Toronto Weekender: February 20 through 23, 2014

Alright, the sun shone on Wednesday and for a brief moment we all remembered that this season doesn’t last forever. You know what else doesn’t? Youth, beauty, one-night stands, and the ability to spend your weekend just how you want to. Which is why we suggest you devote the last full reprieve of February to your own terms (so, preferably not hiding inside) and give winter a long and well-deserved kiss goodbye. March is just around the corner and we promise the fastest way to get there is by having the best time now.  

It’s The Artists Project’s opening night party, which means a can’t-miss event full of art, food, and drinks. Over 5000 original art works will be yours for the viewing as you wander amongst the hundreds of contemporary artists in attendance. The party’s theme is Set Sail – a nod to the retro-nautical look of the 1940s. Art, ahoy!

The Reel Artists Film Fest is North America’s only festival dedicated exclusively to documentary films that focus on visual art and the artists who create it. In their 11th iteration you’ll find interviews, panel conversations, and several screenings as well as famed artists, directors, and art experts. Bring your enthusiasm but leave your brush at home.

The Saint Tavern is hosting a Brewmaster’s Dinner and Amsterdam Tap Takeover. You’ll get a four-course meal from Saint Chef Jesse Vallins and beer pairing from Ian McOustra, Brewmaster at Amsterdam Brewery.

It’s The Drake Hotel’s 10th Anniversary Birthday Party. And there ain’t no party like a party that’s been waiting 10 years to happen. We suggest you do everything you can to attend this blowout, even if that everything includes ditching your friends – don’t worry, you’ll have time to make it up to them before you do it again in another 10 years.

The GTA Home Show opens at the International Centre. You can tell yourself you’re going to find the ultimate new designs, ideas, and trends necessary to transform your humble abode into something a little less unassuming, but we know you’re really just going just to try to run into some HGTV celebs.

Ever heard of post-Internet art? Neither have we, which is why we’re heading to the Angell Gallery to check out the opening night of SIMULATORS II, an exhibition of new digital art that features nine artists who, we can only assume, don’t have Facebook.

The Gladstone has decided it’s summer and thus the appropriate way to handle this news is by throwing a Beach Party. They’re going to crank the heat, toss some beach balls around, and invite a crew of burlesque dancers to rock your hula-hoop world. No pants allowed. Seriously.

Want to live like Jane Austin? Of course you don’t. The poor woman barely left her own property. And, you know, corsets. But it sure would be fun to spend an evening eating, dancing, and enjoying yourself like a character in one of her novels.

The AGO is being turned into a video game. The Hand Eye Society is teaming up with London’s The Wild Rumpus to bring the very best multi-player, party, and physical video games from around the world to the AGO for one night only. It’s going to be like living in an arcade that’s also a nightclub that’s also an article gallery. 

Grammy-nominated Band of Horses will be in town playing a special acoustic performance. If you’re into Indie music, this will likely earn a four out of five on the swoon scale.

The ninth annual Bloor-Yorkville IceFest is bringing a heat wave to town. Yes, you read that right. 20,000 lbs. of ice will be transformed into all things tropical, including palm trees, a surfer in a barrel wave, flowers, dolphins, a smiling sun on the beach, and a tikki hut.

Want to see a bunch of people race their bikes on ice for a good cause? Is that even a question? Head to Dufferin Grove to watch the hilarity unfold.

Etobicoke is holding its Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser, so go out and walk a few miles in order to raise money for the hungry, homeless, and hurting in 65 communities across Canada. No joke here, just do it.

Did you like this? Then you should definitely go to Hip Hop for Dummies. That is all. 

The Fifth is having a Tinder party. We’re not sure exactly everything that’s included in said party but we’re pretty sure if you’re out there Tindering you should head here, change your distance settings to about 100m, and right-swipe the night away.

Ever find yourself all tied up – and liked it? You should probably check out the SUBSPACE Bondage Ball at The Great Hall to discover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about showing a little restraint.

This is a tough one. The Gold Medal Hockey Game would obviously not make the cut unless we had incredible (see: shaky at best) faith in our boys making the big game. Get up and watch. If Latvia can give us a go, who knows how exciting a gold medal match will be. 

One of the best flea markets in the city in one of the most picturesque sites – um, yes please. The Leslieville Flea will be taking over the Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery District, thus providing a perfect Sunday morning coffee-and-browse combination for all those who aren’t glued to the TV watching Canada take home the gold (once again, this is false bravado born out of insecurity).

Canada’s largest postcard club is holding its annual show. This is like having the chance to buy other people’s memories. Or at least find some blank ones with really nice pictures of places you’ll probably never go to.

To be fair, knowing how to properly groom your pet is undoubtedly an important skill and one that benefits your favourite non-human friend. But we’d be lying if we didn’t admit that our inclusion of the Toronto Ontario Grooming Show wasn’t in large part due to the fact that we really hope it just ends up being exactly like Best in Show

American pop-punk band We Are the In Crowd will be rocking the Mod Club alongside William Beckett, Set it Off, Candy, Hearts and State Champs. Sounds like the perfect high-energy way to end the weekend (or refuse to – your call). 

With over 20 events to choose from, we’re pretty sure you won’t have too hard a time finding the right way to give February the goodbye it deserves. Remember, time flies when you’re having fun – it’s only cold and miserable outside when you’re stuck paying attention to it. 

Stay Notable, 

The Weekender 

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)

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Top photo courtesy The Drake Hotel