I hope everyone who had the pleasure of attending Nuit Blanche last weekend enjoyed it as much as I did. There was so much to see and do, it was just incredible. We are now well into the slew of summer (officially actually SUMMER!) events that define London throughout this wonderful season and this weekend, once again, will be no exception. There’s lots and lots happening so stock up on your ZZZ’s during the week because who needs them on the weekend, right?
Thursday evening, here we are again, you’re always such lovely company. Ready to rumble as per usual, Thursday marks the 4th annual Ladyfest London. This four day festival celebrates local female creativity with arts crafts, music, words, photos, and videos while raising funds for London’s SafeSpace. There’s a variety of events going on from the 21st to the 24th at places like Veg Out, Lavish, and the London Music Club. One event I’m particularly excited for is the !Women Art Revolution film screening taking place in the London Public Library’s Tonda Room beginning at 6:30pm (on Thursday). This Lynn Hershman Leeson film looks at how “the Feminist Art Movement fused free speech and politics into an art that radically transformed the art and culture of our times”. I’m anticipating a healthy dose of Martha Rosler and Judy Chicago (if you’re not familiar with those names, to Google you go) and cannot wait. All are welcome to attend the events (guys, you too!) and the suggested donation is $5 to $10 but no one will be turned away....oh London. For full programming details visit www.ladyfestlondon.ca.
Fresh off the heat wave train, Friday’s weather is looking great. No more humidity and 40 degree sunshine so let’s embrace it and get out and about on this glorious Friday-day. One of the best things about summer is that you actually do all the things you’ve wanted to do forever rather than falling victim to the lazy sluggishness that Winter casts upon us. In this spirit, something I’ve always wanted to do is a Labatt Brewery tour. Thus I will live vicariously through others doing so until I finally get around to it! I think it would be fascinating and kind of terrifying (in a good way!) at the same time which always makes for the most interesting outings. To book a tour email email@example.com or call 519-850-TOUR (8687) (tours have to be booked in advance). I will make it there before the summer’s out, beat me to it and enjoy!
Friday evening, post afternoon beer tasting, dawning your new (complimentary!) Labatt tour t-shirt, head over to Forest City Gallery for artist Amy Lockhart’s first solo exhibition “Ladies”. Lockhart’s sculptures are informed by “popular and trash culture [and] investigate moments of undetermined tension, physical fragmentation and an unclear narrative”. The show opens at 7pm and admission is free, it’s going to be fantastic, I can’t wait to see it. For anymore info click here. And since the night is still young, head over to apk Live afterwards for a “special night of exceptional local talent” at the Noise Level, Dead City Beat, and DJ Anthologic show. As always apk Live and Half a Dino present to the forest city exactly what they should be listening to. Thanks guys, where would we be without you? Doors are at 9pm and the cover is $5...mere pennies, so don’t miss out! If you’re looking for more details, we’ve got them right here.
On Saturday, embrace your inner rebel and head on over to the library. As rebellious as that sounds, we’re going to do the unthinkable...we’re going to be loud at the library. It’s like chewing gum in public school, it just seems so wrong. However, throughout the summer libraries all over London are letting their hair down and having live music performances from local bands kicking off Saturday with Original Think at the Byron branch. The show starts at 3pm and there’s no admission, why not go take out some of your favourite books and then listen to some great young, local talent? Sounds great to me. For a full lineup of shows and locations in the coming weeks click here.
I’m all about options and Museum London’s always on the top of the list in that category. So another potential Saturday outing is their super awesome History Hikes and Walking Tours. In this Saturday’s edition, be enthralled and educated by a historical stroll through te Monuments and Memorials in the Forest City. This tour “takes enthusiasts through the downtown core and into Victoria Park, where many statues and plaques have been erected in memory of historical events”. Totally cool. Why not take some time to appreciate the purpose of the sometimes seemingly background imagery that gives London so much character? The group meets on the Museum lawn (421 Ridout Street) at 10:30am and soldier on (pun?) until 12pm...and it's free. If you’re looking for anymore info check out the Museum’s website or click here.
It’s Saturday night! And coincidentally it’s time for my favourite monthly shindig, Artfusion...which is on number 24 might I add, congrats guys. As always this night is “for the community, by the community” showcasing a decadent array of local art, crafts, and music all in the oh so mingle-friendly setting of apk’s third floor. If you’ve never been to an Artfusion, why not start now because you are doing yourself an injustice? And if you have, you’re probably just as excited as I am! The evening runs from 7pm to 2am and the minimum donation is $2 but no one will be turned away....there’s that London hospitality again! So come out and support all the local goodness London has to offer and don’t forget to stop by the gallery in Citi Plaza which is open Monday to Friday 11am-6pm and Saturday 12pm-5pm. For anymore info click here or check out the website at www.artfusiongallery.ca.
On Sunday, if you haven’t already, check out the International Food Festival in Victoria Park which is guaranteed to be a simply delicious time. The festival runs from June 22nd to the 24th, and features international cuisine, craft vendors as well as live entertainment. There’s not much that I love more than summer festivals in Victoria Park. It’s always the greatest atmosphere with the tastiest treats and I almost always leave with a new beloved piece of jewellry, it doesn’t get much better than that! Each day runs from 11am to 11pm and admission is free. For anymore information check their website here.
Here we are once again, the end of the weekend is upon us and Monday is rousing from its heavy slumber. With this much happening on a weekly basis it makes me wonder how we’ll make it through the summer!? But then again, as long as you’re having a great time, the energy comes somehow. London’s creative, cultural, and artistic community and the effort they put into the Forest City is good for the mind, body, and soul. Seriously, it’s like vitamins A through Z, all rolled into one. So show them your love by attending and supporting all of these great initiatives that make the city you live in a better place everyday!
Thursday June 21: Ladyfest London, various times, various venues, suggested donation $5-$10 (no one will be turned away)
Thursday June 21: !Women Art Revolution film screening, 6:30pm, London Public Library Tonda Room, suggested donation $5-$10 (no one will be turned away)
Friday June 22: Labatt Brewery Tour, scheduled times, Labatt Brewery (150 Simcoe Street), $10
Friday (evening) June 22: Amy Lockhart’s “Ladies”, 7-10pm, Forest City Gallery, FREE
Friday (evening) June 22: Noise Level, Dead City Beat, and DJ Anthologic, 9pm-2am, apk Live (340 Wellington St @ York), $5, 19+
Saturday (day) June 23: History Hikes and Walking Tours, 10:30am-12pm, Museum London (421 Ridout St.), FREE
Saturday (day) June 23: Get Loud at the London Public Library, 3-4pm, Byron Branch (1295 Commissioners Road W), FREE
Saturday (night) June 23: ARTFUSION 24, 7pm-2am, apk Live (340 Wellington St @York), $2 minimum donation (no one will be turned away)
Sunday June 24: International Food Festival, 11am-11pm, Victoria Park, FREE