Photo by Rick/Simon
Yet another season has passed us by in what feels like no time! Thanks to everyone who makes up our community here at the Island Cafe – our Island and city regulars, new friends, concert fans, musicians and artists, the Freeman-McIntyre family, and our amazing kitchen, service, and catering staff! All these people make the Cafe the special place that it is.
We’re not QUITE done for the year just yet – we’re still open Saturdays and Sundays in October from 9:30 til 6pm – there’s still a bit of sunny weather left yet! Hopefully we’ll see you sometime over the next couple weeks, but if not THANK YOU for being part of our Island Cafe family this year! We’ll be back next Spring as soon as the weather allows! Maybe the hot peppers from our garden will be dry by then…
It’s crazy to think that we’re only a couple of weeks away from the end of our season. Though the weather is certainly a good reminder that fall is here! We want to thank all the amazing Islanders and friends who came out on Friday night for the Ice Cubes show with their sweaters, parkas, and blankets and made it such an amazing evening! We raised $485 for the Ward’s Island Association building fund. A special thanks to the musicians who donated their time and hearts to the event!
Keep those blankets close at hand, because we’ve still got two shows to go! First up, Matthew Bailey will be playing his final residency show this Wednesday Sept 18th. He’ll be ending the season the way he started it – backed by his full band – and will also be joined by his good friend Animal Parts who will play a special stripped-down opening set. We’re going to start this show at 6pm sharp to maximize our sunlight. Pizza and $5 pints start at 5:30!
Then we’ll have our final concert and big end-of-season party on Friday Sept 27th! Just as we did last year, we’ll be hosting the amazing old-time group Kitgut Stringband (who have played in every single Summer Concert Series so far) for the evening. We’ll have a big meal and music to celebrate another great season and then those who wish to can move inside the Ward’s clubhouse to warm up with a squaredance! (No experience required – this is easy, fun stuff.) This is always one of the best nights of the year, so please join us! The show will start at 6:30, with dinner service starting, as always, at 5:30.
Here’s a video of them performing at the Cafe in 2011. (I know I post this every year, but it’s just the best!)
What a great Long Weekend we had!! Thanks so much to all the performers, volunteers, and staff who worked their butts off to make the festival happen, and of course our amazing community who came out to all the events and took part! The weekend began with a beautiful night of jazz from Big Al, Proprietor and the Gabriel Palatchi band (below), who kept the audience hooked despite the imminent rain!
Then on Sunday we were blown away by Dwayne Gretzky at the Ward’s clubhouse. This event exceeded our greatest expectations – huge attendance, amazing music, and way too much fun!Thanks to all the fine city folks who came out to enjoy the evening – we hope to see you again soon! Then finally, on Monday we started with our annual Brunch en Blanc and some of our fav regulars show up in their finest white threads (right). On Monday evening, we had a set of hilarious and beautiful songs by Rick & Famous, and then a set of brand-new music by our host Ivy Mairi and Matthew Bailey under the cover of darkness, which culminated with a fire-hoop dance by Martha Farquhar-McDonnell. Thanks to all the customers who donated their drawing skills to help decorate the stage! What an amazing weekend.
And we’ve got two great events coming up next week! First on Wednesday, we’ve got a special show by Island favourites Duff Kaarl, a new group featuring some great Island talent. They’ll be playing a set of original rock tunes from 6:30-7:30 on Wednesday Sept 11th. As always, we’ll have $5 pints and pizza!
Then, on Friday the 13th (!!) we’ve got even more Island talent! The evening will feature jazz from the island group The Ice Cubes, who will be playing the music of jazz great Cole Porter. The Ice Cubes will also be hosting a number of awesome guest musicians and singers! It’ll be a great night! Dinner starts at 5:30, music at 7! More info on the Ice Cubes here.
To finish things off, here’s a picture of Zorah trying to figure out how to get all the empty kegs from the long weekend back to the city…
We’re so excited to be presenting our second annual Long Weekend Arts Festival this coming weekend! It will be 4 days of live music, food, art-making, and community! Come celebrate the end of the summer with us! Don’t miss our headlining show on Sunday Sept 1st featuring Toronto favourites Dwayne Gretzky at the historic Ward’s Island Clubhouse. Below is a full schedule of events for the weekend. For more info on the bands, check out our Long Weekend page. See you this weekend!
Last week we had two crazy-good shows! On Wednesday we had a wild and hilarious time with Matthew Bailey and his brand new as-of-yet-unnamed surf trio, also featuring Sam Cash and Lucas Gadke. They were honestly having the best time up there! Then on Friday we were treated to a return performance from the incredible Nhapitapi who perform music and dance from Zimbabwe. What an incredible show! The energy captured the entire crowd, and drew many passersby and neighbours out of their homes to join the dancing and revelry. Thank you Nhapitapi for a truly special show!
This week we’re going to do something new on games night and try our hand at a bar trivia night. We’ll have the hilarious Elliot Hill (an Island community staple) hosting the event, and prizes will include pints, cake, and burgers! $5 pints and pizza start at 5:30, trivia at 6:30 or whenever we’ve got enough folks to start!
And don’t forget that our Long Weekend Arts Festival is only 2 weeks away! We’ve got all the info on performers and schedules at our Long Weekend Page, and you can RSVP to the Dwayne Gretzky concert on facebook here. It’s going to be a great weekend!
Thanks to Rick/Simon for capturing our Gala pig on the coals from last weekend’s festivities!
With the epic Gala weekend behind us, and the Wavelength ALL CAPS festival finished, we’re heading into another event-filled week!
This Wednesday Aug 14th, Matthew Bailey will put a fun spin on his summer residency and debut his brand-new surf rock band, featuring some of Toronto’s finest underground rebel players. There will be an opening set by London-via-Halifax (and now Toronto) singer-songwriter Nick Everett. $5 pints and pizza start at 5:30, music from 6:30-8:30. You can RSVP on facebook here.
Then on Friday Aug 16th we have a very special show featuring the Toronto group Nhapitatpi Mbira. Nhapitapi brought their incredible show to the Cafe in 2011 and it remains one of the most memorable ones we’ve ever hosted. They perform the traditional song and dance of Zimbabwe using marimba, drums, voice, and the beautiful mbira thumb piano. The interlocking and hypnotic sounds of this group are truly uplifting and not to be missed! We’ll have a special menu for the evening, and as always, dinner service starts at 5:30. The show runs from 7-9pm. RSVP on facebook here. Below is a recent video of Nhapitapi in Victoria!
And we’re also excited to announce that the lineup for our Long Weekend Arts Festival is now up on our website! You can read about the artists and schedules at our Long Weekend page here.
We’ve had a great July complete with great food, music, and a return to beautiful summer weather (finally!) Here’s a picture of last Friday’s concert with Dutch folk band Te playing to a packed patio (while the kids played by the apple trees)…
We’ve got some fun stuff coming up in the next few weeks as well. First up, this coming Wednesday July 31st we’ll have our second annual Island Cafe Comedy night, hosted by our good friend Pete Inskip, who is all over Toronto’s burgeoning comedy scene. Expect some great stand-up comedy, dinner specials, and $5 pints – all before sundown! The show starts around 6, so don’t be late! RSVP on facebook here.
We’ll be taking a break from performance events the following weekend, as there will be plenty going on at the annual Ward’s Island Association (WIA) Gala Weekend Celebrations. This weekend-long party is hosted by the WIA (our landlords, who run the building that the Cafe is located in) features a beer garden with live music and cheap food and drinks, a saturday night dance, Shadowland Theatre’s spectacular Friday night Fire Parade, and more! We’ll be hosting a Gala weekend kick-off party on the evening of Friday Aug 2nd, before the Fire Parade takes off. Join us starting at 5:30 for $5 pints, fish ‘n’ chips, and calamari!
Then, to nurse our collective post-Gala blues, we’ll be serenaded back into the summer by our own Max Milton Kelly on Wednesday Aug 7th for the 3rd installment of his summer residency. As always, he’ll be joined by some awesome musical friends and will be churning our all the classic old-time and Jugband hits! Music from 6-8:30, $5 pints and pizza start at 5:30. More info about Max here.
And finally, this is an early warning: We have confirmed the amazing Dwayne Gretzky to play a headlining concert for our Long Weekend Arts Fest that will take place over the Labour Day long weekend. We’re so excited to party with this awesome band! This special show will take place in the historic Ward’s Island clubhouse (the building that we rent the patio from – you can finally see what it’s like inside!). More info and announcements coming soon – stay tuned and get excited! Here they are doing Blinded by the Light…