Festive time is over, but Spring is still far from the gates of Toronto – why not fill the chilly days with some of the interesting events going on in the city. As every month, here is our list of tips for activities and events that might be worth checking out in January:
December 26th to March 31st
Come to see the all-time classic story The Wizard of Oz in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous adaptation for the stage at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. You will meet the original characters and songs from the film including Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion as well as Dorothy and Toto setting off to their journey to the magical land of Oz with the wizard and the Wicked Witch. Tickets can be purchased for $35 to $175. Toal running time of the show is 2 hours and 15 minutes, including one intermission.
January 2nd to January 13th
In its 6th year, Next Stage Theatre Festival will showcase some of the best and most creative independent theatre groups and artists during 12 days full of shows, performances and events. The winter version of Fringe festival provides space for artists who wish to reach for wider audience as well as encourage interaction among them and the theatre-goers, since the informal atmosphere of the festival invites people to chat before or after shows – organizers have prepared a heated McAuslan Beet Tent in the courtyard of the theatre for this special purpose. The tent is also a home for the box office, as we all know that waiting for your tickets with a tasty beer in your hand is much more fun.
Over the years of its existence, the festival has had an enormous success – it has grown bigger and better and large proportion of their productions move to other stages after being featured here. This season’s line up of shows includes 10 productions that have been awarded various prestigious awards including Canadian Comedy Awards, a Governor General’s Award for Drama or numerous Dora Award Nominations. Some of 2013 highlights include comedy Salt Baby, 2011 Fringe drama hit Awake, dark comedy Sudden Death directed by Matthew MacKenzie or ‘multimedia fantasia’ Post Eden written and directed by Jordan Tannahill.
The festival takes place at the Factory Theatre (there are three different spaces: main space, studio and antechamber) and prices of tickets range from $10 to $15. Young theatre lovers can save costs and get a glimpse of behind-the-scenes of the festival by enlisting as volunteers.
January 11th to January 27th
Over three weekends in January, Niagara Icewine Festival organizers invite visitors to sample and enjoy a great variety of wines from the Niagara wine area and many more. However, the festival isn’t just a simple wine fair – wine enthusiasts will get a chance to learn more about wine and find useful tips on how to complement their wine choice through the series of seminars held by wine experts. Local cuisine and exquisite cheeses will also be in focus and most of the samples will also be offered on sale. The festival is about to start in style, as the kick-off gala event is called The Ice Queen’s Ball.
January 12th to January 20th
If you’re already looking forward to the summertime and imagine yourself as a captain of your own ship, Toronto International Boat Show might be a good start for you. Come over to learn new techniques, get loads of beginner info or make the most out of the Boat Show’s most popular feature – the biggest indoor boating lake in the world. Kids might enjoy boat rides, on-water entertainment and demonstrations and many more (have you ever wondered what luxury yachts look like inside?) Children 16 and under pay no admission fee and general admission at the gate is $18.
January 19th to January 20th
Rogers Centre is about to host two shows of breathtaking Maple Leaf Monster Jam Tour. The show featuring twelve-foot, ten-thousand pound monster trucks that race around and right through the unfortunate car-wrecks to be is a great spectacle for a whole family. Drivers have toured all around Canada, the U.S., Mexico and even Europe and enjoyed great success everywhere. All the ticket holders (minimum price $15, maximum price $130) are entitled to access behind the scenes Party in the Pits and take a closer look at monster trucks or have a chat with the drivers.
Koerner Hall will host the annual Maple Blues Awards, celebrating the best that Canada has to offer when it comes to blues music. 16th year of the ceremony is hosted by Raoul Bhaneja from Raoul and the Big Time band. The award-giving night includes performances given by top blues musicians with the Maple Blues Band. All the guests of the night are also invited for an after-party with lots of music and goodies. Ticket price ranges from $35 to $65.
January 24th to January 27th
Interior Design Show is a must-visit for all the people looking for fresh inspiration for their homes. More than 300 companies, home designers, architects or industrial designers decided to participate and showcase their unique products and new creative designs. The Show opens by grand charity auction of 25 Blue Dot chairs and continues by Professional Trade Day on Friday, which is devoted to all the people working in the field, who might be interested in seminars and expert lectures. General public is more than welcome during the remaining weekend days.
January 25th to January 27th
Spring edition of National Bridal Show takes place in Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place and shouldn’t be missed by no couple that is getting ready to say their I do’s. The three-day show showcases latest trends in wedding registries, flower arrangements, cakes or hip fashion accessories as exhibitors and wedding planners all flock to the show to see what’s in at the moment. Event also includes several contests and special sales and programming. Tickets can be bought at the door for $15 or online for $12.
January 25th to February 7th
Together with its summer season counterpart Summerlicious, Winterlicious is one of the most popular culinary events taking place in Toronto. More than 191 gourmet local restaurants participate in the project by offering exciting range of prix fixe menus (ranging $15 to $35) that are specially designed to reflect the winter season and make the most of traditional ingredients associated with this time of the year. Several venues have also prepared extra mouth-watering culinary events including workshops, special dinners connected to exhibition tours and many more. Reservations for special events are already on; prix fixe reservations will be accepted from January 10th.
Hopscotch festival is the largest event in Canada specializing in celebrating whiskey, beer and spirits. For the first time, the festival will open its doors to Toronto audience – the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will be transformed into the Grand Tasting Hall with more than 40 vendors offering samples of about 160 products (I doubt anyone will attempt to taste it all!) Come to find out whether you can tell the difference between different whiskey brands or try various flavoured vodkas. Admission fee is $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Samples are purchased using Tasting Tokens (five tokens included in the price of tickets, additional tokens can be purchased for $1.50.)