Weekend Warrior: Leonard Cohen, Festival of Ideas and Creation, Occupy the Mic, Toronto Independent Game Jam and Chuck Hughes
By Sabrina Nanji
Leonard Cohen will be honoured with a lifetime acheivement award at Massey Hall on Monday
It's official — Leonard Cohen really is our man. The iconic Montreal troubadour is to receive the Glenn Gould Prize for lifetime achievement, and this weekend more than 25 artists will be performing his songs on street corners around the city, including the Yorkville Parkette, Nathan Phillips Square and the Bay and Bloor intersection. On Monday (May 14), Cohen will receive the prize at Massey Hall, and a slew of stellar musicians will join him on stage: autoharpist Basia Bulat, Cowboy Junkies and Serena Ryder. Shockingly, tickets are still available. Considered a rite of passage for any artist, covering Cohen’s “Hallelujah” has been done by new Annex-dweller Rufus Wainwright and k.d. lang, but our favourite (and under-the-radar) cover has to be Jeff Buckley's raw, soft rendition of the Cohen classic.
Occupy the Mic
David Miller is back! The former Toronto mayor will be launching his live series, Occupy the Mic, as part of Now Talks. In addition to a song and comedy night, Miller will be focusing on “saving the world.” The first in the series (May 11) will focus on the grassroots Occupy Movement. Miller is also bringing along a few friends: Andrew Cash (singer-songwriter, Member of Parliament, brother of Skydiggers' Peter Cash), comedian Arthur Simeon, and Occupy activist Sakura Saunders. The unconventional think tank takes place at The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, but we caution against any yurt talk: it might still be a touchy subject for Saunders. Tickets are $15.
Calling all nerds! The seventh annual Toronto Independent Game Jam will bring together video-game developers, students, and professional players (every 13-year-old boy's dream job) for a binge of making and trying out new games. Featuring do-it-yourself gamers, there will be opportunities to test out new ideas — we can only hope that the young Ponycorn creator will be there to school her fellow inventors. The free event at George Brown College starts tonight (May 11) and games must be finished by Sunday. Just don't turn into this guy.
CanStage's Festival of Ideas & Creation kicked off this week and will feature a ton of innovative artistic and musical performances throughout the weekend. The absolutely free event encourages “cross-pollination” between artistic mediums, and will showcase new creations from artists such as Justin Rutledge (swoon!), Anusree Roy, Barbara Nichol, Tom Bellman and others. Here is your chance to see the Old West song-string revival for free before the Sparrow Songs show.
Chuck's Day Off
This weekend, Montreal's celebrity chef Chuck Hughes, host of Food Network's Chuck's Day Off, will be doing what most of us like to do on our days off — shop! Well, sort of. He'll be at the Chapters store in Bayview Village Shopping Centre on Sunday to sign copies of his new cookbook, Garde Manger, ahead of the book's official launch at The Drake Hotel on Monday. Hopefully, he'll recount his Iron Chef America showdown, in which he flayed Bobby Flay (sorry, we had to). The event will be catered by Pusateri’s and Madeleine's Cherry Pie and Ice Cream, so we’re sure moms will be thrilled for a trip to the mall this Mother’s Day.