SUMMER 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
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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Jul
19
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.

View Event →
Jul
14
7:00 PM19:00

Island Cafe Trivia Night !

Join us for our annual trivia night with host Lucas Julien! 

As always, there will be lots of awesome prizes including treats from the garden and Island Cafe swag No need to pre-register, just show up!

Dinner starts at 5:30, First round of trivia shortly after 7pm!

Afterwards you can head over to the Ward's Island Clubhouse for a dance featuring Danny Marks and his band!

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Jun
18
10:30 AM10:30

Father's Day Brunch feat. Kristine Schmitt & Jesse Corrigan

Join us for a special Father's Day Brunch on the Island Cafe patio! We're excited to have some live country and folk tunes courtesy of Kristine Schmitt and Jesse Corrigan. And of course we'll have some beautiful Father's Day food and drink specials! 

Brunch will be served from 9am-1pm. Live music from 10:30am-12:30pm. Please bring cash for the band - this is a pay-what-you-can show!

"Hang onto your hats: Kristine Schmitt will knock you off your feet, then pick you up again and make you dance." Exclaim Magazine

This time out, Kristine's bringing along the rich voice and fingerpicking goodness that is Jesse Corrigan on guitar. They're a powerful combination and they're headed your way! Smart original songs all goosed up with a healthy dose of honkytonk, country blues, and a goodly amount of dirty swing.

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Jun
16
7:00 PM19:00

Toronto Blues Society Birthday Party feat. Sean Pinchin

Celebrate the Toronto Blues Society's 32nd birthday at the beautiful Island Cafe. This event will feature music by Juno nominated blues guitarist and songwriter Sean Pinchin

Dinner starts at 5:30pm. Music starts at 7pm. Please bring cash for the band - this is a pay-what-you-can show!

Since 1985 the Toronto Blues Society has worked to promote and preserve the Blues in Toronto and across Canada. For more info on the TBS, visit their website at http://torontobluessociety.com/.

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Sep
23
6:30 PM18:30

Harvest Hoedown - Final show with Kitgut Stringband !

For the 6th 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!

RSVP on facebook here.
See Kitgut perform at a previous Cafe hoedown here.

View Event →
Sep
14
7:00 PM19:00

Shak Shak Residency - Final Show!

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 15, July 13, August 10, and September 14! 

$10/PWYC (pass the hat)

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

View Event →
Sep
9
7:00 PM19:00

Zakary Miller

Join us as singer-songwriter Zakary Miller makes his second appearance on the Island Cafe stage!

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.

Zakary Miller was born in the heart of the city, with a foot on the farm. His roots spread across the great white north and his songs reflect on a deeply Canadian identity. Self loathing and loving at the same time, his 'Canadiana Swing' is born.

RSVP on facebook here.
Listen to Zakary on Bandcamp.

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Sep
5
7:00 PM19:00

Long Weekend Arts Festival - kith&kin revue and shadow show

The closing night of our Long Weekend mini fest will feature a beautiful evening of a capella singing from Island favourites kith&kin and their amazing choir. There will also be a shadow puppet show by Kristine White, and other treats for the eyes and ears. 

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

The Long Weekend Arts festival will also feature an artists market, a concert from Eucalyptus, Sunday afternoon jazz, and the annual Monday Brunch en Blanc. All the info is at islandcafeto.com/events/

kith&kin are a family from Ward's Island - Ivy Mairi, Kathleen McDonnell, and Martha Farquhar-McDonnell. They sing music from the British Isles, Appalachian, Canadian and Shapenote traditions, and the odd original song.

RSVP on facebook here
Watch kith&kin sing here

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Sep
5
9:00 AM09:00

Long Weekend Arts Festival - Brunch en Blanc

Join us for the 5th annual Brunch en Blanc at the Island Cafe! Wear your best whites as we celebrate the end of a beautiful summer together. The kitchen will be cooking up lots of Brunch en Blanc specials, and there will be treats for those who come in white!
RSVP on facebook here. 


Brunch en Blanc is part of the Island Cafe's Long Weekend Arts, which will also feature an artists market, a concert from Eucalyptus, Sunday afternoon jazz, and Monday night's concert and puppet show from kith&kin. All the info is at islandcafeto.com/events/

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Sep
2
7:00 PM19:00

Long Weekend Arts Festival - Eucalyptus

The first night of our Long Weekend mini-fest features the tropical vibes of Eucalyptus. This will truly be the perfect way to end the summer on Ward's Island. 

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

The Long Weekend Arts festival will also feature an artists market, Sunday afternoon jazz, Monday Brunch en Blanc, and a concert and puppet show from kith&kin and friends. All the info is at islandcafeto.com/events/

More about Eucalyptus:
"Brodie West's adventure in avant jazz is accompanied by a who's who of Toronto avant whatever odd ball scene, including guitarist Alex Lukashevsky, trumpeter Nicole Rampersaud, pianist Ryan Driver, drummer Nick Fraser, bassist Mike Smith Muskox and percussionists Blake Howard and Evan Cartwright. Pulling from a variety of worlds, music traditions & a generally buoyant feeling of love & harmony, Eucalyptus are the perfect band to have playing on the pool side patio at your palatial Caribbean estate. " Tad Michalak, Burn Down the Capital

RSVP on facebook here.
Listen to Eucalyptus on Bandcamp here

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Aug
25
7:00 PM19:00

ZUZE - Afrobeat Rhythms of Iran

We're really excited about this one - Zuze are a new and fast-rising band on the scene - alive with warmth and energy. We are so excited to be having them at the Cafe this summer! 

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

Zuze is an 8-piece brass band playing folk melodies of Iran to afro-beat rhythms. Zuze is about the heart and the hips. Zuze is the sound of sunglasses being worn. Artistically motivated by the narrative of bi-culturism, Zuze is neither here nor there. Zuze is the experience of betweenness. Zuze is the shrinking distance connecting two worlds. Zuze is a trumpet howling a high C. Zuze is not a band, Zuze is not an audience. Zuze is the liminal space between the song and the dance. Zuze invites you to immediacy. Zuze loves you!

RSVP on facebook here.

 

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Aug
19
7:00 PM19:00

Island Jazz - The Ice Cubes play Irving Berlin

The Island Cafe is happy to once again host the Ice Cubes - a gang of Island jazz musicians. This year we will sit back and relax as the band takes us through six decades of jazz standards by the great Irving Berlin.
Featuring Frank, Rod, Joanna, Grahame, Coby, and an all-star cast of guest singers.

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

RSVP on facebook here.

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Aug
10
7:00 PM19:00

Shak Shak 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 15, July 13, August 10, and September 14! 

$10/PWYC (pass the hat)

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

View Event →
Aug
6
5:30 PM17:30

Pig Roast - In Support of Amnesty International

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The Island Cafe and Steam Whistle Brewery have teamed up to present a Saturday Pig Roast dinner in support of Amnesty International! 

$25 gets you an all-you-can-eat buffet of roast pig, corn, potato salad, buns and gravy - plus a cold delicious pint of Steam Whistle Pilsner! 

Join us for dinner and support a great cause --- more about Amnesty International's important work can be found here. 

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Aug
5
7:00 PM19:00

Aline Morales Trio

The Island Cafe is pleased to welcome Aline Morales to our stage for the first time! For this show, the Brazilian-born singer/percussionist/composer will bring her trio for an intimate and lively performance.

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

Since her travels to Canada in 2003 and her decision to set roots down here a few years later, Morales has been well known locally as a dynamic singer, percussionist and bandleader. However, it was the release of her debut solo album, the Juno-nominated Flores, Tambores e Amores, that brought national attention to this unique artist. Born and raised in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Aline began her performing career as a child training in capoeira, and by the time she reached her 20's, she had performed in a variety of traditional and modern bands including one of Brazil's most well-known maracatu groups, Nacao Estrela Brilhante do Recife led by Mestre Walter de Franca. Since her arrival in Toronto, she has been a tireless promoter of the traditional maracatu rhythms of Northeastern Brazil, performing with her 30-member percussion troupe, Baque de Bamba, at countless outdoor festivals, leading parades through Kensington Market in Toronto and even starring in Ontario Tourism's "There's No Place Like This" commercials.

RSVP on facebook here.
Listen to Aline here.

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Aug
3
7:00 PM19:00

Joel Thomas Hynes

We're excited to host songwriter Joel Thomas Hynes at the Cafe for the first time! Joel will be playing original songs, as well as sharing some of his writing with us. 

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

Joel Thomas Hynes is an award winning novelist, actor, filmmaker and musician from Calvert, Newfoundland. His music is an intense blend of folky roots rock that he seldom performs live.

RSVP on facebook here.
Watch Joel on youtube here.

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