It’s officially Spring in Toronto! Even if we are a bit skeptical, we think it’s safe now to put away the winter gear and head out to something fun. As the weather turns for the better we can look forward to many inspiring events happening in the city. Bring your friends and an umbrella. Ready? Let’s go! Here’s what we’ll be checking out this April!
April 13 to 16. Better Living Centre (Exhibition Grounds). Discover and connect with over 250 independent artists and explore thousands of works. There will also be large scale installations, curator led tours and the opportunity to buy directly from established and emerging artists. Also, explore interactive performance art with Brooklyn-based Dr. Lisa Levy who invites guests to sit down for individual “counselling” in her critically acclaimed sessions. Guests are given an artistic prescription for their grievances. Acting as an unlicensed therapist gives Dr. Lisa the opportunity to use her humour to help people reveal themselves. She’s known to help people bring consciousness to their own truths, that they themselves may not have thought about before.
Hot Docs Film Festival
April 27 to May 7. Cinemas across Toronto. Hot Docs Film Festival is one of our favourites in the city. This year the Festival celebrates its 30th year an impressive slate of films and events at North America’s largest documentary festival. There will also be 214 films screening from 72 countries. Titles will feature high-profile subjects, award winning films and filmmakers. There’s always a few surprises and gems worth discovering. Already on our radar is BLACK BARBIE directed by Lagueria Davis. We all know about Malibu blonde Barbie but what is the origin story of Black Barbie and her contemporary presence in Mattel’s metaverse of dolls. Also on our initial must-see list is THE DISAPPEARANCE OF SHERE HITE directed by Nicole Newnham about Shere Hite’s 1976 bestseller, The Hite Report. It was credited for liberating the female orgasm by revealing the private experiences of thousands of anonymous women. While her findings rocked the patriarchy, they also ignited an unforgiving backlash that led to her erasure from history.
The Festival of Literary Diversity (The FOLD)
April 30 to May 7. The Rose Theatre (Brampton) and virtual. This year’s festival will be presented in a multi-modal format, beginning with a virtual festival and transitioning into a mix of in-person and hybrid events. FOLD 2023 will feature over 50 authors from Canada and around the world. There will be online events including Disabled Futures, Canada Reads – The Final Tea, and Publishing 101. In-person events will return including The Historical Fiction High Tea and the Spoken Word Showcase. The return of The Great Readception: A Literary Cabaret will be popular. The FOLD is presented by Audible Canada. All in-person events will include book signings. Tickets to the FOLD are now on sale at thefoldcanada.org.
The FOLD’s virtual exhibit hall will once again feature over a dozen vendors from community and publishing-based organizations. Many will host roundtable meetups for Festival guests on Sunday, April 30. The FOLD will also offers a mobile app, allowing guests to participate in the festival anytime, anywhere. Visit the official website here for full details.
SLOW ART DAY
April 15. This is a day to celebrate art by taking our time to find the joy in discovery. This global event encourages people to look and love art in all forms. Explore and make personal connections with the works at local galleries and museums. The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) invites visitors to join one of their Art Educators for a closer look at pieces found at the AGO collection. Meet in Walker Court with your tickets at 1:00pm. OR just pick your favourites and enjoy.
We also love the current exhibition at the Gardiner Museum with Montreal-based artist, Karine Giboulo. Her exhibition titled Karine Giboulo: Housewarming invites visitors into an immersive reimagining of her home. Brought to life by over 500 miniature polymer clay figures, this is no ordinary house. The figures tell stories that unfold inside, or on, household furniture, appliances, and everyday objects. Housewarming is Giboulo’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the waves of confinement and isolation that followed. It is a sculpted documentary of individual and collective experiences grounded in current events. This is a must-see.
The Grand Order of Divine Sweets 2nd Annual Grand Hunt
April 1. City-wide. Toronto’s premiere custom bakery with a geeky twist, The Grand Order of Divine Sweets (The GOoDS), will host its wildly popular and delicious city-wide treasure hunt! The 2nd annual Grand Hunt will include ten miniature treasure chests hidden throughout the city. Clues as to where the treasure chests are hidden will be revealed @thegoodsweetsto Instagram and Facebook stories on the day. One very lucky hunter will get their hands on the gorgeously handcrafted Fabergé-inspired Chocolate Egg filled with sweet delights and $1000 cash.
In addition to the many deliciously sweet creations from The GOoDS Easter Collection, this year’s prize pool will also include items from generous partners such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child theatre production, Universal Pictures and the Super Mario Bros Movie, PlayStation®, Storm Crow Manor, OffWorld Bar, Curiosa, RAID Studios and more! Full details on their social pages and on their official website.
If you are unable to participate in the city wide hunt, swing by The GOoDS Café throughout the day (April 1) and try your luck drawing from ‘Easter Basket’ of prizes! Sweet treats, movie passes, gift cards and more can be won throughout the day. Full details on their site!
One of a Kind Spring Show
March 29 to April 2. Enercare Centre (CNE grounds). Featuring more than 500 artisans from across Canada and handcrafted goods that appeal to all senses. The Spring Show invites you to explore all kinds of unique items. Meet the makers and express your creativity through various workshops. The One Of A Kind Show is also an environment where creativity and passion can be explored. This year, the Spring Show is welcoming back fashion shows, as well as food sampling and interactive workshops. There will also be an artisan competition around the show’s “shine bright” theme, and a variety of new exhibitor programs. See the listing of makers, artisans, and events here.
Stranger Things Experience
For fans of the wildly popular sci-fi Netflix series comes this amazing experience with iconic recreated sets from the Upside Down. Feel like you’ve stepped back into the 80s. The immersive exhibit located at the Cinespace Studios Marine Terminal along the Port Lands area will transport you to the fictitious town as well as its parallel universe. Start with a guided new adventure along side the storyline characters. Then hang out and explore the sets. Remember to own your secret powers and get ready for an unforgettable experience. Be sure to charge up your phones for all amazing the photo opps! Stay tuned for our write up! Follow @strangerthings.experience to see what’s waiting for you in Hawkins. See site for age recommendations.
The Office Experience
Step into the offices of Dunder Mifflin in this incredibly detailed immersive experience located at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Dance down the aisles at Pam and Jim wedding and offer up your confessions in the conference room. Explore timelines and discover real props from the show. Be the boss and take your seat at Michael’s desk. There’s so much to see! Bring your phones and charge up your cameras! Get ready for all the photo opps! Here’s our write up from our very own Office fan girl, Heather and more info here !
Never the Last
April 8 to 16. Theatre Passe Muraille. Created by Christine Quintana and Molly MacKinnon, NEVER THE LAST follows the passionate relationship between Sophie Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté – one of the most innovative composers of early twentieth century Europe – and expressionist painter Walter Gramatté. The couple’s ten years of marriage, marked by adventure, poverty, artistic strife, and tragedy, is captured in Eckhardt-Gramatté’s ten rarely performed violin solos. NEVER THE LAST seamlessly blends classical violin performances, movement, and text to tell the heartbreaking story of two people in love, and the ever-increasing space between them. NEVER THE LAST was nominated for five Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, and winner for Significant Artistic Achievement: Outstanding Interdisciplinary Collaboration. More info here.
April 21 to May 7. St. Anne’s Centre (270 Gladstone Ave). Written by renowned British playwright, Caryl Churchill, this play touches on themes of artificial intelligence, human cloning, and family. Craig Pike of That Theatre Company (and owner and founder of popular Toronto cookie empire, Craig’s Cookies) will produce and star in the sci-fi play alongside critically acclaimed Canadian theatre actor, Jim Mezon. This thrilling one-hour play is intended to catapult audiences into discussions around the evolving role of science in society, the ethics of technology in our everyday lives, and the choices we make to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
The site-specific play will feature a pay-what-you-can pricing structure, starting at $10, with opening night gala (April 22, 8:00 PM) tickets priced at $50. There will be 15 performances. More info here. There might even be cookies involved for tickets purchased online in advance.
Love You Wrong Time
April 5 and other dates. Locations vary. Maddie Bautista and Deanna H. Choi bring a fresh new performance to the city opening at Superfresh. This hilarious, no-holds-barred song cycle features two friends looking for love while contending with the fetishization of Asian women. The theatre work includes music, true stories, bar games, and stand up. Deanna and Maddie’s inventive and interactive show is a battle cry in the wake of mass violence against Asian femmes, creating a space for rage, grief, tenderness and ruthless comedy. Here’s our interview with them.
MAANOMA, MY BROTHER
April 11 to 30.Berkeley Street Upstairs Theatre. Canadian Stage and Blue Bird Theatre Collective have partnered in this production that will make its World Premiere right here in Toronto. Written and performed by Tawiah M’Carthy and Brad Cook and directed by Phil Akin. The story follows childhood friends Kwame and Will as they reunite in Ghana for the funeral of a loved one. How much has changed since the events that separated them 25 years earlier. As they struggle with the urge to keep stories from the past buried, their resurfaced memories set them on a journey to discover a truth that neither of them expected. Blending together styles of West African and Canadian theatre, MAANOMAA mixes myth with reality, and the past with the present.
April 25 to May 14. The Berkeley Street Theatre. The year is 1970. The arrival of a Bengali bride to a small university town shakes up a tight-knit group of Indian immigrants, including the husband she’s never met. Tradition and counterculture collide for three women and their husbands as their perceptions of identity, sexuality, and the meaning of freedom are challenged. More information here.
Psychic Angel Morgan Messages from Beyond the Veil
April 5. The Factory Theatre. One of Canada’s most sought after psychics returns to the stage for a one-night live experience. Join in this unforgettable night where Angel will summon the spiritual world and come forth with messages for audience members. Angel is known for her fun and freakishly accurate ability to communicate with humans, spirits, and animals. Bring your friends! Our interview and how to get tickets can be found here.
Sarah Marshall’s YOU’RE WRONG ABOUT THIS Tour
April 23. Danforth Music Hall. Podcaster and journalist Sarah Marshall is making a tour stop in Toronto this month. She’s the host of You’re Wrong About, one of the most-listened to podcasts which re-examines oft-maligned, darker cultural touchstones and figures (e.g. Monica Lewinsky, the McDonald’s hot coffee case, Columbine) to see where we got things wrong the first time around. She also co-hosts the “feelings podcast about movies” You Are Good with Alex Steed. Sarah will be in Toronto for this live show and joined by comedian and podcaster Jamie Loftus (The Bechdel Cast, My Year in Mensa). Musician/You’re Wrong About producer Carolyn Kendrick will also join in the fun. More info here.
Easter Cooking Classes at EATALY
Various Dates. Eataly Toronto. For those looking to prepare something special for Easter in an interactive way, Eataly might just be the ticket! The food emporium has two delicious cooking classes that are great for the upcoming Easter holiday. For the sweet tooth, there’s a delicious Tiramisu Class in partnership with Loacker on April 6. For a more in-depth experience, Eataly’s Cena di Pasqua (Easter Dinner) class on April 8 will guide guests through a 4-course dinner, highlighting some of the secrets behind classic dishes. For tickets/reservations or for information here.