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    All Night Art : Nuit Blanche Toronto 2019

    nuit blanche toronto fort york neighbourhood 2019 all night art show

    Uncharacteristically, we went to bed at 9pm on Saturday night a week ago, not because we were tired, but because we had a much anticipated art experience coming up first thing in the morning. When I say "first thing in the morning" I mean 2am, when the alarm went off and we got up and dressed and ventured out into the dark of night.

    It was Nuit Blanche, Toronto's all night art show. This year 300 artists present 90 projects in 9 different neighbourhoods throughout the city, from 7pm on Saturday until 7am on Sunday.

    We stayed close to home, checking out the Fort York neighbourhood, where we saw 12 installations. A particularly interesting element was that we got to enter a few places that the public normally never gets to see. The theme of this group of pieces was "Creation : Destruction"

    At the Gallery : “Early Rubens” Exhibition at the AGO

    early rubens exhibition on at the ago toronto autumn winter twenty nineteen

    Greetings Art Lovers in Toronto -- That includes residents and visitors alike, as, I think you'll all want to see the very special exhibition on at the AGO! "Early Rubens" opens to the public this Saturday and will run until January 5th, 2020.

    Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens was born in 1577 and lived for 62 years, until 1640. (Given that the average lifespan in Europe at that time was 35 years, his longevity was remarkable in itself.)

    He was classically educated, ran his own studio, became an active diplomat, and city-builder and was even knighted. He was also one of most the renowned painters in Western art – widely recognized for his dramatic, evocative, style.

    Containing 30 paintings and about 20 illustrations and etchings, "Early Rubens" is a revealing exhibition of works produced between 1609 and 1621, a crucial time that marks Rubens’ rise to prominence on the world stage. Some of Rubens’ most remarkable, ambitious and large-scale oil paintings and works on paper are included.

    The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and comes to us after a period in that city. The works were generously loaned by museums and organizations from around the world and include many pieces that have never been seen before in North America. And, based on the challenge and risk of moving such important and fragile artworks, many will likely never be seen here again, at least not for a very long time.

    So, seeing "Early Rubens" at the AGO this autumn is a once in a lifetime opportunity!

    Comedy : Canada’s Top Comic Finale

    siriusxm top comic finale queen elizabeth theatre exhibition place toronto

    We were happy to be invited to the "SiriusXm's Canadawide Top Comic Seach Finale" on Thursday evening. It was part of Toronto's 10 day long "Just For Laughs Comedy Festival", where, not only did we get to see the top ten finalists perform, we also enjoyed a set by last year's winner, Chanty Morostica. The evening was hosted by Ben Miner. (We also went last year, when Chanty won -- you can click here if you'd like to that in action.)

    A Bonfire on the Beach

    fire pit

    Our good friends Leslie and Niall treated us to something really fun on Saturday evening. We had dinner cooked over a bonfire, on a soft sandy beach, beside a gently lapping lake, under a star speckled sky. I've lived in Toronto nearly my whole life and had no idea that was even possible to do here!

    Here's to a brand new experience in a city you thought you knew.

    It happened just east of the city core, at Cherry Beach, where, a short walk from a public parking lot, there are designated fire-pits set up every 50 feet or so. I counted about 10 fires glowing in the dark on that night.

    A Magical Moonlit Experience

    outdoor art installation toronto museum of the moon at the bentway public space

    Like a natural lunar occurrence, the moon sculpture that recently hung under the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto, was easy to miss. And so, I feel fortunate that my friend Julie made sure that we caught it.

    "Museum of the Moon", a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram was on display in Toronto for a mere six evenings, from Tuesday until Sunday. The seven-metre wide, internally lit, spherical sculpture was somewhat hidden away, tucked right under the expressway at The Bentway Public Outdoor Space. Its visit to our city coincided with the full moon -- the harvest moon -- making the experience extra special.

    Check out the artwork's site (linked above), to see photos of some other cool places the moon has hung and to find out where it's going next. Note, there are several moons touring simultaneously. "Over the coming years Museum of the Moon will be presented in art exhibitions, science, music and light festivals around the world."

    As the nature of the flash-installation meant that it would inevitably only have been seen by a relative few, I hope you'll enjoy seeing these photographs which allow the unique sight to live on.

    We went on Thursday evening. The sun was scheduled to set at 7:30, so Julie and I arranged to meet there at 7. The weather was perfect for it. We got lucky with that, as it had been raining the previous days and that very morning.

    As described on their site, "The Bentway is a unique and innovative public space that transforms 1.75km underneath Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into a new gathering place for our city’s growing population." It opened last year and I'd not had a chance to go yet, so being there was interesting in itself. It's really neat and I look forward to going again and seeing more of it.