Wednesday, 3 May 2017




Welcome to the first What’s Happening Wednesday of Summer 2017! I am very excited to write this column for the Spring Term as there are so many exciting events, festivals, and parades that will take place over the warmer months. Upon completion of the first year of graduate school, I realized the importance of being mindful and observing our environment. This May, I wanted to highlight some fun events that support mindful practices by encouraging us to pause, examine, and appreciate our surroundings. This month’s column features events hosted at the Art Gallery of Ontario, where fellow student Tabitha Chan is currently interning; the Ontario Science Centre, where Emily Welsh and Hannah Monkman are completing their placements; the Law Society of Upper Canada, where Karley Staskus is interning; and the Royal Ontario Museum, where Napat Malathum is an intern!

1. Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival

Still from Swiss film, The Girl Down Loch Änzi. Source.
Learn about different cultures and explore new perspectives through watching documentary film! Check out the Hot Docs film festival, North America’s largest international film festival. This year is Hot Docs' 24th Anniversary, and over 200 films will be featured from filmmakers across the globe.

When: April 27th – May 7th, a schedule of the film screenings can be found here

Where: Various theatres across Toronto, including the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Scotiabank Theatre, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto Centre for the Arts, Innis Town Hall, Isabel Bader Theatre and Hart House Theatre.

Cost: Regular single tickets to screenings are $17, and $22-24 for premium tickets. Free tickets for all screenings before 5:00 p.m. are available for seniors (60+) and students with valid ID at the box offices on the day of the screening (subject to availability). Passes, packages and tickets can be purchased in person at the CraveTV Hot Docs Box Office or online at, by phone at 416-637-5150.

2.  Ontario College of Art and Design University's GradEx

PawPaw, 2017 by OCAD Painting and Drawing student Jessika Welch. Source. 
Support new and local talent this month by checking out OCAD's 102nd GradEx! The arts and design university opens its doors to the public to present the final thesis work of both undergrad and graduate students of the class of 2017. More than 900 art and design students will be exhibiting paintings, sculptures, new media and digital work. This year, GradEx will run for five days, spread across three buildings on the OCAD campus, including the iconic Sharp Centre for Design.

When: Opening Night Celebration Wednesday, May 3 6:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Thursday, May 4, 9:30 a.m.– 8 p.m.
Friday, May 5, 9:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 6, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 7, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: OCAD University, 100 McCaul St.

Cost: Free!

3. Mother's Day Brunch and Georgia O'Keeffe Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Jimson Weed No. 1, 1932 by Georgia O'Keeffe. Source.
Looking for something creative to do on Mothers’ Day? Why not treat mom to a special day at the Art Gallery of Ontario! Enjoy the Mother's Day Brunch Menu at the AGO’s Frank Restaurant, which features items such as scones, oysters and celery root galette, all made from fresh and local ingredients. After brunch, check out the AGO’s retrospective on prolific American modernist artist, Georgia O'Keeffe. The exhibition, which runs from April 22nd – July 30th 2017, is a retrospective of O’Keefe’s career, including the prints from her first exhibition in NYC in 1916, to her distinctive paintings of New Mexico’s landscape. The evolution of O’Keeffe’s work served as a catalyst in the feminist art movement, as she created a unique style of painting amidst a discipline dominated by male artists.

When: Sunday, May 14th, 2017, 11am – 3pm

Where: The Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St W

Cost: $80 per person, $27 kids' menu

4. Untangling the Cosmos Talk at the Ontario Science Centre 

Learn about our mysterious universe at the Ontario Science Centre! Source.
It can be hard to observe the wonders of the night sky in a big city like Toronto. The Ontario Science Centre, however, can satisfy this astronomical curiosity with their symposium on current research of the Universe. The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, in partnership with Innovation 150, is hosting Untangling the Cosmos, a series of plenary talks and panel discussions on the properties and forces of the universe, the evolution of the stars, new technologies astronomers are using in their research, and major breakthroughs in astronomical discoveries. Moderated by Jay Ingram, the event is open to the public and audience participation is encouraged. 

When: May 17th, 2017, 9am - 4:30pm

Where: The Ontario Science Centre, Imperial Oil Auditorium, Level 1

Cost: $25 per ticket, students free with valid student ID

5. Doors Open Toronto

View the city in an entirely new way by taking a sneak peak into some of Toronto’s oldest and most architecturally interesting buildings! The 18th annual Doors Open Toronto program gives the public access to some of the cities most culturally significant buildings. Be sure to check out the beautiful Osgoode Hall, a nineteenth century building which is home to the Law Society of Upper Canada.

The stately Osgoode Hall, one of the many institutions participating in Doors Open Toronto. Source.

When: May 27th – 28nd, 2017, 10am – 5pm

Where: Check here for the entire list of buildings features, and here for a map of the locations to plan your route.

Cost: Free!

6. Celebrate National Museum Month at the Royal Ontario Museum with ROM Speaks 

Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story at the ROM. Source.

Listen to marine biologist and conservationist Dr. Asha de Vos discuss why the existence of blue whales is integral to our ecosystem and the current research conducted to protect the species from extinction. A reception will be held after the lecture with snacks and a cash bar.

When: Tuesday, May 30th, 2017, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Where: The ROM, 100 Queens Park

Cost: $20 per ticket, $15 for students with valid student ID

Whether it be watching a new film, learning about a work of art, or exploring hidden buildings in the city, I hope these events will help you to be mindful and observant of our surroundings. If anything, get outside and enjoy the beautiful May flowers!

If anyone has more exciting events to check out in May, please leave a comment below! Happy exploring, everybody!

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