The Gardiner Museum‘s impressive Viola Frey exhibit wraps up a four-month run this Sunday with free admission to children under 12 years of age (January 10, 11 am – 5 pm): a range of kid-friendly activities includes hands-on crafts and scavenger hunts. Frey’s monumental and colourful ceramic sculptures will dazzle the little ones.
For the rest of 2010, the second Sunday each month (excluding Easter) will be Family Day at the Gardiner (111 Queen’s Park, 416.586.8080).
Some of the punters at last night’s Elvis Monday weren’t even born when local impresario William New launched the concept at the defunct Beverly Tavern back in 1984. Named after Costello, not Presley, Elvis Monday is the city’s longest running indie music showcase. Every big band starts out as a wannabe and Elvis Monday is where some of Toronto’s biggest hitters got their start, acts like Sum 41, Three Days Grace, Billy Talent, Peaches, JackSoul, Ron Sexsmith, Cowboy Junkies and Treble Charger — even Blind Melon and Beck have taken turns in the Elvis Monday spotlight. That’s Ben Whiteley and Suzy Wilde, left, showcasing tunes from their self-titled CD, Flashlight Radio.
Local gospel great Ken Whiteley (above) is back at Emmanuel Howard Park United Church (214 Wright Avenue, 416.536.1755) Christmas Eve to lead one of the city’s most spirited seasonal celebrations. Whiteley and guests Amoy Levy, David Wall and Ben Whiteley join the congregation for the annual “Carols by Candlelight” service December 24 at 6:30 pm. Last year’s performance drew a standing-room-only crowd so be advised that if you want to be comfortable, get there early!
WHERE/WHEN: Emmanuel Howard Park United Church, 214 Wright Avenue (at Roncesvalles Avenue), 416.536.1755; 6:30pm.
Photo by Patrick Parent Photography
The Kensington Market Festival of Lights marks its 20th anniversary tonight with a dazzling celebration of the winter solstice. Residents and spectators join forces to light up the longest night of the year with a firey procession through Kensington Market. Organized by Red Pepper Spectacle Arts, the Festival of Lights is a highly participatory event where everyone is encouraged to dress up, make some noise and help light up the night.
In preparation for the event, Red Pepper held a community craft workshop Saturday afternoon where residents were invited to make lanterns that will be carried through the market tonight.
The older I get the more I appreciate the extent to which success hinges on enthusiasm rather than talent. Writer Sarah Elton is undoubtedly talented but there are loads, LOADS of talented writers out there going nowhere fast. What sets Elton apart is her passion for her subject whether it be local food or local writing: Elton’s passion is place and her place is Toronto.
As the media landscape contracts — magazine closures, newspaper layoffs — Elton, a freelance journalist, is stepping up, not out. She has two new books under her belt, the just-released City of Words, Toronto Through Her Writer’s Eyes (Cormorant) and the upcoming Locavore: From Farmers Fields to Rooftop Gardens, How Canadians are Changing the Way We Eat (due in March from HaperCollins). Elton may be small of stature — five-foot-nothing if my guess is accurate — but she’s an Energizer bunny dashing from CBC headquarters (where she’s a contributor and former producer) to interviews promoting City of Words.
As busy as she is, the writer conveys the sense that there’s nothing she’d rather be doing than squeezing in a quick tour of downtown Toronto while referencing the streets and scenes she has pulled together for her evocative new book.