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Virtual art listings for the week of June 29: Your 10 best bets for online events –



Rebecca Perry. (Graham Isador)

While things are slowly starting to open up across Canada, concerts, theatre, and other performing arts are still shelved for the time being. Thankfully artists continue to take to the internet during the pandemic to share their work with audiences. Each week CBC Arts has been helping to promote that work by listing our favourite digital live events. Below you can check out our picks for the week of June 29th.

The Toronto Fringe goes online

In the Toronto Theatre community, there is no festival more beloved than the Fringe. Each year over a hundred shows are performed in venues across the city, with professional theatre artists, emerging talent, and amateurs all hoping to become the next Kim’s Convenience. This year the Toronto Fringe is reimagining its festival on the internet, with over 50 companies performing digital shows. The event runs from July 1st -12th with an online launch party happening Tuesday, June 30th at 8:30pm ET. With dozens of musicals, comedies, and dramas to choose from, you’re bound to find something  to your tastes. Some suggestions include the sensational Rebecca Perry in Sarah/Frank — an audio experience about a Canadian caught in the American Civil War — happening July 4th-6th, and Fringe veterans Shakey-Shake performing their incredible puppet Shakespeare show King Lear…A (Self-Isolating) Puppet Epic from July 1st-3rd.

Get down with The Legendary PIT! from Yellowknife

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Self-described as the Northwest Territories’ “premier man-child boy-band” The Legendary PIT! joyfully blend funk and soul with over-the-top lyrics. The result sounds something like Jack Black performing Barry White covers. The band’s latest album Modern Mating Calls has an infectious quality that demands multiple plays. It’s won the group sold out shows in their local scene and a growing reputation across the country.  You can watch  The Legendary PIT! in all their glory as they perform a live set Monday, June 29th at 7pm UCT (3pm ET).  Things are sure to get wild.

Take an improv class online

If you’re looking for a low stakes, fun, and interactive evening, why not try an online improv class with Bad Dog Theatre? The Toronto company offers a sample class designed for beginners, with weekly sessions happening Saturdays at 3pm ET and Mondays at 6pm ET. Bad Dog has produced some of the country’s funniest performers. Whether you’ve got aspirations to take over the comedy world or are simply looking  to build some confidence, improv is an invaluable tool. Details can be found here.

Celebrate diversity with A Queer & Trans Muslim Love Letter

On Tuesday, June 30th at 6pm ET catch ISHQ – A Queer & Trans Muslim Love Letter on Zoom. The show features a talented crew of musicians, poets, drag performers, and artists representing the best of Toronto’s Muslim LGBTQ community. With acts from Mango Lassi, Troy Jackson, Halal Bae, and more, the live-stream promises to be an entertaining and enlightening experience. ISHQ – A Queer & Trans Muslim Love Letter is run by ScrapFest, a multicultural, immigrant-friendly performance series showcasing alternative artists with varied geopolitical backgrounds.

Listen to the soulful indie pop of Halifax’s Braden Lam

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Halifax songwriter Braden Lam brings his soulful brand of indie pop online Thursday, July 2nd at 7pm ET. The musician — who has drawn comparisons to Tim Baker and Phoebe Bridgers for his honest storytelling and heart-pulling melodies — is performing in celebration of his single “Habit of My Heart.” With a new album due out this fall, Lam is an artist to watch.

Celebrate the best in Toronto theatre at the Dora Awards

Since 1978, the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts has celebrated the city’s best theatre with the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. This year’s digital ceremony happens Monday, June 29th at 7:30 pm via YouTube with esteemed artists Diane Flacks and Ed Roy writing and directing the show. Two plays chronicling the Black experience lead the 2020 nominations. Musical Stage Company and Obsidian Theatre’s powerful co-production of the civil-rights-era musical Caroline, Or Change picked up eight nominations. Soulpepper’s production of The Brothers Size — a play about two siblings in Louisiana penned by Moonlight writer Tarell Alvin — also received eight nominations. Find out who wins and enjoy the ceremony at this link.

Find an outlet for grief with The Holy Gasp

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Fronted by Benjamin Hackman, The Holy Gasp feels more like a series of interconnected art projects than a band. Sometimes the group channel a Nick Cave-esque sound in fierce live performances; other times they’re releasing 20-minute spoken word pieces. Their art is dark, strange, and over-the-top. While the fearless presentation doesn’t always hit, the band should be applauded for their ambitiousness. On Wednesday, July 1st at 9pm ET, The Holy Gasp are performing a piece called Grief. The show — written for ten vocalists, two pianists, and accompanying percussion — strives to create a communal mourning ritual for anyone who has suffered the sorrows of losing a loved one. Audiences are invited to share the names of  the deceased which will be integrated into the performance. More information can be found here

Solve a mystery at the Citadel Theatre

Through the pandemic, Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre has been hosting the [ESC] series online to highlight the work of Edmonton theatre artists. The next show in the series is RANSOM from Headspin Theatre, which features original songs and farcical antics as the performers attempt to solve the mystery of their friend’s sudden disappearance. The play runs Thursday, July 3rd-Sunday, July 5th. Get more information at this link.

Learn about social justice from an arts perspective

Artists for Climate & Migrant Justice and Indigenous Sovereignty are hosting a weekly meeting called Arts Activism Open Space where artists and community members are invited to discuss projects that integrate live performance and social activism. This week’s open space happens on Monday, June 29th at 7pm ET via Zoom. Small groups will be chatting about performances to support tenant rights and rapid responses to encampment clearings/evictions. You can find more information and get involved here.

Navigate the intersections of money and identity with E-Transfer

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On Tuesday, June 30th at 8pm ET, catch E-Transfer hosted by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and The National Theatre School of Canada. Written and performed by Gabe Maharjan and Merlin Simard, the show explores the intersections of economics and trans/gender non-conforming identities. Asking big questions about love, money, and identity, E-Transfer works as a brutally honest reflection on survival during late capitalism. Tickets for the show are pay-what-you-decide with proceeds going to support The Okra Project and Taking What We Need, two charities supporting Black/Indigenous two-spirit, trans, and gender non-conforming folks. ​​​​​​

CBC Arts understands that this is an incredibly difficult time for artists and arts organizations across this country. We will do our best to provide valuable information, share inspiring stories of communities rising up and make us all feel as (virtually) connected as possible as we get through this together. If there’s something you think we should be talking about, let us know by emailing us at See more of our COVID-related coverage here.

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How I learned to stop worrying and love online art galleries – The Globe and Mail



Joanne Virgo and her son Keenan look at an installation called The Brain, in the Douglas Coupland exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, on Feb. 15, 2015.

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

It is from a position of great privilege that I acknowledge some of my greatest losses of this time have been the inability to travel and the inability to visit art galleries and museums. I have longed for both of these experiences like missing a faraway friend, one you are not sure when you can see again.

I have always resisted the online art experience – other than for research, it seemed as if it was beside the point. You need to be in front of the piece to really appreciate it, dammit.

COVID-19 has taught me that there’s another way to look at it.

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The National Gallery of Canada’s excellent series of “Virtual NGC” videos were a pandemic balm for me. Tom Thomson’s The Jack Pine, Janet Cardiff’s Forty-Part Motet, Annie Pootoogook’s Cape Dorset Freezer are explored in detail by curatorial staff.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, a place I haven’t visited in probably 15 years, has a “3 Minutes with an Artwork” series, which I also recommend. You can learn a lot in three minutes, as it turns out, as in a knowledgeable volunteer guide’s talk about Marc-Aurèle Fortin’s painting Storm Brewing over Hochelaga, during which she discusses its contemporary resonance in the age of COVID-19.

Google’s Arts and Culture app – which I have spent countless hours using during the shutdown – allowed me to “visit” some of my bucket-list museums that I began to worry I might never actually get to. The glory of Paris’s Musée D’Orsay – the museum itself, its magnificent collection and the way the works are installed – was evident, even on my little iPhone. (The experience is better on a larger screen, though, like your laptop.)

I was moved almost to tears by Diego Rivera’s murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) (a place I have somehow never visited, despite having grown up in not-very-far-away Toronto) and by the work Frida Kahlo produced during their time there. Then I had a good laugh at the headline of a newspaper clipping the DIA included in its online exhibition Frida Kahlo in Detroit: “Wife of the Master Mural Painter Gleefully Dabbles in Works of Art.”

The Google Art experience was particularly effective, I realized, when visiting places I have been and loved. “At” the AGO, I spent time with paintings I have seen for years at every visit, so familiar yet so far away right now – works by Emily Carr, Tom Thomson, the Group of Seven. Augustus John’s The Marchesa Casati, James Tissot’s La Demoiselle de Magasin, Paul Peel’s The Young Biologist. Seeing these works – even on my computer screen – felt like visiting home.

Visiting the Vancouver Art Gallery (which has now re-opened) online was a particularly emotional experience; the only way at the time that I could visit the place I have toured through countless times, for work and for pleasure.

Its online exhibition offering was Douglas Coupland’s 2014 show “everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything.” Looking at its intricate and whimsical Lego towers, colourful Pop Head series and his massive installation The Brain (made with thousands of found items), I felt such joy remembering what art can do, and such a loss wondering when it will ever be the same again.

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In Toronto, art lovers head to drive-in for safe Van Gogh show – CTV News



While some museums have had to cancel or postpone long-planned exhibits because of the coronavirus, organizers of a Van Gogh show in Toronto had a novel idea: offering art lovers a drive-in option.

“Of course, because of COVID, we had to think creatively,” said Corey Ross, a co-producer of the exhibit, which was initially slated to start in May and was delayed by the pandemic.

As Canada’s largest city gradually comes out of lockdown, the exhibit began this week with two viewing areas in a huge Toronto warehouse: one area with social distancing circles on the ground for those who prefer taking in their art on foot, and another for people in cars that drive right into the building.

Viewing art from inside a car provides a safe experience for people who are physically fragile, fearful of the virus or vulnerable. And it is a unique experience, said Ross.

“You’ve never had an experience like this in your car,” said Ross. “The feeling is almost as if the car is floating through the art.”

The show was set up in collaboration with the creators of “Van Gogh, Starry Night,” a hugely popular exhibit presented last year at l’Atelier des Lumieres in Paris.


The Toronto show features a similar, digital concept: works by the Dutch painter are projected in high definition on walls and floors.

The warehouse has space for up to about 10 cars at a time, parking in designated spots.

Car engines stay off during the projection of the artworks, which is accompanied with music. The paintings are positioned so people can see them through their windshields.

Some people take photos with their kids in their lap as they spend 35 minutes in the bold, intense world of Van Gogh.

Jessica Counti, 17, came with her family for the first drive-in edition on Friday to celebrate her sister’s birthday.

“It’s just a really immersive experience that you can’t really get in a regular art gallery. So I really appreciate that, even though we can’t walk around art pieces,” she said.

Another visitor, Patrick Corcoran, took in the show from the steering wheel of his vintage 1950 Plymouth. 

“The whole thing of sitting in your car and being out and enjoying the art –- it was comfortable, it was safe. With all the stuff that’s going on in the world with the COVID, it was an experience. It was great.”

Ross said the idea is turning out to be a hit but will just be temporary.

“If you’re a car enthusiast, it’s a very special moment,” he said.

“But I think overall as soon as there’s an opportunity for the public to go back to experiencing art in the way that we love to, in groups, beside other people, where you can talk and see strangers and see how they react and be part of a community, I think we will go back to that,” Ross said.

The art hall for cars is booked almost solid through its end on August 9.

The show will remain open to pedestrians through September.

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Sudbury art crawl highlights local artists and downtown businesses – The Sudbury Star



This year’s event will run all month in July

This year’s Downtown Sudbury Art Crawl will run all month in July. Supplied

This July, Sudbury’s downtown core will be transformed into one big showcase for local artists and local businesses alike.

Downtown Sudbury Art Crawl is back at it this year starting July 6, but with a COVID-friendly twist – artists will get the chance to display their work in shop windows, and the event will run all month long.

“In past years, the event would take place for a few hours downtown on one day. Shops would open their doors with the art displayed inside, and we would sometimes have 500 or 600 people coming downtown to explore the streets of Sudbury,” said assistant event coordinator Megan Karchie.

“But because we can’t gather in large groups this year, we have made some changes to the event.”

The Downtown Sudbury Art Crawl was founded in 2014 as a grassroots pedestrian-friendly cultural experience in the city. The event features a wide range of primarily visual artists of all experience levels in the community.

This year, instead of participating in a one-day event, businesses will feature a unique piece of art in their shop windows for the entire month. The artwork will be illuminated at night and, each week, shops will feature a different piece of art.

“Everything that is displayed within the windows is going to be put up on our new website for auction,” said Eevent coordinator Monique Legault.

“We’ve got everything from $65 to $1,500 and everything from Cambrian College grads to Gordon Drysdale and Johanna Westby.”

A new auction will run each week throughout the month, beginning on July 6 and ending on Aug. 2.

Businesses participating in this initiative include Good Luck General Store, All About Massage Day Spa, Monique Legault Studio, The Refinery, Kuppajo Espresso Bar, and many others.

“We’re trying to get people to come out and take a walk or a drive through downtown’s streets and get the chance to see what the arts community has to offer,” said Event Coordinator Monique Legault.

When Legault and Karchie jumped on board as events coordinators in January, they knew they had their work cut out for them.

“It’s been interesting. I want to say we got approval for this event from the city about three and a half weeks ago? So, it’s been non-stop. We could have waited until August, but honestly, I feel like everybody needed this so badly,” said Legault.

“We have a lot of businesses downtown that are struggling due to COVID-19, but they are all trying so hard to create this draw with the new patios and everything that they are doing, so by getting people to come in and see what they have to offer, it’s a huge opportunity.”

So far, the duo has received nothing but praise for their hard work.

“The reactions to this new format have been wonderful so far. A lot of artists have been mentioning the fact that they have nothing to look forward to. We’ve been getting praise from everybody for just trying as hard as we can to make this happen.”

Anyone interested in attending the event can visit the art crawl’s new website at

The website features an interactive map of participating businesses and the online auctions.

Updates about the event will also be sent out regularly via the art crawl’s newsletter and featured on their Facebook and Instagram pages (@downtownsudburyartcrawl).

The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.

Twitter: @SudburyStar

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