Three weeks to go
It may seem unlikely in the middle of an icy, snowy day but the Forsythia Festival is only 3 weeks away.  That’s good.  Almost without fail, that weekend proves to be warm and sunny – a welcome contrast to Thursday’s stormy weather.

Festival program, Sunday May 5
New attractions have been added to this year’s Forsythia Festival.  There’ll be appearances by Jack and Cosima Grunsky, Perry White’s Jazz Trio and Local 164 alt/country/folk music.  Enjoy the sunny patio in the beer garden and stock up on your gardening needs at the plant sale.  Cabbagetown merchants have been really generous and the raffle prizes, as a result, will be amazing -  five yoga classes from Sundara, fabric panels from Eclectisaurus, a Strider pre-bike from Cycle Solutions, mani’s and pedi’s from Star Nails, gift certificates from Face Furniture, Laurie Ward shiatsu and Rose Jordano’s Spa, necklaces from Nadine Moffat, a jacket from Injeanius, a retro phone from Labour of Love, a beautiful ceramic bowl from Mi Casa.  Wow stuff. You’ll also find the regular program that’s always been so successful – face painting, hot dogs, pizza and a bouncy castle.  It’s a celebration of Spring for the whole family’s enjoyment.

Don’t forget
To volunteer at the event, please contact info@cabbagetowner.com  It’s always a fun day and this year, it promises to be even better.
And if you know someone who should be considered as the Festival King, Queen and Parade Marshall, send in their name to shannongrimm@hotmail.com before April 19.

Festival events
For details about the full program, go to the Cabbagetown Residents’ Association website and click on the Forsythia Festival header.  The drop-down menu shows you what’s happening, where and when.

Bottles for charity
The Cabbagetown South Residents Association is organizing a bottle drive for Sunday April 14.  Bring your empties to the Beer Store (227 Gerrard E) between noon and 4 pm.  The proceeds will go to local charities and community improvement projects.  The amounts will be posted on the association’s website.  The Beer Store has installed a permanent hassle-free drop-off window for those people who want to use their empties for charitable donations.

Lambs and piglets at the Farm
Anne Pastuszak has reported that there are new-born Border Leicester lambs and Tamworth piglets enjoying the good life at Riverdale Farm.  Spring life is starting up at the Farm. The lower gates will be opened on May 1 and the later evenings will begin on Tuesdays after May 28.  On Saturday April 20, the annual Spring clean-up happens from 1 to 3 pm - meet at the Drive Shed just past the main gate to get your gloves, a rake and bags.  The sheep celebration is planned for Saturday May 25, the Farmer’s Market will open on Tuesday May 28 and the Great Big Enormous Afternoon of Storytelling is June 1.


Bixi for Cabbagetown
Currently, there are Bixi bike rental stations located all around the edge of Cabbagetown – in Allan Gardens, Regent Park and St James Town.  There aren`t any in Cabbagetown itself.  Cycle Toronto has set up a petition to ask for additional Bixi stations throughout the city and we certainly should be considered a prime target.  If you`d like to see a Bixi station nearby, please click here, read the comments and sign up.

Toronto Welsh Male Voice Choir
On Friday April 12, the Choir sings at Metropolitan United Church (56 Queen St E) at a benefit to support the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club (101 Spruce at Sackville).  You can hear excerpts from its songs on the choir’s website.  The Club’s renovated facility now provides ongoing support to over 1100 local kids.  Tickets are only $25.  If you can’t go, please consider buying a ticket and then donating it to someone who otherwise couldn’t afford it. 

Toronto Pop-up Orchestra
This new chamber music orchestra is launching itself with an afternoon concert at 598 Yonge, Third Floor, on Sunday April 14 at 2 pm.  Cabbagetown musician Nonna Aroutiounian is a member. The concert is a fundraiser (tickets are $10) and will feature pieces by Spanish and Latin American composers, including an original work by Patrick Arteaga.  You can buy tickets at the door or contact nonna.arout@gmail.com 

Transports of Delight
Eric Morse has long been interested in Toronto’s streetcars.  His images, including many new ones, are being shown at Gallery 402, 402 King St E from April 24.  There’ll be an opening reception on Wednesday April 24 from 5:30 to 8 pm. Call Joanne (416-366-8714) or Eric (416-921-2840) to RSVP.  Eric will be at the gallery from noon to 5 pm on Saturday April 27. 

Ron Hume’s Essential Apps Report
Mobile phone apps are revolutionizing the way we live, love, socialize, create, and work. However, keeping track of the hundreds of thousands of available apps is impossible for mere mortals. But don’t despair. The Essential Apps Report will do the leg work for you. We’ll sort out the wheat from the chaff ─ and provide links to download the apps you want. To get a complimentary subscription to The Essential Apps Report, click on the following link.
Here’s what others say about The Essential Apps Report.  “I appreciated your email newsletter. I liked that the entries were short, and it was just the right length to read. Got a couple of good tips out of it. Thank you.”  “I gotta say I'm really impressed with these reports. They are getting better and better each time. Bravo and well done.”

Nominations wanted
The Cabbagetown Residents Association covers the area east of Parliament to the Don Valley, north of Gerrard to Bloor.  The association is looking for people willing to serve for the next two years on the Board of Directors.  You can nominate yourself or a neighbour by email at info@cabbagetowner.com The annual meeting is in June. 

SHOPPING NEWS

Radiant Lotus Women’s QiGong at Sundara Yoga
April 20 to May 4, from 3 to 5 pm, at Sundara Yoga (492 Parliament, side door).  Click here to learn about the workshopQiGong is a Chinese form of yoga that combines breath, movement and visualization to promote vibrant health and emotional balance. Radiant Lotus QiGong is designed especially for women and our unique needs throughout all cycles of our lives. It is gentle, and accessible to all ages and abilities. Most of all it is fun!  In a typical RLWQ session, you will experience gentle movements and self-massage synchronized with slow, rhythmic breathing, as well as sound healing and emotional release techniques.

Spring cleaning at Kendall
Kevin at Kendall & Co (227 Carlton) invites everyone to “clean us out with our 40% off sale of home accessories, vases, serving ware, fine stationery, art posters, room fragrances and select lighting.  Take advantage of our clearance.  We need to make room for exciting new arrivals.”  Visit the shop and residential design studio weekdays 10 am to 6pm and Saturdays from 11 am to 5pm.

Eclectisaurus

Leslie at Eclectisaurus (249 Gerrard E) has an exceptional 1960's mid-century modern Danish coffee table designed by Svend Ellekaer, Denmark. The base is beautifully sculpted in teak wood, topped by a substantial rectangular glass top.  For more info, click here.

MJG at Art Expo
Mark Gleberzon of MJG Gallery will be participating in and offering his mixed media work at the Toronto Art Expo, It starts on Thursday April 11 and runs through Sunday at the Metro Convention Centre.  Mark is located in Booth 619.  For more information, click here. 

New façade at The Beer Store
The Beer Store (534 Parliament) is fixing itself up and it`s a welcome change.  On the outside, it`s newly painted and grey and it`s a big improvement. The wall is being coated with a graffiti-resistant treatment to help it stay clean and fresh.  Inside, the store is being renewed with a separate area for bottle returns, a nice wooden drop ceiling and several fridges for quicker service.  Staff members are enthused about these upgrades.  They see them as a step toward a more customer-friendly room.

RESTAURANTS & CLUBS

Peter Donato at Flying Beaver
This Sunday from 7 pm, Cabbagetown’s own Peter Donato is the featured musician at the Flying Beaver (488 Parliament) bringing his original songs and stylings to the Pubaret.  Peter has, of course, been active over the years with the CYC’s Blairs Run and with other noteworthy causes (and parties) around our part of town.  But he has another side to himself altogether as a singer-songwriter.  His talents as a musician range across a variety of styles – from Newman to Nyro, from Dixon to Dylan, from Waits to Hoagy.  Drop by on Sunday.

Funk Festival weekend
This weekend marks the celebration for the Funk Festival at the Winchester Kitchen & Bar (51A Winchester).  There’s a great line-up for funk lovers running from Thursday through Sunday nights.  You can get a Festival passport for all four nights at $50 or there’s a cover charge of $15 for each show.  For all the details about the bands and the times, click on this link to the Winch’s Facebook page.

Martini Mondays at F’Amelia
Put F’Amelia (12 Amelia) on your radar on Mondays.  It’s martini time there with four different ones each available at $4.99.  Todd and John are enjoying the accolades that they’ve been getting lately with their listing on Toronto City Post’s Top 100 list and on Toronto Life’s Where to Eat list.     

Are you on the wall?
House on Parliament (454 Parliament) has a photo gallery hanging on the wall in the upstairs hallway.  Check out these photos.  If you’re rich, famous and good looking, you’re probably there!

21 years
As mentioned a week ago, John and the staff at Jet Fuel (519 Parliament) have just enjoyed a 21st anniversary.  Normally, there’s a collection of paintings or photos on the walls to introduce interesting artists.  This month, there’s a different art collection.  It’s a celebration of 21 years of lousy tips – bags and bags and bags of pennies all hanging along the café’s walls. 

Congrat`s for two fine events
Both Stout Irish Pub (221 Carlton) and the WinchesterKitchen & Bar (51A Winchester) have held successful events in the past couple of weeks. 
On Easter weekend, Erin invited a crowd of her closest friends (accompanied by their parents) for her annual Easter Egg Hunt in the pub.  Judging by the excitement shown in the pictures, a good time was had by all.  If you`d like to be informed about her family-oriented events, give Erin your email address and she`ll add you to her list. 

In late March, Winchester Kitchen & Bar celebrated its second anniversary.  The club is a well-deserved success with a weekly calendar packed with events – epic movies, smart ass trivia, improv nights, entertainment and good food. 

DANCE & MUSIC

Reaching Out Through Music
Reaching Out Through Music provides musical and social opportunities for kids in St James Town and it needs your support to do this.  On Saturday April 20, you can hear newchoir, Meredith Shaw and Scott Pietrangelo perform with the Children`s Choir.  There’ll also be a special appearance by the De La Salle Oakland Crusaders Brass Ensemble.  It’s a fundraiser.  Tickets are $20 (patrons $100 with an $80 tax receipt).  The silent auction starts at 6 pm and the benefit concert at 7:30 pm at St Simon the Apostle Church, 525 Bloor (between Sherbourne and Parliament). Buy your ticket at the door or contact (416) 923-8714, ext 205, or jamierotm@hotmail.com  

The Brussels/Toronto Project
Toronto Dance Theatre presents the third installment in this series of collaborations bringing fresh international ideas to Toronto.  This year’s program includes new works from two of Brussels’ leading lights, Thomas Hauert and Etienne Guilloteau.  April 18 to 20 and 24 to 27 at 8 pm, plus a matinee on April 21 at 2 pm.  Prices vary.  There’s a premium ticket performance on April 24 with drinks, a reception and a chance to meet the artists.  For more information, click here.  Winchester Street Theatre (80 Winchester)

Dancing the summer away at CCDT
The Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (509 Parliament) has three programs running this summer.  For kids ages 4 to 8, there’s Summer Arts offered from July 22 to 26.  Sun Dance is aimed at students who are 8 to 20 years old and it runs from July 1 to 19.  From August 26 to 31, Ignite is a six day choreographic residency where you can explore the complete choreographic process with contemporary choreographic artists from TOES for dance and New York guest artists MADboots.  Details and costs at the CCDT website.

School at Toronto Dance Theatre
The summer school program is designed for individuals who are pursuing or considering a professional career in contemporary dance.  It includes a challenging program, renowned teachers, technique classes and a healthy, fun learning environment. July 1 to 26.  The website has details about curriculum, faculty, fees and schedules.  Click here.

CLUBS & PUBS EVENTS

THURSDAY APRIL 11 TO SUNDAY APRIL 21

Contact info
Alice’s Place, 554 Parliament St, (647) 931-9088
Ben Wicks, 424 Parliament St, (416) 961-9425, www.benwickspub.com
Cafune, 194A Carlton Street,  (647)748-7884, Facebook and http://cafune.ca/
Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen St E, (416) 368-6893, www.dominiononqueen.com  
Flying Beaver, 488 Parliament St, (647) 347-6567, www.pubaret.com
Paint Box Bistro, 555 Dundas St E, (647) 748-0555, www.paintboxbistro.ca
Stout Irish Pub, 221 Carlton St, (647) 344-7676, www.stoutirishpub.ca  
Winchester Kitchen & Bar, 51A Winchester St, (416) 323-0051, www.winchesterkitchen.com

If there's a cover charge or tickets are sold, we’ve listed the prices. Otherwise, the event is free.

THURSDAY APRIL 11

Dominion on Queen
9 pm, Susie’s Alibi rockabilly swing, $10
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Ali Hassan & Eman  “Muslim and funny”, $15/advance, $20/door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
9:30 pm, 506 Funk Fest with Emmerson Street Rythym Band and REDBRICK, $15/door & $50/passport

FRIDAY APRIL 12

Flying Beaver
7 pm, Ted Morris comedy “Dawn of the Ted”, $15/advance, $20/door.
9 pm, the New Testament according to disco “Oh God” with Matti McLean,  $15/advance, $20/door
11 pm, Carole Pope with guitarists Tim Welch & Sean Kelly, $20/advance, $25/door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
9 pm, 506 Funk Fest with The Out-of-Towners, Kilowatt and DJ Soulstice, $15/door & $50/passport

SATURDAY APRIL 13

Dominion on Queen
4 to 7:30 pm, Ronnie Hayward, pwyc
7:30 pm, Shakespeare Bash’d  fundraiser
9 pm, Sonic Blues series “Blues & troubles”
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Mark Cassius and Diane Leah “50 is the new Black” $20/advance, $25/door
9 pm, Maggie Cassella “Because I said so, warm-up show”  $15/advance, $20/door
Paintbox Bistro
Cuban jazz and music with Jane Bunnett and Hilario Duran, dinner & performance $45, performance only $15
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
9 pm, 506 Funk Fest with Thunderfunk, Funkbucket and Kilowatt, $15/door & $50/passport

SUNDAY APRIL 14

Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
11 am to 3 pm, Rockabilly Brunch with the Cosmotones
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Peter Donato Cantautore, $10/advance, $15 door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7 pm, Unhappy happy rap party
9:30 pm, 506 Funk Fest closing party with Open Funk Jam, $15/door & $50/passport

MONDAY APRIL 15

Dominion on Queen
7 pm, Ukeleles
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
9 pm Win-Prov
10 pm,  Industry Night

TUESDAY APRIL 16

Dominion on Queen
8:30 pm, Hot Club of Corktown Django Jam, pwyc
Stout Irish Pub
7:30 pm, Nerd Night pub quiz
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm, epic film night

WEDNESDAY APRIL 17

Alice’s Place
9 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
8 pm, Corktown Ukelele Jam
Flying Beaver
7 pm, Paul Bellini hosts “Working It”, pro comics try out new stuff, no cover
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7:30 pm, Smart Ass Trivia

THURSDAY APRIL 18

Dominion on Queen
7 pm, Wee Folk Club, $10
Flying Beaver
7:30 pm, Sam Broverman sings with Peter Hill on keyboard & Brendan Davis, bass, $10/advance, $15/door
Paintbox Bistro
Trevor James & the Perfect Gentlemen with rootsy and rocky folk tunes.
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7 pm, Speakeasy Jazz Night

FRIDAY APRIL 19

Flying Beaver
7 pm, Andrew Johnston comedy, $10/advance, $15/door.
9 pm, Canada’s foremost jazz musicians:  “I’ve got my standards” featuring Joel Hartt along with Reg Schwager on guitar & Steve Wallace on bass ,  $10/advance, $15/door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm, Thunderfunk and Joyful Sinners celebrate Dr Keys birthday

SATURDAY APRIL 20

Dominion on Queen
4 to 7:30 pm, Ronnie Hayward, pwyc
Flying Beaver
7 pm, jazz vocalist Brenda Lewis & Margaret Stowe guitar $10/advance, $15/door
9 pm, classic pop with Andy De Campos  $5/advance, $10/door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
10 pm, The Silken Lawmen

SUNDAY APRIL 21
Alice’s Place
4 pm, Karaoke
Dominion on Queen
11 am to 3 pm, Rockabilly Brunch with the Cosmotones
Flying Beaver
8 pm, Little Pants presents A Cabaret, $5/advance, $10 door
Winchester Kitchen & Bar
7 pm, Unhappy hap rap party
9 pm, Beau’s presents Open Mic with Porter