Say ‘YES’ to concerts in 2017

The year just keeps getting better and better in the 6ix. With food festivals already underway and exciting movies on the horizon, what else do Torontonians have to look forward to in 2017? CONCERTS! Experiencing your favourite artist or band live is such an exhilarating feeling –  you just can’t stop yourself from singing (or screaming) the lyrics to your favourite jam or fangirling with a crowd of complete strangers. And with a killer concert line-up this year, music lovers are sure to be groovin’ straight into the new year. Here’s our concert wish list:

Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience

When: Saturday, March 4, 2017 | Where: Air Canada Centre

From your screens and to the stage, Game of Thrones IS COMING. Composer Ramin Djawadi plans to give audiences an “immersive music and visual experience” with a full orchestra and choir, so you can kick back and imagine you’re in the show yourself! A concert so intense they make Khaleesi’s dragons look tame! Ok, maybe not but if it’s anywhere as incredible as the show, you’re definitely in for an unforgettable musical experience.

Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Tour

When: Sunday, March 5, 2017 | Where: Air Canada Centre

Ariana’s positively infectious vocals are coming back to bless us for her third concert! With the variety she packs into her album, you could say Ariana is a musical force to be reckoned with. She’ll definitely get you groovin’ “Side to Side.”

Lionel Richie: All the Hits

When: Thursday, March 30, 2017 | Where: Air Canada Centre

Your hearts will melt when you hear his angelic voice pulse through the stadium. His classic throwbacks will have you in love all over again. While this makes a perfect date night concert, we take no responsibility if Lionel Richie turns out to be the man your date was, in fact, looking for.

Bon Jovi: This House is not for Sale

When: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 | Where: Air Canada Centre

Did you miss them? We sure did, and we have the karaoke videos to prove it.

The Weeknd: Starboy Legend of the Fall

When: Friday, May 26, 2017 | Where: Air Canada Centre

When does he EVER fail us. Think of his short film MANIA as a teaser for his concert… awesome right?

Kehlani: SweetSexySavage Tour

When: Sunday, June 4, 2017 | Where: Rebel (Toronto)

This is a special one; Kehlani’s FIRST tour for her album SweetSexySavage. The grammy-nominated songstress definitely has something special in store for her audience.

Total Package Tour: New Kids On The Block, Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men

When: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 | Where: Air Canada Centre

Ok, hold up! What did we do to deserve all this talent all in ONE show? A nostalgic experience that should not be missed! Seriously, when do you think you’d ever have a chance to experience this level of throwback all at once? The Total Package Tour is a total gift from these classic artists, so don’t miss out on it!

U2: The Joshua Tree Tour

When: Friday, June 23, 2017 | Where: Rogers Centre

SOLD OUT, already? We’re not surprised… With numerous hit albums under their belt and being the true definition of musical veterans, these guys are definitely worth scouring third-party ticketing sites for. Your wallet might hate you, but your musical soul won’t.

Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams Tour

When: Monday, August 21, 2017 | Where: Rogers Centre

Bright, bold and full of energy! You can probably expect anything from bursting confetti to coloured Holi powder to shoot out from the sky at a Coldplay’s concert. This one is definitely on our bucket list!

Bruno Mars: 24K Magic World Tour

When: Saturday, August 26, 2017 | Where: Air Canada Centre

If you find yourself reminiscing about old high school dances in the 90’s, this is the concert for you. Prepare for a sweaty atmosphere filled with good vibes and soul-funk sounds. Bruno Mars will definitely have you dancing all night!

Get’cha wallets ready folks! Trust us, with a concert line-up so big you’ll have memories and #TBT posts for months, maybe even years to come!

Calling all foodies: Winterlicious now a week away


Alright foodies, it’s almost time for Winterlicious. From January 27- February 9, your tastebuds can explore any of Toronto’s 220+ participating restaurants ready to offer you a tasty and affordable dining experience. We can’t forget to mention the one-of-a-kind ticketed Culinary Events taking place in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, which will feature some of Toronto’s top chefs!

Three-course prix fixe menus are offered for lunch ranging from $18 – $28 and dinner ranging from $28 – $48. Having a tough time deciding which restaurants will satisfy all your foodie cravings? Check out our options to gauge your tasty imagination.

Bistro feelsJazz Bistro 

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If you’re in the Yonge-Dundas corridor area and want to enjoy live jazz while you eat, Jazz Bistro is the place to be. An excitingly fresh menu with locally sourced ingredients that are sure to keep your tastebuds dancing along with the music.

Gourmet shareable dishes?East Thirty-Six 

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Just before you head home with your co-workers, stop by for crafty cocktails and affordable share plates chef’d up by Brent Maxwell (previously at Millcroft Inn, Auberge du Pommier & Luma).

Authentic Italian 7 Numbers Danforth 

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Everyone is a part of the familia; Mama Rosa makes sure you taste every spice in her authentic Southern Italian dishes. The lively, welcoming atmosphere will remind you of dinnertime at your nonna’s house and have you back at Authentic Italian in no time!

Let’s go for sushiNami Japanese Restaurant

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Known to the Financial District for 30 years, Nami continues to serve foodies a unique dining experience with their Sushi Bar and Robata Bar – serving made-to-order grilled meat, vegetables and fresh seafood!

The 3 MsDistrict Oven 

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Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Moroccan! If you end up in Little Italy, this spot combines all savoury flavours these cultures have to offer with seasonal and quality ingredients for maximum satisfaction. Pair it off with any of their many wine options!

Mama’s good influence Leña 

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Inspired by his mother-in-law, Chef Anthony Walsh’s culinary imagination creates Southern American dishes with a twist of Spanish and Italian influences.

It’s not what it sounds likeKamasutra Indian Restaurant & Wine Bar

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We can’t leave out the spices from north Indian cuisine. The Kamasutra restaurant offers fine Indian dining with a contemporary look packed with traditional flavours.

Did someone say Vodka bar?Schnitzel Hub European Bistro 

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Enjoy a cozy casual night in Toronto at Schnitzel Hub with their authentic Eastern and Central European food. The drink menu guarantees a party for your tastebuds!

GOSH! So many great options to choose from, one can only dream to visit all! It’s not too late to make your reservations… better get to it!

2017′s epic movie lineup

All the movies you’ve been waiting for are now here (well, almost all). Loaded with new thrillers and sequels, 2017’s movie lineup is bound to have you in theatres every other week. Here are some must-see titles.

Split

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It is horror? NO! More like an intense psychological thriller. Kevin (James McAvoy) struggles with dissociative identity disorder and lives with 24 different personalities – one still unknown. Led to abduct three girls, Kevin struggles to keep his personalities at bay, while his victims try to escape the terror.

Releasing: Friday, January 20, 2017

The Space Between Us

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Now we can’t forget a romance title out of the must-see list. This one is bound to have you in your feelings the whole way through. Imagine being born and raised in space for 16 years, only ever interacting with a limited number of people in your lifetime. That’s how life was for Elliot (Asa Butterfield) until taking his first adventure to earth. Overwhelmed at first, Elliot befriends a girl he met online (from space) to help him discover the realities of how he came to be. But like any good romance, there’s a plot twist! And for that, you’ll just have to hit the theatre.

Release date: Friday, February 3, 2017

Beauty and the Beast

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Disney’s back at it again with the classic fairytale release. This time with Emma Watson playing Princess Belle, who is trapped in a castle with the beast, and eventually falls in love – obviously not for looks. Nothing beats the original animation, but this remake sure looks like it’ll be box office gold.

Releasing: Friday, March 17, 2017

The Fate of the Furious

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Another one? Yes, the Fast and Furious franchise continues. Just when we thought all the battles were settled in the 7th movie. Everyone is living the ‘normal’ life now but Dom turns for the worse it seems. It’s a matter of getting him back from the dark side of crime and reminding him which side he belongs on.

Release date: Friday, April 14, 2017

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

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History never looked better. Charlie Hunnam plays Arthur in this action packed adventure of reclaiming one’s true title. Who knew pulling a sword from the stone would cause vast amounts of chaos?

Release date: Friday, May 12, 2017

Wonder Woman

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Daughter of Zeus and Princess of the Amazons – Wonder Woman finally has her own movie. She’s just as powerful and popular as her male counterparts in the Justice League. Gal Gadot who plays Wonder Woman is definitely one of DC’s best character match ups following Ben Affleck in Batman.

Releasing: Friday, June 2, 2017

Mike Todd’s album release party is on Nov 23 and you don’t want to miss it!

Mike Todd, funk-soul recording artist, recently released his first anticipated album “Good Man” and to celebrate he will be performing live on November 23 from 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. at The Dakota House (249 Ossington Ave, Toronto). If you’re a fan of live music and raw talent then this is one show you don’t want to miss.

Mike’s live performances often catch music critics by surprise as many don’t expect the powerful vocals that emerge from the Guelph, Ontario resident. His husky vocals, charisma and ability to engage with his audience, paired with a 6-piece band brings his music to life and gets the crowd moving. His strong talent to perform live is one of the many reasons award winning music makers wanted to work with Mike on his record.

“Good Man” was produced by the Juno Award winning team Rob Szabo & Tim Abraham. The duo has worked with artist like Beth Moore, Grand Analog, Peter Katz and many more. Mike’s album was two years in the making and is a collection of 10 expertly crafted singles that flawlessly intertwines different genres of music; like funk, soul, rock, pop and hints of gospel. The first single, “Lair”, off the album was inspired by politics in Toronto and the music video was directed by world renowned director (Sheepdogs) and photographer Matt Barnes.                                                                                                         

Although Mike has been in the music scene for over 13 years as a sideman for different musical talents, he recently decided to step in to the spotlight as his a solo artist. His music is deeply inspired by music icons that he listened to growing up; like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Joe Crocker. Although he is just starting out his music is one that is refreshing revival of music that should be experienced.  

What you need to see at Nuit Blanche 2016

This weekend the arts are taking over the city as Nuit
Blanche lands in Toronto in full force. Taking place from 7 p.m. on Saturday Oct 1
to 7 a.m. Oct 2 this celebration of art includes 90 installations scattered
around the city. Whether you plan on sticking it out throughout the night or
heading out for a few hours, here are some installations you can’t miss.

Handheld

Located at the Church of the Holy Trinity is David Rokeby’s
interactive installation that is invisible at first sight; however as you walks
into it the installation comes alive. An image of an object begins to be projected
on your skin as you move through.

New Project   

Montreal artist, Rebecca Belmore, is debuting a new
performance piece inside Walker Court at the AGO. Belmore is world renowned
multi-disciplinary artist with international acclaim and received the Govenor
General’s Award in Visual Arts.

Literature vs.
Traffic

Brought to you by the anonymous collective Luzinterruptus
from Madrid Spain this installation features piles of donated books laid out
like a river of books floating at Old City Hall.

White lanes

This massive sculpture is completely made out of lit up
buckets that you can walk around and explore. This installation by New Yorker,
Jason Peters, will be on display at The Drake.

Ascension

Julie C. Fortier brings her expertise in perfumery and
visual arts to this installation that allows locals to smell the different
scents of Toronto. This olfactory installation is located at 33 Harbour Square.

Alterna Savings offering licensed cannabis-related businesses banking services

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Earlier this week Alterna Savings made an announcement that they’re supportive of offering banking services to licensed cannabis-related businesses. In 2014 the Ontario government introduced new regulations to license producers of medicinal marijuana, so they can provide products to many critically ill Canadians in need. However legally licensed cannabis-related businesses have been turned away by financial institutions refusing to offer them basic banking services. On BNN the CEO of Alterna Savings, Robert Paterson, talked about the credit union’s reasoning to provide banking to these businesses and their rigorous risk management process. Here are the main points you need to know about their decision. You can check out the full BNN interview here.  

Making the decision

On the BNN interview Paterson talks about how Alterna carefully assessed the situation after they were approached by a client who was turned away by another financial institution.

“We were approached a year ago by one of the newly licensed businesses that were turned away by the big banks and we took a hard look to open up the dialogue. When we looked at the downstream, it’s there to help critically ill Canadians going through diseases.”

Before working with their first client, the credit union went through the long task of fully understanding Health Canada’s licensing process, which includes the RCMP checks that businesses go through. They then did onsite inspections and set their own risk management process to monitor and measure the client’s business. Now after serving that first client, Alterna Savings provides banking services to half-a-dozen licensed cannabis related business of the 35 in the country.

Alterna’s risk management process

Like any new business financial institutions take on, risk must be assessed. For licensed cannabis-related business Alterna has a special risk management process in place. Paterson explained this rigorous process to BNN.

“Again the businesses we are dealing with are licensed by Health Canada and that in itself is a rigorous process that the RCMP is involved in. We then do our own process post-licensing. We do on-site inspections to take a look at how they are producing and the security of their facilities. We check the principles of the business, how they are raising their money and monitor it as it comes into their accounts. We do a detailed assessment of their business plan to understand how their cash flow is going. We put a rigorous three party monitoring process including branch managers, risk management and compliance teams monitoring it.”

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TIFF must-sees

Tiff has officially landed in the city and the who’s who of Hollywood is gracing Toronto with their presence and it has many locals excited. Although celebrity spotting is a huge part of TIFF, the festival is the perfect opportunity to catch great films that are debuting. Here is our list of must-see movies at TIFF, who knows you may even spot a celebrity too!

Snowden

This biographical political thriller stars Jospeh Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Zachary Quinto, Nicolas Cage and more. This film is the controversial story of Edward Snowden an American computer professional who leaked classified information from National Security Agency to The Guardian.

Magnificent 7

This star studded movie opened TIFF last night and if you missed it you can still see it. Magnificent 7 is a western starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Haley Bennett and more. It takes place in the town of Rose Creek that is under the control of Bartholomew Bogue. Desperate, the residences seek protection from seven outlaws who prepare for a savage showdown to free the town.

United Kingdom

This film has been catching a lot of people’s attention for its promise of being nominated for an Oscar. Based off the book “Colour Bar” by Susan Williams, United Kingdom, is a British biographical romantic drama about Prince of Botswana causing an international stir when he marries a white woman from London in the 1940s.

Paterson

Starring Star Wars own Adam Driver as Paterson, a bus driver who lives in a small town in New Jersey. He lives a pretty ordinary life that is set in routine of waking up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for work and gets back in time for dinner. Despite living a normal life Paterson is a poet and his wife is a repressed artist that always has quirky surprises. Paterson is a movie to watch as it has been buzzed to be a potential Oscar contender.  

Fan Expo 2016 is here!

Yesterday Fan Expo 2016 kicked off at the Metro Convention
Centre and it is taking over Toronto from September 1 – 4. Fan Expo is Canada’s
largest sci-fi, horror, comic, gaming, and anime event and the third largest
pop culture event in North America. This massive celebration of everything geek
culture attracts over 129,000 people from all around the world. So we decided to
help you let your nerd flag fly this weekend, with our top 5 things you need to
check out this weekend.

Celebrity Spotting

Fan Expo is known for bringing in some of the top stars in
television, movies, comics, gaming and anime; and this year is no different. Some
of the celebrities attending Fan Expo this year are William Shatner, John
Cusack, Adam West, Mark Hamill and comic book legend Stan Lee. You can get up
close with them by purchasing tickets for autographs and photo ops. However you
don’t need to cough up the big bucks to see celebrities, you will often spot
them while you’re walking on the show floor.

Take in all the attractions

Sometimes people that are new to the convention scene overlook
the events that are happening off the show floor. Some of these attractions include
celebrity panels, cosplay classes, exclusive screenings and gaming tournaments.
This year you need to check out professional eSports gamers face off for money
in the Northern Arena Finals presented by Bell Canada. Or you can even buy
tickets to join Stan Lee for brunch on Sunday morning. If none of the attractions
at Fan Expo tickles your fancy, also keep your eyes out for events around the
city inspired by Fan Expo.  

Artist Alley

Of course Fan Expo attracts big name comic artist; but it
also attracts some of the city’s best talent. Artist Alley allows independent
artist to showcase their work and fandom. It is also the perfect opportunity to
pick up new unique and sometimes customizable artwork for your place.

Cosplay

This one is a no brainer, with cosplaying becoming more
popular it’s only natural that you should take in and grab a few pictures with
people that are attending the expo in cosplay. It’s the perfect way to relive
your childhood, as you see your childhood heroes come to life. Also, some of
these cosplays are elaborate and will keep you in awe.

Sunday Sales

Fan Expo has no shortage of merchandise, whether it is
action figures, prints, t-shirts or video games there is a lot to buy when at
Fan Expo. It can be overwhelming and quite expensive sometimes. However the
best deals happens on Sunday, the last day of the expo, and it is the best time
to pick up last minute merchandise.

Must see Summer movies

July is coming to an end and August just around the
corner, but you still have time to get watch summer blockbusters. Despite highly
anticipated movies like, Captain America Civil War and Ghostbusters having already graced fans this summer, there are still more movies fans are
waiting for.

Star Trek Beyond

With Fast and the Furious director, Justin Lin, helming the
movie and stars like Zachary Quinto, Idris Ebla, Zoe Saldana and Chris Pine
starring, we know that Star Trek Beyond is going to be a hit. The third
installment in the rebooted franchise sees an attack on the
enterprise force a crash landing on an unknown world. Star Trek Beyond opens in
theatres today!

Ice Age Collision Course

Since the first Ice Age hit theatres in 2002 we have seen
this franchise grow rapidly. Now in the six movie, Ice Age: Collision Course
has young movie-goers excited to see what will happen to their favourite
characters Sid, Ellie and Manny (voiced by Ray Romano). Ice Age Collision
Course is also in theatres today.  

Jason Bourne

The Jason Bourne movies were a huge hit in the early 2000s
and now we see the original star, Matt Damon come back as the most wanted ex
CIA agent, Jason Bourne. In this installment the CIA director is on the hunt
for Bourne and will use anything in her power to bring him in. The new
installment in this franchise hits theatres on July 22.

Suicide Squad

After the DC flop, that was Batman vs. Superman, many comic
book fans are hoping for redemption in DCs next movie, Suicide Squad. Starring
Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis and Cara Delevingne fans are
gaining more confidence that this film will deliver. This movie sees a
government agency lead by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) recruit and release criminals
to do the agency’s bidding. Fans will not have to hold their breath long as the
movie releases on August 1.

Sausage Party

Sausage Party came to the surprise to many when the trailer
released earlier this year. From the people that brought you Pineapple Express,
this movie puts adult humour in animated form. It follows Frank, a hotdog
voiced by Seth Rogen, as he is finally selected from the supermarket to join
a loving family. Things quickly turn when Frank and his friends realize they
weren’t going to a loving home for a vacation, but instead to be made into
meals. This hilarious movie also stars Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, James Franco,
Paul Rudd, Salma Hayek and many more. Sausage Party is definitely not kid
friendly but will be one adults can enjoy on August 12.

Unleashing Your Inner Nerd!

Along with drinks on the patio, beach days and cottage
getaways; this summer also brings Conventions to the city! Already in full
force the local convention season has kicked off with Anime North and Enthusiast
Gaming Live Expo. There are still more to come within the next few months.
Thus, giving you plenty of excuses to level up your nerd game or relive the nostalgia
of your childhood. Here are some local conventions you shouldn’t miss.

Fan Expo

Fan Expo takes place at the
Metro Convention Centre from September 1 – 4. This convention is known for
brining some of the biggest celebrities in sci-fi, horror, comics anime and
gaming to the city. This year you can catch Stan Lee, William Shatner, John
Cusack and Mark Hamill.

Toronto Sailormoon Celebration

Happening this Saturday at the Ontario Science Centre, the
Toronto Sailormoon Celebration brings you everything you love about your favourite
defender of the Negaverse. This event is set to have cosplayers, cast from the
original series, panels and other fun activities for fans of the series to
enjoy.

Toronto Brickfete

Also happening this weekend the Toronto Brickfete takes
place at the Delta Toronto East. If you played with Lego when you were younger
or enjoy seeing life size creations master builders make then this is for you. This
fan festival is sure to have you amazed!

Unplugged

Taking place at the Westin Harbour Castle Conference Centre,
Unplugged sets to bring the geek community together to celebrate all things different!
With panels, contest, cosplayers and Youtubers making appearances it is definitely
an event that is you won’t want to miss!