Film Sex symbol Michael Fassbender
G a y & L e s b i a n C i t y L i v i n g | D E C E M BE R 2 0 1 1
LGBT CHARITIES GIFT GUIDES: MUSIC, FASHION, KIDS’ BOOKS the PHILANTHROPISTS
TRavel Diverse & divine Maui
In this city ure is already here the fut
Valencia Spain’s Mediterranean port city of Valencia combines both old world charm with remnants dating back to 138 BC and avant-guard modern architecture. The heart of the gay village is Barrio Carmen and the quaint cobblestone street of Quart Road is where you will find most gay venues and in the surrounding squares. Locals and tourists alike rarely eat before 11pm and hit the bars around 12.30am. The nightclub scene starts at 2:30am until the wee hours of the morning – make sure to take a siesta before heading out. The city offers a vibrant gay scene with many restaurants, bars, clubs and drag show entertainment at select venues. Orgullo (Pride Valencia) will be held June 23rd, 2012 next year. The gay beaches are Playa del Saler and Playa Pinedo in designated areas. A must have is the “Paella “ a fabulous seafood or meat or both rice dish that originated in Valencia – you’ll be asking for seconds.
- Armando Mendonça LGBT Travel Expert, VoX International Inc.
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EDITORIAL INQUIRIES (416) 551-0449 firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION email@example.com In Toronto is published by The Mint Media Group all rights reserved. 542 Parliament St, Toronto, ON, M4X 1P6 THE MINT MEDIA GROUP PRESIDENT Patricia Salib DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Reggie Lanuza DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING & MARKETING Nelson Tomé PROJECT COORDINATOR Jara Solis THIS ISSUE
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CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Paul Gallant, Krishna Rau CONTRIBUTORS Paul Aguirre-Livingston, Nicola Betts, Mary Dickie, Dino Dilio, Derek Dotto, Jeremy Foreshew, Anna von Frances, David Hawe, Peter Knegt, Michael Pihach, Adam Segal, Shawn Syms, Michael Thorner, Chris Tyrell, Maurice Vellekoop, Andrea Zanin ON the cover Illustration by Maurice Vellekoop
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views | living & design | insight | listings | Art & entertaiNment | sex
Abstraction A hidden townhouse bursting with light and art by Gordon Bowness Wowee Maui Laid-back meets way out by Alice Lawlor
The gift of giving Our unsung philanthropists by Gordon Bowness & Michael Pihach
Great lakers Dani Couture’s stunning debut novel by Shawn Syms
Mr Broadway Sergio Trujillo
Manly jewels by Paul Aguirre-Livingston
CELEBRATING DIVERSITY Discover Canada by train. Great deals all year round at viarail.ca
15 So long Mary Maxim by Derek Dotto 16
Winnie Go’s style with Chris Tyrell
Winter core workouts by Jeremy Foreshew
18 Escape holiday madness at the spa with Dino Dilio 19
A partner’s depression with Adam Segal
23 How Tweet It Is with Michael Thorner 25
A kids’ literary oasis by Gordon Bowness
26 Three Speed has it all by Anna von Frances 29
Michael Fassbender talks sex by Peter Knegt
31 Five top CDs of 2011 by Mary Dickie 33 ask the sex geek with Andrea Zanin 34 Caught in the Act by Michael Pihach TM
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toronto talk exchange
VIEW FINDER → MR BROADWAY NORTH Former Torontonian Sergio Trujillo could certainly claim the moniker Mr Broadway when he had an unprecedented four musicals at once playing on Broadway. Locals get a slice of that dazzle pie as two of those musicals — The Addams Family and Memphis — hit the Toronto boards one after the other. Memphis, the Tony-winning best musical from last year, which opens Wed, Dec 7, is by far the stronger showcase of the celebrated choreographer’s work (he won the Outer Critics Circle Award). From start to finish, it’s a monster of a dance musical. With book by Joe DiPietro and music by David Bryan (of Bon Jovi fame), it’s the story of a white DJ who falls in love with black music and a black singer in Memphis in the early 1950s. “The music and dancing of this era can be so clichéd, I didn’t want it to look like a high school sock hop or Beach Blanket Bingo,” says Trujillo. “I needed to find a vocabulary that a young person today would understand and relate to.” That meant enlivening the southern soul and rock with hip-hop energy. “Hip hop today is the music that crosses all barriers.” See page 26 for event info.
In their own words howie d
“I believe a lot in charity.”
When Howie Dorough (aka Howie D) of the Backstreet Boys lost his sister to lupus in 1998, his house became a shrine of teddy bears and cakes. “A lot of fans were sending gifts, asking how they could help,” says Dorough. Coping with his sister’s passing, the pop star began seriously to think about how he could help combat the autoimmune disease. With the encouragement of a local hospital, he started his own charity — the Dorough Lupus Foundation. “We raised over a million dollars in a year,” says Dorough. “As entertainers, we get the chance to show our support and bring awareness to diseases through the media attention we get. It’s what we’re meant to do.” Dorough is currently promoting his debut solo album Back to Me and manages the Canadian pop rock band Neverest.
toronto talk exchange Sound off Pedro & Buddy
STAR FIELD → Thanks for
the article on GAY & LESBIAN CIT Y LIVING
GUTSY MOVE BY ART-WORLD MAVEN DANIEL FARIA
The Toronto Zoo caused an international flap after announcing its plans to separate a pair of “gay” male African penguins, Pedro and Buddy, in order to mate them with two female penguins — who have been studiously ignored. Should the boys be left alone? Three penguin pundits wade in.
GEMS FROM THE GAY ARCHIVES AUSTRA’S KATIE STELMANIS
ELECTRO ART POP SIREN
TREKKING UP MOUNT KILIMANJARO
21/10/2011 4:43:58 PM
Toronto, Nov 2011), an hon-
est article on such a clever new artist. If Björk and Trent Reznor were to procreate, this would be the outcome. Her sound is sparkly and dark at the same time. Lovely! Nicole Lucido, New York, New York Shutter ur Oaks
stock / Fo
COME OUT POLITICIANS → Rick Mercer is right (Rick
Mercer rants against bullying; intorontomag.com, Oct 2011). To protest in silence is a failure to the cause, especially on
“If it does not pose an imminent threat to the species, separating Buddy and Pedro seems unnecessary and premature. The two penguins have developed a close bond with each other. To my knowledge, African penguins tend to choose one mate for the majority of their lives. Breaking them apart could be devastating. I understand the zoo’s position. They want to help the species survive. However, there are other male penguins at the Toronto Zoo to breed. I’m not convinced Buddy and Pedro need to be separated in order to keep the species alive. It is more of an animal rights issue than anything else.”
AMELIA r, CREATOR OF A CHANGE.ORG PETITION ON THE ISSUE
“Separating Buddy and Pedro is about ensuring the species survives in North America. In 1910, there were 1.2 million African penguins. In 2010, the number was 60,000. Gay is a human-based thing, not animal-based. Penguins are social animals; Buddy and Pedro are socially bonded. We haven’t seen any [attempted] reproductive activity so far. But I can understand people’s negative reactions. Penguins have been so anthropomorphized through movies like Happy Feet and Madagascar. People have transferred that to what we’re doing — as if we’re doing something against human rights. There’s no comparison whatsoever. We’re very conscious of the birds and what their needs are.”
“There are now five zoos around the world that have cashed in on the gay penguin craze. It seems to be a marketing strategy to get people back into the zoo. There are all sorts of cautionary tales to be learned from watching the public’s reaction as we defend gay penguins. One part is the anthropomorphic projection onto the silent who can’t speak, which is convenient to project onto Buddy and Pedro, who can’t speak for themselves and who might tell us a different tale. The Christian right, too, has equally anthropomorphized poor gay penguins by calling for the banning of And Tango Makes Three, a children’s book on the true story of two male penguins raising an egg together. It’s an inescapable political issue.”
TOM MASON, TORONTO ZOO CURATOR OF BIRDS AND INVERTEBRATES
JOHN GREYSON, FILMMAKER, CREATOR OF PENGUIN-THEMED INSTALLATION ROY AND SILO’S BIG GAY DIVORCE
behalf of innocent children. Bullying is not the shame of the victim and bullies should be made accountable for their choice to be ignorant. Bullying is a psychotic behaviour that’s become a social media psychosis. Bullies have no right to impose their opinion on anyone to the point that it impedes the right to personal freedom — let alone the will to live. I thought it was a great rant. Marisa Torre, Toronto
LET US HAVE IT → You can comment online at intorontomag.com or on our Facebook page. You can shoot us an email at editorial@intor ontomag.com or drop us a line at 452 Parliament St, Toronto, ON, M4X 1P6.
LIVING & DESIGN
O PE N H O U S E
Urban abstract Maureen Shewchuck, a chartered accountant at BMO, and Valerie Gow, sales director at Random House Canada, live in an unusually shaped townhouse tucked down a graffiti-covered lane in Cabbagetown. Light-filled but private, their three-storey home offers a perfect mix of small-town vibe and big-city panache â†’
Story Gordon Bowness | Photography Nicola Betts
LIVING & DESIGN
Maureen, you basically bought this place on a lark four years ago. MS: I passed by one day and there was an open house sign. I had been inside a neighbouring unit before, so I knew what they looked like. But then I heard some people discussing how Avril Lavigne had owned this place. That caught my ear. I was going to a dinner party that night so I thought, what the heck, it could be worth a story to check it out. Before I knew it, I planned to put in an offer. Any holdovers from Avril? MS: I kept the skull-and-crossbones tiles in the kitchen that I was told she installed. It’s unusually designed, with nesting clam-shell roofs, windows way up high in the 20-foot ceiling master bedroom and lots of indirect light from outside. MS: It was built in 2000 and there were lots of variances that the neighbours demanded. There was a garage here before, so they kept the old wall and made sure that we could not look down on their properties. It’s private for them but private for us, too. This is your third home in Cabbagetown. MS: I’ve always loved this neighbourhood. I grew up in Thunder Bay so I love the small-town feel. I used to come to this part of town even before I moved here. Remember [lesbian bar] The Rose? I love the eclectic range of people who live in Cabbagetown: lawyers, artists, actors… whatever. VG: Everybody is kind of a kook, so I feel quite at home. You have a regular group that meets at local landmark Jet Fuel. → MODERNITY Maureen Shewchuck and Valerie Gow, with Mozart the dachshund (bottom left), live in a townhouse built on the site of an old garage (the old wall, kept for privacy, is visible on the opposite page). The large light-filled home is a showcase for Shewchuck’s love of abstract art. Pictured are works by Jean-Pierre Lafrance (top left, bottom right) and Vivian Case-Fox (middle).
MS: There’s a group of about 10 of us that go for an early morning bike ride about three times a week. It’s a 30-kilometre circuit. We end up at Jet Fuel for coffee at 7am. Val, you moved in a year ago. How did that transition go? VG: I had rented an apartment in the Church/Wellesley Village for 18 years. So I did a huge purge before moving in. I only kept the things I love. Such as? VG: Well, books, obviously. But in my business you have to be ruthless. You can’t keep all the books. There are only one or two shelves that I would always hold on to. What are your touchstones? VG: There’s Uncle Wiggly, it’s a kids’ book that my mother would read to me from, and I have her copy, with her name written in it. Another would be Metropolitan Living by Fran Lebowitz. It’s the first book I ever bought from reading a book review. I was 16 at the time. It’s still a funny book. What’s the “Val cave”? VG: It’s my office and reading room downstairs. I was very lucky. Maureen had basically left that room empty. There was nothing in it but an ironing board. So it was a great room for me to take over. It was a little on the cool side, so we added the fireplace to warm it up. Mozart [the dachshund] settles in as soon as we turn it on. And you have an interesting connection to the custom bookshelves. VG: I always have good luck Googling. So when I was checking out websites for companies that do built-in bookcases I came across the name of a woman I was with in my 20s. We reconnected, and she and her partner built that beautiful bookshelf. Their company is called Awesomewoods.
Continued on page 10
LIVING & DESIGN
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Continued from page 9
This place is big, just under
The overall aesthetic of the place
2,500 square feet. Maureen, that
is Maureen’s. How do you feel
encouraged your love of abstract
about it, Val?
art, didn’t it?
VG: When I first walked in here I
MS: These big walls begged for art.
didn’t think, “Oh, my God,” and
The first painting I ever bought
back out slowly. I was like, “Wow,
was by a Quebec artist named
this is big art.” I very quickly
John Barcley. Then I discovered the
learned to love it.
Thompson Landry Gallery. That’s where I found the two painting by
You both love to travel. But you
Vivian Case-Fox and the two by
got more than you bargained for
Jean-Pierre Lafrance. I absolutely
love them. I love sitting in the liv-
VG: We went to New Zealand ear-
ing room and looking at them.
lier this year and were going to
I don’t think I’ll ever tire of them.
spend one day in Christchurch. That one day was Feb 22 [the day
Big modern furniture, big flam-
of the massive earthquake].
boyant chandelier, big abstract
MS: We were very fortunate. We
art… but not a lot of clutter.
were already outside, so we were
MS: Oh, no. Can’t stand clutter.
dressed for the cold weather. There
Keep it simple. Can’t stand dust
were all these people who ran out of
or dusting. No grass to mow. And
their homes in nothing but T-shirts
no carpets, so we don’t have to
and flip flops. And it looked liked
we were going to spend the night in
VG: [Laughing] But we do vacuum.
a park. But a lovely women opened
→ OPENNESS & PRIVACY Indirect light floods into Gow’s study with its custom shelving (below left) and the master bedroom with its 20-foot ceilings (bottom). The skull-andcrossbone kitchen tile (below right) is a holdover from Avril Lavigne.
up her home to us and two other couples. We were able to fly out the next day. Going through something like that gives you a new perspective when hearing about disasters recently in Japan and Turkey. •
LIVING & DESIGN
t r avel
Maui is deliciously different → The
most diverse island in Hawaii sports unspoiled beaches, stunning scenery, the world’s largest dormant volcano, great food and a vibrant “live and let live” scene — then there’s the limitless beauty of the sea Story Alice Lawlor | Photography Ron Dahlquist
f you’re harbouring any stereotypes of Hawaii — loud American tourists and a sea of big-box stores, perhaps — banish them now. Maui is deliciously different. Hawaii’s Valley Isle is also its most diverse, with a bit of everything in just 728 square miles. You can hike around a volcano in the morning, swim with sea turtles after lunch and be back in a bustling resort town by evening. You’ll find great food, whether a roadside
BBQ hut or a chic restaurant by the beach. And best of all, there’s not an all-inclusive mega resort in sight. The local culture has a strong “live and let live” vibe that’s welcoming to all. “Maui is a gay-friendly destination,” says Hawaiian language and culture expert Cody Pueo Pata. “Here in Hawaii, one’s gayness is simply a part of one’s whole being. Our local culture is based on humility, moderation and respect.” Unlike other gay-friendly vacation
destinations there is no bar scene, despite a healthy gay population. “Different from resort areas like Key West or Palm Springs, Maui is not really so much about sexual energy as it is about experiencing one of the most beautiful places in the world,” says Michael Waddell, general manager of the island’s only LGBT resort, Maui Sunseeker. Local gay men and lesbians hang out at social events, pot-luck parties and, of course, the beach.
You’ll find many of them at Little Beach on the South Shore. It’s Maui’s only clothing-optional beach and a very sociable place to soak up some sun. “There’s absolutely a big gay presence at Little Beach, for both the local population and especially for the gay tourist,” says Waddell. On Sundays, the beach is host to a regular gathering of the alternative crowd. At sunset, a Continued on page 12
LIVING & DESIGN
says. “There’s an Asian influence
At Ono Organic Farm, visitors can
because of where we are, and it’s
taste a whole host of weird-look-
drum circle starts up and fire danc-
also light and healthy, because we
ing tropical fruit before touring the
ers join the party. Soon everyone
live in a tropical climate.”
grounds and picking them straight
Continued from page 11
(clothed or not) is dancing like their lives depend on it.
It’s thanks to that climate that Maui is such a sustainable island.
Although Maui’s beaches are a big draw, this is not a “don’t leave the resort” destination. There are very few all-inclusive hotels, so towns such as Lahaina come alive after dark with hungry tourists and locals. No surprise, then, that the
from the trees. You could easily spend your entire vacation eating, but it would be a
If you’re rushing to do anything then you’re just not feeling the island vibe.
food scene in Maui is both creative
crime to visit Maui without indulging in some water-based activities. From snorkelling to surfing and even paddle boarding (see sidebar), there are endless opportunities to get on the water. Gear is readily available — Snorkel Bobs, for exam-
and dynamic. Chef Mark Ellman,
Local and organic are more than just
ple, has five stores across the island
who runs several restaurants on
food trends here; they’re a way of
and you can pick up and drop off
the island, is one of 12 award-win-
life. In upcountry Maui, tourists can
at any of them — and lessons are
ning chefs who started the Hawaii
tour (and taste) some of the local
easy to organize. At Napili Bay and
Regional Cuisine movement back
producers they’ve seen on island
Kaanapali Beach in West Maui, you
in 1991. How would he character-
menus, including the Surfing Goat
can snorkel with sea turtles (and
ize Maui’s cuisine? “Fresh is the
Dairy, Alii Kula Lavender Farm and
wave at dolphins in the distance)
first word that comes to mind,” he
the Maui Winery at Ulupalakula.
from the safety of the beach. No organized tour required. For thrills of a different kind, drive the twisty-windy road to Hana. This 70-mile-long scenic drive includes 600 curves, 54 bridges and countless breathtaking views across the water. The road follows the rugged
Where to stay MAUI SUNSEEKER Located on the South Shore in Kihei, the island’s only LGBT resort isn’t luxe, but rooms are pleasant, functional and reasonably priced. There’s a clothing-optional pool and Jacuzzi, and the beach is right across the street. mauisunseeker.com. NAPILI KAI BEACH RESORT This West Maui gem is situated on its own beautifully calm bay — perfect for lazy swimming or paddle boarding. There’s tasteful tropical décor and large lanais (balconies) in the rooms, plus a great restaurant and four pools spread across the property. napilikai.com. HONUA KAI RESORT & spa This new condo resort is a real home away from home. All rooms have high-spec kitchens, laundry facilities and flat-screen TVs. The pool lives up to its “aquatic playground” moniker, with a water slide, waterfall, lazy river, serenity pool and hot tubs everywhere you look. honuakaimaui.com.
coastline of Maui’s eastern shore, passing by waterfalls, plunge pools and tropical rainforest terrain. Pick up a unique souvenir from the Hasegawa General Store, grab a traditional plate lunch at Bruddah Hut’s BBQ shack or visit Hawaii’s largest heiau (temple) at Kanahu Gardens. Rent a car and take it at your own pace, stopping along the way for photo ops and freshly-
Where to eat MAMA’S FISH HOUSE This is no ordinary seafood restaurant. Beside each entrée on the ever-changing menu is the name of the fisherman, where the fish was caught and the fishing vessel. Start with their ahi poke — a local delicacy with raw fish, namasu relish, pickled
baked banana bread. This kind of easy enjoyment is key to Maui’s appeal. If you’re rushing to do anything then you’re just not feeling the island vibe. On the beach at Napili Bay, there are a handful of couples enjoying the view. It’s not sunset. There’s really nothing special to see — some palm trees and a couple of surfers — but that’s the
just comes naturally. → HI T T HE ROAD The Hana Highway (above) is a fantastic scenic drive. The volcano crater of Haleakala (below) is a must see. December 2011
Mama`s Fish House
Maui Visitors Bureau
point. Enjoying yourself on Maui
LIVING & DESIGN
ginger, wasabi and soy sauce. Finish with the Polynesian Black Pearl, a chocolate mousse-andpastry extravaganza. mamasfishhouse.com. tropica Just steps from Kaanapali beach, Tropica is romantic without being cheesy. Sample the best of their farm-to-table dishes in a tasting menu, or grab some pupus (appetizers) and work your way through the killer cocktail list (don’t miss the award-winning Dragonberry Bomb). westinmaui.com/dining/tropica. honu Mark Ellman’s latest restaurant is just north of Lahaina Town, overlooking a popular grazing spot for sea turtles (honu is Hawaiian for turtle). The ahi bruschetta — seared ahi with local organic tomatoes, edamame hummus, flax-seed toast and 20-year-old balsamic vinegar — is a unique take on the Italian staple. honumaui.com.
above sea level and watch the crater gradually fill with sun is an unforgettable experience. Leave early, dress warmly and bring some breakfast. nps.gov/hale. LEARN TO PADDLE BOARD Popularized in the 1960s by the beach boys of Waikiki, stand-up paddle boarding has been enjoying a renaissance in recent years. With such large, stable boards, it’s not difficult to master and you don’t need to be super fit. It’s also a great core workout and a fun way for surfing novices to get started. 808boards.com.
DAY TRIP TO MOLOKAI Unspoiled beauty is just a 90-minute ferry ride away from Lahaina in West Maui. Wander the shops of Kaunakakai and stop off at Kanemitsu’s Bakery for their famous onion-and-cheese bread. Take a 2.9mile mule ride along the rugged coastline to Kalaupapa National Historical Park. Then head to the southern shore to dive the 28-mile-long “fringing” reef — the longest in Hawaii — where you’ll see “finger” coral, reef fish, rays, sea turtles and sharks. molokaifishanddive.com.
SUNRISE AT HALEAKALA According to local legend, the demigod Maui pulled the Hawaiian Islands from the sea and lassoed the sun at the summit of Haleakala — the largest dormant volcano in the world. To stand at 10,000 feet
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What to do
L I V I N G & d e sign
gift box by Paul Aguirre-Livingston Bling not required Opinion on men’s jewellery often falls into two extremes — love and not at all. The marriage of men and jewellery doesn’t have to feel flashy or forced. Treat yourself to a little out-ofthe-box love or gift someone you know will pull it off with confidence. We won’t even use the word “accessorizing”
WRIST WEAR For all things non-watch, trends dictate simple designs that go in one of two directions: strong and sleek futurism or East Asian aesthetics. The use of unconventional materials like obsidian (a naturally occurring volcanic glass) with antiqued finishes is where the diversion from silver and gold begins. 1
Black obsidian matted bracelet. $114.From Thomas Sabo. Yorkdale Shopping Centre. shop.thomassabo.co. Moon carbon cuff. $ 190. Swarovski. 2 Bloor St W and Eaton Centre. swarovski.com. Silk cord and sterling silver bracelet. $75. Green Shag Bespoke. 670 Queen St W. greenshag.com.
Traditionally, men’s rings were purely symbolic of marriage or an esteemed membership (like an alma mater). But over the last century, bands have transformed from signs of status and wealth (hello, gold is money) to a reflection of personal style. Sterling silver encouraged new shapes and economic sensibilities. 4
AROUND THE NECK
Sterling silver dragon carrier with black onyx. $259. Thomas Sabo. Silver hammered finger cuff by Aimee Kennedy. (Also available in gold.) $75. Made You Look. 1273 Queen St W. madeyoulook.ca.
There’s a term known as “statement jewellery” in the accessories world — and this is about as good and as tasteful as it’s going to get for men who aren’t used to that extra artillery. The trick here is visual: strong, iconic images of “power” crafted into simple pendants mixed with a little bit of ingenuity and fun. 6 7
Phase necklace in jet crystal. $120. Swarovski. Four-note harmonica on an antique brass chain by Biko. $48. Drake General Store. Various locations. drakegeneralstore.myshopify.com. Thor pendant necklace. $180. Green Shag Bespoke.
FINISHING TOUCHES The earliest incarnation of the cufflink as we know it appeared in the 17th century in the reign of Louis XIV. Although silk knots may have emerged as more fashion-forward, new materials like wood and interesting designs ensure cufflinks will remain the ultimate finishing touch in modern suiting. Timeless. 9
Silver cufflinks with offset mokume-gane. $295. PASH Jewellery Design. 101 Spadina Ave, # 214. pash.ca. Wood cufflinks by Zsolt Szekely. $235. Made You Look. Pixel cufflink in sterling silver and enamel. $80. GreenShag Bespoke.
LIVING & DESIGN s h o pping
The Not-So-Ugly Christmas Sweater → Designers
have refined the Mary Maxim cast-offs into subtly festive knitwear with a solid helping of modernity Story Derek Dotto | Photography David Hawe
his holiday season we can all be grateful for one thing: the death of the ugly Christmas sweater. After years of hipsters pilfering vintage stores for snowflake and reindeer-adorned Mary Maxim cast-offs, the irony has lost its appeal. All those regifted relics should be vanquished to the “What was I thinking?” pile. In their wake something more fashionable remains. Designers have refined the Xmas sweater into subtly festive knitwear with a solid helping of modernity.
A conservative approach to colour is encouraged. If we may amend an old adage: Red and green should never be seen. The holidays take on a tribal vibe with this zip-up sweater from Scotch and Soda. $285. Available at Over the Rainbow. 101 Yorkville Ave. rainbowjeans.com. 1
gan with bison pattern by Peoples Market flirts with the line without crossing into tacky territory. $155. Lavish and Squalor. 253 Queen St W. lavishandsqualor.com.
3 This navy and off-white pullover from Burkman Brothers brings the classic shape of the Christmas sweater into the 21st century. A busy pattern requires basic colours and a simple cut. $250. The Bay. 176 Yonge St. thebay.com. 4 The most innovative re-imag ining of the sweater this season came from Junya Watanabe Comme Des Garçons Man. This blazer with fair isle pattern makes knitwear evening-appropriate and the leather pockets introduce an added level of luxury. $1,795. Available at Nomad. 819 Queen St W. nomadshop.net.
2 Animals on clothing are typically frowned upon. But if you must, pick a breed of wild game not normally associated with Old St Nick. This double-breasted cardi-
LIVING & DESIGN
stylin' with chris tyrell → Cashmere is one of the most luxurious of fabrics. Trust a style sophisticate like Winnie Go, portfolio manager and senior wealth advisor for Scotia McLeod, to have the perfect modern cashmere look. A subtle camel-coloured sweater dress is certainly an unusual and sexy way to wear this sumptuous yarn, especially paired with killer-heeled dark chestnut leather boots.
What are you wearing?
A Ralph Lauren Blue Label cashmere dress, a Christian Louboutin bag, Jimmy Choo boots and Cartier necklace and bracelets.
Describe your style. Corporate chic with an edge. I love clean, simple lines and bright solid colours, always matching.
What items of clothing can you not live without? I cannot live without my red Louboutin stilettos — or any of my stilettos for that matter!
Your first fashion memory?
If money were no object what would be your fashion purchase?? A Chanel suit with matching shoes and bag.
What should every guy/girl buy this season? A pair of shoes that makes them feel amazing by just putting them on. Preferably red stilettos.
What is your favorite fashion image? A bottle of Chanel No 5.
My sister and I dressed for Halloween when I was seven. She was nine. We were wearing B:8.75” outfits with our traditional Chinese cheongsam T:8.5” hair in pigtails.
Fave designers? Lanvin and Tom Ford.
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LIVING & des ign
Winter wonder abs → Now
is the right time to condition your body for the taxing demands of winter sports Story Jeremy Foreshew | Photography Teeto Roy
anadians are polarized by winter. Many people loathe it and hibernate; they make any excuse to stay inside and keep warm. The rest graciously embrace the change of season with open arms, throwing themselves at the great outdoors and into a deluge of exciting wintertime activities. Toronto becomes a limitless fitness wonderland as we trade in our baseball bats for curling brooms and cleats for skates. We have access to skating rinks, granite clubs and cross country skiing in the city. Nearby are vast open spaces for snowshoeing and hills for snowboarding. There is no lack of choice for burning calories in chilly times. Winter sports, however, present unique challenges to our body. Inclement weather and changes in altitude place incomparable strain on the lungs and heart. This is why cardiovascular training is truly the key to any successful winter conditioning program. You can prepare yourself for this by arranging for your cardio program to mimic the activities you are training toward. For example, if you plan to do a lot of snowshoeing you may want to consider adding some time on the ellipti-
cal machine at a high resistance level. Hockey players will want to increase their short-burst capacity with sprinting intervals and HIIT (high intensity interval training). Alpine skiers would benefit from plyometrics (training for speed, flexibility and strength). Aside from excellent aerobic (and anaerobic) capacity, winter fitness requires advanced coordination. Add balance exercises to your program this fall to help build what’s called proprioception, your body’s ability to adjust muscle contractions to compensate for external forces (think skiing over an uneven terrain). Not only will you advance your performance, you will also reduce your chance of winter-prevalent injuries. Strength is another key factor to effective winter sports preparation. This can be done through body weight exercises like squats, lunges and dips or with free weights. Resist the urge to use machines in the gym: Unlike sports and outdoor fitness activities, equipment that locks you into a position limits how much balance and stabilizing work your body undergoes.
Four exercises to help your performance this winter 1
Roll a towel and lay it out on the floor. With your feet parallel to the line you’ve created, jump over the towel to the other side, landing with soft (bent) knees. Repeat jumping to the other side. To increase difficulty, you can jump over a stepper or a low-bench or jump with your feet and legs together. 2
Stand on the flat side of a BOSU ball, those blue half balls, with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bending at the knees and hips, slowly sit back until you have reached a 90-degree angle with your legs. Be sure that you keep your knees above your toes and that your feet stay parallel to the floor. Try it with dumbbells in your hands to increase the challenge 3
Keep a wide stance with your arms positioned low beside your thighs. Grip the weight with both hands. Twisting your body and keeping your arms straight, raise the weight diagonally across your body. Slowly return to the starting position. This exercise can also be done in reverse, and with a cable station. 4
With your toes pointed forward and your feet hip-width apart, stand with your chest high and place one hand on your hip. Lift the opposite foot off the ground and let it swing backward while you lean forward and touch the balancing foot. Maintain a strong back while you slowly return to the start. This exercise can also be done with a dumbbell. intorontomag.com
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LIVING & DESIGN
the grooming game
— with Dino Dilio Old-school grooming was viewed as a rite of passage. In the days before Mad Men, it took a man less than 20 minutes, tops, to get ready because, well, frankly, taking any longer was cause for concern. Fast forward 40 years and that getting ready time has doubled and even tripled. Let the modern “mancturary” make the most of that time. →
The old fashioned shit, shower
(mankindgrooming.com). Try their
and shave was followed by teeth
18-step straight razor shave. Some
brushing, hair pomade and a splash
are extensions to men’s clothing
of aftershave. You’d step into a
stores, like Gotstyle (62 Bathurst
suit and dress shoes and, voilà,
St; gsmen.com); others are unique
you were ready to face the world.
stand-alone studios, shops and
Once a month it was off to the bar-
spas, like Metrosexual (91 Scollard
ber for a haircut. You might add in
a straight razor shave occasionally;
in atmosphere from Über swank
they were popular before important
to soothing Zen, some are upscale
early morning business meetings
man caves with ultra-cool retro
because a razor at the throat made
vintage leather barber chairs, Play
you very alert.
Stations, sports networks, coffee
Today men enjoy taking their time
bar and, in certain places, cocktails.
getting ready for work and love.
Certainly not what grandpa was
Brylcreem and Aqua Velva have
11/23/2011 9:31:12 AM
been replaced with hair texturizers,
A great way for the novice to
skin saviours and fragrances that
experience this male phenomenon
have you feeling woodsy, musky,
is an express package like the one
even fruity. For some it’s an art and
offered by John Allan’s at The Bay
for others it’s still virgin territory.
on Queen St (johnallans.com). His
Enter the “manctuary,” a one-stop
treatment package includes a scalp
grooming environment for men
massaging shampoo, conditioning
only, sort of a combination barber
treatment, hot towel, haircut, man-
shop and beauty parlour. Most offer
icure and shoe shine for only $38.
the classic man menu of haircut,
So that old-fashioned rite of pas-
hot towel shave and manicure. For
sage is now a personal passion for
the more open-minded the menu
young urban professionals, dis-
expands with scalp treatments,
tinguished gentlemen, Bay Street
facials, hair colour, massage, man-
suits, city hipsters and groovy
scaping, pedicures and ear can-
tradesmen and construction work-
dling all under one roof. Some offer
ers. It’s no longer a locker room
unique and one-of-a-kind services
secret or cause for concern to get
like the “brozilian,” the male equiv-
your groom on. And when you fall
alent to women’s Brazilian, where
behind or just want to treat your-
all the pubic hair is removed from
self to some “manpering,” it’s only
a click or call away. Makes a great
Exclusive to men, these groovy
guy gift too. Hint, hint.
manctuaries are popping up everywhere. Mankind Grooming (477 Richmond St W) just opened its second location on Eglinton Ave E
Dino Dilio The freelance makeup artist and writer is resident beauty expert on CityLine. dinodilio.com.
LIVING & DESIGN
SEX IS EASY TO FIND. LOVE ISN’T.
— with Adam Segal “I’m struggling with feelings of helplessness about my girlfriend’s depression. We’ve been together for about two years now and I knew that she had episodes of depression before we met, but this is the first time I’ve really seen her in the throes of it. Nothing seems to be of any help. She gets cranky with my attempts to lift her up and, to top it off, she’s occasionally mentioned thoughts of taking her life. How can I best help her get better?” Annie →
Sometimes depression can seem
The reality is that suicidal thoughts
contagious: Being very close to
are much more common than our
someone who appears hopeless is
society likes to acknowledge. Often
overwhelming and helping them
these thoughts are not accompanied
out can feel insurmountable. You
by any real intent or plan to take
clearly have a lot of care for your
one’s life and are actually fantasies
girlfriend, but learning how to be
in times of deep hardship — along
supportive without wearing yourself
the lines of, “I don’t want to be here
out will be crucial.
anymore so that I don’t have to deal
A lot of partners want to problem
with this crap.” Alternately, these
solve and “fix” their lover’s depres-
thoughts can be part of a very real
sion. Most often, what depressed
movement toward a suicide plan
folks really need from friends and
and, at worst, an attempt.
family is non-judgmental listening
It’s important for you and your
and reassurance. The two of you will
have to learn, together, what role
her thoughts are of the pass-
you can play that is most helpful
ing variety or part of a bigger sui-
to your girlfriend… and not too tax-
cidal plan. But be careful with how
ing for you. Keep in mind, your role
much you take on: Her responsibil-
here is that of loving and support-
ity to you, so that you aren’t a wor-
ive partner, not parent or therapist.
ried mess, is to communicate where
You can be your sweetie’s great-
her thoughts fall on this spectrum.
est cheerleader as she pursues true
If you get wind that she is actively
self-care: therapy, exercise, meds if
scheming to take her life, it’s vital
needed, and so on. Anything more
that she inform a therapist immedi-
than these morsels is likely to hurt
ately or that one of you reach out to
the relationship and create feelings
a mental health crisis service so that
of resentment in you.
she can get the urgent support she
It can feel scary to initiate discus-
needs. She’s lucky to have a partner
sions about suicide — as though
as invested as you but make sure
putting it out in the open will only
you are getting the support you
exacerbate the suicidal feelings.
need too — your well-being is just as
Being afraid to talk about your part-
important as hers.
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ner’s suicidal thoughts isn’t going to help either of you and leaves you both in the dark. Suicide is such a hot potato issue that no one really wants to hold onto it for too long.
Adam Segal The writer and therapist works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental health question at email@example.com. intorontomag.com
Present reality → Philanthropy
is the connective tissue of our community. We talk to donors and volunteers and discover that getting involved pays surprising dividends Story Gordon Bowness & Michael Pihach | Illustration Maurice Vellekoop
undreds of ordinary folk — some rich, some not — donate their money, time and talent to LGBT and AIDS groups. In times of declining donations and government cutbacks, these unsung leaders hold our communities together, making our lives happier and healthier. Our small sample of philanthropic men and women defy easy categorization, except for two things: They care and they find great joy in giving. They aren’t the dour do-gooders of ages past, smug in their good 20
fortune and condescending toward the people they aim to help. Instead, they exemplify how charity must be a two-way street demanding mutual respect. They get as good as they give. Their stories are as inspiring as the amazing work carried out by the organizations they support. Their passions are infectious; to meet them is to get involved. Harvey Malinsky New lease on life Realtor Harvey Malinsky raises more money than any other indi-
vidual for the Friends for Life Bike Rally, more than $100,000 over the last three years. Participating in the annual bike trek between Toronto and Montreal in support of the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation has given Malinsky a new lease on life. Malinsky, 63, came out in his 30s. He lived in Burlington, was married and had a daughter (who is still very much a part of his life and a key member of his fundraising team). Coming out changed everything: He left his job, moved to Toronto and
got his real estate license. It was 1980, a year before AIDS started killing gay men. “When I came out I fell into a group of eight to 10 people. They became my family, my friends — the ones I partied with, the ones I had dinner with. One after the other, many got sick, some started dying. I was on their caregiving teams.” Malinsky honours greatly the sacrifices of his mother, a deaf woman widowed early, helping her widowed father, an Italian immigrant, raise seven siblings (four of them visually impaired), in addition to
her own young son. Strength and
anything, the people I’ve helped, the
prejudice. They had no friends to
housing for people with HIV/AIDS. “I
generosity are family traits. In the
people I’ve opened my home to, will
talk to. There was great need for a
can’t emphasize enough the impor-
terrifying wake of AIDS, however,
be there for me. They are my friends
support group.” So Egbert set up
tance of secure, affordable housing,”
Malinsky found he was unable to
Snehithan (which means “friend” in
she says. “It’s something as simple
“Like when my mother got sick a
Tamil), a gay Tamil group that grew
as being able to take a shower. If you
“In the ’90s so many people I had
few years ago, Sunnybrook Hospital
quickly from two to 50. It was soon
can’t, who is going to pay attention
known had died. I was beginning to
was packed with my friends. You
doing outreach work for ASAAP.
to you? You are dismissed as some
feel guilty for being alive.
couldn’t get into the courtyard
A new generation of young gay
because they wouldn’t let so many
Tamils has now taken root at
“A person’s life can turn around if
Snehithan. And Egbert focuses his
they have a place to put their food,
“I was there supporting as much as I could in ways I could. I sent off my donations. In terms of jumping
Egbert grew up in Sri Lanka during
volunteer work on people with
a place to put their medication, a
a civil war that raged for more than
AIDS. “That requires a level of ‘com-
place to put their head down and
That was until friends convinced
25 years. “My mother and father
fortability,’ a sense of community.
get a good night’s sleep, security. At
him to try the Bike Rally. “It was
were very generous. They were
Everyone knows me, so that per-
Fife House we help people get hous-
just before I turned 60,” Malinsky
always helping people. I remem-
sonal connection means a lot.”
ing and the support to stay there.
recalls. “I said, ‘Are you out of your
ber during war time we couldn’t go
In addition to board work at
mind? I don’t go to a gym. I don’t
home at night, it was too danger-
ASAAP and participating in the Bike
ride a bike.’ They talked me into it.
ous. So we’d sleep in the church.
Rally for two years, Egbert still gives
“I’ve always volunteered in the
Foolishly I got a bike.” His abilities
Everyday, my father would get us
money where he can and is cur-
areas where I worked, that goes
to bring people together, his corpo-
up and we would haul all this food
rently sponsoring a man from Sri
back to when I worked at Nellie’s
rate connections and his passion for
back to the house and we’d cook for
Lanka whose life was destroyed by
women’s shelter and I volunteered
the cause led Malinsky to discover
everybody. My mother was always
the 2004 tsunami. Egbert’s father has
with Margaret Frazer House. It helps
his outsized talents for fundrais-
checking in on people who couldn’t
also moved in (“He moves in with
me be better at the work I’m paid
ing. More importantly, after losing
leave their homes, bringing them
the gay son because all the straight
to do, it gives me greater context…
so many friends, the experience of
ones are married with kids”). While
and by context I mean, really, the
in and doing something, I said no.”
Stable housing means stable relationships, stable health.
being on the rally spoke to that ter-
His parents and brothers reunited
he has a level of annual giving in
big picture. Volunteering allows me
rible question at his core: Why was
in Canada when Egbert moved here.
his head, Egbert still gives spon-
to bring something better back to
he still here?
He studied economics and finance
taneously as needs arise. “I give
“During that first year, I had peo-
at Ryerson. But his first passion
very good financial advice,” he says
“I meet so many amazing people. I
ple come up to me and say, ‘I’m a
was dance. He hooked up with a
laughing, “but I’m not good with my
learn a lot. It expands what I do and
client of PWA and I really want
number of creative types at Desh
how I do it.”
you to know how much I appreci-
Pardesh, an eclectic South Asian
ate what you are doing.’ I get goose
arts festival, now defunct, that
Canadian AIDS Society, yet she still
bumps talking about it. Then when
had a huge presence in Toronto in
The big picture
volunteers at the group’s AGM reg-
people on the rally wore red rib-
the 1990s. At Desh, his volunteer-
“I get much more out of volunteer-
istering attendees. “I sit there at the
bon poz T-shirts for the first time…
ing really took off; he didn’t have a
ing than I give,” says retired social
registration desk and get to see peo-
and I heard their stories at the cere-
choice. “Arts groups are always very
worker Gail Flintoft. From 1990
ple I’ve worked with over the years
mony… I admired them and appre-
eager to get someone with a finan-
to 2010 Flintoft worked at Casey
from across the country” she says,
ciated what they were sharing.
cial background. I was constantly
House, Toronto’s AIDS hospice —
opening her arms as if hugging each
being dragged into things, whether
ground zero during the worst of
one. “How else could I do that? Of
I wanted to or not.”
the AIDS epidemic. She provided
course I’m going to be there.”
“It made me realize I’m here for the right reasons. I’m doing this because we need to keep this alive.”
Flintoft is a former chair of the
Through Desh, Egbert started vol-
counselling and support for hun-
unteering with ASAAP (“I moved
dreds of clients and watched as way
from boat to boat”). The fledgling
too many of them died; she helped
Both sides of the coin
A loving family
AIDS organization that grew out of
countless others with their grief.
Emma Lewzey has been a fund-
“No one likes an auditor,” says cor-
the activist group Khush already
Flintoft is one of those people who
raiser for 15 years; she got into the
porate tax auditor Dunstan Egbert
had a number of finance folk, so
could pat themselves on the back
field through volunteering. Working
with a laugh. “And I’m okay with
Egbert focused on frontline work,
and say, “I’ve done my part.” Not
both sides of the fundraising coin
that.” The longtime donor and vol-
everything from handing out con-
Gail. “That’s just not who I am,” she
gives her unique insights into how
unteer with the Alliance for South
doms at bathhouses and outreach
says. “Even now that I’m retired, I
philanthropy can be most effective.
Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP)
among the Tamil community to
have to do something. This stuff is
translating for people trying to
important to me.”
“My family is okay with me being
access AIDS services.
Lewzey is a longtime donor and volunteer at the Inside Out film festi-
In addition to monthly donations,
val. Born and raised in Georgetown,
gay but my friends are my real fam-
“I knew people who killed them-
Flintoft is a longtime volunteer and
Ontario, the festival was Lewzey’s
ily and that family came about
selves because they were gay. They
former board member with Fife
because of my volunteering. If I need
were so isolated. There was a lot of
House, which provides supportive
Continued on page 22
Continued from page 21
as both a volunteer and a board
Follow the money
member.” entrée to the community.
There are no shortcuts. Looking at
“I started going to Inside Out
the ratio of admin to service costs
when I first moved to Toronto,” says
isn’t enough. Lewzey says the only
Lewzey. “I won’t say when. Suffice
way to understand an organiza-
it to say that it was back when the
tion’s effectiveness is by engaging
festival was at Cinecycle on fold-up
with it: check out its website, talk to
lawn chairs — that dates me a little.
organizers, go to an AGM. “Donors have a responsibility to do their leg
“There is such stigma in talking about money, in talking about income levels and levels of giving.”
statements, talk to organizers, go to an AGM. → There are no shortcuts. The much ballyhooed ratio of admin
costs to direct services only tells part of the story. Staff and infrastructure allow organizations to do their job.
“We need to start talking about more,”
aforementioned research more likely). → Events like art auctions and fundraising parties are good entry
“There is such stigma in talk-
points, but don’t lose sight of an organization’s core services.
ing about money, in talking about
“Some organizations are overly dependent on events,” says fund-
income levels and levels of giving.
raiser Emma Lewzey. “It puts too much emphasis on a person’s
The act of giving is so complicated;
expectations, of what they are going to get out of it. To me,
so many emotions are in play.
philanthropy is a donation that is freely given without expectations of something in return.”
I loved everything about Inside Out.
“And when you get to something
It was the first LGBT event I ever
like bequests, it gets even worse.
went to after moving to the city. I
Not only are you talking about
Consider giving monthly to your main beneficiaries. “It’s amazing
loved the vibe, of people gathered
money, now you are talking about
how much you can put aside to give if you are purposeful,” says
together to watch these stories that
— even today — are not available in
Some experts see a trend among
→ Establish an annual rate of giving at the beginning of the year.
Lewzey. → Talk to a financial planner; consider stock options, bequests and
LGBT folk who, as they age, are look-
more complicated ways of giving. “As people get older, giving
She currently works at Redwood,
ing at more complex ways of donat-
goes up, across the board,” says the LGBT Giving Network’s Doug
a shelter for women and chil-
ing, like stock options and bequests.
dren fleeing domestic abuse. And
“I always joke about the bequests
while social issues remain close
in my will,” says Lewzey, “that the
to her heart, she donates to a mix
recipients are only going to get
of groups. “It runs a crazy gamut,
some Ikea bookcases and an elderly
from social service organizations
cat. But I am a homeowner. My part-
Canada has declined since 1997 due to the economy. “People who
and social justice to Inside Out and
ner and I are not married. We don’t
have money are giving as much as they can,” says lisaj lander,
the opera. There’s not a whole lot of
have kids. Our assets have to go
rhyme or reason,” she says, laugh-
somewhere. Without a will, I’m not
→ LGBT charities draw upon a tradition of giving: We looked after
ing. “It’s just groups I’m passionate
sure what the province would do
our own because no one else would. Looking forward, charities
with them. It’s important for LGBT
have to work hard to expand their donor, volunteer and leader-
people to get their wills in order.”
ship base. “Every group needs a youth program,” says longtime
As a full-time fundraiser Lewzey
Trends in philanthropy → According to Statistics Canada, individual philanthropy in
director of development at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
volunteer Dunstan Egbert.
knows how much work it is to raise
Lewzey says she decides at the
money. “It’s a vicious cycle: So
beginning of the year to donate a
→ The LGBT Giving Network (powersitefactory.com/lgbt) is an alli-
many organizations don’t have the
percentage of her pretax income;
ance of donors and non-profit organizations created five years
resources to fundraise and with-
she gives monthly to her main char-
ago to help increase individual philanthropy and help organiza-
out fundraising they can’t get more
ities. “It’s much easier to put aside
tions share fundraising and volunteering resources and ideas.
that smaller amount each month.
Member groups range from the AIDS Committee of Toronto and
It’s amazing how much you can give
Casey House to Community One, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay
“That’s why I give to less sexy causes, ones that aren’t about
if you are purposeful.”
Archives and Inside Out. → LGBT philanthropists are a force to be reckoned with. “We
immediate results. Instead I try to
There are additional benefits to
support an organization’s infra-
this type of planning. “I don’t feel
brought together donors who give at a significant level because
structure. I get frustrated when I
bad when I say no to other chari-
we wanted them to see themselves as a community, as leaders,”
hear people say, ‘I don’t want to pay
ties. And you have to say no at some
says Kerr. “What are their priorities? What do we want to
for admin costs….’ There is such
point, whether it’s money or time. I
achieve next?” •
a mania now to cut admin costs.
know how much I have to give and
Organizations are being squeezed
where it’s going. It alleviates a lot of
and squeezed and their work is suf-
fering because of it. “That’s something I’ve learned 22
→ Research an organization: check out the website and financial
→ Connect your passions to an organization’s services (makes the
Advice on charitable giving
“It feels good to give.”
how tweet it is — with Michael Thorner
hen Apple CEO and
co-founder Steve Jobs
from an animated film experience.
died, I, like many oth-
When Jobs returned to Apple in
ers, posted a “rest in peace — you
1996, his company soon revolution-
were an inspiration” status update
ized pocket-sized and tablet devices.
on Facebook. Seconds later, a friend
The iPod changed not only how peo-
responded by posting Jobs’ moving
ple listened to music, but the entire
Stanford University commencement
music industry. Then came the
address from 2005. A global village
iPhone revolution. Then the iPad
was in mourning over the death of
revolution. Apple’s product design
someone who was an iconic symbol
is so strong people have become
of innovation. In the hour that Jobs
conditioned to upgrade their prod-
died, tweets directly related to shar-
ucts yearly. Throngs of people line
ing the news of his demise were up
up outside Apple stores in migra-
to 10,000 per second. Not many cor-
tion cities all over the world to pur-
porate CEOs get that kind of atten-
chase the latest gadgets. What kind
tion. The companies he led (Apple,
of pressure does that put on manu-
NeXT, Pixar) transformed the way
facturers to stay on top of demand?
people deal with and assimilate
What kind of resources are being
technology into their lives.
depleted to keep up?
Another comment in response
For years, I blithely and eagerly
to my status update, however,
upgraded my Apple computers, iPods, and so on, readily consum-
Not everyone, it seems, believes the technological contributions Jobs made have left the world in a better place.
ing each iteration. I now question my motivation. With recent media reports of Chinese adolescents allegedly committing suicide over inhuman working conditions in Apple product manufacturing plants, Apple is going to have to be held accountable for its contractors’ working conditions globally. How will this affect the bottom line?
shocked me. An intelligent, glob-
For consumers hooked on these
ally conscious young Facebook
products, what is our social respon-
friend responded to my “you were
sibility, given how integral these
an inspiration” comment with “an
products are in how we commu-
inspiration of mass production,
nicate, work and live, compared to
resource depletion, poor factory
other products on the market?
conditions, lack of humanity, etc.”
Jobs was a genius at connecting
Not everyone, it seems, believes
to the end user. He was a vision-
ary figurehead yet known to be a
Jobs made have left the world in a
ruthless bully of a business man.
Was he fully aware of the true cost
The 519 December 1st 5:45 pm
I first became aware of Steve Jobs,
of innovation? Do the ends justify
not because of Apple, but because
the means? How do we as the end
of Pixar. I had started my career as
user reconcile our notions of enti-
a graphic designer and illustrator
tlement with inhumane business
Please join us on World AIDS DAY or visit us
in the animation industry, and I
practices that exploit?
online to make a donation that supports people living with HIV/AIDS with practical
paid close attention to how Pixar’s three-dimensional style changed that industry, raising the bar for
support services. MICHAEL THORNER Tweets at twitter.com/ michaelthorner.
Thank you for being generous: www.pwatoronto.org
LISTINGS & EVENTS
december IN THE CITY
Ni k va No
1 Jesus Chrysler Dorothy Livesay-inspired drama opens at Passe Muraille
Prita Chhabra Joins Voices of Hope concert marking World AIDS Day
Crush Hume Baugh’s trailer-park tragedy opens at Factory Studio
Tomboy Opens starring Zoé Héran
La Bohème English version closes at the Tranzac
Nova Bhattacharya New work with Dancemakers opens
Cy n vo Bruce Zinger
Parfumerie Starts at Soulpepper
Art & Photography Johnnie Eisen No Beyond, new psychologically driven photo-based works from the Toronto artist. 11am-6pm. Tue & Wed. 11am-7pm. Thu & Fri. 11am-5pm Sat. Closes Sat, Dec 17. Akasha Art Projects. 511 Church St, #200. (647) 348-0104. akashaart.com. Karin Bubaš New work by the Vancouver-based artist, large-scale photographs and small oil paintings of mysterious landscapes. 10am-6pm. Tue-Sat. Noon5:30pm. Sun. Closes Wed, Dec 23. Monte Clark Gallery. 55 Mill St, bldg #2. (416) 703-1700. monteclarkgallery.com. Chris Curreri Beside Myself, new-photo based works continuing the Toronto artist’s exploration of the human figure and its displacement. 11am-6pm. TueFri. 10am-6pm. Sat. Closes Fri, Dec 23. Daniel Faria Gallery. 188 St Helens Ave. (416) 538-1880. danielfariagallery.com.
10 Nutcracker The National Ballet’s holiday fare
Obaaberima Tawiah M’Carthy’s workshop closes at Buddies
Paul Petro Christmas Spice. The gallery hosts its 15th holiday group show. Tree by Maura Doyle. Opening. 7pm-10pm. Fri, Dec 9. 11am-5pm. Wed-Sat. Until Dec 24. 980 Queen St W. (416) 979-7874. paulpetro.com. MOCCA Ineffable Plasticity features works by Mat Brown, Sherri Hay, Faith La Rocque, Jordan MacLachlan, Anders Oinonen and Susy Oliveira; curated by Camilla Singh. Human/Nature, a selection of sculptures, drawings and textiles by Arnaqurk Ashevak, Ed Pien, Marion Tuu’luq and Ah Xian. Drawn from the National Gallery of Canada’s permanent collections. PWYC. 11am-6pm. Tue-Sun. Closing. Sat, Dec 31. 952 Queen St W. (416) 395-0067. mocca.ca. darlene cole Vintage Suite, recent paintings of gorgeous, delicate interiors with the potential for disaster. Opening. 2pm-4pm. Sat, Dec 3. 10am-5:30pm.
Carnage Opens starring Jodie Foster & Kate Winslet
Mon-Sat. 11am-5:30pm. Sun. Until Dec 17. Bau-Xi Gallery. 340 Dundas St W. (416) 977-0600. bau-xi.com. Power Plant Entertainment: Selections from Mid-century Studio, new work by senior Canadian artist Stan Douglas. Plus Coming After, featuring Canadian and international artists who share a certain queer sensibility in dialogue with the past. As part of opening party, Jonathan VanDyke presents his performance piece Obstructed View. Two men stare into each other’s eyes for hours as paint slowly drips on their torsos from a sculpture above. Opening. Free. 8pm. Fri, Dec 9. $6. Noon-6pm. Tue-Sun. Free. Wed. 5pm8pm. Until Mar 4. 235 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4949. thepowerplant.org.
Film & Video Tomboy A 10-year-old girl passes herself off as a boy engendering unintended
American Idiot Opens at Toronto Centre for the Arts
consequences in the Teddy Awardwinning French drama by Céline Sciamma (Water Lilies). Starring Zoé Héran, Sophie Cattani, Mathieu Demy and Malonn Lévana. Opens Fri, Dec 2. Carnage Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C Reilly star in Roman Polanski’s dark comedy about two sets of parents coming to blows over bullying. Based on Yasmina Reza’s play God of Carnage. Opens Fri, Dec 23.
Dance Dancemakers New works by Jacob Zimmer, the theatre artist’s debut as a choreographer, and Nova Bhattacharya, an abstract exploration of personal mythologies. Featuring dancers Robert Abubo, Amanda Acorn, Kate Holden, Simon Renaud and Pierre-Marc Ouellette. $20-$25. 8pm. Wed-Sat. 4pm. Sun. Thu, Dec 8-18. Dancemakers Centre for
LISTINGS & EVENTS
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Chris Curreri photography show closes Fri, Dec 23 at Daniel Faria Gallery
Creation. 55 Mill St, bldg 58, #313. (416) 367-1800. dancemakers.org. Nutcracker If it’s not part of your holiday tradition yet, you have to give it a try. The National’s 1995 version is heralded as one of the best on the planet. James Kudelka’s difficult choreography, Santo Loquasto’s luscious designs and Tchaikovsky’s sublime music keep delivering new delights and insights after repeated viewings. $38-$134. Sat, Dec 10-Jan 3. Fours Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 345-9595. national.ballet.ca.
Stage La Bohème Against the Grain Theatre remounts its updated, English-language version of Puccini’s beloved opera. Directed and libretto adaptation by Joel Ivany, music direction by Christopher Mokrzewski, design by Camellia Koo and featuring Miriam Khalil, Ryan Harper,
Justin Welsh, Lindsay Sutherland Boal, Neil Craighead, Keith Lam, Greg Finney and full chorus. $35-$50. 8pm. Thu, Dec 1-3. Tranzac Club. 292 Brunswick Ave. againstthegraintheatre.com. Jesus Chrysler Activist and director Eugenia “Jim” Watts and Governor General Award-winning poet Dorothy Livesay are embroiled in a mix of socialist organizing, sex, theatre rehearsals and personal betrayal. Praxis Theatre in association with Theatre Passe Muraille presents the world premiere by Tara Beagan. Starring Margaret Evans, Aviva Armour-Ostroff and Jeffrey Wetsch; Michael Wheeler directs. $15-$30. 7:30pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Sat & Sun. Thu, Dec 1-11. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. 16 Ryerson Ave. (416) 504-7529. artsboxoffice.ca. Crush Hume Baugh’s trailer-park tragedy about love, loneliness and the lies we tell ourselves is loosely based on the true Continued on page 26
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ToronTo • 496 Queen St. East • (416) 365-1777 • firstname.lastname@example.org Mississauga • 5840 Mavis Rd. • (905) 593-1777 • email@example.com Ottawa • Calgary • EdmOntOn
It’s all about the image
l i s t i ng s & e v e n t s
Continued from page 25
Little Island Comics Story & photography Gordon Bowness
“So many comics are about big breasts and extreme violence,” says Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, manager of Little Island Comics, the charming new kids’ bookstore operated by The Beguiling. “Ours are less busty and less bloody.” The Beguiling opened Little Island this fall to fill a gap in the everexpanding comics and graphic novel market. “Comic book stores, the Beguiling included, aren’t kids’ environments,” says WoodrowButcher, “even when they stock kids’ books. Here parents can let their kids browse on their own and pull books of the shelf without worrying about the smut.” The huge range of books will appeal to both kids and adults: from classics like Little Lulu and Carl Barks’ DuckTales and mainstream comics like Bone and Amulet to manga like Chi’s Sweet Home and Astro Boy. There are board books and picture books for little tots and educational works like Shakespeare and classical myth adaptations for schools. Long gone are the days when Heather Has Two Mommies was the only LGBT title on the shelf. “Publishers are getting very comfortable with including queer characters,” says Woodrow-Butcher. “There’s a lot more material out there. And all sorts of titles, like Fiona Smyth’s The Never Weres, have queer characters that just show up in the background.” Stumped for holiday gifts for the 26
→ ALL-AGES FUN Kids and adults alike will enjoy browsing at Little Island Comics.
little ones this year? Here are three faves of Woodrow-Butcher’s. Wandering Son, volume 1 by Shimura Takako “This newly translated Japanese series introduces us to two trans kids who are full of hope, anxiety, and a strong sense of themselves,” says Woodrow-Butcher. “The compelling journey of these fifth graders will resonate with anyone who’s ever had a secret that’s too big to tell but too big to keep.” Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Dávila “This new Canadian book tells the story of a girl who discovers the importance of sustainable living and takes action to make her world a better place.” Rainy Day Recess by David Kelly “Originally a serial comic strip published in alternative weeklies, this collection focuses on Steven, an 11-year-old gay kid growing up in the ’70s. The nostalgia will hook grown-ups, but kids will connect with Steven as he navigates through sleepovers, family troubles, superhero action-figures and best-friendship.” LITTLE ISLAND COMICS 742 Bathurst St. (416) 901-7489. littleislandcomics.com.
story of the Jenny Jones Show “Secret Admirer” murder, in which Scott Amedure was killed by Jonathan Schmitz after they taped an episode of the talk show together. Starring Ryan Kelly, Courtney Lyons and Julian De Zotti; Mark Cassidy directs. First premiered at Summerworks in 2008, this Optic Heart Theatre production is newly reworked and updated for its Factory debut. $20; PWYC Tue & Sun. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2:30pm. Sun. Fri, Dec 2-11. Factory Studio Theatre. 125 Bathurst St. (416) 504-9971. factorytheatre.ca. Parfumerie Adam Pettle and Brenda Robins adapt this classic tale of two clerks in a Budapest perfume shop who feud by day and unknowingly exchange anonymous love letters by night. Won a Dora last year for best production. Directed by Morris Panych and featuring Maev Beaty, Stacey Bulmer, Kevin Bundy, Oliver Dennis, Patricia Fagan, Jeff Lillico, Miranda Mulholland, Brenda Robins, Mike Ross, Michael Simpson, Kristina Uranowski, William Webster and Joseph Ziegler. $45-$65. Starting Fri, Dec 9. Young Centre. 55 Mill St, bldg 49. (416) 866-8666. soulpepper.ca. Obaaberima Buddies in Bad Times presents a workshop presentation of Tawiah M’Carthy’s one-man show. Storytelling, dance and music chronicle a young Ghanaian-Canadian’s journey across continents, genders, races and sexualities. With live music by Kobena Aquaa-Harrison; Evalyn Parry directs. PWYC. 8pm. Thu, Dec 8-10. Buddies. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. buddiesinbadtimes.com. Joseph & the amazing technicolor dreamcoat The Lower Ossington
Theatre presents its own production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical from the 1970s. Starring Jeff Hookings; Robert Wilkinson directs. $45-$60. Dec 13-30. 100A Ossington Ave. (416) 915-6747. lowerossingtontheatre.com. Memphis Dancap brings the four-time Tony winner to town. It’s a feel good musical about interracial love in the 1950s. With book by Joe DiPietro, music by David Bryan and choreography by Sergio Trujillo (see page 6); Christopher Ashley directs. Starring Bryan Fenkart and Felicia Boswell. $51-$180. 7:30pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Sat & Sun. Wed, Dec 7-24. Toronto Centre for the Arts. 5040 Yonge St. (416) 644-3665. dancaptickets.com. American Idiot Three boyhood friends search for meaning in a post 9/11 world. The North American Broadway tour of the Green Day musical comes to Toronto starring Van Hughes, Jake Epstein, Scott J Campbell, Leslie McDonel, Gabrielle McClinton, Nicci Claspell and Joshua Kobak. $51-$180. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Wed, Sat & Sun. Thu, Dec 29-Jan 15. Toronto Centre for the Arts. 5040 Yonge St. (416) 644-3665. americanidiotthemusical.com.
Classical & Jazz Eve Egoyan The Toronto pianist launches her new CD Returnings with a recital featuring the work of Canadian composer Ann Southam (who helped design the recording prior to her death last year). $20. 8pm. Fri, Dec 2. Glenn Gould Studio. 250 Front St W. (416) 872-4255.
Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Festival of Carols. Popular songs, like Bob Chilcott’s setting of The 12 Days of Christmas, augmented by more contemplative works, like Eric Whitacre’s Lux Arumque. The 150-voice choir is joined by the Festival Brass, organist Michael Bloss and pianist Jim Bourne; Noel Edison conducts. $48-$76. 7:30pm. Wed, Dec 7. Yorkminster Park Baptist Church. 1585 Yonge St. (416) 598-0422. tmchoir.org. Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Grammy-winning Canadian violinist James Ehnes performs an all-Tchaikovsky program; Peter Oundjian conducts. $33-$145. 8pm. Thu, Dec 8. 7:30pm. Dec 10. Handel’s Messiah returns with soloists Suzie LeBlanc, Lawrence Wiliford, Meg Bragle and Andrew Foster-Williams, joined by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir; Nicholas Kraemer conducts from the harpsichord. $38-$107. 8pm. Wed, Dec 14, 16, 17 & 19. 3pm. Dec 18. Other holiday fare includes the TSO joined by the Canadian Brass and carolers from the Etobicoke School of the Arts; Steven Reineke conducts. $29-$109. 8pm. Tue. Dec 20. 2pm & 8pm. Dec 21. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 598-3375. tso.ca. Echo Women’s Choir The 80-member choir presents Land of Dreams, a program ranging from old French to traditional Welsh and American gospel, with selections from India and Colombia and
Kai Wa Yapp
listin g s & e vents John Joseph Mastandrea. Free; $20 suggested donation. 7pm. Thu, Dec 1. Metropolitan United Church. 56 Queen St E. caseyhouse.com. Austra Katie Stelmanis’s unearthly vocals grounded by her band’s irresistible rhythms and cool electro vibes. Opening acts Tasseomancy and Young Galaxy. $18. 9pm doors. Thu, Dec 1. Phoenix Concert Theatre. 410 Sherbourne St. paperbagrecords.com. Singing Strong Holiday Magic, a fundraiser for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. $20. 7:30pm. Sat, Dec 3. Buddies. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. buddiesinbadtimes.com. Mused A cabaret fundraiser for The 519 Church Street Community Centre. With Melissa Azore, Cajo, Philippe Escayola, Katherine Janicki, Laura Caswell, Miss Minx, Jamen Dunnings, Steve Prentice and Yash Presswalla. $15 adv; $20 door. 7:30pm. Sun, Dec 11. Buddies in Bad Times. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. Off-Broadway on Stage Angelwalk Theatre, the folks who produced Songs for a New World and Altar Boyz, present a new musical revue of popular and long-running faves like The Fantasticks, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Featuring David Hohl, Will Lamond, Mike “Nug” Nahrgang, Natasha Negovanlis, Clara Scott and Jennifer Walls; musical direction by Anthony Bastianon. $41. 8pm. Wed, Dec 7-10. 2pm. Dec 11. Studio Theatre, Toronto Centre for the Arts. 5040 Yonge St. ticketmaster.ca.
sports → HUMAN/NAT URE Ah Jian’s China Bust, part of the National Gallery exhibition at MOCCA this month.
the shaped-note song Sweet Prospect. With guest percussionist Anne Lederman; Becca Whitla and Alan Gasser conduct. $12 adv; $15 door. 7:30pm. Sun, Dec 11. Church of the Holy Trinity. 10 Trinity Sq. (416) 588-9050, ext 3. echowomenschoir.ca. Forte The Toronto Men’s Chorus presents All Is Calm, All Is Bright, a festival concert of readings, carols, seasonal music and more. With guests Aleksandar Antonijevic, Brainerd BlydenTaylor, Olivia Chow and Marilyn Lightstone. $25 adv; $30 door. 7:30pm. Sat, Dec 17. Metropolitan United. 56 Queen St E. forte-chorus.com.
Pop, Jazz & Cabaret Voices of Hope Launched collaborative-
ly by Montréal’s La Maison du Parc, Toronto’s Casey House and Vancouver’s Dr Peter AIDS Foundation this crosscountry series of concerts marks World AIDS Day, raising funds and awareness of the ongoing crisis of HIV/AIDS across Canada and internationally. The local concert features Dr Draw, Prita Chhabra, Singing Out!, David Warrack, Douglas Rice with the Velvet Curtain, Christian Jeffries, The Metropolitan United Church Choir, The Jarvis Collegiate Senior Choir and more. Hosted by Tom Allen and
Girl Fight Pink Mafia presents an
all-female K1 Thai boxing fight card hosted by Robin Black. Music by Steve Rock. All proceeds to go to Nellie’s Women’s Shelter. $20 adv. 6pm-9pm. Fri, Dec 9. Great Hall. 1087 Queen St W. pinkmafia.ca.
Issues LGBT families, immigration & travel
Border Crossings, an LGBTQ Parenting Network panel with lawyers Michael Battista, Kelly Jordan and parents. Childcare and snacks provided. 6:30pm8:30pm. Thu, Dec 8. Sherbourne Health Centre. 333 Sherbourne St. lgbtqparentingconnection.ca.
Spirituality Christmas Eve Service A heart-
warming holiday tradition, now in its 22nd year. The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto presents the largest Xmas eve service in the city. With Brent Hawkes officiating and musical guest Julie Michels joining the Choir of MCC Toronto. $25. 10:30pm. Sat, Dec 24. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 872-4255. roythomson.com. MCCT also hosts a Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols. 7pm. Sun, Dec 11. The Blue Christmas service is for those who struggle during the holiday season. 7pm. Sun, Dec 18. MCCT. 115 Simpson Ave. mcctoronto.com. •
in spot Three Speed Review Anna von Frances
It’s officially called Bloordale Village, not Blansdowne or Upper Brockton or Lower Junction. The stretch
Landsdowne on Bloor might only
→ ECLECT IC Good food, casual vibe and busy at all hours — that’s Three Speed, a combo bar, restaurant and hangout.
it’s so slammed.
consist of a couple of blocks, but it’s
The menu is ever-changing and
the gateway to all the good neigh-
the specials are pretty extensive
bourhoods in the west. Bloordale
for a small casual place. The last
is supposed to be what everyone
time I was there I shared with
hoped would happen with Dundas
a friend samosas, a potato leek
after Ossington got burned out by
soup, a trout tostada with home-
905ers and those dreaded Liberty
made salsa, black beans and avo-
Village people. Populated mostly
cado, and delicious crab cakes
by 25- to 40-year-old educated
with two pints and two Coronas
post-hipsters who enjoy vintage
and the bill was only $41.99. The
shopping, art galleries and buy-
portions are large enough that
ing up houses for cheap and reno-
you’re actually eating a meal, but
vating them into Wallpaper meets
not so large that you can’t nibble
Restoration Hardware catalogue
on a few things. Entrees run about
replicas. There are only a few
$11 and appetizers are $6 to $8.
key spots for food and drink, and
They also have a wide selection
Three Speed is the most diverse.
of beer (a west end standard) and
Part bar (it’s busy until 2am every
wine on hand. The staff is friendly
night), part restaurant, part hang-
and you get the idea that if they
out — I usually tell people it’s the
weren’t serving, they’d be joining
Beaconsfield of Bloordale but with
you. If you’re looking for a quiet
better service, better prices and
night, go early, eat at the bar. It
gets pretty busy around 9pm, so
The decor is an eclectic mix of shabby chic, mismatched chairs
try to time it for first or last call to get the most out of it.
and cozy lighting. It’s not fancy. In the summer, the back patio is like a garden oasis with overhanging Christmas lights and a stone stove. On weekends they serve brunch, and they almost always run out of half the menu because
THREE SPEED 1163 Bloor St W. (647) 430-3834. intorontomag.com
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A RT & en t erta inmen t
When more isn’t more → Talking
sex with actor Michael Fassbender Story Peter Knegt
ichael Fassbender’s star — and his status as a sex symbol — has risen steadily in the past few years thanks to roles in films like Fish Tank, Inglourious Basterds and Jane Eyre. But this winter that ascension is likely to accelerate. In David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method and Steve McQueen’s Shame, Fassbender gives two of the year’s best performances. Portraying reallife psychiatrist Carl Jung (opposite Viggo Mortensen as Freud) in the former and fictional modernday sex addict Brandon in the latter, the films work very well as thematic companion pieces, each discussing sex and the human condition (albeit in drastically different ways and set 100 years apart). “What’s interesting is that 100 years ago they were talking about sex and our relationship to sex,” says Fassbender. “And then we have a film like Shame which is very much dealing with today’s relationship to sex. Not everybody’s Brandon, but
there’s elements to Brandon and the world that he occupies that, unless you’re dishonest with yourself, you can recognize and relate to.” Growing up in Ireland, getting his hands on a porn video or magazine wasn’t particularly easy for Fassbender. “You had to reach up to that top shelf,” he says. “And that probably took an hour and a half of courage. Then you had to go to the front desk and confront the person you were buying or renting the material off of. The shame element was there and it was immediate. Nowadays you just hit two buttons
“24/7, sex is everywhere.” on the computer and there’s thousands of options.” His character in Shame definitely makes use of those options, and then some. As a thirtysomething New Yorker incapable of sustaining any emotional connection with
→ SEX SYMBOL Michael Fassbender reunites with director Steve McQueen in Shame, a story about a sex addict terrified by intimacy.
another human being, Fassbender’s Brandon devotes every free moment to internet porn, sex clubs, prostitutes and one-night stands. The film reunites Fassbender with Steve McQueen, who directed him in the lauded 2008 film Hunger. For Fassbender the new film is not only about sex addiction. “We chose that as Brandon’s primary condition, but the fact of the matter is that we are getting so much information thrown at us these days and people are trying to sell us stuff all the time,” he says. “24/7, sex is everywhere.” Fassbender thinks it all comes down to anxiety. “People are confused,” he says. “It’s an overload of information. So people sort of have strange ways of expressing themselves throughout those mediums. It’s this whole idea of access to excess. You can access any amount of excess you want. And where does
it end? And what happens to us because of that? I don’t think it’s a judgment or some sort of demonization of the world we live in. It’s just asking questions and provoking thought. I can relate to that because it’s all around me.” He also believes that some forms of intimacy are being taken away amidst this sex overload. “The physicality of the act is there, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of emotional content,” he says. “That’s certainly true in Brandon’s situation. Brandon is someone who doesn’t feel comfortable in an intimate environment. It just freaks him out and it’s an area he just loses control in… he can’t handle it.” With respect to A Dangerous Method, Fassbender says we can still learn a lot from the teachings of Jung and Freud. “There’s the idea that our bodies are responsible for so many things in childhood,” he says. “How we relate to excrement, anus, parents, vagina, penis.... Nobody was dealing with these sort of things in the early 1900s. And Freud was like, ‘This is going to reoccur in your adult life because of the experiences you had in your formative years.’ This is a language we understand very well now because it’s part and parcel with our everyday lives. “But I think a lot of us in this world are trying to figure out what we’re doing here, how we relate to each other and how we relate to ourselves. Why do we do certain things and what sparks those motivations or those actions? “I’d be lying if I said I had any of the answers to these things... but it’s just good to be asking the questions and be provoking these thoughts.”
SHAME Opens in Toronto on Fri, Dec 2
A RT & E N T E RTA I N M E N T
Lakehead & heart → The
gales of November blow through Dani Couture’s stunning debut novel Story Shawn Syms | Photography Julie Wilson
he haunting image of a woman in trouble was the creative spark that ignited Dani Couture’s new novel Algoma. “I’ve been obsessed with all things Algoma since I was 15,” says the pretty and pixie-ish Couture, now 33. Couture first heard the word algoma, variously attributed to several First Nations languages, when she learned of a then-beleaguered northern metal works company called Algoma Steel. Later she heard about Algoma Central, which runs a fleet of freighters on the Great Lakes. In Couture’s fertile imagination, the moniker came to represent a woman. That character evolved over time,
“In these small towns I grew up in, sometimes queerness wasn’t talked about — but you just knew.” first featured in a chapbook of verse — Couture is an award-winning writer of two poetry books. Eventually she took centre stage in Couture’s first novel, Algoma, released this fall. In a tiny, remote Quebec town, Algoma is one of seven sisters, the only one not a twin. With bartender husband Gaetan, Algoma raises two twins herself, Ferd and Leo. The boys’ relationship has moments of antagonism, until one day Ferd sees Leo follow a bear onto the frozen river. The ice
cracks. The 12-year-old falls into the chilly waters and dies. In a heart-breaking tale told in elegant, lyrical prose, Algoma struggles to keep her family together after Leo’s death. Ferd, refusing to believe his twin brother is gone, writes him notes and places them into water — in the bathtub, in puddles of rain. Gaetan drowns himself in drink, gets Algoma pregnant then vanishes, resurfacing in Toronto. Algoma clings to hope, and her job at a second-hand shop run by confidante Josie, until the store is levelled by a fire. Gaetan’s migration from his rural roots to the big city reflects Couture’s own nomadic path. Now firmly established in Toronto, she was the child of two military parents who moved between big cities and small towns much of her early life. Algoma’s keen focus on complex family relations also draws upon a lifelong fascination. Though her character Ferd becomes an only child because of Leo’s death, Couture comes from a large extended family but has no siblings herself. “I’ve grown up closely watching how brothers and sisters relate to one other, whether they are intimate or estranged.” Other personal preoccupations run through the distinctive novel. In keeping with her nerdish interest in Great Lakes ships, Algoma and her sisters are all named after members of the Algoma Central fleet. “Shipping lines resemble a familial structure,” says Couture. “The company is like a parent; each ship is a bit different, but still part of the same fleet.”
→ BREAKOU T YEAR Toronto poet Dani Couture is racking up awards; her debut novel Algoma is sure to win more positive attention.
The shipping reference is also an astute metaphor for the notion of passage in the novel’s carefully choreographed voyages. Leo passes from life, Gaetan travels from home, Algoma journeys toward single motherhood and Ferd finally arrives at acceptance of his brother’s departure. Algoma’s outsider perspective on denial and acceptance, families and self-sufficiency reflects Couture’s queer sensibility. “This life I lead influences everything I do,” she says. “Even when I write about a straight couple, it’s shown through a queer lens.” The character of Josie, Algoma’s boss and tireless supporter, is queer, says Couture, even if this is indicated subtly. “Algoma is the apple of Josie’s eye,” says Couture. “It’s a quiet love. Never in the forefront; it’s just there.” This too reflects Couture’s own history. “In these small towns I grew up in, sometimes queerness
wasn’t talked about — but you just knew.” Similarly, this book’s queerness, its unique perspective, is reflective, nuanced and powerful — apt descriptors for both Algoma and the author herself. This may be Couture’s breakout year. This spring she received an honour of distinction from the Writers Trust’s Dayne Ogilvie Grant for LGBT writers, and her poetry collection Sweet won the coveted ReLit Award in October. Algoma seems poised for even greater success. Absolutely an author to watch — it looks like Couture’s ship is about to come in.
ALGOMA Dani Couture. Invisible Publishing. $20.
A RT & en t erta inmen t
Feel the beat, give the beat → Five
of the best CDs of 2011. From world-beat blues to other-worldly pop, there’s something for everyone Story Mary Dickie
BEST LOCAL DEBUT Amai Kuda, Sand from the Sea (Independent) This social activist (and daughter of the writer M Nourbese Philip) made a wise move when she decided to use music to spread her progressive messages about love, justice, anger and standing up for yourself. Kuda has a supple, expressive and lovely voice, and she needs little more than mesmerizing rhythmic backdrops (provided by percussion instruments, hand claps, drums, beats, finger snaps… you name it), vocal harmonies and the occasional acoustic guitar or keyboard to win over listeners with her synthesis of African folk, delta blues, spoken word, dancehall and gospel influences.
BEST COMEBACK Grace Jones, Hurricane (Play it Again Sam) The now 63-year-old (!) force of nature’s first album in two decades (it was previously released in the UK but only appeared in North America in September, along with a dynamite bonus dub CD) is a satisfying return to form — and an extra-special one, because instead of putting
her stamp on other people’s songs, this time she’s singing her own originals. Backed by the similarly ageless rhythm section of Sly and Robbie and a star-studded list of collaborators that includes Brian Eno, Wally Badarou, Wendy and Lisa and Tricky, Jones speak-sings about her family, corporate greed, and life and death over thick dubby backdrops, reggae and electro beats and trippy keyboards.
BEST COMPILATION Have Not Been the Same Vol 1: Too Cool to Live, Too Smart to Die (Zunior.com) Forget Cover Me Canada, this collection of truly inspired Canadian covers was put together by Michael Barclay, co-writer of the Canuck music bible Have Not Been the Same, and it mines the same rich, if somewhat hidden, vein of 1985 to ’95 Canadian music celebrated in that newly updated book. Barclay asked some of his favourite performers to record songs by musicians who inspired them, and the results are revelatory: Gentleman Reg and James Bunton (as Light Fires) adding a synth-pop edge to Eric’s Trip’s “Happens All the Time,” Snailhouse reviving Al Tuck’s haunting
“Buddah,” Cuff the Duke unearthing the Inbreds’ “North Window,” Geoff Berner doing Art Bergmann’s “Bound for Vegas,” Kevin Drew’s lovely take on Bob Wiseman’s “We Got Time,” Mary Margaret O’Hara’s “When You Know Why You’re Happy” interpreted by Little Scream and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry, Forest City Lovers putting a cheerful spin on Sloan’s “The Lines You Amend,” Hidden Cameras tackling Mecca Normal’s “Throw Silver” and many other nuggets. Bonus: The proceeds go to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
BEST GENRE-MIXING GENIUS Sandro Perri, Impossible Spaces (Constellation Records) This majorly talented local multiinstrumentalist combines the two streams of his previous work — keyboard-based electronic sounds and acoustic pop songs — into a deep river of music. Everything comes together naturally and seamlessly. Perri lays delicate melodies over a bed of brilliant guitars, bass, drums and percussion, adding multiple keyboards, flute, clarinet, strings, sax and even euphonium, and yet
it never feels overloaded. There’s always plenty of space between the instruments to appreciate his gentle vocals and the way the songs shift smoothly between different but surprisingly complementary moods and styles.
BEST POST-TERRESTRIAL ADVANCE Björk, Biophilia (Nonesuch/ Warner Music Canada) Is there any musician anywhere who can equal Björk’s joyful inquisitiveness about science, nature, technology and sound, or her ability to blast through the conventions of song structure, recording and distribution to set new standards for listening to and interacting with music? I doubt it. With its iPhone and iPad apps — through which listeners are encouraged to remix and reimagine the songs — supernatural sounds, other-worldly instruments like the Tesla coil and the gameleste, intermittent furious beats and angelic harmonies, all connected by that inimitable childlike voice, Biophilia is less an album than a socio-cultural event. Perhaps that wouldn’t matter so much if the songs weren’t beautiful, but they are. Beautiful. • intorontomag.com
s ex s p o n s o r e d b y s p a e x c e s s
ask the sex geek — with Andrea Zanin
→ “Times are tough these days, and I’m living like a student again. I still want to get laid but condoms can get expensive! When I was an actual student, I got them for free at the university LGBT centre. Where can I find them for free or cheap now?” Laura Gull
If you’re putting an object or
Family planning clinics, university
body part into an orifice — espe-
women and trans centres and stu-
cially if you’re using the same
dent health clinics (even if you’re
object or body part for more than
not a student), community wom-
one orifice or more than one per-
en’s centres, sexual health clinics
son — safer sex means wrapping
and health fairs, especially sexual
it up first. So anyone who uses dil-
health fairs, are all good bets. Free
dos, strap-ons or flesh cocks (and,
clinics — the kind that don’t require
yes, that includes dykes) needs
OHIP — such as the Hassle Free
condoms. This is partly for safety
(66 Gerrard St E) are another option.
— barriers of latex (or its alterna-
Or ask your family doctor if you
tive, nitrile) reduce or eliminate
have one; they should be able to
transmission risk for any number
hand over a wad of samples.
of sexually transmitted infections.
Trans and sex worker support
But for those of us who are both
organizations such as Maggie’s
horny and lazy, it’s also partly
(298A Gerrard St E) and the 519
for ease of clean-up. Just yank it
Community Centre’s Trans Sex
off and toss it in the can. Presto!
Worker Outreach program distrib-
(Clean yourself or your toys later,
ute freebies either on site or via
of course — but that can wait until
outreach workers. You can also
the afterglow has faded.)
ask at needle exchange centres
You’ve got lots of options for sex-
and rape crisis centres. In my bro-
on-a-budget freebies. For start-
ker days, I personally tried not to
ers, you can find free condoms at
“steal” free condoms from organi-
some bathhouses and other busi-
zations that were targeting peo-
nesses in gay areas of town such
ple more marginalized than me,
so you may want to consider that
the fishbowl at the door — kind
aspect. Frankly, people handing
of like how some restaurants put
out free condoms usually don’t
out a bowl of after-dinner mints.
care whether you’re in their target
Most circuit parties will distrib-
demographic — they are there to
ute them for free too; if you can’t
promote health and safer sex, so
afford a ticket, get a friend to grab
if you want condoms, chances are
you a handful. Also, condom and
they’ll want to give them to you.
lube companies hand out mega
Above all, please don’t be shy to
quantities of free samples at their
ask for what you need. Be pushy if
Pride booths, so stock up then.
you have to. Your sexual health is
LGBT health centres such as the
Sherbourne Health Centre (333 Sherbourne St) also keep plastic trays of ’em at the reception desk.
ANDREA ZANIN The Sex Geek blogs at sexgeek.wordpress.com.
O N T HE T OWN
caught in the act by Michael Pihach
LGBT Youth Line Auction, The Burroughes
Chris Curreri opening, Daniel Faria Gallery 7
Bloor Street Entertains, Royal Conservatory of Music
→ 1. Charlene Nero 2. Christian Jeffries, Blair Kissack 3. Keystone, Liz S, Donna Turner 4. Mark Aikman, Shawn Hitchins 5. Jeffrey Crossman, 13
Nathan Smith 6. Brennon Zwingli 7. Zuly and Rio Jacob 8. Chris Curreri, Amy Langstaff 9. Jeremy Laing, Fraser Abe, Frank Griggs 10 Anita Clarke 11. Kane Sumabat 12. Daniel Faria, Rui Mateus, Amaral. 13. Charles Pachter 14. Claudia Bonini, Brittany Kaminski 15. Jie Matar 16. Kyle Sipkens, Chris Howson, Lisa Morales 17. Nelson Tomé, Armando Mendonça
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