received the Outstanding Direction award at the 2022 Montreal English Theatre Awards for the piece.

Camille TheStory - theatre

Camille The Story

Seven Methods For Killing Kylie Jenner:   Crow’s Theatre. May 12 to 26.Premiering at London’s Royal Court Theatre in 2019 and subsequently awarded the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright and the Stage Debut Award for Best Writer before running at New York’s The Public Theatre in early 2023, seven methods of killing kylie jenner became a runaway success and instant contemporary classic. Revolving around close friends Cleo and Kara who are grappling with the pervasive influence of social media and celebrity culture in their lives, this electric and provocative play explores ownership of Black bodies, cultural appropriation, social media, and female friendships. This new production is directed by Jay Northcott and produced by Obsidian Theatre in association with Crow’s Theatre and features rising stars Jasmine Chase (Truth/YPT) and Déjah Dixon-Green (King Lear/Stratford)

Doors Open Toronto: May 25 and 26. 10 am to 5 pm unless otherwise stated. Explore over 150 of Toronto’s architectural, historical, cultural and socially significant buildings for free during the Doors Open weekend. This year’s theme is hidden histories. Uncover untold stories from across the city through a variety of open house experiences, engaging tours and insightful talks.

Lite-Bright World’s of Wonder: Illuminarium at The Distillery. Opens May 8. Experience the magic of imagination brought to life in this captivating cinematic journey that combines the nostalgic delight of Lite-Brite with the cutting-edge immersive technology of Illuminarium. Discover the world of Lite-Brite, with thousands of colourful lights. Have fun exploring, playing games, and creating your own art in our most gamified immersive experience yet! The new show features an immersive narrative with interactive lights, twelve gaming stations, and friendly hosts.

Gluten Free Garage at Wychwood Barns: May 26. Toronto’s gluten-free food festival, is back for its 11th year on Sunday, May 26th from 10am to 4pm at ArtHubs Wychwood Barns (601 Christie Street). Featuring more than 70 curated vendors from across Ontario and beyond, this one-day event promises a gluten-free gastronomic adventure. Held during Celiac Awareness Month, Gluten Free Garage has become a staple event on Toronto’s culinary calendar and in the gluten-free community, drawing thousands of people eager to explore the latest, greatest gluten-free offerings.

Indoor Tennis Doubles Championships by 10XTO:May 22 to May 26. This inaugural event presented by Sam McDadi Real Estate Brokerage is a five-day event at Hotel X Toronto. It’s also the first OTA-sanctioned tournament and the first in Ontario that is solely a doubles focused, prize-money tennis event. Who’s playing? Ontario’s best mens and women’s national-level juniors, NCAA (current and past), and semi-professional players. In addition to tournament play, there will be highly features matched with on-court seating that will be open to the public. Sign in at 10XTO’s registration table upon entry for the public viewings.

Arcadia Earth “Night at the Museum: Spring in the City”: May 16 at The Well. Kick off the long weekend at this immersive experience focused on planet earth. This unique 21+ event is complete with craft cocktails, delicious bits, live DJ music and exciting activations. Ticketed Event

The Pulpit - Golf Women

And just a bit outside of Toronto…

Stay And Play in Calendon: If quiet luxury is your vibe then book yourself into one of the relaxing and beautiful properties in just an hour north of the city. Longridge Partners have several luxurious homes that have been transformed into destination stays. The Longridge House, Brushview House, and Escarpment House have been created with elevated luxury and comfort in all the details. Great for family getaways, corporate retreats, and friends/golfers paradise. Houses are available for stays – and their bespoke service can tailor packages to suit your needs. Golf at The Pulpit or The Paintbrush (highly regarded golf courses), or take lessons with the pros regardless of levels, hike the stunning trails, and so much more.

The Savour & Sip Trail Stratford: This amazing trail focuses on showcasing over 25 local businesses who have carefully chosen savoury and sweet delights for trail participants to enjoy. The Savour & Sip Trail encourages Al Fresco dining between May through October by featuring take-out items to help create a unique Stratford dining experience through picnics, and DIY charcuterie boards. Trail participants will enjoy a wide variety of curated local offers such as cheese, meat, house made breads, and local preserves, as well as an assortment of desserts including fruit pies, peanut brittle, cotton candy and cold beverages (both alcoholic and non alcoholic). This year, the trail will offer eight new stops, as well as returning favourites. This seasonal offering promises to deliver an exciting assortment of picnic essentials.

Blue Mountain Film + Media Festival: May 30 to June 2.Film lovers and filmmakers to connect, be inspired, and escape into the mountains to enjoy the very best in International and Canadian cinema. From May 30 – June 2, 2024, cinema enthusiasts, filmmakers, and artists will gather in Blue Mountain Village to discover the best in world cinema in the majestic setting of The Blue Mountain. The 4-day festival includes curating over 20 International and Canadian films, an industry creative forum, parties, special guest appearances, and unique Mountain & Village experiences. New this year, enjoy digital content creators and our special Buffer Festival screening on Saturday, June 1st.