I think one of the most radical things about living in a bigger city is the access to free (or cheap) cultural activities! Don't get me wrong, when I go to see local bands I always pay the cover and I fully advocate for properly paying our musicians and artists when I'm acting as a community organizer. But personally? I don't have a ton of cash, and neither do many of the people I know - so programs like the Canadian Opera Company's Free Concert Series are a fantastic way for an underserved group of people to access classical music and fine performance arts, all on their lunch break!
I had been meaning to visit Toronto for one of my days off, which for me are always weekdays so I had been keeping an eye on the COC's lunchtime and yes, free events. I'll admit - I wanted to see dance, ballet or some kind of physical performance because as you can see the space is fantastic. The stars aligned differently, however, and I ended up seeing Stephen B. Hargreaves on piano.
Variations on 1930 - American pianist, harpsichordist and conductor Stephen B. Hargreaves presents a colourful snapshot of the year 1930 with an eclectic program ranging from piano music by Copland (Piano Variations), Britten (Three Character Pieces), and Kodály (Dances of Marrosszék) to Art Tatum’s transcription of Tea for Two.
Within your own community I would highly suggest keeping an eye on public event listings in the paper, online classifieds and even facebook for free or inexpensive cultural outings. Adding a little bit of traditional arts performance to your life routine can be incredibly enriching and inspiring :)