NORTH BY NORTHEAST MUSIC FESTIVAL (NXNE) Toronto, Tue., June 14 – Sun. June 19)
Single show, $10; full-festival pass, $20 nxne.com
Music festival season is here across Canada with Toronto hosting both North by Northeast (June 14 –19) and Canadian Music Week (June 6 –11) with Jazz Fests in Vancouver and Toronto (June 24 – July 3) and Calgary welcomes Sled Island (June 22 – 26).
NXNE is the best deal offering full-festival passes with access to over 20 clubs and 300 bands for only $20. This year, the festival refocuses on showcasing emerging bands and presents top new Canadian artists as well as leading acts from across the world featuring many genres.
Visionary Australian director Baz Luhrmann turns his technicolor lens on Elvis Presley through the contrasting stages of his life — and we cant wait. Luhrmann makes beautiful movies in which the music is key, and the King of Rock ’n’ Roll offers a rich palette for the Aussie auteur. Tom Hanks plays Elvis’s controversial manager, Col. Tom Parker.
CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK Toronto, Mon., June 6 – Sat., June 11 $25 – $599 Various venues cmw.net
Canadian Music Week returns with concerts, industry conference and awards. Performances include Snotty Nose Rez Kids (Sat., June 11, El Mocambo) and Bif Naked (Fri., June 10, Revival). Hip hop legend Chuck D. gives the keynote at CMW’s Intercontinental hotel HQ (Thurs., June 9) Virtual Voices free online video series, with pre-recorded industry panels, is available on CMW website.
SLED ISLAND Calgary, Wed., June 22 – Tue., June 28 $20 – $35 tickets, $214 pass Various venues sledisland.com
Sled Island delivers a multidisciplinary festival with a week of underground and emerging music, comedy, film and art. Live shows include Backxwash (Wed., June 22, Commonwealth), Princess Nokia (Fri., June 25, Palace Theatre) and L.A. Witch (Wed., June 22, Dickens). Docs Summer of Soul and Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over, screen.
Toronto kicks off Canada’s LGBTQ pride celebrations with a month of in-person programming. Some events include the Pride Parade on Yonge Street, Sun., June 26 while Yonge-Dundas Square gets glittery with Canada’s Drag Race stars Lemon (Sat., June 25) and Priyanka (Sun., June 26). Celebration and performance stages will be set up along Church Street — and much more.