Fall art festivals

Artists such as Jerry Whitehead open their studios at Vancouver’s Eastside Culture Crawl. (Photo: Michael Scales)

Harvesting the talent in Toronto, Halifax, Montréal and Vancouver

To really connect with any big city, to fully explore its appeal, you need to know what moves the locals. You have to pin down whatever touches hearts, tickles minds and shakes hips. This is no easy task, and yet sniffing out a cultural scene’s most absorbing events can sometimes be as simple as being in the right place at the right time. In at least four great Canadian cities, autumn festivities are about as compelling as it gets. In Toronto, a massive all-night art installation turns the centre of the universe into another planet. Halifax assembles a pile of tremendous talent and kicks out the jams for five days. Galleries in Montréal become periscopes, transformed by the world’s best photography. And Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside reveals its true colours, which turn out be that city’s most dynamic and vibrant. All you have to do is show up and blend in…