The Canada Lives Here Experience
“Mommy, why does the loud Saturday-night television man with the funny collars always yell at me to keep my stick on the ice and to keep my head up?” The city-wide Doors Open event doesn’t happen until next weekend, but the country’s national broadcaster is getting the jump on things with a family-friendly open house of tours, talks and interactive situations involving Don Cherry’s improbable blazers. May 18 (9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) and May 19 (11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Free (tickets at cbcliveshere.ca; some events require pre-registration). CBC Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. W.
What’s black and white and red all over? Er Shun and Da Mao, the two pandas from China, who made their debut here this week. The rare pair of adorably slothful creatures will eat bamboo and lumber about for the next five years in Toronto, with their unmotivated breeding impulses being the subject of great public concern (and perhaps the cause of embarrassment to the shy, chunky couple). Except big crowds initially; this long weekend in particular is expected to be a zoo. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. $18 to $28. Toronto Zoo, 2000 Meadowvale Rd., 416-392-5929 or torontozoo.com.
Punjabi International Film Festival
It may not be the biggest or most celebrated film festival on the calendar, but with screenings and music spread across Toronto, Brampton and Mississauga, this cultural and cinematic event is probably the most sprawling. Highlights include a closing-night concert (May 20, 5:30 p.m., Rose Theatre) by Master Saleem, a singer whose voice has been shamelessly lip-synched to by the best Bollywood actors. To May 20. Various venues and ticket prices. Information at pifftoronto.com.
Queen Victoria's Secret
If the dowdy monarch knew her name was being attached to this second annual event of hush-hush libations and food, she would not be amused. Nevertheless, the Queen’s birthday will be celebrated with the tasting of craft beverages of Great Lakes, Granite, Oast House and Left Field breweries, along with creatively paired foodstuff. The exact brews are not revealed in advance, but the organizers did make a point of saying after last year that they’d be bock in 2013. May 20, noon to 4 p.m. Free admission. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave., brewersbackyard.com.
The trio in 2011 swept the Grammys with the blockbuster success of Need You Now, a soaring single of giant country-pop and crushing romantic earnestness. The bright-eyed Nashvillians are back with the sentimental new album Golden, the colour of the best memories and musical trophies. The pregnancy of singer Hillary Scott has caused the cancellation of festival dates later this summer, so do catch them when they parachute in for a free one-hour set at Yonge-Dundas Square. May 20, 4 p.m., 1 Dundas St. E.