Few artists in the city have a stronger association with the winter solstice than singer-songwriter Jennifer Castle, who has been marking the occasion with a special performance for years. This time, Castle will be bringing her light to the Great Hall with improvisational octet Eucalyptus (featuring a talented cast of players including Brodie West, Nicole Rampersaud and Evan Cartwright), to help make the shortest day of the year a little brighter.
London by-way-of Toronto DJ and producer Peach returns home for the holidays for a set at Sub Division. This is sure to be an exciting return for the club DJ, who has been busy touring in support of her new EP, Fortune One, out on her brand new label, Psychic Readings. Though her sound might be hard to pin down, there’s a clarity in the ebullient grooves she brings to dancefloors and sound systems all over the world. Local Pavel Elkin supports.
This new doc from homegrown filmmaker Rob Freeman centres on the history of Play De Record, a record store which in its original Yonge Street location was wildly influential on the development of Toronto’s electronic and hip hop scenes in the '90s. Featuring interviews with Play De founder Eugene Tam, as well as figures like journalist Denise Benson, Maestro Fresh Wes, Kardinal Offishal and Skratch Bastid, Drop The Needle is a love letter to a hub, institution and our city.
S.H.I.T.M.A.S. (featuring: S.H.I.T., Public Acid, Poison Ruin, ICD10, Slash Need, Beyond The Pale)
This once-annual hardcore punk tradition returns for the first time since before the pandemic started. The showcase’s namesakes S.H.I.T. will reopen their big-top of madness for any mosh-deprived misfit, and they’ve welcomed the huge riffs of North Carolina's Public Acid, plus dungeon post-punks Poison Ruin and crusty pogos ICD10 from Philadelphia. The blistering hardcore from Beyond The Pale, and sexy techno bankrobbers Slash Need serve as local support.
Tranzac New Years Eve (Featuring Owen Pallett, LAL, Bernice, Phèdre & more)
December 31, Tranzac (Main Hall), $25, 19+, masks required
Ring in the new year with this incredibly stacked bill of locals! From Owen Pallett’s orchestral pop, to chiquitamagic’s synthy experimentalism, to LAL’s nocturnal downtempo, there’s something in here for everyone. Tranzac’s keeping those community vibes right throughout the night, with activities set up in the building beyond the main hall, a special lineup of beers from Geary Avenue brewhouse Blood Brothers, and masking in place so everyone can focus more on having a good time.
Nour Hadidi and Friends
January 7, Comedy Bar (Cabaret Theatre), $20-$25, masks suggested
Once a month, the folks at Comedy Bar hand the reins over to the incredibly funny Nour Hadidi for a night of great comedians from Toronto and abroad. She’s known for her work This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Beaverton, as well as opening for Hasan Minhaj and Nikki Glaser. Previous “and Friends” have included Natalie Norman, Laura Leibow, Nile Seguin, Carol Zoccoli, Brandon Ash-Mohammed & many others.
Hamilton queer doom metal cult Vile Creature are set to end their east coast trek here in Toronto. The band’s latest, Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!, arrived right at the outset of COVID-19, preventing them from properly touring in support of the release, so now they’re making up for lost time. Co-presented by the folks that run New Friends Fest, the show features support from local screamo outfit boxcutter and Oakland anti-fascist doom metal duo Ragana.
Ningiukulu Teevee: Chronicles For The Curious
January 14, Art Gallery of Ontario, Exhibit, Free for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass Holders & Visitors 25 and under
Showcasing the work of Kinngait, Nunavut based graphic artist and writer Ningiukulu Teevee, whose lithographs on paper have a bold and intricate style in their colouring and line work. Teevee’s drawings often call upon Inuit legend and autobiographical details, as well as her sense of play and humour. Previously, Teevee’s work has been highlighted in solo exhibitions at the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, and National Gallery of Canada. Curated by AGO’s Indigenous art curator, Wanda Nanibush.
Conceptions of White
January 11, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Free
This exhibition is set to explore the construction of “whiteness” using select historical objects and artworks. Works include Howardena Pindell's 1980 film Free, White and 21, an account of the racism she experienced as she came of age in America; Toronto-based new media artist Jeremy Bailey’s Whitesimple augmented reality filters; Los Angeles-based conceptual artist Ken Gonzales-Day's Erased Lynchings series; and more. Organized by the MacKenzie Art Gallery, and curated by John G. Hampton and Lillian O’Brien Davis.
Created, directed and choreographed by Sarah Laronde, founder of Red Sky Performance, Miigis: Underwater Panther blends live music, theatre, dance and film to tell the story of the miigis shell, or white shell, and "prophecy in which the Anishinaabe should move west or perish." Charting a journey from salt to fresh water, this work follows previous critically-acclaimed Red Sky Performance productions Trace (2021) and Backbone (2018) that also took multidisciplinary approaches to storytelling and movement.
This event list appears in the December 2022 - January 2023 Issue.