Monday, December 4, 2023

Critics’ Picks: 5 Events to Check Out This October

And just like that, we’re into fall. Leaves are changing colours, routines are being reformed, and artists and organizations are starting to celebrate the community that they’ve missed in the past few years. There’s a lot happening this month, but our favourites are highlighted below.

For more details on other events happening in and around Hamilton this month and great shows to check out, stay up to date with our full event calendar

AGH Festival

Fall is typically the time of year when the Art Gallery of Hamilton presents their annual film festival. Instead, this year, they’ve turned the concept on its head and are offering a ten-day, multi-art event from October 14 to 23 that promises to shine a light on AGH programming, partners and emerging arts from Southwestern Ontario. Of note is an October 15 LT the Monk concert (at Mills Hardware); an artisan market on October 16 and 23; and pop-up concerts with Ariana Fig (October 18) and Matt Paxton (October 21). Best of all, many of the activities are free- although some are ticketed, so check in advance to avoid disappointment.

Beyond the Valley Studio Tour

Celebrating its fortieth year with one of the largest studio tours in recent memory, the Beyond the Valley Studio tours welcomes art lovers to Dundas to meet and view the original art of sixteen artists in nine separate studio spaces. Visit one, or visit them all during the October 15 and 16 event- the choice is yours, making it very much a ‘choose your own adventure’ experience. Artists’ work include pottery, jewellery, glass, photography, painting and woodturning. No RSVP required, although not all studios will have the same operating hours. 

The Inner Ear: A Showcase of Stories and Sound

The Staircase is officially back and doing what they do best- sharing stories. The venue has started to slowly welcome back comedy and improv, and on October 21, they turn to live storytelling in their theatre space. A new monthly series, The Inner Ear will feature storytellers sharing radio-style stories, improvised comedy and more, all recorded live for an upcoming podcast series. The first featured story promises comedy/horror as they follow the last zombie, ‘living’ her best life a century after the zombie apocalypse.  

Fright Night

Local theatre troupe Emerson Arts returns for a third year with their popular Halloween offering. Fright Night promises an evening of original stories (many by local playwrights) performed by local actors, all along a spooky theme. To add to the mystery of the evening, the location is only released to ticket-buyers twenty-four hours in advance of the performance. If past years are any indication, the six shows being offered from October 21 to 30 will sell out quickly- so get your tickets ($25 each) while you still can. 

Intimate and Immersive: Our Wondrous World

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra travels out of the concert hall and into the Cotton Factory for this one-night only event that combines contemporary music with contemporary art. Visual artist Amy McIntosh takes inspiration from Hamilton’s natural landscapes to focus on the small parts of nature that are often overlooked. Sculpture, video and printmaking combine with music about the memories of India, meditation of forests, climate change and ghost stories for what is sure to be an unforgettable evening on October 28.

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