Gear up for another week of arts and culture based activities right from the heart of Toronto. Take a peek into the untold stories of history with AGO’s newest exhibition Making Her Mark or take a seat for the TSO’s Brahms’s First. From live music to comedy shows, there will always be an activity to keep you busy! Nonetheless, here are our Best Bets for the week.

Judith Leyster. Self-Portrait, c.1630

AGO’s Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400-1800

Learn all about women artists across Europe from 1400-1800 with AGO’s newest exhibition Making Her Mark. This exhibition will bring together more than 230 objects from royal portraits to metal work, textiles, ceramics and other objects to demonstrate their contributions to Europe. Not only will the exhibition highlight artists, but it will give a second chance for those working in factory settings and workshops to have their stories heard. This exhibition is the first to consider women artists across genres, time, and continents! Additionally, the AGO will be releasing a limited number of free General Admission tickets for First Wednesday Night Free, a new monthly open door event launching May 1, and they will be offering free admission this weekend! More info. 

When: On now until July 1

Where: Art Gallery of Ontario


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Behind the Mic with Jully Black

It’s not every day you can watch a one-of-a-kind intimate and interactive experience with Canada’s Queen of R&B. Jully Black will be making a stop at the Anndore House for an immersive dining experience for a deep dive into her career and insights! The evening will start with a cocktail hour and followed by a four-course meal prepared by Constantine’s Chef Adam Lafleur. This is the hotel’s third edition of its House Salon dinner series, so you won’t want to miss out! More info. 

When: May 1

Where: The Anndore House

Courtesy of OCAD


OCAD University’s annual graduate exhibition returns to feature the works of over 800 emerging artists and designers. Better known as Toronto’s largest free art and design exhibition,  GradEx will feature works from students in every discipline. There will be sales of student work, an alumni lounge, and a special exhibition of medal-winning student works in the Great Hall. For those who cannot make it to in-person programming, there will be a supplemental online exhibition set to launch on May 1 as well! More info.

When: May 1-5

Where: OCAD University

Courtesy of TSO

TSO’s Brahms’s First

Coined as “Beethoven’s Tenth,” Brahms’s monumental First Symphony is a grandiose gesture of emotion embroidered with sound. Several pieces will be performed that are guaranteed to leave you speechless. This Toronto Symphony Orchestra production will spotlight Artist Emily D’Angelo’s suite of stunning vocal works by centuries of composers and a new work by TSO RBC Affiliate Composer Alison Yun-Fei Jiang. More info. 

When: May 1-2

Where: Roy Thomson Hall

Courtesy of Fashion Art Toronto

Fashion Art Toronto – 1664 Fashion Week

Put on your best outfits and gear up for another year of Fashion Art Toronto’s spring programming! 1664 Fashion Week is a multi-sensory showcase featuring runway shows from over 40 Canadian designers, retail boutiques, art installations, and immersive Fashion Playgrounds. There will be contemporary, avant-garde, and experiential collections from over 40 designers across Canada. This year’s show will be an immersive experience with a fashion playground, 50-foot pink carpet, and pop-up goods from local artisans to say the least. More info.

When: May 2-5

Where: Black Creek Assembly

Courtesy of SoulPro Productions


Bringing two hours of glitz, glamour, and the excitement of a Lady Gaga concert back to theatres with her greatest hits, this cabaret-style show has it all. The show was created by queer pop sensation and “the world’s top Lady Gaga impersonator” Athena Reich. The show was a huge success in its Off-Broadway run as a TimeOut New York Critics Pick, followed by sold-out engagements in Toronto, London, and San Francisco. As Reich prepares to bid farewell to the stage before enrolling in med school at 48 years old, she makes her return to Toronto for one final run after 10 years of comedic glory. More info.

When: Geary Avenue Warehouse

Where: May 2-5

Courtesy of SODA Impro

SODA presents: Played Out

Buckle up for a night of laughter and emotion with these three acts and one satisfying ending! Experience the magic of theatre like never before as SODA’s Impro’s Johnson and Georgiou join forces with The National Theatre of the World’s Baram & Snieckus for an unforgettable journey. Each performance will be an adventure crafted for all audiences, world-class improv comedians weaving together a full-length, three-act spectacle filled with beauty, hilarity, grit, and gravitas. No two shows are ever the same so tune into this one-of-a-kind experience with fellow theatre enjoyers. More info.

When: May 2 

Where: The Assembly Theatre

Courtesy of Jonathan Ellul

Middle Raged

This comedy show is finally making its way back to the Greater Toronto Area after a sold-out, cross-Canada tour for a limited three-performance engagement. Middle Ragedpokes fun at the complexities of life between the ages of 30-65, better known as the sandwich generation. There is a relatable experience for all from the madness of childrearing to taking care of ageing parents, and to annoying new health concerns, this relatable production will leave you laughing. More info.

When: May 3-4

Where: CAA Theatre

June Clark, Harlem Quilt, (detail), 1997 (fabric, photo transfers, light). Courtesy of the artist and Daniel Faria Gallery

Contact Photography Festival

Take a closer look at the works of talented artists across Toronto at the Contact Photography Festival. With over 36 curated exhibitions and public art installations across the GTA, you can peek into the lives of creatives everywhere. For those interested in learning more about public programs with the festival, there will be 44 public artist talks, workshops, portfolio reviews and more. More info.

When: May 1-31

Where: Venues across Toronto