Live Performances, Concerts and Festivals to Keep You Inspired At Home

From immersive theatre to concerts in living rooms, experience Toronto’s unique creative spirit in new (virtual) ways.

While nothing beats watching plays and attending festivals in person, Toronto’s creative community is bringing imaginative and artful live entertainment right into your home.

If you’re like many others stuck in lockdown and need to take a break from binge-watching, try the following experiences virtually for now. Check back regularly as we add more to enjoy from afar and see our calendar of virtual events and live streams.

(Still binge-watching? Add any of these filmed-in-Toronto shows and movies to your queue.) 

Tune into a “live” concert.

Toronto’s usually thriving live music scene has been put on pause but many of the city’s musicians have taken to serenading audiences from home. Check out CBC’s weekly rundown for a comprehensive list of what’s coming up, both from Toronto and across the country.

URGNT’s mission is to have the city’s incredible (now empty) venues play host to our even more incredible musicians. The “ad hoc crowd-funded livestream series” will stream shows out to social-distancing audiences: 19 concerts from 19 different venues. A gofundme is active now so that musicians — and the other many roles that support the industry — can be compensated.

Take part in the first-ever virtual Pride Festival.

Virtual Pride 2020 is going online this year to showcase the talents of the LGBT2Q+ community in a new and innovative way. You can expect many of the usual traditions to be streamed including performances, special events, Festival Weekend (with a Virtual Pride Parade), and Stay Home Saturdays, which will feature the events you would have normally physically attended throughout Pride month (like Drag Story Time with the family).

See it first at the largest documentary film festival in North America.

More than 135 official 2020 selections screened as part of the Hot Docs Festival Online. If you missed the online festival, a large selection of films will be made available for an extended post-festival viewing window.

Or, browse the Hot Docs Collection Picks, hand-picked by Hot Docs staff and available on a number of on-demand and streaming platforms like Netflix, CBC Gem, Crave, and Rogers VOD.

Immerse yourself in an international art, theatre and music festival.

This festival curates and showcases works by international artists whose projects have been disrupted by the pandemic. When Toronto-based Nick Green had one of his performances cancelled due to COVID-19 closures, he got to work creating the Social Distancing Festival: a hub of live-streamed performance art organized in a calendar by day and time.

Glimpse into the living rooms of Toronto’s performance artists.

TO Live, a network of three iconic local theatres and a spectrum of talent, has launched Living Rooms. The initiative — “a dazzling digital extension of [their] theatre stages” — will feature performances from different local artists every day, broadcasting from the comfort of their homes. It’s a beautiful, intimate way to discover the talent in the city.

Sit down to some quality Canadian theatre.

The award-winning Expect Theatre in the Distillery District is committed to producing cutting-edge films, live performances, podcasts and educational programs exploring contemporary Canadian life. Their podcast, PlayME from CBC Podcasts, takes theatre scripts from top Canadian productions and transforms them into audio plays.

Score front row seats to the orchestra and ballet. 

Watch members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and Principal Dancers at the National Ballet of Canada, Guillaume Côté & Heather Ogden, perform from their individual homes in this charming look at life under quarantine.

Ballet enthusiasts can also take in Google Arts & Culture’s beautiful interpretations of the classic, The Nutcracker, as expressed by different international artists.

Participate in immersive theatre – over the phone.

In these times of social distancing, Against the March – an immersive theatre experience group – has introduced The Ministry of Mundane Mysteries, a personalized, weeklong subscription to a customized narrative in the form of daily phone calls. Break up your daily routine with “your very own micro mystery using the investigative power of good conversation”. Intriguing.

Toronto Immersive Theatre Group

Also on the immersive over-the-phone innovative theatre scene, Convergence Theatre has launched Convergence Against Corona!, made up of two parts. The first commissions artists to create works of art based on anonymous “COVID Confessions.” The second part, The Corona Variations, consists of six five-minute phone calls, or “phone plays”. Check out their website to make a donation or purchase tickets.

For more virtual events and live streams, see the Calendar of Events.

See it. Snap it. Share it. In every neighbourhood, around every corner, through every door there's something that begs to be discovered in Toronto.


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