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The Mint Media Group, publisher of In Toronto and Outlooks magazines, is looking for a full-time

Account Manager/Sales Representative.

The right candidate will be responsible for managing retail sales accounts. PUBLISHER Patricia Salib EDITOR Gordon Bowness DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Ryan Lester

QUALIFIED CANDIDATES MUST HAVE THE FOLLOWING • A proven track record of achieving and exceeding sales targets through securing new accounts from agencies, media buyers and retailers. • The ability to engage clients over the phone, by email and in face-to-face presentations to develop new and existing businesses. • You are efficient in executing the sales process from start to finish, with an impressive ability to be self-motivated.

ART DIRECTOR Nicolás Tallarico

OUR MISSION Inspire gay men and lesbians to live life to the fullest.Expand the gay and lesbian community by valuing diversity and individual choice. Celebrate Toronto.Provide readers with compelling news, information and entertainment.


• And you enjoy working in a diverse environment and are passionate about the LGBT community.

(416) 800-4449 ext 201• PRODUCTION In Toronto is published byThe Mint Media Group all rights reserved. 542 Parliament St, Toronto, ON, M4X 1P6

QUALIFICATIONS At least 2 years experience in media sales Exceptional communication skills, both written and oral Proven track record in exceeding sales targets Highly motivated, driven and committed Basic PC skills including the ability to use Word, Excel and Outlooks Express Valid driver’s license Social Insurance Number Position is available immediately. All interested candidates please forward your resume to


act resilient LoNG-TERM SURVIVOrs Group For GAY MEN

THIS ISSUE CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Paul Gallant, Krishna Rau CONTRIBUTORS Mary Dickie, Derek Dotto, Sholem Krishtalka, Alice Lawlor, Pamela Meredith, Michael Pihach, Adam Segal, Shawn Syms, Anna von Frances, Lulu Wei, Andrea Zanin

Discuss physical health, social life and relationships, emotional well-being, aging with HIV, mental health and more. To register, or for more information, please email:

AIDS Committee of Toronto 399 Church Street, 4th Floor, Toronto, ON M5B 2J6 T 416-340-2437 F 416-340-8224 W

f t

ON THE COVER Photo from Out Adventures


Press the



button and watch what happens.



6 9 14

14 17


SILVER THREADS The AIDS Quilt turns 25 by Gordon Bowness OASIS OF SOPHISTICATION A superb modern art collection in Kensington Market — and a view to die for by Derek Dotto REAL CANADIAN AMBASSADORS Rob Sharp and Steven Larkin’s “wonderful little travel company” Out Adventures by Gordon Bowness

When you press the button of the Nikon 1 J2, you immediately awaken the photo artist within. And the reason is simple. The Nikon 1 system is designed to help you spend more time creating and less time fussing with your camera. Simply turn the lens – the camera automatically powers up, auto-focuses in an instant, and fires off razor-sharp shot after shot. All the key controls and dials are at your fingertips, and the settings you like most are available from one-touch shortcuts. In no time at all, you'll be shooting with confidence. Check out the Nikon1 J2, along with the full


NORTHERN LIGHTS An art odyssey to the Arctic by Pamela Meredith


SOUND OFF: WHY GIVE? by Michael Pihach








INTUITION MEN by Derek Dotto


THE LADIES WHO LUNCH by Anna von Frances


ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE by Sholem Krishtalka






GIVE ‘ER MUSIC by Mary Dickie


FETISHES with Andrea Zanin

Photo | Video | digital | SaleS | REntalS | SERvicE


CAUGHT IN THE ACT scene photography

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VIEW FINDER → DEATH, LIFE, LOVE This year marks the 25th anniversary of the AIDS Quilt. The Names Project Foundation, which manages the memorial, was started in San Francisco by Cleve Jones, Mike Smith and other activists wanting to commemorate the mounting number


December 2012

of people dead from AIDS. The first quilt went on display in October 1987 and included 1,920 panels. It now contains more than 94,000 names on more than 49,000 panels, covering 1.3 million square feet and weighing 54 tons. Amazingly, the entire quilt can


now be viewed online at

To mark World AIDS Day on Dec 1 we reprint a number of the

aidsquilt. It’s a stunning document when viewed as a whole, but

quilt’s 12-square-foot blocks of panels, many with a Canadian

its real power is felt when you zoom in and really look at individ-

connection. For more on the AIDS Memorial Quilt and The Names

ual panels.

Project Foundation go to



LETTERS RUNG UP → Paul Gallant’s story “Boardroom Power Play” (In Toronto, Nov 2012) is another reason I am proud to say I work for TD. My sexuality will not define my professional ambitions. Anisha Ladha, Toronto

REACH OUT → We want to hear from you. Please send us letters to the editor at or post comments on our website,, or Facebook page. For you Luddites, there’s always Canada Post. Our address is In Toronto magazine, 542 Parliament St, Toronto, ON, M4X 1P6. MUSIC GENTLEMAN REG GOES BIG


Gay & Lesbian City LivinG | nOveMbeR 2012


helpIng kIdS ACRoSS onTARIo corporate leadership


December 2012

“I’ve been the top fundraiser for the SOY (Supporting Our Youth) Bowlathon for a number of years. SOY’s an organization that uses money very wisely, so I believe in it. It’s not just about fundraising — it’s about connecting to an organization. When I ask people to give me a donation, I say to them: ‘I won’t ask you for a donation for anything else all year.’”

“[LGBT rights] is one of the great human rights struggles on the planet. It is the centrepiece of the fight for decent human rights for all. That’s a sufficient incentive to work, to give and to spend time.”


“I grew up in a family that didn’t give. I look at my parents now in their 80s and say, ‘What was the point?’ I hope when I’m 80 I’m a better person for what I’ve done. I contribute to a community that I live in, struggled in and that I love, so people that come after me don’t have much of a struggle.”


“When I was growing up, I felt no one supported me. Now I step in and support things that were there for me. Inside Out, the AIDS Committee of Toronto, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, Community One, the 519 Community Centre… I support all these organizations so people don’t go through the same angst, pain and hurt I went through. I like to think I’m advancing the cause.”


of power


Network hosted a bash at the home of Kate and David Daniels to thank some of the city’s top philanthropists, mobilizers and cheque-cutters for donating their time, money and talents to LGBT causes. We caught up with some of the attendees to ask the question: Why do you give?



01.INTO.Nov.Cover.indd 1

→ Last month, the LGBT Giving

Maurice Vellekoop

LAUGH LINES → Holy smoly. If I lived in Toronto, I would not miss this fundraising cabaret for the world (“In Their Own Words: Christina Zeidler,” In Toronto, Nov 2012), a night of some of my fave comic performers like Diane Flacks and Shoshana Sperling. Christina Zeidler and John Mitchell’s film script for Portrait of a Serial Monogamist is just scrumptious. “A coming of middle age story....” Hee haw! Beth Mairs, Sudbury


25/10/2012 11:53:34 AM




Psychiatrist Bob Buckingham’s loft is filled with Canadian art and modern furniture, a sophisticated oasis in the middle of the charmingly grungy Kensington Market Story Derek Dotto | Photography Lulu Wei



How long have you lived here? I moved here when the conversion was done, so over 12 years. I lived in Cabbagetown for 25 years before moving here. How much redecorating did you have to do when you made the move? I lived in a Victorian before so the furniture I had was perfect for over there. I had the sofa and some tub chairs that were done in a material that was very Victorian. I brought it here initially and it was functional but out of place for the space. I didn’t rush out and furnish immediately though, allowing me to get a knowledge about modern furniture. What role does your background in psychiatry play in decorating? I’m not sure that I use psychiatry. I rely on my impression. I am drawn to abstract pieces of art. The colours, shapes, brushstrokes are infinitely interesting. One of my favourite works is a collage by Katja Jacobs. There’s a lot of art that I will react to in a gallery, but then I need to know that it’s something I will enjoy more than just that first moment. I think I usually like to see a piece of art over time before deciding that it’s something I want to live with. Is it a coincidence that all of your art is by Canadians? It’s all Canadian by design. When I


December 2012

started collecting, basically Canadian was economically reasonable compared to international artists. I have collected art over three periods. In the ’70s I bought art with my partner at the time and acquired works by Robert Markle, Gordon Rayner and Graham Coughtry. The second period was in the early ’90s and I shopped for pieces that my new partner and I liked. This was the time that we purchased Katja Jacobs, David Bolduc, David Bierk, John Hartman and Louis de Niverville. The last period I was buying for myself during the 2000s and have been more eclectic acquiring works by Douglas Coupland, Graham Gilmore, Borins and Marman, Nicole Collins and Joseph Drapell. One of the real stand-out pieces of furniture, for me, is the salvaged wood desk in your room. That came from Urban Tree Salvage, a company that gets → FIGURES AMONG ABSTRACTIONS Art by Katja Jacobs and Nicole Collins anchors the double-storey living room (preceding page). The custombuilt desk (this page; top left) is made from a tree salvaged from the Queen Street Mental Health Centre. The ceramic face (right, second from the bottom) is by Mexican artist Sergio Bustamante. The bronze lemon tree (bottom right) is by Canadian sculptor Victor Cicansky. The terrace (opposite page; right) is designed by Ronald Holbrook.


trees that the city is taking down.

award-winning landscape archi-

In their shop they have all these

tect Ronald Holbrook.

rough slabs that they make into

Ron did the design as a house-

things. This was a tree that was

warming gift. He did a sketch of the

taken down from the grounds of

terrace while we were vacation-

Queen Street Mental Health Centre.

ing together in Malta. He had the

I decided how long I wanted it and

architectural drawings done when

they planed it, polished it, and put

we got back. I had the drawings

it together. When they got here, it

for a few years before I was able to

was too long to go into the elevator

execute the plan.

so they had to carry it up six flights And the view from up here is

of stairs.

incredible. How







Kensington Market? I





It’s always changing. You can sit here in a thunderstorm and watch


lightning hit the CN Tower. There

Kensington, unlike St Lawrence,

was one storm that happened

is a late market. So it doesn’t get

while I was hosting a party. Within

going until 8:30am but then it’s

about an hour, the tower was hit

open until 6:30pm or 7pm. It’s per-

about 30 times as if it had been

fect, you can do your shopping

entertainment for the party. •

on the way home and after work. There are always people at any hour of the night; they’re still partying or going home. The market is really changing. It’s going more upscale. There are more coffee shops and bars that are coming in. But why go out when you can entertain on your fabulous patio? I understand it was designed by



HOME TURF Leslieville & Riverdale with Robin Beever → The

wife-and-wife design team behind Barbie’s Basement Jewellery, Robin and Ange Beever, aka Trixie and Beever, love the easy charms of Toronto’s east end… and perhaps a cocktail or three


e’ve lived in Leslieville/ Riverdale for about 12 years, long enough to see a huge transformation in the area. We used to ask, “When is someone going to open a place where we can get a decent cocktail around here?” Now there’s a dozen or so places… but we mostly drink at home! But we were pretty happy when McGugan’s “fine Scottish pub” opened around the corner (1058 Gerrard St E;, so popping out for a pint is an option we exercise every now and then. The Avro (750 Queen St E; is another nice watering hole and has possibly the weirdest/coolest bathroom (the women’s, anyway), with chalkboard walls, lockers and a big cat statue. Our newest boozy crush is the brunch-time Caesar bar at The East Ender (1212 Queen St E;, with 12

December 2012

all the classic fixings plus fresh seafood and meaty garnishes. We love a drink that’s a meal and an activity too! When eating well and inexpensively is our focus, we love living close to east Chinatown. After many years of familiarity with the dim sum service at Pearl Court (633 Gerrard St E), a couple of the servers have befriended — and once kissed — Ange. We’re there for the dumplings, but it’s nice to be liked. Mi Mi (688 Gerrard St E) is our go-to for pho and cold rolls. But we also love Hanoi 3 Seasons (588 Gerrard St E and 1135 Queen St E; for more ambience and interesting north Vietnamese dishes. If you ever need a whole BBQ pig, Ka Ka Lucky (349 Broadview Ave) will set you up for a feast like we did for Ange’s 40th birthday roast. But everyday portions of sweet pork, rice and

broccoli have kept us fed for only a few bucks more times that we can count. We also love to cook at home, and we’re thrilled that Meating on Queen (1160 Queen St E) continues to expand its offerings of naturally-raised meats and handmade sausages — I think they’ve got 30 flavours! The fancy coffee chains and espresso-based indies have moved into the area, but we’d rather visit Tango Palace Coffee Company (1156 Queen St E) which has been around for 17 years. We love the cozy art nouveau décor, the leafy summer patio and, oddly, the sausage rolls we just discovered they make there. For shopping, our pals at Doll Factory by Damzels (1122 Queen St E; have been rocking Queen Street for five years with a great stash of dresses and gifts (and

→ HEAD EAST Ange and Robin Beever’s signposts to fun.

the backyard parties they throw have become legendary). Closer to the river, we like to check out the well-chosen selection of vintage and pre-owned men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories at Common Sort (804 Queen St E; And, in shameless self-promotion, our BBJ studio in the 401 Logan building is open by appointment for pop-culture and glitter-infused accessories and home décor. We like to think we fit right in around here in this neighbourhood of unique offerings with a quirky, relaxed vibe.

BARBIE’S BASEMENT JEWELLERY Studio sale. 4pm-9pm. Fri, Dec 14. 11am-6pm. Dec 15. 401 Logan Ave #102. (416) 466-3759.



— with Adam Segal → “My

partner and I have been together for 16 mostly happy years. We’ve built a life and successfully (so far anyway!) raised our 13-year-old daughter together. I’ve been increasingly unhappy with my job and recently my closest friend moved far away. I’m frustrated with my partner because I don’t feel like our relationship offers the contentment that I hoped it would. Lately I can’t depend on her to make me feel better. Nothing’s working right now… and I’m getting increasingly unsure about this relationship. What do I do?” Sarah For quite a while now, pop psy-

the perfect chance to take some

chology would have us believe

time for yourself — can you take

that we shouldn’t rely on our part-

a quick getaway out of town?

ners for our own happiness, that

Maybe you could help that clos-

all of our fulfillment should come

est friend get settled in their new

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from within — we should be an island that, while enjoying a connection to another island, should have a “take it or leave it” attitude. I want to be clear that I disagree with this notion: It’s ridiculous to think that only once we’ve done enough therapy, OD’d on Chicken


Soup for the Whatever Soul books, and deeply loved ourselves, that

place? That would grant you the

we can receive another person’s

opportunity to reflect on your

love. If we all had to be that emo-

woes without the distraction of


your relationship.




needs, no one would be in a relationship... ever!

Anything you do that works toward releasing your own stress

In fact, feeling supported by and

and tension will also relieve some

connected to a partner is essen-

of the heaviness in the relation-

tial for a healthy and deep union.

ship. With some new clarity,

However, your letter seems to

assessing whether the relation-

indicate a sense of over-reliance

ship is truly a hindrance to you

on your partner to heal all that

will be a much easier task.

ails you or somehow to compensate for the unmet needs and sad feelings your are experiencing. You should double check that

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Out Adventures




a former couple’s dreams of adventure survived extreme personal and economic turbulence Story Gordon Bowness


December 2012



t’s a fantasy come true: A

ring locally-owned hotels and res-

with a new ground operator and just

handsome young couple opens

taurants. It’s an ethical choice and

send 12 people on a trip. We make sure a trip operates to our specs.”

a small business together, a

one that fosters a different expe-

travel company that allows them

rience, multiplying the possibil-

to see the world.

ity of meaningful exchanges with


But like a holiday that goes terri-

real people. In addition to person-

and Iceland and “comfort” trips

bly wrong, fantasy rarely sustains

ally vetting the properties and ser-

through Brazil and Argentina to “in


vices in any host destination, Sharp

style” trips through Cambodia and

During the first crucial years

and Larkin also spend a great deal


when a small company has to prove

of time and effort finding the right

“Our focus is on finding the right

itself, when just keeping afloat is

tour guides and educating man-

partners in each destination coun-

the business plan, Robert Sharp

agers and staff in the hospitality

try whose values match our own,”

and Steven Larkin, co-owners of

industry around the world on what

says Sharp. “We like to use the


gay clients expect.

term ‘gay-welcoming’ versus ‘gay-



broke up. Instead of watching

“We aren’t going to go where else




OA’s current roster ranges from trips



friendly.’ It communicates better

their dream go up in smoke, how-


ever, they doubled down on the

Larkin. “We identify destinations

business, navigated the treacher-

that will resonate in the market.

While about 50 percent of the

ous terrain of a break-up and suc-

Then we dig in and find an oper-

local guides hired by OA are gay, all

cessfully carved out a niche in the highly competitive and potentially lucrative world of gay travel. In 2008, three years into their relationship, Larkin, a travel executive, and Sharp, a marketing manager, combined their passion for travel and professional expertise to launch Out Adventures (OA), a boutique adventure travel agency specializing in taking small groups of gay men (and some lesbians and straights) to exotic locales not normally associated with gay travel.

the expected level of appreciation for our clients.”

the guides need winning personal-


Led by local guides, many of whom

ities and wide-ranging knowledge of the local scene.

Most crucial advice for any trip?

“Email yourself a scan of your passport and credit cards,” says Steven Larkin, co-owner of Out Adventures (OA). “If you’re ever in an emergency you’ll have this info at your disposal.” Something surprisingly useful?

“A smart phone or tablet,” says co-owner Rob Sharp. “Lube,” says Larkin. “It’s hard to find and often expensive.” Biggest mistake most travellers make?

Packing too much, they both warn. “Our rule of thumb is to lay everything out and then cut it in half.”

“I know ‘experience’ is such a clichéd term,” says Sharp, “but anyone can travel and visit a destination, not everyone can have the experiences we offer. That experience comes from who operates and leads the tour.” The guides have to be quick on their feet, dealing with everything from a new concierge who unilaterally converts bookings for couples to two single beds to wholesale changes to itineraries

are gay, OA clients hike to Machu

ator who understands what our

Picchu in Peru or drive to remote

niche is,” says Larkin who, in addi-

Sharp recalls one of their first

historical sites in Muslim countries

tion to co-owning OA, is president

trips to Cuba. “Cuba is notorious

like Turkey and Lebanon. Sure,

and CEO of Adventure Center, an

for screwing up hotel reservations,”

they still hit the occasional gay bar

established North American-wide

says Sharp. “They’ll often resell

or shopping spree, where appropri-

adventure travel company (with a

bookings and you have to be very

ate, but that’s never the focus.

mainly heterosexual clientele). His

adept at reworking itineraries. We

“We aren’t that big gay trip, an

near 10-year executive experience

had one trip that went over New

Atlantis Event or an Olivia Cruise,”

in group travel has given Larkin

Year’s Eve and we had planned a

says Larkin. These aren’t groups

invaluable access to and knowl-

great night in Havana. But at the

of 300 muscle-bound gay men

edge of tour operators and guides.

last minute we had no place to stay.

encased in a roving disco; they’re

“It’s difficult to get operators on the

Natalia, who’s our fantastic local

groups of no more than 12 peo-

ground who get it,” he says. “Gay

guide, came up with an alternative.

ple hoping to experience local cul-

and lesbian travel in many places

She told us that her family would

tures on trips of varying degrees of

of the world is still not mainstream

look after us. So we headed off into

ruggedness and luxury. OA avoids

so they have to break out of their

the countryside to a dusty little

large international chains, prefer-

comfort zone. We really work with

town. After expecting a big party,

these operators, hold their hands

everyone was like, ‘Oh my god,

throughout the process. And Rob or

how depressing.’ But it turned out

I will always go on the first trip. We

to be the highlight of the trip. The

would never start a new destination

Continued on page 16

→ THE BEGINNING OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP Out Adventures takes small groups of gay and lesbian travellers to exotic locales, like Morocco (opposite page).


as needs arise.

Fave OA trip?

“My last trip is always my favourite,” says Larkin. “So Croatia.” “‘Active’ Nepal and ‘comfort’ Turkey,” says Sharp. Best thing you ever ate?

“A vegetarian lunch at a monastery in Vietnam,” says Sharp, “and I’m not vegetarian.” “The food in Lebanon is superb,” says Larkin. Worst thing?

“Silk worms in Thailand,” says Sharp. “Guinea pig in Peru,” says Larkin. “I just couldn’t shake the image of the guinea pig I had growing up.” Dream destination still to add to OA’s roster?

“Antarctica,” says Larkin. “I can’t wait for that one.” “Kilimanjaro climbing trip,” says Sharp, “and an exclusive Serengeti lodge safari.” Destination with an unexpectedly larger, more vibrant, LGBT scene?

Lebanon, agree Larkin and Sharp.


Out Adventures


Continued from page 15

thinking, ‘Come on people: We’re

approach. He’s since gone on trips

family had set out a dining table

gay. We supposed to be at the lead-

to Peru, Cuba and Lebanon/Jordan.

in a farm field. There was a roast-

ing edge of trends.’”

“We started the business in 2008,”

“I work fairly hard,” says Masson,

says Larkin. “And then the world

ing pig hanging from a tree. And we

But marketing is much more than

creative director of a giftware com-

economy fell out from beneath

ate under the stars. Everyone loved

pretty pictures. “Most of our reve-

pany. “And I don’t have a partner

us. We found ourselves struggling

it. Now it’s part of our regular Cuba

nue comes from clients who find

to share the fun of planning a trip.

with a very different plan than the

trip. We get to see a side of Cuba

us online,” says Larkin, “from peo-

So I want someone else to do the

one we prepared. We very quickly

that most tourists don’t and some

ple who have already done a lot of

work for me. That’s the value of the

had to switch gears. I guess this

locals get in on the travel business.

research. They know whether you

product they sell: Taking me some-

is where having experience in the

It’s a win/win.

are talking out of your ass or not;

where I would never have gone on

industry really helps. I instinctively

they know if there is an authentic-

my own, like Lebanon and Jordan.

knew where to pull back.

“This isn’t stuff you can Google.” The desire to break through bar-

That was good value for my money.

“With our experience and agil-

riers that travel inevitably creates

“I’m not one for sitting on a

ity we refocused our marketing on

beach. And I couldn’t imagine sit-

the grassroots angle,” says Larkin.

ting around a pool with a bunch

“With great word of mouth and

of bitchy queens with whom I

great repeat business, we pulled

had nothing in common,” he says.


between people because of differences in wealth, culture or language is what brings clients to OA. “We are selling a dream,” says Larkin, “as wanky as that sounds. That’s why people travel. They want to get out of their ‘now’ so they can experience something different from their everyday life. “The challenge for us is to cre-


ate an experience that is truly

ity to your product and an authen-


ticity to your message.”

“We put a lot of focus on our web-


from all directions.

When Craig Masson, a 46-yearhappened

“We’ve had steady growth over

brainless, I don’t mean to sound

the last three and half years,” says

snobby. I want something more

Sharp. “Things really exploded this

intelligent. The guys with OA are


on the same wavelength.”







groups, with a quarter of their businy successful small business

ness being custom-built trips for

person needs to find the right

those who can’t or don’t want to

balance between tenacity and agil-

join up with a regular group. With

site,” says Sharp. “When I look at



ity — when to push through and

small profit margins and competi-

how most gay travel is marketed,

OA’s website, he immediately con-

when to change tack. That chal-

tors flooding in, Sharp and Larkin

so much of it is shoddy. I keep

nected with the company’s unique

lenge came at Sharp and Larkin

can’t rest on their modest success.

December 2012


“Most gay travel to me looks pretty


→ DIALOGUE Rob Sharp (opposite page, middle), seen here on a trip to Nepal, and Steven Larkin (this page), on a trip to Argentina, launched Out Adventures in 2008. Three years later they broke up, but their company and their friendship remain strong.

agility also marked their response

drama. We could be clear with

Taking small groups of LGBT trav-

to the demise of their six-year

everyone, our colleagues and busi-

ellers to all corners of the globe


ness partners, that nothing had

is a unique extension of that old

really changed with respect to the

maxim: The personal is political.


“It makes a positive impact that we

“We invented Out Adventures to keep us strong and together,” says Sharp. “But then we realized

“Our relationship might not have

don’t necessarily see,” says Sharp.

we weren’t for each other on that

worked out but our business did.

“We are small groups so we can

They are looking to expand the

level. We also realized that Out

The business secured our relation-

travel under the radar — it’s not like

brand next year, offering a more

Adventures was still something

ship as friends and family.”

a big cruise. So we are able to have a

luxurious option for a slightly larger

that was really strong between us.

“The break-up was the best thing

conversation with locals. It’s about

group — a yacht and land trip for 30

It forced us to work through issues

for the business and, in hindsight,

one-on-one interaction. Sometimes

through Croatia.

with each other and remain friends.

the best thing for our relationship

you see the light go on. ‘Oh. Oh!’

“I don’t know anyone who could

“Steven will always be a very

as well,” says Larkin. “We’re still

People see we aren’t the monsters

have pulled off a global product

important part of my life. And I

very good friends.

they’ve heard about from their reli-

range like ours with our limited

hope the same goes for me.”

“I would never tell anyone not

gious leaders or the media.”

resources,” says Larkin. “You are

At the time of the break-up, OA’s

to do it,” he says. “It’s still possi-

“And it allows the gay and les-

only going to be successful doing

two-man operation was based in

ble to run a business with a part-

bian traveller to break down their

something you really love, right?

an office shared by Intrepid Travel

ner, you just have to be prepared to

assumptions about a destination,”

“Rob and I just hope to make a

(with which OA was affiliated at the

be mature enough to handle it if it

adds Larkin. “So it creates dialogue.”

decent living off of Out Adventures,”

time). “We did a good job of main-

does break up.”

he says. “We’re not greedy people.

taining our composure with each

“We butt heads all the time,” adds

neurial spirit, ethical business prac-

We just want a nice lifestyle. We’re

other,” says Sharp. “We were two

Sharp. “But why would you want to

tices and respect for local com-

never going to be rich because of our

people in an office of 12. It could

think the same way? The friction

munities — who could be better

wonderful little travel company.”

have very easily had a negative

makes for good collaboration.”

ambassadors for Canada in the 21st

If their professional experience and Sharp

business and




allowed be

effect on everyone in the office — that wouldn’t be fair. We took six


months working through the break-

responding to changing economics

up before going public to our col-

and the vagaries of a new business,

leagues. That way there was no


Fun-seeking gays with entrepre-

century? hile they’re in the business of selling good times, Sharp

and Larkin aren’t blind to the wider implications of the work they do.

OUT ADVENTURES 579 Richmond St W, 4th floor. 1-866-360-1152.









Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

DEREK SULLIVAN Part of the Open Studio show

MARCELO ÁLVAREZ & SONDRA RADVANOVSKY Un Ballo in Maschara live broadcast


EL VEZ Christmas show at the Horseshoe

Art & Photography ART TOGETHER Asian Community AIDS Services ( commemorates World AIDS Day with an art exhibit exploring the resilience of people living with HIV/AIDS. Featuring local artists Regen Chan, Gina Chung, Vinca Ha, Euan Hwang, Lai Tak Ki and more. 11am7pm. Mon-Wed. 11-am-9pm. Thu-Sat. Noon-6pm. Sun. Until Wed, Dec 12. Glad Day Bookstore, third floor. 598 Yonge St. (416) 961-4161. PAUL PETRO Annual gallery aritsts group show, Christmas Spice. 11am-5pm. WedSat. Until Sat, Dec 22. 980 Queen St W. (416) 979-7874. DANA HOLST Lo and Behold, paintings which provoke speculative narratives around bullying and the emotional lives of young women. Noon-6pm. Thu-Sat. 1pm-5pm. Sun. Until Sun, Dec 23. Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art

18 RUSSELL BRAUN Joins the TSO’s Messiah

Projects. 1082 & 1086 Queen St W. (416) 993-6510. GALLERY HOUSE Miles To Go Before I Sleep, paintings by Order of Canadawinner Anita Kunz, Gottfried Helnwein, Catherine Howe and Ray Caesar (Madonna loves his disturbing doll ladies). Until Tue, Jan 31. 2068 Dundas St W. (416) 587-0057. ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE Opens Sat, Dec 1. Olga Korper Gallery. See page 22. MATT GOULD Words, Wit, Wisdom and Wool, text-based works by the Albertabased textile artist. Opening. 7:30pm. Fri, Dec 7. 7:30pm-10pm. Tue-Thu. 11am-2pm. Fri. Until Jan 21. Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. 34 Isabella St. (416) 777-2755. JAMIE ANGELL New works by Steve Driscoll and Dianne Davis. Opening. 6pm-9pm. Thu, Dec 6. Noon-6pm. Wed-Sat. Until Jan 12. 12 Ossington Ave. (416) 530-0444.



DANA HOLST Closes at Katharine Mulherin

SOUND OF MUSIC Sing-along screenings start

401 RICHMOND The sprawling artist hub

hosts its annual holiday party, studio open house and art sale. Includes the openings/fundraisers for Gallery 44, The Red Head Gallery and Open Studio (see below). Frolic launch party. 6pm9pm. Thu, Dec 6. Artisan marketplace: 11am-9pm. Dec 6. 11am-8pm. Dec 7. 11am-6pm. Dec 8. 11am-5pm. Dec 9. 401 Richmond St W. OPEN STUDIO Annual Artist Proof Sale, affordable art from the studio’s affiliated artists, plus a small curated selection from Bill Burns, Graham Coughtry, Dana Holst, John Scott, Greg Staats, Derek Sullivan and Daryl Vocat. Visitors to the opening night (part of the 401’s Frolic, see above) have a chance to win prints made that evening by Luis Jacob and Fiona Smyth. 6pm-9pm. Thu, Dec 6. Noon-5pm. Tue-Sat. Until Dec 22. 401 Richmond St W, #104. (416) 504-8238.

Dance NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA Giselle is a star turn for any ballerina: An innocent peasant girl in love with a prince who loves her. But society keeps them apart and she is betrayed on her wedding night, loses her mind, dies, and is condemned to live as a ghost in the land of the Wilis (that’s where that phrase, “It gives me the willies” comes from). Romanticism at its most potent. The set and costumes are by design legend Desmond Heeley. $25-$180. 7:30pm. Wed, Dec 5-8. 2pm. Dec 6, 8 & 9. Then it’s the turn of The Nutcracker, with ever-fascinating choreography by James Kudelka, sumptuous designs by Santo Loquasto and classic music by Tchaikovsky. Guaranteed to enthrall. $52$114. 7pm. Wed, Dec 19-22. 2pm. Dec 22. 1pm. Dec 23, 27-30, Jan 2-5. 5:30pm. Dec 23, 27. 29, 30, Jan 2, & 4. Four



David Cooper


The National Ballet of Canada’s Xiao Nan Yu. Giselle opens Wed, Dec 5.

Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 345-9595. OLDER AND RECKLESS Moonhorse Dance Theatre’s performance series returns with four solos by Paul-André Fortier, Alon Nashman, Tome Brouillette and BaKari I Lindsay, including an excerpt from Nashman’s one-man show Kafka and Son and Brouillette in a Danny Grossman classic, Transcendence with music by the late Ann Southam. $25. 8pm. Sat, Dec 1. 2pm. Dec 2. Dancemakers Centre. 9 Trinity St, #313. (416) 504-6429 ext 30.

Film & Video WERNER SCHROETER Revered in Germany but little known outside, the gay avant-garde director of excessive camp fables and hard-hitting documentaries died in 2010. TIFF’s Magnificent Obsession retrospective continues this

month until Sun, Dec 9, concluding with The Queen (5pm), his portrait of German actress Marianne Hoppe. The feverish Flocons d’Or screens at 3:30pm, Dec 2. $12. Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. (416) 599-TIFF. LAST CHANCE Paul Emile d’Entremont’s documentary on homophobic violence around the world and asylum seekers hoping to escape to Canada. The NFB streams the film for free in honour of Human Rights Day. Fri, Dec 7-9. After that, it’s still available as video on demand. PACKAGED GOODS The best of this year’s music videos, short films and TV ads from around the world, curated by Rae Ann Fera, from an ad for UK newspaper The Guardian and a music video from MIA to a short film from Kahlil Joseph. $12. 7pm. Wed, Dec 7. Bell Lightbox. 350King St W. (416) 599.TIFF. ROBERT BEAVERS A survey of rarely Continued on page 20




Thanks to our volunteers, supporters, sponsors and walkers of the 2012 Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life we are still fighting.

LISTINGS & EVENTS Continued from page 21


seen short works spanning three decades from this US experimental filmmaker (and artistic and romantic partner to avant-garde filmmaker Gregory Markopoulos). With Beavers in attendance. Free. 6:30pm. Mon, Dec 3. Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. (416) 599.TIFF. Beavers is also a part of the monthly film reading series, No Reading After the Internet. 4pm. Sat, Dec 1. LIFT. 1137 Dupont St. UN BALLO IN MASCHERA Metropolitan Opera’s live HD broadcasts continue with the new production of Verdi’s seething drama of pride, jealousy and revenge. Starring Toronto powerhouse Sondra Radvanovsky as Amelia, Dmitri Hvorostovsky as her suspicious husband and Marcelo Álvarez as the conflicted king. The phantasmagorical design is by Paul Steinberg and the direction is by David Alden, one of two twin brothers who both direct operas (!), mainly in Europe but increasingly in the US. $26 1pm. Sat, Dec 8. Various Cineplex cinemas. SING-A-LONG-A SOUND OF MUSIC Get yer blossoms of snow on. Program features a 20-minute intro and intermission. $12. 7pm.Thu, Dec 27-29 1pm. Dec 29. & 30. Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. (416) 599TIFF.

Story & photography Derek Dotto

You might think Intuition Men just north of Yonge and Eglinton was a brand new shop; the facade changes more than the horse of a different colour. “We went from black to charcoal to baby blue. We’re going to do burgundy for fall and then yellow for spring/summer,” says owner Khristopher De Gale. “I get bored very easily.” No kidding. Call it keeping things fresh or a case of retail ADD, but De Gale’s attitude towards change keeps things interesting at Intuition Men which, for the record, opened in May 2011. The store’s rustic, dark wood racks, which also change every few months, are filled with brands perfect for the casual workplace or a weekend at the cottage. Seasonal staples like a navy, shawlcollared cardigan from Penfield and plaid shirts from Altamont are complemented by standout pieces including Insight’s denim jacket with Fair Isle knit sleeves. Not to be missed, the star collection at Intuition Men is the smallest in size. Fredrick Prince is a jewellery line designed by Toronto-born Melissa De Luca, whose handmade pieces include eye-catching necklaces and bracelets that mix raw materials like metal and stone. “It’s not that classic menswear jewellery where it’s 20

December 2012

→ RUS T IC BU T FRESH Intuition Men offers a standout collection of casual classics.

gaudy and big,” De Gale says. “She makes it a little lighter.” When it comes to staying warm this winter, De Gale says the men of Toronto need a reality check. “I know we live in Canada but let’s get over it, nobody really needs a parka anymore,” he says. “It’s not that cold here. I’m from Montreal. I know cold. If you layer with a regular wool jacket with a lining inside it, you’ll be fine.” So if you decide to ditch that parka, remember the number one rule for layering: Make it look natural. “You should put on as much as possible without looking like you’re trying too hard,” says De Gale. “If you’re wearing a cardigan, why not wear a button down and a T-shirt underneath and add a nice scarf?” But if you try to mix patterns, proceed with caution. “I like pattern on pattern. If you’re doing a stripe with a plaid, try to keep the colours in the same family. Then it works,” De Gale says. “If you’re doing red and blue and pink and this and that, you’re going to look like a Christmas tree.” INTUITION MEN 2487 Yonge St. (416) 333-3780.

Pop & Rock GENTLEMAN REG Leisure Life tour makes a hometown stop. With sets by Toronto’s Army Girls and Berlin’s Chinawoman. $10. 9pm. Sun, Dec 2. Gladstone Ballroom. 1214 Queen St W. (416) 531-4635. THE EL VEZ CHRISTMAS SHOW High energy, high camp, righteous politics and infectious music from Robert Lopez, aka the Mexican Elvis. $20. 9pm. Sat, Dec 8. Horseshoe Tavern . 370 Queen St W. ECHO WOMEN’S CHOIR I Know Moonlight, songs of memory, questioning and hope featuring guest singer David Sereda and music from his upcoming musical A Desperate Road to Freedom and songs made famous by the Wyrd Sisters, Sweet Honey in the Rock and more. Becca Whitla and Alan Gasser conduct. $12 adv; $15 door. 7:30pm. Sun, Dec 9. Church of the Holy Trinity. 10 Trinity Sq (behind the Eaton Centre). (416) 516-0988.

Classical & Jazz ART OF TIME ENSEMBLE Second of two nights of The Big Band Show, a program of Ellington and Stravinsky, including the Duke’s jazzy Nutcracker Suite. Ensemble joined by Mike Murley, Al Kay, John MacLeod, David Occhipinti and Don Rooke; Andrew Burashko conducts. $25-$59. 8pm. Sat, Dec 1. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. COUNTERPOINT COMMUNITY ORCHESTRA

Noted as the oldest gay and lesbian orchestra in the world, founded in 1984. Next concert features a program of Sarasate, Monit, Kalman, Mozart, Dvorak and Bartok. $18 adv; $20 door. 8pm. Sat, Dec 1. St Luke’s United Church. 353

Sherbourne St. (416) 902-7532.

TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Among this month’s highlights: TSO conductor laureate Sir Andrew Davis and soloists Jan Lisiecki, Teng Li and Joseph Johnson tackling Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote. $29-$99. 7:30pm. Sat, Dec 1. The Tchaikovsky Spectacular, a concert of ballet and symphonic gems, including the Piano Concerto No 2 with soloist Alon Goldstein; Ainars Rubikis conducts. $29-$145. 8pm. Wed, Dec 5 & 6. Then the TSO is joined by the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for a grand, lush version of Handel’s Messiah, with highpowered soloists Yulia Van Doren, Daniel Taylor, Michael Schade and Russell Braun; Nicholas McGegan conducts. $38-$105. 8pm. Tue, Dec 18, 19, 21 & 22. 3pm. Dec 23. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 593-4828. COLLEGIUM VOCALE GHENT Worldfamous period music vocal group performs Bach’s Christmas Oratorio; Philippe Herreweghe conducts. $45-$100. 8pm. Fri, Dec 14. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. (416) 408-0208. TAFELMUSIK Toronto’s beloved baroque orchestra and choir launches its holiday programming with French Baroque Christmas featuring Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s oratorio In Nativitatem as well as a glorious mass for double choir and orchestra. Ivars Taurins conducts. $39$89. 7pm. Wed, Dec 5. 8pm. Dec 6-8.


→ IN T O T HE LIGH T New photo

exhibition by Dianne Davis at Jamie Angell opens Thu, Dec 6.

3:30pm. Dec 9. Trinity-St Paul’s Centre. 427 Bloor St W. Then it’s the everpopular Messiah by Handel featuring soloists Joanne Lunn, Allyson McHardy, Aaron Sheehan and Douglas Williams. $47-$112. 7:30pm. Wed, Dec 19-22. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. Singalong version. $45. 2pm. Sun Dec, 23. Massey Hall. 178 Victoria St. (416) 964-6337. BRAVISSIMO Ring in the New Year with Davinia Rodríguez, Gordon Gietz, Ho-Yoon Chung and Gregory Dahl singing opera’s greatest hits. Graeme Jenkins conducts Opera Canada Symphony. $55-$145. 7pm. Mon, Dec 31. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 872-4255.


Necessary Angel remounts Daniel MacIvor’s thrilling one-man show from 2010, directed by longtime collaborator Daniel Brooks. Our insatiable need for happy endings is explored with compassion, wit and Percocet. $20-$25. 8pm. Tue, Dec 4-8. 2pm. Dec 8 & 9. Factory Theatre. 125 Bathurst St. (416) 504-9971. A CHRISTMAS CAROL Soulpepper presents Charles Dickens’ classic

adapted and directed by Michael Shamata featuring Kevin Bundy, Oliver Dennis, Maggie Huculak, Joseph Ziegler, Matthew Edison and more. $51-$68. 7:30pm & 1:30pm various dates. Tue, Dec 4-29. Young Centre. 50 Tank House Lane. (416) 866-8666. THE WIZARD OF OZ The North American tour kicks off with the newly minted Dorothy, Danielle Wade — voted winner after a CBC reality/talent contest — joining an all-Canadian cast including Cedric Smith as the Wizard, Lisa Horner as the Wicked Witch, Mike Jackson as the Tin Man, Lee MacDougall as the Lion, Jamie McKnight as the Scarecrow and Robin Evan Willis as Glinda. Andrew Lloyd-Weber produces, creates additional music and adapts the classic film music and lyrics from Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg. Much of the creative team remains intact from the wonderful The Sound of Music production from 2008. $35-$179. 7:30pm. Tue-Sat. 1:30pm. Wed, Sat & Sun. (Some exceptions.) Performances begin Thu, Dec 20; opening Jan 13. Ed Mirvish Theatre. 244 Victoria St. (416) 872-1212. THE STORY Theatre Columbus presents a remount of its outdoor production of the Nativity story, as envisaged by Martha Ross. Director Jennifer Brewin has roped in the same choirs, actors Haley McGee, Sanjay Talwar and Rylan Wilkie, and added Neema Bickersteth and Jeff Yung. The design team is Catherine Hahn (set and costumes), Glenn David son (lighting) and John Millard (sound and musical direction). This hour-long version is performed entirely outdoors $27.50. 7:30pm. Tue-Sun. Tue, Dec 4- 30. (No shows Dec 24, 25 &26.) Evergreen Brick Works. 550 Bayview Ave. (416) 504-7529. LISA LAMPANELLI The foul-mouthed politically incorrect comic is the perfect antidote for all the gooey holiday hoohaa. $50. 8pm. Fri, Dec 7. Massey Hall. 278 Victoria St. (416) 872-4255.

Spirituality METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH OF TORONTO If the holidays can be a tough

time for you, maybe because of depression or struggles with grief, MCCT’s Blue Christmas Service might be for you. 7pm. Sun, Dec 16. MCCT. 115 Simpson Ave. (416) 406-6228. Then Rev Brent Hawkes, hosts the huge celebratory Christmas Eve Service joined by musical guests Alana Bridgewater, Sterling Jarvis and the MCCT choir with director Diane Leah. $25. 10:30pm. Mon, Dec 24. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 872-4255.


The HPO Gala with Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka. $54. 7:30pm. Sat, Dec 15. Hamilton Place Theatre. 1 Summers Lane. Hamilton. •


Here are three convenient spots to fortify yourself with lunch, a cocktail or maybe just some cake as your work your credit card up and down Yorkville’s Mink Mile, Queen Street West and, heaven forbid, the Eaton Centre. YORKVILLE Break out your fashion turbans. The Holt Renfrew Café is not as pricey as you might think, certainly not as pricey as some restaurants in Yorkville. It offers soup, salads and sandwiches, plus some shared plates. It’s also the best spot to stop for a cocktail on this list. Hello Holt’s pumpkin martini! There’s a real ladies who lunch vibe. They take walk-ins but it’s best to make a reservation in advance so that you are completely worry free-start to finish. Open daily from 10am to 6pm. 50 Bloor St W. (416) 922-2333. QUEEN WEST Shanghai Cowgirl is a nice stop in the middle of the Queen Street shuffle. The menu is all in the name: griddle chicken sandwiches and Shanghai noodles, trailer trash sushi and triple decker grilled cheese. The décor is traditional diner style and the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. Plus, they play rock and oldies, no

→ HERE’ S T O T HE L ADIES WHO LUNCH Make a Holt’s Café pit stop this holiday season.

pop music or dance, which after a day of shopping will be sweet music to your ears. It’s downtown diner prices, nothing is over $15 on the menu. 538 Queen St W. (416) 203-6623. EATON CENTRE You’ve taken two Valium and loaded up your iPod, ready for a Christmas shopping Saturday in one of the seven rings of hell. At least you don’t have to pack a lunch. Here’s a two-letter culinary love note for you: Urban Herbivore. It’s a vegetarian salad bar that’s very simple and tailor-made. You pick your bowl of grain or salad, then you pick six ingredients, a delicious dressing and nuts or seeds on top. The portion is really large and the toppings include grilled tempeh, chopped tomatoes, grilled root veggies, steamed broccoli and shredded carrots. They also make organic muffins and cookies (try the sweet potato muffin, it’s a meal in itself) and fresh juices made on site. Located right in the middle of the Eaton Centre’s concourse-level foodcourt. (416) 598-8560.


Š Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission

December 2012





look at Mapplethorpe’s art is to see what he saw the way he saw it Story Sholem Krishtalka




public was treated to a panel of

phy and art history is earned, and

amount of care. The same devo-

vaulted to his place in

expert witnesses who, on the

not simply an accident of salacious

tion to rich blacks, silvery greys

art history through scan-

prosecution’s side, pointed out


and glimmering whites, the same

dal, which is appropriate, in its

merely what they thought was

own strange way. He was among a handful of artists who were at


obsessive care to the tectonic for-

obvious: That the image of a man

had a number of expressions:

malities of classical compositions

buried forearm-deep in another

celebrity portraits, images of ath-

pervades all of his images, regard-

the centre of the culture wars of

man’s distended anus was inar-

letes, photographs of enormous

less of subject matter.

the 1980s, targets of the American

guably obscene. And the defense

cocks, delicate flowers, documen-

Christian right’s biliously indignant

brought out their parade of expert

tation of BDSM culture, haunt-

this kind of artistic attention, this

quest to use the American govern-

witnesses who regaled the audi-

ing statuary (all of which, except

broad aesthetic equivalency: If an

ment to shape artistic and aca-

ence with talk of the subtleties of

the cocks, I believe, can be seen

image of graphic BDSM is both

demic discourse. Mapplethorpe’s

chiaroscuro across swollen but-

in the Mapplethorpe show cur-

classical and obscene, so too are

particular case revolved around

tocks, and the references to classi-

rently running at Olga Korper

his portraits and his floral imag-

a touring exhibition of his Perfect

cal compositions made by the tri-

Gallery). In order to understand

ery. The same lustful eye animates


pod arrangement of splayed legs




Gallery in Washington, DC refused to host the work, and an argu-

accommodating a greasy fist. The










them all. Mapplethorpe’s work is


unthinkable without lust, and that, finally, is the point of his oeuvre:

ment was made that public fund-

not wrong (the CAC was acquit-

ing of this show was tantamount to

ted), and the prosecution was

the government promoting violent

entirely right. That meticulously

pornography. The Contemporary

composed and carefully choreo-

Arts Center in Cincinnati was put

graphed image of graphic BDSM,

on trial for obscenity for host-

that stretched anus swallowing a

ing the show. They were even-

fist, held up to the immediate fore-

tually acquitted, but not before

ground, filling the picture plane,

Mapplethorpe and his work were

rectum dead centre of the frame,

subject to the strangest public dis-

inescapably in the viewer’s face, is

section to thus far befall any artist.

gleefully obscene. And yes, its for-

All this legal intrigue and pan-

mal qualities, its tonal range, the

Mapplethorpe, you can’t simply

a beautiful man. Mapplethorpe’s

icked moral scrutiny was posthu-

precise arrangement and place-

isolate any of these modes from

eye, and therefore his process, and

mous. The show originated at the

ment of form are measured and

the others — he didn’t. A portrait

therefore his photographs, are ani-

Detroit Institute for Contemporary

studied, a system of precise and

of Susan Sarandon or Grace Jones;

mated by a generous lust, and that

Art, mounted in December 1988.



an image of bodybuilder Lisa Lyons

is what makes his work so involv-

Mapplethorpe died in March 1989,

The tensions implicit in those

perched on a motorcycle; Mark “Mr

ing. To look at a Mapplethorpe is to

and the Corcoran scandal erupted

two seeming polarities — obscen-

10½” Stevens’ eponymous mem-

see what he saw, the way he saw

in the summer of 1989. The man

ity and classicism, sexual extrem-

ber laid out on a plinth; a spritely

it, in all of its depth and power and

could not be there to stand for his

ism and aesthetic tradition, and

orchid, glowing and shimmering

dangerous, wanton beauty.

own work, so at the Contemporary

how those two could influence and

against an inky black background;

Arts Center’s trial, the American

subsume each other — were life-

a man hung upside down by his

long obsessions for Mapplethorpe,

balls; the luminescent profile of a

the dark and complex engines that

classical Greek statue: Each were

drove his art. And that is why his

arranged, composed, shot, devel-

place in contemporary photogra-

oped and displayed with the same

→ JILL CHAPMAN AND KEN MOODY, 1983 The work of Robert Mapplethorpe — obscenity anchored in classicism, and vice versa.


Participation in the aesthetic is a sexual act. For Mapplethorpe, the pornographic is anchored by classicism, the formal rigour gives further depth and richness to the obscene. To look is to want, whether it’s the moist stamen of an orchid, the parenthetical arch of a celebrity’s collarbones as they host a cascade of jewels, or the rounded ready ass of

ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE 10am-6pm. Tue-Sat. Sat, Dec 1-Jan 31. Olga Korper Gallery. 17 Morrow Ave. (416) 538-8220.





North’s complex mixture of tradition and modernity, beauty and hardship Story Pamela Meredith


ntil last month, my exper-

knew the town’s new water truck

ience of Canada’s North

from Shuvinai Ashoona’s draw-



ing, and there it was! I found myself

art. Almost everything I knew about

examining the frozen food section

life in the Arctic came through

at the Co-Op grocery store made

study of Inuit prints, drawings and

famous by Annie Pootoogook and

carvings. I’m fortunate to work at

her large drawing shown at The

TD, where there is one of the finest

Power Plant in 2006. Recent exhi-

collections of Inuit art in the world

bitions at Hart House, Art Toronto

(assembled to celebrate Canada’s

and Feheley Fine Arts just featured

Centennial in 1967) and I have been

Ohotaq Mikkigak’s abstracted land-

educating myself about its history,

scapes — he inventively captures

the artists and the stories inherent

the surprising colours and tex-

in their work.

tures of his surroundings — and


then I walked through it. My only

historical work, it’s the new gener-

disappointment was not seeing

ation of artists that I’m particularly

the town’s polar bears (depicted

excited about. While still employing

by many of the artists but none so

the techniques and materials that

beautifully as Tim Pitsiulak), but

we have come to know and love in

perhaps it was for the best.

Reproduced with the permission of Dorset Fine Arts

While I admire and appreciate this

Inuit art, these young artists cap-

I travelled north with Toronto-

ture their own reality, which is a

based artists Ed Pien and Johannes

complex mixture of tradition and

Zit but I left them there to complete

modernity, beauty and hardship.

Pien’s three-week artist residency

For example, seal is still chopped

in the Kinngait Studios. I eagerly

and eaten on the floor, but real-

await the work that he will create

ity television is likely playing in the

while working side-by-side with

background. Artists depict hybrid

Ashoona, Jutai Toonoo, Pitsiulak,

scenes like this. Carvers continue

and Itee Pootoogook among oth-

to work with stone and bone but

ers. Pien’s spider-webby line draw-

the figure could be holding an iPod

ings and delicate cut paper works

me deeply. I was heartened to see

instead of a harpoon. These artists

will surely morph into something

and feel the warmth and support

don’t shy away from tough subjects

interesting surrounded by that epic,

that artists receive in the studio and

such as addiction, suicide, mental

icy landscape and immersed in a

reassured to know that they are

lenge our expectations and show us

illness and domestic abuse. These

rich story-telling tradition. I am

making a decent living as artists. I

something new.

are aspects of contemporary life and

equally excited to see how his pres-

was amazed by the landscape, wild-

the human condition in the North

ence affects his studio-mates. They

life and quality of light. I was hum-

and they are rendered bluntly and

are still talking about Shary Boyle’s

bled by the generosity and kindness


sojourn in the studio last year. The

of the people I met. And I am heart-

Last week I journeyed to Cape

collaborative work that Boyle cre-

broken by the addiction and mal-

Dorset, one of the long-stand-

ated with Ashoona was a high-

aise that so many Inuit have assim-

ing hotbeds of creativity on Baffin

light of her recent northern-themed

ilated. But mostly I am inspired by

Island in Nunavut. It was simul-

exhibition at Jessica Bradley Gallery.

the artwork that is being created

taneously strange and familiar; I

A week in the Far North affected

there and that flows south to chal-

→ REALITY PROGRAM Pitseolak Qimirpik’s Young Man Playing MP3, an example of contemporary life in Canada’s Arctic.

TD GALLRY OF INUIT ART Free. 8am-6pm. MonFri. 10am-4pm. Sat & Sun. 79 Wellington St W. (416) 982-8473. FEHELEY FINE ARTS 10am-5pm. Tue-Sat. 65 George St. (416) 323-1373. PAMELA MEREDITH Is TD Bank Group’s senior curator.





promise and peril of limitless possibility as seen from the edge of the world — Winnipeg Story Alice Lawlor


here’s something radical about queering stories from our cultural history — the ones our parents told us, or that we tell each other. In their new book, Bedtime Stories for the Edge of the World, performance artists Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan take archetypes, from Lizzie Borden and Medusa to the Lone Ranger, and dig deeper, making the familiar a bit different, a bit more modern and a bit gay. “We’re interested in North America’s perception of itself as the continent of limitless possibility and infinite growth,” says Dempsey. “The stories that we’ve put together are cautionary tales for how this promise has not always delivered.” This is only Dempsey and Millan’s second foray into fiction, after the cheeky Lesbian National Parks and Services Field Guide to North America in 2002. “I think we were both drawn to the notion of putting a book in people’s hands,” says Millan, “infiltrating people’s homes with these objects that people love.” The Winnipeg-based pair has been working together for more than 25 years, producing, curating and starring in a wide range of provocative pieces, including the music video We’re Talking Vulva and a mockumentary entitled Lesbian National Parks and Services: A Force of Nature. At Nuit Blanche 2009, their Wild Ride installation brought a fully functioning midway — complete with fairground rides and cotton candy — to the middle of recession-struck Bay Street. It was staffed with recently downsized employees. Often topical and always funny, Dempsey and Millan have performed all over the world, but they’re quick to name their adopted hometown of Winnipeg as a source of inspiration. “We’re from Toronto,

and when we left people said, ‘You’re crazy. Why would you ever leave Toronto?’” says Millan, with a laugh. “We did feel like we were coming to the margins, to the edge of the world, and with that there were all sorts of new possibilities.” Dempsey agrees, adding, “It’s kind of a freeing place in that respect. People are not here to be art stars, or to be cool or be part of a scene. They’re here because there’s a tremendous visual arts community and we all just want to make work and help each other out. There aren’t a lot of places like that.” The influence of a place where, as Dempsey puts it, “cowboys and Indians are very much on our minds,” is especially clear in “The Lesbian Love Story of the Lone Ranger and Tonto.” Tonto begins life as Maria, “the butchest woman of the Sierra Madre, who left her parents behind to throw tomahawks in a circus sideshow.” In this version, the “Lonely” Ranger has more than one reason for the famous mask: He is actually a she. Maria seduces the mysterious hero and they ride off into the sunset, making a life together on the road: “When the stars came out, Tonto rode the not-lonely-atall Ranger. Tonto made the hero weep with love.” It’s sexy, witty and moving — a highlight of the book and one of the authors’ own favourites. The finished collection includes eight stories set in three different centuries, some based on real people or events. If there’s a thread that runs throughout, it’s a commitment to challenging cultural norms. “Our purpose is to take the power, the foundations of our predicament and of our culture, and kind of twist the frame,” says Dempsey, “to give us a better path

forward.” The cast of marvellous misfits will appeal to anyone who has ever questioned what it means to be normal. From sideshow performers to pirate queens and fearless spinsters, their power and courage spring from the very fact of their difference. And there’s no better bedtime story than that.

BEDTIME STORIES FOR THE EDGE OF THE WORLD Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan. Arbeiter Ring Publishing. $22.


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youth carves out hard truths in the foothills of the Rockies Review Shawn Syms | Photography JJ Levine


he notion of transition is central to First Spring Grass Fire, the recent fiction debut of indie singer-songwriter Rae Spoon. That’s not simply because the book’s main character, like Spoon, is trans. Through plain but effective language and delicate, wry humour, this collection of linked short stories approaches coming of age as an act of incredible empowerment. Loosely based on aspects of their own life story, Spoon (who prefers the pronoun “they”) sensitively portrays some pretty intense subject matter — while navigating a tender and heartrending passage from confusion to awareness, from fear to strength. Spoon’s protagonist, also named Rae, grows up in a household of evangelical Christians in working-class Calgary. The youth experiences abuse at the hands of an erratic and unpredictable father, who is eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. At every turn, Rae’s young life is marked by a profound sense of difference. They don’t fit in with the kids at school — having little in common since they’re only allowed to listen to Christian music. But Rae doesn’t fit in with the girls at Bible camp, either, because of a decidedly

boyish self-presentation. And when their father goes off his meds, home life becomes violent and terrifying. Though Rae responds to all this chaos by self-cutting, refusing to eat and eventually contemplating suicide, music offers an escape route. Writing and singing songs helps spur new friendships for the isolated teen, and provides a way to make sense of the conflict between their conservative upbringing, their cruel peers and an identity that steadfastly resists social and gender norms. Spoon has a sharp eye for detail and their prose skillfully balances cultural elements that will be familiar to many readers — such as 7-Eleven Slurpees and episodes of Wheel of Fortune — and those that would seem normal only to evangelicals, such as prayer meetings in tents where people of all ages are “slain by the spirit” and speak in tongues. Spoon’s writing is also imbued with a potent sense of place: Calgary is challenging and claustrophobic, while the nearby Rocky Mountains represent possibilities for freedom. The stories in First Spring Grass Fire consider themes that will resonate for many LGBT readers, includ-

ing how family relationships can juxtapose love and bonding with conflict and tension. In the story “Change Your Name” for instance, Rae’s little brother Craig decides to rechristen himself — because he’d been named after their abusive father. The notion of choosing your own name is a powerful one for many trans people, but in this moving vignette Spoon demonstrates that that power of self-determination should be open to everyone. Each

→ STORIES OF SELF-DETERMINATION First Spring Grass Fire is the fiction debut of indie singer-songwriter Rae Spoon.

of the stories in the book share this parable-like quality and a subtly meditative feel. Deceptively simple yet wise, First Spring Grass Fire has a universal appeal because it gently draws attention to the sweetly unadorned details of being human. FIRST SPRING GRASS FIRE. Rae Spoon. Arsenal Pulp. $14.95.



WHAT’S YOUR MOOD? → Unsettled,

exuberant, aggressive, idiosyncratic, forceful and transportive releases from 2012 Reviews Mary Dickie


he term “pale fire” has

Bacharach song) is a gentle Latin/

disco” orchestra created by two

on “Chameleon” in two different

been used as a power-



New York house producers, Dan

but equally appealing directions —

ful image, and perhaps

quotes from the drag-scene docu-

Balis and Eugene Cho, apparently

the former warm and hip-moving,


mentary Paris Is Burning and uses

because they wanted to recreate

the latter cooler and more cerebral.

Shakespeare, then by Nabokov,

a melodic bass line and a melod-

with a band — sometimes as many

Sub Swara removes a lot of the

and now by Sarah Assbring, aka

ica to create a mellow mood, but

as 17 players, including French-

bass end and some of the seduc-

El Perro del Mar, who has appro-

there’s something quietly but per-

born singer Adeline Michèle — the

tive vocals from “All Through the

priated it as the title of her beauti-

sistently dissonant in the back-

vintage sounds they had been sam-

Night,” adding keyboard blips and

ful new album, on which it may or

ground. “Love In Vain” (no, not

pling on their singles. Their exu-

percussion for a more tense and

may not represent clarity and hope

the Stones song) ventures further

berant self-titled debut came out

twitchy version. But from begin-

in the face of darkness.

into dub reggae, with a lament-

last year, and now there’s Escort

ning to end, this is one big, irresist-


ing vocal setting off the easygoing

Remixed (Cuto Records), on which

ible dance party.

er’s fourth release, Pale Fire (The

rhythm. In “Love Confusion,” the

similarly minded producers like

Control Group/Outside Music) is

main vocal melody surfs waves of

Ewan Pearson, Max Essa and Greg

up with the jazz trio The Thing to

full of overlapping moods: Seemingly

echoey, chimey keyboard sounds,

Wilson turn Escort’s already ultra-

make an album last spring, it was

sad songs end up being hopeful,

then is interwoven with a count-

danceable songs into extended

the first time many people had

or vice versa; soft, sweet tunes

ervailing vocal and ends up dis-

dance extravaganzas. (I guess the

heard anything about the bril-



solving away into the sound of

challenge now is to reproduce the

liant and once ubiquitous “Buffalo

beats and layers of synths; sing-

a dog barking. And “I Was a Boy”

remixes live.)

Stance” singer in years. That daz-

song vocals that recall ’60s girl

is almost painfully sweet and

RAC sends “Starlight” from ’70s

zling collaboration featured free-

groups are overlaid with depres-

dreamy, with Assbring’s plaintive

America to ’80s Europe with a few

jazz covers of songs by the likes of



voice asking, “Didn’t you know?”

beats and bass lines, while Black

Suicide, MF Doom, The Stooges and

somewhere between wistful and

But for all its downbeat sounds, the

Russian and Illija Rudman take

Ornette Coleman, as well as Cherry

ominous. All the sounds are soft-

album is strangely uplifting, never

the already infectious mix of Latin

and her stepfather, Don Cherry

edged, but the sentiments aren’t.


flavours and Michael Jackson’s

(the avant-garde jazz trumpeter,

“Wanna Be Starting Something”

not the hockey commentator!).







“Walk 30



December 2012











Escort is a full-on “contemporary

When Neneh

Cherry teamed


→ REMIX & MATCH The latest CDs from Rufus Wainwright, El Perro del Mar, Neneh Cherry, Escort, Martha Wainwright and Brian Eno.

Now she’s released The Cherry

emotional roller coaster they’ve

or two to her mother on her gor-

Thing Remixes (Smalltown Super-

been riding. They’ve both always

geous new album, Come Home to

sound), a very different remix

seemed drenched in slightly un-

Mama (MapleMusic), which was

album that sees those versions



produced by Yuka Honda of Cibo

reinvented by producers including

with eccentric but often breathtak-

Matto. Besides a devastating cover

Four Tet, Merzbow, Jim O’Rourke,

ing melodic senses, serious song-

of the last song McGarrigle wrote,

lific composer, artist and produc-



writing skills, confessional lyrics

“Proserpina,” it contains a num-

er’s first solo album in seven years;

Carmen Villain, among others. One

and the confidence to go out on a

ber of Martha’s own reflections

it’s a 75-minute piece in 12 parts

listen to Kurzmann’s almost mili-

limb creatively that perhaps comes

on motherhood, loss and endur-

inspired by the play of light com-

taristic remix of the already greatly

with growing up in a family of



ing through his studio windows.

transformed Stooges classic “Dirt,”

renowned musicians.

addresses her son — accompa-

(In fact, Eno asked fans to submit







and it’s clear that these producers

Earlier this year, Rufus (who also

nied by stark and simple gui-

photographs based on the idea of

are not interested in merely adding

got married last summer) released

tar, her voice is powerful and yet

the play of light to his website, to

layers of synths or alternate beats.

Out of the Game (Universal), which

restrained as she warns of her

accompany a live stream on the

They’re reimagining the whole



shortcomings and promises to try

day of release.) The music was

sound and spirit of the original —

Ronson and backing band the

to protect him — while “All Your

commissioned as a sound instal-

although Iggy would probably love

Dap Kings, the team behind Amy

Clothes” meanders fitfully, like a

lation for a gallery in the Palace of

the aggressive tone, wildly honk-

Winehouse’s Back to Black. It’s his

person flummoxed by grief.

Venaria in Turin, Italy and was pre-

ing saxes and background grunting

most straightforward pop album to

And yet it’s not all sadness:

behind Cherry’s voice.

date, and yet, despite the generally

Martha balances the raw emotion

With its lovely, slowly shift-

Jim O’Rourke adds depth and

simpler song structures and soul-

with sardonic humour on “Can You

ing piano and keyboard sounds, it

echo to MF Doom’s “Accordion,”

ful vibe, there are enough Rufus-

Believe It,” in which she sings, “I

seems more like water than light,

making it sound tense and men-

isms — self-absorbed lyrics, odd-

really like the makeup sex/ It’s the

and perhaps better suited to the

acing. And Four Tet’s remix of

ball musical twists and turns — to

only kind I ever get” and complains

former venue, although it’s pos-

Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream,”

satisfy fans who don’t want him to

that “There are fewer and fewer

sible to imagine it subtly relaxing

the highlight of the covers album,

sacrifice his idiosyncrasies, as well

people to complain to.” And there’s

anxious passengers if they could

initially hangs onto its hypnotic

as perplex those who find him too

an upbeat sound on “I Wanna

actually focus on it. The tones are

repeated riff, adding dance beats

over the top.

Make an Arrest.”

gorgeous and perfectly melodious,




viewed in Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

to the warm sax and cool vibes,

“Montauk” addresses his hopes

Martha’s voice is a magnificent

ringing against each other like glid-

and then lets it take off to become

and fears about his daughter, spe-

force; whether she’s holding it

ing curtains of sound and chang-

a thrilling beats-and-sax dance

cifically that she won’t reject her

back or letting it fly, it’s a marvel

ing often enough to maintain the

number. Not a dance party like

two hapless dads; “Respectable

that gives her work a multitude of

feeling of constant movement. Put

Escort’s, but genius in its own way.

Dive,” “Song of You” and “Some-

colours and moods.

it on after a ridiculous day and be

Over the past few years, Martha

times You Need” are sweet, charm-

Brian Eno is such a singular

and Rufus Wainwright have lost

ing and surprisingly uncompli-

character that it’s easy to forget


cated; “Candles” is a sad and lovely

how well and how often he plays

elegy to McGarrigle.





had children and created some of their strongest work out of the

Martha also included a tribute





(Warp/Fontana North) is the


S EX s p onsored by spa excess

ASK THE SEX GEEK — with Andrea Zanin

“Comedian Margaret Cho got in trouble for fetishizing trans guys. But is it okay to fetishize members of dominant groups, for example, cisgender males or white people ...?” Molly →

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We use the word “fetish” in our

from simple attraction. Also, some-

culture pretty lightly these days;

times the fetish-bearer wants to be

I propose that we need to think

desired for that characteristic. It

about it with a bit more depth.

may feel good to them, they may

To fetishize something is to ele-

share the fetish themselves (and

vate, revere or single out an inani-

may even have cultivated it, such

mate object — a shoe, shiny cloth-

as long hair or developed muscles),

ing, whatever — because of qualities

or they may want to make money

that inspire your desire. When you

from it (specialized sex work-

do that to a living person, though,

ers, say). Or they might enjoy the

it can often be more like reduction

arousal it produces and see it as a

than elevation, more like objectifi-

perfectly good means to a mutually

cation than reverence. Most of us

pleasurable end. Someone may not

want to be desired as people, not as

feel especially bothered by being

the bearers of specific body parts or

fetishized even if they don’t share

features. Being on the receiving end

the fetish — neutrality is an option.

of part- or feature-specific desire

For some, being fetishized is cool

can be a very alienating experience.

for a one-night stand but less so for

Clearly, when the feature in ques-

dating. For others, a fetish is so inti-

tion is also a point of marginaliza-

mate they only share it with a long-

tion — such as physical indicators

term partner. Variety abounds!

of race, class, body size, disability,

The key with fetish, as with any

gender, transition, age and so forth

other type of sex and desire, is

— then fetishizing becomes politi-

enthusiastic consent. The more

cal, too. Fetishizing features such as

likely you’d lose interest in a person

white skin, large breasts, big mus-

if the fetish object or feature dis-

cles, slim build and other main-

appeared, and the more easily you

stream beauty ideals doesn’t carry

could transpose the fetishized char-

the same weight of oppression. For

acteristic to another person and

that matter, neither does fetishiz-

proceed just as happily, the more

ing features that aren’t about clas-

necessary it is to check with them

sic social categories — red finger-

about whether this type of desire is

nails, for instance, or body hair.

okay in the first place, as it becomes

But I don’t think it’s any better to

more about the fetish than the per-

fetishize non-marginalized people

son. A mutually shared fetish can

or features. It’s just less obviously

be wicked hot fun, but an undis-


closed one is essentially hooking

This doesn’t mean all fetishizing is bad. A lot of desire may involve

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up under false pretenses, which is creepy.

what I’d call mild or unacknowledged fetish, of a degree that doesn’t obliterate the person or “bearer” so that it may be hard to distinguish it

ANDREA ZANIN The Sex Geek blogs at



CAUGHT IN THE ACT by Kristina Laukkanen, Kai Yapp & George Pimentel





3 2







December 2012




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Profile for IN Magazine

IN Toronto Magazine: December 2012  

IN Toronto Magazine: December 2012 Issue ISSUE: 31 Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto

IN Toronto Magazine: December 2012  

IN Toronto Magazine: December 2012 Issue ISSUE: 31 Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto