The Shortlist: Feb/March Top 5

Death From Above Press Photo

NO. 1

Death From Above 1979 Cross Canada

Death From Above 1979 Is 4 Lovers Tour
Toronto: Sat., March 12, 8 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre,
Calgary: Weds., March 23, 7 pm, Palace Theatre,
Vancouver: Sun., March 27, 7 pm, Commodore Ballroom,

Brace yourself for head-swiveling riffs and gut-punching percussion as Toronto’s Death From Above 1979 sweep the country with their swaggering punk rock maelstrom. Taking their fourth album, Is 4 Lovers on tour, frontmen Jesse Keeler and Sebastien Grainger lyrically explore love and new parenthood — but that doesn’t make their grit-core sonics any less heart-racing or sweaty.

Catherine Hernandez With Book

NO. 2


CBC Reads
Mon., March 28 – Thurs., March 31
Broadcast book debates
CBC Radio One (daily, 11 am ET), CBC TV/Gem (daily, 1 pm ET), CBC Listen (online), CBC Books (online)

CBC Reads is returning for its 21st edition this year with the theme “One Book To Connect Us.” Winter can feel isolating — no thanks to the virus — so this concept comes at a perfect time. Comedian and Run The Burbs star Ali Hassan hosts as a panel of celebrity advocates champions their books of choice. Each day, one gets eliminated. Like Survivor — but for books.

Malika press photo Le Phoque Off

NO. 3

Get Phoque’d online

Le Phoque OFF
Mon., Feb. 21 – Fri., Feb 25, 8 pm ET
Virtual music festival
$10 per day, $28 festival pass
NOWHERE metaverse

Quebec City’s premier alt-music festival is breaking boundaries by becoming one of the first festivals ever to take place in the metaverse. Just hours after Le Phoque OFF announced its artist lineup, it learned the province’s music venues were temporarily shutting down due to COVID. Undeterred, the team is going virtual! For five nights, fans can immerse themselves in a 3D digital world and hop between performances. With everything from hip hop to disco to grunge, artists include Emilie Landry (Feb. 22, 8:15 pm), Malika Tirolien (Feb. 23, 8 pm) and The Death Wheelers (Feb. 23, 10:30 pm).

The New Embassy photo

NO. 4


The New Embassy
Theatrical and literary readings, spoken word, music, dance
Fridays Feb. 25, March 18, March 25, Tues., April 26, Thurs., April 28, 7 pm ET

In the tradition of Toronto’s historic Bohemian Embassy — a legendary ‘’60s coffee house that welcomed icons like Margaret Atwood, Gordon Lightfoot and Lorne Michaels when they were fresh faces — the Toronto International Festival of Authors presents The New Embassy, a five-part digital series spotlighting the next generation of history-shapers and storytellers. Tune in to see powerful work by BIPOC creators, including Erica Violet Lee, a Cree poet, musician and artist;, Courage Bacchus, an actor and deaf Olympian; , Kai Cheng Thom, an award-winning author, performer and queer healer; and more. 


NO. 5


Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America
Where: In theatres
When: Now
Genre: Documentary

Lawyer Jeffrey Robinson expertly and compellingly blends a lecture with interviews, archival footage and a personal journey to tell the story of race relations in the U.S.A. in the same way Al Gore de-coded climate change in An Inconvenient Truth. A must-watch for Black History Month — or any month.


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