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August 22, 2014

Toronto Festival Guide - August 2014

Remember: Please ALWAYS check with website for exact dates, etc. as details may change after the listing is posted here.

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

Aug 15-Sept 1, 2014

The Canadian National Exhibition (aka The Ex) is an 'end of summer' celebration held at Exhibition Place. Once you've paid the entrance fee, all entertainment is free. But in order to go on the amusement rides, you must have the RAD pass (includes admission AND rides).

The Midway

The following are some dates you should keep in mind:

  • Buy your tickets before Opening Day and SAVE $$ (avail from Jul 25) - this special ends Aug 14
  • $6 after 5pm: Just pay $6 after 5pm each Mon, Tues, Wed and Thurs but NOT on Labour Day Monday

Bandshell Concerts

The following are artists performing FREE concerts (with admission) at the CNE.

  • Aug 19: Christopher Cross
  • Aug 20: The Mighty Diamonds
  • Aug 21: Jose Feliciano
  • Aug 22: Platium Blonde
  • Aug 24: Gord Bamford
  • Aug 26: These Kids Wear Crowns & Eleven Past One & PRTY H3RO
  • Aug 27: April Wine
  • Aug 30: Tom Cochrane

Special Events

The following are just some of the special events.

  • Ribfest [Every day except Aug 18 & 25]
  • Kids Toonie Mondays [Aug 18 & 25]
  • Food Truck Frenzy [Aug 22-24]
  • Cat Show [Aug 23-24]
  • Youth Day [Aug 26: 10am-3pm] Free Till 3 For 19 yrs & Under
  • Canadian International Air Show [Aug 30-Sept 1]

Scotiabank Buskerfest

Aug 21-24, 2014

Spontaneous, colourful and bursting with the unexpected, the festival is a showcase for over 100 of the most remarkable street performers on earth.

Over 4 days and nights, Toronto’s international busker festival will entertain audiences in its NEW LOCATION: Yonge Street between Queen and Gerrard Streets, as well as surrounding areas. There is a Buskerball on Aug 19 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (50 Carlton St, formerly Maple Leaf Gardens), tickets are $150. After that:

  • Thurs [Aug 21]: Noon - 11pm
  • Fri [Aug 22]: Noon - 11pm
  • Sat [Aug 23]: 11am - 11pm
  • Sun [Aug 24]: 11am - 8pm

Scotiabank Buskerfest is produced by Epilepsy Toronto as a fundraiser in support of people with epilepsy and their families. So it's no surprise that the proceeds collected at the festival will go towards Epilepsy Toronto. So, take lots of change for the performers - PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY!

Telus TaiwanFest

Aug 22-24, 2014

Taiwan is a country built on the legacy of global traditions and cultures that have marked its shores.

Enjoy a weekend wander down the path of music, dance, art and food that invigorates the island nation.


Aug 22-24, 2014

Experience the Caribbean in Vaughan: Family-friendly Caribbean festival, celebrating the culture with Live music, food, kids zone and beautiful carnival costumes.

Visitors can participate in culinary and rum,cocktail workshops.


Aug 23, 2014: 4-10pm

Last year was the first year for this festival at CityPlace. Line up includes DJs and local talent:

  • Glen Morrison
  • Frank Walker
  • NoBig Deal
  • Wil Young
  • No Big Deal
  • Brothers of North
  • South of Bloor
  • Red Eye Flights

Scarborough Afro-Caribbean Festival

Aug 23-24, 2014: Noon-8pm both days

A Fun-filled family event that offers live performances by local and international artists, visual art exhibitions, Afro-Caribbean cuisine and dance competitions for adults and children. There's a Kids Zone which includes games, face painting and more!

40 vendors featuring food, crafts, local businesses, Non profit organizations will be present to showcase their products and services.

Festival of South Asia

Aug 23-24, 2014: Noon-11pm

Much like the Italian and Greek festivals, this festival offers the taste of South Asia. If you are interested in sampling their food, it's a great way to.

The main stage features dancing, fashion shows, and authentic South Asian cultural programs reflecting Indian, Afghani, Pakistani, Bengali and Sri Lankan cultures. There are several stores along Gerrard St where you may pick up a bargain or two.

Coconut Festival Canada

Aug 24, 2014: 10am-6pm

A fun day awaits the foodies and the adventurous as hundreds of products from coco jams to full meals will be presented by a diverse lineup of vendors.

Coco Fest flyer

Immerse your taste buds with different international cuisines showcasing wonderful coconut ingredients!

Wild Blueberry Festival

Aug 24: 10am-3pm

Wild Blueberry Festival logo In celebration of August as wild blueberry month and featuring our favourite bright blue berry, Evergreen Brick Works is hosting its 5th Annual Wild Blueberry Festival. From tasting to storytelling, children’s baking workshops to making wild blueberry salsa, enjoy a full day of family activities around this super berry, native to North America. Activities include:

  • Craft Beer and Cider Garden
  • Taste Education Table: taste and learn about wild and cultivated blueberries
  • Adult wild Canning Workshop: join James Partanen, cannery coordinator at the West End Food Co-op, to learn how to make Wild Blueberry Lemon Salsa
  • Children’s wild blueberry activities: Chef Donna Dooher, celebrated cookbook author and restaurateur, leads a fun and interactive workshop baking with the wild super fruit
  • All day tasty wild blueberry dishes from chef Brad Long at Café Belong
  • Live music from Honeyrunners and other special guests
  • Garden Market Talks
  • WILD Blueberry Pie Bake off
  • Children’s activities in Chimney court include storytelling, face painting, and pie in a jar family fun

Taste and purchase wild blueberry products at the Sunday Seasonal Farmers’ Market. Enjoy the WILD inspired BRUNCH and sip Ontario Blueberry Mead, Blueberry wine and other berry-related drinks. Purchase a ballot to participate in the Wild Blueberry Pie Bake-off! Sample the chefs’ wild creations to help determine two lucky winners of the People’s Choice Award. New this year: try a gluten-free wild blueberry pie. Win a wild blueberry gift!

Ashkenaz Festival

Aug 29-Sept 1, 2014

This Labour Day weekend, join over 250 artists from around the world at the 10th biennial Ashkenaz Festival to experience the vibrancy of Jewish creativity, from the traditional to the cross-cultural. From the ever-popular Ashkenaz Parade produced by Shadowland Theatre, to the music of klezmer-gypsy party-punk rockers Lemon Bucket Orkestra, the staggering array of music, film, performance, literature, crafts and visual arts invites people of all ages and backgrounds to explore Jewish culture.

Headliners include:

  • Lilith The Night Demon in One Lewd Act (Racy Yiddish folk-opera)
  • Jewish-Afrobeat pioneers Zion80
  • Yiddish psychedelic rockers Forshpil
  • DJ and Latin-Jewish fusionist Simja Dujov
  • Iraqi-Jewish roots rocker Dudu Tassa
  • The Sarajevo Haggadah: Music of the Book
  • David Buchbinder's Odessa/Havana
  • Lezmer-punk upstart Geoff Berner
  • Yiddish hip-hop renegade Socalled
  • Toronto choral sensation Choir! Choir! Choir!
  • Quebec fiddling femme fatale Briga
  • Jaffa Road's Aviva Chernick

Hispanic Fiesta

Aug 29-Sept 1, 2014

Experience the sounds, tempting treats and colourful culture that the Hispanic heritage is famous for. Hispanic Fiesta will feature the best known local & International Hispanic performers covering 20 different countries, that speak Spanish. More than 300 local, national and international performers will be taking part in the festival.