With the city on lockdown, we’ve had to get creative with unconventional ways to stay busy at home and socialize while still practicing social distancing. Luckily, one thing Canadians are known for is coming together during a crisis. With many businesses moving online and partygoers finding new ways to have their nights with their favourite DJs, we’ve really adapted to these hard times.
But if you’re still looking for things to do, don’t fret!
We’ve rounded up some businesses, individuals, and groups across the web offering online tutorials, workshops, and classes. With these virtual interactive online classes or live streams, there are endless ways to stay busy at home while learning something new and fun.
Put Your Best Face Forward!
Alex Weinstein is a Montreal-based makeup artist who does it all. She does makeup tutorials weekly (sometimes more than once) on her IGTV. She then posts everything on her stories, from makeup tips to product recommendations, and even throws in some healthy cooking. Weinstein is also starting her own skincare line called August + Monroe, which is scheduled to launch this year. It’s a gender-neutral skincare company and her first product will be a hybrid of makeup and skincare. Although the line has yet to launch, you can always check out August + Monroe and sign up to be notified about the launch.
Look Good Feel Better offers free beauty workshops for cancer patients and survivors across Canada. Being temporarily closed won’t stop them from making these beautiful and strong women feel great about themselves. They are now offering two different virtual workshops: one for skincare and cosmetics and another for wig and hair alternatives. Just remember to register online.
I came across Beauty by Paige on Facebook and oh boy, did this mother impress me. This LimeLife representative and self-taught makeup artist is one of my favourite people to watch when it comes to online tutorials. She does everything from costume to natural makeup — she’ll even glam it up for you! I love that her daughter is so much like her and the shoots they do together are inspiring and out-of-the-box. Not to mention, she is so funny and passionate about what she does.
Cassidy Shkimba is a London-based makeup artist who is beyond talented. She’s had a love for makeup from a very young age and feels there is nothing more fulfilling than making someone feel beautiful. Retiring from wedding parties, she now focuses on offering her talents to attendees. She also offers one-on-one makeup lessons. You can often catch Shkimba on Instagram Live or watch her stories to see her fun and interactive makeup tutorials. She does everything from natural to glam, as well as some pretty out-of-this-world costume makeup. Check out her take on Tiger King above.
Let the cooking begin!
Not only is Cookery a specialty store for kitchenware, it doubles as both a cooking school and event space also. With two locations within the city offering a variety of cooking classes for both adults and children, the Toronto-based company now offers live online classes where you can learn how to make everything from bread to plant-based food and beyond starting as low as $39.
The Chef Upstairs is holding virtual cooking classes for kids, teens, and adults via Zoom. The chefs here take the time to create exceptionally balanced menus using only the best fresh and local ingredients. It’s recommended to register and book your online class in advance, giving you time to find and purchase all ingredients necessary for the dish. If you would prefer a private chef, they can arrange that and a custom menu for you as well.
The Chef & Dish is offering one-on-one cooking experiences with chefs across the world through private Skype video. From Italy to Japan, you will be cooking international dishes from the comfort of your kitchen with chefs that live in the very countries the recipes originated in. Once you have selected the class, you’ll be provided with a kitchen assistant that will send you a shopping list. The Chef & The Dish recommends some of Toronto’s best specialty grocery stores to find your ingredients such as Cheese Boutique, Denningers, Famu, Harvest Wagon, McEwan, Pasquale Bros, Sanko, and St. Lawrence Market.
This Toronto duo offers concierge services and virtual seminars. While they have had to temporarily close, they know the importance of supporting the vendors and farmers they work with on a daily basis. There is no cost for the service, other than the cost of goods. The two provide a contactless delivery service from local vendors and farmers of quality food and wine. Not to mention, they also host everything from food seminars and demos to wine seminars with delicious cheese boards, as well as redecorating ideas with what you have at home. All of these great services available via Zoom.
Mend It is a virtual workshop that happens every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Emily Niell, a Toronto-based designer, offers this workshop so that people can improve on their sewing skills, mend repairs on existing clothing, and spend time with like-minded people. Each week there’s an introduction to new sewing techniques. This 40-minute class will have you feeling like a professional in no time.
This Facebook group is open to everyone and offers free weekly 30-minutes live art tutorials. These art tutorials are brought to you by artists across the country and are for individuals interested in painting, lettering, crafting, and creating while supporting our Canadian artists. This is a great opportunity to learn something new and include your loved ones, too. Topics cover everything from watercolour painting and lettering to calligraphy card making and so much more.
Yaymaker has taken its expert-hosted paint nights digital! Each day, there are multiple tutorials to choose from and they’re just $15 a class. Enjoy these art lessons from the comfort of your home, or look into a private party with friends and family. All you will need for this creative treat is acrylic paint, an easel, paint brushes, and a blank canvas.
Partnered with Glad Day Bookshop, this is an on-going segment that takes place Monday nights at 8 p.m. and features Canada’s A Drag’s very own Mikiki. The beloved performer and activist will be doing everything from paint-a-longs to sermons, and even some Golden Girls virtual screenings. Tune in on Facebook or Instagram Live.
Dance like no one’s watching!
Hot in Heels is a group of extremely talented women that are consistently training and performing in events, productions, and music videos. Angela Mahoney Jones is a dance teacher there and hosts tutorials on the website. These videos include one beginner tutorial and one intermediate tutorial, which each last about 25 minutes and have unlimited playbacks once purchased. The online tutorials are under $5 and you get a fun dance class and work out.
With a background in dance, Maddie Lymburger knows how to make working out fun. The Canadian fitness guru has a huge variety of workouts available for free on YouTube, but her dance workouts are some of her most popular. Whether you’re looking to pop squats to Dua Lipa or tackle a few of her videos for an intense, full-body workout, you won’t regret checking out her channel, and her 2.3 million subscribers will agree!
The renowned dance company is offering ongoing ballet classes with principal dancers such as Jurgita Dronina, Guillaume Cote, and Heather Ogden. To find information, class times, and updates, be sure to follow The National Ballet of Canada and Jurgita Dronina on Instagram to stay on pointe.
This studio may have had to temporarily shut its doors but that won’t keep the team from dancing. Their love of dance provides a safe space that positively encourages everyone, no matter your dance experience. City Dance Corps offers free daily classes through Instagram Live or budget-friendly virtual classes via Zoom. You’ll have the whole family dancing!
Grab a drink and join the party!
Virtual Happy Hour with Molson
John Molson wanted to find a way to support local restaurants and bars across Canada while bringing Canadians together. And he’s doing that by implementing Virtual Happy Hour. What is it, you ask? It’s quite simple. Get your friends together for virtual happy hour and post a screenshot or video of your get together with the hashtag #VirtualHappyHour, as well as your go-to local restaurant or bar and Molson Canadian. For every person that posts, Molson will buy you a $25 gift card for your favourite hangout. This is an amazing way for a large company to support small and local Canadian businesses during a time of crisis.
If you’re missing late-night dance parties, Club Quarantine is a Zoom party you want to check out. Every night from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., hundreds of people show up to dance and entry is free. All you have to do is get a code to enter the meeting from Club Quarantine’s Instagram. Your DJ will be right there rocking out with you, and you can just dance the night away with people from all over the globe in the comfort of your home. There’s even a virtual bouncer to ensure everyone’s playing nice!
Quarantine & Chill
Presented by TIFF, this is an ongoing cinema screening that you can subscribe to on Crave. Keeping the love of film going from home, TIFF has curated a broad selection of movies, accompanied by live Q&As with special guests on Instagram.
iskwē, an Indigenous Juno Award winner, has introduced a series of Instagram Live conversations with fans from across the world from the comfort of her living room. Ironically enough, the show is called Live from My Living Room and airs nightly at 7 p.m. The live segment has special guests from the art and music world. Appearances include Lights, The Arkells’ very own Anthony Carone, and more.
There’s always a weekly line up!
The newly renovated Paradise Theatre is, unfortunately, closed to the public, but that won’t stop the historic Toronto theatre from bringing art-house movies to you. From the comfort of your living room, you can watch films that Paradise Theatre, New York-based distributor Film Movement, and industry group Arthouse Convergence have curated weekly.
This viewing party takes place every Friday at 8:45 p.m. Watch the new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race from home and be entertained with Canada’s best drag queens while doing so. Uma Gahd will not only host the viewing party but will surprise you with special performances each week. Grab some popcorn and your favourite seat in the house because you are in for a treat!
There’s no excuse to dwindle through the day with all these exciting and inspirational options to keep you busy and laughing. Let’s take full advantage of life’s opportunities where and whenever they present themselves. There is no better time to get the most of life by seizing the moment!