February has got a bad reputation. General consensus has elected February the most miserable month of the year. It's so bad that university reading weeks half-way through the month are nicknamed "anti-suicide week." And it probably doesn't help that February's traditional romantic holiday is notorious for making people feel lonely. But I'm feeling positive today and I'm rejecting February's traditional status as "The Month of Misery". Instead, I'm going with "The Month of Really Cool Stuff To Do."
If, like me, you spent much too much of January hibernating with your PVR, here's some Really Cool Stuff To Do. Trust me, this list is guaranteed to keep away the February Misery.
Rhubarb Festival (Feb 11-22)
The Rhubarb Festival is Canada's longest-running performing arts festival for new works. Over the course of two weeks, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre will present over 30 new pieces of theatre, dance, music, and performance art. The Rhubarb Festival embraces experimentation and fosters artists who are looking to push boundaries and explore new forms creative expression. Make sure you don't miss your chance to see some of the freshest ideas in the performing arts. Details here.
Winterfolk Roots & Blues Festival (Feb 13-15)
Who says music festival are only for the summer months? Winterfolk is an indoor music festival featuring over 150 artists specializing in rock, jazz, country, folk, blues, urban, and roots music. With so much to chose from, there's bound to be something for everyone. Unlike a lot of festivals, Winterfolk is a registered not-for-profit, run entirely by volunteers, and all proceeds from the event are invested back into the festival or paid to the performers. Detail here.
Heatfest (Feb 16)
One thing I love about Toronto is that there's always a food festival going on somewhere. This month we can look forward to Heatfest: the Distillery District's celebration of Canadian comfort food. What could be better on a cold winter day than warming up with some poutine, meatloaf, corn-on-the-cob, and funnel cakes? Local Distillery District Restaurants will also be offering special dishes on the comfort food theme. And if you need to burn off all that food you can participate in fitness workshops like Cold Yoga and hula-hooping. Details here.
Icefest (Feb 21-22)
If it's going to be cold out, why not celebrate the weather instead of hiding from it? Bloor-Yorkville's 10th Annual Icefest celebrates all things frozen and sparkly and cold with Toronto's best ice sculptures. This year's theme "Frozen in Time" will showcase ancient Egyptian gods and pyramids reborn in ice. Be sure to head over on Saturday the 21st for the live ice-carving competition where visitors will get to vote for their favourite sculptor. Details here.
CHR for Women Benefit Concert (Feb 26)
Toronto-based indie-folk band Crooked House Road is hosting a benefit concert series at 3030 Dundas West to raise money for women living in poverty. The first concert is the last Thursday in February and features performances by Taylor & Bryn (9:30pm), Crooked House Road (10:30pm), and Jane's Party (11:30pm). Admission is by donation and all funds will go to The Redwood, a shelter for women and children. Details here.