Here are the 10 best arts events in Toronto to check out this month

From buskers and offbeat comics to a fond farewell to the crocodile rocker

1. Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala

You oughta know that a lot of energy and excitement is building for the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala scheduled for Sept. 24 at Massey Hall. And that’s thanks to newly minted Grammy Award–winning sensation Olivia Rodrigo who will be in attendance to present one of her musical inspirations, Alanis Morissette, with her induction into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. In addition, our own Alessia Cara will perform in honour of the generational trailblazer who knocked down the door for unabashed female singer-songwriters. Others to be honoured this year include Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance, David Foster and Daniel Lavoie.

2. Fall for Dance North

The eighth annual Fall for Dance North festival is set to run from Sept. 17 to Oct. 8. The city’s top autumnal dance festival will include more than 15 world premieres at six venues across Toronto, created and performed by more than 200 acclaimed dancers, choreographers, directors and musicians from across North America.

Highlights of the festival include an Indigenous focus, with a full-length program from Phoenix-based Indigenous Enterprise, a work by Indigenous choreographer Jera Wolfe, a dance film by legendary actor and director Michael Greyeyes and traditional hula from Hawaii’s Ka Leo O Laka | Ka Hikina O Ka La.

In addition, Fall for Dance North will feature an outdoor performance, with juggling, contemporary circus and live music and a new dance film series in addition to its signature program featuring tap, hula, ballet and film, with live music.

3. Tom Green

One of Canada’s best-loved offbeat comedy masterminds, Tom Green will be performing at the downtown Toronto Yuk Yuk’s over two nights while working out new material for an upcoming TV special. This is a rare opportunity to catch a performer who was most recently seen in a hilarious turn on the reality TV show LOL: Last One Laughing Canada. He performs on Sept. 16 and 17.

4. International Festival of Authors

Book lovers rejoice: Canada’s largest and longest-running literary shindig is returning to the Harbourfront Centre. The Toronto International Festival of Authors will run Sept. 22 to Oct. 2 and feature more than 200 events, including artists from more than 30 countries. Highlights on tap for fiction and non-fiction fans alike include appearances by Margaret Atwood, Tomson Highway, Ian McEwan, Rollie Pemberton, Sarah Polley, Irvine Welsh and more.

5. BuskerFest

Artists and performers are taking it to the streets this month, or at least to the leafy confines of Woodbine Park. Following a two-year hiatus, Sept. 2 marks the return of the beloved Toronto International BuskerFest. At this fun, free and family-friendly event more than 100 street performers from around the world will be showcasing their talents on one of the eight performance stages at Woodbine Park over Labour Day weekend from Sept. 2 to 5. Some of the performers set to amaze include South Africa’s Magic Man, an international magician known for his versatility in the illusion field. Or Alakazam, from Australia, will amaze with his daredevil tennis stunts and electrifying contortion and juggling tricks. Be sure to reward the performers, as that’s how they get paid!

6. Elton John

The legendary Elton John hits town for two nights at the Rogers Centre as part of his farewell tour. This could be the last time to check out the acclaimed crocodile rocker on stage, or it could be the start of another farewell tour. The fun is in the mystery of it all. But what we do know is that audiences can expect all the classic songs, a fantastic stage show and a stunning wardrobe.

arts olivia
Grammy Award-winner Olivia Rodrigo is in town to honour Alanis Morissette

7. Geary Art Crawl

The Geary Art Crawl features two days of non-stop arts and cultural festivities along Geary Avenue between Ossington and Dufferin. The festival is set to run Sept. 24 to 25 when the neighbourhood comes alive with music, visual art installations, pop-ups, food and more in a creative emergence f rom the pandemic that celebrates the arts while putting local businesses at the forefront.

8. Roncesvalles Polish Festival

After a hiatus during the pandemic, the much-loved Roncesvalles Polish Festival returns for its 15th edition. This celebration of local food, art, music and, yes, polka, shines a light on one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. Scarf down some delicious perogies while perusing the works of local artists, listening to music, checking out the Indigenous programming, shopping and dancing the day away.

9. RUTAS International Performing Arts Festival

The 2022 edition of RUTAS showcases an exciting lineup of interdisciplinary talent from across the Americas, including performances, installations, cabaret and more. It all happens Sept. 22 to Oct. 9. This year, the festival is partnering with Theatre Passe Muraille, Factory Theatre, York University, Hemispheric Encounters and Nuit Blanche to offer an exciting lineup, including work by Toronto artists Lara Arabian and Carla Melo as well as Claren Grosz, and in addition, Santiago Guzmán (Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador); Victoria Mata Soledad (Venezuela/Canada); José Torres-Tama (United States); Teatro Línea de Sombra (Mexico); and Nina Vogel (Brazil).

The festival kicks off when Victoria Mata performs the piece “Cacao” outside at Mel Lastman Square, running Sept. 22 to 25.

10. New Order & Pet Shop Boys

In a month of stunning concert after stunning concert, many have this night pegged as the one that cannot be missed. New Order is one of the most influential bands of the ’80s, although they also continue to turn out new original music, including 2015’s Music Complete. The Pet Shop Boys complete this ode to synthesizers scheduled for Sept. 17 at Budweiser Stage.

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