Repair Café Toronto gives household items a new lease on life. Visitors can bring in broken computers, small appliances, small furniture, lamps, clothes, and jewelry and learn how to fix them with the help of volunteer professionals. 10AM-2PM. July 6. Skills For Change (791 St. Clair West, 2nd floor). Free.
The 20th Mad Pride Toronto Festival revels in the indelible cultures and artistic worldviews of people labelled “mad” or “mentally ill.” Events include the premiere of Khari “Conspiracy” Stewart’s Mars Project, the launch of Mad Matters: A Critical Reader in Canadian Mad Studies, and the opening of Architecture of Mad: An Exhibition of Art by Mad People. There are also plays, stand-up performances, and various panel discussions by psychiatric experts and survivors. July 8-14. Various Venues. Free.
Toronto writer Cherie Dimaline launches her new novel, The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy (Theytus Books), about a girl named Ruby Bloom with a solar-system halo round her head. Meet the author and guest poet Giles Benaway for a night of cocktails, burlesque dancing, and rabble-rousing readings. 7PM-11PM. July 12. Loft 404. Free.
Critic and author Dalton Higgins hosts Use Your Words, a workshop for writers 16 to 30 years of age. Higgins’ work on hip hop culture has appeared in Vibe, The Source, and Urb. His book Hip Hop World (Groundwood Books) is a globally-informed survey of the genre. 2PM-4:30PM. July 13. Toronto Reference Library. Free.
Toronto’s Poet Laureate Dr. George Elliott Clarke sets poetry to music in his Beat Café with guests Robert Priest (The Secret Invasion of Bananas and Other Poems), Lillian Allen (Conditions Critical), Motion (Motion in Poetry), Rosina Kazi (Lal), and Raine Maida from Our Lady Peace. 10AM-2PM. July 17. Nathan Phillips Square. Free.
TIFF’s In Conversation With… welcomes Canadian director and producer Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Meatballs, National Lampoon’s Animal House) for an interview about his life and career. His son Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking, Up In The Air) is scheduled to attend. 6PM. July 17. TIFF Bell Lightbox. $17.50-$22.75.
Fright Film Academy teaches video production to aspiring filmmakers ages 16-29. Students see their scary stories develop from script to storyboard to a professionally edited short film. Melissa Hood and Jonathan Culp serve as mentors. 6PM-8:30PM. Tuesdays, July 16- November 1. Pre-register at: 416-779-1448. Academy of the Impossible. Free.
The second installment of Use Your Words is led by novelist Emily Pohl-Weary (Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl). She is the Executive Director of the Academy of the Impossible, a non-profit organization that advances creativity and self-expression through artistic and literary programs. 2PM-4:30PM. July 20. Toronto Reference Library. Free.