What to do and see During the Festival and Beyond.

by Caitlin Agnew, Anna Cipollone, Mary Dickie, Nicole Keen and Chris Metler

Happy Hour


Looking for a place to unwind between films?

Clockwork, the historic Fairmont Royal York’s newly revamped lobby bar, is an inviting place to relax and enjoy a drink. The Royal York is 90 years young this year, and when it came to giving the Grande Dame a much-deserved facelift, New York-based design rm the Rockwell Group looked to retro railway travel and the hotel’s Art Deco roots for inspiration. Clockwork, with its mood lighting and statement-making bronze clock tower (hence the name), feels like a reimagined Pullman car, a stylish homage to the heyday of glamorous globe-trotting (a.k.a. the pre- sweatpants-in-public era).

For the drinks menu, director of mixology Rus Yessenov was similarly inspired by days gone by. “Meet Me at the Clock” is his take on the French 75, a one-time apper fave. Like the original, the cocktail is predominantly gin (Hendrick’s), champagne (Moët & Chandon) and lemon, but Yessenov adds some modern touches: absinthe, bitters and an Instagram-friendly spherical rosé ice cube. Another signature tipple, “Between the Times,” is a reimagined version of a rum-based drink that was popular in the 1930s, and substituting passionfruit for Triple Sec gives it a tropical twist. Need to beat jet lag or power through a double bill? Order a vodka-based “Wake Up Call” — it’s made with co ee liqueur and a shot of espresso.

As far as food goes, the focus is on small sharing plates and elevated classics (think duck fat fries), and Canadian ingredients receive top billing. There’s shrimp from Fogo Island o the coast of Newfoundland, Paci c sturgeon caviar and warm Ontario brie. Seasonal ingredients are also sourced locally via 100KM Foods Inc., a company that distributes items from farms just outside Toronto.

Try to commandeer a cushy banquette, the perfect perch to eat, drink and pretend you’re an extra in an Old Hollywood movie — if only for an hour or two. —NK

Viva Forever


Let’s face it: The beauty industry wouldn’t be where it is today without M.A.C.

A favourite of pro makeup artists around the world, M.A.C paved the way for personal expression through cosmetics while making space for an inclusive attitude in an industry that wasn’t always known for acceptance. And it traces its humble origins back to Toronto, where it was founded in 1984 by Frank Toskan and the late Frank Angelo.

This year, the brand fetes a major milestone with the 25th anniversary of Viva Glam, its ground-breaking lipstick campaign that donates 100 per cent of sales to the M.A.C AIDS Fund, which has raised US$500 million for the fight against HIV/AIDS. “[Viva Glam] never started as a marketing campaign,
it started because the founders saw their friends and the artistry and fashion communities dying from the disease and wanted to do something about it,” says John Demsey, executive group president of Estée Lauder, M.A.C’s parent company, who points out that Viva Glam was launched at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Toronto. “Two of the first organizations that we gave grants to were Toronto People with AIDS and the AIDS Committee of Toronto, which we still support to this day.”

To celebrate, M.A.C is expanding its mission with the launch of the M.A.C Viva Glam Fund, which focuses on health and equal rights for women, girls and the LGBTQ communities while continuing its support for those living with HIV/ AIDS. “Women and girls need better access to health education, and individuals who face discrimination need champions and supportive programs built just for them,” says Demsey. —CA

Step by Step


For one week every year, Toronto welcomes the best dancers from across Canada and around the world.

Celebrating its fifth anniversary this season, the Fall for Dance North festival will stage 12 sure to be electrifying performances, including five North American premieres, at three different venues throughout the city. The diverse lineup features performances by the New Zealand Dance Company (with choreography inspired by the traditional Korean martial art taekkyeon), Brazil’s Grupo Corpo (whose eclectic style fuses ballet, jazz, samba, tap and more), and the National Ballet of Canada (showcasing classic ballet movements with a modern twist). Want to get in on the action? At The Big Social, members of the public are invited to bust a move to live musical accompaniment (swing, tango and Haudenosaunee, an Indigenous dance, will be featured). —NK

The Fall for Dance North Festival runs from October 2 to 6 at Meridian Hall (formerly the Sony Centre), Ryerson Theatre and Union Station, dnorth.com.

Best Dressed


L.A.-based clothing brand Reformation has earned a loyal following, but shopping for the label’s perfect party dresses used to require a trip stateside. Until now, that is. Toronto’s Yorkdale mall is the site of Reformation’s first international outpost. The light, airy space, decorated with mid-century modern furnishings and neutral colours, reflects the brand’s natural, eco-friendly ethos. Besides figure- flattering frocks, shoppers gravitate to “Ref,” as it’s a affectionately known, because of its commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices. From “green” fabrics to compostable packaging and reusable totes, Reformation carefully considers the environmental impact of every aspect of its business. Case in point: wind energy is being used to offset 100 per cent of the electricity at the Toronto location. Talk about a step in the right direction (did we mention they also sell cute shoes?). thereformation.com —NK

Planting it forward


Trees and forests work hard for the planet.

They are its lungs, absorbing carbon dioxide and doling out oxygen. They soak up water, clean the air, provide shade, reduce erosion, flooding and wind tunnels, and decrease heating and cooling costs. They are beautiful, pleasing our senses and enhancing our neighbourhoods. They even increase property values and attract new residents.

And they fight climate change. In fact, a recent study reported that the best way for the world to fight climate change would be to plant trees — a trillion of them.

Half a century ago, Toronto’s tree canopy covered 40 per cent of its landscape. Today? Just 27 per cent. And while there’s a long-term mission to reverse this decline, provincial funding for tree planting has been slashed, and the need for privately funded tree planting programs is more important than ever.

The Grandtree Climate Change Initiative aims to do something about it. The tree-planting program will launch its inaugural Grandparents Walk for Climate Change next May, bringing the generations together in an effort to purchase and plant trees, engage local communities in the regreening of the planet and contribute to a solution to the climate crisis.

The amount of carbon dioxide we can restore by planting them is significantly higher than the next best climate change solution. Position yourself as a pioneer in this pivotal urban tree restoration project by getting in on the ground level. — CM grandtreeswalk.com

Epic art crawl


Contemporary art enthusiasts are in luck this fall as the inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art rolls into town for a whopping 72 days. The sheer scale of the event is truly impressive: more than 100 works of art (including 20 new commissions) by international artists hailing from countries as diverse as Iran, Thailand, Colombia
and New Zealand, a true representation of Toronto’s multicultural population. Naturally, Canada’s brightest talents are also on display, including artists from Nunavut and other Indigenous communities. For its first event, the Biennial focuses its attention on Toronto’s waterfront, from Etobicoke Creek to Ashbridges Bay (the original boundaries of 1805’s Toronto Purchase). Thousands of years before the current construction boom, the waterfront was Indigenous land, an important gathering place. Layered upon that narrative is one of settlers, slaves and immigrants. Featured artists will grapple with these various stories as they seek to address the Biennial’s overarching question: “What does it mean to be in relation?” —NK

The Toronto Biennial of Art runs from September 21 to December 1 at various locations across Toronto, torontobiennial.org.

Horror show


Many people have found a through line from hard rock to horror movies, but Kirk Hammett has taken it a few creaky steps farther. The Metallica guitarist has been collecting posters, objects and artwork from horror and science fiction films
for more than two decades, and now his collection has landed at the ROM. It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection includes more than 100 pieces related to horror movie classics, from 1921’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to 1931’s Dracula to 1979’s Alien. The exhibition, organized by the Peabody Essex Museum in the suitably spooky locale of Salem, Massachusetts, examines the way horror movies have reflected the fears, anxieties and obsessions of 20th- century society, including Nazis, aliens, Cold War spies and feminists. There are life- sized mannequins wearing authentic movie costumes,
a collection of guitars and the only surviving copy of the poster for 1931’s Frankenstein. — MD

It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection runs through January 5 at the Royal Ontario Museum, rom.on.ca.

Shoe Gazing


Any shoe fiend worth her Manolos knows that nothing lifts the spirits like a fabulous pair of shoes. So it’s hardly surprising to the well shod among us that as stocks plummeted in 1929, high heels skyrocketed. As a result of financial hardship, the 1930s ushered in an era of escapism via film and daring fashion, and the two often went hand in hand. During this decade, many of the most innovative shoe designs in history were created, and maestros like Salvatore Ferragamo, André Perugia and Steven Arpad pushed the boundaries and experimented with soaring platforms and wedges as well as risqué peep-toe pumps inspired by Hollywood glamour. The Bata Shoe Museum’s latest exhibition highlights 60 rare Depression-era artifacts, some from its extensive collections, some borrowed from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Florence’s Ferragamo Museum. Highlights include Judy Garland’s rainbow platforms (designed by Ferragamo in 1938) and a compilation reel of 1930s movie clips. —NK

Want: Desire, Design and Depression Era Footwear runs until March 30 at the Bata Shoe Museum, batashoemuseum.ca.

The Original Gold Rush


If you’re in the mood for some opulent artifacts and enlightening history, the Aga Khan Museum’s latest exhibit is just the ticket. More than 250 captivating items, from sculpture to jewellery, help tell the story of the formerly gold-rich West African nation of Mali, and its central role in intercontinental trade during the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, Mansa Musa, the ruler of Mali, was the richest man in the world (and some scholars speculate he may even be the richest man of all time). Needless to say, Musa held a great deal of power, and thanks to recent archaeological discoveries, we now know that his in influence may have extended as far as China and England. Medieval history tends to be told from a Western perspective (knights in shining armour, etc.), and this is an exciting opportunity to re-examine the time period with a fresh set of eyes. —NK

Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange Across Medieval Saharan Africa runs from September 21 to February 23 at the Aga Khan Museum, agakhanmuseum.org.

Video Star


For her first solo exhibition in Canada, celebrated German artist, filmmaker and writer Hito Steyerl will take over an entire level of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Steyerl is best known for her thought-provoking work with film, a medium she uses to explore current events and political issues. Steyerl’s videos are sometimes combined with large-scale sets; and three such artworks will appear as part of her exhibit at the AGO: Liquidity Inc. (2014), ExtraSpace Craft (2016) and Hell Yeah We F**k Die (2016). Her enlightening lectures, which will also be shown as videos, tackle timely topics like tax havens. In Duty Free Art (2015), Steyerl explores the world of Free Ports, otherwise known as tax-free zones. She revisits the topic with Free Plots (2019), for which she created planters in the shape of notorious tax havens Geneva and Panama. For the length of the AGO exhibit, a Toronto community garden will ensure that the planters are brought to life. —NK

Hito Steyerl: This is the Future runs from October 24 to February 23 at the Art Gallery of Ontario, ago.ca.

Good Enough To Eat


Feast your eyes on historical works of art and contemporary ceramics while learning how some of our current eating habits can be traced back to changes that occurred in France between 1650 and 1789. Long before Instagram, enthusiastic Enlightenment-era foodies were enjoying the visual aspects of a meal, delighting in new serving dishes, like sauceboats and tureens, made from ceramic and silver. And in the kitchen gardens at Versailles, some revolutionary changes (of an entirely peaceful nature) were afoot: a greater variety of fruits and vegetables were available year-round thanks to advances in horticulture. During the Enlightenment, modern ideas surrounding vegetarianism and healthy eating were also starting to emerge, along with a shift towards intimate, informal dining; trends that are still with us today. —NK

Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment runs from October 17 to January 19 at the Gardiner Museum, gardinermuseum.on.ca.