Including the first virtual gala of the 519 (with Elton John) and the 20th edition of the BIPOC-focused Reelworld Film Festival.
From an Art Toronto online Canadian arts festival to a virtual gala hosted by The 519 to support the LGBTQ community in Toronto, here are all the digital events to add to your calendar this month and beyond.
The 519 Gala
519 – Canada’s largest LGBTQ2S community center – holds a gala every year to raise funds for its programs and initiatives. This year, the Toronto-based organization is hosting a virtual gala with musical performances and special performances by Elton John, Margaret Atwood, Buffy Sainte-Marie, the Barenaked Ladies, and others. “Over the years, many of the artists who attended the annual gala became friends of The 519 and kindly offered to return for this unique celebration this year,” the 519’s Honorary Patron Salah J. Bachir said in a statement . The Virtual Gala 519 will be broadcast live on Sunday, October 25th at 7:30 p.m. EST. More details can be found here.
ImagineNATIVE film and media arts festival
ImagineNATIVE is the world’s largest festival for indigenous film and media arts and focuses on the film, video, radio and new media work of Indigenous, Aboriginal and First Peoples from around the world. The Toronto-based festival is understandably going virtual this year. 153 indigenous artists in 23 languages from 13 countries and 97 indigenous nations are represented on the 2020 festival schedule. Some of the titles of this year’s festival are: Inconvenient Indian, a documentary by Métis / Algonquin filmmaker Michelle Latimer; Monkey BeachDirected by Cree / Métis filmmaker Loretta Todd; and The legend of Baron To’aThe director was the filmmaker Kiel McNaughton from Māori / Pasifika. The festival takes place from October 20th to 25th. More information can be found here.
Reelword Film Festival
Reelworld is the largest national platform devoted to engaging more Canadians who identify themselves as Black, Indigenous, Asians, South Asian, Middle East and Latin Americans in the country’s screen-based industries. The 20th edition of their annual film festival will take place this year from October 14th to 19th. The 2020 festival offers the largest selection of films with titles such as KENBE LA until we win, a documentary about Haitian artist / activist Alain Philoctète; Horror movie The Curse of the Willow Song;; and Nolan: Here still thereabout a young man on a Saskatchewan reservation who is struggling to come to terms with his brother’s unexpected death. More details can be found here.
For the first time in 21 years, Canada’s largest contemporary art fair, Art Toronto, is taking place in a hybrid format that features both a virtual storefront and personal installations across the country. For the first time in North America, the fair has commissioned an augmented reality artwork by Guelph-based artist Jenn E Norton, which is available to the public to download from today on Instagram and Facebook. Details about the art fair, which takes place from October 28th to November 8th, can be found here.
Reel Asian Festival
The 2020 edition of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival will be fully virtual and available across Canada for the first time. This year’s lineup includes 58 films from countries such as Canada, Korea, Japan, China, India, the US and the UK. 59% are made by women and non-binary filmmakers. The festival is opened with Down a dark staircase, a documentary about the events surrounding the shooting of a black man in Brooklyn by a Sino-American police officer. Access to the opening event is free with the support of the CBC. The week-long festival, which will take place from November 12th to 19th, will end with a live script reading by Scarborough, the upcoming script adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel of the same name by Canadian writer Catherine Hernandez. Details about the festival can be found here.