Toronto is packed with awesome events in March. The city will greet the upcoming spring with lots of laughter, as two major comedy festivals are about to take place. Music lovers can look forward to the Canadian Music Fest and Rihanna concerts, and kids will surely enjoy the Disney on Ice shows. No need to list all the things going on in the city to prove the point — check out our list of the top ten tips for interesting events to get a bit of inspiration for your March adventures!
1. Disney on Ice: Rockin’ Ever After (March 13 to 17)
If you or your kids ever wished to meet your favourite Disney characters live, now is the right time to make your dreams come true. The stunning Rockin’ Ever After ice show features the most popular Disney characters such as Ariel, Rapunzel, Merida, and Belle. The audience can look forward to seeing all these heroines dance and sing the best Disney tunes and present some breathtaking figure-skating skills. The shows take place at the Rogers Centre, and ticket prices range from $25 to $90.
2. The Toronto Sketch Comedy Fest (March 7 to 17)
The Toronto Sketch Comedy Fest aims to “present, promote and support exceptional live, scripted comedy making Toronto a funnier place to be.” So get ready for outbursts of laughter brought to you by comedians scattered around several venues in the city. The audience can look forward to such stars of the comedy world as Michael Ian Black, Bruce McCulloch, Eugene Mirman, and Kurt Braunohler. However, it’s important to note that the festival doesn’t only consist of live performances; it also features fabulous parties and opportunities for professional development. Ticket prices vary, but it’s possible to get a 4-Show Pass for $50.
3. Toronto Comicon (March 9 and 10)
Visit the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and be sure not to miss this chance to meet and greet your favourite celebrity guests, unique exhibitors, workshops, and presentations over the two amazing days of Toronto Comicon (North America’s third largest event of its kind). In 2013, organizers managed to prepare something special for all true sci-fi fans: many of the cast members from Star Trek: The Next Generation are scheduled to make an appearance, including Patrick Stewart, also known as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and Michael Dorn, also known as Lieutenant Worf. Admission costs range from $10 to $25, and two-day passes can be purchased for $39.
4. National Home Show (March 15 to 24)
If you’re thinking about starting any home improvement project or just looking around for advice from professionals, the National Home Show is the right place for you. The show is one of the biggest events focused on everything connected to homes and renovations — both inside and outside. The gardening section got an amazing boost this year and became an even more important part of the festival, as organizers decided to merge with Canada Blooms, the largest North American flower and garden festival. Visitors can roam around more than 50,000 square feet of gardens and exhibitors linked to gardening in general. Like every year, HGTV stars will make an appearance, including Bryan Baeumler of Leave it to Bryan and Paul Lafrance of Decked Out.
5. Toronto Fashion Week (March 18 to 22)
Once again, World MasterCard Fashion Week will David Pecaut Square into a hotspot of the fashion world in Canada. Designers from Canada and the world come to Toronto to showcase their newest works under the discerning eye of industry professionals, media, and fashion lovers. Some of the designers who will present their fashion designs include Caitlin Power, Ashiani, Christopher Bates, and DUY. Join the craze to learn about the trends for the fall season and be the first among your friends to hop on the wave. If you can’t attend Fashion Week personally, some of the shows will be streamed on YouTube.
6. Rihanna concerts (March 18 and 19)
Grammy-winning star Rihanna hits the city with her successful Rihanna Diamonds World Tour. Don’t miss your chance to see her performing together with A$AP Rocky touring with her as a support act. The audience can look forward to hearing such hits as “S&M,” “Only Girl (In The World),” “Where Have You Been,” and “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris as well as many more. Over the last few years, Rihanna has seen tremendous success, as more than eleven of her songs reached number one in the charts. The show takes place at the Air Canada Centre, and ticket prices range from $48.75 to $163.
Canadian Music Week is one of the biggest events taking place in March. It’s divided into three main sections: music, comedy, and film. Here’s a quick overview of each:
Canadian Music Fest (March 19 to 24)
Canadian Music Fest comes with more than 1,000 scheduled artists who will perform their shows at about 60 venues all around Toronto over the six nights of the festival. Some of the artists confirmed to make an appearance in 2013 include such stars as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Admiral Fallow, Darlings of Chelsea, A$AP Rocky, and Matt Dusk. You can get a wristband for the whole festival from $50 to $100, both online and at the door. It’s also sometimes possible to get tickets to individual shows. If you’re a teenaged music fan, you should check the website before each show, since most of the concerts are only open for guests 19 and over.
Canadian International Comedy Fest (March 19 to 24)
The Canadian International Comedy Fest showcases popular comedians in venues around Toronto (such as The Second City, Comedy Bar, and The Elgin and Winter Garden Comedy Centre). Some of the most anticipated artists include award-winning stand-up comedian Steve Patterson, Dave Foley, co-founder of the comedy troupe Kids in the Hall, James Adomian, and Morgan Murphy. You can check out the event’s website to see short teasers of their performances. The festival also features a comedy battle for the title of Canada’s best stand-up comic, and the winner receives a $10,000 Grand Prize, so it really pays to be funny!
Canadian Music Week Film Fest (March 21 to 23)
The Film Fest section of Canadian Music Week annually introduces a varied mix of international and Canadian film premieres and special screening events as well as retro programming. The Film Fest doesn’t last for the whole duration of the festival — it only spans four days, from March 21 to March 23. Toronto film lovers can look forward to the world premiere of Who the !@#$ Is Arthur Fogel? and The Last Pogo Jumps Again as well as appearances by directors, actors, composers, and professionals from the industry.
8. Earth Hour (March 23)
Earth Hour is a global event aimed at increasing awareness about environmental issues and encouraging people to reduce their energy consumption. During Earth Hour, everyone is asked to turn off their lights and symbolically demonstrate that living off the grid can be easier than we think. On the other hand, critics of the event point out that it only shows how energy consumption reduction stays far from reality of the western world. People simply won’t switch their lights off any other time of the year. However, whatever your opinion is, blacked out cities look amazing, so why not join in and relax in the dark for an hour alongside the rest of the city?
9. One of a Kind Spring Show (March 27 to 31)
The One of a Kind Spring Show pleases everyone who seeks unique and beautiful accessories and fashion designs, housewares, furniture, prints, ceramics, and paintings — all under one roof and all special. In its 38th year, the show serves everyone who’s tired of shopping in chain stores and looking for more character and added value in the things they own. Visitors can expect more than 800 artisans and designers, who will be showcasing their one-of-a-kind products. Admission costs for the event range from $7 to $14, while children under 12 can get in free of charge.
10. Paprika Festival (March 28 to April 6)
The 12th annual Paprika Festival returns to promote young theatre with its slogan, “That’s hot.” Ever since its beginning, the festival has striven to promote and support emerging artists by showcasing authors and artists aged 21 and under. Paprika also does its best to provide young artists with opportunities to learn more about the process of theatre creation, as all participants can join workshops and attend talks and meetings with the best professionals in the business. Come over to see the work of the people who will soon become major names in the theatre world (hipster alert: you can watch their performances before they become cool!).