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What's On with Aparita Bhandari: January 2014 Archives

From culture to tea and the arts -- lots to celebrate this weekend

Black History Month celebrations start in the city this weekend. Then there are continuing Lunar New Year celebrations. And the Toronto Tea Festival. Those are just some of the events worth checking out in the city this weekend:

Celebrating Black History - Gala
Jan 31
Toronto Reference Library

Join in for a Gala Black History Evening with George Elliott Clarke, Dan Hill, Roger Gibbs, Motion, Andrea Thompson, Seth Adrian Harris, Kenny Robinson, Eddy Daoriginalone and a Calypso party with Shak-Shak.

For more information, check out the Toronto Public Library website.

Black History Month Celebrations
Toronto Public Library Branches

Toronto Public Library celebrates Black History Month with great programs for everyone at branches across the city. Check out some great books and great people at the library.

For more information, check out the Toronto Public Library website.

Home: Photographs by Jon Blak
Feb 1 to Feb 28
Gladstone Hotel

An engaging events program exploring Caribbean Canadian history and culture. Jon Blak's work continues the dialogue between mixed cultural groups to examine Canada's diasporic culture and social politics, and examine Jamaican and Canadian art and music with a particular focus on Caribbean youth culture.

For more information, check out Wedge Curatorial Projects website.

Toronto Tea Festival
Feb 1 to Feb 2 (10 AM to 5 PM)
Toronto Reference Library

Whether you are a newbie or an aficionado of tea culture, the Toronto Tea Festival will enable you to discover the world of tea from the traditional to the trendy. You will be able to sample hundreds of teas and learn from experts in the industry.

For more information, check out the Toronto Tea Festival website.

Free Outgoing/grandNIGHT: A Gala Fundraising Night
Jan 31
Factory Theatre

The special evening will be hosted by Dora award-winner d'bi.young. It will begin with a reception and a silent auction of "Toronto Island Experiences", such as a gourmet dinner on the deck of an Island home with a stunning view of the city.

For information on this special fundraiser and Free Outgoing (which continues at Factory Theatre until Feb 16), check out the Toronto Island Grannies In Spirit website.

Of Mice and Morro and Jasp
Jan 28 to Feb 8
Factory Theatre

Morro and Jasp feel the pinch of the recent economic downturn and decide to try to make ends meet by staging John Steinbeck's classic tale Of Mice and Men. Can the clown sisters stick to the story? Will they both make it out alive? This winter, find out for yourself!

For more information, check out the Factory Theatre website.

Coldest Day of the Year Ride
Feb 1
Start Point: Queen's Park

Ride from Queen's Park to Dufferin Grove Park for skating and hot chocolate around a campfire.

For more information, check out the Cycle Toronto website.

Album Release: After Funk
Jan 31
3030 Dundas Street West

Taking its cues from old school funk acts like Stevie Wonder and James Brown, modern jam bands like Lettuce and the String Cheese Incident, even hints of the romantic classical music of Tchaikovsky and gospel music of Tye Tribbit, After Funk has found itself an ever growing audience of people searching for a heavy groove that expands their mind and fills their soul.

For more information, check out the After Funk Facebook page,


Lunarfest and more celebrations in the city this weekend...

Many people will mark Lunar New Year this weekend. Here are some suggestions to help ring in the Year of the Horse, and other events in the city:

Jan 25 to Jan 26
Harbourfront Centre

Experience a Lunar New Year celebration like no other with Canada's premier presenter of contemporary expression in Asian arts and culture.

For more information, check out the Harbourfront Centre website.

Performing Taiwan
Jan 24 to Jan 25
Harbourfront Centre (FREE)

Performing Taiwan is a contemporary cultural showcase that will challenge preconceptions of the island's culture with a mix of emerging and established artists in a variety of formats spread over four days:

For more information about the artists, check out the Performing Taiwan website.

Chinese New Year
Jan 26 (11 AM to 4 PM)

Celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Horse with live music and dance performances, shopping, dining and more! Included with Museum admission.

For more information, check out the ROM website.

2014 Year of the Horse
Jan 25
Scarborough Town Centre

Performances include thundering drums, the dotting of the eye and feeding of the lion and the arrival of the God of Fortune.

For more information, check out the Scarborough Town Centre website.

Book Launch: Gabby: Drama Queen
Jan 26 (1-3 PM)
Story Planet (FREE)

Celebrate Family Literacy Day with author Joyce Grant and illustrator Jan Dolby. They regale the kids with the stories behind the latest in the Gabby series. There will also be fun activities and games.

For more information, check out the Story Planet website.

We're Going on a Gruffalo Hunt
Jan 25 (11 AM to 3 PM)
North York Central Library (FREE)

StoryMobs and Small Print Toronto will co-host a free pre-StoryMob crafts session at North York Central Library. Small Print Toronto will help you make monster masks and StoryMobs will assist with animal headbands and signs that can be used at the StoryMob in the afternoon.

For more information, check out the StoryMobs website.

Burns Night Dinner Celebration
Jan 25
University Club of Toronto

After being piped in to a reception where society members, Club members and guests mingle, the meal starts with a Burns grace. A first course is served, then everyone stands for the piping in of in the haggis. The piper leads the haggis-bearing party, to where, with great drama, Burns' poem "To A Haggis" is recited. Everyone joins in on the last line, "Gie her a haggis!" and toasts the haggis with a glass of whisky before tucking into a delicious meal.

For more information, check out the St. Andrews Society website.

Not Dead Yet
Jan 25 (7 PM to 12 AM)
Makeworks Studio

After a short talk on how the hell Opportunity has lasted 40 times longer than its 90-day warranty, there will be a massive cardboard and duct tape Rover building contest. Entries will be judged by Bill Nye the Science Guy via video-chat.

For more information, check out the Not Dead Yet website.

Manulife Walk for Memories
Jan 25 (9 AM to Noon)
Brookfield Place

The Manulife Walk for Memories is a fun, family-friendly event where the community comes together to raise money for the Alzheimer Society of Toronto while honouring and remembering those affected by Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.

For more information, check out the Alzheimer Society Toronto website.

In Concert: Arlene Paculan
Jan 26
Village Vinyl

Arlene Paculan is a serenading story teller. She creates soulful pop that is haunting, passionate, and invigorating.

For more information, check out Arlene Paculan's website.


What's On this weekend? Urban bee-keeping and more...

There's been a growing interest in where our food comes from. And that's led many people to look into everything from backyard gardening to even raising their own chickens. Then there's urban bee-keeping. Here's the buzz on that and other events in the city worth checking out this weekend:

So You Wanna Be a Beekeeper
Jan 18
MISO (862 Richmond Street West)

If you've been thinking that this is the year you take up urban beekeeping, this whirlwind introduction to the challenges and opportunities of keeping bees in the city is for you.

For more information, check out the Miso website.

Accepting Registrations
Until Feb 1
Toronto Beekeepers Cooperative

Registrations are open for the Feb 1 workshop on Beekeeping 101. scholarships are available.

For more information, check out the Toronto Beekeeper's Cooperative website.

Family Snowshoeing
Jan 19 (Weather permitting)
Humber Arboretum

Had your fill of holiday food? What better way to burn it all off but with a robust walk outside on snowshoes. Come one, come all, all ages, all sizes, young and old. This one is for you.

For more information, check out the Humber Arboretum website.

Toboganning in the city
Various Locations

Looking for some slopes to hurtle down from? Check out this BlogTo list of the best spots in the city. #weAREwinter

Winter Fun
Jan 19
Colborne Lodge

Fun winter activities include taffy pulling, roasting (and eating!) marshmallows and potatoes and sipping warm cider in the great outdoors. Dress for the weather. Small fees apply for taffy-pulling, potatoes and cider.

For more information, check out the City of Toronto website.

Dance Ontario Dance Weekend
Jan 18 to Jan 19
Fleck Dance Theatre

From ballet to b-boying with bharatnatyam in between.

For a complete line-up of the performances you can check out at the event, go to the Dance Ontario website.

Lutz Dille's Toronto: Photographs of our Recent Past
Jan 14 to Mar 8
UTAC (University College)

German-born photographer and filmmaker Lutz Dille (1922 - 2008) immigrated to Canada in 1951. The selection of black-and-white pictures in this exhibition capture poignant moments--including fashion accessories, unconscious gestures and everyday objects--in the streets of Toronto, where Dille lived and worked for thirty years.

For more information, check out the University of Toronto Arts Centre website.

Jan 17
Hard Rock Cafe

If you love K-Pop (that's Korean Pop music for those not in the know), this is the party for you.

For more information, check out the event's Facebook page.