The top events in Toronto this December should keep your mind off the horrors of family gatherings past and (possibly, you masochist) future, instead warming your frosted heart at dance parties, craft and fashion expos, art exhibits and more. If you are feeling the spirit, there are plenty of holiday concerts on the horizon, and we'll have a full guide to New Year's Eve decadence coming at you soon enough.
Here are my picks for must-attend events in Toronto this December.
Union Station Holiday Market (December 1 - 7, Union Station)
While the massive One of a Kind Show, also on until December 7th, is the dominant force in the city's holiday craft scene, this newcomer is mighty intriguing. Local vendors will pack Union Station (which isn't already a chaotic mess or anything) for one week - here's everything you need to know.
IIDEXCanada, (December 3-4, Metro Toronto Convention Centre)
A design fan's paradise, IIDEX runs on the first Wednesday and Thursday of December this year. Canada's National Design and Architecture Exposition & Conference's array of ideas and artistry will include hundreds of exhibitors plus keynotes and industry seminars.
Human Rights Film Festival (December 5-7, TIFF)
December isn't as film fest-addicted as November, what with all the sprees of Christmas nostalgia on TV, but the Jayu's 3rd Annual Human Rights Film Festival should get you in a charitable spirit. The theme is pretty timely: "persecution, women, and children." Check out the schedule here.
Koffler Couture: Designer Vintage Sale(December 7-8, Koffler Gallery)
Want to wear Chanel home to the trailer park? Me too. Koffler Gallery at Artscape Youngplace wants to set you up with vintage designer duds for cheap. Pro tip: chant Versace over and over until spending $50 on the VIP showing and free champagne starts to seem cool.
City of Craft (December 12 - 14, Theatre Centre)
Toronto's favourite craft show is a must-hit. High quality wares by deftly curated established and/or promising local crafters and artisans will be on sale amid installations and workshops at the new Theatre Centre.
Art Spiegelman Retrospective (December 20, 2014 - March 15, 2015, AGO)
Pulitzer Prize winner and one of the Time's 100 Most Influential People, the Maus cartoonist's work is a thrill to see in person. The AGO exhibit will include rarely seen works from Spiegelman's career, including the autobiographical continuous strip called Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@?*!.
Stout Night (December 20, Indie Ale House)
In the Junction, the Indie Alehouse's 3rd annual Stout Night is where beer snobs want to be. Don't get confused - the two Ontario stout tasting sessions are actually afternoon/early evening-ish: 1-4pm and 5-8pm. Both will be at IA's barrel at 165 Geary Ave.
25th Annual Kensington Market Winter Solstice (December 21, August Ave)
Do you want to play with fire, little girl? The Kensington Market Winter Solstice will fill Augusta with night-defying antics, complete with puppets on stilts and a healthy dose of pyrotechnics and fire jugglers. If you want to help out, donate to their Kickstarter here.
Solaris Winter Music Fest (December 26, Direct Energy Centre)
On Boxing Day, EDM fans can get a head start on NYE and dance off their sins with Skrillex, Kaskade, Boys Noize, Adventure Club, Tchami, and 3LAU and more. This is one of those all ages dance parties City Hall isn't fond of, so enjoy the glowsticks while you can, little elves.
What's in the Box (Boxing Day Week, The Drake)
This annual party series at the Drake gives a warm home to those who haven't flown east or west to gorge themselves on homestyle cooking. The lineup for this year's multi day fest is TBA, but expect live bands, dancing, and way less drama than Auntie Anne's.
What did I miss? Add other December events in the comments.
Photo by Christian Bobak
by Aubrey Jax via blogTO