Wednesday, 26 July 2017




Hello everyone, and welcome to the final edition of What’s Happening Wednesdays for the season. As many of us finish up our internships and summer winds to a close, it’s amazing to see how quickly time has flown by. For my last post, I wanted to highlight events that are outdoors and *mainly* free, occasions that will make the most of the last few carefree weeks of summer.

August is also the perfect opportunity for spur of the moment trips, so this article has a special spotlight on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Tanya McCullough is completing an internship at the Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology! Tanya gives us the low-down on what to do in the city in a short amount of time. This edition also features programming hosted by Fort Henry Historic Centre, where Dan Rose is an intern.

1. Movies under the Stars

Movies at Christie Pits! Source.

One of my favourite things to do in the summer is to watch movies under a starry sky. This month there are many free outdoor movie spots around the city. Here are some locations with screening dates and times below:

Harbourfront Free Flicks

Watch movies by the water every Wednesday night! The roster of movies are:

My Internship in Canada - August 2
Belle - August 9
How She Move - August 16
Pacific Rim - August 23
Cooking with Stella - August 30

Where: Harbourfront Centre Concert Stage, 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8

When: Every Wednesday night at 9:00 pm

Cost: Free!

Christie Pits Summer Film Festival

Beginning every Sunday at 6:00 pm, food and drink vendors will be present at Christie Pits Park, before a movie will play at sundown (around 9:00 pm). For more information, visit The Christie Pits Film Festival. The movies playing in August are Bring it On (August 6) and West Side Story (August 13). 

Where: The giant hill at Christie Pits Park, 50 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G 3K4

When: Sundays, Vendors arrive at 6:00 pm, Showings begin at 9:00 pm

Cost: Free!

Under the Stars Regent Park
Outdoor movies at Regent Park are extra special, as there will be yoga classes, DJ workshops, soccer games, and dance classes before the movie starts at sundown. There will also be popcorn and drinks available, with all proceeds going back into the festival. For more information visit Regent Park Film Festival. Here are the list of movies playing in August:

Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na - August 2
The Bicycle Thief - August 9
Hidden Figures - August 16

Where: Regent Park (the Big Park), 620 Dundas St. E.

When: Wednesdays, Activities will vary each week and take place between 7-8:30pm before the film begins at sundown (around 9:00pm)

Cost: Free!


This year, the Sail-In Cinema from PortsToronto returns to Sugar Beach from August 17th to 19th. It is Toronto’s largest outdoor movie theatre, where a screen is set up on a barge on the harbour. You can pack a blanket and a picnic to watch the movie on land, or, if you have a boat, you can actually sail in and watch the movie on the waters of Lake Ontario!

The films chosen are Edward Scissorhands, Indiana Jones, and Beauty and the Beast. Visit Sail in Cinema for more info.

Where: Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Drive, Corus Quay

When: August 17th – 19th. Gates will open at 6:00 p.m. each night with the film starting at approximately 8:45 p.m.

Cost: Free!

2. Enjoy the Sun and Great Music with Free Outdoor Concerts

Another fun and free thing to check out in the city are outdoor concerts! 


Indulge at David Pecaut Square

Venture out during your lunch break and check out the live music and Farmer’s Market that takes place in front of Roy Thompson Hall every Thursday in August for the ‘Indulge your Senses’ festival. Here is a list of some of the performances scheduled for August:

August 3rd - Xolisa

August 10th - Jim Bryson

August 17th - Elise Lewgrow

August 24th - Maddy Rodrigues

August 31st - Julian Taylor Trio

Where: David Pecaut Square, 55 John Street, near corner of King Street & John Street

When: Every Thursday, 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m

For information, check out the website  here.

Beats, Breaks and Culture

Pop artist Austra, who will perform on August 19th. Source.

Enjoy music from the new and emerging Canadian hip-hop scene! The Beats, Breaks and Culture festival highlights genres of post-rap and electronica, featuring the performers Austra, Dead Obies, and Phèdre. For more information, check out Beats, Breaks and Culture

Where: Harbourfront Centre, Concert Stage, 235 Queens Quay West

When: Friday, August 18, 9:30 – 10:45pm, Sat, August 19, 9:30pm–10:45pm, Sun, August 20, 5:45pm–7:00pm

Cost: Free!

3. Dancing on the Pier

Salsa Dancing on the Harbour! Source.

If you’re looking for something more active to do this summer, why not learn how to dance on Toronto’s waterfront? Enjoy free dance lessons in styles ranging from salsa to big band while listening to live music. For more information on the different dance styles taught and performances taking place on which date, visit Dancing on the Pier

Where: Harbourfront Centre, Canada Square West, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto Ontario

When: Every Thursday in August, from 7:00 – 10:00pm

Cost: Free!

4. Caribana Weekend 2017

Just one of the fabulous costumes seen during the Grande Parade! Source.

Caribana is a festival of Caribbean culture held every year in Toronto. It’s the largest cultural event in Canada, and the largest outdoor festival in North America. This year is extra special as the festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary! The theme of this year’s parade is “Celebrating Our Heritage: From Then to Now”, so the floats, performers, and beautiful costumes will showcase the evolution of Caribbean culture. Some of the different styles of music performed during Caribana are Calypso, Soca, Salsa, Zouk, Reggae, Chutney, Steel Pan and Brass Bands. The Grande Parade takes place the first weekend of August, however many more events occur throughout the month, such as The Lighting of the CN Tower on August 1st, to commemorate the Emancipation of Slavery. To stay updated on the many different events hosted during the month, visit

Where: 301 Front Street W.

The Grande Parade begins at Exhibition Place and Lakeshore Boulevard 15 Saskatchewan Road, Toronto, ON

When: Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

The Grande Parade is on Saturday, August 5th, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm at Exhibition Place and Lakeshore Boulevard

Cost: It’s free to view the parade from Lakeshore Boulevard, but admission into Exhibition place is $10 -$20

5. Shakespeare in High Park


Shakespeare in High Park is in its 35th year, making it the longest-running outdoor theatre event! This year, the two shows featured are King Lear and Twelfth Night. Directed by Alistair Newton and Tanja Jacobs, the Shakespearean classics are modernized and “re-imagined” from a female perspective. For more information on the plays, visit The Canadian Stage

Where: High Park, High Park Amphitheatre, 1873 Bloor Street West

When: King Lear: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday at 8pm (gates open at 6pm)

Twelfth Night: Wednesday, Friday, Sunday at 8pm (gates open at 6pm)

Cost: Pay What You Can at the Park (suggested donation of $20). Children under 14 are free.

$25 advanced reserve seats (Online, https://canadianstage/online/shakespeare or through the Box Office: 416-368-3110)

6. 2167 At the TIFF Bell Lightbox

Still from 'Each Branch Determined'. Source.

2167 is a project developed from the Canada on Screen program, and produced by TIFF, imagineNATIVE, Pinnguaq and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures, where five Indigenous filmmakers and artists have been commissioned to create VR projects envisioning Indigenous life 150 years in the future. The three movies playing at the Lightbox in August are Danis Goulet's The Hunt, Scott Benesiinaabandan's Blueberry Pie Under the Martian Sky, and Postcommodity's Each Branch Determined. The remaining works will premiere during imagineNATIVE in October, also at the TIFF Lightbox.

Canada on Screen is co-produced by Library and Archives Canada, the Cinémathèque québécoise, and The Cinematheque in Vancouver, and is made possible by presenting partners the Government of Canada, the Royal Bank of Canada, and the Government of Ontario, and supporting partner Telefilm Canada. For more information on the movies, filmmakers and the Canada on Screen program, visit

Where: 350 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V 3X5

When: Thursday, August 3rd – 6th, 12:00 – 6:00 pm, and August 10th – 13th

Cost: Free! No ticket is required, attendance is on a drop-in basis, first-come, first-served.

7. Explore Fort Henry Historic Site with a unique hands-on experience

The Garrison Parade at Fort Henry. Source.

Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s totally worth the trip to Kingston to check Fort Hnenry out! To learn more about Fort Henry and its history, visit

While there, be sure to attend the “Curator’s Curiosities Program”. This hands-on program gives visitors a sneak-peek into the tasks a museum worker undertakes to ensure objects are properly conserved, stored and displayed, while also allowing for some of the interesting or rarely-seen artefacts in Fort Henry’s collection to be shown to the public. Rather than a guide playing the role of a soldier in the British Army of 1867, “Curator’s Curiosities” remains in the modern world, showing how the items crafted during the period represented at Fort Henry are preserved to this day.

Where: 1 Fort Henry Drive, Kingston, ON, K7K 5G8

When: The program runs for 20 minutes every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.

Cost: General Admission is $20, and Senior and Youth admission is $18

8. An Excursion to Philly! 

In West Philadelphia born and raised.....Source

Only an hour flight from Toronto, a visit to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the perfect way to end off summer. The city is full of history, culture and museums! From the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the new Museum of the American Revolution, the National Constitutional Center, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Hall, Betsy Ross House, the Barnes Fine Art Museum, the Rodin Museum, The Franklin Institute, the Mütter Museum of medical oddities, the African American Museum, Ben Franklin’s House, and the Independence Seaport Museum there is plenty to take in. For a full list of museums, visit

The beautiful Penn Museum. Source.

A special museum to check out is The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum) on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, which was founded by Ben Franklin in 1740. Penn Museum is currently having a Summer Nights Concert Series. The series has been running for six years, taking place on Wednesday evenings. Concerts are held in the Museum's outdoor Stoner Courtyard, offering an urban green space with lush gardens, a marble fountain, and a peace bench designed by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program. There is also an open bar and food! Between music sets, you can explore the exhibitions through mini docent-led tours. A few new exhibitions currently on display are The Moundbuilders – Ancient Architects of North America, Magic in the Ancient World, and Cultures in Crossfire. Read more about the exhibitions here.

Where: Penn Museum, 3260 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

When: Wednesdays from 5:00 – 8:00 PM.

Cost: General admission for guests ages 6 and up is $10 (includes Museum admission), and free for children under 6 and Museum members.

Tanya, who is currently interning at the Penn Museum, highlights other must-see spots if you’re visiting Philly for one week:

The first thing to do is visit Philadelphia’s picturesque historic district, spanning from the Delaware River to 7th Street and from Vine Street to Lombard Street. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States, so get a full dose of American history and visit the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall along with the Museum of the American Revolution and the National Constitutional Center. Check out Elfreth’s Alley, which is the oldest continuously lived on street, and be sure to stop over at its house museum, the Elfreth’s Alley Museum House. 

Liberty Bell. Source.

Next, visit Spruce Street Harbor Park near the Delaware River. It has food shacks, beer cabins, and a beautiful view of the beachfront. Along the riverfront is the Independence Seaport Museum, where you can visit a nineteenth century iron ship and a real submarine. Venture to the other side of the river to tour a WWII battle ship or go to the Adventure Aquarium.

Rocky running up the steps of the Philly Museum of Art! Source.

Then, you have to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art and take a picture with Rocky’s statue at the base of the “Rocky Steps”! If you have time, see the Mütter Museum, which has a slew of fascinating medical oddities on display.

To relax, hang out in Rittenhouse Square, which is a park in the middle of the city, lined with restaurants and shops. At various times, there will be a farmer’s market, an art exhibition or music in the park. One’s visit to Philadelphia is not complete without visiting the Reading Terminal market (pronounced Red-ding), and trying the infamous Philadelphia Cheesesteaks at one of the vendors!


This year there were so many celebrations, new experiences, and commemorations, that summer seems to have had an early demise. Rather than lamenting the end of summer, however, get outside and make the most of its last moments; creating memories which will propel us forward to seek more connections, learn new things and start school with rejuvenated and clear minds.

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