I think one of the most radical things about living in a bigger city is the access to free (or cheap) cultural activities! Don’t get me wrong, when I go to see local bands I always pay the cover and I fully advocate for properly paying our musicians and artists when I’m acting as a community organizer. But personally? I don’t have a ton of cash, and neither do many of the people I know – so programs like the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series are a fantastic way for an underserved group of people to access classical music and fine performance arts, all on their lunch break!
I try to visit Toronto on my days off, which for me are often weekdays so I had been keeping an eye on the COC‘s lunchtime and yes, free events. I take the GO Train downtown to Union Station then meander a 10 minute walk up University Ave to the beautiful Four Seasons Center. I’ll admit – I wanted to see dance, ballet or some kind of physical performance because as you can see the space is fantastic.
Today though, was a feature from the Jazz Series!
Morgan Childs Quartet – Swinging on a Star
A formidable force at the vanguard of the Canadian jazz scene, drummer Morgan Childs leads a dream team quartet consisting of award-winning saxophonist Kelly Jefferson, former Boss Brass pianist Dave Restivo, and one of Toronto’s hottest bassists, Jon Maharaj. Performing highlights from their upcoming album, this exciting new ensemble showcases their unique blend of sophistication and soul in a playful mix of standards and original tunes embracing the romanticism and swing of yesteryear and the exuberant edge and modern groove of the new generation.
Within your own community I would highly suggest keeping an eye on public event listings in the paper, online classifieds and even facebook for free or inexpensive cultural outings. Adding a little bit of traditional arts performance to your life routine can be incredibly enriching and inspiring 🙂