Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture: Tulip Festival
Dazzling blooms and captivating attractions are all part of the 10-day Canadian Tulip Festival.

Ai Weiwei: Unbroken

You don’t want to miss seeing Ai Weiwei: Unbroken, on show until June 9 at the Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen’s Park in Toronto. As one of the world’s most influential artists and human rights activists, Ai Weiwei is also one of China’s most formidable critics. His multi-disciplinary practice, including sculpture, photography, installations and public artworks, uses customary Chinese forms and materials to put the spotlight on social justice issues.

This timely exhibition addresses breaking boundaries, both metaphorical and real ones. It also looks at how Weiwei’s works in ceramics serve as the underpinning for the artist’s continued focus on critical social themes, such as freedom of speech, repression and migration. Ai Weiwei: Unbroken features celebrated works, including Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, Coca Cola Vase and Sunflower Seeds. It also showcases more recent works in blue-and-white porcelain that depict the international refugee crisis. What’s more, the show serves as the global debut of a large-scale LEGO series representing the Chinese zodiac.

BOOMX at Thousand Islands Playhouse

Remember disco, Watergate and the oil crisis?Relive those times and good ones too at BoomX, onstage at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque from May 28 to June 15. The show is written, directed and performed by Dora and Gemini award winning performing artist Rick Miller and it puts the music, culture and politics of Generation X in the spotlight.

In the span of 100 minutes, Miller will play over 100 intriguing characters from the era, encompassing the Cold War, the PC, Reaganomics, VHS, video games, punk rock, disco, the second British invasion and more. A continuation of the hit show BOOM, BOOMX is the second in a trilogy of performances collectively covering 75 years of history, politics, technology and prevailing culture.

This show is also the first of the season at the popular 360-seat Springer Theatre on the banks of the St. Lawrence River.

See for details and tickets.

Canadian Tulip Festival

Take in the dazzling signature blooms — over a million of them — along with loads of arts, culture and heritage activities at the Canadian Tulip Festival May 10 to 20 in Ottawa. Over 1000 artists and performers and more than 100 activities and attractions are part of the 10-day fest. Since 1953, it has been a national celebration of the tulip as a symbol of friendship. The tulips actually date back to 1945 when the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to say thanks for sheltering Queen Juliana and her family during the Nazi occupation in the Second World War.

This year’s event will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Bejing-Ottawa Sister City Friendship. Highlights include the 250,000 blooms in Commissioners Park near Dows Lake, plus events at both Landsdowne Park and the ByWard Market.