Toronto Weekender: February 6 through 9, 2014

So some rodent freaks out at the sight of his own shadow and we’re stuck waiting another six weeks for spring? Man, we thought we’d come farther than that. Well, it seems like the only thing to do now is to show winter (not to mention groundhogs) what we think of it by refusing to slow down for even one second. We’ve packed this edition of The Weekender so full of music, events, tastings, and screenings that you’re not going to have any time to think of something as ordinary as the weather.

Jean-Charles Boisset is kind of a big deal. Well, actually, in the wine world he’s massive. According to Decanter Magazine, he’s the 24th most influential person in the global wine industry. And you can have dinner with him (though you might have to hit Craigslist to do it).

Single this V-Day? Not to worry, hit up Love4aCure for a chance to score a date with a sexy Young Professional (YP) at their charity auction, the proceeds of which will go to supporting The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. The black tie gala also includes an open bar, live music, and what we can only assume will be a crowd filled with fellow (hot and eligible) YP singles.

The Rocket Man is sweeping into Toronto for one night, and one night only. Elton John is one of the top seven selling artists of all time, which means that anytime he sings anywhere it’s a huge deal. If you have the chance to see Tiny Dancer performed live and you miss it, this ballerina will never forgive you. 

Everybody’s favourite (hippie-ish) threesome, the John Butler Trio, will be jamming at the Danforth Music Hall, likely playing tracks from their latest studio album, Flesh & Blood. We hope this happens too.

The Sex Show has its opening reception. This collection of artwork attempts to push the boundaries of the definition of sex, approaching the topic from all angles. Art angles, that is. Keep your head out of the gutter.  

Rosewater Supper Club’s executive chef and sommelier will lead you through the art of pairing fine wines with chocolate and cheese. Um, yup, we want to go to there.

It’s First Thursday’s at the AGO, and besides the general awesomeness that this event always provides (see: art, DJs, drinks, etc.) there’s going to be a guy giving a ‘live table tennis performance’. And we can’t wait to see how that differs from simply playing table tennis.

ThreeSixtyFive Gala, presented by AIR MILES Canada, is once again taking over Liberty Grand to host its 13th annual gala – motionball. How hot is this event? Well, Carmen Electra will be co-hosting, Skratch Bastid will be spinning, and there’ll be an Under Armour Fashion Show, as well as 100 Silent Auction prizes. Oh, and it’s all for charity and we’re the national media partner.

The Harbourfront Centre kicks off one of Toronto’s largest festivals celebrating Black History Month – Kuumba. All weekend long, you’ll be able to explore the idea of black identity, legacy, and the Canadian connection to the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement. There’ll be everything from comedy and drama to food and printmaking.

The Toronto Sportsmen’s Show, Canada’s biggest outdoors show, will be in town all weekend. There’ll be guns, boats, fishing gear, and outdoor adventure opportunities galore. No pets allowed. 

The Gladstone Hotel returns with a celebration of 50s and 60s Rock n’ Roll at Loving In The Name Of. Put on your dancing shoes and break out your favourite oldies moves, this is usually one of the best dance parties in the city.

The Rotaract Club of Toronto is hosting a vodka tasting at Proof Vodka bar for the English in Mind Institute, one of the only free adult English schools in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Well, if it’s for charity then we guess we have to…

360 Screenings provides a cinematic experience that includes not simply watching a film, but interacting with live theatre installations to become a part of the essence of the film itself. The location, a Toronto heritage building, is kept secret until 24 hours prior to the screening and the theme this time around is LOVE: a celebration of what it means to love, and be loved in return. We’re in – literally.

You know how some Canadians kick off the start of the Olympic Games – with a pub crawl. Join Great Lakes Beer as they hit up eight Danforth bars while cheering for Canadian athletes in Sochi at each stop.

The Annex Flea is all about handmade and vintage, and every one of their vendors has been carefully crafting their stock to sync up perfectly with Valentine’s Day. This is where you want to go if shopping local and being original are high on your list.

Chef’s Challenge: The Ultimate Battle for a Cure is taking place with the money raised going to support care and research in women’s cancers at Mount Sinai Hospital. Good food, great cause.  

Irish pop-rock band Kodaline will be taking the stage at The Phoenix. If you like this then you should probably go. Leave the mask at home though.

Caplansky’s Delicatessen will be hosting its 4th Annual Latkepalooza from 6pm-8pm. You think you make a mean fried potato pancake? Prove it. You’ll have to make at least 60, though; there’ll be a lot of testers waiting to try your best effort.

 Birds and cameras have gone together, well, since about the time we invented cameras. So picking up a few skills from photographer and naturalist Max Skwarna seems like a great way to spend a Sunday. Max will be in High Park leading a Winter Birds Photography Workshop for those of you looking to learn about shutter speed and Chickadees at the same time. 

Kensington Market Sweets Tour will get you in the perfect mood for Valentine’s Day. You’ll learn about the history of candy, visit five stores, get samples from each, and receive discounts. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to us (sorry, we had to).

Another mouthwatering Winterlicious special: Food Network host and Gossip Restaurant’s Executive Chef Rob Rainford will be leading an interactive demonstration on grilling. After you learn, you’ll enjoy a three-course meal with wine pairing. No better way to wind down the weekend.

There you are, friends. Twenty different ways you can spend your next four days. All you have to do now is step outside and tell winter what you think of it. Don’t listen to groundhogs, get out there and Live Your Notable Life (#LYNL).

Stay Notable,

The Weekender 

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)


Cover image from: AGO First Thursday

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