Looking to do something that inspires you? Need a fulfilling break from your everyday? Tired of all the news about COVID19 and politics? I get it. I really do! Here are five things to do this comingn month of October in Toronto that gives you that much needed break (while adhering to social distancing guidelines, of course).  Grab your mask and let’s go!

Haegue Yang: Emergence: NEW AGO Exhibition. Open to the public this new exhibition launches on October 1 and runs till January 31, 2021. This is the first North American survey exhibition by the acclaimed South Korean contemporary artist.  A leading artist of her generation, this focused survey of Yang’s artwork includes large-scale installations, sculptures and two-dimensional artworks from the last 25 years, and intentionally resists any kind of chronology. Works from various moments of Yang’s career, from the mid-1990’s all the way to the present, have been assembled and grouped together, in order to prompt new meanings and new readings. The exhibition title, Emergence, refers to a natural, social, and economic phenomenon in which a whole entity exhibits qualities and behaviours that its individual parts do not have on their own. Curated by Adelina Vlas, the AGO’s Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Haegue Yang: Emergence will be on view on Level 5 of the AGO’s David and Vivian Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art.  In addition to the 82 works featured in the exhibition, the AGO has commissioned two new works by the artist.

On Wednesday, Oct. 7 join Adelina Vlas on Zoom for an overview of Haegue Yang: Emergence. Illustrated with images from the exhibition, Vlas will discuss the collaboration and effort that brought this global exhibition together during a pandemic. Register for this free talk at https://ago.ca/events/curators-talk-adelina-vlas-haegue-yang.

Haegue Yang, Boxing Ballet, 2013-2015. Installation view of Shooting the Elephant 象 Thinking the Elephant, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, 2015. Courtesy of Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul

ECCO x stackt Workshop: Explore the premium Scandinavian heritage shoe brand like you’ve never seen before as they host this temporary pop up workshop down at Front & Bathurst. Learn about their design innovations, technology and processes. You’ll even have a chance to work on your own small leather good (or take a free DIY kit home). Meet with local leading illustrators and graphic artists every weekend at the location who will also customize as they bring their unique styles to the table. They are some of the most sought-after in the sneaker culture here in the city often creating with Mack House. You’ll also get to check out ECCO’s latest urban styles. Open now and runs until October 29.

Toronto illustrator @huneystudios at the ECCO x Stackt Pop Up

Flowers to Gogh: The Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit offers more ways to explore the works of Dutch artist, Vincent Van Gogh. Take in a unique yoga or barre flow class in the massive inspiring space before it opens daily to the public. Sign up for a floral design workshop inspired by Van Gogh’s work and even take home your creation. Enjoy the exhibit before or after your class. Ticket includes entry to the exhibition, a generous supply of seasonal blooms and refreshments. Next Floral workshop is October 7. Great for a night out with your BFF or even on your own! Details on our site here.

Flowers to Gogh at the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit

Kensington Market Tour with Chopsticks+Forks: Since we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, we’re looking for ways to rediscover our city. Kensington Market is a favourite neighbourhood of ours to visit for the vibrant and eclectic concentration of food and culture. Here you can get everything from Tibetan Momos, Indigenous brunch, Rasta Pasta to the latest Japanese snacks and South American empanadas and much, much more. It’s literally foodie heaven. If you don’t know where to start or want to sample a variety of foods without gaining 10,000 calories in two hours, then we recommend booking a tour with local guides, Chopsticks + Forks. They will literally take you on a tasty journey to several spots in Kensington Market to explore the rich history and dishes that make this destination an ideal outing. Even I, who was born and spent much of my childhood in the area found this tour fantastic and even picked up new morsels of info that I didn’t know about. Bring extra $ and a shopping bag as you may want to pick up extra goodies to take home. Great for families too.

Sampling bannock at the Pow Wow Cafe with Chopsticks + Forks

ReBLOOM’s Thanksgiving Centerpiece Workshop (Virtual): Not ready to venture out yet? Take part in this informative and hands-on webinar to create your own Thanksgiving Centerpiece. The one-hour interactive, guided demo hosted by entertainment expert Rebecca Wise and lead by ReBLOOM founder Kalynn Crump, will teach participants how to create autumn arrangements using blooms and greenery sourced from Canadian growers. They’ll also share some fun tips and ideas for making photo-worthy dinner table themes of the season. Local ticket holders in Toronto will receive a delivery of flowers to use during the workshop. Outside of the city, there will be a recommendation list of where to purchase blooms. Also, for every ticket sold, a floral arrangement will be donated to shelters in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

ReBLOOM Flowers is about reducing waste while ensuring that communities enjoy flowers for more than just a few hours or a day. As Canada’s first floral recyclers and composters, they help repurpose event flowers by collecting and converting them to “little bouquets of happiness” and share them with over 1,500 charitable partners and non-profits across the country. Amazing, right?