According to a Queer Grrrl:September Festivals in Toronto! West to East and by the Quay~~
Now that summer seems to be slowly retreating, September brings with it a variety of festivals and special events to Toronto. Here are my top picks for Sept Festivals for 2012! (For a complete list, click HERE). We will do this geographically, starting in the west end with the Toronto Ukrainian Festival, then over to the east end and the celebrations in Cabbagetown, then it will be down to the Harbourfront for the The Vegetarian Food Festival
Click here for their direct Twitter link or find them yourself: @TorUkrFestival
When: September 14, 15 and 16 They are celebrating 16 years in 2012.
Where: Bloor West Village between Jane and Runnymede.
TTC INFO: Total no brainer. The Bloor/Danforth Subway line takes you right there. I am a bit biased when I say this street festival is my favourite. I am part Ukrainian so that might be why, but I am not alone: over 500,000 people show up each year. That’s like half of the amount of people who show up for Pride. Bonus points however, as it occurs in Sept, you won’t fry under a boiling hot sun
This is your opportunity to experience a unique culture with generous hospitality. There are wandering muscians, and a marketplace selling authentic merchandise. There is a midway for kids and youth. The sidewalk sale is presented by the local Bloor West Village businesses. Expect to hear non stop music all along Bloor Street as there are two stages.
At the Runnymede Stage, at Bloor and Runnymede, there will be “Teach Me To Dance Ukrainian classes.” I am sure you have always wanted to learn how to dance in those hot red leather boots. On the Jane Stage, at Bloor and Jane, the entertainment will be from the top “Ukrainian performers from the Greater Toronto Area, Canada, the USA and Ukraine: You will see dancers, vocalists and musicians. For a complete list of performers click HERE
Wanna see a band playing a really tight set and just grooving along? The fact that you may not know a lot of Ukranian to sing along really wont be an issue. On Friday 14th and Saturday 15th you should try joining in the Street Dances. The music is eclectic and varies nicely. There is classic Ukrainian Folk Songs, but also hard core rock and contemporary. You will hear blended sounds of guitar riffs, and lead singers with passion as they sing and/or belt out the entire set. Think trombones, trumpets, and violinists as they join in with drums.
This is Mad Heads XL performing there in 2010. You can find them on Twitter or @madheadsxl. This Psychobilly band brings a strong ska influence tho their music. They boldly brought it and totally ripped up the stage. While they did sing mostly in Ukrainian, they did get a few choruses in English for those of us who didn’t know the song.
An AWESOME sound comes from the bouncing music from the stadium sized speakers and into a crowd of jumping and dancing people. From there, it echos off the buildings located at Jane and Bloor. If you do nothing else at this festival, make sure you get some serious face time in front of the stage. It is an experience you truly would not get anywhere else in the world.
Listen up fellow omnivores and meat-a-tarians! If beer, perogies, cabbage rolls and REAL sausage on a fresh bun sounds so yummy to you that you are drooling at the very thought, you have to try the food at the Ukrainian Festival. That is just the tip of iceburg of the food experience available at the festival. Last year, food vendors brought the tastes of Thailand, the Carribean and of course the ultimate autumn treat: Roasted Corn.
Feel free to contact them at this direct Twitter link or @CabbagetownBIA to stay up to date on all of their activities all weekend long!
OMG! When did Cabbagetown get so cool? Check out these four fun filled days sure to attract your interest. Cabbagetown, in case you didn’t already know, is located in the eastern edge of downtown Toronto. The people are eclectic, diverse, and artistic.
TTC INFO: 506 Carlton takes you right to the main intersection of Carlton and Parliament on the north side, and Gerrard and Parliament on the south.
When: Saturday September 8 and Sunday September 9. From 11:00 am to 8:30 pm each day.
Where: Parliament Street from Wellesley south to Gerrard in Toronto’s east end.
Vendors, shops and restaurants all welcome you to enjoy their neighbourhood. People will being selling everything “from jewellry to soap to clothing and lots more.” Both non-profit groups and private vendors will have tables set up. Click HERE for a list of the restaurants in Cabbagetown. The restaurants really do reflect the diveristy of the neighbourhood.
I love flash mob videos. This is one from last year’s festival!
If you have ever wanted to “taste Cabbagetown’s best ales and wines” then $10 on Thursday Sept 6th will be your best opportunity. You can “savour some samples and find a new favourite dish.” Your ticket lets you choose from four different pubs, restaurants and bars, and you can see what Cabbagetown has to offer in tasty and fun food. To find out where you can get tickets, call for info (416) 921-0857
When: Friday, September 7th. 8-11pm $15
Where: Winchester Street Theater, 80 Winchester Street.
In 1992, Cabbagetown resident Gina Dineen, a Toronto actress, producer, and York University Film School graduate, founded this short film festival. Basically, the “world’s best short films” come to Toronto. It has grown “substantially from a celebration of local filmmakers to one of the best fringe festivals in the country.” The categories are comedy, drama, experimental, animation, and documentary. Industry professionals judge the entries and award prizes. The festival celebrates excellence and is “a rare gem in the world of film festivals.” This year films being showcased are from Portugal, Canada, the US, UK, Spain, India and Argentina.
When: September 7th-9th, 2012
Friday – 4pm-9pm
Saturday – 12pm-9pm
Brought to you by: Toronto Vegetarian Association (A Toronto based non-profit) in partnership with Harbourfront Centre.
In its 28th year, with over 40,000 people coming together at the Harbourfront Centre, it truly is “the largest vegetarian festival in the world.” There will be “free talks and cooking demonstrations from leading vegetarian experts.” Boasting “great music, food, and knowledge.” You can “shop from over 100 vendors, local Toronto restaurants, bakeries and a farmer’s markets.” Families (and companion animals) can enjoy the outdoor spaces at the Harbourfront.
This is a GREAT video done by a TRUE vegan! It is worth a look and will probably bring a smile to your lips.
Thank you for joining me on this little zip through my top picks for festivals in September. I will be using the hashtag #Septfestivals as I go throughout this month.
words by shona follow me on twitter @shona__fraser