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Critics’ Picks: 5 Events to Attend This October

In some ways, it seems like this month would never come. Larger arts organizations are cautiously introducing the start of their seasons, and sending audiences inside for the first time since March 2020. Others are continuing outdoor events for as long as possible, hoping for just a little more warmer weather. Our top picks for the month combine both, but for more details on what’s happening in and around Hamilton this month, check out our full event calendar. 

Dundas Studio Tour

Every fall, local artists and artisans in Dundas open their homes and studios to art lovers. The tour brings together art lovers, collectors and artists to form friendships, talk about art and build connections. Rather than cancel this year’s event, the 2021 Dundas Studio Tour, taking place on October 2 & 3 has been imagined as a curated walking tour, with four separate locations, all easily accessible within downtown Dundas. A variety of artists were chosen for the tour, so the mediums on display vary from paintings to jewelry, sculpture, textiles and more. Each location is free to attend, will feature the works of several artists and can accommodate space for audiences to gather safely and add to their art collections throughout each day. 

Seeing the Invisible (Royal Botanical Gardens)

All through October, the Royal Botanical Gardens plays host to an ambitious augmented reality contemporary art show. Although the show has twelve participating gardens worldwide, the RBG’s is the only place in Canada to see these works. In Seeing the Invisible, visitors to the RBG’s Hendrie Park can engage with thirteen artworks via a downloadable app that creates immersive experiences. For those looking for a different type of experience, tours and additional programming is available through the RBG. For those wanting to make a night of it, Seeing the Invisible is available as part of Thursday night’s RBG After Dark, where visitors can engage with local artists while also enjoying music, food and drink.  

On the Bay (Supercrawl)

Unable to host the traditional Supercrawl on the second weekend of September; On the Bay is an event from the same organizers on the second weekend of October (8-9) at Bayfront Park. Free to attend, with pre-registration and masking required, On the Bay promises all of the great musical content that Supercrawl typically delivers, in addition to food trucks, vendors and more. This year’s headliners include Death From Above 1979, Tim Baker (Hey Rosetta!) and Halluci Nation (formerly A Tribe Called Red). The festival also offers a stage programmed by the Something Else! Festival; a weekly music and film event that’s taken place at Bayfront Park throughout this summer and fall. 

Book Crawl

In the same way that the James Street North connected artists and audiences, Ottawa Street North’s October 15 Book Crawl is looking to connect authors and readers. Local authors at the event include local historical author Bill King, indie fantasy writer Nicole A. Oliver, thriller/horror writer Kate Dejonge and more. From 7-9pm, authors will have tables to display and share books that are also available for purchase- and maybe they’ll even personalize a copy! Free to attend the Book Crawl is presented by the Hamilton Writers Association, whose mission is to showcase and network local writers, as well as provide resources such as local editors and publishers.

Reading is Fundamental // A Night of Tarot and Drag (House of Adam and Steve)

Look no further for a memorable way to celebrate Halloween. The House of Adam and Steve specialize in welcoming and inclusive events, and to celebrate the scariest night of the year, they’re lining up drag queens and voices from beyond to create an unforgettable night. Featuring A Medium Named Bri, who will use tarot and her own gifts to deliver short tarot messages at each table. Joining Bri is Xtacy Love, who will bring camp and couture to the stage. The two have been performing together virtually throughout the pandemic to raise money for Rainbow Railroad; but October 30’s 7-10pm event at Absinthe marks the first time their intimate show will have a live audience.

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