NOW critics pick the best weekend in-person, drive-in and virtual events happening in Toronto and beyond for the weekend of October 16.
Drive-in and in-person
TSO at the Drive-In
Drive-ins have proven to be a chill way to take in a concert – while getting out of the house and keeping a distance. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is playing two shows this weekend: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and First Ladies of Soul with vocalist Shakura S’Aida.
October 16-17. CityView Drive-In. Sold Out. tso.ca
The Bentway: Safe In Public Space
Timely multi-pronged event sees creators, artists, activists and researchers ask who defines “public safety” via installations, photo essays, editorial content and talks. The project will produce a toolkit of best practices to “remake any public space into an environment that is safer, more equitable and more accessible for all.”
October 16-December. 250 Fort York and thebentway.ca/safe.
Haunted Halloween Drive-Thru
Haunted mazes, walks and houses are out this year. If COVID-19 isn’t scary enough for you, give this 1.5 kilometre-course that promises “spooky props, eerie lighting and creepy animatronics” a shot.
Opens October 16. The Docks (176 Cherry). Drive-thru $44.95 per car, Drive-thru and SuperDogs Show $59.95. torontoShines.ca
Secret Path Week
Coinciding with the release of the posthumous Gord Downie album Away Is Mine, the third annual event raises awareness of the legacy of Residential Schools and money for the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. The concert film Return To Secret Path Live begins streaming on October 17 and a benefit show – also available to stream – takes place at Burlington Centre for the Performing Arts on October 16.
October 16-22. downieWenjack.ca
Ok Miss at X Avant
The Music Gallery’s big Sunday show to cap off the X Avant fest has been postponed, but composer/multi-instrumentalist Du Yun’s hybrid rock-chamber ensemble Ok Miss will perform a livestreamed show on Friday.
October 16. 7 pm. Free. musicgallery.org
Metz live at the Opera House
The local rockers launch their Atlas Vending album – about dealing with parenting and an ever-gentrifying Toronto – with a livestream performance of the record in its entirety.
October 17. Doors 8 pm, show 9 pm. $15.82. dice.fm.
The Lobby Festival in Club Quarantine
Los Angeles-based festival GXRLSCHOOL teams with Toronto’s Club Quarantine to cap off a day of creative inspiration. The Club Q crew will DJ alongside a Bratz Doll – DJ Jade, specifically.
October 17. 10 pm-midnight. lobby.gxrlschool.com.
Fall For Dance North
This year’s reimagined dance festival – called The Flip Side – assembles a ton of first-rate talent, but it’s presented in such a way that’s safe, accessible and interactive. A Netflix-style digital platform offers up lots of free content, including a podcast, interactive encounters and augmented reality.
To October 18. Free-$15. ffdnorth.com
A Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-Spective: “Rufus Wainwright” Part 2
The Montrealer performs every single song from his eight studio albums over four livestream shows in his Laurel Canyon living room. Brian Green will join on guitars and Jacob Mann plays piano and keyboard.
October 16. 5 pm. $20-$25 (USD). rufuswainwright.com
Isabella Rossellini: Sex & Consequences
The model-turned-actor-turned-insect sexpert’s latest sex-focused theatrical experience livestreams from her farm in Long Island, New York. A 20-minute Q&A will follow the 40-minute show.
October 16. Viewable via Zoom. Doors 7 pm. $15 (USD). dice.fm
Erik Madigan Heck at Nicholas Metivier Gallery
The fashion photographer and artist’s new solo show The Garden is full of painterly and dreamy images featuring his wife and sons as models.
To October 24. 190 Richmond East and online.
Jennifer Rose Sciarrino at Daniel Faria Gallery
For Swan is the Toronto artist’s fourth solo show at Daniel Faria. It features striking ecological-inspired sculptural objects encompassing fungus, algae and endangered lichen species in cast glass.
To October 31. 188 St Helens. danielfariagallery.com
Lyla Rae at Prefix ICA
The Toronto artist’s architectural solo show Mirage is part of Contact Photo Fest and features the Canadian premiere of of her video installation A Meditation.
To November 28. 401 Richmond West. prefix.ca
Virtual film festivals
Planet In Focus
The 21st festival of ecologically inclined cinema will feature documentaries from Hot Docs and TIFF, and close with the Canadian premiere of Ai Weiwei’s Coronation, shot in Wuhan during the early days of COVID-19.
To October 18. planetinfocus.org
Toronto’s premier BIPOC film festival is available online to all Ontarians this year, with exclusive Q&As scheduled at specific times to allow a sense of community even when we’re in separate locations.
To October 19. reelworld.ca
Rendezvous With Madness
The annual arts and mental health festival shifts online. Check out our podcast interview with activist Judy Rebick, subject of RWM film Judy Versus Capitalism.
To October 25. Pwyw (pay what you want). workmanarts.com