Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Leafs GM Brian Burke Supports Son During Coming Out Process

The son of former pro hockey player and current Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has come out publicly as gay--and Burke has come out just as publicly in support of his son.

Buccigross intersperses the narration, which details the family drama of Brendan coming out to his father, with comments from Brendan Burke, who is quoted as remarking, "I had a million good reasons to love and admire Brendan. This news didn’t alter any of them.

"I would prefer Brendan hadn’t decided to discuss this issue in this very public manner," the elder Burke continues. "There will be a great deal of reaction, and I fear a large portion will be negative. But this takes guts, and I admire Brendan greatly, and happily march arm in arm with him on this.

"There are gay men in professional hockey," observes Brian Burke. "We would be fools to think otherwise. And it’s sad that they feel the need to conceal this. I understand why they do so, however.

"I wish this burden would fall on someone else’s shoulders, not Brendan’s," the young man’s father adds. "Pioneers are often misunderstood and mistrusted. But since he wishes to blaze this trail, I stand beside him with an axe! I simply could not be more proud of Brendan than I am, and I love him as much as I admire him."

The elder Burke has expressed the hope that "the day comes, and soon, when this is not a story," but for some players, coaches, and pundits that day is already here. The younger Burke works as student manager for the Miami Redhawks; when he came out to the team, he found nothing but support from the players and from coach Enrico Blasi, who was quoted as saying, "As far as Miami is concerned, we are about the person. I believe we would be accepting and honestly not even think twice about it.

"I think having Brendan as part of our program has been a blessing," Blasi added. "We are much more aware of what you say and how we say it. I am guilty as anyone. We need to be reminded that respect is not a label, but something you earn by the way you live your life."

Commenting on the story, and on Buccigross’ column, a Nov. 24 posting at sports blog Out of Left Field embraced the younger Burke’s experience as more typical now that in years past. "What sort of got buried is that the Miami Redhawks, a college hockey team full of 18- to 22-year-old jocks, accepted Brendan Burke as he is," the posting read. "Perhaps the sports world is more forward-thinking than behind-the-curve sportswriters would have you believe.

"That’s the real story, far as this high-tech redneck is concerned," the blog posting continues. "Ask yourself if you can see that happening with a major junior franchise team. Perhaps it has already. We don’t know, since all the sports columnists who are now compelled to write, ’There are gays in sport, gays in hockey, gays in society. I know of many who have served in front offices and scouting capacities. They shouldn’t have to hide, now or ever,’ have seldom if ever bothered to write that column on a day when it was not convenient or current."

The blog went on to note, "True, you might not have read that 10, 15, 20 years ago in a daily newspaper, so it does represent progress to a limited extent. Don’t miss the point. You should resist putting people in tinier and tinier boxes where if they believe in A (fighting in hockey = good), then they must believe B (gay people = not good).... You should never assume a singularity to anyone’s personality, even though we’re all guilty of it sometimes."


Wow, $15,000 and a trip for two. Get out your crayons and get to work kiddies. You only have until the end of the year to submit your creations.

The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism is inviting graphic designers to create a new tourism logo in an international design competition to celebrate the remarkable increase in the number of global visitors to the holiday hotspot.

“With nearly five million visitors from around the world visiting the Dominican Republic each year, we are thrilled to give young and emerging designers the opportunity to showcase their skills in a fun and creative way,” said Magaly Toribio, the DR Ministry of Tourism’s Vice Minister of International Promotion. “The new design will help us visually represent the Dominican Republic’s natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture to travellers worldwide, and will appear on all Dominican Republic tourism promotional materials.”

The winner of the competition will receive a seven-night vacation for two to the Dominican Republic and a cash prize of US$15,000.

A premier destination for Canadians, the DR is renowned for its tropical beauty and striking coastlines, diverse accommodations and activities, championship designer golf courses, captivating cultural events, and more than 500 years of rich history, art and architecture. Nearly 25 per cent of the DR has been protected as national parks and nature preserves, making it the most bio-diverse country in the Caribbean.

Deadline for entry in the logo design competition is December 30, 2009. For full details on how to enter, including terms, conditions and prizes, please visit:

For more information on the Dominican Republic, please visit:

About Dominican Republic:

The Dominican Republic’s first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Rich in history, the DR has developed into a diverse destination offering both Dominican and European flavours to more than 800,000 Canadian visitors each year. Named #1 Golf Destination in Caribbean & Latin America by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, the DR boasts 25 designer golf courses, upscale resorts, pristine nature, and sophisticated cities and quaint villages filled with warm Dominican people. The DR features some of the world’s best beaches, fascinating history and culture, and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families alike. Visit the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism’s official web site at: or call 1-888-494-5050 for more information.

Sexy Smells

When Professor Joel Levine's team genetically tweaked fruit flies so that they didn't produce certain pheromones, they triggered a sexual tsunami in their University of Toronto Mississauga laboratory. In fact, they produced bugs so irresistible that normal male fruit flies attempted to mate with pheromone-free males and even females from a different species -- generally a no-no in the fruit fly dating scene.

The study, published in the Oct. 15 issue of Nature, points to a link between sex, species recognition and a specific chemical mechanism and is part of Levine's larger research into the genetic basis of social behaviour.

"This is important not only from the point of view of understanding social dynamics but it's also fundamental biology because these pheromones provide recognition cues that facilitate reproductive behaviour," said Levine, an assistant professor of biology. "Lacking these chemical signals eliminated barriers to mating. It turned out that males of other species were attracted to females who didn't have these signals, so that seemed to eliminate the species barrier."

In this study, they focused on recognition -- how individual Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) know what their species is and what their sex is. While previous studies had suggested that pheromones played an important role, Levine's team decided to genetically eliminate a certain class of these chemicals, called cuticular hydrocarbon pheromones, to determine their particular effect.

The researchers found that female flies bred without the hydrocarbons were melanogaster Marilyn Monroes to normal males. But the effect didn't stop there -- males lacking the hydrocarbons were also sexually irresistible. In fact, females lacking the hydrocarbons were so sexy that males of other Drosophila species courted them.

When the researchers treated females bred without the hydrocarbons with a female aphrodisiac, it restored the barrier preventing sex between species, suggesting that a single compound can provide species identity. "That means the same chemical signals and genes are underlying not only social behaviour in groups, like courtship and mating, but also behaviour between species."

Levine stressed that while pheromones are part of the human mating dance, the cues for attraction are far more complex in our species.

"Although I am no expert on human pheromones, there is evidence that men and women may discriminate odours from the same sex or other sexes differently, and there's even some evidence that how an individual discriminates those odours may reflect their gender preference," he said. "We may rely more on the visual system and we may have a more complex way of assessing other individuals and classifying them and determining how we're going to relate to them than a fly does.

"But what we're looking at is a spectrum across biology of a tendency to understand how others relate to ourselves. It's clearly an issue that humans are caught up in -- it's in our art, like Madame Butterfly, and it's in our newspapers, in terms of sports issues like the recent controversy about the sexual identify of the South African runner Caster Semenya."

The study was funded by grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Canada Research Chair grants awarded to Levine.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gay Teens Murdered and Remembered

Killing anyone is unacceptable. Taking a young life is horrendous. Murder as a hate crime should bring the maximum legal sentencing.

Thousands of people in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Oakland, Calif., and other cities around the country attended memorials, vigils and other events held over the weekend to pay tribute to slain gay teenagers Jorge Steven López Mercado of Puerto Rico and Jason Mattison, Jr., of Baltimore.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, City Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito, openly gay City Councilmember-elect Danny Dromm, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation president Jarrett Barrios and fashion designer Malan Breton were among the hundreds who attended a vigil on the Christopher Street Pier in Manhattan’s West Village last night. Mark-Viverito reiterated her call for Puerto Rican authorities to bring hate crimes charges against the man who has repeatedly confessed to López’s death. And she joined Quinn and others who blasted Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño for not denouncing the teen’s gruesome murder.

"Silence condones the hate that continues to breed in our community," Mark-Viverito said.

Carlos Velez of the New York City Commission on Human Rights spoke on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s behalf.

"All of us condemn the disgusting and shameful murder of Jorge Steven López Mercado," he said.

Barrios further paid tribute to López in both English and Spanish.

"Today we remember a 19-year-old young man; a beautiful young man," he said (as translated from Spanish.)

Juan A. Martínez Matos reportedly confessed to local investigators he killed López before he decapitated him, dismembered and partially burned his body near Caguas earlier this month. Dante Parish has reportedly confessed he raped and repeatedly stabbed Jason Mattison, Jr., 15, to death before he stuffed him into a closet inside an East Baltimore home on Nov. 10.

Activists who organized many of the vigils across the country sought to memorialize both murdered teenagers, but those who attended the New York memorial seemed largely focused on López’s death.

"That was like my son being killed," PFLAG member Carmen Robello told EDGE as she pointed her out her openly gay son is roughly the same age López was when he died and she lived on Puerto Rico for five years. "It bothered me. It could have been my son."

Luna Legacy added the gruesome nature of López’s death compelled him and his friends to attend the vigil.

"I was shocked when I heard about it," he said. "This young beautiful boy killed in such a horrific way was shocking."

Stephanie Jones ended the New York vigil by reading aloud a statement from López’s mother, Miriam Mercado.

"When my son told me he was gay, I told him, ’Now, I love you more," Mercado stated. "I want to tell the world that hatred is not born with human beings, it is a seed that is planted by adults and is fostered creating a climate of intolerance and violence. We must change our ways and understand that anyone... could have been my son. And I want everybody to know that Jorge Steven was a very much loved son."

She further spoke in a video posted to YouTube yesterday.

"Love will conquer hate; this is what I want to say to the wold," Mercado said (as translated from Spanish.) "Steven was a human being. He was my son. He was a brother."

11 Year Old Kills Himself After Being Called Gay

This is most disturbing knowing that someone as young as 11 could be so affected by name calling and bullying by their peers. These slanderous and discriminatory remarks are always hurtful and potentially fateful.

Massachusetts lawmakers are mulling a bill that would put teeth into a law on the books since 1993 that addresses bullying in public schools. LGBT activists are pleased, but they remain concerned over the lack of transgender-specific protections.

Proposals to strengthen the statute come partially as a result of the suicide of an 11-year-old boy last April after classmates bullied and harassed him because they thought he was gay. They called him "faggot," and said he acted like a girl and made fun of his clothes.

Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, a junior at New Leadership Charter School in Springfield, hanged himself with an electrical cord in his bedroom. He left a note to his family that said he loved them and gave his Pokémon cards to a six-year-old brother.

His mother, Sirdeaner Walker, was among those who testified the Joint Committee on Education on Nov. 17 to support House Bill 483, the most comprehensive of 11 bills before Beacon Hill lawmakers.

"What could make a child his age despair so much that he would take his own life? That question haunts me today,’’ she told committee members. "Those kids called him those names because they knew they were the most hurtful things they could say to him, and they hit their mark.’’

Sponsored by state Rep. John Rogers [D-Norfolk,] HB 483 would require schools to report all incidents of bullying and abuse to the state. Massachusetts enacted a law 16 years ago that prohibits bullying and harassment in schools based on sexual orientation, but it doesn’t include a mandatory reporting mechanism.

Activists credit Kevin Jennings, who founded the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network in Boston in 1990, for helping make the 1993 law a reality. He left GLSEN in Nov. 2008 and now heads the

U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.

EDGE interviewed Eliza Byard, his successor as GLSEN executive director, by phone at her New York office. She said she feels as good as HB 483 is, the bill does not go far enough because it omits gender identity.

"The other issue is that the bill as currently written would not have necessarily helped specifically in Carl’s case," she explained. "Anti-discrimination measures refer specifically to the identity of the target. We do not know what Carl might have thought of his sexual orientation and unfortunately will never know."

Whether Walker-Hoover was gay or not is beside the point, Byard emphasized. She further stressed someone subjected to anti-LGBT bullying should not have to prove their sexual orientation or gender identity to get the protection they need. And Byard further addressed two concerns bill opponents continue to raise-it will inhibit free speech and create new criminal statutes.

She pointed out the First Amendment does not protect slurs such as "faggot," a term bullies frequently used against LGBT students. And Byard added she believes education, not criminalization, is the way to address the problem.

"These are problems that involve two people in need of help-the target and the bully," she explained. "Students who bully have the need to express power over other students. They need help, too."

Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley, who testified at the committee hearing, agreed.

"[HR 483] will not create new criminal statutes," he pointed out. "It will not infringe upon free speech. It will not create new grounds for a lawsuit. What it will do is provide a comprehensive and common-sense framework for school districts to create and enforce their anti-bullying policies."

Byard said GLSEN will let lawmakers know its concerns with the bill and is working closely with its Massachusetts chapter, the Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth and other local organizations.

BAGLY Executive Director Grace Sterling Stowell also stressed her position on the importance of including gender identity in the bill language in a phone interview with EDGE.

"It’s often most visible and often makes those young people more of a target," she said.

Stowell further echoed Byard’s comments about perception.

"The issue is not who someone is," she emphasized. "It is how they are perceived to be."

BAGLY, she added, works more with LGBT youth in the community than in schools. And bullying is just as much a problem outside the classroom.

"Facebook, My Space, twittering, e-mails--there are many ways bullies can target LGBTs and people in general," Stowell said.

She added she feels bullying seriously affects its targets--they are unable to perform well in school and may become victims of assault or violence. And they may even harm or kill themselves as Walker-Hoover did.

Straight Civil Union Challenge

An interesting twist on the whole same-sex marriage debate. Seems the queer population in the UK have settled into the civil union arrangements, and now the straights are wanting in on it as well. Another nail in the coffin for marriage?

A straight couple who tried to apply for a civil partnership this morning have said they are willing to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle, both 25, arrived at Islington Town Hall in London this morning to register their intention to have a civil partnership.

As they had anticipated, they were given a letter of refusal.

Head of democratic services John Lynch wrote: "I do not wish to comment on your views on marriage but would point out that part one of the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 states that a civil partnership is a relationship between two people of the same sex and therefore we would not be able to take notice of your proposed civil partnership."

Speaking outside the building, the couple said: "Today we have been refused access to a legal institution because of our sexuality. We are saddened and disappointed.

"In a democratic state, all institutions should be open to all people.

"We are going to take legal advice and take it to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary."

It is thought that the ban may breach the European Convention of Human Rights with regard to articles eight, 12 and 14. These refer to a right to privacy, marriage and freedom from discrimination.

Doyle told "It's hard because we can be seen as a straight couple wanting to colonise civil partnerships, in a way. So we were expecting some kind of negativity from the gay community. But we haven't had any.

"The fact is that no gay people are really campaigning for equal marriage. I mean, we're coming in as a straight couple campaigning for straight couples' rights. We can't really campaign on behalf of the gay community. But by implication, we hope that marriage will be opened up both ways."

She added: "I remember talking to gay colleagues and them saying 'but we like civil partnerships, it's just for us', and I think that's fine but you should have the choice. Whether a lot of gay couples want marriage or straight couples want civil partnerships, that's beside the point. The fact is you should have the choice in a democratic society."

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, who is supporting the couple, said: "Tom and Katherine's application is supported by myself and OutRage!. We have long campaigned against homophobic discrimination but we are equally opposed to discrimination against heterosexual couples. The law should be equal for everyone.

"I think a legal appeal's going to be quite difficult because the government will argue that they have the option of a civil marriage. That's true, but for Tom and Katherine and myself the issue is discrimination. Quite clearly, a heterosexual couple cannot have a civil partnership just as a homosexual couple cannot have marriage. Two wrongs do not make a right and we want equality in law for everyone."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ars Audet - Art, Music, Fashion, Design, and Décor

The first Ars Audet happens Friday November 5, 2009 at the beautiful Berkeley Church. Translated into English from its Latin origin, Ars Audet means Art Dares, and brings together various elements of art that will certainly create reason to gawk and vogue.

Organizer James Brandon from Plan it Productions says, “This is the first Ars Audet, but I have worked in many other events in the past. I wanted to create an annual charity event that sort of had all the elements of other events that I thought worked, and I enjoyed doing. The response from the artistic community has been amazing and I am really happy with our line up for the event.”

It certainly is an eclectic stellar line up of musicians, actors, composers, visual artists, authors, comedians and more from within the local artistic community. The evening is hosted by Lily Cheng who will not only MC, but do a live performance as well. She says, “I support Ars Audet and ACT because of their contribution to helping those living with AIDS continue to live their lives to the fullest.” Her past includes hosting radio and television shows, and singing to hundreds of inmates doing hard time. Currently she’s working on a new album, hosting a show at Bite TV, and hosting a monthly gathering called the Toronto Song Crib for singer/songwriters to workshop new material.

Other performers include Sara-Jean Villa, an adventurous, sexy and edgy dominant voice who has regularly been likened to a potential opera singer. She’s an expressionistic performer, singer, and songwriter who also performed the lead role in Snow White across Ontario. Sixteen year old Amanda Belardinelli cites her inspirations as everything from Mozart to metal, and she proves herself with the endearing cover of the 1980’s Tears for Fears hit Mad World.

Award-winning novelist, filmmaker and composer Jeffrey Round performs four of his compositions with soprano Lilac Caña. Round’s new book, The Honey Locust, just hit the shelves this month and is his second release this year, after his latest Bradford Fairfax mystery novel, Death in Key West. Caña has sung in the cathedrals of Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, including the Vatican in Rome. She also performed as soloist for Pope John Paul II during World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto. Through her company Lilac Sounds she has recorded five CD albums, and produced multi-media concert events.

Opera singer Craig Ashton has performed leading roles in eminent productions by The Canadian Opera Company, Toronto Opera in Concert, Toronto Operetta Theatre, The Banff Festival, Edmonton Opera, and Vancouver Opera. Comedian Carolyn Barnett cracks things up with a live performance. She’s got a great resume with writing gigs for television (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Air Farce, Chilly Beach, The NHL Awards), and has had two plays produced by CBC Radio. She has been a contributor to Eye Weekly, NOW, Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, National Post, and has also just completed her first novel.

Toronto rocker trio Stuck on Planet Earth strut out power pop bliss, and are ready to roll with tunes from their recently released EP, Plus Minus. Things keep going late with the dance after-party, starting at 11pm and featuring the house sounds of DJ Slyce. This Iraqi born, American raised, Canadian resident spins regularly in the top clubs of Toronto, and is set to drop his very first original single in 2010.

This event takes place within the stunning confines of The Berkeley Church, located at 315 Queen St East. The building was originally built in 1817 and is one of the most unique places in the city to hold a party.

I’m not certain of performance times, but doors are at 7PM, and I’d suggest getting there soon after if you want to catch the full extravaganza. Ticket prices range from $40.00 for all performances, art preview, artist reception, and the after-party, to just $5.00 for the after-party only, which starts at 11pm. This is a licensed event and proceeds go to the AIDS Committee of Toronto.

Find out more juicy details and ticket information at –

Lily Cheng -,
Sara-Jean Villa -
Amanda Belardinelli -
Jeffrey Round -
Lilac Cana -
Carolyn Bennett -
Stuck on Planet Earth -
DJ Slyce -

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Jamaican Gay Eradication Day - WTF?

This is definitely a sad state of affairs for Jamaica. If they don't want their own citizens living there, then how could they welcome tourists? It's simply uneducated bigotry that must be addressed at higher levels. Stop tourism, impose trade sanctions, speak to sensible Jamaicans, and take a stance. This must be stopped!

A Jamaican town where a "Gay Eradication Day" had been proclaimed expelled all gay and lesbian residents on Oct. 30.

An article that same day appeared at Digital, which reported that the people of East Kingston’s McGregor Gully had given gays there two weeks to get out--with Oct. 30 being the deadline. Residents declared that any gays still in the town after the deadline would "suffer the consequences," the article said.

Hiompohobia is deeply rooted in Jamiacan culture, and is relfectedbothin the countruy’s music and its religious traditions, which are both Rastafarian and evangelical Christian. Anti-gay attacks have been widely reported in recent years; anti-gay mobs have attacked and murdered gays, going so far as to break into private homes to carry out acts of anti-gay violence.

The justification given by residents of McGregor Gully echoed the rationales cited by anti-gay groups in the United States. Residents claimed that they were acting in defense of their families, the article said, as well as to protect the reputation of their community.

Anti-gay claims in McGregor Gully also echoed American anti-gay accusations of public sex committed by gays. Locals claimed that lesbians would congregate at a specific spot to "kiss, hug, and even touch each other," the article said, but anger at the lesbians spilled over onto gay men as well.

The article reported that the residents swore to ensure that their town was "gay free," and that they were willing to take "extreme measures" to accomplish their goal. Such "extreme measures" have, in past instances, included kicking, beating, and machete attacks.

Critics of Jamaican homophobia say that government officials, including the police, do not offer gays there any protection, often merely watching as mobs attack gays or else participating in beatings and other abuses themselves. American gay Christian group Metropolitan Community Churches has sought to intervene in anti-gay violence in Jamaica, though with little success. American LGBT eqwuality groupos have also encouraged tourism boycotts of the island nation, as well as protesting a recent American tour of "murder music" dancehall star Buju Banton, whose song "Boom Bye Bye" describes shooting gays in the head and then burning their bodies.


The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) announced the creation of the CFC North-South Marketplace to support, foster and build cross-border relationships for Canadian talent that will enhance a vibrant motion picture industry in Canada.

The CFC North-South Marketplace, supported by the Copyright Collective of Canada, will cultivate north-south relationships for the CFC's community of creative talent, its alumni and industry. The marketplace’s goals are to broker creative and business exchanges and relationships between Canadian talent and industry professionals in the United States. The program will also provide incentives for Canadian artists to capitalize on their marketplace experiences by bringing home and sharing their expertise and success in the entertainment community and stimulating creativity and innovation in the production industry in Canada.

“The entertainment business is going through tumultuous change: New technology, new business models, and new audience behaviour. The 21st century realities force us to take a hard look at development, production, creation and distribution processes across all media,” said Slawko Klymkiw, Executive Director, CFC. “It is precisely this need - the need to assess the ways in which we marry an evolving business environment with our dynamic CFC talent base - that has inspired the North-South Marketplace.”

This ground-breaking program will offer Canadian talent the opportunity to access the U.S. marketplace through a number of initiatives, such as networking opportunities, project matchmaking and development assistance. The program will be guided by an advisory board of highly respected Canadian and American production and studio executives, who will lend their expertise to ensure these projects and ideas reach the largest audience possible while addressing the needs of the changing market. The board will monitor the demands of the marketplace on a regular basis and advance the progress of projects developed by the CFC's talent group.

As part of the CFC North-South Marketplace, an online contest called The Reel Challenge: Make Your Own Movie will launch in early December at This competition will ask Canadian talent to submit a film spot that addresses the importance of content protection in a compelling way from a creator’s perspective. The 1st place winner will receive a $10,000 prize; 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive $2,500.

“Contemporary artists face unprecedented opportunities, yet, at the same time, enormous challenges with respect to controlling the distribution, use and reproduction of their works,” said Klymkiw. “The Reel Challenge will be an excellent opportunity for Canadian creators to take ownership of their creativity and promote their work.”

About CFC

CFC is Canada’s largest institution for advanced training in film, television and new media. A charitable not-for-profit organization, CFC is committed to promoting and investing in Canada’s diverse talent; providing exhibition, financial, and distribution opportunities for top creative content leaders from coast to coast. CFC makes a significant cultural and economic contribution to Canada by launching the country’s most creative ideas and voices in film, television and new media to the world.

For more information please visit:

Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival (Toronto) - Nov 5 to 14

This is one of my favourite film festivals in Toronto. I've been attending for 15 years and never once have I been disappointed. It's most definitely worth attending and supporting this amazing endeavour. I'm going to really miss the theatre at CAMH, but looking forward to seeing the new digs over at 651 Dufferin Street. Enjoy!

About the festival

MENTAL ILLNESS AND ADDICTION are fundamental parts of our human experience and they have always been difficult to present and discuss in the public arena. Fear and stigma routinely make accurate representations and presentations next to impossible.

The vehicle through which mental illness and addiction are most often presented publicly is mainstream film. Through these films the public can, in most instances, sit back and watch from a safe distance. Audiences are secure in the belief that they are watching the experiences of others and remain divorced from the realities of society.

Film can also enable new and established artists to visually explore ideas and express stories of mental illness and addiction in ways that are nearly impossible in other artistic media. The technical freedom of film allows for these artists to challenge perceptions of reality and to express the truth of mental illness and addiction.

RWM explores these cinematic representations and hosts panel discussions after each screening. The films are the art, the discussion gives them perspective.

Opening Night - Thursday November 5th
Celebrate the premiere of the 17th Annual Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival. The classical theme of Canadian premiere Clara is accompanied by performances from pianist Yuval Fichman and continued with an evening of intimate conversation between him and Dr. David Goldbloom, senior medical advisor, education and public affairs, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Afterwards, everyone is invited to view the inSANITY installation; a hot topic of conversation featured at this year’s Nuit Blanche, and enjoy music provided by one of Workman Arts’ own musicians, Faeghan. This event is the first of many planned at Workman Arts’ new home, 651 Dufferin St.

Fichman will perform the last two etudes of Schumann’s piano landmark, Symphonic Etudes, in addition to the famous Traumerei from Scenes from Childhood to celebrate the festival opening. He has performed as a soloist with most of the major orchestras in Canada and the United States, and travelled internationally as a guest soloist with the Montreal and Vancouver symphonies. Fichman has also performed for several movie soundtracks including Don McKeller’s Last Night, Francois Girard’s 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould and Larry Weinstein’s Beethoven’s Hair.

Helma Sanders-Brahms, director of Clara, is the most critically acclaimed and highly awarded female voice of New German Cinema. She presents a tale of passion, betrayal and redemption in her astounding biopic of Clara Schumann. A brilliant musician and composer in her own right, Clara is content to stay in the background and support the delicate genius of her husband Robert Schumann; that is until the younger and equally brilliant Johannes Brahms enters their lives as his protégé.

Faeghan, a member of Workman Arts for more than four years, is a multi-disciplinary artist who enjoys music, visual arts, expressive movement and performance. She is happy to return to her first love – the piano – in celebration of 2009’s Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival.

Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival (RWM) presents award-winning comedian Mike MacDonald on Saturday November 7, 2009 at 8 p.m. at Workman Hall, 651 Dufferin St. Tickets are priced at $10 for show only and $15 for the Crazy Comedy package for show plus “Laugh a Little” screening at 6 p.m., and are available by calling 416.583.4339 ext.7. MacDonald will be replacing “Big Daddy” Tazz and all tickets will be honoured.

Comedian Mike MacDonald, considered one of the top funny men in all of Canada, understands the power of laughter. In addition to his successful and well-received live performances all over North America, Mike has appeared on numerous TV shows including Late Night with David Letterman, The Arsenio Hall Show, Just For Laughs, Showtime’s Comedy Club All-Star Show, A&E’s An Evening at the Improv and Comedy Central’s The A List.

Mike has hosted both the Gemini Awards and the Just For Laughs 10th Anniversary Special for CBC, and starred in the sitcom Mosquito Lake. He has also starred in three well-received and critically acclaimed specials for CBC and for Showtime. His first special, Mike MacDonald: On Target was the first one-hour prime-time special by a stand-up comic in the history of the CBC. His next special, My House! My Rules!!, was nominated for two Gemini Awards and two Ace Awards. His third Showtime special, Happy as I can be, achieved a number-one rating when it aired on prime time on CBC.

“God’s favourite humour is irony, and what a more perfect mental health issue for a Canadian than bi-polar,” says MacDonald of his performance at this year’s festival.

“What is the relationship between madness and comedy?”, “Why do comedians venerate the mentally ill?”, “Is laughter an effective therapy?”, “What about the high suicide rate among comics?”, “If comedians were ‘well-adjusted’ would they be funny?”, “How does comedy in pop culture appropriate the language of madness and does it trivialize it?”

In a conversation between Mark Breslin, founder of Yuk Yuk’s and Dr. Joel Jeffries, these topics and more will be examined in an intimate and exciting discussion, followed by a performance by Mike MacDonald. Afterwards, all three will join to continue the discussion on health and humour, welcoming questions and comments from the audience.

About the Presenter

Workman Arts (WA) is a not-for-profit multidisciplinary arts organization that supports individuals who receive mental health and addictions services in their artistic pursuits and promotes a greater understanding of mental health and addiction issues through various artistic media.

Since its incorporation in 1991, WA has produced more than 38 original new Canadian plays, 16 Rendezvous with Madness Film Festivals, 9 Annual Being Scene Art Exhibitions, 4 multi-disciplinary festivals and 1 international festival. WA has formed partnerships with well over 100 organizations within Toronto, across the country and around the world.

The company has a current membership base of approximately 250 member artists to whom it offers year round arts training opportunities. WA members have presented their work in a variety of venues such as the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Second City, the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario Suites, Harbourfront Centre, the Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, and the Pumphouse Theatre in Muenster, Germany.

Workman Arts / Rendezvous with Madness
651 Dufferin St.
Toronto, On, Canada
M6K 2B2

Phone: (416) 583-4339
Box Office: (416) 583-4606

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Turn of The Screw (Toronto) - Ends Nov 7

This season DVxT creates a site-specific performance of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, a hauntingly beautiful glimpse into the ultimate source of evil: the human mind.

A young governess journeys to an isolated English country estate to care for two recently orphaned children. Once there, she begins to see and hear strange things. She learns that her predecessor Miss Jessel died under curious circumstances. Gradually, she becomes convinced that Miss Jessel and her mysteriously departed lover Quint are somehow using the children to continue their relationship from beyond the grave.

What begins as a ghost story quickly becomes a tale of psychological panic; the governess struggles, and ultimately fails, to protect the children from the corruption that only she can sense. In The Turn of the Screw, video projections, sound and music meet candlelight, fusing historic and contemporary detail and creating a ghostly new reality.

Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen Street West (at Osgoode Subway Station).

Ars Audet - ACT Fundraiser (Toronto) - Nov 6, 2009

Ars Audet is set to premiere as Toronto’s most talked about Art event! All profits from this exciting event will be donated to ACT (AIDS Committee of Toronto). Ars Audet will feature some of Toronto’s most creative and unique artists.
Witness some of the most unique art processes, experience the most daring live art, hear some of the best musical performances, bid on some of the most eclectic art, and meet the artists in person.
The event will bring together many aspects of art that will sure to stimulate all your senses. Be a part of this exciting new annual art event and contribute to a worthwhile cause!
Ars Audet Schedule of Events - East (

Date: Friday November 6, 2009
Place: Berkeley Church 315 Queen Street
Time: 7:30pm – 8:30pm Artist's Reception: Art Preview, Hors D'œuvres, and Live Music.
9:00pm – 10:00pm Live Stage Show.
10:00pm – 11:00pm Silent Auction and Art Displays/Demonstrations.
11:00pm – 2:00am After party with a special performance by "Stuck on Planet Earth" followed by Toronto’s best DJ’s and dancing. Alcohol will be served.

$40.00 - Includes: Artist's Reception, silent auction, live stage show, live art exhibits and after party. Doors open at 7:00pm.
$30.00 - Includes: Silent auction, live stage show, live art exhibits and after party. Doors open at 8:30pm.
$5.00 - Includes: After party (tickets available at the door at 11:00pm, (limited tickets available until room capacity is filled).

More Info:
Facebook -

Boys Under the Big Top (Toronto) - Nov 8 and 15

Boylesque T.O. is inviting all thrill seekers to their wild and wacky world of wonderment and whimsy.

Proudly presenting:

a male burlesque and circus extravaganza!

TWO Spectacular Sunday Shows: November 8 and 15

Hosted by Balonia Wry and Ginger Darling and featuring sensational circus celebrities including
1. Sexy Strongmen
2. Awe mazing Acrobats
3. Mystifying magic men and charmers
4. Wild diva beasts including gorillas, lions, snakes and horses
and much more...

With special guest stars:

Tanya Cheex (Skin Tight Outta Sight), Keith Cole, Mysterion the Mind Reader, PyRomeo, Charlotte Weber (Les Coquettes), The Mohyl (Les Coquettes) and others...

Revival Nightclub – 783 College Street West

Get $20 advance tickets now at
$25 at the door.

Facebook -

Sex City Radio - Fundraising Show - November 7, 2009

Sex City has been airing on University of Toronto’s CIUT 89.5 FM radio for over 15 years. This is definitely one of the longest running programs on community radio, and we thank our listeners and guests very much for your contributions and support during this period.

Twice a year, we as hosts are asked to assist with fundraising efforts to keep the station, and specifically our program, on the air for years to follow. This means that we must bring in some financial support that helps offset the various daily operating costs. As with all hosts, we work on a volunteer basis because we enjoy what we are doing. As a past guest, dedicated listener, public relations firm, promoter, artist, sex-worker, or like-minded organization we trust that you can appreciate the efforts and commitment that every one of us puts into making this happen week after week.

We are requesting that you consider being a sponsor for Sex City by contributing a minimum of $25.00. Please see the Online Pledge Form -
that indicates the levels of Membership Benefits available. Make sure to mark “Sex City” in the “Show I Wish To Support” area, then fully complete this form and submit it online, mail it back to the address indicated at the top, or fax to the station at 416 946 7004.

Finally, it would be great to have you call in to the station during our show this Saturday between 5pm and 6pm. We can be reached at 416 946 7000 or 416 946 7800. It would be great to hear from you if you have any upcoming events, prize giveaways, or other items of interest for our listeners, and also to have you support our efforts and encourage others to do so as well. Let us know if you have something you want us to mention on air.

We thank you in advance for your continued support and we’d appreciate if you could make your friends and colleagues aware of our fundraising drive as well. Together we will meet our goal and continue to bring you sexy radio for years to come.

The Sex City Crew
Saturdays from 5pm to 6pm
Listen at 89.5 FM in Toronto or worldwide.

Everything to do with Sex Show Celebrates 10th Anniversary (Toronto)

Canada’s Hottest Adult and Consumer Show set for November 20-22 at the Direct Energy Centre

It’s that time of year again. Starting November 20th, The Direct Energy Centre will transform into a hotbed for romance, sensuality, sexuality and self improvement. This year marks the 10th Anniversary for the popular adult show, Everything to do with Sex Show

“We are very proud of how we have grown into one of the largest consumer romance shows in the world,” said Show Manager, Mikey Singer. “This year’s show will feature a wide-variety of informative seminars and the latest products guaranteed to stimulate the body and soul. In keeping with previous years, we will also showcase some of the best entertainment seen at any consumer show in Canada.”

Dozens of seminars and exhibitions will be on the spotlight during the three-day show and will answer everything you ever wanted to know about sex from how to find the perfect toy, to tips and techniques to improve and enhance your time in between the sheets.

Entertainment highlights on the main stage will include Northern Men Exposure, Aradia Fitness Pole Dance Competition, Coquette Lingerie Fashion Show, Belly Dancing, and various Cirque disciplines.

The Priape Dungeon Area, a demonstration area manned by volunteer members of the fetish community, will welcome back Dominatrix Viktoria who will entertain and educate those in attendance with a risqué presentation. Those in attendance will learn about what’s new and exciting in the BDSM communities.

Singer went on to say, “The show is geared to enhance the personal lives of couples and singles. We encourage everyone looking to learn about things that they may have been afraid to ask in the past to come out and join us for our tenth year of everything to do with sex.”

Renowned sex educators from across Canada and the U.S. will be on hand to answer all your questions on a variety of subjects from the taboo to the scientific. Topics like Pleasurable Anal Sex, Strap On Fun and

For additional information on the entertainment line-up and stage schedule, visit:

The Everything To Do With Sex Show runs from Friday, November 20 to Sunday, November 22 at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place in Toronto. Show hours are 3 p.m. to midnight on November 20th, 11 a.m. to midnight on November 21st and 11 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. November 22nd.

Additional information on The Everything To Do With Sex Show is available at:

The Everything To Do With Sex Show Fact Sheet


The tenth annual Everything To Do With Sex Show, Canada’s sexiest consumer show launches Friday, November 20 through Sunday, November 22. Over 150 exhibitors will cover the sprawling 119,000 square foot Direct Energy Centre. Admittance to Toronto’s most interactive consumer show is restricted to 19 and over.

This Everything To Do With Sex Show draws in curious adults who want to explore their sexuality. The show covers every topic from romantic dinners to sexual bondage. Best of all, the show presents sex, and everything to do with it, in a fun, non-threatening environment that appeals to couples and singles alike It’s your chance to be entertained, inspired and educated whether you’re 19 or 99.

Show highlights include:

Main Stage show’s providing unmatched entertainment, Aradia Fitness Pole Dance Competition, Coquette Lingerie Fashion Shows, Game Show Erotica, and a Cirque show that will blow your mind.
Sex is in the spotlight with almost 30 seminars taking place throughout the three-day period. For a complete listing of seminars, visit: (linked to last year)
Live body casting with Peter Labelle. Your chance to turn your body into a work of art.
Body Art by renowned body painter Ark Angel
Come see stunning models showcase exhibitor merchandise during the Fashion Show Exotica.

The Everything To Do With Sex Show Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is The Everything to do with Sex show designed for?

Everyone! Well, almost everyone. The Everything To Do With Sex Show offers visitors a wide-angle lens into the world of products and services designed to improve your sex life. The show’s assortment of displays, seminars and products is so vast, offering something for singles or couples of every sexual orientation, fetish, age or gender. Naturally, admittance is restricted to those over the age of 19.

2. I’m not into bondage or kinky sex. What will the show offer for me?

That’s a question we often get. The Everything To Do With Sex Show is a fun, relaxed and non-threatening event, which allows visitors the opportunity to explore all aspects of sex, including the more mild and modest. More tame exhibitions, displays and demos include seminars on Two Simple Ways to Keep the Spark Alive and Answers to Questions You Couldn’t Ask Your Mother.

Exhibitors offer the newest products and hottest trends in their industries. Products range from the hottest new sex toys, lingerie and leather fashions and sensual fragrances, to fine foods, beauty products (hair extensions, tanning), health spa, and many other products and services to make your lives more enjoyable.

3. My partner is more modest than I am. How do I get them to the show?

Tell your partner that the overriding goal of the show is to put visitors at ease by offering exhibitions and seminars in a way that is fun, relaxed and non-threatening. Whatever your area of interest, we’ll have it for you at The Everything To Do With Sex Show.

4. Is this a good place to meet people?

The event is a great place to meet like-minded people in a very open environment. With all that’s going on at the show it’s hard not to have a good time and be in great spirits. So come with an opened mind, a ready smile, and enjoy the special atmosphere one can only find at the show.

5. How many exhibitors does the festival attract?

The Everything To Do With Sex Show attracted 150 exhibitors last year.

6. How many visitors attended the show?

In 2008, more than people 50,000 attended the three-day event.


Midori Acclaimed writer and lecturer on a wide range of sexual topics, she has a degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and vast indispensable experience as a pioneering San Francisco sex educator. She is known for her humanistic, humorous and warm classes that help people to spice their sex lives and encourage self discovery and personal growth. Author of bestselling books "The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage" and "Wild Side Sex". Born in Japan and raised in a feminist intellectual Tokyo household, she served in the US Army while earning her psychology degree from University of California, Berkeley. Numerous years as a sex educator with San Francisco Sex Information combined with her curiosity and explorations into the sex-positivity movement to complete the dynamic blend of experiences that give her breadth and depth of knowledge in human erotic expression. Visit her site: or learn more about her projects at

Cory Silverberg
Cory Silverberg is an AASECT certified sexuality educator, author, and a founding member of Come As You Are. He is also the Sexuality Guide for, a New York Times website with over 32 million visitors each month. Cory was the supervising researcher for SexTV and for Talk Sex with Sue Johanson.

Reese Jones
Reese runs Come As You Are's educational outreach programs, conducting workshops throughout the city and across Ontario on positive sexuality, sexual assertiveness, the art of flirting, and sex toys.

Carlyle Jansen: Good For Her
Founder of Good For Her and has been conducting workshops for over ten years to thousands of people. She has made several television appearances including Discovery Channel’s “Sex Files”, The Life Networks “Health on the Line”, as well as several documentaries. She is also a proud mother of two.

Carrie Gray: Aslan Leather
Owner of Aslan Leather is passionate about bringing the joys of strap on sex and kinky fun to all. For over decade Carrie has led numerous seminars and play shops on strap on sex, communications desire, flogging and all that is kink. With warm guidance and humour Carrie encourages participants to explore their desires and rediscover the meaning of play

Dr. Laura Zilney
Dr. Laura Zilney is a clinical sexologist in private practice in Brampton. She is the author of numerous articles and books, has served as an expert for a variety of companies and organizations, and is the resident sex expert for 102.1 The Edge. Dr. Zilney also has a full line of therapeutic sexual aids for sale on her website

Sheri Winston
Sheri Winston CNM, RN, BSN, LMT is a celebrated sexuality educator, nurse, midwife, massage therapist, author, artist and sexual empowerment catalyst with a lively, entertaining style. Founder of the in New York State. She will be book signing her new book at the Good For Her booth.


Sexy Questions, Sexy Answers from a Sexpert
Have a question about your sexual journey? Interested to hear a Sexpert opinion on any topic of sexuality you want to know about with Midori, sex educator will be on hand for an interactive discussion.

10 Ways to Enhance Your Sex Life

Looking for a different way to improve or expand your sexual experiences and pleasure? If you've ever picked up a self-help book or video and found it lacking, this seminar is for you. Certified sex educator and author Cory Silverberg shares the 10 most common mistakes people make when trying to improve their sex lives and gives you tips and techniques that actually work to enhance your sex life.

The Best Sex of Your Life

The most common suggestion sex educators and therapists offer to change or improve your sex life might surprise you. It's masturbation. Masturbation, or self-love, or solo sex, is the cornerstone to sexual health and pleasure, and if you think you know everything there is to know about it, think again. Reese Jones offers tips and techniques and teaches you how to bring your solo sex know-how into the bedroom with a partner.

GSpots and PSpots: Double Your Pleasure

Get ready to hit the spot. The G Spot and Prostate have long been a mystery to many, but they don't have to be. Good For Her founder Carlyle Jansen provides a step by step guide to finding your erotic buttons. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned G or P-spotter, you’re guaranteed to learn something new to delight you and your partner.

Sizzling Sex Toys

Find the perfect toy for yourself or your partner. Discover what to look for in a toy and how to choose one that’s safe for you and your body. See what’s new and sizzling in the world of sex toys for men, women and couples!

Sensational Oral Sex

Oral sex can be better, hotter and more satisfying that you ever dreamed with these tips and techniques. Covering both cunnilingus and giving head, even seasoned oral sex enthusiasts are guaranteed to learn something new. Be the lover they rave about to their friends!

Kink 101

Do you want to get spanked? Or maybe you want to dominate your partner and have them serve you. Think you’d like integrate more fantasy play into your sex life? Then Kink 101 is for you! Join Carrie Gray of Aslan Leather for a tour into the world of erotic sensation play. Pick up tips on basic kinky toys and how to use them. Discover how to safely translate sexual desires from fantasy to reality by exploring role-playing, bondage play, spanking and communicating consent.

Strap on Fun

Ever thought of using a strap on, looking for a new way to express your sexuality and a new kind of orgasm? The Strap on Fun may be for you? Strap on dildo harnesses add an exciting new twist to your sex play, they can also open the door to new fantasies, increase communication between sex partners and dramatically prolong penetrative sex. Come out for tips on positions, role play, toys, harnesses and how to get off while giving your partner the ultimate strap on sex experience.

Pleasurable Anal Sex

Interested in expanding your sexual repertoire, but a little afraid? Anal sex can be a great addition to a couple's sex play and can be very pleasurable. Come join Dr. Sex and learn the ins and outs of pain free anal sex.

Masturbating with Your Lover
Not a dirty little secret anymore! Masturbation is good for you - and your relationship. Come and learn some techniques for incorporating masturbation into your sexual relationships and let the fun begin.

Women’s Secret Anatomy of Arousal

You probably don’t know what you’re missing because the whole truth of women’s genital anatomy is incomplete and misunderstood, even by professionals! Discover the largely unknown Female Erectile Network, the interconnected structures responsible for arousal and orgasm. This invaluable information will transform your sex life -- because knowing what’s really there will enable you to reach your full pleasure potential (or help your partner do so). Empowered sexuality, easier arousal, orgasmic abundance, female ejaculation – all this and more awaits you!