EVENTS

The Island Cafe hosts live music and special events all summer! Check the calendar for live music on Fridays and Wednesdays, our Long Weekend Arts Festival over Labour Day weekend, and games and trivia nights. All Island Cafe concerts are Pay-What-You-Can, so please bring some cash for the bands!

 


Sep
28
7:00 PM19:00

Harvest Party with Kitgut Stringband

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Join us for our final concert of the season as we say goodbye to another summer! One of Toronto's finest old time groups, Kitgut Stringband, will join us once again for what has become a season-closing tradition. Make sure to bring your dancing shoes for the squaredance at the end! 

This event is pay what you can - please bring some cash for the band.
RSVP on facebook here

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Sep
19
7:00 PM19:00

Shak Shak Calypso Wednesdays

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Shak Shak return for another summer of their monthly residency at the Island Cafe! 
Shak Shak will bring their old time calypso vibes to the Cafe on the 3rd Wednesday of every month from June-Sept! 
This event is pay-what-you-can so please bring cash for the band.
RSVP on facebook here

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Sep
14
7:00 PM19:00

Ivy Mairi + Max Heineman

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Ivy Mairi and Max Heineman a teaming up for a night of old folk songs, country ballads, and beautiful harmonies. These two are rarely in the city at the same time - don't miss this night! 

This event is pay what you can - please bring some cash for the band.
RSVP on facebook here

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Sep
6
7:00 PM19:00

Island Infusions Cocktail Night

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Join us on the Island Cafe deck for a special night of cocktails and food. For the second year in a row, longtime Islanders Alec Farquhar and Kathleen McDonnell will share their unique infusions (read: gin infused with Island spruce tips, vodka infused with Island sumac, Maura McIntyre's garden rhubard shrub, and more!) with Island Cafe guests. These infusions will be showcased in a number of creative cocktails that were developed with the help of Sarah Gaby-Trotz. Sarah is also preparing delicious small bites featuring ingredients from the Island Cafe garden to pair with each cocktail. 

Space is limited to 25 tickets. This event sold out quickly last year, so email pfreeman203@gmail.com to reserve your spot. Tickets are $60 per person - add $12 if you wish to split your drinks with a partner (split the drinks with a partner, but still get food for two people). 

RSVP on facebook here.

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Aug
29
7:00 PM19:00

Kristine Schmitt & Jesse Corrigan

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Kristine Schmitt and Jesse Corrigan are two stalwarts of Toronto's folk scene - we are so happy to have them back on our garden stage for a night of old time, country ballads, and classic songs. 
This show is pay what you can - please bring some cash for the band.
RSVP on facebook here. 
Photo by Craig Buckley.

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Aug
24
7:00 PM19:00

Nhapitapi

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Nhapitapi return to the Island Cafe, once again bringing with them the music and dance of Zimbabwe. This is always a beautiful night of dancing and joy! 
This show is pay-what-you-can, please bring some cash for the band.
RSVP on facebook here
Event photo by Arthur Mola Photography as well as Toronto Botanical Garden and Hit & Run Dance Productions

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Aug
15
7:00 PM19:00

Shak Shak Calypso Wednesdays

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Shak Shak return for another summer of their monthly residency at the Island Cafe! 
Shak Shak will bring their old time calypso vibes to the Cafe on the 3rd Wednesday of every month from June-Sept! 
This event is pay-what-you-can so please bring cash for the band.
RSVP on facebook here

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Aug
10
7:00 PM19:00

Aline Morales Trio

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We are excited to welcome Aline Morales and her trio back to the Island Cafe stage! 

Aline's gorgeous voice and deft percussion skills lead her band through traditional and original music inspired by her Brazilian heritage. It is easy to see why Aline is Juno nominee! 

Expect to dance - there may even be some easy instructions from stage! 
This show is pay-what-you-can, please bring cash for the band!
RSVP on facebook here.

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Jul
31
7:15 PM19:15

Wine with Island Vines

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Join us on the Island Cafe deck for a night of wine and conversation with Nupur Gogia of Island Vines. Nupur is one of a handful of Canadians in the prestigious Master of Wine Program, holds a diploma in Wine from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust in the UK, has been teaching about wines with Island Vines for 4 years and has travelled extensively through some of the globe's wine regions including France, Italy, Spain, Chile, South Africa and India. Nupur will be presenting a selection of wines focusing on small scale, artisanal producers from Ontario. The Island Cafe kitchen will be cooking up beautiful small plates to accompany each wine. 

Space is limited to 25 people - email pfreeman203@gmail.com to reserve your spot. Tickets are $55 per person. 

RSVP on facebook here

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Jul
27
7:00 PM19:00

Staycation Surf Band

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Our favourite laid-back surf jammers Staycation are back this year. They'll be bringing the classic surf rock hits, as well as many original tunes of their debut album which comes out July 12th! 

This show is pay-what-you-can - please bring some cash for the band.
RSVP on facebook here

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Jul
18
7:00 PM19:00

Shak Shak Calypso Wednesdays

ShakShak.jpg

Shak Shak return for another summer of their monthly residency at the Island Cafe! 

Shak Shak will bring their old time calypso vibes to the Cafe on the 3rd Wednesday of every month from June-Sept! 

This event is pay-what-you-can so please bring cash for the band.
RSVP on facebook here

View Event →
Jul
13
7:00 PM19:00

Nowhere: Taborah Johnson, Brooke Blackburn, Neil Braithwaite

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We are thrilled to welcome onetime Islander, and forever friend Taborah Johnson for a night of music at the Island Cafe. For this event, Taborah is teaming up with Brooke Blackburn and Neil Braithwaite to perform as the ensemble Nowhere. This will be a very special night!

This show is pay-what-you-can - please bring some cash for the band. 
RSVP on facebook here

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Jul
5
7:15 PM19:15

Island Food & Wine with Michael Poskanzer

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Join us for an evening of food and wine pairings on the Island Cafe deck. This intimate event will feature a selection of five wines chosen and introduced by our good friend and wine enthusiast Michael Poskanzer. Small plates featuring Ontario produce and Island-foraged ingredients will be paired with each wine. 

Capacity is limited to 25 people - reserve your spot by emailing pfreeman203@gmail.com with subject line "July 5th Wine". Tickets are $50 per person. 

Those coming from the mainland should catch the 6:15 or 7pm ferry to Ward's Island in order to arrive on time.

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Jun
20
7:00 PM19:00

Shak Shak Calypso Wednesdays

ShakShak.jpg

Shak Shak return for another summer of their monthly residency at the Island Cafe! 

Shak Shak will bring their old time calypso vibes to the Cafe on the 3rd Wednesday of every month from June-Sept! 

This event is pay-what-you-can so please bring cash for the band.
RSVP on facebook here

View Event →
Jun
15
7:00 PM19:00

Toronto Blues Society Birthday Party feat. Jenie Thai

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We are excited to host the Toronto Blues Society's birthday bash for the third year in a row. This year they are bringing along the fantastic Jenie Thai, who will bring her soulful voice and piano stylings to the our garden stage! 

Show starts at 7pm. This show is pay-what-you-can - please bring cash for the artists. 
RSVP on facebook here
More about the TBS here. More about Jenie Thai here

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Jun
1
7:00 PM19:00

Tim Bovaconti with Don Stevenson (Moby Grape) and Patrick Allcock

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Join us for our first concert of the 2018 season featuring Island favourite Tim Bovaconti and friends!

This show is pay-what-you-can - please bring some cash for the band. 
RSVP on facebook here

Long time Islander Tim Bovaconti will be joined by his friends Don Stevenson (from original 60s San Francisco band Moby Grape) and fellow songwriter Patrick Allcock for two sets of music at the Island Café on Friday May 1st, 2018. Tim will be accompanying both Don and Pat on guitar and vocals as well as performing some of his own material. Expect a fun evening of anecdotes and musical energy!

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Sep
29
7:00 PM19:00

Harvest Hoedown Closing Party feat Kitgut Stringband

For the 7th year in a row, the inimitable Kitgut Stringband join us for our final concert of the season! Join us for food & drink, friends, and a squaredance to send off another Ward's Island summer!

Dinner starts at 5:30pm, music at 7ish. Come early for a table!
This show is pay-what-you-can, please bring cash for the band!

The Kitgut Stringband plays the mountain music of whiskey revelry and gospel salvation… a thirsty combination fueled by duelling fiddle, banjo and the hammering drive of upright bass and guitar… hollering and heavenly harmonies strike richly!

See Kitgut perform at a previous Cafe hoedown here.

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Sep
20
7:00 PM19:00

Shak Shak Calypso - Monthly Residency

Shak Shak is a Calypso and Caribbean acoustic band whose music pays tribute to classic calypso repertoire through the years. Led by Barbadian-born Roger Gibbs and multi-talented ethnomusicologist Chris Wilson, Shak Shak brings a genuine taste of the seductive rhythms and melodies that made calypso a worldwide phenomenon.

Shak Shak will be playing at the Cafe one Wednesday a month, all summer long: June 21, July 19, August 16, and September 20! 

$10/PWYC (pass the hat)

Check out Shak Shak's website: www.spiritofcalypso.com
RSVP on facebook here.

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Sep
15
7:00 PM19:00

Ventanas

Ventanas perform a passionate and energetic blend of flamenco, balkan and Sephardic music and dance. They are truly not to be missed! You can listen here

Dinner starts at 5:30, Music shortly after 7. 

This is a pay-what-you-can show - please bring cash for the band! 

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Sep
6
7:00 PM19:00

Tim Bovaconti Duo

Join us as Tim Bovaconti makes his second appearance on the Island Cafe stage! For this event, the Island-favourite and Toronto sideman extraordinaire will play as a duo and bring us a special stripped-down version of his show. 

Dinner starts at 5:30pm, music at 7. Come early to get a table!
Please bring cash for the band - this is a pay-what-you-can show.

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Sep
4
7:00 PM19:00

Ansley Simpson + Nick Ferrio + Arif Mirbaghi

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Join us for a beautiful concert on labour day, as we bid farewell to another summer. The evening will feature music from Ansley Simpson and a special reading by Arif Mirbaghi. 

We are excited to welcome 2 beautiful Peterborough-area singer-songwriters to our garden stage for the first time! Ansley Simpson's haunting voice and songs, and Nick Ferrio's country-tinged tunes will bring a beautiful end to the summer season. 

Arif Mirbaghi is well-known in Toronto for his many contributions to our musical and theatrical communities. We wait with anticipation to see what sort of reading Arif has in store for us! 

Dinner starts at 5:30pm, music at 7. 

This is a pay-what-you-can show - please bring some cash for the artists!

More about Ansley Simpson: 
"Ansley Simpson is a Toronto-based Anishinaabe singer-songwriter and inaugural winner of the BullsEye Media Emerging Artist award from ImagineNATIVE and Slaight Music. Her much anticipated debut album “Breakwall” is a gentle, powerful collection of songs that showcase her lilting vocals, clear melodic sensibility, and intricate guitar playing to moving effect. Ansley immerses the listener in a swelling, soft symphony of emotion that builds in gentle intensity over the course of the album’s nine tracks. She is a natural performer, holding audiences spellbound with her haunting vocals and poetics. “Ansley’s lyrical hymns to love, presence, and possibility entwine you in an unfolding, sonic world of her own making. This is music to guide you back to the shore, when you’ve been lost too long in the waves.” (RPM.fm)

More about Nick Ferrio:
Nick Ferrio is a musician, songwriter, recording enginner and producer. Since 2009, he has written and performed under his own name, releasing the albums Introducing His Feelings (2012 Shuffling Feet Records), Half the Time (2013 7th Fire Records), and Amongst the Coyotes and Birdsongs (2015 Headless Owl Records and BB Island Records). He has performed at concerts and festivals across Canada and Europe, including appearances at POP Montreal, Halifax Pop Explosion, CMW, NXNE, Sappyfest (Sackville, NB), Dawson City Music Festival, (Dawson City, YK), Lawnya Vawnya (St. John’s, NL), In The Dead of Winter (Halifax, NS), and Hillside Music Festival (Guelph, ON). Nick Ferrio is a member of The Burning Hell and has performed and contributed to the albums Happy Birthday (2008 weework Records), Baby (2009 weework Records), People (2013 BB Island Records), and Public Library (2016 BB Island Records). Nick Ferrio performs with Leanne Simpson and contributed to her album Islands of Decolonial Love (2013 ARP Books) and (f)light (2016 RPM Records). His third album Soothsayer will be released September 29, 2017.

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Sep
4
9:00 AM09:00

Brunch en Blanc - A Labour Day Tradition!

Join us for our annual Brunch en Blanc! Labour Day is our last chance to wear white - so come to our brunch in your finest white threads and bid farewell to another beautiful summer season. The kitchen and bar will be turning out a special menu that celebrates the late-summer's bounty, and there will be special treats for those who come in white - no outfit is too outrageous! 

Brunch service runs from 9am-1pm, bar opens at 11am.

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Aug
31
6:00 PM18:00

Island Spirit Cocktail Night

This will be a special one. Longtime Islanders and cocktail enthusiasts Alec Farquhar and Kathleen McDonnell have been barrel-aging drinks and creating new liquors that feature ingredients harvested from right here on the Island. On Aug 31st, they are teaming up with the Island Cafe to present a special night of tasty cocktails and learning. Let's imbibe some of their creations accompanied by delicious treats courtesy of the Island Cafe kitchen!

Tickets are $35 per person. Ticket includes:

- 5 unique Island-made Drinks (3/4 oz each)
Barrel-aged Negroni, Birch Shnapps, Barrel-aged Manhattan, Spruce Gin, Sumach-infused White Wine and Vodka

- 4 accompanying appetizers including:
Chicken Liver Pate w/rhubarb compote and crostini, Polenta w/ House made Italian Sausage and Tomato Chutney, Homemade Ontario Jam Squares, Assorted Island Cafe Pickle Plate

- Informative talk about liquor making and barrel aging process led by Alec and Kath

*PLEASE email zorahfm@gmail.com to reserve your ticket. Only 26 tickets available. Cheques or cash can be dropped off at the Island Cafe.

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Aug
25
7:30 PM19:30

Nhapitapi

To continue what has become an annual tradition, Nhapitapi will once again bring their beautiful blend of mbira music, dance, and story to the Island Cafe! This is always a very special night. Listen to Nhapitapi here

Dinner starts at 5:30, music shortly after 7. This is a pay-what-you-can event - Please bring some cash for the band!

More about Nhapitapi:
Nhapitapi is a Toronto based Zimbabwean Music Band, who specialize in rich old musical and dance traditions from Southern Africa. Over the last 6 years they have performed at International Music Festivals ( e.g Afrofest, Zimfest, Carrasauga, Nhemamusasa North, Bana Y Africa among others), community centres, schools, major music venues across Turtle Island (Canada and the US). Nhapitapi music draws on the Mbira , an old spiritual instrument that has been played in Southern Africa for hundreds of years. Typically, Nhapitapi starts with the sound of three interlocking Mbiras both energizing and healing. Upon the Mbiras they stack up vocals, shakers, hand drum, drum set, bass and lead guitars, producing a unique brand of Chimurenga Sound ( Liberation Sound). The effect is magical and invigorating, when the time is right they throw in swell energetic dances to complete the party. Many have found the music to have a universal appeal both to those who know it well, and to people who have never heard Chimurenga music.

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Aug
16
7:30 PM19:30

Shak Shak Calypso - Monthly Residency

Shak Shak is a Calypso and Caribbean acoustic band whose music pays tribute to classic calypso repertoire through the years. Led by Barbadian-born Roger Gibbs and multi-talented ethnomusicologist Chris Wilson, Shak Shak brings a genuine taste of the seductive rhythms and melodies that made calypso a worldwide phenomenon.

Shak Shak will be playing at the Cafe one Wednesday a month, all summer long: June 21, July 19, August 16, and September 20! 

$10/PWYC (pass the hat)

Check out Shak Shak's website: www.spiritofcalypso.com
RSVP on facebook here.

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Aug
2
7:30 PM19:30

Liz Stringer

We are so lucky to have Australian singer songwriter Liz Stringer play for us while she is touring Canada! Liz is well-loved in her home country, and is sure to find her way into our Island hearts as well.

Dinner starts at 5:30, music shortly after 7. This is a pay-what-you-can show, please bring cash for the band!

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Jul
28
7:30 PM19:30

Alex Samaras & Friends Jazz Group

Back by popular demand, Alex Samaras and friends will bring another gorgeous night of jazz standards to the Island Cafe! This group of some of Toronto's finest young musicians approach the classics with a levity and creativity that is grounded in their deep musical connections with one another. Not to be missed! Watch a video of Alex's beautiful singing here

Dinner starts at 5:30, music shortly after 7. This is a pay-what-you-can show, please bring cash for the band!

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