The International Pavilion is big enough to feel mysterious, like no matter how much of it you’ve seen you’ve still missed something. As a kid it was one of my favourite spots at the EX and, as an adult, I had pinned my hopes for the day on it. I was not disappointed.
After the Food Building our next logical stop was the rides, which were nearby. I’ve been prone to motion sickness my whole life and, as I offered my brother the chance to ride some coasters without me, he admitted that lately they made him nauseous too. With tears of pride and brotherly love, I led him to the games instead.
We started at the Food Building – partly because we’re gluttons, and would have ended up there anyway, but also because in recent years food has taken centre stage at the EX. Franchisers and independent chefs alike reveal new creations with catchy names and hope they go viral. The cronut burger, in 2013, sent several of the brave souls who tried it to the hospital and made headlines across the city. This year’s attention-grabbers have also been burgers (presumably of the non-sick-making kind) and poutine.
My memories of the EX* are all night-time, blurry lights, sugar highs, and a Ferris wheel. I went with my family every year when I was a kid, and I remember the trip as a highlight of the summer – and a gentle promise that summer was almost over. My parents knew that the EX meant school was starting soon, so they really helped to make it a last hurrah. They indulged us kids in games, carnival rides, and rodeo shows. They bought junky toys at the International Pavilion. They took us to see the firemen, who for some reason always gave away Jell-O. If one of us hadn’t won a prize all night, we could throw darts or shoot water guns until we did.
I stopped going to the EX in high school, and haven’t been since. As perfect as my memories are, they’re definitely a kid’s memories. All I knew about the EX was stuff that was great for 8-year-old me, but not so much for an adult. I had no reason to go back. And I was scared I might tarnish a series of my happiest memories.
But that’s stupid, isn’t it? Thousands of adults go to the EX every year and love it. So maybe I won’t try to win a prize or beg for ice cream. There has to be something there for me now. Right?
Stay tuned for Louis’s experiences as a student at the EX and a CNE guide for students.
We are giving away TEN double passes (each admits 2) to an advance screening of GET HARD starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart, in theatres March 27th 2015.
The advance screening will be held on Monday March 16th at Innis Town Hall @7PM.
TRIVIA QUESTION: Which actor plays James King in GET HARD?
When millionaire hedge fund manager James (Will Ferrell) is nailed for fraud and bound for a stretch in San Quentin, the judge gives him 30 days to get his affairs in order. Desperate, he turns to Darnell (Kevin Hart) to prep him for a life behind bars. But despite James’ one-percenter assumptions, Darnell is a hard-working small business owner who has never received a parking ticket, let alone been to prison.
Together, the two men do whatever it takes for James to “get hard” and, in the process, discover how wrong they were about a lot of things – including each other.
“Bare” is a modern rock musical about a group of seniors at a Catholic boarding school. They struggle to come to terms with their identities as they feel the pressure of the Church and their peers. U of T’s newest theatre company, the Woodsworth Performing Arts Collective, will be performing “Bare: A Pop Opera” in less than two shorts weeks!
Lanndis De Lallo chose to direct this musical because the music is beautiful and poetic and the themes are relevant. We need to talk, and more than that, question.
The show will be performed from March 12th-14th 2015 at the Robert Gill Theatre (214 College St) at 8pm each night with a 2pm matinee on Saturday the 14th.