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December 2021 - The Bloor St. Culture Corridor

December is right around the corner - did you know that BCC partner organizations have plenty of gift options for your loved ones? There are fantastic gift shops at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum, Gardiner Museum, A Different Booklist Cultural Centre, Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, and the Toronto Reference Library. In addition, many of our partners have gift certificates and memberships, for those looking for the flexibility of enjoying offerings on their own time, both online and in person.

Here's what else is happening this month along the Bloor St. Culture Corridor!

• A yummy online cooking workshop from the Museum of Estonians Abroad/VEMU
• Registration for January classes for Randolph Kids at Randolph Centre for the Arts
• Movie nights at the Alliance Française de Toronto
• Vesuvius Ensemble performs at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura
• Pick out some wonderful art gifts from the Women's Art Association of Canada
• Lots of #BSMFromHome content to enjoy from the Bata Shoe Museum
• Two concert events from The Music Gallery
• Extraordinary world, jazz, and classical music from The Royal Conservatory
• Chanukah online candle lighting from the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre
• Exploring the role of storytelling and percussion music at Soundstreams
• High-quality Live & Online programming from the Toronto Reference Library
• The U of T Brazilian Ensemble takes centre stage for the final Thursdays at Noon concert of the season at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music
• Two digital concerts from Tafelmusik, including A Tafelmusik Christmas to usher in the holidays
• A charming salute to the power of music at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
• The Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest continues at the Royal Ontario Museum
• A new exhibition examining the prints of Hiroshige at The Japan Foundation, Toronto

We continue to share the content of our partners through our social media channels - Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You never know what you'll discover next!

Museum of Estonians Abroad/VEMU

On December 12 at 2pm (EST) VEMU will be hosting an Estonian language online cooking workshop with Ljudmila Ruukel who will be demonstrating how to cook a selection of Finno-Ugric dishes. Ljudmila is a historian by education and holds a Master's degree from Udmurt State University in Udmurtia, where she is from. In 2004, she moved to Estonia and soon began to share the uniqueness of Udmurt cuisine with Estonian food enthusiasts, by teaching courses in Pärnu County, Tartu, Tallinn and elsewhere in Estonia. This cooking workshop will conclude VEMU’s series of events dedicated to the Finno-Ugric peoples, all of which can still be watched on the VEMU YouTube channel. More information can be found on their website.

Randolph Centre for the Arts

Registration is now open for January classes at Randolph Kids! YouTube, Acting for Film & TV, Improv, Theatre Performance, Musical Theatre, Pop Divas and more. Virtual and In Person Options. Come explore, adapt and learn with them! More information can be found on their website.

Alliance Française de Toronto

Are you an art lover looking for events in French this month? Start December with their online talk in French about artist Gustav Klimt on December 4! For even more talks, participate in their online talk in partnership with the Société d'Histoire de Toronto on Wednesday December 8 about digital discoverability! To get ready for Christmas, December continues with many events that will delight both children and parents: Join them on December 9 for the Movie-Thursday Aïlo. A great opportunity to relax while watching the breathtaking landscapes of Lapland! Then discover the animated movie Kirikou and the Sorceress at their theatre on Thursday December 16 at 7:30pm. All event information can be found at their website.

Istituto Italiano di Cultura

The Istituto Italiano di Cultura closes out 2021 with a Christmas concert featuring Neapolitan musical group Vesuvius Ensemble, who will present a repeat performance of their much-loved Christmas concert Quanno Nascette Ninno. From Naples, bagpiper Tommaso Sollazzo returns to join fellow special guests, Romina Di Gasbarro and Louis Simao. The show will offer Toronto audiences the opportunity to experience this special cultural heritage here in Canada. In addition, this year marks the 17th edition of Italian Contemporary Art, a yearly initiative of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the Association of Contemporary Art Museums in Italy. For the occasion, the Institute will virtually present the winner of the Cantica 21 competition, artist Giacomo Segantin and his work, Senza titolo (progetto sassaia), after which it will be available for public viewing at the Istituto on Huron St. Check out the IIC website for details on these and other events.

Women's Art Association of Canada

The Women’s Art Association of Canada invites you to come celebrate the season at WAAC. Choose an affordable gift of art from one of their talented members, or a unique item from their Holiday Boutique for someone special on your list. Small Gems is taking place from November 20 to January 8, 2022 in the Dignam Gallery. Holiday Boutique in the Ruth Upjohn Gallery. Their Galleries are open to visitors (Proof of double vaccination required). WAAC will be closed December 21 to January 3. For more information, call the WAAC office, or read more at their website.

Bata Shoe Museum

Discover 4,500 years worth of footwear history at Toronto’s favourite shoebox! To kick off the holiday season, be sure to bring your family to the museum during winter break as they bring back their kids activities; try on some funky shoes, create a masterpiece with their colouring sheets and so much more. Explore their new exhibition All Dolled Up: Fashioning Cultural Expectations to see dolls from the 18th century and beyond. Don’t forget to check out their museum shop for the perfect holiday gift for the shoe lover in your life. Can’t make it to the museum? There’s always #BSMFromHome content for you to enjoy ~ learn about past and current conservation projects, an upcoming online exhibition about figure skating and more on their blog Step into the BSM. Get a glimpse of their vault in their Off the Shelf TikTok/Instagram Reels series. Kids can enjoy listening to their Storytime with the BSM series or create fun shoe-themed crafts over on their YouTube channel. Visit their website to keep up to date with the latest news and updates.

The Music Gallery

The Music Gallery presents: AWAKE December 4 at 7:30pm. AWAKE is an exploration of daydreams and nightmares: the beauty your eyes consume in the day, and the struggle in closing them at night.
Beginning with the documentary short, AWAKE, by Lucy Cameron, the night blends into a live electronic composition by Emissive dedicated to insomnia. Also happening this month is EMERGENTS I, a 4-part series entitled Possible Worlds December 14-17. The events are dedicated to the notion of musical world-building, participating artists are encouraged to explore and improvise with instruments and experiment with collaborative performances. Tickets for all events can be found here.

The Royal Conservatory

The Royal Conservatory's December concerts start with extraordinary world music by Kobo Town, led by Trinidadian Canadian singer/songwriter Drew Gonsalves, and Haitian Canadian musician and performer, Wesli on December 3. Cape Breton fiddler sensation Ashley MacIsaac joins Canada’s queen of R&B, Jully Black, and gorgeous singing-songwriting duo, Madison Violet, for a powerful evening of Canadian roots music on December 10. Grammy Award-winning Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona, Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodríguez, and Cuban percussionist and vocalist, Pedrito Martínez, will perform jazz from around the world on December 11. Canadian pianist and Royal Conservatory alumnus, Jan Lisiecki will perform an all-Fryderyk Chopin program on December 12. On December 18, top Canadian songwriters Lacey Hill, Melle, and Rehan Dalal come together with host Blair Packham to perform their music and tell us about the inspiration behind their songs. Head to their website to learn more.

Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

The Miles Nadal JCC is excited to celebrate Chanukah along with several arts and culture events this December. Join the MNjcc community live on their Facebook page as they continue with the Chanukah candle lighting nightly (5pm) until December 6. Large scale paintings and drawings from a month’s immersion in the high Arctic reflect Janet Read’s personal response to this landscape in High Arctic Light, in their Virtual Gallery from Dec 1–31. On December 2 attend a virtual community-wide Chanukah Concert – Tsindt On Di Likhtelekh, with musical guests Bernice Gopin and accompanist Jordan Klapman and enjoy your favourite Chanukah songs performed in Yiddish, Hebrew and English. Their Book Club is holding an interactive discussion on December 16 of The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott. And… winter program registration opens on December 8 at their website.


Soundstreams presents Encounters Town Hall: Stories & Drumming December 8 at 6:30pm. Percussion instruments and storytelling play a deeply significant role in almost every global culture, performing a ceremonial role marking the rituals of our lives from birth to death. This digital concert features Balinese-inspired Pulau Dewata (translation “Island of the Gods”) by Quebecois composer Claude Vivier, Imbila by Dr. Bongani Ndodana-Breen (SA) narrated by actor Rhoma Spencer, and a new story by Spencer called The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: How Brother Deer and Mother Turtle Pivot the Pandemic, set to a new arrangement of Ann Southam’s Glass Houses. Click here for tickets.

Toronto Reference Library

Toronto Reference Library continues to offer high-quality virtual programming with TPL’s Live & Online series. Tune in on December 6 when Chief Clarence Louie talks about his book, Rez Rules, and his common-sense blueprint for the future of First Nations communities on Turtle Island and beyond. On December 8, writer Lydia Davis discusses Essays Two, and explores the unique adventures of language-learning, literature and travel. Author Stephen Graham Jones talks about My Heart is a Chainsaw on December 13 and discusses the horror genre as a vehicle for bigger and scarier conversations. And on December 17, author and playwright Jordan Tannahill talks about The Listeners, an electrifying novel that treads the thresholds of faith, conspiracy and mania. Also, library customers can once again borrow a Museum + Arts Pass (MAP) with an adult library card and get free admission to local museums, art galleries and cultural attractions. Visit tpl.ca for more details.

University of Toronto, Faculty of Music

The University of Toronto Faculty of Music closes out the Fall events season December 2 with an exciting Thursdays at Noon concert featuring virtuosic soloist, arranger and educator Gabriel Policarpo. This one-hour concert, livestreamed from Walter Hall, features Gabriel Policarpo along with U of T Music faculty member Alan Hetherington and the U of T Brazilian Ensemble, and special guests. Don't miss it! Also on December 2, the Musicology, Ethnomusicology, and Theory Graduate Colloquium Series welcomes Assistant Professor Mitchell Akiyama from U of T's Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. Prof. Akiyama's talk starts at 3:30pm and is followed by a Q&A. The talk is free and open to all on Zoom. Registration details can be found on the Faculty of Music's online events calendar. Please visit their website for details.

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir

Tafelmusik presents The Voice of Vivaldi and A Tafelmusik Christmas: two digital concerts to enjoy from the comfort of your home this month. Premiering on December 2, The Voice of Vivaldi—a baroque journey through human emotions—showcases the remarkable Canadian singer Krisztina Szabó, mezzo-soprano. Passionate arias from three Vivaldi operas are even more striking when paired with two sacred arias by members of the Bach family. Then, premiering on December 16, A Tafelmusik Christmas reunites members of the choir and orchestra for the first time in 2021—a perfect way to launch the 40th anniversary season of Tafelmusik Chamber Choir. Curated by Ivars Taurins, this program evokes the moods and emotions of Christmas with sparkling choruses from Handel’s Messiah, richly harmonized baroque arrangements of carols, and exuberant selections from Bach’s Lutheran Mass in G Major. Learn more and buy tickets at their website.

Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

Spend the holidays with Hot Docs Cinema! Be the first to see doc maker Alan Zweig’s Records, a charming salute to the power of music—and those who live for it: record collectors. Sing along with Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson in this chill and intimate portrait full of new and classic tunes, star appearances and, of course, good vibrations. Relive the glory years of groundbreaking choreographer George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet through five decades of historic dance footage and interviews. Check out the best of the best ads from the 2021 Cannes Lions festival. Relive your childhood with the Royal Ballet’s definitive production of the classic holiday ballet: The Nutcracker. Discover the fascinating untold story of Johnny Cash’s first wife in My Darling Vivian at Music on Film, presented with the Royal Conservatory. Visit their website to view their health and safety guidelines, and programming schedule.

Royal Ontario Museum

ROM Photography Contest - The ROM Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest returns for a seventh year! Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, ROM invites you to share your captivating images of the natural world for a chance to win some amazing prizes amazing prizes including a Nikon Z 5 Kit courtesy of Henry's, your photograph on display at the Museum and more. Open to all residents of Ontario. Contest closes March 13, 2022. Find out more.

Give the gift of 4 billion years of beauty and wonder. ROM Members receive free unlimited admission to galleries and special exhibitions, plus enjoy exclusive previews of exhibitions, advance booking opportunities, discounts, and much more! Find out more.

Photo credit: Spirit Bear © Michelle Valberg.

The Japan Foundation, Toronto

The Japan Foundation, Toronto is now open four days a week! Drop into their gallery to see the new Hiroshige’s “Edo Hyaku” Prints Exhibition which examines the final years of the legendary ukiyo-e print artist, Hiroshige (1797–1858), which was characterized by the use of tall portrait layouts in landscape paintings. Linear perspectives, the expression of depth and distance, are keys to unfold the visual wealth of Hiroshige’s later pieces. If you missed the talks celebrating Japanese author Eto Mori’s book Colorful, you can watch the recording of her interview with Canadian author Kerri Sakamoto and also the discussion with the translator of her book, Jocelyne Allen, as part of the Parallel Worlds: Translator Series. You can also check out the newly added ebooks and audiobooks on JFT OverDrive, all available free! New titles include new manga series to classic Japanese literature like the novel Tales from the Café by KAWAGUCHI Toshikazu, and many more! Find out more details at their website.

The Bloor St. Culture Corridor, Toronto's most diverse arts and culture district, is a true creative cluster, an arts and culture destination, and a collaboration between some of Toronto's most dynamic arts and culture organizations.

The Bloor St. Culture Corridor offers the public a wide variety of arts genres, from museum experiences to films, art exhibitions to music concerts, and opportunities to experience some of Toronto's cultural diversity, including Aboriginal, French, Jewish, Italian, Japanese, Estonian, African and Caribbean arts and culture.
All Bloor St. Culture Corridor organizations present arts and cultural events for the public year-round in destination venues located in a cluster along a vibrant stretch of Bloor Street West. Each year more than three million members of the public go to Bloor St. Culture Corridor arts and culture destinations, and attend exhibitions, performances, and events. Together, the Bloor St. Culture Corridor organizations employ more than 5,500 culture workers and generate more than $629,500,000 in economic impact each year. In 2016, The Bloor St. Culture Corridor was successful in working with the City of Toronto to have the Bloor St. Culture corridor section of Bloor St. West designated an official City of Toronto cultural corridor.

The Bloor St. Culture Corridor includes:
918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media and Education: 918 Bathurst St. 918bathurst.com
Alliance Française de Toronto: 24 Spadina Road alliance-francaise.ca
Bata Shoe Museum: 327 Bloor Street West batashoemuseum.ca
A Different Booklist Cultural Centre: 777-779 Bathurst St. adbcc.org
Gardiner Museum: 111 Queen's Park gardinermuseum.com
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema: 506 Bloor Street West hotdocscinema.ca
Istituto Italiano di Cultura: 496 Huron Street iictoronto.esteri.it
The Japan Foundation, Toronto: 2 Bloor Street East, Suite 300 jftor.org
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre: 750 Spadina Ave. mnjcc.org
Museum of Estonians Abroad/VEMU: 310 Bloor Street West vemu.ca
The Music Gallery: 918 Bathurst St. musicgallery.org
Native Canadian Centre of Toronto: 16 Spadina Road ncct.on.ca
The Randolph Centre for the Arts: 736 Bathurst St. randolphcentreforthearts.com
The Royal Conservatory of Music / Koerner Hall: 273 Bloor Street West rcmusic.com/performance
Royal Ontario Museum (ROM): 100 Queen's Park (Entrance on Bloor St. W.) rom.on.ca
Soundstreams: various venues on the Bloor St. Culture Corridor soundstreams.ca
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Chamber Choir: 427 Bloor Street West tafelmusik.org
The Toronto Consort: 427 Bloor Street West torontoconsort.org
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library: 120 St. George St. fisher.library.utoronto.ca
Toronto Reference Library: 789 Yonge Street torontopubliclibrary.ca
University of Toronto Faculty of Music: 80 Queen's Park music.utoronto.ca
Women's Art Association of Canada: 23 Prince Arthur Ave. womensartofcanada.ca

Sandra P.    12/1/2021


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