Weekend events in Toronto will keep you warm and well fed, as Winterlicious's prix fixe mania and mountains of poutine join celebrations of beer, tea, and Drake. If you're not into Drake-drag, there are cosplay parties and film fests to hit up.
Here are my picks for the top events happening in Toronto January 30 - February 1, 2015.
La Poutine Week (February 1 - 7)
Celebrate this gravy-covered national treasure at restaurants in Montreal, Quebec City, Sherbrooke, Ottawa, New York and Toronto. Toronto participants include Poutineville, Cut the Cheese, Marky & Sparky's, Joy Bistro, Mr. Ciao, Holy Chuck, Caplansky's, Duke's Refresher + Bar, Fancy Franks and Lou Dawgs. LI
Winterlicious (January 30 - February 12)
Hope you've done your research on this annual prix fixe celebration: there are over 200 participating restaurants to choose from. Check out our guide of must-hit restuarants for Winterlicious 2015 here. LI
The Toronto Tea Festival (Jan 31 - Feb 1, Toronto Reference Library)
Tired of all the alcohol-centric events popping up on your calendar? Warm up with winter's true drink, tea. Showcasing and selling loose tea and tea-made foods to brewing gear, the two day festival is, fittingly, at the library, but you don't have to be too quiet - there will be tea-centric music, too.
Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival (January 31, Steam Whistle Brewery)
The second annual Winter Craft Beer Festival hosted by Steam Whistle Brewery returns to the Roundhouse Park from 11am to 5pm. Over 20 breweries and 5 food trucks have already confirmed they'll be in attendance, and the first 500 people through the gates will get a 2015 festival toque. Tickets are on sale now for $20 (+$5 at the gate). LI
Beau's month-long celebration of beers is back in February with new special editions released each week and events, and tap take-overs happening at beer bars all month. LI
Douglas Coupland (January 31 - April 19, MOCCA + ROM)
Canlit fans will be excited about this upcoming exhibition at MOCCA and the ROM: Douglas Coupland's everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything installation will continue the writer's obsession with tech and pop culture via whatever means necessary - including Lego.
PARTY & MUSIC
Class of 2015 (Silver Dollar)
No need to mope around after the NYE fuss is over - live music fans will have more fun launching 2015 with the New Year's Indie Music Honour Roll series at Silver Dollar. On weekends from January 1 - 30 catch seven different line ups including Pet Sun, NOBRO, Champion Lover, Several Futures, and CANYUN. Check out our preview here.
Owen Pallett (January 31, Lee's Palace)
It's been a banner year for violin-wielding virtuoso Owen Pallett thanks to an acclaimed LP, popular music theory lessons and everything from Emmy to Oscar nominations (he even handled that JG controversy like a pro). His gig with Jennifer Castle will feature the intricate compositions and deft musicianship that make him such a sought-after collaborator across the music world.
The Crush Project presents Drake Expectations (February 1, The Gladstone)
Toronto's rap darling surely gets a lot of invitations to parties, but none, I suspect, that sound quite so entertaining as this upcoming event hosted by the Crush Project. Drake Expectations is a night of comedy, burlesque, drag, and live music all devoted to our biggest star, clothier, weatherman and onomastician. What could be better than Drake-themed drag and burlesque?
Good Men, Good Women: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien (Jan 29 - March 1, TIFF)
TIFF presents a complete retrospective of Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien all through February. This weekend see Dust in the Wind, A Time to Live and a Time to Die, and City of Sadness. Not to be missed for fans of new wave cinema.
The Great Digital Film Festival (January 30 - February 5, Cineplex Theatres)
Cineplex's annual gathering of mega-popular crowd pleasers returns once again to give audiences the chance to see some of their favorites on the big screen. This year's line-up includes tried-and-true pictures like Blade Runner, Kill Bill, Alien and Aliens. But it's especially worthwhile this year to check out the welcome inclusion of beloved cult classics like The Rocketeer, Darkman and The Monster Squad. AH
8 Fest (SPK, Jan 30 - Feb 1)
This weekend at the SPK Polish Combatants' Hall super 8 and small gauge filmmaking makes a comeback with the 8 Fest. Programming includes Canadiana, a David Anderson spotlight on Saturday, a concert with Fresh Snow, artist talks, and more. A weekend pass is just $25.
The Seagull (Berkeley Street Theatre, January 11 - February 8)
CanStage puts on Chekov's classic existential drama this winter under the directorial guidance of Chris Abraham. The play has a fascinating history, which started with an utter failure on its opening night all the way back in 1896. It's since become one Chekov's most important works, one which resonates today as much as it did a century ago.
Frostcon (January 31, Chestnut Conference Centre)
Cosplay your favourite character at Chestnut Conference Centre this Saturday for Frostcon, Toronto's cold-weather geek convention. There will be merch, Q&A's, art, special guests, and more.
Contributions by Liora Ipsum, Alexander Huls, Derek Flack
Photo of Poutineville by Jesse Milns
by Aubrey Jax via blogTO