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Turn those January blues into positive vibes this weekend

Last Updated Jan 19, 2018 at 8:11 am EDT

One of the installations at the Toronto Light Festival in 2017. Photo credit: TWITTER/@tolightfest

The month of January is known to be a slow-moving, often depressing time of the year when the days are cold and people long for some good times to help the days roll by until the next long weekend (which can’t come soon enough — Family Day is on Feb. 19). In the meantime, there is an abundance of events taking place this weekend to lift your spirits and turn that frown upside down.

Dance Ontario’s DanceWeekend ’18
Dance! Dance! Dance! That’s what it’s all about this weekend at the Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront. Promising to captivate audiences with global dances, 25 professional companies are taking part in the 25th edition of DanceWeekend. More than 350 dancers will be shaking their stuff on stage — some to live music. There are also free workshops taking place. The three-day event runs until Sunday. Officials are asking for a $10 donation for admission.

Toronto Blue Jays Winter Fest
Spring training is about a month away, but it is never to early to get excited about the Toronto Blue Jays. This Saturday, young and veteran fans alike will descend at the Rogers Centre for the Blue Jays’ first ever Winter Fest. The bad news is that tickets are already sold out. But the good news is that the home opener is almost here, on March 29!

Toronto Light Festival
“It may be that our generation will have to repent, not only for the diabolical acts and vitriolic words of the children of darkness, but also from the tragic apathy and crippling fears of the children of light.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In this climate of hate and fear-mongering, our world needs more positive and love-filled messages than ever before. As Dr. King so eloquently stated, the “children of the light” cannot sit idly by and let the darkness take over. We need to step up and bring the light back into humanity. One way to do that is through art, which brings people together.

Starting Friday, the Toronto Light Festival will light up the Distillery Historic District with energy and magic. “In a world with so many dark and ominous messages, we want to create a positive, magical urban world that people of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy and look forward to,” organizers stated on their website. From sundown to late evening, be inspired by installations that appear to float in the sky, interactive creations, and pieces that just celebrate “the art of light.” The event runs until March 4.

Interior Design Show
Get your design on this weekend at the Metro Convention Centre. Now marking 20 years, the Interior Design Show aims to shape the industry for the year ahead in Canada and beyond. The show will feature new furniture and products, in addition to avant-garde design concepts from around the world. Popular and up-and-coming designers will also be on-hand to offer their expertise. Described as a “total design experience,” the fair runs until Sunday. Tickets are still available.

Rabbie Burns Day
Although Robert Burns’ birthday is not until Jan. 25, the celebration starts this weekend. Traditionally, a “Burns supper” — which pays tribute to his life and poetry — is held on or near the poet’s birthday, also known as “Burns Night.” Click here to read more about what a “Burns supper” is and how it started.

In Toronto, food-and-music-filled parties will be held ahead of his birthday that stay true to tradition. On Friday evening, the St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto will be hosting its annual Burns supper at the University Club of Toronto. A portion of the ticket price will be donated to charity. At Mackenzie House on Sunday, dive into some shortbread and haggis as you listen to live music and stories about Scotland’s favourite poet. Then on Monday evening, the League of Canadian Poets will be hosting Robbie Burns Night at The Caledonian. The evening includes a Burns supper, whisky flight and tasting, as well as Highland dancers and pipers.

Now, the Bard of Ayrshire has penned many poems and lyrics. One of this writer’s favourites is “You’re Welcome, Willie Stewart,” which was written in 1791. Scottish singer-songwriter Eddi Reader did a fantastic version of the song. Watch it below.

Modern Bride Wedding Show
Here comes 2018’s bride. Not sure what that is, well be sure to check out the Modern Bride Wedding Show that is taking over the International Centre in Mississauga this Sunday. If you’re looking for ideas for your big day, there will be more than 100 exhibitors — from decor to cake consultants — to help you out. A big highlight of the event, an exclusive fashion show showcasing the latest bridal fashion trends. Tickets are available for $10.