The best things to do in Toronto this Victoria Day weekend: May 19-23

Many concerts including Sarah Harmer and the Electric Island season opener, children’s festivals, the return of fireworks and more

Sarah Harmer

The Canadian singer/songwriter had a 10-year hiatus between 2010’s Oh Little Fire album and the 2020 release of Are You Gone. Then the pandemic scuttled her touring plans. Now she is finally able to put her new songs on stage. Read our 2020 story about Harmer’s return to music here.

May 20 at 7 p.m. $35 and up. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria.

Fireworks at Ashbridges Bay

After two years without public fireworks in Ashbridges Bay, the City of Toronto’s annual Victoria Day Expo lights up the lake again. So find a good spot at Woodbine Beach or along the boardwalk.

May 23 at 10 p.m. Free. Ashbridges Bay Park, 1561 Lake Shore E.

Opening of the exhibitions The Power Plant Summer 2022

Discover new exhibitions by artists Paulo Nazareth and Hiwa K, as well as BREATHLESS, a collective exhibition in an outdoor pavilion.

May 19 at 8 p.m. Free. 231 Queens Quay West.

Lulaworld 2022

Global music festival with concerts by Sister Nancy & Mossman, SWA Orchestra, Tara Moneka, Cimafunk and others performing a variety of genres such as Arabic Roots, Jazz, Indigenous Throat Singing, Jamaican Dancehall, Pop Turkish and more.

Runs until May 23. From $20. Lula Salon, 1585 Dundas West.

Is God

Aleshea Harris’ play about two sisters seeking revenge is epic, daring and a little messy. The Obsidian Theatre/Necessary Angel/Canadian Stage co-production deals with themes of murder, abandonment, retribution, intergenerational trauma, and the roots and cycles of crime in Black communities. Don’t miss it, it closes this weekend. See the full review here.

Runs until May 22. $29 – $84. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley.

sky dancers

A’nó:wara Dance Theater presents a dance piece about the 1907 Quebec Bridge disaster, which killed 33 Mohawk ironworkers from the Kahnawake community. Choreographer and dancer Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo is from the community and brings both contemporary and traditional practices to her telling of this story of families, community, resilience and Indigenous history.

May 20-23. $15 to $95. Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay West.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Sunday is Arthur Conan Doyle’s 163rd birthday, so it seems elementary that you want to celebrate with a Sherlock Holmes movie. This 1959 version stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

May 22 at 1:45 p.m. $11.50. Fox Theater, 2236 Queen East.

Remote early warning

Pearle Harbor and Buddies present a post-annihilation love story by Justin Miller about the warnings we hear, we ignore, and our enduring hope for a better future.

Opens May 19 and closes May 29. $10-$40. Friends in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander.

Electric Island 2022 Season Opening

The electronic music concert series is back and celebrates 10 years with acts on three stages, including Charlotte de Witte, Loco Dice, Nitin, Mike Gibbs, Pursuit Grooves, Nic Fanciulli, Lena, Mustafa Ismaeel and others. The other dates this year will be July 1 and 2, August 6 and September 3 and 4.

May 22, doors 3 p.m. $85. Ontario Place West Island, 955 Lake Shore West. electrical

The Rumba Buena

Swing your hips to old-school salsa, boogaloo and cumbia during this dance party dedicated to classic Latin sounds inspired by salsatecas from Cali, Havana and New York. With special guest DJ ASMA from Montreal.

May 21 at 10 p.m. $10. BSMT 254, 254 Lansdowne.

MA | The space between us

Nagata Shachu’s season finale is a collaboration with multidisciplinary artist Sashar Zarif. In Japanese arts, “MA” can refer to the negative space in a painting or the silence between musical notes, while in Farsi it means “we” or “union”. This performance by the taiko ensemble and the dancer will explore these dual definitions.

May 22 at 7 p.m. $40. Al Green Theater at MNJCC, 750 Spadina.

Need something to do with the kids?

JUNIOR – Harbourfront Centre’s multidisciplinary festival for children aged 4 to 14 – offers performances of art, workshops, dance, storytelling, theater and music that explore what it means to be connected to each other and to the community around us. If, however, your kids are the most exuberant, head to Markham Fairgrounds for KidsFestTO. The outdoor event features rides, bouncy castles and other inflatables, games, a petting zoo, food and live family entertainment.

Harbourfront JUNIOR runs May 21-23. Most events are free or paid as you wish. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West.

KidsFestTO Spring Edition runs May 21-23. $20 to $25, children under 2 free. Markham Fairgrounds, 10801 McCowan.

In progress

Boy falls from the sky Mirvish presents Jake Epstein’s solo exhibition (see Glenn Sumi’s 5N review here). Until May 29. Starting at $29. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King West.

photography festival Canadian and international artists present lens-based works in exhibitions, site-specific installations and commissioned projects across the city. May 1-31.

KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities Cirque du Soleil presents a show of acrobatics, poetry, art and humor. As of July 17. Starting at $70. Big top at Ontario Place, 955 Lake Shore West.

Mayworks Festival of Workers and the Arts The 37th edition celebrates how workers help each other across generations. May 1-31. Free. In person and online.

Royal Ontario Museum Wildlife Photographer of the Year until May 29. Great Whales: Up Close And Personal through July 3. Swapnaa Tamhane: Mobile Palace textile exhibition until August 1st. 100 Queens Park.

Spectra – Exhibition of members of Galerie 44 May 18-June 5, talks and visits by artists at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on May 21. Free. Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw.

Little grievance comedy Weekly stand-up showcase hosted by Sima Sepehri. Thursday 8 p.m. $12. Wenona Craft Beer Lodge, 1069 Bloor West.

Toronto Art Biennale Canada’s premier visual arts event focused exclusively on contemporary art from around the world. As of June 5. Various places.



Comments are closed.