Page 1

still out & out: Jamboree celebrates 25 years of camp in the great outdoors

Gay & Lesbian


City Living


August 2013


Best bets

plus playwright

Sky Gilbert

Theatre’s Best Friend

franco boni

Contradiction in terms Distance helps Louis Laberge-Côté & Michael Caldwell get closer

Travel: Vegas plays the gay trump card Books: The late great David Rakoff Film: Indie charmers sans superheroes

01.INTO.Cover.indd 1

22/07/2013 4:34:43 PM

Slide into the lower, sport-bolstered driver’s seat and set your heart racing. The All-New 2014 Lexus IS features an LFA-inspired instrument cluster, aggressive aerodynamic styling and performance-tuned suspension. It makes any journey feel like a victory lap.

02.AdPage.indd 2

22/07/2013 3:39:04 PM

Get $200 in travel. Escape to another Village.

Get approved. Get $200 in travel.1 It’s that simple.

No expiry on TD Points.2 No blackouts or seat restrictions.3 Not just for flights. Complete flexibility. It’s time to make the move to the TD First Class Travel Card. Ask us how. Visit a branch,, or call 1-866-239-8833.

Limited time offer. 1 Applies to new TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Accounts (Account) only. You must apply by September 13, 2013. The $200 in travel value will be awarded to the Account as a bonus of 40,000 TD Points (Bonus) upon approval. Limit of one Bonus per

Account. Individuals who have an existing TD First Class Travel Account that was opened before July 22, 2013 (Existing Account) and that close the Existing Account on or after July 22, 2013 are not eligible for this Bonus offer. We reserve the right to limit the number of Accounts opened by any one person to one. Other conditions apply. Offer may be changed, extended or withdrawn at any time without notice and cannot be combined with any other offer. 2 TD Points do not expire as long as you are a Cardholder. 3 Subject to carrier/space availability. ® / The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or a wholly owned subsidiary, in Canada and/or other countries.

0002482_M3435_2D_LGBT_ESCAPE.indd 1 03.AdPage.indd 50

7/15/13 3:39:40 2:25 PM 22/07/2013 PM

04 05.INTO.MastContents.indd ENT: AIDS WALK

Senior Account Director

Ryan Lester


Simon Ma

Patricia Salib


Account Manager


Reggie Lanuza

Alan A Vernon


Art director

Luis Varesis

Nicolรกs Tallarico



Inspire gay men and lesbians to live life

Gordon Bowness, Paul Gallant, Michael

to the fullest. Expand the gay and lesbian

Pihach, Krishna Rau

community by valuing diversity and


individual choice. Celebrate Toronto. Provide

Derek Dotto, Peter Knegt, Serafin LaRiviere,

readers with compelling news, information

Alice Lawlor, Pamela Meredith, Kevin Naulls,

and entertainment.

Adam Segal, Peter Tatchell, Jenna Marie


Wakani, Andrea Zanin

416-800-4449 ext 100



Tristan McFarland

416-800-4449 ext 201

ON the cover


Photography by Cylla von Tiedemann

IN Toronto is published 12 times per year by The Mint Media Group. All rights reserved. 182 Davenport Rd, #300, Toronto, ON, M5R 1J2

577 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1Z2 T 416-966-6969 | shop online




22/07/2013 3:40:06 PM


issue 39

views | living & design | insight | listings | Arts & entertaiNment | sex






30 wee hee for jamboree Out and Out's summer camp turns 25


theatre's bad boy Sky Gilbert digs into his dark past at Summerworks


chaotic choreography Cover boys Michael Caldwell and Louis Laberge-CÔté dance about distance


remembering david rakoff Poetic swan song of the late local author

sex is easy to find

love isn’t.

The dilemma: You are a successful professional living a fulfilled life. You are active, dynamic, intelligent, and financially stable. Your friends and family say that you are a catch. Then why is it that sincere love is so hard to find? The soluTion: A boutique networking agency specializing in personalized matchmaking will save time and energy. Their service is designed for busy, successful professionals who cherish the idea of a loving, faithful relationship once they find the right partner. The clienTs: Preferred Partners clients value the prospect of meeting like-minded individuals who are also tired of the internet and bar scene. Typically, they are successful professionals living full and active lives who work hard and love to play, too. Preferred ParTners canada’s exclusive Gay maTchmakinG aGency

06 The return of stalinist russia 07

kudos to Theatre centre's Franco Boni


open house: High Park apartment a home

12 VEgas plays the gay trump card 15

toxic choreography: A couple's conflict

18 August events calendar and listings 21 Langton Willms: curator of local fashion 31 Shary Boyle at the venice Biennale 33

sexting with the sex geek

34 Caught in the Act Photos

04 05.INTO.MastContents.indd 5

Call us today for a free Consultation

1 866-467-5252

22/07/2013 3:40:30 PM

toronto talk exchange VIEW FINDER → FILL IT UP WITH FASHION—NOT GAS Forget the long drive to Grove City, PA or Woodbury Common, NY. For the first time ever fickle fashionistas will no longer have to plan a weekend getaway south of the border to score great deals on major fashion brands. On August 1, the first ever Premium Outlet centre opens in the Toronto area with a slew of high-end designer labels that you and your closet will crave. Luxury brands include Brooks Brothers, Burberry (slated for December), Cole Haan, Coach, Kate Spade, Hugo Boss, J Crew, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ports 1961, Ted Baker London and Victorinox. And for the frustrated decorator in all of us, there’s a Restoration Hardware to round out the rustic chic of your already, I’m sure, fabulous pied-a-terre. Toronto Premium Outlets is Canada’s first Premium Outlet centre. “For the first time in Canada, shoppers will have an impressive collection of outlet stores close to home,” says general manager Megan Johnson. “Many of you have already shopped at our outlets in the US and kept asking why we don’t have these outlets north of the border. Well here we are. Toronto has some of the best retail brands, but none of them have been in the outlet form until now.” So what kind of savings are to be had? “Customers can expect 25 to 65 per cent off Canadian pricing every day at all stores,” says Johnson.

In their own words By Peter Tatchell

While the defeat of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the US is still a cause for celebration, 10,000 kilometers away an iron fist is squashing the rights of Russia’s LGBT communities. President Vladimir Putin recently signed into law a new anti-gay bill that criminalizes LGBT freedom of expression. The law forbids any “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations,” which could be interpreted as any-


→ cookie-cutter chic Now the GTA has all the high-end labels that this Las Vegas Premium Outlets has.

“And though Canadian prices are often higher than in the US, if you factor in the time and gas to get to the outlets south of the border, Toronto Premium Outlets is a great deal.” Toronto Premium Outlets. 13850 Steeles Avenue W. Halton Hills, Ontario.

→ “Though the new legislation is ostensibly aimed at prohibiting the dissemination of ‘gay propaganda’ to persons under 18, in reality its damaging effects will be more far-reaching. In practice, LGBT marches, festivals, posters, magazines, books, films, welfare advice and safer sex education are likely to face criminal prosecution, as will individuals who identify themselves as gay in public.”

thing from writing to demonstrations to kissing in public. The adoption of children by gay couples has also been banned by the Russian parliament. The bill has sparked widespread condemnation abroad and has led to a call for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi, Russia. Peter Tatchell (far right in picture), director of the British human rights advocacy organization Peter Tatchell Foundation, recently spoke out against the bill: “These are the latest examples of escalating homophobic repression in Russia. LGBT people in St. Petersburg who attempted to hold a Gay Pride march in June were violently attacked by neo-Nazis and ultra-nationalists. The police failed to adequately protect them. “On May 25, an attempted Moscow Gay Pride parade was broken up and the participants arrested. Earlier, the parade received an official banning order. In June, the St Petersburg LGBT organization, Coming Out, was fined 500,000 rubles (nearly £10,000) for allegedly accepting overseas funding and refusing to register as a

‘foreign agent.’ The Russian LGBT film festival, Bok o Bok (Side by Side), suffered a similar fate, despite receiving no funding from abroad. And last month, a Russian MP, Alexander Mikhailov, a deputy in the regional Trans-Baikal parliament, announced plans to introduce a law to have LGBT people seized by soldiers and publicly flogged in town squares. “We salute the courageous activists in Moscow, St Petersburg and other Russian cities who have protested peacefully for LGBT equality and have been beaten and arrested. They have shown extraordinary bravery. “Putin seems hell-bent on forcing LGBT people back into the closet and locking the door. This law is effectively a blanket censorship of any public expression of same-sex love, gay identity and LGBT human rights. It is one of the harshest laws against LGBT freedom of expression anywhere in the world.” If you have not already done so, please sign the All Out petition against LGBT persecution in Russia: Or join a Facebook group calling for a boycott of the 2014 Olympics:

August 2013

06 07.INTO.TTE.indd 6

22/07/2013 3:41:10 PM

toronto talk exchange Sound off Development by Gordon Bowness → Theatre Centre artistic director Franco Boni knows that healthy communities are built with human capital. The

former director of the Buddies in Bad Times Youth Outreach Program, and AD of both the Rhubarb and Summerworks festivals, Boni recently won the George Luscombe Award for mentorship. Early next year he will crown his programming and development efforts with the opening of a fantastic new home for The Theatre Centre. gorgeous new space at Queen and Lisgar. We’re 85 percent to a $6.2 million capital campaign. We need more funding, but it’s happening. It’s very exciting to see a beautiful building like the Carnegie Library return to cultural use and public assembly. We open January 2014 with a Theatre Centre commission by Mammalian Diving Reflex and The Torontonians.

artist rendering of the future home of the theatre centre

As part of this year’s Doras you were presented with the George Luscombe Award for mentorship. How did that feel? I was very emotional. Fourteen years ago I made a conscious and good decision to stop being a director to focus on supporting the work of others.

great ideas and so many great artists to support… but the infrastructure isn’t always there. A central question of The Theatre Centre is, “How can we make a meaningful impact on an artist?” We can’t help everybody but we can make a commitment to a small group of artists and make them part of our family.

Who were your mentors? In my acceptance speech I thanked Sky Gilbert, Sarah Stanley and John Palmer—three important figures who influenced me. I also asked the audience to join in, to say aloud the name of an individual that made a difference in their life. We rarely get the opportunity to publicly acknowledge each other, and the Doras is the perfect venue for this because it’s an intergenerational celebration. It’s important to understand the value of generosity.

You’ve been artistic director since 2003. What have you learned? Patience. The artist is in control of their own process, even when they are not in control, if you know what I mean. It isn’t always helpful to push your way in and tell them what to “fix;” too many voices can make a mess of a project. Ideas are fragile, and need to be nurtured. It can be anything: encouraging words, money, a performance space, the opportunity for the developing work to reach an audience….

Mentoring is a core objective of The Theatre Centre. The Theatre Centre is recognized as a national performing arts incubator. There are so many

You’re currently in a pop-up location. Certainly patience was required during The Theatre Centre’s arduous 30-year search for a permanent home. But soon you will be moving into a

That process brought you into the rough and tumble world of urban development. From the outset I’ve been on the steering committee of Active 18, the neighbourhood association that came together over concerns about rampant condo development south of Queen Street West [east of Dufferin]. We took the city and the developers to the OMB. This process gave us a voice. We used the opportunity to begin speaking directly to the developers. It was incredible—there were a number who were ready to listen. We were able to move on all sorts of opportunities for the community and cultural sector very quickly. You can effect change. I think we’ve been able to address the key issue of use, of getting artists and artist spaces into the mix. And we’ve helped promote the value of better design. Can Queen Street West keep its arty vibe? With Artscape at the Shaw Street School, the proposed new Workman Arts theatre at CAMH, TMAC opening next year [the Toronto Media Arts Cluster, which includes Gallery TPW, Interaccess, Le Labo, the Canadian Film Distribution Centre, Charles Street Video and the Images Festival], plus the Gladstone and the Drake Hotel and The Theatre Centre, this is going to be an incredibly dynamic neighbourhood for contemporary art and performance.

the theatre centre pop-up. 1095 Queen St. W.

06 07.INTO.TTE.indd 7


22/07/2013 3:41:25 PM


hunters and gatherers → Young creative couple transform their High Park apartment into a home Story Kevin Naulls | Photography Jenna Marie Wakani


iffany’s David






Park, complete with a Shiba Enu

like a 2013 iteration of a Norman

named Maru.

Rockwell painting, we’re assured

at the Communist’s Daughter on



Dundas West after a mutual friend

The creative duo sit next to a

that their family is complete—



set them up, and they managed to

reindeer fur throw below artist and

except for the potential addition of a

Christian Beuer, 28, had incredibly

carry the conversation to dinner.

friend Andrew Harwood’s framed

second and third Shiba Enu, Chang

low expectations for their first

The two now live together in an

Automatiste Mandala #6 (Psychic

and Beuer aren’t interested in

date. Three years ago, the two

apartment in Roncesvalles/High

Friends, 2009). It is here, looking

having children. “That’s the limit,”




stylist (pictured



August 2013

08 09 10.INTO.OpenHouse.indd 8

22/07/2013 3:41:48 PM


Beuer says chuckling. Instead of

Chang’s father Yeon-Tak Chang’s

aspiring to have kids who play on

marble, sandstone and terra cotta

a vintage Caranica hobby horse,


they are hunters and gatherers,


amassing an impressive collection



of smoked glassware from the



’50s, ’60s and ’70s, and Japanese

Pennsylvania to participate in a

and Scandinavian tchotchkes. “We

family group exhibition titled The

have to stop because we almost

Chang Family of Artists, and his

have too many things,” Chang says

contribution—a three-dimensional

of his bar cart full of unique vintage

paper sculpture made entirely of

glassware. A collector or hoarder

triangular prisms—takes up an



entire wall in the couple’s office.

limitations, but Chang justifies the

“I almost wanted to throw it out,”

couple’s impulsive buying sprees:

Chang jokes, because “the scale

“Oh, but we break some [glasses]

of the piece made it somewhat

almost weekly.”

difficult to place.” “No one in my



They are also creators: Beuer’s illustrations are framed on a wall, and












family is artistic,” says Beuer. With





creativity, there was no way Chang

slatted chair and a copper pipe

and Beuer would have anything

lighting system—dress the space.


Chang, who was awarded the


gold medal in Industrial Design at his graduation from OCAD, says, “a lot of the pieces that I have designed and used in the space were developed in school.” But it isn’t just the couple who are on display at this home/gallery.





The truth is, the two are so busy creatively




→ permanent installation The couple have a knack for finding collectible bric-a-brac that’s turned their High Park abode into a perfectly curated apartment.

08 09 10.INTO.OpenHouse.indd 9


22/07/2013 3:42:14 PM

L I V I N G & D ES I G N



note that an Ikea drapery rod finial

time to eat, let alone keep the



was “there when we moved in,”

space dust-free and smelling of

and “it was never actually intact.”



As for the linens, Chang says he’s

to maintain a morning ritual of

“never been a nice-sheets kind

checking Craigslist and Kijiji. But

of guy.” Beuer agrees: “I couldn’t

Beuer makes the time, noting, “I

even tell you what they are made

have done it almost every day for

of.” There is something instantly

seven years, and it has become

calming about knowing that a

habit.” And that’s why they have

young, handsome couple with a

a beautifully maintained vintage

gorgeous dog and a breathtaking

Danish console that they scored for

home have a broken drapery rod

$500 dollars and we do not. They

finial and use cheap sheets. It’s like

even have fantastic curbside finds,

finding out that a talented chef has

like an old patinated dental office

Kraft singles in their fridge or that

filing cabinet Beuer “just found

Helen Mirren used to do blow.




lying on the side of the road.” Beuer



says it is “to go to Guff, Zig Zag,

ringer washer on the side of the

who would rather entertain at

a Value Village or a Goodwill.”

road as well, but it was too large to

home, or stay as close to home as

And when they aren’t working or

take home alone. “Sometimes you

possible—trips to the Village may

design hunting or sleeping or dog

have to know when to walk away,”

be infrequent because “[they] find

walking or attending gay party x, y

he said, illustrating the importance

it overwhelming and far away,”

or z or participating in art shows or

of restraint for a couple who has an

but they have been to one Queer

attending art shows, they somehow

to the worlds of science fiction and

unusual knack for finding amazing

West party or 700. Beuer notes




things with some regularity. “It

why the couple commits to a lazy



the show books that adorn every

was a really hard thing to pass up,”

queer moniker: “I used to work

three days a week and convinces

Beuer notes, while Chang finishes

nights bartending while going to

people he’s not the owner of the

Leaving the home of Chang and

the thought, concluding “but we

OCAD full time, so our schedules

Momofuku dynasty (on a recent

Beuer, our photographer found a

really need to purge, anyway.”






→ fab find The couple scored a vintage Danish modern console (above) for only $500.



shelf in an artful fashion.

have been inconsistent, and now

trip to New York City, Chang made

set of vintage ’70s melamine bowls


that we are both working day

a reservation at David Chang’s Ko,

thrown to the curb down the street


jobs, time at home is much more

which Beuer says “was not the

that would easily cost hundreds of

treated as a place to crash, while



easiest thing to do”), while Beuer

dollars. The moral of this story is

the main rooms for entertaining

entertain more.” If they are going

life hacks Ikea dining chairs, eats

to never be more than 30 feet away

take centre stage. Chang is quick to

to commit to a street car, Chang

three meals a week, and escapes

from this couple.





Socially, Chang and Beuer are

once found a bright orange 1950s






August 2013

08 09 10.INTO.OpenHouse.indd 10

22/07/2013 4:08:24 PM

11.AdPage.indd 50

22/07/2013 3:44:48 PM

T r av e l

A safe bet → Las Vegas doubles down as an LGBT destination Story & Photography Paul Gallant


f course, any city whose population is disproportionately made up of waiters, chefs, flight attendants, front desk staff, PR flacks, event planners, massage therapists, interior decorators, strippers and Cirque du Soleil perform-


ers is deeply and undeniably gay. Cinema’s most evocative love letter to the city, 1995’s Showgirls, is camptastically queer, quoted by queens from memory almost two decades later. Like Vegas itself, Showgirls’ sleazy lesbian love story is right where its heart should be.

But standing on the famed Strip, watching the 20-something, stumbling straight boys guzzle beer out of oversized plastic cups, the endless parade of bachelorette parties in their tiaras and sashes, and the hundreds of people handing out cards advertis-

ing Girls Direct to Your Room, it’s easy for gay and lesbian people to feel like a drop in a very straight champagne bucket. Wedding chapels are everywhere, but they’re not for you. Then again, oh, what a very big bucket Las Vegas is. When you stay someplace like

August 2013

12 13 14 Travel.indd 12

22/07/2013 3:45:18 PM

LIVING & DESIGN the MGM Grand (mgmgrand. com), the second biggest hotel in the world, with 6,852 rooms, and log into a location-based meetup app, the first question is not, “How hung?” but, “What floor are you on?” Las Vegas’s current challenge is making its LGBT scene more visible amidst all the flashing-neon heterosexuality. Seeds of inclusivity are being planted in the most exclusive spots. Shortly after it opened in 2010, The Cosmopolitan caught flack for expelling a trans woman from the women’s washroom. The response was swift. The Cosmopolitan, easily The Strip’s most artful and sophisticated venue, issued an earnest apology and instituted LGBT sensitivity training for staff. This June, the Cosmopolitan launched a new gay club night. When the town hottie wants to kiss and make up, it’s hard to say no. The Krave Massive juggernaut is another piece of the city’s more open gay sensibility, but the natives are getting restless at Drink and Drag (drinkanddrag. com). The kitsch bowling alley/ drag bar in downtown Las Vegas is packed to the rafters, functioning, for the moment, as the holding pen for curious clubbers wanting a first peek at Krave Massive ( upstairs. Taking over what used to be an 11-screen megaplex in the Neonopolis mall, Krave Massive promises to be the biggest gay club in the world. In fact, if plans for the entire 80,000 square feet come to fruition, Krave Massive would be the biggest club in the world of any orientation, outflanking São Paulo’s gay mecca The Week (64,000 square feet) and Ibiza’s record-holding Privilege (65,000 square feet). “They’re still setting up the lobby,” snaps one local, sipping cocktails at 11pm. “What are they going to do, turn people away?” When the doors finally open around midnight, the crowd streams in to find only the lobby and one of the theatres ready for prime time. The sound system pumps out dance hits and shirt-

less go-go boys police the bottleservice booths. Though the locals bitch over the minimalist decor— “Is this it?” chides one queen— they are also relieved that the place is finally open. Krave Massive is a dramatic turning point in the gayificiation of Las Vegas, the city’s doubling-down as an LGBT destination. About a 15-minute walk from Krave Massive (Walk? That’s a joke. Nobody walks in Vegas— it’s a two-minute limo ride) is The Center, Las Vegas’s sparkling new LGBT hub ( Founded in 1992, The Center moved into its flashy new digs last April after a $4-million reno of an old hardware store. With a café, lending library, children’s play area, sexual health clinic and multi-use rooms available to community groups, to a Toronto eye, it’s The 519 Church Street Community Centre, Hassle Free Clinic, Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, and a dash of the Sherbourne Health Centre all blended up, Vegas-style, in one sprawling complex with ample parking and a basketball court that’s busy all day. Since the move, the 12 paid staff and 200 volunteers have seen use of the centre increase by as much as 50 per cent. The lobby’s sponsorship signage is a testament to community support. Top-end donors include Caesars, MGM and hotel magnate Steve Wynn, but even those who gave as little as $10 get their names etched in very fine print onto the donor wall. In a city that’s driven by boozy partying, it’s no surprise that 12-step programs are key customers. “It can be hard to get away from drinking in Las Vegas,” says Ryan Marquardt, The Center’s director of communications. “People really like having a place they can come and not drink.” Another short limo ride away, there are other efforts afoot to nurture Vegas’s soul. In a dramatic departure from all the crystal and glitz, the Emergency Arts building (, on an emerging stretch of down-

→ More than glitz and glam (Clockwise from top left) Vintage signage on Fremont Street; the lounge of The Center, Vegas’ equivalent of The 519; dancer at Krave Massive, the world’s largest gay club; Celine Dion now and forever at Caesars; Emergency Arts, a former medical centre-cum-gallery; and poolside at the gay-friendly Luxor.

12 13 14 Travel.indd 13


22/07/2013 3:45:50 PM

L I V I N G & D ES I G N town’s Fremont Street, comes across as grungily counterculture. The brainchild of gallery guru Jennifer Harrington and impresario Michael Cornthwaite, the creative collective aims to give artists space to make and exhibit their work for as little as $200 a month. The renos of the former medical clinic were minimal, so it’s intriguing to wander around the maze of small rooms filled with often eccentric work. It’s as grassroots as Vegas gets and a breath of fresh air when you get tired of your hotel’s custom scent. Back on The Strip, Sunday’s Temptation party at the gayfriendly Luxor ( is heating up—literally and figuratively. Hunky Jaymes Vaughan, the Chippendales dancer who made Amazing Race fans swoon last year, is recruiting contestants for his Tempter model search competition. Although there is no shortage of hot men lolling around the pool, there’s also a diversity of age and body type. A bear from Minnesota, on his free day after a nursing convention, doesn’t seem out of place among the twinks and muscle dudes. Unlike, say, Miami or West Hollywood, Las Vegas is a resort town first, a “scene” second. Demographics melt down so that, beyond your bachelor party or business meeting, there is no “usual” to mesh into. That’s what makes Vegas so unhinged and liberating. Everybody’s making it up as they go along. As something of a balm to locals—who do have to get up in the morning— they often get cover charge discounts. Even in a place as surreal and money-driven as Vegas, there’s a core of hometown Pride.


hen did the Québécois take

over Sin City? Sure, you can have a gay ole time at Frank Marino’s female impersonator show at The Quad (thequadlv. com), but, chances are, if you’re shelling out for a Las Vegas show these days, a cut of the ticket price is heading right back across the border to Quebec. 14

Céline Dion, who has been performing in Vegas on and off for a decade, remains the 21st century Liberace. Last spring her residency at Caesars Colosseum ( was extended to 2019, though fans are waiting with bated breath to find out if there will be a new show or more of Celine, which she launched in 2011. With baby slides, a James Bond medley and a virtual duet with Stevie Wonder (and one with herself), the show is feeling a bit tired. Still, when she performs “My Heart Will Go On” from behind sheets of dancing water, you have to wonder at the singer’s ability to stay dry in a storm. Not content with her own Vegas domination, Céline is also backing Véronic DiCaire’s show at Bally’s ( DiCaire’s gimmick is mimic: She performs in 50 different voices, including Lady Gaga, Madonna, Whitney, Pink and, um… what’s her name again?... Céline. Okay, she’s is Franco-Ontarian, but before DiCaire landed at Bally’s in June, her biggest success was in La Belle Province. Meanwhile, Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil has eight—count ’em eight—Vegas shows ( Their Michael Jackson: One opened in June to generally positive reviews. Whither this Vegas-Québécois synergy? In a 2008 academic paper, McGill prof Erin Hurley argues that Céline and Las Vegas share a narrative of transformation: “Vegas is the city where one goes to leave oneself behind…. Céline Dion traffics in similar transformational aesthetics. Suffice it to say that hers is a ‘smalltown girl goes global’ story. [Moreover] she is a kind of model United States immigrant, who willingly assimilates, participates joyously in the American Dream and spreads its consumerist gospel of hope and happiness through her everexpanding repertoire of branded products.” Expect to see the HBO drama Behind the Poutine soon.

THE DETAILS WHERE TO STAY ARIA Each of MGM’s 11 Vegas properties has its own scent and Aria’s has been described as “green fig.” One of The Strip’s newest properties, its sleek design is the antithesis of Vegas kitsch. The massive LEED-certified building has high-tech rooms, a mammoth pool deck, 16 restaurants, 10 bars and clubs and, of course, a Cirque show and a casino. LUXOR One of The Strip’s most established properties—the pyramid could use a really good scrubbing, to be honest—is also one of the most gay friendly. The Luxor actually has an LGBT micro site (, unusual in a city where direct targeting is avoided. The price point is good, you’re close to the Temptation party and the elevators zip up at a 39-degree angle. WHERE TO EAT PARK ON FREMONT Right across Las Vegas Boulevard from the circus-like Fremont Experience, Park On Fremont ( is a pioneer in the artsy gentrification of the eastern end of the street. Though it just opened last spring, the resto-bar has a livedin feeling that makes it seem like it’s been around forever. The trippy art elevates the yummy diner-inspired fare. Tater Tots are a must. SIMON In a city full of celebrity-branded eateries, Kerry Simon ( has built his reputation as the rock n’ roll chef. His sunny pool-side bistro serves up “modern American”— which includes curry, sushi, burgers and a whole lot of steak. At brunch, you can have custom-made smoothies and even make your own Bloody Mary. Careful with the hot sauce. NOBU Japanese food is hot in Vegas right now and nobody does it better than Nobu (noburestaurants. com), which has locations at the Hard Rock Café and Ceasar’s Palace. The décor is Vegas Asian surreal; the

eats are astonishingly innovative. Load up your lazy Susan with hamachi with cilantro, jalapeno and yuzu citrus glaze, miso-glazed sea bass with grilled asparagus and yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno and squid pasta. WHAT TO DO RELIQUARY WATER SANCTUARY, HARD ROCK HOTEL AND CASINO After the hot desert air and the smoky casinos, a serious re-hydration may be in order. Bucking the groupie-loving image of the Hard Rock brand, the Reliquary spa ( is a refined, Romanesque environment with co-ed and separate-sex pools and a long list of massage services and other treatments. The clubby lounge is a great place to unwind after a big loss or win. CHANDELIER BAR AT THE COSMOPOLITAN Why hide behind the candelabra when you can hide inside a chandelier? Perched like a tree house above a high-energy lounge, you can hear the entertainment waft up without feeling like part of the scene. The hotel’s ( mixologists have an in-house lab/ kitchen where they produce their own syrups and assorted drink mixes. SHARE NIGHTCLUB If you want to meet the locals, this effervescent club (sharenightclub. com), two floors of glam, is a great place to do it. The young crowd, like most of Vegas, is here to have a blasty blast. Stripper alert. Private rooms. Bottle service. You never know what you’ll be sharing—likely some embarrassing photos on Facebook. TEMPTATION Vegas’s can’t-miss gay pool party, Luxor’s Temptation ( is a great place to meet fellow visitors and try to piece together what happened the night before. CÉLINE DION Her heart will go on at Caesars ( until 2019. ’Nuff said

August 2013

12 13 14 Travel.indd 14

22/07/2013 3:46:03 PM


relationship advice

— with Adam Segal → “I’ve been breaking up and getting back together with the same guy for about two years. There was a huge spark between us when we met and I would describe our connection as very passionate. We can’t seem to spend a full day together without an argument that ends up in a screaming match and one of us threatening to leave and never come back. We keep fighting, then one of us storms out, and then we have mind-blowing sex and make up. I’m 90 per cent sure that we shouldn’t be together but I find myself unable to pull myself away. What do I do?” Bill

You’ve described your relationship as very passionate yet much of your bond seems to be fueled by conflict, threats and the euphoria of narrowly escaping a split. The intense connection between you two might feel, at times, like passionate love, but it’s likely something else altogether. To be more explicit: We can sometimes mistake intensity for intimacy. It will be important for you to think carefully about whether you are drawn to your guy because of who he is or if you are addicted to the combustible intensity your relationship seems to foster. All the fighting and subsequent blissful make-up sessions can create a sort of vicious cycle where you both keep seeking out the high of the fight/make-up crescendo. Like any other addiction, you must think about what emotions or realities you would have to face if you weren’t so frequently

escaping through this chaos. If you feel that there is a real connection between the two of you that is not dependent on conflict, it will be crucial that you see a therapist who can help you change the toxic choreography that has become so entrenched in your partnership. A drama-free coupledom, if you can get there, will not initially feel so blissful. Adapting to a relationship that is more stable and peaceful will be unsettling—where’s all the heat? With time, my hope would be that you could both resign the soapopera existence and, instead, benefit from the more grounded rewards that a truly intimate relationship can offer.

Adam Segal The writer and therapist works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental health question at

Call Today 416-792-5711


LOVE ISN’T. THE DILEMMA: You are a successful professional living a stable. Your friends and family say that you are a catch. Then why is THE SOLUTION: A boutique networking agency specializing in personalized matchmaking will save time and energy. Their service is designed for busy, successful professionals who cherish the idea of a loving, faithful relationship once THE CLIENTS: Preferred Partners clients value the prospect of meeting like-minded individuals who are also tired of the internet and bar scene. Typically, they are successful professionals living full and active lives who work hard and love to play, too. PREFERRED PARTNERS CANADA’S EXCLUSIVE GAY MATCHMAKING AGENCY


22/07/2013 3:46:27 PM



Putting the camp back into the gay → The

Out and Out social club celebrates 25 years of Jamboree Story Krishna Rau





as a chance to find out about the

joined Out and Out 28


sort of history that older gays like

years ago, it was a differ-

Vincent lived through the first time.

ent time. Gay marriage wasn’t even

“It really is a space for a variety of

a dream on the horizon. In fact, gays

people to come together,” says Lali

and lesbians were not even covered

Mohamed, who just turned 26. “It’s

by the Ontario Human Rights Code.

one of the few spaces where gen-

Your job, your home, your physical

uine, multi-generational commu-

safety, none of it was protected.

nity development can flourish. As

The idea that gays and lesbians

a young person who’s really inter-

could meet outdoors in public and

ested in story-telling, it’s great to

conduct activities openly was radi-

meet older people in their 50s and

cal when the recreational group Out

60s, to talk to people who lived in

and Out began in 1980.

gay Toronto in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s.

“I came out in 1974,” says Vincent,

It’s really cool to talk about the bath-

now 55. “When I moved to Toronto in

house raids, their first Pride, what it

1977, besides bars and bathhouses,

was like to be a gay person of colour

there was nowhere else to meet

in the ’70s.”

men. When Out and Out began, sud-

Mohamed’s own first experience of

denly there was a reason to talk to

Out and Out came, as has been the

people. It wasn’t a bar where you’d

case for many members, through

say, ‘Want to f---?’ and then there


I would love to learn how to kayak

bowling league. I didn’t know any-

and canoe and swim a lake. I’m now

body, I just showed up. And I met my

absolutely in love with the club.”

partner there and invited a number

Jamboree has had a similar effect

of people to Jamboree. I would have


on many. For Shevon Northcott,

been much more nervous without

was nothing else to say. It was revo-

event, which is celebrating its 25th

attending her first Jamboree in 2008

Jamboree. There’s just no place on

lutionary almost. I started to develop

anniversary this year. Jamboree,

was life-changing. “I just worked

earth where you can get up to what

friendships and a social network. In

an eight day-long summer camp in

from home. I didn’t know anybody. I

you can get up to at Jamboree. You

a bar, you get a lot of bullshitting. If

the Haliburton area, offers people a

was ridiculously nervous. But every-

can do whatever you want or noth-

you’re on a hike, there’s something

chance to live in cabins by a lake and

one was so amazing and friendly. It

ing at all. At Jamboree, somehow it

in common.

enjoy everything from swimming

was the gateway to me feeling com-

all makes sense.”

“But in the first years, we had a lit-

and kayaking to beach volleyball and

fortable in new places. The comfort

Both Jamboree and the wider club

tle newsletter and your full name

softball to singalongs, cookouts, drag

level that existed with the people

have also become more varied over

never appeared in it. This was prior

shows and anything else that might

there helped me a lot. Since then, it’s

the years, making the club more wel-

to 1986, when we weren’t under the

happen at a gay summer camp.

like going home. It’s like seeing the

coming. David Langan, the president



Human Rights Code. Before that,

“I joined four years ago,” says

relatives you love to see, but don’t

of Out and Out, says the club cur-

you could be fired from your job or

Mohamed. “My best friend invited

see very often. I realized there’s no

rently has 600 members. He admits

kicked out of your apartment and

me to Jamboree. I went for five days

reason to stay quiet. It definitely

that most members are between 35

there was no recourse.”

and it was one of the most magical

helps you to come out of your shell.”

and 50, and that membership tends

Today, of course, gays and lesbians

experiences of my life. Kayaking and

In fact, Northcott, who lives in

to dwindle toward the younger and

enjoy full protection in Ontario. But

volleyball, all that sounded really

Burlington, says her attendance at

older poles, but he points out that

Out and Out is still seen as an alter-

exciting to me. I’m just a nice work-

Jamboree has led to her finding out

more than one-third of the member-

native to the pick-up scene. And it’s

ing-class boy from the west end who

about the gay community in her

ship is female.

also seen by some younger members

never went camping, and I thought

own town. “I ended up joining a gay

And Lali Mohamed says member-

August 2013

16 17 Jamboree.indd 16

22/07/2013 3:47:03 PM


→ CAMP cAMPING (Clockwise from top left) Dissing on the dock; Geremy Vincent has been doing Flo since 1991; Carol Pasternak (left) and 11-year partner Audrey Kouyoumdjian strike a pose after windsurfing; the famous, final night costume party; and soaking in the sun.

Vincent, the only person who will have been to all 25 Jamborees and who stresses that he’s single, says the need for that alternative is as pronounced today as it was 28 years ago. “I know a couple of guys who didn’t

whatever you are, it’s okay. We’ve

come out until their 40s. They go to a

been marginalized all our lives,

bar, it’s full of 20-year-olds. You go to

so we know everybody has to be

an Out and Out potluck, there’s myr-

included. It’s really a loving group

iad skin tones, a variety of ages, men

for everybody. Everybody is respect-

and women. It’s real, you don’t have

ful, and respect is something we’re

to pretend to be somebody else.

lacking today.”

“I’m 55. That’s like a straight 70. But

ship is becoming steadily more var-

familiar with Out and Out?’” says

“I guess I did lead a pretty pro-

ied. “There is a really rich diver-

Kouyoumdjian. “She just started

tected life in the ‘burbs with my

But lest anybody think that the

sity. When I joined the club, there

with such a welcoming kind of

kids and the PTA,” says Pasternak.

club can’t involve sex, Anthony

weren’t a lot of younger people.

enthusiasm. I said it sounds like

“Audrey and I were in the closet.

Mohamed, a member for 20 years,

There are more young people now,


Now, through the community I’ve

says that’s not necessarily so. “I’m


met trans people. But at Jamboree,

not saying sex doesn’t happen and

instantly said yes to the idea of join-

you live with them, you know them.”

it’s great when it does. But because

more trans people, more people of colour.”



in Out and Out age doesn’t matter.”

That increased diversity is what

ing Out and Out, and the two say the

persuaded Carol Pasternak to rejoin

experience has been an eye-opening

Langan, to Out and Out and the wide

Out and Out. Pasternak says she had

one. “Carol and I both jumped out of

variety of activities available for a

originally joined 15 years ago, but

the closet from our married lives. We

$35 annual fee. If someone thinks of

only stayed for a year. “Fifteen years

were both married for 25 years, we

it, he says, it can be organized. That

ago, I was newly out and I was look-

both have three kids. I didn’t have

means everything from hula hoop

around 200 LGBT people where you

ing to meet women. And there just

a lot of gay male friends. But at my

lessons to bike rides to movie sing-

just want to run around being kids?”

weren’t a lot of women. I wanted to

first Jamboree, all the men were on

along nights to board games. And for

And that, in the end, is what

wait until there was a critical mass

the dock. There were 5,000 bottles of

those still trying to escape the bar

Out and Out boils down to, says

of women, which there is now.”






it’s not the primary purpose, it takes all the pressure off.” Mohamed says Out and Out is more about events like Jamboree. “Who





nail polish and they were all polish-

scene, Langan says the club is now

Langan.“We’re still trying to fig-


ing their nails. I thought, ‘Isn’t this

advertising in those.

ure out if we’re putting the gay

Out when her partner, Audrey

cute?’ And I sat down and started

“I’ve heard from people who say

Kouyoumdjian, was approached by

polishing my nails with them and

they’re tired of spending all their

a woman while in line for the 2009


time in bars. We made up post-




Inside Out film festival.

“We saw at Jamboree that there

ers with our new slogan—600 New

“All of a sudden, this woman

were fat, thin, tall, short, black,

Friends—and we’re trying them out

comes up to me and says, ‘Are you

white, educated and not educated,

in bars.”

back into the camp or the camp back into the gay.”

Jamboree. $582. Sun, Aug 18-25; $407. Aug 21-25; $275. Aug 23-25. Subsidies are available. Register at

16 17 Jamboree.indd 17


22/07/2013 3:47:31 PM





Mapou Ginen Dance Troupe At Island Soul

Lindsay Lohan in The Canyons At the TIFF Bell Lightbox

14 dance: made in Canada At the Betty Oliphant Theatre




Wizard of Oz closes At the Ed Mirvish Theatre

Buskerfest Takes over Yonge Street

RE-CONSTRUCT Using brick installations, Lilly Otaševic’s solo show of new works explores security and a sense of belonging for those who left home for other countries. To Fri, Aug 9. Canadian Sculpture Centre. 12pm-6pm. Tue-Fri. 11am-4pm. Sat. 500 Church St. 647-435-5858. 21 Gay Street This exhibition brings together the work of George Platt Lynes, Karl Blossfeldt and Lori Newdick whose images negotiate overarching LGBT themes. To Sat, Aug 17. Corkin Gallery. Distillery District. 7 Tank House Lane. 416-979.1980.

Dusk Dances Now in its 19th season, this outdoor site-specific dance festival brings contemporary and traditional dance to public parks. Pieces include The

18 19.calendar .indd 18


21 Gay Street Closes at the Corkin Gallery

Art & Photography



DaVID bEAZELY IN Khaela Maricich of The BLow Joe Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane At the All Caps Island Festival

Last Round, choreographed by Susie Burpee; The Alice Odyssey (excerpt) choreographed by Melanie Kloetzel; May I Join You choreographed by Carmen Romero; and 1981 FM choreographed by the Throwdown Collective. PWYC-$10 suggested donation. 7pm. Tue, July 30-Aug 4. Withrow Park (south of Danforth between Logan and Carlaw). dance: made in canada This festival features some of Canada’s most inventive dance creators in a national showcase of seven contemporary works from Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Performed by 12 artists, with artistic direction by Yvonne Ng, and guest curators Serge Bennathan, choreographer and artistic director of Vancouver’s Les Productions Figlio, and performing arts photographer Cylla von Tiedemann, the works include three world premieres and three Toronto premieres that bounce between pure dance and interpreting conceptual ideas as varied artists explore

their relationship to the world around them. Performers include Benjamin Kamino in his solo Nudity. Desire; choreographer/dancer William Yong takes us to imaginary inner worlds through a fusion of biology and technology; Holly Treddenick and Sabrina Pringle/Femmes du Feu perform in The Water’s Edge, an aerial dance work about how everything in the universe is connected; Jolene Bailie performs Hybrid Human, an ensemble work for five dancers that explores a constructed notion of robots and ideas of disembodied experience, consciousness, creativity, alien intelligence and artificial life. Plus Louis Laberge-Côte choreographs and performs in the world premiere of Et Même Après with life partner Michael Caldwell, an intimate duet that questions the opposition between distance and intimacy (see page 22). Mocean Dance performs Canvas 5 x 5, a new work from Tedd Robinson that intertwines a traditional maritime

soundscape with striking contemporary imagery; and Lucy Rupert performs an excerpt from The Speed of Our Vertigoes from inside the brain of Albert Einstein, exposing the human vulnerability inside scientific discovery. d:mic/fac also features a Late-Night Series (Free. 11pm. Thu, Aug 15-16.) titled What You See Is What You Get, featuring 10-minute works. $10-$25. 7pm, 9pm. Wed, Aug 14-17. Betty Oliphant Theatre. 404 Jarvis St. 416-533-8577.

Film The Canyons Lindsay Lohan stars alongside porn star Jimmy Deen and director Gus Van Sant in this erotic neo-noir thriller by Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho), directed by Paul Schrader (American Gigolo). Opens Fri, Aug 2. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. (See page 26.)

22/07/2013 3:48:20 PM

listings & events

our guide to your month

BLow ival

performances by Japanese Taiko drummers Nagata Shachu, Autorickshaw and China’s White Jade. Free. Various Times. Fri, Aug 9-11. Harbourfront Centre. 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000. Taste of the Danforth One of Canada`s largest multicultural street festivals celebrates 20 years of multi-ethnic cuisine, wine, music, arts and sports. This year’s festivities also include trying to beat the Guinness World Record for the World`s Largest Greek Yogurt Bowl and the World`s Longest Zorba Line Dance in history. Free. 6pm-12am. Fri, Aug 9. 12pm-12am. Aug 10. 12pm-8pm. Aug 11. Danforth Ave (east from Broadview). Savour Stratford The Drake Hotel hosts a sneak preview of what awaits foodies this fall at the Savour Stratford Culinary Festival. Live entertainment includes a performance by Roger Mooking and Bass is Base. Free. 8pm. Mon, Aug 26. The Drake Hotel. 1150 Queen St W.


NIchola Ward

in Jackie’s Not a Real Girl at Summerworks

Leisure & Pleasure Island Soul Festival This four-day event at Toronto’s central waterfront is one of the largest celebrations of Caribbean music, dance, film and art. Revelers of all ages can enjoy the cultural offerings of the Caribbean, including a special focus on Creole nations. Featured performers include Calypso Monarchs from the U.K. I-Wayne, Calypso Rose and Toronto favourites Kobo Town. Plus Haitian stars Tabou Combo and CaRiMi. A visual arts showcase features the works of Haitian painters and photographers who document the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, and a French Caribbean culinary showcase with Manje Kreyol’s Chef Magda Louis-Jean. Plus family activities that include Caribbean crafts, face painting and a stilt-walking workshop designed for children. Free. Fri, Aug 2-5. Harbourfront Centre. 235 Queens Quay W. 416-973-4000.

18 19.calendar .indd 19

Caribbean Carnival Parade More than 16,000 people are expected to march in masquerade at the 46th annual event known the world over for its colourful costumes and steelpan bands that wind their way along a 3.5 km stretch of Lakeshore Blvd W. Free for spectators along the parade route with VIP and upgraded seating available inside Exhibition Place ($15-$50). 9am-6pm. A 2pm concert with Destra at the Bandshell. 10am-6pm. Sat, Aug 3. Fortune Cooking Food Festival Explore the array of Pan-Asian cuisine, culture and artistic expression at a festival that delves into the progression of trends and flavours originating in Asia. The festival also explores the ways that urban Toronto and its cross-pollination of cultures over time has impacted Asian cuisine. Events include a Ramen Runoff cooking competition, Tea!Chai!Thé!, a celebration of the ancient drink, including talks by author James Norwood Pratt, and musical

ALL CAPS! Island Festival The only all ages music, art and camping festival returns to Toronto Island for its fifth and final year, featuring a diverse lineup of independent music from across the continent, alongside art installations, games, swimming and bonfires. It’s the only music fest to offer camping within the city limits. The line-up includes the king of crowd participation Rich Aucoin and Brooklyn-based electro-pop duo The Blow with Khaela Maricich. Plus under-19 up-and-coming bands Unfinished Business (all girl punk rockers) and Watershed Hour (‘90s indie punk by born-in-the-‘90s ladies) and biZzarh (an Ajax, Ontario all-female hip hop trio). The fest also includes Toronto locals Beliefs, catl, ev ree wuhn, Eons, Most People and Pachamama. Free (children under 12); $15 (youth pass); $20 single day; $30 both days; $67(includes a camping pass). 2pm daily. Sat, Aug 10-11. Artscape Gibraltar Point. 443 Lakeshore Ave. Toronto Island. THE RASCALS: ONCE UPON A DREAM The Broadway Show-cum-rock concert makes its Canadian premiere, starring original band members Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati, Dino Danelli, Gene Cornish. This marks the first time The Rascals have played together since 1970. Hits include “It’s a Beautiful Morning,” and “Groovin’.” $59-$130. 8pm. Tue, Wed, Fri & Sat. 7pm. Sun. Tue, Aug 13-25. Royal Alexandra Theatre. 260 King St W. 416-872-1212.

Sports ROGERS CUP The top 32 women in the world will compete, including Serena and Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova. And back this year, Rogers Legends Cup with ATP tennis legends Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Jim Courier and Andy Roddick competing in exhibition matches.

$20-$415. Various times. Sat, Aug. 3-11. Rexall Centre. 1 Shoreham Dr. 1-877-2TENNIS.

Stage Entertaining mr sloane Joe Orton’s classic first black comedy, originally produced in 1964, pushes all boundaries, sexual, social and psychological. $51-$68. 2pm. Wed, Sat. 8pm. Tue-Sat. To Sat, Aug 17. Young Centre. 50 Tank House Lane (Distillery District). 416-866-8666. SummerWorks The largest juried theatre festival in Canada features more than 35 theatre productions and the return of the Music Series, Live Art Series and Performance Bar. This year’s lineup includes Sky Gilbert’s To Myself at 28, Late Company, Jackie’s Not a Real Girl, X and Love Behind the Bargain. Plus plays written by Adam Lazarus, Guillermo Verdecchia, Kevin Rees, Jordan Tannahill, Cliff Cardinal, d’bi.young, Heidi Strauss, Greg MacArthur and Aurora Stewart de Peña, and productions directed by Kelli Fox and David Ferry among others. And as part of the Youth Programming Series a piece from The Amy Project (Artists Mentoring Youth). $15-$120 (for a 10-show pass). Various times. Thu, Aug 8-18. Various Venues. For a complete guide, visit See pages 20 & 21 for more on Summerworks. Wizard of Oz This is your last chance to catch this all-Canadian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s adaptation of the all-time classic before it goes on tour. $35-$175. 1:30pm. Wed, Sat, Sun. 7:30pm. Tue-Sat. To Sun, Aug 18. Ed Mirvish Theatre. 244 Victoria St. BuskerFest The largest street performers’ festival in North America returns for its 14th year in support of Epilepsy Toronto. This year the festival celebrates Yonge St with more than100 performers from across Canada and around the world with hula-hooping, fire-breathing, body-contorting, whip-cracking, Chinese Pole climbing, marionette manipulating, slack-rope balancing and rubber chicken juggling. Admission by donation to Epilepsy Toronto. Noon-10pm. Thu, Aug 22. Noon-11pm. Aug 23. 11am-11pm. Aug 24. 11am-8pm. Aug 25. Yonge St (from Queen to College and surrounding areas). The Light in the Piazza The sights and sounds of love come alive in The Shaw’s production of this Tony-award-winning musical. Directed by Jay Turvey and written by Craig Lucas, with music and lyrics by six-time Tony Award-winner Adam Guettel, the grandson of theatrical composer Richard Rodgers, the musical is based on the novella by Elizabeth Spencer and tells the story of Margaret (Patty Jamieson) and her daughter Clara (Jacqueline Thair) who leave secrets behind in North Carolina as they tour Florence in the early 1950s.To Oct 13. Court House Theatre. 26 Queen St. Niagara-on-the-Lake. 1-800-511-SHAW.

22/07/2013 3:48:35 PM


S ta g e

he’s anything but ordinary →

In To Myself at 28, at Summerworks, Sky Gilbert explores being an old, crippled homosexual Story Serafin LaRiviere

lenges the status

examination when you age. This

“When I came out, I was going to

quo, even as evolv-

is me going to the dark places, and

bars where people reflected all age

ing social norms

all the ways people feel really bad

groups,” says Roy. “That maturation

have altered the

about aging. It’s very intense and

process was important to see. What


very intimate.”

happens now with a lot of people of


scape. He’s been

Which begs the question, how

Sky’s generation is that they start

openly dismissive

does Sky Gilbert feel about himself?

to shut themselves in, they don’t go

of gay marriage

Or, as he puts it, “Who the f--- is Sky

out in public as much.






Ed Roy has been friends with

cringe when a person of a certain

turned his nose

Gilbert since the early days of

age walks into a bar, and then imag-

up at monogamy.

Buddies in Bad Times, and over the

ine what’s going to happen in 25



years, the two have collaborated on

years when they look in the mirror


many projects. He is perhaps one of

and see themselves at that age. It’s

also eschewed our

the best qualified people to answer

important for us to realize that peo-

gay mecca for the

Gilbert’s question, but like the man

ple are interesting and interested at

dubious charms of

himself, it’s a complicated response.

these points in their lives.”






“Sky is a provocateur,” says Roy. “He




Certainly Gilbert is anything but a


shut-in. Even before the hip surgery


his teaching job at the University

ship with the audience. He’s brave

that restored his mobility, the play-

Mirvish tend to coast

of Guelph and shares a home with

enough to take his opinions out into

wright still made a point of main-

through the summer

his long-term partner and their cats.

the public whether they agree with

taining an active nightlife. “For me

months, there’s a cornucopia of dra-

So does this seemingly “normal”

them or not. I think because of that,

it’s all about not wanting to slow

maturgical delights waiting to be

descent into domesticity herald a

people respond to his work. It’s a

down,” says Gilbert. “Some peo-

discovered. Like the Summerworks

calmer, gentler Sky? Fat chance.

like or dislike kind of thing, because

ple want to retire at 45 and think,

he may be saying truths that they

‘Great, I can garden and sit at home.’

just don’t want to hear.”

I’m not like that.”

Festival, a 10-day playground for

“Oh, I’ve definitely had a lot of

some of the city’s finest indie stage

therapy to be able to say, ‘Yes, I can

talent from both emerging and

be a professor, have a partner and

established artists, some well out-

live in Hamilton,’” says Gilbert. “But



mechanics of love-making for sexa-

side of the mainstream.

I can also be a slut and a sex pig, and

mutual respect has created a per-

genarians necessitate both strategy

still do the work I want to do.”

sonal and professional bond that

and acceptance. “I think there are

And you don’t get much further

Roy says the two don’t always the



But he does admit that the

from mainstream than Sky Gilbert.

That work includes an introspec-

continues to thrive. “In our ear-

very few people who have the same

The bad boy of theatre is both

tive new piece at Summerworks

lier collaborations it was a differ-

erections and hormones as they did

famous and infamous for a provoca-

titled To Myself at 28. Directed by

ent kind of relationship,” he says.

when they were 20,” says Gilbert.

tive and frequently combative writ-

Ed Roy, the play is a sort of chat

“When I got to Toronto, Sky was

“But I’m not into using Viagra. It’s

ing style that somehow manages

between present-day Sky and his

very established, so the risks were

just getting used to accepting what-

to offend even the left-est of audi-

younger self (played by Spencer

greater. What’s happened along the

ever your dick does. I’ve had to

ences. But even in his harshest dia-

Charles Smith), an examination of

way is that I can tell him to turn off

come to terms with other things as

tribes, Gilbert’s gift for uncovering

what’s gone right and wrong in a

his director’s mind and just be an

well, but the thing about people not

inconvenient truths and skewering

life that’s been anything but ordi-

actor while we’re working, and he

being as attracted to you as you get

hypocritical posturing remains as

nary. In it, Gilbert explores the idea

can do the same with me.”

older is bullshit. Am I getting laid?

entertaining and brilliant as it was

of being an old, crippled homosex-

Working as dramaturge for To

in his heyday as artistic director and

ual and one of the last token gay

Myself at 28, Roy shared Gilbert’s

co-founder of Buddies in Bad Times


fascination and frustration with




he commutes to hile

“Just look how a young person can


“I wrote it because I turned 60,”

society’s reaction to many of us as

Now 16 years after resigning from

he says. “I was feeling old because

we grow older, particularly as gay

the organization, Gilbert still chal-

I had a bad hip. You do a lot of self-

men in a youth-obsessed climate.

Oh, yeah.” To Myself AT 28 premieres Sat, Aug 10 at 12pm at the Lower Ossington Theatre. 100A Ossington Ave. Part of Summerworks. Aug 8-18. For a complete list of venues, dates and showtimes go to

August 2013

20 Summerworks.indd 20

22/07/2013 3:49:02 PM


summerworks Tackles in spot some hot-button issues Gerhard Supply Story & photography Derek Dotto

Story by Serafin LaRiviere

late company

x Dealing with addiction can be tricky in a theatrical context. On the one hand, there’s the need for a genuine portrayal of the illness, but keeping your audience entertained and connected can be a challenge. Not for Sunny Drake, who brilliantly seems to be able to fuse veracity and spectacle in his ebullient one-man show, X, directed by Therese Collie and featuring animation by Ingrid K Brooker an examination of addiction through puppets and animation. “For me, it was really important to create a magical piece of theatre because the content has the risk of being so heavy,” says Drake. “So there’s lots of humour and beautiful imagery.” X reflects Drake’s own journey through addiction, and highlights the emotional toll it takes on both its victims and those who care for him. “I’ve had a long-standing alcohol problem,” Drake confesses. “It was something that was very secretive, and I was very ashamed about my drinking. Creating this show has been a really profoundly, moving experience for me.” X. Opens Thu, Aug 8. 4:30pm. Scotiabank Studio Theatre. 6 Noble St.

Jackie’s Not a Real Girl Sadie has seen a lot of life, both as a trans woman and owner of a seedy bar. One night, a chance encounter triggers reminisces of her long-lost friend Jackie, whose own journey from male to female forged close ties between the two women. Sadly, Jackie’s sentence to time in a men’s prison served to break both ties and spirit, as told in Nichola Ward’s new play Jackie’s Not a Real Girl. “Everything in this play is based on real experiences or experiences reported to me,” says Ward, who first met the real-life Jackie back in 2004. Working with director Gein Wong and dramaturge Marcy Rogers, Ward has created a compelling, deeply personal conversation about Jackie’s fate that is as fascinating as it is harrowing. “Even very, very sad stories need to be told,” says Ward. “They can actually provide us with hope.” Jackie’s Not a Real Girl. Opens Thu, Aug 8. 8:30pm. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. 16 Ryerson Ave.

Love Behind the Bargain If you’ve ever had the misfortune to endure one of the many stultifyingly dull tours of our fair city, Alvis Parsley’s Love Behind Late Company Bullying has become quite the cause celebre in the last couple the Bargain is the guided freedom and love romp through Chinatown from a of years. Amidst the flurry of supportive queer person of colour and under-thevideo campaigns and politicians making the usual sympathetic noises, we still have table worker. Quirky, witty and positively brimming with geek chic, Parsley kids killing themselves to escape the regales with tales told from the point of barrage of hateful behaviour. view of someone who lives in the area. Playwright Jordan Tannahill was “I tell my personal stories about my particularly moved by the story of 15-year-old Jamie Hubley, an Ottawa kid relationship with Chinatown,” says who hanged himself after enduring years Parsley. “I highlight some of the issues there, and talk about racism, exploitaof abuse. His new play Late Company, tion of labour and my own love story.” directed by Peter Pasyk, was inspired by Hubley’s tragedy and brings together two Love Behind the Bargain. Opens Thu, families whose lives have been forever Aug 8 at 6:30pm, departing from changed by one son’s victimization of the Theatre Passe Muraille. other. 16 Ryerson Ave. “I write when I feel angry about something,” says Tannahill. “The point of this play is to reveal these middle-class hypocrisies that surround sexuality.” Late Company. Opens Fri, Aug 9. 2:30pm. Lower Ossington Theatre. 100A Ossington Ave.

21 Summerworks IN Spot.indd 21

More info on showtimes and festival venues at

Attention locavores! No longer must you sit around naked, eating your local produce and backyardraised chickens, or risk blemishing your ethical image geting dressed. Meet Gerhard Supply, the menswear store that will have you looking sharp while allowing you to maintain your Toronto-centric buying habits. Perched in the heart of the Junction, this minimally-fixtured shop is lined with pieces from Toronto’s newlyrevived garment industry. Owner Langton Willms curates menswear designs that are not only conceptualized here in Hog Town but manufactured here, too. “The concept is everything cut and sewn in Toronto,” says Willms. “I’ve always cared about where my clothes are from, especially with recent issues; the collapse in Bangladesh, the fire in China. A garment costs what it costs and consumers can choose who they offload that cost onto.” While it’s hard to pick favourites among your fellow countrymen, there are a few stand-outs at Gerhard Supply. Bay Cooper’s dandy-esque neckties and bow ties are designed out of a High Park apartment. And the size is just right. “They’re not try-too-hard skinny, but also not like-your-grandpa’s-tie,” says Willms. Leather bags and wallets from Terrence & Vincent are

→keeping it local Langton Willms curates menswear designs that are not only conceptualized in T.O. ,but manufactured here, too.

throwbacks to Quebecois heritage, while Outclass’s camo pants find the perfect balance between vintage inspiration and modern profile. And only at Gerhard Supply will you find a custom line of tailoring and shirting, which Willms designs in collaboration with menswear wunderkind Philip Sparks. Not to be overlooked are the locally-made grooming products. Province Apothecary’s organic beard oil keeps even the most coarse whiskers feeling soft and smelling great, speaking from first-hand experience, of course. But with a treasure trove like this, why not seek an area with a higher hipster quotient? “There are more fashion obsessed neighbourhoods in Toronto than the Junction,” admits Willms. “But people here are really concerned about the ethics of the things they buy. They shop organic. They like to support small businesses. The little guy has a fighting chance in this neighbourhood.” Something tells us this little guy won’t need to fight too hard. Gerhard Supply. 2949 Dundas St W. (416) 797-1290.


22/07/2013 3:49:29 PM


separation anxiety → New choreography tests the limits of Louis Laberge-Côté and Michael Caldwell’s five-year marriage Story Gordon Bowness | Photography Cylla von Tiedemann

22 23 24 25 Made in Canada.indd 22

22/07/2013 3:50:14 PM


’ve heard a lot of dancers say, ‘I will never date a dancer,’” says Louis Laberge-Côté. “I think what’s hardest is creating work together. Couples who try to create together and then go home together… I just can’t imagine the amount of energy it would take.” Laberge-Côté is about to find out as he and his husband Michael Caldwell head into the studio for an intensive 10-day creative process to choreograph a new work for the Dance: Made in Canada festival. Called Et Même Après, the 20-minute duet is inspired by the times Laberge-Côté and Caldwell have spent apart, mainly over the two-year period when Laberge-Côté was performing in Germany with Kevin O’Day Ballett Nationaltheater Mannheim. The dance examines what Laberge-Côté calls “the paradox between closeness and separation.”

22 23 24 25 Made in Canada.indd 23

Though they knew each other peripherally while Caldwell was attending the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and Laberge-Côté was a member of the company, the two first hooked up in 2005 while on a six-week tour with Dusk Dances. They were assigned a room together for the last half of the tour. “The first day together we probably stayed up and chatted until 3am,” says Caldwell. “And the next day we stayed up ’til four, then the next day ’til five…. We just stayed up and talked. And that’s pretty much how those three weeks were spent. We talked about everything. “But you know how it is on tour, it’s a bubble. So we wanted to see if the spark persisted after. And it did. We went on a few dates and then pretty much decided that, ya, we’re together.” A year later they got married in the backyard of Laberge-Côté’s

22/07/2013 3:50:37 PM


August 2013

22 23 24 25 Made in Canada.indd 24

22/07/2013 3:50:51 PM


friend, Nova Bhattacharya, with her father officiating. “It was a Hindu wedding— not because we’re Hindu, but because we wanted someone we knew to marry us,” says Caldwell. “Since Nova’s dad happened to be a Hindu priest we had a Hindu service.… And it’s a beautiful ceremony that actually incorporates a lot of movement.” “And it’s very open,” says Laberge-Côté. “You can decide what elements you are comfortable with.” Laberge-Côté and Caldwell are in-demand dancers and choreographers; their credits include a who’s who of choreographers and companies. Caldwell’s recent works include Ash Unravel, a solo based on a journey to his late mother’s homeland of Vietnam, and Flipping Nocturne, a solo for his husband. Laberge-Côté’s work has garnered three Dora nominations including one this year for Akshongay, a duet with Bhattacharya. Dance: Made in Canada founder Yyonne Ng calls the choreography of Laberge-Côté “dark and mysterious,” able to express inner journeys and “ancient stories.” She calls his performances “exquisite.” As for Caldwell: “Michael is a relatively young choreographer,” says Ng. “He has a lot to offer. You sense sparks and more to come.” As a performer Ng heralds Caldwell’s dynamism and wit. “He has great timing, especially in humorous moments, which is rare.” In 2011, Ng expanded the biennial Dance: Made in Canada series into its current festival format. It’s slowly growing to fill the void left by the demise of the Toronto International Dance Festival, formerly the Fringe Festival of Independent Dance Artists. This year’s iteration, with guest curators Serge Bennathan and Cylla von Tiedemann, features 15 artists from across the country. Laberge-Côté’s piece is in the von Tiedemann program along with Blue Ceiling Dance from Toronto and Mocean Dance from Halifax. Laberge-Côté first started choreographing Et Même Après after he moved to Mannheim. There he created an original short duet set on two dancers from the Nationaltheater. The woman had recently broken off an unhealthy long-term relationship and the man was going through a divorce. “Their pain was intense and very present,” says Laberge-Côté. “The original six minutes was very dramatic and lyrical because that’s what came out of them. It was quite powerful and had a huge → sweet sorrow Michael Caldwell (left) and Louis Laberge-Côté navigate the ups and downs of a relationship that keeps them apart for long periods of time.

effect on the audience. We only had six hours of rehearsal. It was crazy. But they were in the right place. Just standing there or walking, you could see… loss. “Because there was certainly magic there, I came back to Toronto wanting to explore that world in connection with my original inspiration, which was my relationship with Michael.” The expanded work will examine how the actual moment of saying goodbye is the crystallization of a relationship, how past joy and future pain can overwhelm the present, how a couple both connects and misfires in a moment treacherous with emotion. “There’s a pattern in our relationship,” says Laberge-Côté, “and it’s a pattern for me in general, that when I’m not comfortable in a situation my natural tendency is to remove myself from it. If I have to say goodbye, at the last moment I will actually be gone. I’m already on my way.” “That’s not the case for me,” says Caldwell

“Martha Graham always said: Movement never lies.” “Only after the leaving actually happens, I go into business mode, perhaps in order to not feel as much as a I want to…. I need to get home, I need to gather all my things, then I can cry.” Using lots of retrograde motion, with action moving forward and back in fits and starts, the piece will reflect that staggered emotional punch of goodbyes, their funny, broken sense of time. “Even though we have such a deep relationship,” says Caldwell, “it’s sometimes hard to navigate these moments. It’s not just me saying goodbye, it’s me saying to Louis, ‘It’s okay, I’m leaving.’ I’m putting on this façade…. There’s so many layers to it, that’s why I think his idea is great.” Composer Philip Strong has yet to start work on the project, but one musical touchstone will be the Jacques Brel song “Orly” about two lovers saying goodbye at the airport. “While I was in Germany I fell in love with that song without actually making the connection,” says Laberge-Côté. “Suddenly I realized I fell in love with it because….” “All we’d done was say goodbye in airports,” interjects Caldwell. During the interview in their Carlton and Church Street apartment, Laberge-Côté and

Caldwell exhibit that telltale couple thing of finishing each other’s sentences. But it’s not as if they’ve heard each other’s stories ad nauseam and know what each other is going to say. Rather, they listen to each other; they are attentive. It must get intense in the studio. Both Laberge-Côté and Caldwell say they are very wary of the pitfalls of working so closely together. They don’t do it often. Caldwell, 32, has created one solo on Laberge-Côté plus there’s a group piece coming this fall. Laberge-Côté, 37, has created three pieces on Caldwell: two duets, including this one, and a group piece. And while they’ve worked together many times in various companies and performances, they’ve rarely been paired together. How is it working together now? “It seems… fine, ” says Caldwell; they both burst into laughter over his pregnant pause and hesitant tone. In the studio they’ve seen how dance couples aren’t always as patient with each other as they could be; partners cut to the chase. “It can be treacherous for sure,” says Caldwell. “I’m much less successful at it. I’m a very opinionated person. Especially in rehearsals, I say what I’m feeling. “Going into this process, I decided to fiercely abide by the fact that I was not the choreographer, that I was the dancer,” says Caldwell. “So I shut my mouth. And I do,” he says, looking at Laberge-Côté, “I don’t decide things for you. I just say I prefer something!” More peals of laughter. You sense these two can handle the tricky terrain. “I love to choreograph,” says Laberge-Côté. “I love reading people through movement. Usually dancers are smart people so it’s easy for them to present themselves in a particular way. Then they start moving. It’s kind of a cheesy thing to say, but it’s what Martha Graham always said: movement never lies. “When we move, we express so much beyond what we’re aware of. I find the true nature of people comes out when they perform. You see who has suffered a lot, you see who’s been terrified and how…. There’s a connection there that happens and there’s no way to explain that with words; sometimes it’s better not to try. “So I’ve been enjoying choreographing with Michael. That’s been my favourite part of the process. I love being able to read him.”

ET MÊME APRÈS. $25. 7pm. Thu, Aug 15. 9pm. Aug 16 & 17. Betty Oliphant Theatre. 404 Jarvis St. For more info on Dance: Made in Canada see page 18.

22 23 24 25 Made in Canada.indd 25


22/07/2013 3:51:10 PM



Sick of superheroes →

How much more Fast and Furious Iron Man of Steel Hangovers can we take? Story Peter Knegt


s the summer starts to

1995 (yes, this, too, is a sequel, but

Now broke and on the verge of a

ries like Common Threads: Stories

wind down into its final

there’s nothing blockbuster about

nervous breakdown, she moves

From The Quilt and The Celluloid



it)? Check your local listings right

to San Francisco to take refuge

Closet). Their second narrative film

many of us are surely sick of is

now to see if they’re still playing,

with her semi-estranged sister

(after 2010’s Ginsberg biopic Howl),

the mega-budget remakes, sequels

because they will probably end up

(Sally Hawkins). Chaos expect-

stars Amanda Seyfried (in her

and reboots that have been dom-

being two of the very best films of

edly ensues, with Allen offering

best performance yet) as Lovelace

inating movie theaters since early


Blanchett, Baldwin and Hawkins

alongside an epic supporting cast,

But if those films are gone by the

(not to mention Peter Sarsgaard,

including Sarsgaard, Cannavale,

Even if you enjoy a popcorn-

time you read this (or you were

Louis CK and Bobby Cannavale) a

Sharon Stone as Lovelace’s mother

fueled 90 minutes of escape, how

smart enough to have already seen

juicy showcase for their talents.

and James Franco as, yep, Hugh

much more Fast and Furious Iron

them), there’s plenty more where

Man of Steel Hangovers can you really take?





Hefner. (Notably, Sarah Jessica

they came from in the final stretch

Sarsgaard and Bobby Cannavale

Parker filmed a role as Gloria

of summer. Like the whopping

are part of another woman-on-

Steinem, but it ended up on the

So now would be the perfect

44th feature film from director


cutting room floor.)

time to turn to some smaller fare

Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine (opens

down film out this month, only

if you haven’t already. And believe

August 2). Though it’s understand-

this time the woman in ques-

from an openly-gay filmmaker you

it or not, there’s actually a lot of

able to no longer assume greatness

tion is not a creation of Woody

should keep your eye out for this

options. Did you catch the remark-

from Woody—for every Midnight

Allen but of Ms. Linda Lovelace,

August is Precious director Lee

ably charming, “Girls”-esque (but

in Paris there’s two To Rome With

the porn actress who became a

Daniels’ The Butler. Though it has

better, in this writer’s opinion)

Loves—Jasmine thankfully falls in

huge star thanks to 1972’s Deep

yet to screen for critics, it’s got a

Frances Ha earlier in the season?

the former category. Allen’s first

Throat. Titled simply Lovelace,

pretty remarkable cast that you’d

Or what about Before Midnight,

film set in the US in five years stars

the sharp, detailed biopic comes

think could do no wrong (though

the brilliant third film in the Ethan

Cate Blanchett as a Manhattan

to us care of queer filmmaking duo

clearly this isn’t necessarily the

Hawke-Julie Delpy Before series

socialite whose marriage to a rich

Rob Esptein and Jeffrey Friedman

case, so be forewarned): Forest

that started with Sunrise back in

financier (Alec Baldwin) collapses.

(known best for LGBT documenta-

Whitaker, Vanessa Redgrave, Jane

The Canyons







Blue Jasmine

August 2013

26 27 Film.indd 26

22/07/2013 4:11:07 PM


Fonda, Robin Williams, Melissa



But for audiences with a han-

changing the face of LGBT rights



ple Lindsay Lohan and porn star

kering for a good LGBT film, your

in the country, Kato was brutually

Howard, Mariah Carey and Oprah

turned actor James Deen in Paul

best bet is at the Bloor Cinema

murdered in 2011.

Winfrey (in her first major act-

Schrader’s highly anticipated (but

with the screening of Katherine

ing role in over 15 years) star in

maybe not for the best reasons)


the film, which follows Eugene

erotic thriller The Canyons (opens

Zouhall-Worral’s Call Me Kuchu.

efforts of people like him, Zouhali-

Allen (Whitaker), the real-life man

August 2 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox).

Specifically focused on LGBT peo-

Worral and Fairfax Wright’s first

who served as the White House

The film is so far best known as

ple and activists in Uganda, the

film as feature directors is a pow-


the context of the January New

film centres in on the life and


York Times article “Here Is What

tragic death of David Kato, a vet-

should not be missed, putting












Canonizing Kato’s life and shedding









While the jury is still out on

Happens When You Cast Lindsay

eran activist who spent years fight-

into perspective how horrifying

The Butler, two films are coming

Lohan In Your Movie” (which por-

ing against his country’s insanely

the situation is for LGBT people

to Toronto theatres by summer’s

trayed Lohan as quite the night-

homophobic society. Among other

in parts of our world and offering

end that already have critical seals



terrifying things, an anti-homo-

moviegoers a true superhero in

of approval care of their debuts

change when the film—described

sexuality bill proposing death for

Mr. Kato.

at the Sundance Film Festival

as a “violent, sexually-charged tour

HIV-positive gay men is intro-

back in January: Jerusha Hess’s

through the dark side of nature”—

duced and Kato is one of the few



sees the light of day this month.

brave enough to try and stop it.

20) and James Ponsoldt’s The

Even if it’s bad, it could very well

Unfortunately, after courageously

Spectacular Now. Both essentially

be so bad it’s good.





(but very different) love stories, the

And finally, there’s a plethora of

former sends Keri Russell to the

options in the non-fiction arena.

titular Austenland, a Jane Austen-

The August program at the Hot

themed resort (run by a stuffy

Docs Bloor Cinema has every-

woman played by Jane Seymour,

thing from a look at pimp turned

no less) that promises visitors

author Iceberg Slim (Iceberg Slim:

romances with actors on staff.

Portrait of a Pimp) and never-

The latter, meanwhile, is a high

before-seen Super 8 home mov-

school-set narrative in the vein of

ies offering a new look at Richard

John Hughes, with relative new-

Nixon (Our Nixon) to the awardBetter



comers Miles Teller and Shailene


Woodley (who won acting awards

which follows a pair of childhood

at Sundance) one-upping Andrew

friends turned political activists



questionably (to say the least)

with heartwarming (and breaking)

charged with domestic terrorism

performances as teenage lovers.

at the 2008 Republican National



Surely less heartwarming is the

Check your local listings for theatres and showtimes.



the spectacular now

The Butler

26 27 Film.indd 27


22/07/2013 4:11:20 PM

28.AdPage.indd 50

22/07/2013 3:52:19 PM

29.AdPage.indd 26

22/07/2013 3:52:40 PM


B o o ks

Dear David →

Swan song of an award-winning Canadian writer Story Alice Lawlor


hen I met the writer David Rakoff in 2010, he was already battling the cancer that would kill him two years later. His body had clearly been weakened, but his spirit seemed stronger than ever. His take on the stars of Jersey Shore—“scary, violent, alcoholic sociopaths”— made me howl with laughter, and we happily agreed that we were probably the only gay people in the world who hated the musical Rent. Then he got serious, just for a moment. “Look, I’m the luckiest person in North America, and I don’t say that with any fear of contradiction or lightness,” he said. “I’ve written about politics, food, science and architecture. I’ve carved out a niche as someone whose take on things is somewhat melancholic, which is nice because it’s a very broad place to find oneself as a writer. It doesn’t limit you.” The Montreal-born Toronto-raised New Yorker had a limitless gift for storytelling, which lives on in three collections of essays—Half Empty (2010), Don’t Get Too Comfortable (2005), and Fraud (2001)—and his appearances on National Public Radio’s This American Life. His final book, Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish (Doubleday) was completed just before he died in August 2012 and was published in July. It’s a book that’s difficult to categorize, and that’s probably the point. It’s Rakoff’s only novel, and has a very different feel to his more acerbic essays. It’s written entirely in verse, a first for the Lambda Awardwinning essayist and a form that lends itself to a more playful voice. You can almost feel Rakoff’s delight in finding a rhyme that will amuse (skittish is rhymed with Yiddish, antelope with envelope, and so on).


Choice cuts A selection of tidbits from Rakoff’s work On Broadway musical Rent “Here is what the characters do in Rent to show us that they are creative: nothing… just as being gay does not make one witty (you can suck a mile of cock, as my friend Sarah Thyre puts it, it still won’t make you Oscar Wilde, believe me), the only thing that makes one an artist is making art.” [from Half Empty] On passing as a New Yorker “My tactics were to adopt a certain kind of world-weary, jaded, anxious neuroticism. And it was taken on as a cosmetic mantle at the beginning, until such time as you simply can’t pull the mask off your face. Oh my god, it’s stuck. And there you are years later, a jaded, affectless, neurotic, disenchanted sad person.” [From NPR’s This American Life]

Combined with some great illustrations by Chip Kidd and Seth, the poetry gives a lyrical lightness to the book, despite heavyish subject matter that includes rape, incest, love, marriage and death. But this isn’t a sad book: there are plenty of surreal situations and funny characters that are pure Rakoff. One of the most poignant characters is Clifford, a gay man dying of AIDS in the 1980s. In the passages where he’s contemplating the end, it’s impossible not to think of Rakoff staring into his own abyss: “Make sure,” “be prepared,” plan out every endeavor Like a scout on the stupidest camping trip ever. The facts were now harder, the reality colder His parasol no match for that falling boulder.

Witty and wise observations like this one mean that Rakoff’s work will surely stand the test of time, with Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish as the perfect, poetic finale.

On homophobia in an Israeli kibbutz, at age 15 “‘Ma ito?’ ‘What’s the matter with him?’ The head of the work detail asks when he sees me on the truck. ‘Ha g’veret lo ohevet ha tarnegolot.’ His friend has answered using the female pronoun when referring to me. ‘The lady doesn’t like the chickens.’ … At that very moment, I saw that I would never live on a kibbutz. I would not lose my virginity that summer to any of the girls from the group. Indeed, I would not care to do so. I am grateful to that macho blowhard. He made me consciously realize what I had always known, but been somehow unable to say to myself. He’s right. I don’t like chickens. I like men.” [from Fraud] On his inability to spot greatness “I didn’t drink at the time, so there was nothing to buffer the

noise, the dark, the crowded stairwells, the too-long wait for both the coat check and the urinals, and especially that evening’s entertainment: a whiny, nasal girl in torn lace and rubber-gasket bracelets who bopped around to an oversynthezised and generic backbeat. ‘Well, she’s lousy,’ I thought to myself, happily envisioning my departure from this throbbing club … and this girl’s return to the obscurity whence she sprung. The world, however, had different plans for Madonna.” [from Half Empty] On flying Concorde “At 42,000 feet and Mach 1.71 (1,110 mph), we are given some small canapés. Triple rounds of edible money: filet mignon topped with caviar, smoked salmon, foie gras and a gooseberry.... We are served on linen placemats and porcelain, but for post-9/11 safety’s sake, the cutlery is all plastic, an empty concession since my napkin ring is a sharp-edged cuff of machine-cut stainless.” [from Don’t Get Too Comfortable]

Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish David Rakoff. Doubleday. $32

August 2013

30.Book.indd 30

22/07/2013 4:06:09 PM



Sprite steals the show →

Local artist Shary Boyle’s exhibition at the Venice Biennale is paradoxically poignant Story Pamela Meredith


f Venice, Italy doesn’t fig-

of the art world—the pavilion itself

the drama. As one’s eyes adjust,

ity and scale. But sitting on top

ure into your summer travel

is small and, to be quite honest, an

Boyle leads the viewer on a jour-

of the pavillion’s exterior is a rib-

plans, I want to give you at

awkward exhibition space. But this

ney that shifts from the celes-

bon-weaving sprite that steals the

least a taste of a very special art

year’s representative, Toronto artist

tial world to the aquatic, past inti-

show. This mysterious, masked fig-

event going on there with a Toronto

Shary Boyle, makes the best of it in

mately-scaled porcelain pieces and

ure welcomes you to the pavilion


her tender, inventive, feminist way.

a silent film to culminate in The

and sets the tone for a poignant, human experience.

Tucked into the back corner of

Boyle plunged the interior into

Cave Painter, a large-scale sculp-

the public garden (The Giardini) is

darkness, including a black rubber

ture that alternates between a pale,

the Canada Pavilion. Built in 1958

floor and Swarovski crystal-stud-

mannered reclining nude to some-

to house our inclusion (alongside

ded black draping, which is effec-

thing exploding with imagery that

28 other countries) in the venera-

tive in hiding some of the spa-

is both horrific and celebratory. It’s

ble Venice Biennale—the Olympics

tial quirks as well as heightening

a real achievement in complex-

PAMELA meredith Is TD Bank Group’s senior curator.

→ complexitY and scale (Clockwise from top left) Toronto artist Shary Boyle’s sprite, Ophiodea, part of her Music for Silence exhibition at the Venice Biennale, greets guests at the entrance to the Canada Pavilion; close up of Ophiodea; horrific and celebratory, The Cave Painter.

Music for Silence at the Venice Biennale INternational art exhibition. The Giardini. To wed, nov 13.

31 Art.indd 31


22/07/2013 3:53:47 PM

32.AdPage.indd 32

22/07/2013 3:54:13 PM

sex sponsored by spa excess

→ I met my current boyfriend on a recent cruise to the Caribbean. The chemistry was immediate, and we hooked up within a few days. We are both busy with our careers and we don’t live close to each other. We’re — with Andrea Zanin trying to do the long distance thing as best we can via email and phone. Last week, he sent me a very explicit text. I was surprised at how much I was turned on, and since then, we’ve been having a fantastic time regularly sexting the night away. Every time my phone buzzes to tell me there is a message from him, my body goes crazy. We have made plans to meet again next month. I’m secretly afraid that I have shared too much, and I can never live up to the person I am while sexting. How can I tell him this without feeling shy or judged? Jude

ask the sex geek

The buffers of geographical dis-

creative, daring people who come

need. One option is to do this via

intimate and erotically charged. Or

tance and the written word can

up with those sexy ideas and have

the sexting itself. When the tor-

it can reveal the fault lines in a bud-

allow us access to parts of our-

the guts to hit “send” are the very

rid texts start flying, try making it

ding connection. There’s no guar-

selves we may be too embar-

same ones who are going to be skin-

really real. Drop the über-confident

antee this will go well, but you’ll

rassed to explore when we’re get-

on-skin next month.

persona and work your vulnerabili-

learn what he’s made of. Your boy-

ting naked with a real live person.

To head off any misunderstand-

ties into the exchange. “I sooo want

friend may expect you to be a per-

Communication technology can be

ings, it might help to distinguish

to swallow your cock, but I’m afraid

fectly polished sex machine. But if

like a condom for the mind, creat-

between hot fantasy and stuff you’d

I’ll gag,” or whatever. This is your

you give him the opportunity to see

ing a barrier between us and the

really like to do. Go right ahead and

perfect opportunity to see how he

your humanity, you might be pleas-

messy realities and emotional risks

write wild stories to your guy about

responds when you bring in the raw

antly surprised to find out how

of physical sex. The trick is, the

acts you don’t want to perform in

human element. Another option

human he is, too.

electronic barrier that makes us feel

the flesh, but make sure he knows

is to have a super-direct heart-to-

safer can also be the one that gets

you’re taking on a different voice,

heart outside your sexting. Take a

in the way of the human connec-

and writing fiction designed solely

deep breath, tell him your fears and

tion we crave.

to titillate.

ask for his perspective.

But word sex is still real sex. The

33.INTO.Sex.indd 33

Next, ask for the reassurance you

Emotional risk can be incredibly

ANDREA ZANIN The Sex Geek blogs at Email her at

22/07/2013 3:54:46 PM


caught in the act by Michael Pihach


Business woman’s special at augusta house







Photo David J. Romero

Starry night at Cawthra Square Park





the field’s MMVA party





→ 1. Chris Binet, Nic Makos 2. Andrew Nichols, Todd van der Heyden 3. April Wozny, Mike Yerxa 4. Kimon Kaketsis 5. Rama Luksiarto, Matty Thompson, Andrew Gouveia 6. Marcelo Gowi, Jinkx Monsoon, Mathieu Chantelois 7. Gary Levy, Jada Hudson 8. Gordon Bowness, Maurice Vellekoop 9. Chelsey Needs, Samantha Smith 10. Traci Melchor, Steven Sabados 11. Melanie Durrant 12. Tyler Thomas, Eve Fischer, Sari Colt 13. Andrew Edwards, Saidah Baba Talibah, Wendy Phua 14. Ryan Scheel, JJ Gerber 15. Scott Fordham • 34

August 2013 pics.indd 50

22/07/2013 3:55:52 PM

04-29-2013 (wes) BF Moscato Ad IN Toronto.pdf 1 4/29/2013 4:42:14 PM









35.AdPage.indd 50

22/07/2013 3:56:21 PM

Why is the sky blue? Thanks to the engagement of our employees, BMO is carbon neutral relative to its energy and transportation footprint across the enterprise. We are proud to be doing our part to make Clear Blue SkiesTM part of everyone’s future. ®

Here’s how we’re contributing: • Reduce and limit emissions from business transportation and energy use. • Purchase electricity from renewable energy sources. • Purchase high quality voluntary carbon credits to offset remaining emissions, through our commitment as an initial investor in the Greening Canada Fund. For more information, visit


Trade-marks/registered trade-marks of Bank of Montreal.

13-1380 INToronto Why is the Sky Blue Ad_E_V1.indd 1 36.AdPage.indd 32

13-07-19 9:45 AM 22/07/2013 3:56:50 PM