August Long: Toronto Event Round Up

With Toronto officially entering phase three Friday, July 31, it's a timely coincidence that it falls on the long weekend, calling for celebration.

While most may be inclined to pay a visit to newly opened restaurants - simply for the novelty of being permitted to do so - I've scoured social media and asked some of my in the know friends where the most unique and unconventional events are happenings in the city.

Here are some not to be missed events this August Long Weekend:

I came across Adriano Clarke while running errands in downtown Toronto. He's hard to miss: svelte, extremely handsome, and an unbelievable crooner to boot. Suffice it to say I dropped whatever plans I had and parked myself on an adjacent sidewalk to take in the show. His performances inevitably draw crowds, from bopping toddlers to sweet couples swaying in the sunset. You don't want to miss this! You can view his latest single below:

What: Live Music

Who: Free the Revolution

Where: 98 Yorkville Ave

When: Saturday, August 1, 7:45pm

Cost: Pay what you can

When inquiring with friends of the going's on this weekend in Toronto, I was strategic about who I asked. My friend Bella is strangely in the know of cute or quirky events - this being a woman who adopts pigeons on her balcony named Gwendolyn, brings me bird of paradise leaf clippings from her urban jungle, or just happens to have a spare Berkey water filter on hand - I never know what I'll encounter from Bella's suggestions, but it's certain it'll be an adventure. When she suggested the "Kiss Me" pop up this weekend, I knew it needed to be added to the calendar.

What: Patio pop up

Who: Kiss me

Where: 164 Bathurst Street

When: July 31 to August 9

Cost: ice cream, drinks and food for sale

I came across Artery this past winter while looking for an activity to enjoy with a friend. Artery is a platform that connects hosts with musicians to utilize small, city apartments and gather intimate crowds for musical showcases. We attended an event at host Troy Gonsalves', where he matched a hip hop artist with a violinist. These musicians had never performed together, yet there was something magical in the air that night. What resulted was a goose bump inducing performance that rendered the crowd of fifteen people agape in awe. Troy has been hosting both virtual and socially distanced showcases in his front yard, and continues with more performances this weekend.

What: Artery Showcase

Who: Host, Troy Gonalves, Musicians Kelly Zimba and Clare Semes

Where: RSVP on Artery for exact address or tune into the live stream

When: Saturday, August 1, 3pm

Cost: Pay what you can

Because I was so inspired by the Artery event I attended this past winter, I decided I needed to host a showcase of my own. One of my dear friends, Kendal Thompson, just so happens to be a wickedly talented musician and she was game to host an event with me. Our event differs in that I have paired natural wine with Kendal's set list, that will give our guests a multi sensory experience. We hope to have them leaving high on emotion, wine and a newfound appreciation for syneasthesia.

What: Wine tasting and live music

Who: Laura Milnes and Kendal Thompson

Where: 361 Front Street West

When: Saturday, August 1, 7pm

Cost: $90 (currently sold out, please inquire for wait list)

Advertised as a "protest", comedian Ben Bankas organizes live comedy for Toronto residents to enjoy amidst lockdown. It happens every Friday in a secret location. You must DM Ben on Instagram to find out the venue. The shows are held outdoors for appropriate social distancing measures.

What: Live comedy

Who: Ben Bankas

Where: DM for location

When: Friday, July 31, 8:30pm

Cost: Pay what you can


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