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Archive for June, 2015

June 2015: The Month of Festivals in Toronto

Friday, June 19th, 2015

When you look at the list of community events, festivals, parades and general merriment descending upon Toronto this June, it’s understandable that you might feel a bit tired already. With so much to do and so little time, we’d better get started:


When?: June 19 to 28

This annual 10-day celebration of the arts features talks, dance, art, music, song, film, food and theatre. Look for talks by Nelly Furtado, cabaret acts and so much more. Click here for details.


Ontario Craft Beer Week

When?: June 12 to 21

Marks this province-wide craft beer celebration. OCB Week is designed to expose consumers to the craft beer experience through tasting events, brewery tours, meet the brew master events, cooking demonstrations and more. For more information, click here.


Pride Parade

When?: June 19 to 28

This is when the Toronto Pride Festival takes place. Capping off the nine-day celebration is the world’s largest pride parade on Sunday June 28. Click here for more details.


Toronto Ribfest

When?: June 27 to July 1

Rotary Etobicoke invites you to kick off your summer at its 16th annual Toronto Ribfest. With two stages of entertainment, a free KidzZone and Toronto’s largest mobile midway it’s no wonder the festival makes the Top 100 list for Ontario festivals and events. Click here for details.


Live in Bellwoods: Great Heart Festival

When?: June 18 to 21

Trinity Bellwoods is hosting its annual Great Heart Festival for the sixth year. Featuring a lengthy list of unplugged performances, be there or be square. Click here for more details.


Toronto Jazz Festival

When?: June 18 to 29 

Here are a few performances that don’t require tickets. June 19 features three separate performances open to the public: George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Dumpstaphunk, and Morris Day & The Time. Check out the full calendar here.


Symphony in the Gardens at Casa Loma

When?: Every Tuesday evening beginning June 9 to August 25.

Starring the Toronto Concert Orchestra, this weekly event features the works of Edith Piaf, Mozart, movie scores and so much more. For more info click here.


Summer Music in the Park

When?: Fridays, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, Saturdays and statutory holidays, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm, from June 5 to September 12 (weather permitting) at the Village of Yorkville Park – Check out the line-up here.

Scotiabank CHIN Picnic

When?: June 19 to 21

Join the more than 250,000 picnickers who head down to College Street for this, the largest free multicultural festival going. Click here for more details.


Junction Summer Festival

When?: June 20

Put on by the Junction’s BIA, this summer solstice festival marries commerce with art installations, pageantry with live music and street food with buskers. For more information, click here.


Indigenous Arts Festival

When?: June 18 to 20

At historic Fort York celebrate traditional and contemporary music, dance, theatre, storytelling, spoken word, visual arts, crafts, and food created by indigenous artists. Click here for details.


Taste of Little Italy 

When?: June 19 to 21

Check out College Street between Bathurst and Shaw for this 16th annual event that features Italian music, food and so much more. Visit here for more details.



Battle of Black Creek

When?: June 20 & 21

Over one hundred soldiers set up camp for this colourful Revolutionary War re-enactment with a full scale battle. Kids will love the rubber band shooting gallery and the excitement of the encampments and demonstrations.  Click here for more details.


Traditional Outdoor Pow Wow

When?: June 21

Na-Ma-Res (Native Men’s Residence) holds its annual Pow-Wow to recognize National Aboriginal Day, June 21st, the Summer Solstice. The event is free, open to the public and features traditional dancing, drumming, feasts, giveaways, and children’s activities. For more information, click here.



When?: June 18

This festival runs for three months over the summer and features multiple installations that express the creativity of the artist while drawing attention to important issues affecting the environment. This show will also feature a number of performance art pieces that narrate the history of Todmorden Mills and the surrounding area. Click here for more details.


Dancing in the Streets of Toronto

Friday, June 12th, 2015

It’s real dance performed by residents in open spaces to audiences that number as many as 400. In its fourth year, Porch View Dances returns to Seaton Village this summer offering spectators a rare and delightful celebration of the neighbourhood and engaging “real people in real time in real spaces.”


Freeman Real Estate is proud to be a gold sponsor of Porch View Dances, the brainchild of Karen and Allen Kaeja, owners and operators of Kaeja d’Dance, a 25-year-old contemporary dance company that performs, tours and teaches.

“Events like Porch View Dances are unique and uplifting,” says Elden Freeman, president of Freeman Real Estate. “Not only does it serve to edify the residents of our neighbourhood but it inspires and promotes community engagement.”

-A Wink O'Kerrs 1crop

Kaeja d’Dance has always been interested in community engagement and promoting people’s interest in the world of dance and it capability to tell a story. The concept for Porch View came about during a meeting in which the dance studio director wondered what it would be like if the neighbour she could see out her window in Seaton Village danced down the street to tell a story.

“The first Porch View Dance simply blew up,” says Shana Hillman, general manager at Kaeja d’Dance. “We thought there might be 30 or 40 people and we got 400 people each night. We also got a lot of press and it’s become so big and crazy.”

--A Wink o'Kerrs - Diana Renelli

The event pairs professional choreographers with families and they create a dance and the audience is led through the neighbourhood with a guide, who shares anecdotes and tales about the area. Performances always conclude in Vermont Square Park, where the audience is led in an inclusive Flock Landing finale that looks like tai chi set to music.

The event has garnered so much attention that organizers now need to apply for a parade permit since spectators are coming from all over the city to see it, says Hillman.

Porch View Dances this year will involve three families. Performances run from August 19 to 23.

“The feedback we’re hearing from our families is that with everyone being so busy it’s a pleasure to have dedicated time with other family members to create something,” says Hillman. “A family last year was having a difficult time with their 13-year-old daughter and after being involved in Porch View Dances she’s taken on more of a leadership role and has a newfound sense of confidence.”

Porch View Dances has won a number of awards and recently received a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, allowing the dance company to spend the next three years taking Porch View Dances to three other communities around the province. Organizers are heading to Ottawa’s Westboro neighbourhood this month to mount a Porch View Dances as part of the Canada Dance Festival June 11-13.


“This has been a game-changer for us,” says Hillman. “Exposing the public to ‘dance by accident’, inspired us to increase our footprints in communities where the creation is shared with the participants and the audience is essential to the experience.”

Kaeja d’Dance hopes to help blur the line between art and the public by going beyond exposing new audiences to dance by involving all ages and abilities as performers to make for a more dynamic and vibrant city, while building people’s curiosity and trust in an experiential and meaningful way, to be engaged with the arts.

Click here to see some homes for sale in this area!

Toronto Party on Dundas West

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Get your party hats on this Saturday as Dundas West rolls out the red carpet for a celebration of arts, community and all that is local.

Whether young or old, into sports or fashion, fitness or music, the Dundas West Fest is a fun family friendly event that takes place on June 6 and spans about 12 city blocks from Landsdowne to Ossington. Sponsored by the Dundas West BIA and the Little Portugal BIA, expect to find good eats and treats, lively music, and a whole host of vendors selling arts and crafts and loads more.

The festival will include more than 40 patios, six areas for buskers, three main stages and shopping to your heart’s content with over 200 different vendors. Foodies will delight as the festival features options for every taste and budget.

To make organization a little simpler, the festival is divvied up into zones, from 1 to 4. Naturally, with an event such as this entertainment of all kinds abounds.

Look for a free African drumming workshop in Zone 1 starting at 10 am at the West Stage. There is plenty of kiddy fun here with full-fledged all-kid bands to acapella groups, singer-songwriters and even some theatre and dance. But by late afternoon the West Stage bursts into adulthood with performances by the legendary local rocker and MP Andrew Cash, traditional Angolan dancers, the Cohen Hammond Trio and the Helder Pereira Band.

Hear readings by Portuguese-Canadian writers featuring the likes of Aida Jordao, Irene Marques, Antonio Marques, Emanuel Melo and Humberto da Silva.

Watch great local art and photography at the Through the Looking Glass exhibit at Rose Will Studio and Gallery.

In Zone 2, from Brock to Dufferin, join in the afternoon laugh party featuring great neighbourhood comedians Helder Brum, Rhiannon Archer, Mike Rita, Brian Ward and host Nick Flanagan.

Feel like getting a workout in? Zone 3 has just the thing. A free outdoor yoga class at 10 am at Studio Blue, 1457 Dundas St West.

Between Dufferin and Dovercourt is where you’ll find some of Toronto’s most popular busker acts. Check out the event’s Busker Zones at Coolmine, Lisgar and at Federal Streets, including Madame Bella Muerte, Lucy Loop, Mighty Mike and more.

In Zone 4, which runs between Dovercourt and Ossington, hear live music all day at the Lakeview Avenue Stage in the Beer Store parking lot. Beginning at 12:30 p.m. with the Tavares Quintet, followed by Good Enough Live Karaoke, synth rock from LIPS,  rockabilly maestros the Royal Crowns, Neon Wave,  then Good Enough Live Karaoke again, Mexican Slang,  Blonde Elvis and finishing with DIY favourites Choir! Choir! Choir! at 8:30 p.m.

If the past is your thing, you’re sure to enjoy the Portuguese Canadian History Project exhibit, The Portuguese in Canada: 1953 – 2013. IC Savings also features community favourites Clay & Paper Theatre and renowned local artist Viktor Mitic.

Between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. the West House will feature a seniors’ dance group, a life-sized scrabble game, musical performances by the West House Music School and more.




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