Toronto Weekender: May 8 through 11, 2014

Look, the only way we’re going to forgive you for not knowing it’s Canadian Music Week is if you somehow forgot to take your earmuffs off. And even then, it’s suspect at best. In fact, if you haven’t already read our CMW survival guide we’re surprised you’re even still around to be reading this. The point is, if you want to go and get lost in the overwhelming and endless abyss/schedule and wake up Monday morning smelling like last call at the Horseshoe, we’re all for it, but we’re still going to go ahead and try to tempt you with everything else that’s happening in Toronto over the next four days. 

Vitaly + Friends Pop Up Shop is a five-day sales event featuring some of the hottest brands from across the country. It also has tattoo artists showing up, live DJs, and booze. Now that’s how you start off a weekend on Thursday.  

If you’re a man who likes to look good or you know one who seriously needs to up his style, Indochino’s Traveling Tailor pop-up shop also opens on King W. today.

The Backstreet Boys are, wait for it, (oh my god) back again. In Hamilton, obviously.

Digifest is an international festival celebrating digital creativity. We’d tell you more but it’s all written in binary.  

King Lear, by some guy called Billy Shakespeare, is kicking off its summer run in Stratford. Why would we suggest the drive? Cause Canadian legend Colm Feore is playing the doomed titular character, that’s why.

If you love art then we’re pretty sure we’re not going out on a limb by telling you to check out the Love Art Fair.

Pinball Clemons will be hosting his foundation’s We|U|Night at Sound Academy along with Free The Children and actor Martin Sheen – proving that the apple does in fact fall from the tree.

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival will feature hundreds of comics creators from around the world. You can expect everything from readings and interviews to panels, workshops, gallery shows, and art installations. Oh, and probably a family fight about who gets to read that section of the newspaper first. 

Shuck-U is an oyster class lead by Patrick McMurray of Starfish and Ceili Cottage on the “Merroir” of sustainable Canadian oysters from the East and West coasts, paired with local Ontario wines. If you don’t know what merroir is then maybe that’s a sign you should be taking the class.

The second week of the Friday Night Live spring series returns to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) with Photo Flash. And everybody knows there ain’t no party like a museum party. Or at least if you didn’t know that, you should.

When a local entrepreneur, philanthropist, and former Bay Street finance professional launches a semi-autobiographical novel about his family’s struggle to flee war-torn Iran for Canada in 1987 (spending two years in Turkey along the way), we’re interested. 

Okay, fine. We’re breaking our rule. But when City and Colour, Tegan & Sara, and Neko Case are all playing on the same night, what’s a Weekender to do? If you’re going to see only one show this weekend, these are likely the biggest.

Weird Canada has proclaimed it to be National Drone Day. In other words, they’re living up to their name.

The Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) is hosting its 4th annual Paint the Town Red, one of the best parties for the best causes this city sees all year.

Want to know how we know it’s spring? The Toronto Flower Market is here.

A dodgeball tourney with $1500 in cash prizes. Not sure if you should enter? Try dodging a wrench first and then you’ll know.

It’s also Art Battle Day, which must have the Drone people upset. Sadly, we can’t tell as Drones don’t show emotion. (Yes, we know it’s about music – it’s a joke, work with us.)

A 5-year anniversary party for an award-winning live marketing agency that represents promotional staff, professional models, and dancers? Well there goes your plan to get up early on Sunday morning. Femme Fatale, indeed.

If you want music that definitely isn’t part of CMW, we suggest heading to The Hoxton House Party for, you guessed it, a night of house music, bottle service, a 4am last call and, for some strange reason, beach balls.

For a completely opposite experience than beach balls can offer, party as the royals do and join The Duchess of York Lady Sarah Ferguson at The Sheraton Centre for the Scarborough World Gala. If nothing else, it’s a chance to play dress-up for a good cause. We knew you kept that tiara for a reason. 

What are you doing even pretending that you can do anything other than celebrate Mother’s Day? If you haven’t already booked your brunch and picked out your Sunday best we’re pretty sure you’re screwed. But, because we love you too, we’ve come up with a few alternative ways for you to spend the day with your dear ‘ol ma.

A little something different for breakfast perhaps? Check out this burlesque brunch if you never want your mom to ask you to spend another Mother’s Day with her again.

Moms like to be where everyone likes to be – on a boat. Just don’t forget your flippie-floppies or nautical themed pashmina Afghan.

Does your mom like crazy hats? No problem, we got this. Take her to a brunch where her embarrassing headwear might actually win her something.

Go big and treat her like the queen you think she is and take her to a castle.

Of course, Johnny Bower will be signing autographs at the Irish Embassy. Just in case your mom has always wanted something from a Leaf whose actually won a Stanley Cup…

Or, you know, just take her to The Drake where she’ll be happy with a nice prix-fixe and she’ll get to see what the cool kids are up to these days.  

If you manage to get the night to yourself, however, we suggest checking out some music that isn’t part of CMW in Wye Oak. The Baltimore indie duo sound like this and will be playing at The Horseshoe. So, hey, maybe there is still a chance you’ll wake up smelling like last call. 

However, ending your weekend at a 1-on-1 B-Boy competition also sounds like a great way to rage – rage against the dying of the weekend light. Winners will advance to the North American finals in Vegas on May 19th. We imagine it’ll be like this, only good. 

So there it is, more than 25 ways to spend the next four days. At this rate, every weekend should come with its own survival guide – or, come to think of it, maybe that’s exactly what this already is.

Stay Notable,

The Weekender 

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)

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Top photo courtesy The Drake