Arts & Culture

Toronto: A Culture-Rich City for the Not-So-Rich

Staff Writer

My absolute favourite thing about this city is its wealth of culture. All year round, the city is booming with festivals, concerts, theatre productions, dance shows, poetry and literary presentations, photography and art exhibitions, and so much more. And the best part about all of this? Most of these events are accessible for next to nothing! Many city cultural events offered highly discounted rates for students and those 35 and under. But some of the best things in life are free. Below, I have highlighted some of this week’s most notable free arts and cultural events.

(Note: all descriptions are reproduced from ).

National Film Board of Canada Mediatheque
For more info visit

Feb. 15 at 4 PM

At the start of the new millennium, relations between men and women are in turmoil. Traditional marriage is challenged on all fronts. Long-held notions about gender, commitment and courtship have been cast aside. And 'marriageable' people are staying single in record numbers.

Is this an historical blip or a fundamental change in society? Do men and women even need each other anymore? Women and Men Unglued dares to ask these questions.

Katherine Gilday | NFB | 2003 | 71 min

Feb. 21 at 7 PM

A penetrating profile of the Founder of the National Ballet of Canada with some wonderful archival vintage film footage shot in the fifties during the early days of the National Ballet of Canada. Director, producer, writer and narrator Veronica Tennant will be present for a Q&A session following the screening.

Veronica Tennant | Canada | 2003 | 44 min

Free Concert Series at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre
These concerts are part of the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. The series provides a unique opportunity to experience diverse artistic programming in what has become one of Toronto’s most exciting cultural hubs. Get there early because spots fill up fast! For more info visit .

Feb. 14, 2012 12-1pm
Soprano Julie Mankerov and pianist Anne Larlee present a musical exploration of love in its many guises.

Feb. 15, 2012 12-1pm
Two of Canada’s master jazz pianists, Robi Botos and Hilario Durán, come together for the first time ever to present a magical hour of music-making on 176 keys.

Feb. 16, 2012 12-1pm
The cast of the COC’s Love from Afar, Russell Braun, Erin Wall and Krisztina Szabó join with Ensemble Studio member Christopher Enns to celebrate love, life and music. With piano accompaniment from Carolyn Maule and COC Music Director Johannes Debus, this concert features Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzer, Schumann’s Spanisches Liederspiel and Canadian composer John Greer’s All Around the Circle.

Feb. 21, 2012 12-1pm
Young Algerian pianist Mehdi Ghazi showcases the passion and poetry for which he is becoming known in a program of works by Schubert, Brahms and Chopin.

1955: A Group Show Presented by: Stephen Bulger Gallery
A photography exhibit containing works by various makers, all photographed in 1955, displaying many different approaches to photography.

Fascinated by the optimism of the 1950s, Stephen Bulger has long considered 1955 to be the epitome of this era, so often mythologized and made nostalgic in North American mass media.

Ends: Feb 18, 2012
At: Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1026 Queen Street West, Toronto
Playing: Tuesday through Saturday
Times: 11am - 6pm

Social Media Week Toronto 2012
Be part of the world’s largest simultaneous multi-city conference, in Toronto. Feb.13-17.

Social Media Week (SMW) is coming back to Toronto this Feb. 13 to 17th. This is the 3rd annual city-wide event and one of Canada’s largest FREE digital culture festivals.

Spanning 13 global cities in 2012, SMW is the largest simultaneous multi-city conference in the world. It features interconnected activities and conversations on emerging trends in social and mobile media across all major industries. Curated, individually organized events are offered free of charge in different locations across the city. From arts and culture, to business communications, SMWTO has a little something for everyone living in this digital age.

In Toronto more than 60 events are being offered. Registration is now open.

For more information, please visit .

Flavio Trevisan: Museum of the Represented City, Presented by: Koffler Gallery
Retrace paths and discover new ways to explore the city by examining planned and idiosyncratic urban development.

Toronto artist Flavio Trevisan stages an immersive environment, an ephemeral “museum of the present”, that reflects on the current state of the city. The resulting installation conveys a fragmented yet revealing cartography of Toronto’s built history, inviting the visitors to explore different ways of engaging with the cityscape. Trevisan’s three-dimensional maps and playful objects expose the city as a collection of places successively shaped by and reshaping public ideals. For more info visit .

Ends: Apr 8, 2012
At: 80 Spadina Ave., 80 Spadina Ave., Toronto
Playing: Wednesday-Sunday

Réal Calder - Of Fire and Water, Presented by: Thompson Landry Gallery
Starts February 17- Ends Mar. 11, 2012

The overwhelming power of nature and the beauty of the untouched Québec wilderness is captured in Réal Calder’s new series “Of Fire and Water”. Calder reveals the relationship between artistic creation and the creative forces of Mother Nature that can be both productive and destructive. With a dynamic style which combines historical Canadian landscape painting and abstract expressionism, Real Calder’s talent is showcased in this breathtaking series.

At: Thompson Landry Gallery, Stone Distillery Space, The Distillery District, 55 Mill Street, Bldg 5, #102, Toronto
Playing: Tuesday-Sunday