Greenbelt Harvest Picnic
Forty-five years after Woodstock, the music festivals that now hold our fascination seem to be jumbo happenings and star-driven affairs. Other festivals, however, still get back to the garden. This weekend sees bucolic Ontario events in Elora (Riverfest), Pefferlaw (Eaglewood Folk Festival) and Dundas, where the songwriter and sound wizard Daniel Lanois hosts his annual lake-side harvest of local foodstuffs and excellent homegrown talent, including Bruce Cockburn, Sarah Harmer, Elliott Brood, Gord Downie and the Sadies and the soul-folk American import Ray Lamontagne. Aug. 23, noon to 11 p.m. $19.50 to $99.50 (children under 10, free). Christie Lake Conservation Area, Dundas, Ont., 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca.
Canadian National Exhibition
Chocolate fried chicken? Only the Amazing Kreskin could have seen that mixed-course concoction coming. The mentalist and freelance predictor performs daily at this year's big carnival, where he's as featured an attraction as Ferris wheels, funnel cakes and Fran's restaurant. As well, this weekend sees the arrival of a Food Truck Frenzy (Aug. 22 to 24), which involves wheel-deal restaurants with all manner of seafood, barbecue and bacon-wrapped situations. So, while Kreskin goes mental this year, meal-truck maestros such as Fidel Gastro and Frankie Fettuccine are keeping things unpredictable. To Sept. 1. $14 to $18 (family passes available). Exhibition Place, theex.com.
The master painter Alex Colville, who died a year ago at 92, left behind a legacy for precise, personal imagery and one last painting. Woman with Clock is the Canadian icon's final effort, and has never before been publicly displayed. Part of an AGO retrospective of more than 100 works (including 1958's Hound in Field), it is an image of his wife, nude in front of a grandfather clock. As there are no hands on the clock, the two figures can be seen as transcending time. Apparently the painting sat on the artist's easel for months, as if to keep the clock running. Aug. 23 to Jan. 4, 2015. $16.50 to $25. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648 or ago.net.
Next week brings the premiere of Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities, a steam-punk spectacle from Montreal's Cirque du Soleil featuring artful feat-doers and top-shelf whimsy. For those who can't wait for those eclectic acrobats under the big top, this weekend's Buskerfest offers exceptional circus-style acts who similarly bend, stack and otherwise contort themselves. It's not a stretch to say that the most unusual buskers is The Famous Rubberband Boy, a young freak who uses simple elastics to grossly reshape his face. Things just get curiouser and curiouser, don't they? Aug. 21 and 22 (noon to 11 p.m.), Aug. 23 (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.) and Aug. 24 (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Free (pass-the-hat, pay what you will). Yonge Street, from College to Queen streets. torontobuskerfest.com.
Munsch at Play
No disrespect to Shakespeare, Molière or George Bernard Shaw, but the munchkins much prefer Munsch. And so it is a selection of stories by Robert Munsch that receive kids-theatre stagings, with acting by performers with diverse mental and physical abilities. (Among them is Krystal Hope Nausbaum, an actor with Down syndrome who stood out in Judith Thompson's The Grace Project: Sick!.) Stories that come to life include The Mud Puddle, 50 Below Zero and The Paper Bag Princess, all marked by the author's smart sense of silly. Aug. 21 (5 and 7 p.m.), Aug. 22 (2 and 4 p.m.) and Aug. 24 (2 and 4 p.m.). $5 to $10. Toronto Public Library, Palmerston Branch, 560 Palmerston Ave., 416-393-7680 or eventbrite.com.