I was thrilled when I learned that Macy Gray would be performing a free concert as part of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival programming. She was on the OLG sponsored stage in Yorkville for her set on Sunday, June 24th, 2018.
As a crowded street waited for Macy Gray to take to the stage I had to contend with a lady beside me that kept dropping her umbrella in my direction. The first time she dropped it I thought she had stumbled. I immediately turned and asked if she was all right. She nodded. Then pointed out that her umbrella was the culprit.
The second time it happened I mentioned to her my experience of being at a Naughty by Nature concert once and the guys behind me dropped a beer bottle hoping I'd give up my prime spot. Dropsies didn't work then. It's certainly not going to work today. .
Later on I did happen to accidentally step on her toes as I was shifting my feet to get rid of some cramps. I just leaned in, smiled politely, and said Karma. She nodded and smiled back.
Moral of this story. Always take your lawn chair to create a barrier between you and other people('s umbrellas). In addition, your lawn chair will provide you with the appropriate relaxation space until the main act appears on stage.
Don Amero is turning over a new leaf and stepping into the country music genre with brand new material that he considers his strongest yet. For the Winnipeg musician, his sixth album, Evolution—set for release on Aug. 24 (via all digital retailers) is all about embracing the change. The result is a seamless blend of rock-tinged country and roots that speaks to the challenges faced by anyone trying to maintain a balance between work and family while pursuing their dreams. Co-produced by Bart McKay and Murray Pulver, Evolution dwells heavily on the value of finding your place in the world and making peace with it. That message comes through loud and clear on the album’s second single “Live While I’m Alive,” as well as its follow up “Give It To You,” set to hit radio in mid-July.
Amero is an engaging storyteller, singer/songwriter and performer who has been touring, performing and speaking across Canada for the past decade, the three-time JUNO nominee has earned respect and proven himself to be a much sought-after performer who is able to genuinely connect with his audience with an easy and effortless charm.
“I realized that I have an opportunity to help change the way people look at and talk about Indigenous people, and to inspire the next generation of Indigenous artists. If I can sing a song that maybe helps people love themselves and others a little better, that’s what I’d like my music remembered for. That’s the bottom line for me.”
Every song on Evolution does that in some way; from straight up country tracks like ‘How I Feel,’ ‘Addicted’ and ‘Smoke In My Eyes,’ to Amero’s smoky, stripped down take on the Blue Rodeo classic, ‘Try.’ And while each song showcases Amero’s substantial vocal chops in different ways, none do so with more emotional weight than ‘Head Over Heels’ – a track he wrote specifically for his two-year-old daughter.
The above image was taken at the International Taste Buds event held this past weekend by and for the TCHC tenants at 2180/2190 Ellesmere Road Scarborough.
TCHC has become a city-centric organization which is a far cry from it's claim of being tenant-centric. There are twice as many city councillors as tenants on the board of directors. As if that alone isn't enough of an indication of the corporations actual direction the city chose the people to become part of their elite Tenants Last [I mean Tenants First] initiative. Then more recently the City of Toronto decided who the two new tenant board members would be.
So, why is this important? ... Well it has to do with Toronto Community Housing's Fire Life Safety Plan.
On TCHC's own website it claims they are wholly owned by the City of Toronto. So if that's the case why are TCHC buildings exempt from the no smoking policies that apply to all other government buildings?
Especially when it is taken into consideration with the fact that it has been raised at previous Board meetings that smoking is the second largest contributor to fires on TCHC properties.
It's never too late to include a no smoking clause in the lease of incoming tenants. It's never too late to ask current tenants to commit to keeping their units smoke free.
If TCHC were a truly tenant-centric organization they would have already identified the increased risks of fire associated with the tenant population which has a higher percentage of people with disabilities and seniors than market rent buildings elsewhere.
Also there definitely needs to be an assessment regarding the increased risks of fires with those that smoke while having oxygen tanks in their units and those with a propensity for hoarding. Both these conditions are at an increased risk as people age. This is a glaringly obvious issue that one could only hope the newly designated seniors division will be taking into consideration when determining what type of services they are offering the tenants in seniors buildings.
Then we need to keep in mind the fact that way too many fires happen as people flick their cigarette butts off their balconies and into dumpsters. Are those fires included in the stats? ... Or is it just those that occur inside TCHC buildings?
As it is, I currently have duct tape over both the vents in my unit (the one in my kitchen above the stove and the one in my bathroom above my toilet) Mind you that's not just to keep out smoke. It keeps out the creepy crawlies too.
Anyways, back to the issue at hand, if I could ever figure out how to pull off a class action lawsuit against TCHC my first attempt would be related to issues regarding exposure to second hand smoke.
If Toronto Community Housing Corporation is city-centric then their mandate is clearly governed by the city of Toronto's no smoking policy. If this is a tenant-centric organization then I encourage them to consult with tenants regarding the implementation of a no smoking policy.
It seems like a much more realistic and practical approach than having June designated as Fire Safety Awareness Month by TCHC and Toronto Fire Services. If, as CEO Kathy Milsom recently indicated, TCHC truly wanted to change the behaviours of tenants related to any fire life safety plan then maybe they should start with changing the rules. No more of this blowing smoke up everyone's ass.
Manifesto Festival of Community & Culture, presented by Vancity Community Investment Bank is pleased to announce this year’s Art Show Programming for the 2018 edition. Curated by Ashley McKenzie Barnes, and hosted by Brienne Yvonne and Nikitha Cornwall, the Manifesto art show will be headlined by Hatecopy (also known as Maria Qamar).
The Canadian pop–artist, Instagram star, and author of “Trust No Aunties”, has been widely received. Paintings have decorated the set of the American comedy television series The Mindy Project.
The show will display select pieces of her collections inspired by Desi Diaspora culture, which leverages the dramatic, hyperbolic, maternal and feisty women from Desi soap operas, also known as "aunties" to deliver her message.
Taking place at Free Space (68 Claremont St, Toronto) from on August 16- 22, the event will showcase mixed media artists working in 3-dimensional forms with installations, sculpture, lighting pieces, in depth artist talks exploring the creative process and more. For the full list of showcasing artists see below.
The Manifesto Arts Market returns, welcoming 30 local vendors presenting a wide range of wares and collections at Nathan Phillips Square on Friday, August 17. Participating artists will receive 100% of all profits. Stay tuned for further announcements.
Submissions are now open to musicians and artists for the opportunity to perform on the Nathan Phillips Square main stage joining previously announced headliner Chronixx and his band Zinc Fence Redemption and more. Applications are open here.
One of the most intense and exciting live acts on the planet, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds are currently headlining festivals across Europe, before crossing continents to Latin and North America for 9 dates in October. Starting with Primavera in Barcelona and All Points East in London, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds continue to attract acclaim wherever they perform.
Latin/North America Tour:
2 Oct - Pepsi Center WTC - Mexico City, Mexico
5 Oct - Teatro Caupolicán - Santiago, Chile
8 Oct - Teatro de Verano - Montevideo, Uruguay
10 Oct - Estadio Malvinas Argentinas - Buenos Aires, Argentina
14 Oct - Espaço das Américas - São Paulo, Brazil
21 Oct - The Forum - Los Angeles, CA*
25 Oct - The Anthem - Washington DC*
26 Oct - Barclays Center - Brooklyn, NY
28 Oct - Air Canada Centre - Toronto, Canada*
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ seven-piece touring line-up features Nick Cave (vocals, piano), Warren Ellis (piano, keyboards, violin, tenor guitar), Martyn Casey (bass), Thomas Wydler (drums), Jim Sclavunos (vibraphone, percussion, piano), George Vjestica (guitar) and Larry Mullins (keyboards, piano).
*With special guest Cigarettes After Sex.
For more information or to purchase tickets - www.nickcave.com
Toronto, ON - Monday, June 18, 2018 - Starvox Exhibits and Live Nation announced today that, due to popular demand, The Art of Banksy exhibit is extended until Sunday, August 19, 2018. A new block of tickets will go on sale beginning Monday, June 18, 2018. The exhibition, receiving audience acclaim, is now open to the general public at 213 Sterling Road (Lansdowne TTC stop).
The Art of Banksy exhibit, now debuting in Toronto, features 80 original works associated with, arguably, the most intriguing and talked-about artist in modern history. This is the world’s largest collection of Banksy’s works ever exhibited.
“The Art of Banksy has been popular in each city where it has been exhibited. The Toronto run, a North American premiere, is already record breaking and is creating a new benchmark. Therefore, I am extremely happy the collectors are allowing us to extend our residency at 213 Sterling Road, for a limited time only,” says Corey Ross, President & CEO, Starvox Exhibits.
“The works on show at The Art of Banksy are owned by various collectors from Asia, USA and Europe who kindly lent us their Banksy artworks. Thanks to the enthusiastic response from Toronto visitors, we have been able to obtain their permission to extend the exhibition,” says Michel Boersma, SVP Family Entertainment & Theatre, Live Nation. “This way more people will be able to enjoy the Banksy art, some of which have not been on public display for over a decade.”
Tickets to The Art of Banksy are:
$35 – Adults
$32.50 - Seniors (65+) / Students (6 – 17 years of age, Valid Student ID required for youth)
Free – Children (up to 5 years old)
To purchase tickets and for more information on The Art of Banksy, go to www.banksyexhibit.com or call 1-855-323-7878.
My brother David (may he rest in peace) introduced me to graffiti alley in Toronto over a decade ago. I can't recall exactly what he suggested I photograph while I was there. It was something small like doorknobs or rusted pieces of metal. When I got there I was totally overwhelmed by the bigger pictures.
Since then I have been known to spray paint just about anything (My coffee table [planets} and end tables [a full moon on one and an eclipse on the other] are covered with my space inspired spray painting.)
I once popped in to a graffiti workshop run by Scarborough Arts. There we were told that there is a hierarchy to street art. Apparently, you are supposed to start out with just tagging, then work up to stylized letters, then figurative pieces. But, according to Banksy in the documentary film Exit Through The Gift Shop "there aren't supposed to be any rules" to art/graffiti. (Any day now someone should tell "JACK" to quit tagging the crap out of everything in Scarberia.)
Anyways, getting arrested is not a mandatory rite of passage for graffiti artists, nor among my personal artistic goals. So I am coveting a community art project that seems to have a single blank space that is calling my name. If I ever get brave enough to just jump in on it you'll be the first to know.
To myself and many others Banksy is God. We don't know what he looks like. Yet, there is plenty of evidence that He exists. All creativity flows through Him. Therefore, we should all bow down to Banksy.
Your opportunity to worship the icon has arrived. The Art of Banksy (curated by Steve Lazarides) is on exhibit at 213 Sterling Road in Toronto from June 13th to July 11th, 2018. For more information please check out the Art of Banksy website.
The art of the gaze will not be denied in a crowded room. The artist Benny Bing's portraits gaze was not the only one that wouldn't be denied earlier this evening.
There were the three pan handlers between the Queen subway station and the Queen St westbound streetcar on my way to the NXNE Art Show and Industry Mixer (presented by Aurora) at the Great Hall on Monday night.
[Honestly, I am starting to think that they should institute the guaranteed minimum income program for all of Ontario. Then immediately ban pan-handling all together. As far as I am concerned all panhandling is aggressive.] #JustSayin,
Then on my home from the event there was this guy that jumped in front of the eastbound Queen streetcar to stop it. Then when the driver wouldn't open the door to let him on, he threw fried chicken at both the streetcar, and at a vehicle that was pulled up beside us waiting for a green light. [If that was a two piece buddy only had French fries left.]
After the fried chicken guy it was a pretty peaceful journey home.
Anyways I will end this on a positive note, I have one more sleep then I get a sneak peak at what is THEE most important art exhibit to come to Toronto for the full 2018 season. I'll post some legendary pics as soon as I possibly can.
North by North East is pleased to present the final round of programming for the 2018 edition of the festival, including NXNE Talks, House of Aurora, Festival Village Comedy Tent and the Lost Craft beer garden. House of Aurora will feature an art show and industry mixer, a live podcast recording, musical performances and NXNE Talks across three days, June 11th, 13th and 14th at The Great Hall in Toronto.
All House of Aurora programming, including NXNE Talks are open to the public. RSVP here.
Cannabis. Community. Culture.
How the Cannabis industry is engaging the community through cultural activities. Brand involvement in the arts can be delicate, however like-minded partnerships with events and artists create a number of opportunities including free events, education on the benefits of cannabis products and greater accessibility. Marketing experts will discuss how to align a cohesive voice when strategizing digital and on the ground audience engagement.
Moderator: Tyler Fyfe (Herb)
Panelists: Paula Whitmore, (Aurora), Katherine McFarlane (Westward Music Festival/ MRG), Dreyuh Safro (Manifesto)
Safe spaces and Event Practices
How a festival or event space ethos can dictate audience growth and development by creating new communities. Setting a protection precedence when it comes to harm reduction, sexual harassment, the role of venues, zero tolerance policies, internal education for staff and overall curation and messaging when it comes to programming and representation of the brand’s voice.
Moderator: Carly Lewis (Journalist)
Panelists: Viktoria (Dandelion Initiative), Aerin Fogel (Venus Fest), Cindy Lee (Work In Progress) Jamal Ryan Severin Watson (Unlovable, Loveless)
The importance and value of visual representation for musicians and artists. Creatives and their counterparts discuss their process and design aesthetic and how to translate it to their audiences. Panel will include projections and set visuals.
Moderator: Kaitlyn Davies (Work Late)
Panelists: Jasmyn Burke and Rosie H Maheaux, (Strands / Weaves), Josh McIntyre and Talvi Faustman (Prince Innocence).
Building New Infrastructure in the Canadian Music Industry
As Canadian entertainers and recording artists continue to dominate on the international scene - how has the Canadian music industry been responding? Historically there has been a massive lack of infrastructure and support for hip-hop and R&B music in Canada. How is that changing and what needs to happen still?
Moderator: Chris Penrose (Watrvision Creative)
Panelists: Rodney Murphy (Director of A&R, SOCAN), Ricochet (DJ & Personality, MOVE 93.5fm), Tia Gordon (FACTOR), Get At Kat (Box Power)
Art vs. Artist
How do we / should we separate the art from the artist. Is there a difference, what is a festival’s role in curation and programming?
Moderator: Jordan Sowunmi (Fader, Complex, Vice)
Panelists: Erin Lowers (Manifesto), Kevin Ritchie (Now Magazine), Melissa Vincent (A.side)
***Image courtesy The Art of Banksy website ***
On Wednesday, June 13, Toronto welcomes the North American Premiere of “The Art of Banksy”, an acclaimed showcase featuring 80 original works associated with, arguably, the most intriguing and talked-about artist in modern history. “The Art of Banksy” has already generated excitement in Melbourne, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and Auckland. Now Toronto, having beat out both Athens and Stockholm, steps up to host this spectacular exhibit.
Banksy, whose identity is the art world’s biggest secret, is an enigmatic artist and world-recognized political activist. His graffiti-influenced stencil technique, often combined with anti-establishment slogans, is immediately recognizable and never fails to generate immediate attention. Banksy’s various works, which in addition to paintings, also include sculptures and special displays, are seen on city walls, bridges and streets throughout the world.
"The Art of Banksy”, curated by Steve Lazarides, the artist’s former agent, displays the world’s largest collection of Banksy’s works. Included in the exhibition are the iconic “Balloon Girl”, ranked in 2017 as “The United Kingdom’s number one favourite artwork”, “Flag Wall”, an urbanized take on the famous picture of soldiers raising the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima, “Laugh Now”, a witty piece depicting a foreboding message, and many other pieces, no less compelling and equally thought-provoking.
“This is a one-of-a-kind exhibition. You will never again have the opportunity to see this many of Banksy’s works in one place. Once the exhibition is over, the artwork will be returned to art collectors around the world, and the chances that they will be displayed together again in the future are extremely slim,” says Steve Lazarides.
The Toronto exhibition will be mounted in a raw space at 213 Sterling Road (Lansdowne Metro stop), an area described by BlogTO as “Toronto’s next big thing” and “a neighbourhood for art – contemporary art,” with neighbouring businesses including the new location for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Anansi Press, Henderson Brewing and Drake Commissary. This prestigious exhibition of originals – all privately owned by collectors – offers a rare opportunity for Toronto to enter Banksy’s world.
"This isn’t one to miss" - HARPERS BAZAAR
"’The Art of Banksy’ exhibition says more about Banksy than Banksy ever could" - JUNKEE
"If it sounds epic, that’s because it is" - CONCRETE PLAYGROUND
"A fuck- off huge exhibition featuring the work of mysterious street artist Banksy" - PEDESTRIAN
"’The Art of Banksy’ will serve as a welcome reminder of the explosive impact of the artist’s works, and of the powerful potential of street art - and that can’t be a bad thing" - TIMEOUT
"A must see!"- MARIE CLAIRE
"Such a special opportunity to see works of the mysterious street artist" - VROUW/TELEGRAAF
"’The Art of Banksy’ is a MUST for every art-lover. Get inspired! " - COSMOPOLITAN
"It’s an experience you shouldn’t miss" - HELLO AMSTERDAM
To purchase tickets and for more information on The Art of Banksy, go to www.banksyexhibit.com or call 1-855-323-7878.
(Honestly, I think I'm fangirling right now. I can't wait to experience this exhibit.)