Sunday, November 4, 2007

Dark Lullaby/Four Way Flashers/Bacardi B-Live - November 3rd

It certainly was a fun-fueled and eventful evening. Much more than I expected. The evening began low-key enough by attending a great off-off Queen Street theatre production, a quick stop at a new gallery space that opened beside Grace's Place, known for their cheap pints and cheap dames...and then the party revved up!

Dark Lullaby

Parkdale gentrification is well underway and it’s only a matter of time before all the crack houses become condos. Lullaby is a fact based play by 5-year Parkdale resident Thelon Oeming that looks at the class divisions and quiet conflicts of this neighbourhood in transition. The changes he witnessed sparked him to ask to what extent can one avoid moral involvement with strangers, and at what cost?

Superb acting and great use of the space. A job well done. Catch it soon.

Runs until November 18, 2007 at Simone Interiors (1690 Queen Street West), a site-specific venue in the heart of Parkdale. Tuesday - Saturday 8pm, Sunday 6pm. Tickets: Tuesday through Saturday 8pm $15; Sunday 6pm matinee PWYC. Tickets available in store or at the door, to reserve please call 416-460-9306. For more information see

Four Way Flashers

Got a last minute call from my friend Sara to attend the CD launch party for one of the bands she's currently managing, Four Way Flashers ( It was being held at the warehouse location of Amsterdam Brewery, 21 Bathurst St, with special guests : The Flints, Jerry Leger & The Situation, and The Labour Of. This is a great special event venue, if you are cool with a beer bar...which I am.

Caught a good part of the set and picked up some of their merch that was available, and designed by another friend of mine, Brownwyn. Her clear and cleverly designed buttons, CD fold, tee's and website will likely appeal to trendier crowd than what the 4WF attract. With the simple 4WF logo, we could be looking at the new CK1. I grabbed a couple of buttons with the backwards printed logo on them. Brownwyn admitted they were a error when printing, but I couldn't wait to look at them in the mirror where they look fine to me. Beside looking cool they are a great mind-fuck and likely a conversation starter.

Barcardi B Live

Finally made it to the free corporate sponsored DJ event at Toronto School of Circus Arts, 425 Wellington St. West. Hadn't been to this venue before. Another great space that would be perfect for large scale DJ or concert events. Warehouse feel to it as you walk down the long dark corridor making your way to the cavernous main room. This is a great special event venue, if you are cool with a rum bar...which I am. Wasn't too keen on the tunes being dropped as I was expecting a more electro infused mix, not sloppy top 40 80's hits that are most common at weddings. The crowd seemed a tad confused as well, but seemed to be having fun regardless.

Featuring James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) DIPLO and Nasty Nav. Get your ‘slice of the funky life’ with the always irreverent Murphy, as he takes to the decks in Toronto. Diplo closes the deal for B-LIVE Toronto with the final set of electro-pop infused sound. Nasty Nav has been rocking Toronto dance floors for over 10 years.One thing of which Diplo (aka Diplodocus, Wes Diplo, and Wes Gully) cannot be accused is being afraid to experiment with new music. With his mash-up mixtapes, he found and created a sound where his musical tastes -- '80s pop, electronica, Dirty South hip-hop, and his major influence, Miami bass music -- intersect.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Back to Bemelman's Reunion - November 2, 2007

Fundraiser for Casey House (

Revisit yesteryear, visit old friends, celebrate in a funfilled evening and recreation of Bemelman's Bar and Grill, at the original Bemelman's location.

Hosted by Posy Chisholm Feick with hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. Brian Masters DJs. 9pm. Indiva, 83 Bloor St. W. $25 for general admission after 9pm with cash bar - $150 VIP includes drinks and muchies.

How much fun was this event? Wow, it was a reunion for so many and an introduction for several others. A mixed queer/straight and in between crowd of mostly 40 + attended this upscale soiree. Being amongst some of the coolest movers and shakers in Toronto was quite the experience and one of the better events I've attended in a while. I rubbed my jeans and Ramones tee against thousand dollar outfits, and was asked by one youngish 60 something to "do it again".

June Callwood was remembered as the founder of Casey House, named after her son her passed away from AIDS several years back. Bemelman's was one of the first "mixed" clientelle establishments in Toronto where everyone was welcome regardless of status or sexuality. It closed in the early 90's after many years in business, and is not an upscale women's clothing retailer called Indiva. Walking in and seeing the gigantic pillars created a flashback of sorts, only things were much brighter with the white walls and lighting. Most everyone seemed to have a great time reuniting and I heard rumours that over $50,000 was raised for Casey House. So well done Sinclair and Posey.

Spotted: Proud FM Hosts, Ken Kostick and Mary Jo Eustace, Diva Sherry Sullivan,
Best Outfit: The Beautiful Dame with the Red Lobster on her shoulder

Halloween Horrors - Oct 31, 2007

Out and about and looking for Spooks....

The Box Salon

An evening of word, film, dance, and music by Semi Chellas, Sharon Harris, Steve Kado, Jessica Rose, Jessica Runge, Moheb Soliman, Troy Emery Twigg, and others. Rivoli (332 Queen Street West, Back Room). $5 minimum. 416-929-1906.

Back in 1998 Louise Bak founded and now hosts what has come to be known as Toronto’s most eclectic “reading” series. It’s hard to believe that almost ten years later it’s still going strong.

The Box has lived at both the Labyrinth Lounge and Bar Italia, but has been a staple at the Rivoli since 2003, making use of the vast back room and its abundant facilities for optimal entertainment.
Even before The Box, Bak - a poet, performance artist and sexual activist – had a gift for throwing “literary events” that were obvious entertainment experiments, seeking to expand the definition of what we all deemed literary. Back in 2004 eye magazine stated that she sought “to promote a polyamorous artistic scene,” a statement that is even more true today with her latest Box line-up. No stranger to the composition of literature herself, Bak is the author of emeighty (Letters), Gingko Kitchen and Tulpa (Coach House Books).

Halloween Whore Redux

Kelly and The Kelly Girls with Satan's Candy, On Bodies and Roxi Dlite
The El Mocambo, 464 Spadina Ave, $10, Doors at 8PM.

Back from their international tour the "Girls" rocked the fun filled whore-r house, but not until some great sets by the opening acts. Satan's Candy continues to win over fans with this being only the third live gig under their bras. Everyone join in and sing about how much you love Jagrmeister...then go get drunk with these lovely Cougars!

All bands can be found on

Toronto International Art Fair - Oct 25 to 29, 2007

By close of Art Toronto, Toronto’s 8th annual four day International Art fair, over 18,000 visitors had viewed the outstanding collection of art works presented by 100 participating international galleries. But visitors did more than just look at the fair. Total sales at Art Toronto 2007 were estimated at over 20 million dollars with a final piece selling for half a million dollars just seconds before the close of the fair. Even the Art Gallery of Ontario got in on the buying and announced the purchase of three major works for their growing contemporary collection. Works purchased by the AGO included Annie Pootoogook’s Composition from Feheley Fine Arts, Greg Girard’s House on Zixia lu at Monte Clark Gallery and Metropolis from Olga Korper artist Denyse Thomasos.

In its short 8 year history, the Toronto International Art Fair (TIAF) has established itself as the most important and anticipated contemporary art fair in Canada. This year’s fair showcased 100 fine art galleries representing 10 countries all underlined with an exceptional roster of intriguing and relevant cultural programming. The Fair’s growing importance was highlighted by increased participation of 27 new galleries.

New galleries participating in the younger Fresh Avant Garde section of the fair raved about the quality of visitors TIAF draws and the incredible exposure their galleries received by participating. “This fair has done more for the reputation of my artists than anything I could have ever done,” said first time TIAF exhibitor Jeffrey Boone of Jeffrey Boone Gallery in Vancouver. “The crowds have been completely affirming, I hit almost half my sales goals just on the opening in night and they just kept growing and growing.”

Long time loyal attendees like Gallerie de Bellefeuille from Montreal concurred. "This was our eighth year at the fair and as usual it was hugely successful for us. We were thrilled to see more American collectors this year and believe this is due to the quality of the work at the show and the outstanding organization of every detail of the fair itself.”

This positive note was set right from the start with the sold out Opening Night Benefit Gala for the AGO which brought together over 2,000 art enthusiasts to support the visual arts in Canada.

In addition to active buying and selling of contemporary art, the Fair’s cultural programs were abuzz with projects like Open Spaces where the innovative installation works of nine young artists offered an interactive art experiences challenging the boundaries of conventional art.

“TIAF is a crucial part of the Canadian art world, offering audiences an opportunity to engage with art from across Canada and around the world,” says David Moos, the AGO’s curator of Contemporary Art. “As culture becomes ever more globalized, events like this art fair provide an opportunity for audiences to see how robust Canadian art has become. TIAF has become a cross roads where collectors, galleries, artists, curators, galleries and a passionate public converge to engage with contemporary art.”

The action was not exclusive to the gallery floor. The well attended Power Talks, sponsored by the Power Plant gallery were a huge draw and greatly contributed to the Fair’s substantial ongoing dialogue on contemporary art and its escalating profile and role in society.

Art Toronto 2007 was an enormous success on every level, and the organizers extend their thanks for the continued and remarkable support and interest expressed by participants, attendees and exhibitors.

The 9th annual Toronto International Art Fair – Art Toronto 2008 will take place from October 2nd – October 6th 2008. For more information, visit
or email