Tag Archives: toronto

Review: Toronto Urban Roots Festival (TURF) – Friday September 16 – Sunday September 18, 2016

Toronto Urban Roots Festival (TURF) always promises a good time.  It’s a late in the summer kinda happening that brings only the best in folk rock artists and deliciously sound foodies to its three daylong festival at Fork York and Garrison Commons.  This past Friday September 16 – Sunday September 18, 2016 fete was all about the likes of homegrown veterans, honouring our locals while still mixing it up with some international flare to keep our musical vernacular fresh.

Day 1 gave us The Hives, Skinny Lister, Jake Bugg, Modern Baseball, Dropkick Murphys and Explosions in the Sky. A mix you cannot happen upon anywhere else in our fair city on any given day.  The Hives annihilated our hearing.  Skinny Lister kept it folk rockabilly.  Jake Bugg gave us some teen dream boat vibes.  Explosions in the Sky,  let’s face it made the audience collectively swoon in good measure.  A true crowd highlight.

TURF always provides bang for one’s buck. You get variety of musical nuances and at the same time will be sure to leave with new bands that you can’t wait to tell your friends about.  Well, that is after you first pop it all over your social media accounts.

The drinks were flowing from the likes of Tropical Temptations and Smoothe Operator. The foodie in you could easily be filled with affordable yummies from Mustache Burger, 50 Pesos and Kung Fu Dawg.

The layout at TURF this weekend was all about easy accessibility. Even in the rain on Saturday, fans were seen dodging raindrops as they caught LUSH as they said hello from a long absence from Canadian shores and whilst checking their schedule to see what was next on in their rainy day schedule.

The crowd was diverse, eclectic, suits mixed with boho types with the common thread of having a hang ten chill vibe. Everyone gets along and is up for a giggle over a pint or two.  Who knew the Gardiner Expressway could evoke so much rad energy?

A crowd that could not only make Gord Downie proud was seen paying homage to the Tragically Hip’s legacy as Dwayne Gretzky played song after song from their illustrious catalogue. It was an emotional hour or two.  Fans hugged one another while kids played on the grassy hill.  TURF brings us together every year as we break bread with one another under the Gardiner Expressway and reminds us how transformative and healing music can be with good people, great tunes and a harvest moon overhead.


The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris ( July 1 – Sept. 18, 2016) at the Art Gallery of Ontario


A founding member of the Group of Seven and a major figure in the history of twentieth-century Canadian art, Lawren Harris (1885-1970) remains largely unknown in the United States. This year the AGO is partnering with the Hammer Museum to introduce Harris’s iconic landscapes to audiences in Los Angeles and Boston. The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris will be the first major solo exhibition of his work to be shown in the United States, and opens  in Toronto in July of 2016.

The exhibition is curated by comedian, musician, actor and writer Steve Martin in collaboration with Cynthia Burlingham, Deputy Director, Curatorial Affairs at the Hammer Museum, and Andrew Hunter, Fredrik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art at the AGO.

The AGO’s installation offers an expanded experience, curated by Hunter. It opens with a selection of Harris’ early paintings from the 1910s, many of which depict the complex and culturally diverse Ward neighbourhood in Toronto, where the artist spent his formative years. Visitors will then experience the core of the exhibition, followed by a special epilogue that explores the influence of Harris’ landscapes on Canadian identity (“the idea of north”) in relation to the city. The impact of Harris’ art and legacy can be seen through historical photogaphs by Arthur Goss in addition to the works of several contemporary Canadian artists including Nina Bunjevac, Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier, Tin Can Forest and Anique Jordan. Combined with the core exhibition, this enhanced presentation of The Idea of North features over 80 works in total.


Chihuly: From Sand. From Fire. Comes Beauty. (June 25 – January 2, 2017) at the Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is proud to present CHIHULY, featuring the dramatically colourful creations in glass by internationally acclaimed artist Dale Chihuly. On display from June 25, 2016 to January 2, 2017 in the Museum’s Garfield Weston Exhibition Hall, CHIHULY includes installations created especially for the ROM’s exhibition, in addition to series favourites.

Dale Chihuly has been exploring glass as a medium and creating striking installations for 50 years. His monumental works defy his material’s fragility. Chihuly’s pieces bring together a centuries-old team approach to glass-blowing with his unique artistic vision – resulting in ground-breaking artworks. Chihuly said, “I want people to be overwhelmed with light and colour in a way they’ve never experienced before.”

“CHIHULY is a mesmerizing exhibition highlighting the monumental works of this singular artist. His stunning installations transform the ROM—encouraging us to think differently about both art and nature,” said Josh Basseches, ROM Director and CEO.

Diane Charbonneau, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, is the guest curator of CHIHULY at the ROM. She commented, “With Nathalie Bondil, MMFA director and chief curator, we are pleased to have helped this initiative from the very beginning with the ROM, our great partner. A key figure in the realm of studio glass, Dale Chihuly executes works that reveal a fertile imagination expressed through an extensive vocabulary borrowing freely from nature, his main source of inspiration. His wondrous pieces are the result of a perceptive exploration of colour, form, light, and space. To experience Chihuly’s installation works is a must!”


Dale Chihuly is renowned for his site-specific installations. CHIHULY features 11 immersive installations; some newly created for the ROM’s exhibition. These include:

Lime Crystal Tower, standing over 14 feet high, greets visitors in the entrance of the ROM. Its 118 crystals are made of solid Polyvitro, a term for a type of plastic coined by Chihuly, and a material that transmits light and colour very much like glass. However, at 3,000 pounds, this transparent work weighs much less than if created in glass.

Boats: Two weathered boats, Ikebana Boat and Float Boat are presented on a black Plexiglas surface. Chihuly first filled boats with his glass pieces in Nuutajärvi, Finland in June 1995 during the Chihuly over Venice project. At one point, Chihuly began tossing glass elements into the river, allowing them to float downstream. As local teenagers in small wooden rowboats gathered them, the artist recognised the opportunity for a new installation.

Laguna Torcello creates an intricate garden of glass. Introduced in 2012, this is part of Chihuly’s long-standing series, Mille Fiori (“thousand flowers” in Italian). Visitors can stroll around this garden, taking in an outstanding range of Chihuly’s forms. The installation’s name references a lagoon island in Venice, Italy, the artist’s favourite place in the world, and pays respect to that city’s glass-makers.

Jerusalem Cylinders are bold and dramatic. Taking preformed glass elements in the shape of sharp-edged crystals, Chihuly fuses them onto cylindrical vessels. Part of a series launched in 1999 when Chihuly was preparing an exhibition in Jerusalem, the crystals evoke the massive stones making up the walls of the ancient city’s Citadel.

Sapphire Neon Tumbleweeds: Chihuly has created neon sculptures throughout his career. Neon Tumbleweeds were first exhibited in 1993 as part of a larger neon and ice exhibition in Tacoma, Washington.

Red Reeds on Logs are presented atop a cascading composition of Ontario-sourced white birch logs. First created in 1995, this series is brilliant on many levels but especially for Chihuly’s use of materials giving strong contrasts between colours, densities, and textures. Incredibly, some of the reeds reach three metres long, his glassblowers achieving this by pulling the hot molten glass downwards from a mechanical lift.

Persian Ceiling stands as one of Chihuly’s most popular and enduring works. Brightly coloured Persians dominate, arranged in layers over plate glass, while many of the artist’s hallmark elements also appear in this installation. Subtle lighting ensures the ceiling creates a colourful kaleidoscopic effect.

Fire Orange Baskets: Impressed by a presentation of Northwest Coast Indian baskets in the Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma, Chihuly sought to replicate the effects of weight, gravity, and time and started the Basket series in 1977. With this site-specific grouping, Chihuly continues to push scale with his artworks. These Baskets are among the largest he’s created.

Icicle Chandeliers and Towers display two forms that complement each other like cave stalagmites and stalactites. Chihuly began his Chandeliers series in 1992, achieving great massing of colour by taking hundreds of pieces of blown glass, assembling them around sturdy steel frameworks, and lighting them from external sources. His Towers followed soon after as an upside-down version. The exhibition’s installation comprises two chandeliers and two towers. The artist, choosing icicles as a unifying theme, has created a wholly new triple tower.

Persian Trellis, created specifically for the ROM, features Chihuly’s Persians. From their 1986 origins, the making of these forms involves blowing glass to produce a herringbone pattern. Striking arrangements of them can be mounted anywhere—including on ceilings, in wall displays, on chandeliers or, in this instance, mounted on a large wooden trellis framework, allowing visitors to walk through to enjoy the artwork from a number of angles.

The Northwest Room presents selections from Chihuly’s early experiments in the Baskets series.It is augmented by a sampling of the artist’s personal collection of Northwest Coast Indian baskets, American Indian trade blankets, and Edward S. Curtis photogravures.

Admission to CHIHULY is timed ticketed: Members: FREE; Adults: $29.00; Seniors/Students: $26.50; and Children (4-14 years): $21.00. Tickets are now on sale.

Visitors of all ages can enhance their exhibition experience with outstanding programming offered throughout the ROM’s presentation of CHIHULY. Visit rom.on.ca/chihuly for details.

About Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly, an American sculptor, has mastered the alluring, translucent, and transparent qualities of ice, water, glass and neon, to create works of art that transform the viewer experience. He is globally renowned for his ambitious site-specific architectural installations in public spaces, and in exhibitions presented in more than 250 museums and gardens worldwide. Major exhibitions include Chihuly Over Venice (1995-96), Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem (1999), Garden Cycle (2001–present), de Young Museum in San Francisco (2008), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2011), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (2012), and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal (2013.) Chihuly Garden and Glass opened at Seattle Center in 2012.


TD Toronto Jazz Festival Kicks Off Tomorrow!


Friday, June 24
An Evening with Sarah McLachlan
8 p.m. – Sony Centre (1 Front Street East)
Multi-platinum singer and songwriter best known for her intimate vocals and relatable lyrics

KC and The Sunshine Band
9 p.m. – Toronto Star Stage, Nathan Phillips Square (FREE)
After more than 40 years, the legendary supergroup can still throw-down

Heather Bambrick & Friends feat. Alex Pangman with Russ Little Quartet
7:30 p.m. – Home Smith Bar, The Old Mill (21 Old Mill Road)
Heather Bambrick joins forces with 2016 JUNO nominee Alex Pangman to breathe new life into the beloved standards of the classic jazz era

Bill Charlap Trio
8 p.m. / 10 p.m. – Jazz Bistro (251 Victoria Street)
A premier jazz pianist whose trio is recognized as one of the leading groups in jazz

Jane Bunnett & Hilario Duran
12:30 p.m. – Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor Street West)
Multiple JUNO-award winner, Jane Bunnett plays with one of the world’s most innovative pianist of Afro-Cuban music & Latin jazz

Tia Brazda Quartet

5 p.m. – Distillery Historic District (55 Mill Street)
“A technicolour swing that’s just the thing” – Globe and Mail

Heavyweights Brass Band w. Jay Douglas

6:30 p.m. – Outdoor Stage, Nathan Phillips Square
Inspired by the New Orelans sound, they pack a powerful one-two punch in brass tradition

We Came to Get Down: Swing vs. Street

7:30 p.m. – Outdoor Stage, Nathan Phillips Square
Contemporary street dancers pop, lock and break it down while vintage swing dancers lindy, charleston and jitterbug in a friend dance battle

Saturday, June 25
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
8:30 p.m. – Toronto Star Stage, Nathan Phillps Square
They have single handedly revived soul and funk music

Heather Bambrick & Friends feat. Broadsway with the Russ Little Quartet
7:30 p.m. – Home Smith Bar, The Old Mill (21 Old Mill Road)
Jazzy cabaret with a distinctive Broadway bent

Bill Charlap Trio
8 p.m. / 10 p.m. – Jazz Bistro (251 Victoria Street)


Jarrod Lawson
12:30 p.m. – Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor Street West)
“Everything he touches turns to soul”

Bill King’s Rhythm Express

12:30 p.m. – Toronto Star Stage, Nathan Phillips Square

Regent Park School of Music
2 p.m. – Outdoor Stage, Nathan Phillips Square
RPSM animates the Square with interactive opportunities for kids of all ages!

Joe Sealy – Solo Piano
3 p.m. – Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor Street West)

Slocan Ramblers
3 p.m. – Distillery Historic District (55 Mill Street)
Toronto’s young bluegrass band to watch

Bob Brough Trio
5 p.m. – Distillery Historic District (55 Mill Street)
…46 years later, Bob’s original artistic vision, to make music and be heard, continues

Jarrod Lawson
6:30 p.m. – Outdoor Stage, Nathan Phillips Square

Sunday, June 26
Lee Fields & The Expressions / Allen Stone
8:30 p.m. – Toronto Star Stage, Nathan Phillips Square
A pitch-perfect powerhouse, Allen Stone identifies as the “hippie with soul”
Lee Fields brings James Brown-style funk to lo-fi blues to contemporary Southern soul

Laila Biali Trio + Phil Dwyer

8 p.m. / 10 p.m. – Jazz Bistro (251 Victoria Street)
“She is an exciting and unique talent” – Sting

Molly Johnson
12:30 p.m. – Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor Street West)
Molly’s luscious interpretations of jazz and blues standards speak to an emotional depth that few vocalists in any genre have ever reached

Toronto Mass Choir
12:30 p.m. – Toronto Star Stage, Nathan Phillips Square
On the cutting edge of the Canadian gospel music scene

Tanika Charles
2 p.m. – Outdoor Stage, Nathan Phillips Square
“The most buzzed-about soul singer in Toronto” – CBC Music

Sam Dickinson Trio
3 p.m. – Pool Deck, Hilton Toronto Downtown Hotel

Rhythm & Truth

3 p.m. – Distillery Historic District (55 Mill Street)

Blue Moon Marquee

5 p.m. – Distillery Historic District (55 Mill Street)

Jamison Ross
6:30 p.m. – Outdoor Stage, Nathan Phillips Square
A 2016 Grammy nominee, he takes listeners on a musical journey that unifies his drumming with his vocal gifting

For the complete club listings, please visit www.torontojazz.com

TD TORONTO JAZZ FESTIVAL Artist Spotlight: Joe Jackson

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this summer, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival announces its lineup as it runs from June 24 – July 3, 2016 featuring a diverse range of musicians including heavyweights, rising stars and established artists such as:

Gregory Porter • Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings • Oliver Jones Trio • Joe Jackson

Robert Glasper Experiment • Avishai Cohen Trio • Grace Potter • Allen Stone

Michael Franti • Lee Fields • Eagle Rock Gospel Singers • Bill Charlap Trio

Fanfare Ciocarlia • The Hot Sardines • Robi Botos • David Braid

Broadsway • Heather Bambrick • Laili Biali • Hilario Duran

Lemon Bucket Orkestra • Alex Pangman • Phil Dwyer

Melissa Stylianou • John Alcorn

and many more!

The music of Joe Jackson spans new wave, pop, jazz and classical. With 19 studio albums and multiple Grammy nominations to his credit, Jackson rocketed to stardom with a string of hit songs and landmark albums including, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”, “Steppin’ Out” and “Breaking Us In Two.”

Catch him Saturday July 2, 2016 at Nathan Philips Square at 8:30 p.m..


I Fell In Love with NXNE 2016’s Port Lands

This year NXNE 2016 launched a brand new lakeside live music, festival venue on the east side of Toronto. Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18 presented a complete, immersive festival experience in this brand new concert site, across the street from the old Sound Academy, 51 Commissioners Street, at the corner of Cherry Street and Commissioners Street.
Getting there was easy, there are bike paths to the door and there was even a free bike valet parking. The TTC ran quickly and if you fancied boating it to NXNE Port Lands — you could for free.
Friday was co-presented by Manifesto and was heavy on the hip hop with international stars as well as the best of the best of the soul scene. Saturday went deep into Indie rock.
Toronto’s best food trucks showed up, there were art installations galore, cool activations and summer sun soothing beer gardens were all the rage.
The two stages offered a respite from the crowds. If you needed a break, you could hit the smaller stage with a drink in hand. If you were keen to be down deep with the kids – the grander Budweiser stage could satiate you.
The views of the city from the industrial side of the Port Lands was perfect for reflection time. With no grass underfoot, you could easily find a space to spread out with a meal and not be trampled on by fellow concert goers running between stages.
The neat tee pee balloon tents were an awesome shelter from the scorching sun and the bbq meat made for a transformative journey far away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Toronto.
With Club Land, Game Land and Future Land all the rage – it was no wonder that Port Lands was going to be a hit with the locals and visitors alike.
NXNE 2016 was beautifully curated with those special details that spoke to everyone depending on what you fancy. Till NXNE 2017!

NXNE Daily Tip Sheet – Day 6

Saturday, June 18




Live music and gaming at Yonge-Dundas Square
12pm – Play video game LOUD on Planet X
3 – 10pm – Live Music including No King for Countrymen, Taylor Knox, Le Groupe Swing, Sam Cash & the Romantic Dogs, and Zeus


Gates at 1pm, 51 Commissioners Street

Canal Stage Commissioners Stage
1:20pm – Devin Cuddy Band 2:20pm – Land of Talk
3:30pm – The Highs 4:20pm – Dan Mangan
5:30pm – The Zolas 6:40pm – Mother Mother
8:10pm – Born Ruffians 9:30pm – Father John Misty


M for Montreal Showcase at the Horseshoe Tavern
9pm Doors – 370 Queen Street West
Homeshake, Alex Calder, Michael Rault, Kandle and the Krooks, and Cat and The Queen

8pm Doors – Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Avenue

UTA Showcase at Lee’s Palace
9pm Doors – 529 Bloor Street West
Laura Sauvage, Birds of Bellwoods, Jesse MacCormack, Adam Baldwin, Motorleague and The OBGMs


So So Glos
NXNE Club Land
9pm Doors – Smiling Buddha, 961 College Street
with Hobo Lord, Honduras, and Big Ups

Screaming Females
NXNE Club Land
9pm Doors – The Silver Dollar Room, 486 Spadina Avenue
with Mikey Erg, and The Worrier

NXNE Daily Tip Sheet – Day 5

Friday, June 17




Live music, Sammy Watkins and gaming at Yonge-Dundas Square
12pm – Play video game LOUD on Planet X
3 – 10pm – Live Music including Hungry Lake, Long Range Hustle, Frisky Kids, Ferraro and Jane’s Party
Sports fans will also get the opportunity to “go long” with Buffalo Bills wide receiver, Sammy Watkins at the Courtyard @ Barcade.

Co-Presented by Manifesto

Gates at 1pm, 51 Commissioners Street

Canal Stage Commissioners Stage
1:20pm Drew Howard 2:20pm -Tasha the Amazon
3:30pm Mick Jenkins 4:40pm – Shamir
5:50pm Tiken Jah Fakoly 7pm Ghostface Killah
8:20pm Daniel Ceasar 9:30pm Schoolboy Q


Billions Canada Showcase at Lee’s Palace
8pm Doors – 529 Bloor Street West
Escondido, DIANA, and Cold Specks

Just Shows Showcase at The Silver Dollar Room
9pm Doors – 486 Spadina Avenue
Lord Almightys, Big Eyes, Bad Sports, and Radioactivity

Paquin Agency Showcase at the Horseshoe Tavern
9:30pm Doors – 370 Queen Street West
NQ Arbuckle, Duotang, Shred Kelly, and Sun K


Stomp Records Showcase at Hard Luck
NXNE Club Land
8pm Doors – 772A Dundas Street
The Brains, The Beatdown, K-Man & the 45s, Dig It Up!, and Danny Rebel & the KGB

NXNE Daily Tip Sheet – Day 4 – Featuring the stars of Pitch Perfect!

Thursday, June 16




Anna Camp & Skylar Astin
7pm – Yonge-Dundas Square
Anna Camp and Skylar Astin, co-stars of the 2012 film Pitch Perfect, will judge a singing competition with local vocalists and A Cappella groups, prior to a free screening of Pitch Perfect at Yonge-Dundas Square.


Halifax Pop Explosion Showcase
8pm Doors – The Rivoli, 722 College Street
Midday Swim, First Ghost, The Hunna

iNativefest & Gunner Records Showcase
8pm Doors – The Great Hall, 1087 Queen Street West
DJ Shubb, Miriame, Shawnee and Digging Roots


Fast Romantics
NXNE Game Land
6pm – Yonge-Dundas Square
Because Nick’s a great drummer

King Khan and The Shrines
NXNE Club Land
8:30pm Doors – The Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen Street West
Remember when he played bass for GZA at NXNE 2009? Maybe GZA will play bass for him.

NXNE Daily Tip Sheet – Day 3 – Guest Appearance by Mayor John Tory

Wednesday, June 15




Keynote address by Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari
10am – Ted Rogers School of Management, 55 Dundas Street West
Nolan Bushnell will share his insights about gaming, share behind the scene stories of his iconic career, and talk about what it takes to find and nurture creative people to drive gaming into the future.

Mayor John Tory introduces the Designing the Future session
4pm – Ted Rogers School of Management, 55 Dundas Street West
Designing the Future will feature the best in the Toronto video game industry discussing ways to encourage, support and challenge today’s game creators and entrepreneurs.


The Joy Formidable at The Mod Club
7:30pm Doors – 722 College Street

TUNS at The Garrison
8pm Doors – 1197 Dundas Street West
Kiwi Jr, Only Yours, and TUNS featuring members of Sloan, Super Friendz and Inbreds


Master Class in Storytelling and Game Development: Narrative open world from The Division
NXNE Future Land
3:10pm – Ted Rogers School of Management, 55 Dundas Street West

shy kids at The Silver Dollar Room
NXNE Club Land
10pm set time – 486 Spadina Avenue