There’s mention that we’ll be going through an extra chilly month thanks to a Polar Vortex that will be coming through. Good thing there are few things that we can do while still being home with our hot chocolate bombs and streaming everything we can. Here are a few interesting happenings in February, and yes don’t forget about Valentine’s Day and Family Day weekend!
Art Gallery Of Ontario presents Studio 54 “It’s a Look”: February 9. A live conversation with fashion icons Andre Leon Talley and Diane von Furstenberg. Connect live via Zoom for a conversation about fashion and style from the iconic Studio 54 in New York. Event is free. Registration required.
AGO Makes: Folding Mobile Art: Anytime. Inspired by Haegue Yang’s installation, Woven Currents -Confluence of Parallels (2020) at the AGO, artist instructor Amanda Arcuri shows how to create a hanging mobile for any room. Instructions available on the site. Free.
Hot Docs at Home: For documentary lovers, Hot Docs’ fascinating roster of films always available each month to be streamed at home. If you haven’t seen Mr. Soul! you have until February 14 to check it ou. Mr. Soul! Was the first nationally broadcasted all-black variety show on public television, introducing incredible voices like Patti LaBelle, Toni Morrison and James Baldwin to mainstream America. Discover this lost chapter of pop culture history through the show’s visionary host – and openly gay – Ellis Haizlip. If you crave a deeper dive into subjects, check out the Hot Docs Curious Minds lecture series. Currently “The Age of Innovation: La Belle Epoque & The End of Empires” lead by Dr. Peter Harris will guide viewers through the social and artistic innovations that shaped Europe’s cultural hotbeds at the turn of the 20th century. Ticketed event. Registration required.
TIFF Black Futures on Film: During the month of February, TIFF is highlighting features, shorts, and talks dedicated to showing the multifaceted realities of being Black today. Black joy, queerness, perspectives, and truths will be shown through the works of ten directors including Canadians Martine Chartrand, Marilyn Cooke, Sasha Leigh Henry, Kelly Fyffe-Marshall, Kourtney Jackson, Stella Meghie, Charles Officer, and Thyrone Tommy. Full list and schedule available on the site.
TIFF Next Wave Film Festival: February 12 to 15. Celebrating its 10th year, this year’s digital edition of films made by youth for youth will be made available across Canada. Created for giving space for youth to share their voices and diverse stories. The program aims to nurture the next generation in film. Festival has free films for those under age 25. Full list of films and events listed on the site.
Toronto Black Film Festival: TBFF takes place from February 10 to 21 is the largest celebration in film during Black History Month. This year’s festival will showcase a record number of 154 films from 25 countries and will include various virtual events. TBF will present 51 World Premieres, 27 International Premieres, 39 Canadian Premieres, 3 Ontario Premieres and 19 Toronto Premieres. Available entirely online across Canada and around the world.
Toronto Black Film Festival – Kids Fest: February 15 is a fun-filled online celebration for kids and their families. A variety of activities designed for kids between the ages of 4 to 12 to be all enjoyed at home. Drop in online (or stay connected all day!) and join in the fun. Events include Kemetic Kids Yoga with Vonnette Ford of Higher Love Yoga, Arts ‘n Crafts with Craftopia DIY, Storytime, Afro-Caribbean Dance with Keishia Facey of Riddim Cultural Arts, and DIY Cardboard TVs with Candace Nyaomi of VIBE Arts. All kids events are Free.
Illusionarium Free Virtual Magic Parties for Family Day Weekend: February 13, 14, and 15. While the team at Jamie Allan’s Illusionarium can’t entertain us in person just yet, they’ve decided to throw a free virtual party! Join Magicians from the immersive experience through Zoom for 20 minutes of exclusive tricks and illusions presented live from inside the Toronto venue. Get ready to be amazed right from your own home and the masters of sleight of hand, illusion, and mentalism pull from their personal repertoire and share tricks. Registration required. 100 tickets available for each of the six events.
Toronto Chinatown Lunar New Year Virtual Celebration: February 13 at 7:30 pm. Everyone is invited to celebrate in this virtual presentation of festivities to usher in the Year of the Ox. The event includes Dragon & Lion dances, food demonstrations and cultural performances.
Illusionist Scott Silven’s “The Journey” presented by TO Live: February 16 – 21 and March 16-28. World renowned mentalist Scott Silven invites you on a virtual adventure from your home to his. The all new immersive interactive experience draws on his extraordinary abilities in a more intimate space. With no more than 30 participants, Silven invites the audience into his childhood home in Scotland where the power of place and connection takes you on your own personal journey of discover. Silven weaves a spellbinding story that leaves you in awe. He was last in Toronto during Luminato in 2018 with his work At the Illusionist’s Table. Now he’s once again pushing boundaries of his craft to share the magical experience that your eyes can’t miss. Ticket event.
Tarragon Theatre hosts digital world premiere of ORESTES: February 5. A live online mythical adventure re-imagined play written by Rick Roberts will live stream February 5 (official opening night) to February 12. Orestes (Cliff Cardinal) has been de-platformed. His unimaginable crime of matricide is stuck on autoplay and his banishment has driven “the poet laureate of the internet” offline. Disconnected and stranded in the silence of the real world, can Orestes survive? What happens when the media is turned against us? And in a world defined by online identity who we are when that’s ripped away? Orestes is a political satire that explores who were are when most of our lives are lived online and how we survive when our identity is blurred, then cancelled, across social media platforms. Performed in real time with a total of 10 performers streaming separately. Originally was slated as the opening production for the Tarragon’s 2020/2021 season, Orestes has been fully reworked for online.
Scapegoat Carnivale presents SOLICITING PROPHECY: February 15. The award winning, independent theatre company presents its new international digital commissioning initiative in response to Covid-19. Faced with the repeated closures of Canadian and American theatres, co-artistic directors Alison Darcy and Joseph Shragge solicited prophetic predictions from fellow artists in Montreal, Vancouver, Mexico City and Los Angeles. This new collaboration evolved into an online think tank/writer’s room with the aim of creative a series of contemporary responses as digital performance pieces on the theme of Prophecy. Viewing is free of charge.
Harbourfront Site Alive ~ Festival of Cool Public Light Art Installations: until February 7. A transformative installation involving audio, light and technology, brought to life by creators Rob Jensen, Warren Trezevant and Creos. Known from the popular U.S.-based Burning Man festival, Sonic Runway is a striking corridor of lights, more than 100 metres long, that brings sound waves to life, creating a rainbow bridge to a brighter tomorrow. Iceberg turns a monumental sculpture into a living instrument, creating a journey from glacial calving, to open water migration, to eventual melting. Free outdoor event. Recommended to wear a mask and reminder to stay social distanced.
A VERY MARIO TRIVIA EXPERIENCE: February 15 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm EST. Calling all Mario fans! Nintendo of Canada invites Canadians to participate online in this fun filled tribal challenge on Family Day! This free virtual event invites families and fans to join in and share their love and knowledge of the Super Mario series. The 90-minute event, participants will be quizzed on key moments that have taken place over the history of the game. Hint: there will be 45 questions that will cover everything from the beginning to the the new upcoming launch of Super Mario 3D World +Bowser’s Fury game on February 12. Canadian gaming experts and Mario masters Ajay Fry and Camilla Salazar-Hadaway will host the event that will be live-broadcasted through Zoom. Participants will use the Kwizzbit platform to enter their responses. Pre-registration is now open.