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Toronto, The Bloor St. Culture Corridor - May 2024

Alliance Française de Toronto

This month, Alliance Française de Toronto is excited to present a rich cultural program celebrating French culture! Starting May 4, immerse yourself in "Mosaïque Toronto: Urban Diversity," a photo exhibition by Sylvain Faucon that delves into the cultural richness of the city's various neighborhoods. On May 7, experience a unique blend of poetry and sound art as audio artists and poets collaborate to create a captivating performance. Mark your calendar for May 9 and 23 to enjoy free screenings of French cinema classics, including "Two is a Family" and "One Man and His Cow". On May 11, enjoy a mesmerizing string quartet performance that merges Mediterranean and African musical traditions. In celebration of Wee Festival's 10th anniversary, AFTO is thrilled to host Puzzle Théâtre's production of "Plastic" on May 19. Finally, on May 25, embark on a musical journey to Senegal with the talented singer, songwriter, musician, and dancer, Zale Seck.
Visit their website for more details.

Blackhurst Cultural Centre

Have an idea for a non-fiction book? Discover the World of Non-Fiction Writing as a part of Blackhurst Cultural Centre's second instalment of "The Art of Writing Techniques" Program! Join them on May 22 from 5pm-7pm and receive guidance from their mentors and special guests who specialize in Non-Fiction works. Their workshop will also include a presentation by a representative from a leading publisher to assist with your publishing journey. Sign up here so you don't miss out on this opportunity!

VEMU Estonian Museum Canada

Co-presented by VEMU, the documentary "Kelly – Someone Else’s Dream" will be premiering at HotDocs film festival on Friday, May 3 at 11:15am. Before catching the film, join VEMU on May 2, for a pre-screening conversation with the filmmakers, Helen Lõhmus and Leana Jalukse as well as Estonian freestyle skiing champion Kelly Sildaru. On May 4 will be VEMU’s 12th annual fundraising evening “In Search of the Spirit of Tartu”. The evening will celebrate the city of Tartu, 2024's European Capital of Culture with guest speaker Krista Aru, musician Jarek Kasar and Chef Joel Ostrat. On May 5, Estonian Music Week concert series will be hosting an evening of mellow melodies with acclaimed Estonian musician Jarek Kasar. May 25-26, VEMU will be participating in Doors Open Toronto's "Hidden Histories" with tours of their archives and LP DJ performances by Erik Laar. Finally, on May 28, researcher Linda Kaljundi will be giving a lecture, "North American Indigenous Heritage in Estonian Collections". More information can be found at their website.

The Royal Conservatory

The Royal Conservatory's May concerts start with a sold-out performance of works by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and Kelly-Marie Murphy featuring the Royal Conservatory Orchestra and pianist Stewart Goodyear conducted by Maestro Peter Oundjian on May 3. Award-winning American jazz singer Stacey Kent performs popular standards alongside original compositions on a double bill with Juno Award nominated saxophonist Alison Young on May 4. Celebrate five decades of the Kronos Quartet and their timeless music on May 9. The critically acclaimed Brentano String Quartet perform Schubert’s “Trout Quintet” with virtuoso pianist Jonathan Biss and award-winning Principal Bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra Joseph Conyers on May 10. Larnell Lewis and Joy Lapps bring their signature Caribbean jazz alongside Koerner Hall favourites John Patitucci, Brian Blade, and Jon Cowherd on May 11. Head to their website to learn more.


Treat family and friends to the final weeks of Wildlife Photographer of the Year and admire the prizing winning photos of the #ROMWildlifeON and #ROMWildlifeJR contests from the best nature photographers of Ontario. Back from extinction and ready to party! Go Jurassic with RAD: DinoNite—a rip-roaring party packed with delicious eats, live music, and loads of dinosaurs, from real-life fossils to giant inflatables. Plus, each visitor gets a free drink ticket and access to all exhibitions. Then, get out into the outdoors with ROMWalks. Offered each year from May to October, rain or shine, each walk combines the excitement of exploring diverse and vibrant Toronto neighbourhoods with the expertise of knowledgeable guides and the adventure of learning. Available as free, plus & private group walks for the public. Learn more at their website.

Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Join the IIC for the Day of Italian Research 2024 - Genio Vagante: Wandering Genius, as leading experts Dr. Gianluigi Bisleri and Dr. Terry Peters unveil groundbreaking insights in cardiac surgery and valvular heart disease. Then, experience the evocative narrative of the exhibition by Photographer Martina Zanin, 'I Made Them Run Away,' part of the Contact Photography Festival 2024, curated by Ask Again and designed by Melissa Pallini. Zanin's exhibition at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura invites you on a journey through family dynamics and emotional exploration. For more information on these events and more, visit their website.

The Japan Foundation, Toronto

Visit JFT for the city’s annual Doors Open event on May 25 and 26, 10:30am–4pm. Along with usual gallery and library services, JFT is delighted to bring a variety of activities in line with this year's theme "Hidden Histories". Visitors can enjoy a calligraphy workshop and uncover the hidden stories behind different kanji characters, origami activities related to Japanese traditional Children’s Day Festival, screenings of short films and animations, and a display about their centre's 35-year history of promoting international cultural exchange in Canada. On May 21, join in on a lecture about the Kominka project and regional rejuvenation through Tourism. Registrations for intermediate level Japanese Language Classes are now open! Of course, don’t miss JFT’s ongoing exhibition, From Edo to Meiji: Transformation of Japanese Ceramics, with materials on loan from the ROM. For more information about events, film screenings, and classes at JFT, please visit their website.

Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

May is Jewish Heritage Month and the Miles Nadal JCC is offering free Arts programs in celebration of Jewish Culture in partnership with the Toronto Public Library. On May 5, Author Heather Camlot discusses The Dreyfus Affair in The Prisoner and the Writer, co-presented by the Canadian Jewish Literary Awards with The Koschitzky Centre. Register for a free film screening of a documentary on May 9 in the Al Green Theatre … The Wild One examines the importance of Holocaust Survivor, filmmaker and theatre director Jack Garfein's legacy as an artist who confronted censorship and reveals how art can draw on personal memory to better enlighten our present. Visit their website for more outstanding programming for all in the heart of the Annex.

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir

Join Tafelmusik for an evening of mesmerizing performances as Kristian Bezuidenhout, acclaimed harpsichordist and guest director, leads a captivating program. Transformations: Bach & Rameau delves into the world of music that has undergone metamorphosis through transcriptions, reworkings, and arrangements. From posthumous orchestral adaptations of Rameau's solo harpsichord pieces to Handel's inventive transformations of operatic movements into a vibrant sonata, the concert showcases the rich tapestry of baroque evolution. Tickets available here.

Bata Shoe Museum

Discover the lasting impact of the 1980s on fashion, culture, film and television during a panel talk presented by the Bata Shoe Museum in collaboration with The Canadian Alliance of Film & Television Costume Arts and Design (CAFTCAD) on Wednesday May 8 from 7:30pm-10:00pm. Moderated by celebrated journalist Nathalie Atkinson, panelists Nishi Bassi, Suzanne Boyd, and Allisa Swanson, will share their insights on the cultural significance of this dynamic era and its lasting impression in the world of film and television. On May 18, join them for an exciting workshop celebrating the fusion of art, nature, and footwear design. Hosted by artist and professional gardener Wendy Woodworth, participants will explore the creative potential of wooden clogs by transforming them into one-of-a-kind planters. Join the Bata Shoe Museum as they welcome special guest Elamin Abdelmahmoud of CBC’s Commotion to celebrate the launch of Dressed to Impress: Footwear and Consumerism in the 1980s, a captivating new book by Nishi Bassi on May 23. Step into the vibrant world of 1980s fashion as Nishi and Elamin discuss the iconic trends and influences that defined an era. Keep up to date by visiting their website.

Toronto Reference Library

Hungry for history? Nibble your way through early cookbooks, familiar menus and other culinary curiosities of the new exhibit, Eat In or Dine Out, in the TD Gallery at Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street). Discover rare items that reveal how people ate in our past – at home and around town. Exhibit runs until June 16. Free admission. For free guided tours and what to expect, visit: tpl.ca/tdgallery.

Gardiner Museum

The Gardiner Museum’s International Ceramic Art Fair (ICAF) returns from May 23 – June 3. ICAF is a 10-day celebration of some of the most compelling contemporary ceramic art from Canada and internationally. Discover how artists are creating new and exciting work with clay and other media, and register for tours, talks, performances, and workshops. The theme of this year’s fair is “Gathering”, exploring the ways in which artworks and clay as a medium can bring us together to create common ground. Then on May 30, attend the Gardiner’s annual art party, SMASH, a night when the next generation of artists, arts enthusiasts, and cultural philanthropists come together to celebrate our city’s vibrant arts community. This year, SMASH: Between Worlds invites you to explore the boundaries between states, parallel worlds, and altered realities through mind-bending art, fashion, food, drinks, music, and more. Visit their website to learn more and get tickets.

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

In May, Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema presents an exciting lineup of premiere titles from some of the world’s most compelling doc filmmakers. Catch premieres of Carlos, an intimately-crafted film about rock legend Carlos Santana’s life and historied musical trajectory; Tish, capturing the stunning work and tragic life of working-class photographer Tish Murtha, who captured the impact of Thatcherism on the north of England; Lyd, a vividly animated story of a city that once connected Palestine to the world: what it once was, what it is now, and what it could have become; Taking Venice, the true story behind rumours that the U.S. government and high-placed insiders rigged the 1964 Venice Biennale so their chosen artist could win the Grand Prize; and more. Curious Minds Author Talks in May: iconic internationally bestselling author Kevin Kwan (Crazy Rich Asians), bestselling author and beloved former restaurant critic of the NYT, Ruth Reichl, #1 New York Times bestselling author Carley Fortune, influential autism acceptance activist and author Paige Layle, and writer and broadcaster Nahlah Ayed, the award-winning host of CBC’s Ideas. Visit the Hot Docs website to view their programming schedule.

Women's Art Association of Canada

Dignam Gallery presents Inside Out, a solo exhibition by Fereydoon Soleimani from May 1 to 11; IMAGINATION II by Guler Caglar from May 14 to 18; Dynamic Range, a members photography exhibition from May 23 to June 15 with a reception on May 23, 5pm-8pm. Ruth Upjohn Gallery is dedicated to member solo exhibitions, presenting Yafang Shi until May 4; Sally Thurlow from May 8 to 18; Margaret Rodgers from May 22 to June 1. WAAC Education Committee's ARTIST VOICES, a free speakers series presents Three Roses in a Ginger Jar: Mary Hiester Reid Makes It to the MET with Molly Peacock. ARTIST HANDS Workshop series invites Beverly Allen on May 18, Beyond the Basics of Gelli Printing. Visit their website for more information.

The Bloor St. Culture Corridor, Toronto's most diverse arts and culture district, is a true creative cluster, an arts and culture destination, and a collaboration between some of Toronto's most dynamic arts and culture organizations.

The Bloor St. Culture Corridor offers the public a wide variety of arts genres, from museum experiences to films, art exhibitions to music concerts, and opportunities to experience some of Toronto's cultural diversity, including Aboriginal, French, Jewish, Italian, Japanese, Estonian, African and Caribbean arts and culture.
All Bloor St. Culture Corridor organizations present arts and cultural events for the public year-round in destination venues located in a cluster along a vibrant stretch of Bloor Street West. Each year more than three million members of the public go to Bloor St. Culture Corridor arts and culture destinations, and attend exhibitions, performances, and events. Together, the Bloor St. Culture Corridor organizations employ more than 5,500 culture workers and generate more than $629,500,000 in economic impact each year. In 2016, The Bloor St. Culture Corridor was successful in working with the City of Toronto to have the Bloor St. Culture corridor section of Bloor St. West designated an official City of Toronto cultural corridor.

The Bloor St. Culture Corridor includes:
918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media and Education: 918 Bathurst St. 918bathurst.com
Alliance Française de Toronto: 24 Spadina Road alliance-francaise.ca
Bata Shoe Museum: 327 Bloor Street West batashoemuseum.ca
Blackhurst Cultural Centre: 777-779 Bathurst St. blackhurstcc.org
Gardiner Museum: 111 Queen's Park gardinermuseum.com
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema: 506 Bloor Street West hotdocscinema.ca
Istituto Italiano di Cultura: 496 Huron Street iictoronto.esteri.it
The Japan Foundation, Toronto: 2 Bloor Street East, Suite 300 jftor.org
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre: 750 Spadina Ave. mnjcc.org
The Music Gallery: 918 Bathurst St. musicgallery.org
Native Canadian Centre of Toronto: 16 Spadina Road ncct.on.ca
The Randolph Centre for the Arts: 736 Bathurst St. randolphcentreforthearts.com
The Royal Conservatory of Music / Koerner Hall: 273 Bloor Street West rcmusic.com/performance
Royal Ontario Museum (ROM): 100 Queen's Park (Entrance on Bloor St. W.) rom.on.ca
Soundstreams: various venues on the Bloor St. Culture Corridor soundstreams.ca
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Chamber Choir: 427 Bloor Street West tafelmusik.org
The Toronto Consort: 427 Bloor Street West torontoconsort.org
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library: 120 St. George St. fisher.library.utoronto.ca
Toronto Reference Library: 789 Yonge Street torontopubliclibrary.ca
University of Toronto Faculty of Music: 80 Queen's Park music.utoronto.ca
VEMU Estonian Museum Canada: 310 Bloor Street West vemu.ca
Women's Art Association of Canada: 23 Prince Arthur Ave. womensartofcanada.ca

Sophie A.V.    5/1/2024


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