May 15th-31st Scotiabank CONTACT Festival @ various locations. The largest photography event in the world, featuring over 200 exhibitions and happenings throughout the GTA during the month of May. Throughout the festival, Canadians can also submit their own photos using #ScotiaGallery and they will be projected in various outdoor locations across Toronto.
May 16th-25th Shanawdithit @ Imperial Oil Opera Theatre, 227 Front St. E. At a time when truth and reconciliation is top of mind in Canada, Tapestry Opera and Opera on the Avalon along with Indigenous artists from Nations across the country, present the landmark world premiere of the Canadian-Indigenous opera Shanawdithit. The real-life story of the title character Shanawdithit, who was believed at the time of her death to be the last known member of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Beothuk Nation, is vividly brought to life on stage through the voices of six soloists, a 40-person chorus, an 11-piece orchestra, and spectacular large-scale works of art created by five indigenous visual artists. $35-150 tickets available online.
May 18th-20th Artfest Toronto @ The Distillery District, 55 Mill St. Artfest Toronto focuses on fine art and craft with a splash of gourmet food. A curated selection of 80 artists from across Ontario, Quebec, and beyond will be exhibiting their paintings, photography, sculpture, pottery, glass art, jewellery, designer clothing, and more. Open 11-6 pm daily.
10 am All That Glittered: Pop Culture in the 1970s @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema 506 Bloor St. W. Led by Geoff Pevere, All That Glittered is a six-part rollercoaster ride through the decade, exploring movies, fashion, music, TV, and politics. It will stare straight into some of the weirdest and most tasteless emanations of the day, but it will also look past them into what was really going on: what people were thinking, what they feared and desired, how they felt about the future and the past. Tickets are $63 for the six-week course (runs every Wednesday through June 19) or $21 for a single class.
7 pm Music Bingo @ The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W. A FREE weekly event combining the love of music with the traditional bingo format. Each player receives a Music Bingo card which consists of an assortment of songs. Instead of calling out numbers, they play the music! Singing along encouraged.
8 pm Drake Trivia @ The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W. Teams of four or less put their random knowledge to the test as hosts Megan Griffith-Greene and Jeromy Lloyd fire off questions ranging from sporting records and celebrity scandals to geographic discoveries and culinary lingo. $2 to participate. Email email@example.com or show up early to reserve a spot.
8 pm Designing The Movies: Brazil @ Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Ave. A screening of Terry Gilliam’s visually dazzling dystopian masterpiece of a totalitarian state. Prior to the screening, series host Nathalie Atkinson will be in conversation with Oscar-winning Canadian production designer Paul Austerberry (The Shape of Water) about Brazil’s maximalist visual sensibility. $12-15 advance tickets available online.
10 pm Wipe Out @ Swan Dive, 1631 Dundas St. W. Punk, psych, surf, soul, rock ‘n’ roll, and good times with DJ Luke Harley.
7 pm Friday Night Live: Namaste @ Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park. Start your weekend on the dance floor at #FNLROM, featuring free access to the museum’s new special exhibition Treasures of a Desert Kingdom: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India. $19.21 tickets available online; limited amount available at the door.
9:30 pm Sissy 4.0 @ Stackt Market, 28 Bathurst St. Join the RUDE Collective as they celebrate the iconic and inspirational ballroom culture and Toronto’s own Kiki Ballroom scene. DJs Bambii, Myst Milano, and Mind Bath play vogue beats, afro beats, dance beats, tech house, sissy beats, trap beats, funk, and more. Performances by Beardoncé, Yovska, VaChina Dynasty, and The Chromatic Girls. $17.18 in advance, $20 at the door.
10 pm 80s Mixtape Dance Party @ Stone’s Place, 1255 Queen St. W. DJ Blush takes you on a trip back to the 1980s in a musical DeLorean of awesomeness. Overload on hairspray, break out the shoulder pads, and get ready to start your weekend off right! $5.
10 pm Shadows of Motown @ The Boat, 158 Augusta Ave. DJs Well Said, Slater, and Ty play the biggest and best Motown, doo-wop, and booty shakin’ hits.
10 pm Stereo Ferment @ Farside, 600 Gerrard St. E. DJ Oreku spins global grooves and afrobeat.
10 pm Decade: A 1995-2005 Dance Party @ Clinton’s, 693 Bloor St. W. Get out your butterfly clips and studded belts, and relive your best life at Decade! Anthems from 1995-2005 all night. $10.
10 pm Whas Good @ The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave. Good vibes dance party! Hip-hop, R&B, soul, reggae, and dancehall – old school to new school.
10 pm Luca Luzano @ Bambi’s, 1265 Dundas St. W. Klasse Wrecks maestro, planetluke.com designer extraordinaire, and hardcore breakbeat aficionado Luca Lozano (Berlin) returns to Toronto for a sweaty evening in the grotto alongside local DJ Andrew Ross.
10 pm DJ Granny Pantys @ Swan Dive, 1631 Dundas St. W. Come get freaky as DJ Granny Pantys plays rock, psych, post-punk, and oddities.
10 pm Beam Me Up Disco @ The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W. Beam Me Up is a disco jam that celebrates the underrated and the obscure of funk, jazz, soul, boogie, rare groove, reggae, gospel, proto-house! It’s an evening of tuneful transcendence, supplied by residents Patchouli Brothers and Cyclist.
10 pm Disco Fridays @ The Piston, 937 Bloor St. W. Hear a delightful array of disco and its sub genres every Friday at The Piston. $10.
11 pm Co-Werk @ The Drake Underground, 1150 Queen St. W. A party concept inspired by collaboration. No openers; no headliners; no set times – just a rotating crew of DJs keeping the vibes fresh and the energy high all night with a mix of hip-hop, house, reggae, club, and classics. $10.
9 am Retro Futures Exhibit Opening @ TD Gallery, 789 Yonge St. The 50th anniversary of NASA’s first successful lunar landing, the Apollo 11 mission of 1969, is the inspiration for this nostalgic trip back to futures-that-might-have-been, as seen from the starry eyes of early science fiction writers. The exhibit features rare books, magazines, artwork, and ephemera from the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation, and Fantasy. Runs through July 28th.
10 pm How Soon Is Now: Smiths ’80s Dance Party @ Mod Club Theatre, 722 College St. Please, please, please let me get what I want… an ’80s-themed Smiths dance party! Mod Club is taking you back to when hair was bigger and everyone was doing a new dance. (P.S. Don’t hang the DJ.) $5 advance tickets available online.
10 pm Saturday Night Jukebox Dance Party @ Stones Place, 1255 Queen St. W. Sweat it out to the sweet sounds of the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll and soul music! DJ Blush plays pop, rock, and soul from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. $10.
10 pm Aquarian with Nautiluss + Ceremonies @ Bambi’s, 1265 Dundas St. W. Aquarian returns to Bambi’s for an intimate evening of music before embarking on a string of European debuts this summer. Nautiluss will be performing his first live set of the year following his killer, sold-out record on Modeselektor’s SSPB label, while Ceremonies (1/3 of Toronto rave collective On Earth) will bring her diverse, energetic and highly effective brand of mixing to the table. $11.25 advance tickets available online.
10 pm Get It Together @ The Boat, 158 Augusta Ave. Kensington Market’s open format dance party welcoming all genres, all styles, and all people. Selections by Mikey McFly.
10 pm Worst Behavior @ Clinton’s, 693 Bloor St. W. This Saturday, be on your worst behavior. Bangs & Blush play past and present bangers all night long from Drake, The Weeknd, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Notorious B.I.G., Nelly, TLC, Missy Elliott, and more! $10.
10 pm It’s All Good @ The Piston, 937 Bloor St. W. Join resident VJs General Eclectic and Mike Luke as they take you on a journey through the 1990s, from Biggie to Bjork, Nirvana to No Doubt, Destiny’s Child to Daft Punk, TLC to ATCQ, Eminem to En Vogue, Mariah Carey to Massive Attack, Portishead to Pavement, Spice Girls to Stereolab, and much more! $10.
10 pm Guilty Pleasures Dance Party @ Sneaky Dee’s, 431 College St. Somebody might have told you the world was gonna roll you, but pay attention All Stars: there is no guilt allowed at this dance party! Get ready to dance like no one’s watching and sing like you’re in the shower as Sneaky Dee’s plays all the tracks you hate to love and love to hate all night long. $5 advance tickets available online.
10 pm DJ Cheff @ Swan Dive, 1631 Dundas St. W. The best gawd damn rock ‘n’ roll selections all night long courtesy of DJ Cheff.
10:30 pm Back In The Day @ Revival, 783 College St. A tribute to ’90s old school hip-hop, R&B, dance, house, reggae, and pop with DJs Hedspin, R2, and J-Class. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for bottle service inquiries and guest list.
11 pm Devotion: House & Disco @ SoSo Food Club, 1166 Dundas St. W. Join Cyclist and the Patchouli Brothers as they burrow into the birth of dance music, rejoicing in the likeness and probing the unconformity of house and disco.
11 pm Stuck On Stupid @ The Drake Underground, 1150 Queen St. W. DJs Fase and Dougie Boom throw a no-holds-barred, anything-goes, sky’s-the-limit, all-out dance-a-thon! Expect hits and not-so-hits, jams old and new. $10.
9 am Sunnyside Sunday Market @ Great Lakes Brewery, 30 Queen Elizabeth Blvd. A new farmers market is coming to Etobicoke this summer! Each Sunday, enjoy the sunshine and brews while you shop local Ontario farmer stands and crafty booths. Until 2 pm.
12 pm The Black Owned Food Market @ Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St. A market featuring amazing afro-caribbean cuisine and refreshing beverages by black-owned businesses. Come enjoy music, culture, and great eats! Donations will go towards funding business development programs to support black youth entrepreneurs. Until 8 pm.
2 pm Electric Island Season Opener @ Hanlan’s Point Stadium, Toronto Island. Electric Island fully-licensed concert and picnic series returns with world class talent for the Victoria Day long weekend! On the Main Stage: Dubfire (Washington, DC), ÂME (Berlin), Bedouin (Brooklyn), DJMINX (Detroit), Jonathan Rosa (Toronto), and Carerra and Tavares (Toronto). On the Moog Audio Stage: Carlo Lio (Toronto), Nathan Barato (Toronto), DJ Sneak (Chicago), and DJ Deeon (Chicago), and Caleb Calloway (Berlin). $69.35 advance tickets available online.
2 pm Ultimate Summer BBQ Series @ The Broadview Hotel, 106 Broadview Ave. The Broadview Hotel together with Eastbound Brewery Co. offer you the ultimate Summer BBQ Series experience in the industrial-inspired space of Lincoln Hall + Terrace! $25 get you an all-you-can-eat pass and a beer from Eastbound Brewing Co. (additional beers are only $5). Until 7 pm.
4:30 pm Sunnyside 21: Season Launch @ Sunnyside Pavilion & Cafe, 1755 Lake Shore Blvd. W. Sunnyside kicks off its 21st season of summer music events under the sun, moon, and stars! Their first performer of the season is German vinyl practitioner Move D alongside Basic Soul Unit, Korea Town Acid, and Adrian Ravelo. $37.11 advance tickets available online.
5 pm No Problem @ Bambi’s, 1265 Dundas St. W. Join Alister and Adam for some dance floor explorations on a Sunday night that they promise you’ll remember.
7 pm Brass Facts Trivia @ The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave. Test your knowledge and win prizes! Hosted by Famous Kirk Hero. Until 10 pm.
8 pm Allysin Chaynes Presents: Jawbreaker @ The Royal Cinema, 608 College St. Join Allysin Chaynes – the self appointed Queen of camp classic cinema, B-movies, all around trash, pulp, and all films fabulous – as she guides you through a new mind altering, gut splitting, thigh slapping, spit-take inducing, and even occasionally thoughtful cinematic experience! Every film is a drinking game and the rules are always brand new. This month’s screening is the 1999 dark comedy Jawbreaker. $13.19 in advance, $15 at the door.
10 pm All Vinyl Everything @ The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St. W. All Vinyl Everything is back from hiatus and checking into their new digs at The Drake Hotel this Victoria Day long weekend. Resident selectors DJ Agile, Mista Jiggz, and DJ Mensa play everything that’s fit to press on 12”, 45, and LP. Free entry with RSVP.
10 pm Clueless: ’90s Dance Party @ Sneaky Dee’s, 431 College St. Pull out your flip phone and put on your best designer imposter perfume because Sneaky Dee’s is hosting a Clueless-themed ’90s dance party! They’ll be spinning all the best “famous singers from the past” to keep you dancing all night. $5 advance tickets available online.
~ For event submissions, email Caitlyn Holroyd at email@example.com