IN Toronto Magazine: July 2013

Page 1

World Pride: How do we avoid the same fiascos of the last three festivals?

Gay & Lesbian

City Living


j u ly 2 0 1 3

Pride Time entertainment & parade Map updates


Provocative Plays

at the



Angels in america

Still Relevant?

Tegan & Sara Pop it up

Music: Travel: style: Books:

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Saucy Monky The Philadelphia Story for Bears, Twinks & Jocks Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter

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

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Senior Account Director Ryan Lester

Account Manager Simon Ma



Patricia Salib

Reggie Lanuza



Alan A Vernon

Luis Varesis

Art director


Nicolรกs Tallarico

Inspire gay men and lesbians to live life


to the fullest. Expand the gay and lesbian

Gordon Bowness, Paul Gallant, Michael

community by valuing diversity and

Pihach, Krishna Rau

individual choice. Celebrate Toronto. Provide


readers with compelling news, information

David Bateman, Mary Dickie, Derek Dotto,

and entertainment.

Alice Lawlor, Pamela Meredith, Adam Segal,


Andrea Zanin

416-800-4449 ext 100



Tristan McFarland

416-800-4449 ext 201

ON the cover


Photography by Lindsey Byrnes

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

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issue 38

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


sex is easy to find

love isn’t.





World Pride 2014


ON the Fringes Nine plays that tackle everything from living and loving to loss


angels in america The play's commentary on global politics, migration, sexual identity and religious fervor may have even more relevance today


tegan and sara Indie folk rockers come closer to a shinier sound


World's largest LGBT archive turns 40


Pedalling for PWA


Philadelphia Freedom?

Will Pride Toronto set the example for future Prides?


WHen the affair Ends: TO tell or not to tell


July events calendar and listings


From Guvernment to GOurmet


Pride entertainment and map Updates

23 Awed at the AGO 31

the sex geek sAYS SNIFF AWAY

34 Caught in the Act Photos

04 05.INTO.MastContents.indd 5

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toronto talk exchange VIEW FINDER → And the world just keeps on turning On May 29 at Osgoode Hall, the Law Society of Upper Canada handed out awards to 10 lawyers for their tireless advocacy work. Recipient Martha A. McCarthy (pictured right) received a medal for being a leader in advocating for equal family law rights for same-sex couples. Her Charter and equality work have put Canada on the map. “I’m an accidental activist,” says McCarthy. “I was a first year lawyer when M and H started, so no one could have ever predicted it would have had the impact that it did in the courts nine years later.” Early in her career, she took on a client who would eventually become the M. of M. v. H. (1999), the Supreme Court of Canada case that resulted in amendments to include same-sex couples as spouses in federal and provincial legislation. In 2000, she began the landmark equal marriage case, Halpern v. Canada (2002), which resulted in the first Canadian decision

In their own words Scott Kettles By michael pihach

recognizing same-sex marriage, which became effective in Ontario in June 2003. Ms. McCarthy also intervened on behalf of lesbian families in A. A. v. B.B., a case which achieved legal recognition for a three-parent family. Halpern v Canada was the first court decision in the world calling, in the name of human rights, for full and equal marriage for same-sex couples. And now 10 years after that decision that made it possible for members of the LGBT community to marry, says McCarthy, “The sky hasn’t fallen and heterosexuality still remains remarkably popular. The world kept spinning after gays and lesbians could get married.” Among her other accolades during her more than 20 years in practice, McCarthy has received the Canadian Bar Association Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference Hero Award (1999), the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in Family Law (2007) and the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto Hope and Freedom Award (2010).

→ “We recently had our first wedding at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. Two women who not only felt accepted, but celebrated.”

“It started as a single filing cabinet in an office. Now it’s in a house,” says Scott Kettles, general manager of the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA), on the humble beginnings of the world’s largest community queer archive. Founded in 1973 by members of the now-defunct Body Politic newspaper, the CLGA is a research facility and gallery space with a massive collection of donated queer newspapers, photos, multimedia, periodicals and artifacts, from queer buttons to board games. As it celebrates its 40th anniversary, the archives shows no sign of slowing down. “We’ve passed the 9,000 mark in magazines and newsletters,” says Kettles, crediting an influx of newsletters donated by transgender groups in recent years. Canada’s progress in same-sex equality hasn’t waned people’s interest in queer history either. Research requests from academics, artists and history buffs increase annually, says Kettles. But running the largest community LGBT archive isn’t easy. The facility, which does not receive any government funding, stays afloat thanks to loyal donors and some 100 volunteers. “Our operating budget is usually in the $175,000 range, which is very low,” says Kettles, the only paid staff member. It’s one main reason why the archives hasn’t gone digital. “My guess is that it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And that’s in administrative costs, staffing and preserving it properly,” he says. There’s also the issue of space. The CLGA’s collection is divided between a three-story house at 34 Isabella Street and a storage space at 65 Wellesley Street East, with a soon-to-expire lease that costs around $40,000 annually. “We’re out of room,” says Kettles.


Will the archives eventually have to turn away donated materials? “We haven’t had to do that yet,” he says. But he adds it could happen. “Half my office is full of tubs of material that haven’t been catalogued yet. “Ten years from now I’d like the archives to be financially viable so that our records are available to everyone. We have so many treasures for people to discover.”

The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives is located at 34 Isabella Street. Its latest exhibit, Gay Premises: Radical Voices in The Archives, 1973-1983, a collection of works from The Body Politic, runs until Mon, Sept 9.

July 2013

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toronto talk exchange Sound off wheels of life by michael pihach → This month, more than 370 cyclists and 130 crew members in the Friends For Life Bike Rally will embark on

a six-day, 660 km adventure from Toronto to Montreal in support of the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (PWA). The fundraiser, now in its 15th year, accounts for 40 per cent of the PWA’s operating budget and, to date, has raised more than $11 million in accessible services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

“Without it, the PWA in its present form would not exist,” says Robert Tomas, Director of Communications at the PWA. “The community spirit generated during the rally is what keeps people coming back. The physical challenge, overcoming odds. People never forget it.” We caught up with three riders in this year’s rally to ask why they got involved.

David Wood, 74 Years doing the ride: 5

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, 45 Years doing the ride: 2

Gaelan Love, 26 Years doing the ride: first time

“I started the ride in response to having a quadruple heart bypass. I was in my hospital room, moaning to my husband about how I always wanted to do the rally but now I couldn’t. Then my surgeon said it would be the best thing for my heart. So I spent two years getting fit and starting training…. When you get older, you have a choice: you can hide in the back corner of a bar and say, ‘I’m not cute and nobody loves me,’ or you can make a conscious decision to start working in the community.”

“People often say, ‘Oh, it’s so great that you care this much about the gay community,’ and I laugh because it’s not just about gay people with AIDS. It’s people with AIDS. As a mom of three daughters, I feel it’s an issue that affects everybody. About half of new infections are in women. If one of my daughters got sick, the PWA would be there to help her. We need to stop thinking it’s just one community’s problem.”

“One of the biggest issues in our community is the HIV stigma. It bothers me. As a young gay man living in Toronto, I witness it all the time. It’s almost as if by talking about HIV/AIDS, people automatically assume you have it, which is ridiculous. I’m riding not only to help those living with the disease, but to also start a respectful dialogue in my social circle without judgment or tension. I want to set an example.”

The Friends For Life Bike Rally runs from July 28th to August 2nd. To donate to the rally, go to

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

t r avel

For queen(s) & county → A bewitching, art-filled journey to Philadelphia, the birthplace of the American constitution Story Gordon Bowness


oggles. Any time a Canadian travels to the birthplace of the American constitution the mind boggles. Ideas,

incongruities and delights come at you from all sides. Philadelphia and neighbouring Bucks County is contested territory— the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War—littered with bodies, with ghosts, with untold stories and overreaching mythologies. This part of the continent presents a grand, bewitching mystery. And, as with most mystery stories, it’s best to follow the money (doubly so since Philadelphia is home to the first mint and the first bank in the US). Downtown Philadelphia is gorgeous, easily walkable, packed with fascinating historical sites, great architecture and public art,


cool restaurants, bars and shops. Wandering around, it’s impossible not to trip over America’s many historical ironies. One resonant example sprang to life in 2002 during the construction of a new museum to house the Liberty Bell, part of an ambitious remodelling of Independence Mall. A historian noted in an article that the museum would pave over the foundations of the President’s House, George Washington’s residence. When Philadelphia was the first capital of the United States, in fact, the slave quarters were right beside the museum’s front door. Though limited, Pennsylvania had the first abolitionist laws in the US. Washington got around them by periodically rotating his slaves out of state (residents from out of state had to free their slaves after six months).

For five years, controversy raged over how to tell the story of freedom denied in the cradle of American liberty until, finally, the parks service agreed to activists’ demands to incorporate a display on the President’s House and its connection to slavery as part of the Liberty Bell Center. The distance between cant and truth, between national mythologies and lived experience is rich terrain for artists, especially those outside mainstream traditions. I can’t think of a better example than the recent exhibit of outsider art, Great and Mighty Things, at the gigantic Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). A few of the dozen artists in the show have gained critical acclaim —usually posthumously—like Bill Traylor, born a slave and living on the streets in Montgomery, Alabama, when he suddenly

July 2013

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predeceased his mother, he left her his house; when she died, she left the house to Locher. The house is now the Demuth Museum). Suffering from diabetes, Demuth died relatively young, at the age of 52. Not only did Albert Barnes collect Demuth, but Barnes used his connections to help the artist get a then-revolutionary new treatment, making Demuth one of the first Americans to use insulin. There’s a story of how Demuth once painted on a friend’s barn a coat of arms depicting Lancaster’s neighours: the delightfully-named towns of Birdin-the Hand, Fertility and Intercourse... an appropriate point to mention that Barnes made his fortune by inventing Argyrol, used to treat gonorrhea. Also on the coat of arms was a unicorn depicting Bucks County—a perfect symbol for the gay-friendly Bucks County town of New Hope. Located on the forested banks of the Delaware River 40 miles north of Philadelphia, New Hope is a pretty jumble of twisting lanes, Georgian and Victorian buildings and narrow 19th-century canals. Hard-hit by floods in recent years, New Hope is staging a comeback as people invest in the community in different ways. The town has been an artist colony for years; many famous New Yorkers and Philadelphians had summer homes here, including Moss Hart,

started making art in his 80s: simple, flat, beautifully-observed, very contemporarylooking illustrations. Slavery, poverty, disease, mental illness and discrimination stalk the artists here and yet their works bristle with vitality and hope. Of all the harrowing biographies one still haunts, that of Ellis Ruley, a self-taught African-American painter who married a white woman and bought a house in a white neighbourhood in Norwich, Connecticut. In 1959, he and his son-in-law were found dead. Two weeks later, his house, with most of his art, was burned to the ground; no charges were ever laid. Ruley’s sunny images stand in stark contrast to the dark forces that tried to erase everything he stood for. More light shines on hidden, over-looked histories at the Barnes Foundation, the huge collection of impressionist, post-impressionist and modern art that relocated last year to Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Amassed by physician, chemist and businessman Albert Barnes, the collection is worth anywhere up to $30 billion. Barnes is rightfully celebrated for his idiosyncratic tastes and discerning eye; he snapped up many works at bargain-basement prices during the Depression. But how discriminating is it to buy 181 works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir? I’m not so big on the Renoirs. To me, save a

few exceptions, they kind of blurred into the beige burlap-covered walls at the Barnes. But out of that blandness jumped eye-popping works by Van Gogh, Modigliani and Picasso (the latter’s “Two Figures” is wonderfully homoerotic). And tucked away in the corner of many rooms was a delightful discovery: fanciful watercolours by gay Pennsylvaniaborn artist Charles Demuth. Demuth is most famous for his midcareer painting from 1928, “I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold”, an abstract poster-like exploration of a William Carlos Williams poem. But early and late in his career, Demuth revelled in the human figure—and flowers—creating loose and charming paintings. Around 10 of the 44 Demuths in the Barnes collection are on display. I especially love his cheeky “The Ladies Will Pardon My Mouth’s Being Full” from 1918. Demuth was born in 1883 in Lancaster (just west of Philadelphia), and he would return there to live and paint. Trained in Philadelphia, Demuth travelled to Paris and New York, befriending such artistic luminaries as Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe and Gertrude Stein. He was close friends with fellow gay American artist Marsden Hartley (also with works at the Barnes and PMA), and interior decorator and stage designer Robert Evans Locher. Locher, also from Lancaster, was probably Demuth’s lover (when Demuth

who founded the Bucks County Playhouse in an old mill in 1939. Everyone from Uta Hagen and Liza Minnelli to Kitty Carlisle and Bert Lahr has played here. After closing a couple of years ago, the playhouse was renovated last year and is back offering a full season of productions, including the world premiere of Terrence McNally’s Mothers and Sons starring Tyne Daly. “New Hope is a small town with a big footprint,” says Jed Bernstein, a key player in the Playhouse’s rebirth. “The community is rightfully proud of having a premier performing arts destination in their midst.” The relationship is symbiotic. “It’s a chicken and egg thing: The theatre helps foster a unique, accepting spirit in the town, while the town has to be welcoming if the theatre is to be good,” says Bernstein, who’s just been named president of the Lincoln Center in New York City. “The Playhouse couldn’t survive if the community didn’t see it as their own. Restoring and re-launching it really was a community effort.” As a retreat for eccentrics of all kinds, New Hope has a long history as an LGBT destination. The gay resort The Raven goes back to the ’70s when it was known as La Camp; its piano bar and disco are still going strong. That history prompted NYCbased psychotherapist Daniel Brooks, who has been coming to New Hope for 16 years, to launch a local Pride event. “I realized that the town had lost much of its LGBT identity, especially among

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

the young gay crowd in New York,” says Brooks. “They had no connection to it anymore.” Called New Hope Celebrates, Pride culminates mid-May in a ridiculously cute parade, now in its 10th year. “There was never any opposition but I guess one thing we did was to make sure the whole town, not just the gay folk, felt part of the celebrations. Inclusion has always been the tenor of the town.”

→ philadelphia freedom? (Clockwise from top) At the New Hope’s Pride celebration, onlookers included kids sitting on curbs, clapping and waving affectionately. You’d never guess you were in a town of 2,500 in a state that still hasn’t legalized same-sex marriage; The Barnes; Charles Demuth’s 1920 painting “In Vaudeville: Acrobatic Male Dancer with Top Hat”.

veyor had drawn out the purchase, one

and LGBT community groups, some local busi-

of the greatest land swindles in US his-

ness promotions and the area’s rescue vehicles.

tory was on the books. They acquired 1.2

The crowd, with kids sitting on the curbs, clapped

million acres north of New Hope, depriv-

and waved affectionately. You’d never guess you

ing the Lenape of their ancestral home.

were in a town of 2,500 in a state that still hasn’t

The ensuing migrations and hostili-

legalized same-sex marriage. For many here, the

ties resulted in there being virtually no Lenapes left in Pennsylvania (they’re mainly in Oklahoma, with three communities in Ontario). Another erasure, another silence where the Constitution does not speak. As always in this great confounding country, it’s the American people, ultimately, who have the last word, who step forward to fill the historical void. On the LGBT front at least, it’s obvious that the idea of equality has crossed the Delaware; it’s only a matter of time. A parting image from small-town Pennsylvania: During the Pride parade, a white toddler rushes up to a black drag performer. They are both laughing and smiling. The little girl hands the queen a dollar bill on which, of course, is printed Washington’s face. New hope.

Constitution’s promise of equality is a promise deferred. William Penn, a Quaker, founded the colony of Pennsylvania on the basis of religious tolerance and respect for all peoples (there’s a reason he named Philadelphia the city of brotherly love). Just outside of New Hope, between the town and Washington Crossing State Park (where Washington crossed the Delaware in one of his major victories of the Revolutionary War), is a sign marking Penn’s first Walking Purchase in 1682. Penn bought a parcel of land from the local Lenape tribe, the size determined by the distance a man could walk in a day and half, about 8,000 acres. It’s considered one of Penn’s many upright dealings with the Lenape. His sons, however, lacked such scruples. In 1737, they too claimed a Walking Purchase, but they secretly hired three of the fastest runners they

Gordon Bowness

as far as expected. Once a corrupt sur-

queens, a few vintage cars, a number of church

The Barnes Foundation

could find who travelled nearly twice

by two marching bands, three horses, six drag

Gordon Bowness

On my trip during Pride I saw a Harley Davidson contingent roar down Main Street, followed

The details → PHILADELPHIA Philadelphia Museum of Art

Massive. Spend the day and take a respite in the fancy Granite Hill resto. $20.

side tables facing Rittenhouse Square; allegedly, the maitre d’ will audition your outfit.



Marsha Brown

Across the bridge in New Jersey is a beautiful colonial town built on a grid (versus New Hope’s higgledypiggledy). Filled with great antique shops.

Superior steak house with Creole flare located in a high-vaulted old church.

The Gaybourhood The Barnes Foundation

A must (but forget the Renoirs). Timed tickets. $18-$45. El Vez

Fun place for Mexican food and margaritas, right in the heart of the gay village. Parc Bistro

The place for brunch and people viewing. Dress smart if you want the coveted street-

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Very pretty and centrally located. Philadelphia has a long activist tradition that predates Stonewall. The venerable Philadelphia Gay News regularly runs more than 60 pages. “The gay village is going strong,” says Bruce Yelk, director of public relations, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp, my host on the trip and producer of Mr Gay Philadelphia, part of Philly’s Pride festivities in early June.

Martine’s River House Restaurant

Delicious American cuisine with primo riverfront location. Nakashima Studio

Peerless furniture-maker George Nakashima was interned during World War II until a New Hopebased architect got him released and brought him to town. Nakashima died in 1990 but his studio is still running in the hills overlooking New Hope.

Driving around

Bucks County is famous for its covered bridges and fall foliage. Other pretty towns nearby include Doylestown and Princeton.


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by Derek Dotto

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It’s time for the men of Jack’d to let those muscles they’ve been working on all winter breathe. Every Gym Bunny knows less is always more.


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relationship advice

— with Adam Segal


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→ “I screwed up. I’ve been with my partner for just over four years and we’ve built a great relationship together. I recently ended a brief affair with a co-worker that lasted about three months. Looking back, I know that the affair was really just a way for me to relieve an enormous amount of stress (mostly to do with my caregiver role as my mother was dying). I felt a strong lust for my colleague, but never love. I ended the affair two months ago and am relieved to say that it is completely over. I’m left only with feelings of intense guilt and wonder if the only way to move forward is to tell my partner. Is the pain this will definitely cause worth the value of my full honesty?” Ian

You have asked a timeless and confounding question: spill the beans to save your conscience or zip your lips to spare your partner’s feelings? Should you decide to spill, your guy might be very upset about your disclosure, but he also might respect your integrity by fessing up. Working through the pain of this event could lead to a stronger bond between you two. Oh... and truth be told, it could also cause your relationship to implode. If you keep your trap shut, your guilt might go into overdrive and wreak its own havoc. Herein lies the dilemma. Ultimately, it is your call as to which way to go. As you make up your mind, here are some things to consider. Extracurricular affairs, if we take an honest look at them, can reveal lots of information about the levels of happiness in our relationship—and life in general. In this situation, the stress you felt as a caregiver seems to have propelled your need to escape. If you truly feel the affair was entirely a product of circumstance and it has not made you question your allegiance to your partner, then withholding this information might make more sense. If, however, some significant dissatisfaction in your relationship could have spurred your

liaison, it will be important to work toward improving the relationship to ensure your overall level of contentment improves. I support you fully in your investment in honesty. Sometimes honesty is unnecessarily destructive, though, and it’s important to contemplate what you value more: full honesty or minimizing hurt of others. What is definitely your responsibility is to consider the risks of repeating this mistake and the measures you can take to thwart that from happening. While the death of a parent, and all the caretaking that comes with such a major life shift, is profoundly stressful, it is unlikely to be the last time you’ll ever face a significant period of difficulty. You will have to learn new ways of caring for your stress in ways that don’t compromise you or your relationship. A couple of other factors to note: If you think you have put your partner at risk for contracting an STI or that he is likely to soon discover the tryst on his own, then revealing the affair is that much more imperative.

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

July 2013

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Riots, death threats and holy wars—oh my! →

Pride Toronto is adamant about not repeating other WorldPride fiascos Story Krishna Rau




repeatedly disrupted by protests,

bring a broader international audi-

that the bar has been set


rioting, death threats and calls for

ence there. There was no single per-

Urwen Jong, who became com-

pretty low for WorldPride

a “holy war.” The parade did even-

son like a paid staffer to oversee all

munications director in London in

2014 in Toronto. In fact, given that

tually take place without casualties,

aspects of the event.”

April, 2012, says much of the prob-

the previous three WorldPrides—in

although legislation was introduced

Even so, Alvarez says he was sur-

lem stemmed from a lack of money.

Rome, Jerusalem and, last July, in

soon after to ban gay pride parades

prised that the events that should

Various levels of British government

London—were marked by riots, reli-

from Jerusalem. Israel’s High Court

distinguish a WorldPride—like a

refused to bail out the event at the

gious protests, government oppo-

eventually denied such moves.

focus on human rights and the live

last minute, in part because London



was hosting the Olympics soon

exactly by the time on the permit.”

sition, cancellations and extremely

Alvarez, who was in London with

poor attendance, the co-chair of

a Pride Toronto delegation, says

entertainment showcase only ran

after. “Funding is tough,” writes

Pride Toronto sees next year’s event

things were obviously wrong from

from two to six pm. Their human

Jong in an email. “To put on a Pride

as pretty much a clean slate.

his arrival. “The very first day, we

rights conference was attended

of that magnitude at the most basic

“Looking at it in a positive way, we

wanted to get local cell phones. We

by only about 30 or 40 people. We

costs over £300k. Many organiza-

have the opportunity to really be the

went a block from Trafalgar Square,

expect three to 400 at ours. Theirs

tions pledge funds, but don’t nec-

first WorldPride to set the bench-

where the main events were held,

was one day, ours will be three.”

essarily deliver the cash until after

mark for future Prides,” says Alvarez.

and the vendor, who was gay,

Rieff agrees that the showcase

the event. No Pride organization has

“It was definitely disappointing that

hadn’t heard about it. It was terrible.

events fell through due to miscom-

£300k sitting in its bank account and

the potential of WorldPride was not

Where they really, really fell down



the Mayor’s Office required last year

fulfilled in London.”

was in the marketing. They weren’t

“The International Human Rights

that the funds were in place to pay

But even with its many problems,

even able to tell the residents of

conference at the start of the event

all suppliers. At deadline, there was

London still represented a quantum

London that this was happening.

was very British-centric. The top-

still not enough cash in the bank

leap forward.

And they didn’t have any interna-

ics and presenters were geared

account and therefore the event had

The first WorldPride, in Rome in

tional attendance.

2000, was marked by vociferous

“They didn’t have any full-time

opposition from the Vatican, which

staff. About a year before the event,

led to the city initially withdraw-

there was a complete turnover.

ing all financial support. Although

Even in the last week, the chair of

most of that funding was restored,

the board was replaced. Trying to

the city refused to have its logo on

get any information about what was

any official material. The event cul-

happening where was impossible.”

minated in a march that organizers say drew 250,000 people.







"One of the priorities is definitely about creating attention internationally. Our marketing campaign is already underway in San Francisco, New York, Europe and Australia."—Franciso Alvarez,

co-chair of Pride Toronto


WorldPride committee of InterPride,

towards a British audience and did



not quite take into consideration the

Toronto’s Pride has its own fund-

in 2006, following a 2005 Pride

WorldPride, doesn’t downplay the

broad-based audience that would be

ing-related controversies. The pres-

march where a religious protes-



ence of the group Queers Against

tor stabbed three participants. The

mittee that bid for the event was

August, 2006 march was cancelled

not able to continue on to actu-



ple of marches has led to heated

due to the Israel-Lebanon war,

ally produce the WorldPride event

changes to the scope and size of the

debate, with several city councillors

although a week of conferences

in London,” he writes in an email.

events. There was the abrupt ending

calling for the city to de-fund Pride.

and cultural events did take place.

“The new board was not quite up

of the headlining act due to a police

But with both Pride’s dispute reso-

The march was rescheduled for

to the task of producing the event.

threat to fine everyone if the festi-

lution board and the city’s own staff

November 10, and the lead-up was

Minimal advertisement was done to

val did not end and was cleaned up

ruling that QuAIA does not violate

Jerusalem WorldPride took place


organization organizing


“The loss of permits at the last caused


to be scaled down.”

Israeli Apartheid in the last cou-

13 pride.indd 13


19/06/2013 1:59:08 PM


hate speech laws, city council voted

→ quantum leap By learning from the

on June 13 to guarantee this year’s

fiascos that plagued (clockwise from top), London, Rome and Jerusalem, Pride Toronto aims to set the bar higher for WorldPride 2014 and future festivals.

Pride $140,000 in direct funding and more in services like police, traffic control and clean-up. However, some councillors have threatened to cut funding for 2014 if QuAIA

pounded out of that. And I hope

marches this year. And as he has in

that in the wake of a scaled-down

past years, Mayor Rob Ford says he

WorldPride and the embarrass-

plans to skip all Pride events.

ment the London community felt,

Alvarez hopes that various levels

the message of Pride rings through

of government will increase fund-

and the community bands together

ing for WorldPride, an event he

to ensure that its future is secured.”

estimates will cost up to $1.5 mil-

Alvarez says Toronto will ensure

lion more than this year’s Pride, but

London’s mistakes are not repeated,

could see 2012’s estimated atten-

especially when it comes to out-

dance of 1.22 million almost double.

reach to both the international and

“Our biggest opportunity is in the

Toronto gay communities. “One

corporate sector. We need to reach

of the priorities is definitely about

those sponsorship goals.”

creating attention internationally.

Jong, however, says that reliance

Our marketing campaign is already

on sponsorships, rather than com-

underway, in San Francisco, New

munity involvement, was one of

York, Europe, Australia. We’re going

the problems that befell London. “I

to as many Prides as possible this

believe the community can some-


times be its own worst enemy.

“In Toronto, we’re getting big cul-

People take Pride for granted. Many

tural institutions to do events all

feel a sense of entitlement, but for-

across the city. We really want big

get the reason why Pride exists and

events for the full 10 days. We don’t

how it exists to start with. It should

typically advertise within Toronto,

be a community event for the com-

but with these events, we will be. I

munity. It’s a minority standing up

think people who haven’t come to

and taking their place at the table.

Pride in a while will want to come.”

Not an event that the government

Rieff offers one final bit of advice if

puts on for the community. And not

something goes wrong: “Admit mis-

an event where the community sits

takes might have been made and

back and waits for it to happen.

don’t be afraid to ask for help before

“For me, this is the root as to what went wrong. And the rest com14

the shit hits the fan, not only after it is flying everywhere.”

July 2013

13 pride.indd 14

19/06/2013 1:59:21 PM

Call Today 416-792-5711

15.INTO.Adpage.indd 33

19/06/2013 1:59:58 PM





Golden Girls TV Trivia At the Gladstone

Patrick Lightheart’s Fire Island opens at Akasha Art Projects

13 Sexy firefighters At Guvernment

14 10x10 Photography project Closes at The Gladstone

Art & Photography PATRICK LIGHTHEART In his exhibition titled Fire Island, Patrick Lightheart’s kitsch sensibility captures the sub-culturally iconic island’s intrinsic vibrancy and colourful personas through his mix of photography, digital artistry and vivid colours. Reception. 7pm-9pm. Thu. July 4. To July 20. Akasha Art Projects. 511 Church St, Suite 200. 647-348-0104. 10X10 photography project Curated by James Fowler, the third annual photography exhibition celebrates queers in the arts by 10 queer photographers and features works by Belle Ancell, Lise Beaudry, Bruno Billio, Paul Dymond, Lynne Fox, Stev’nn Hall, R. Jeanette Martin, Anthony Manieri, Adam Moco and Walter Segers. To Sun, July 14. A panel discussion moderated by writer and art critic Steph Rogerson closes the exhibit. Free. 2 p.m. July 14. Gladstone

16 17 18 July.calendar .indd 16

Hotel. 1214 Queen St W. 416-531-4635. GARDINER MUSEUM In Life, artist Kathy Venter explores the nude female form in her terra cotta, life-size figurative sculptures that aim to introduce dialogues with time, femininity and community. Her art bridges her experience of living under apartheid in South Africa with the freedom she found in Canada. The sculptures’ surface treatment is inspired by the Tanagra figures of the Mycenaean period, encrusted and worn from centuries of burial. $6-$12 (Free for members and children). 10am-6 pm. Mon-Thu. 10am-9pm. Fri. 10am-5pm. Sat-Sun. To Sun, Sep 15. Gardiner Museum. 111 Queen’s Park. 416-586-8080. THAT’S SO GAY: SAY IT TO MY FACE Originally a flirty protest reclaiming an insult in the face of homophobia, this exhibit scratches beyond the surface of



Almodovar’s I’m So Excited Opens in theatres

Lucas Brooks VGL 5’4” Top At The Fringe



Anything Goes Opens at the Princess of Wales Theatre

Taking Shakespeare Opens at Stratford with acting legend Martha Henry and Luke Humphrey

gay to explore themes around sexuality, gender and identity. Curated by Elisha Lim, this year’s exhibit crosses the line of racial and cisgendered segregation of both the traditional and queer art canons. Much of the work has been curated internationally, but it also mines local history with meditated research into Canadian histories of sex work, slavery and genocide. Participants include Jérôme Havre, Textaqueen, Adee Roberson, Meera Sethi , Sybil Lamb, Zanette Singh, Syrus Marcus Ware, Michèle Pearson Clarke, Nadijah Robinson, Sarah Creagen, Carla Molina Holmes, Genesis Tremaine, Ange Loft, Kiley May Longboat, Sharlene Bamboat and Alexis Mitchell. 12-5pm. Daily. To Sun, July 28. The Gladstone Hotel. 1214 Queen Street W. 416-531-4635. FIREFIGHTER CALENDAR The benefit for Princess Margaret includes a sexy showcase by Toronto Firefighter

calendar models. More than $1 million has been raised since 1998 through The Fire Fighters’ Cancer Research Fund. $25/$35 at the door. 7pm. Sat, July 13. Guvernment. 132 Queen’s Quay E.

Film CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL Sixty-two films in this 11-day showcase of new Italian cinema from around the world and Canada, including Outing: Accidental Fiancés, a comedy about two childhood friends from Puglia who pretend to be a gay couple in order to qualify for a loan so they can open their own fashion house. ($12. 7pm. Thu, June 27. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. 7:30pm. Fri. June 28. AMC. 30 Interchange Way). To Sat, July 6. 416-599-8433. I’M SO EXCITEd Reportedly one of Pedro Almodovar’s campiest films ever,

19/06/2013 2:00:53 PM

listings & events

our guide to your month

Kid and John Caffery. $7. 9:30pm. Fri, June 28. El Mocambo. 464 Spadina Ave.

Classical & Jazz Theatre 20 Part of a cabaret series, Tamara Bernier Evans, Dan Chameroy and Trish Lindström host a tribute to musical theatre composers with accompanist Richard Evans. $20. 7pm. Sun, July 28. Jazz Bistro. 251 Victoria St.

Rock & Pop BENNY BENASSI & CAZZETTE Rip up Kool Haus for Canada Day with Mark Oliver and Manzone and Strong. $30. 10pm. Sun, June 30.

World Music


AFROFESt A celebration of African music, heritage and culture. The two-day festival features performances by reggae artist Alpha Blondy (Ivory Coast), Culture Force (Nigeria), Njacko Backo and Kalimba Kalimba (Cameroon), Waleed Kush (Sudan), Donne Roberts (Madagascar), Kae Sun (Ghana), Ijo Vudu (Nigeria), Jean Assamoah (Ivory Coast), and Muhtadi and the World Drummers. Free. Sat, July 6-7. Woodbine Park. Lakeshore Boulevard E at Coxwell Ave.

Leisure & Pleasure

Stop Kiss

makes its Toronto premiere at The Fringe

TV TRIVIA NIGHT: GOLDEN GIRLS EDITION Come celebrate the four sassiest seniors on television with a trivia night dedicated to the Golden Girls! Come alone or bring a team of up to six people and prepare for a night of trivia questions, including audio clues, video montages and more. Winners will be awarded prizes. Special treats to people who dress up. Free. 7pm. Tue, July 2. Melody Bar. Gladstone Hotel. 1214 Queen St W.


I’m So Excited takes place on a plane with a technical failure that puts the life of all on board at risk. The high camp dramedy replete with three gay stewards (quel surprise!) gets a bit complicated as passengers and crew pass the time making sensational confessions to help them forget that they face probable death. Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas make cameo appearances. Opens Fri, July 5. Check local listings for theatres and showtimes

Pride Party Circuit TREE HOUSE PARTY The all-afternoon dance soirée features sounds by a roster of international DJs, including Chus and Ceballos (Madrid), Abel (Miami) and Isaac Escalante (Mexico City). Plus local faves Nick Bertossi, and Jeremy Khamkeo and Chez. Proceeds from the bar and sponsorship will benefit

16 17 18 July.calendar .indd 17

The 519 Community Centre. Free. 1pm-4pm. Sun, Jun 30. Ryerson Quad. 43 Gerrard St. PRISM FESTIVAl The summer party circuit begins and ends with this annual event now in its 10th year. College ($20. 10pm-4am. Thu, Jul 27. Fly Nightclub. 8 Gloucester St), Bootcamp ($55. 10pm-6am. Fri, Jul 28. Guvernment. 132 Queen’s Quay E), Aqua with Carmen Electra ($35, includes ferry. Noon-8pm. Sat, June 29. Olympic Island), Matinee Starship ($60. 10pm-7am. Sat, June 29, KoolHaus. 132 Queen’s Quay E) and Revival ($85. 10pm-8am. Sun, June 30, Guvernment). $199 all-access weekend pass. Redeem tickets/ wristbands at the Welcome Centre at the Pantages Skyline Hotel. 200 Victoria St. MIGHTY REAl Hosted by Nina Arsenault and Lexi Sanfino with performances by Lucas Silveira of the Cliks, Morgan Page, Judy Virago and resident DJs The Robotic

BITCH SALAD The queer, mostly female, comedy showcase is back for Pride. Hosted by Andrew Johnston, this year’s line-up includes Dini Dimakos and Sara Hennessey, Emma Hunter, The Cheeto Girls and headliner from New York City Julie Klausner. $25. 8pm. Fri, June 28. Buddies in Bad Times. 12 Alexander St. 416-9758555. SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK DOUBLE BILL For the first time in more than 20 years, Canadian Stage presents two park productions: Macbeth (8pm. Wed, Fri & Sun. To Sun, Sept 1.) and The Taming of the Shrew (8pm. Tue, Thu & Sat. Tue, July 16-Aug 31). For Macbeth, about the temptation of power and the struggle to retain a grasp on humanity, director Ker Wells set out to create a thought-provoking and viscerally thrilling production so audiences will be challenged to empathize with a deeply human, tragic villain. For The Taming of the Shrew, which follows the romantic entanglements of two sisters, director Ted Witzel takes the play to a contemporary setting where Eurotrash meets West Hollywood to highlight the

enduring relevance of the play’s provocative gender politics. PWYC, $20 suggested donation. High Park Amphitheatre. 1873 Bloor St W. 416-368-3110. AVENUE Q Winner of the Tony for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, Avenue Q addresses and satirizes the issues and anxieties associated with entering adulthood. $49-$60. 2pm, 4pm & 8pm. To Sun, Oct 6. Lower Ossington Theatre. 100A Ossington Ave. 11am-5pm. Mon-Fri. 416-915-6747. ANYTHING GOES Winner of the 2011 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, the Roundabout Theatre Company’s production about lovers, liars and clowns on a transatlantic cruise sails direct from Broadway under the direction of Kathleen Marshall, who won the 2011 Tony for Best Choreography. Nostalgic tunes include “You’re the Top,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” and “It’s De-Lovely.” $35-$130. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Wed, Sat & Sun. Wed, July 17-Aug 18. Princess of Wales Theatre. 300 King St W. 416-872-1212. SHAW SEASON This year’s annual theatre festival includes such stage classics as Arcadia (Sat, Jul 27-Sep 7. Studio Theatre, 10 Queen’s Parade), Guys and Dolls (To Sun, Nov 3. Festival Theatre, 10 Queen’s Parade), Enchanted April (Sat, Jul 13-Oct 26. Festival Theatre), Faith Healer (Fri, Jul 12-Oct 6. Royal George Theatre, 85 Queen St), Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan (to Sat, Oct 19. Festival Theatre), The Light In The Piazza (Fri, Jul 26-Oct 13. Court House Theatre, 26 Queen St), Major Barbara (to Sat, Oct 19. Royal George), Our Betters (to Sun, Oct 27. Royal George), and Peace in Our Time: A Comedy by John Murrell (to Sat, Oct 12. Court House). $35-$110, stu/srs mats $24-$55. 2pm & 8pm. Tue-Sun. 1-800-511-7429. shawfest. com STRATFORD Taking Shakespeare, by John Murrell and directed by Diana Leblanc, is about an aging and disenchanted professor who agrees to tutor the university president’s son who is floundering in his freshman English course and in his life. A chasm of difference lies between teacher and student, yet as they explore Othello together, both draw new strength from Shakespeare’s extraordinary insights. Tue, July 30-Sep 22. Studio Theatre. 34 George Street E. Stratford. 1-800-567-1600.

Youth Culture UNITY FESTIVAL This four-day youth festival is a celebration of Unity’s cross-Canada programs, designed to teach positive self-expression through beatboxing, breakdancing, spoken word, poetry and graffiti. Headliners include hip-hop legend Talib Kweli, Rich Kidd and Lazylegz (Free. 1pm-10pm. Sat, July 20. Yonge-Dundas Sq). Plus Rahzel ($15. 6pm-11pm. Thu, July 18. Mod Club, 277 College St), Kid David ($15. 5pm-11pm. Fri, July 19. The Phoenix. 410 Sherbourne St), and Queen Godis ($5. 2pm-5pm. Sun, July 21. Daniels Spectrum Theatre, 585 Dundas St E). July 18-21.

19/06/2013 2:01:09 PM

l i s t i ng s & e v e n t s

On the fringes at Fringe → Nine provocative plays that tackle living, loving and loss

in spot the Hogtown Cure Story & photography Paul Gallant → Chris Schroer (left) and Steve Ireson,

the married owners and former nightclub promoters behind The Hogtown Cure, show off their FoodShare arugula, grown on school property by high school students.

One Side of an Ampersand

Stop Kiss An unexpected love story between new female friends, Sara and Callie, which takes a heart-breaking turn when their first kiss is met with an act of homophobic violence, leaving Sara in a coma and Callie to realize her profound love for Sara. Stop Kiss is a modern love story about loving who you want to love and fighting for the life you want. 85 min. Tarragon Mainspace. 30 Bridgman Ave. Fort Isabel In their rural Ontario town, two children find the body of a queer person who was beaten to death. The town flies into a homophobic panic. Eight years later, the kids, both revealed to be gay and closeted, struggle to figure out whether to tell the truth or keep living with their secrets. The queer-themed play, created by a group of largely queer artists, explores how childhood experiences shape who we are as adults. 60 min. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. 16 Ryerson Ave. One Side of an Ampersand Alice and Helen have a casual, non-traditional relationship. But when Helen offers Alice a key to her apartment, Alice revolts, turning their evening into a tumultuous battle. To top it off, ex-flame Will appears to rekindle his relationship with Helen. 45 min. Randolph Theatre. 736 Bathurst St. Spoon Andrew and Charles move into a new Yonge Street apartment where it becomes quite clear that the latter is obsessed with performing the role of the woman in their gay relationship. Andrew, on the other hand, would rather live outside the binary of gender. Directed by Sky Gilbert, Spoon tackles feminist/queer theory and heteronormativity in an apartment above the world’s oldest LGBT bookstore, Glad Day Bookshop. 75min. Glad Day Bookshop, 3rd fl. 598A Yonge St. VGL 5’4” Top Throughout this solo show, one man battles the boxes that gay men are constantly trying to squeeze themselves into in the online dating scene. After repeated rejections based on his physical appearance, he finally breaks free of the system and learns to love himself as he is. 50min. Solo Room. Tarragon Theatre. 30 Bridgman Ave

16 17 18 July.calendar .indd 18

The Effects of Time Travel on Neurotic Homos A meek tween and an unemployed hater learn the dangers that come with hurtling through time and space in a comedy about personal identity or more important things like buying paper towels in bulk, careers, sex in back rooms and flossing. 65min. George Ignatieff Theatre. 15 Devonshire Place. Stealing Sam Jimmy and Sam have been best friends for 25 years. When Sam dies of AIDS, Jimmy steals the cremated remains from the funeral home and takes Sam for one last picnic. As Jimmy reminisces about his life with Sam, we see the loneliness of a gay man getting older, and what it’s like to be HIV-positive in a world that is still afraid. But it’s funny. 55min. Helen Gardiner Phelan. 79A St George St. MSM [men seeking men] This dance theatre piece, starring three-time Dora-nominated performer Louis Laberge-Côté and the live spinning of DJ Scooter, is inspired by actual transcripts of online conversations between men who seek other men. Set inside a world of electronic beats, the piece is a deconstruction of online male personas and desires. 60 min. Randolph Theatre. 736 Bathurst St. Baggage 2 This comedic one-man show is a follow-up to the 2009 Toronto Fringe Patron’s Pick, Baggage: A Non-Musical Romp Through One Catholic Gay Man’s Dating History. Baggage 2 looks at life after Shaun McCarthy’s dating and follows him to the next stage: surviving relationships where “finding a soulmate seems like a side benefit as opposed to the main objective.” 60min. Tarragon Mainspace. 30 Bridgman Ave.

Fringe festival. $10 per show (value packs available). Box office: Noon-10pm. Wed, July 3-14. Honest Ed’s Parking Lot. 581 Bloor St W. 10am-7pm. 416-966-1062 ext. 1.

When Chris Schroer worked at Guvernment, one of his strangest duties was supplying the Jell-O pudding for the lady wrestling entertainment. “One time they just started whipping pudding at each other. Big globs of it got all over the video camera,” says Schroer. In his final years in the sketchy everybody’s-yourbest-friend-if-you-have-drink-tickets world of nightclubs, Schroer was spending most of his nights hiding in the DJ booth, giving instructions through a headset. Schroer’s husband Steve Ireson— who Schroer first met at a job interview for a bar back position at the legendary Industry nightclub—was also tiring of the scene. The promoter got his start hosting highschool dances in his hometown of Hamilton, did time at Go-Go and The Boom Boom Room, and breathed life into 5ive, Industry, Bitchslap! and his own famed It’s a Boy’s Life parties. By the time Ireson got a job at the hot mess that was Peter Gatien’s CiRCA, Ireson found out his gay night had been cancelled when he saw an online flyer. He realized he needed a career change, too. While Schroer studied to be a chef, Ireson interned with George Smitherman when he was the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, and eventually ended up working on Smitherman’s unsuccessful 2010 mayoral campaign. “He babysat drunken idiots for years, which is a lot like babysitting politicians,” says Schroer. The duo hosted

Smitherman’s concession party at Guvernment. While Rob Ford’s victory celebrations offered pizza, Schroer and Ireson provided a Jamie Kennedy menu of “smoked whitefish on a wild rice bellini with a speck of pickled radish compote,” reported the National Post. That gourmet teamwork was a symbol of things to come. Last year, Ireson, 44, and Schroer, 34, decided it was time to make money for themselves for a change. Together. During daylight hours. They toured their newly trendy Dundas West neighbourhood for a location. And in December, with business partner Vanessa Gulletson, opened The Hogtown Cure, a straight-from-thefarm deli and sandwich shop. Not too folksy, not too sleek, it’s a place for coffee and a bagel or grabbing a bag of arugula grown at a local high school. In the course of our chat, Schroer weighed in on an argument over whether Turkish olive oil is better than Greek, tasted an experimental duck sausage the in-house butcher was working on and called out pesto ingredients to staff. “This fits into everything I’ve done, which is giving people a place to enjoy themselves,” says Ireson, which means avoiding the kitchen and all its high-pressure hysterics. “Steve doesn’t like yelling,” says Schroer. “He’s a Libra.” The long hours have made staying out past 10 a rarity. Ireson says he misses the scene—a bit. “I enjoy looking out at the dance floor.” But Schroer is glad to have washed his hands of glitter and Jell-O. “I’d prefer for people to enjoy a real Quebec blue cheese than lines of cocaine,” he laughs. The Hogtown Cure 1484 Dundas St W. 647-725-5550.

19/06/2013 2:29:31 PM

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19/06/2013 2:01:48 PM 3/13/13 11:46 AM


pride update TD Wellesley Stage

Yonge-Dundas Square


Sun, June 30 Pop-Up Party

Don’t forget your sunscreen for this full day of DJs, drag artists, dance and live music from some of our favourite pop sensations and community superstars. From the funky sounds of DJ Boots Boogie and DJ Blackcat, and the urban dance styles of Limitless With Pride (7pm) and the legendary House of Xtravaganza (NYC) to the pop-tacular sounds of homegrown talent Lexi Tellings (8:30pm). Plus Perez Hilton’s fave gal on the scene, My Name is Kay (9pm) and Juno Awardwinner Anjulie (“Brand New B*tch”, “You and I”) (10pm). Billboard charter Mia Martina (“HeartBreaker”, “Burning”) (10:30pm) makes her first Pride Toronto appearance with a set of sensational summer feel-good tracks.

This year the Pride Parade ends at Yonge-Dundas Square where a showcase of Canadian and international talent awaits to celebrate Pride 33, including performances by R&B/reggae star Diana King, Alaska (from RuPaul’s Drag Race), Reverse and Jesse Labelle.

Sun, June 30 Blockorama15: Legacy. Legendary. Love. The longest-running stage at Pride Toronto celebrates Black and African Diasporic communities’ legacies, legends and love with performers from the early days of Blockorama (DJs Nik Red, Blackcat and jojoflores) and some new favourites (Benzito, DJ Pleasure, MC Jazz). Drag legend Michelle Ross returns to host a breathtaking Divas celebration. Plus the legendary House of Xtravaganza (NYC) who are celebrating their 30th anniversary in the ball scene. Plus appearances by Diana King (6pm) and a full headline show by R&B superstars En Vogue (8:30pm).

Currently shaking dance-floors all over with her single Bigger Dick, Carmen Electra (10pm) joins in the celebration plus Australia’s fiercest feline Kitty Glitter (11pm) throws down a special Superkiki set.

OLG Central Stage Fri, June 28 DJ Central

Bud Light South Stage Fri, June 28 Kick OUT the Jams

Juno Award nominee MC Flipside (9pm) and international DJ/producer Sydney Blu (11pm) make a triumphant return to the festival in this three-day showcase of divas, DJs and dancers, with local nightclub impresario Baby Joel, and queer community superstar Cory Activate.

Paul Kane Parkette Sat, June 29

This showcase features new music from Light Fires (8pm), the legendary Carole Pope, who brings “Music for Lesbians” (9pm), the androgynous, electro-pop styling of the Diamond Rings (10pm) and the Cliks (11pm) with new music from their album Black Tie Elevator. Plus DJ Triple-X, and #entertainment featuring Betti Forde and Dislexia, and some of Toronto’s best drag talents.

Entertainment in this substance-free zone includes the Queer Asian Youth Cabaret (5pm), Loveshot (7:30pm), and singer-songwriter Molly Thomason (8:30pm) who makes her first Pride appearance singing her current single Never Felt a Thing.

Sat, June 29 Dyke Day Now in its 9th year, Dyke Day has a full-on, jam-packed lesbilicious live music lineup, featuring new music from Kate Reid (5pm), Amanda Rheaume (6pm) and a special headline performance by Melissa Ferrick (7pm). Hosted by Deb Pearce.

En Vogue

20 21.Pride Calendar.indd 20


Kay Boutilier

19/06/2013 2:02:19 PM

listings & events

the t cut to



J al� CM n o s r e l, p

melissa ferrick |


20 21.Pride Calendar.indd 21

19/06/2013 2:03:00 PM


Loud & Proud

I think our manager is a smart man who likes a group rate. All the girls that don’t win Drag Race are forced to prostitute and throw mouth parties in their hotels.

→ As glamorous as they look on stage, for some Pride acts it’s all about hard work—and lots of tucking. by Michael Pihach

Producer Gavin Bradley taught me a lot about music and songwriting. One night Gavin took me to The Barn. This was a fun f***ing dance party. It was its own little world outside of anything I’ve ever tasted, seen or experienced. Your only responsibility was to be fabulous. It helped shaped me.


on how a Toronto gay club saved her from Oakville

Willam performs on Fri., June 28th at MOJO Lounge (1305 Dundas St. W.) Doors open at

Willam Belli on why more and more Drag Race alumni are coming to Toronto Pride.

Anjulie performs on Sat., June 30 on the TD Wellesley Stage (Wellesley/Yonge). 10pm. No cover.

Dressing like a lady is a lot of work and really expensive. And the whole tucking thing is a challenge. Not gonna lie. I haven’t figured out a way to do it comfortably. Light Fires performs on Fri., June 28 on the Bud Light South Stage (Church/Carlton).

Gentlemen Reg on dressing in drag

8pm. No cover.

10pm. $15 in adv., $25 at door.

Jinkx Monsoon on winning RuPaul’s Drag Race season five

You know when you get kicked in the stomach and you can’t breathe for a second? [RuPaul] said my name and I had this moment of not remembering what my name was. Once it hit me, I was ecstatic. It’s a lot of hard work, and it’s not just the challenges. We had to wake up at 6am everyday [and] getting ready in drag on a time crunch is stressful. It was like 14 drag queens in a pink hamster cage and someone rattling it the whole time.

Jinkx Monsoon performs on Thu. June 27 at Starry

Night “Love Is In The Air” in Cawthra Square (519

Church Street). Free. 7pm-midnight. 571 Adelaide Street East Toronto, Ontario M5A 1N8 416-601-1454

a stylish contemporary canvas

22. Drag.indd 22

19/06/2013 2:03:45 PM


V i s u a l art

AGOG at the AGO →

Great artworks await in our own backyard Story Pamela Meredith


don’t know about you,

the moment to do so. In fact,

but sometimes I take

I defy you not to be deeply

our dear Art Gallery of

moved by the sound, the

Ontario (AGO) for granted; I

space, the sculptures and the

visit for the blockbusters but

quality of light currently in

rarely take time to explore

the Henry Moore Sculpture



Centre. Installed among the

and smaller shows. I know

pale carved forms is Janet

it’s always there for me, so I

Cardiff’s Forty Part Motet

overlook its many delights.

(2001), a sculptural sound

Forgive me AGO, it won’t hap-


pen again.

Cardiff and George Bures


Recently, I had the chance to





Miller’s remarkable exhibi-


tion on the fourth floor. Each

around its galleries and look

of 40 human-scaled speak-

with fresh eyes. Amazing.

cate arms outstretched, pierced by

What I particularly love is how the

mirrored shards. Harrowing subject

curators have created opportunities

matter is turned on its head through

for discovery in interstitial spaces,

beauty, delicacy and wonder, and

unexpected detours and small side

heightened by insertion into the


imposing European Galleries. As

→ In memoriam Ai Weiwei’s Snake Ceiling is part of a solo show at the AGO commemorating the 5,000 school kids killed in China’s massive earthquake in 2008.

ers contains the voice of one choir member singing their part in the 16th-century choral piece. The effect of walking from speaker to speaker and getting to know a single voice and then moving to a place

My first surprise encounter was

an aside, I look forward to seeing

piles when he visited the collapsed

where it all comes together is akin

in the passageway between rooms

Boyle’s recently opened exhibition

schools following the disaster. The

to “crawling inside the music” as



in Canada’s Pavilion at the Venice

work is quietly powerful, angry and

Cardiff has said. It’s almost too much

You’re in an 18th-century headspace

Biennale where again she will slip

clever, slithering into your thoughts

beauty to bear and it overwhelms.

when you find yourself flanked by a

into a European context between the

like a serpent; the impact will be ten-

These are but three examples of

pair of Shary Boyle’s exquisite porce-

large national pavilions of Britain

fold when the names of the young

how the AGO can amaze on any

lain sculptures.



and Germany. I am certain Boyle’s

victims are recited in a live read-

given day. On my next visit I plan

Commissioned by the AGO in

work will astound through its intri-

ing on the opening weekend (Sat,

to seek out portraiture, particularly

2008, Boyle looked to two bronze

cate story-telling and heartbreaking

August 17). It was Ai Weiwei’s out-

Chris Wahl’s photograph of Queen

statuettes in the permanent col-


spoken political activism in the

Elizabeth II in the excellent photo


wake of the earthquake that led to

show Light My Fire.

myths of Perseus slaying Medusa

high above your head outside of

his detention in 2011 and his subse-

I want to spend more time in the

and The Rape of Proserpine and

the Canadian Galleries, Ai Weiwei’s

quent inability to obtain travel visas

small music-filled gallery dominated

responded with her fantastical, idio-

Snake Ceiling has been installed

to attend exhibitions such as this

by an almost-monochrome grey

syncratic, feminist reinterpretation

in advance of his solo exhibition

one. The show, which I was lucky

Yves Gaucher painting. And I must

of the narratives. Boyle is magnif-

According to What, which opens

to see at The Hirshhorn Museum in

see Joseph Talirunili’s many sculp-

icent at this intimate scale; these

later this summer. The work com-

Washington, D.C., is essential view-

tural versions of the boat that saved

works are magic. In one, Medusa’s

memorates the more than 5,000

ing for all.

him and his family in the exhibition

severed head rests on a blanket of

school children killed in the mas-

I have seen many Henry Moores

tiny bats, bees and butterflies while

sive earthquake in China’s Sichuan

in and around the AGO, but have I

her boy-child slayer sits beauti-

region in 2008 and is fashioned

ever really given them their due?

fully beside. In the other, Prosperine

from backpacks of the kind the art-

Have I ever teared up in their pres-

faces Pluto her attacker, with deli-

ist recalls seeing left behind in

ence? Truthfully, no. Right now is

lection depicting the Greco-Roman



Migrations. I promise to visit often. PAMELA meredith Is TD Bank Group’s senior curator.

23 Art.indd 23


19/06/2013 2:04:13 PM


s ta g e

Restorative Fantasy →

Angels in America sheds a sharp, profoundly moving and vastly entertaining light on the current state of global chaos Story David Bateman



asteless jokes and corrupt



foundly moving and vastly enter-

members of the Alberta legis-

politics are nothing new to

recent Canadian and Toronto polit-

taining light upon the current state

lature to attempt to, as Susan

Toronto audiences. Of late

ical movements he reaches theat-

of global chaos.

Bennett wrote in Theatre Research

we have been fed a glutton’s buf-

rical heights that lend our sacred

Considered one of the most sig-

in Canada, “pull government fund-

fet of daily treats thanks to fed-

national identity a rather farci-

nificant theatrical events of the late

ing from Alberta Theatre Projects

eral, provincial and municipal mis-

cal tone. Schultz says that “unex-

20th century, Tony Kushner’s six-

because of their production of a ‘gay’

demeanours, ranging from shady

amined knee-jerk ideologies have

hour, two-part extravaganza is sub-

play, something that was spoofed

senatorial expense claims by a “no-

established an absolute buffoon” as

titled A Gay Fantasia on National

on This Hour Has 22 Minutes. The



our butter-sculpted mayor. Current

Themes. Receiving its world pre-

play was sold out every night.”

ment to power plant closures and

cracks in municipal mirrors move

miere at the Mark Taper Forum

Set during the Reagan regime,

a gravy train-stopping “crack”down

us all into an even more self-reflec-

in Los Angeles in 1992, the show

an administration many consider

by one rather “high” and mighty

tive, theatrical example of the ways

received Tonys for best play in 1993

responsible for the deaths of many

mayor who took his own sweet

in which the 21st century has been

and 1994 for both parts: Millennium

AIDS victims due to insufficient

time taking the elevator down to

burdened by so much outrageous

Approaches and Perestroika. Yet

funding, Angels in America acts as a

see the Pride flag raised. Isn’t all of

baggage. Do we need “angels” in

scandal followed a number of

prophetic text that deftly chronicles

this only supposed to happen south

Canada to save us from all of these



the specific political movements

of the border?

“ungodly” acts? Angels in America,

Charlotte, North Carolina incarna-

and individuals who contributed

When Albert Schultz, artistic direc-

opening at Soulpepper this month,

tion in 1996 to the ’96/’97 Calgary

to rampant systemic homophobia,

tor of the acclaimed Soulpepper

promises to shed a sharp, pro-

productions that prompted some

among other things. The genius






July 2013

24 25.Angeles in America.indd 24

19/06/2013 2:04:46 PM


“If you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably, that’s bottom line.” —Rob Ford, 2006, at city council

"I just heard that the Statue of Liberty has AIDS but she doesn't know if she got it from the mouth of the Hudson or the Staten Island Fairy." —Bob Hope, 1986, before 360 guests, who paid $1,000 each for a July Fourth dinner and fireworks cruise aboard the yacht Princess, as quoted in the L.A. Times.

of Kushner’s script begins in the

diverse dramaturgical icons. He

curs, adding his own interpretation

approach to acting. “HIV is one of

very first scene of Millennium

says that when he was a sopho-

of the only non-white role within

the biggest epidemics that we have

Approaches when a rabbi presid-

more at Columbia he “simultane-

a very diverse ensemble from drag

faced as a species,” he says. “So

ing over a funeral questions the

ously discovered Marx, Brecht and

queen to Mormon mother, rabbi

preparing for the role is all about

very existence of America as a uni-

Shakespeare, and realized they’re

and corrupt lawyer to delusional

research, research, research. But

fied national identity and ends with

all playing with the same thing—

pill-popping wife. When Adams

it is always a continuous process,

a strict Mormon mother mingling

the way things both are and are not

speaks of Belize he reveals a close

even during performance.”

with some very gay men. The com-

what they seem. All three ask us

personal connection: “Belize rep-

Preparations for the production

plex politics and production val-

to see the surface, but also what’s

resents the mind, heart, soul, the

of Angels in America have included

ues that the play embodies grad-

beneath the surface, what shapes

human spirit of the play,” says

work with Casey House, and there

ually unravel and provide a truly

the surface.”

Adams. “Here is a gay, black man

will be a strong Soulpepper con-

epic commentary upon global poli-

Seeing the surface and what lies

who is a drag queen. That combina-

tingent of Angels in America art-

tics, migration, sexual identity and

beyond is precisely what Albert

tion in itself would be very hard; the

ists in this year’s Pride parade.

religious fervor as they intermingle

Schultz is attempting to do as he

hurdles he had to rise above would

As Canadians longing for some

among a diverse cast of memorable

directs both parts of Kushner’s

be major. And he’s a male nurse in

semblance of a somewhat more


magnum opus. He feels that the tal-

the eighties, which wasn’t accepted

“angelic” presence on our own

Damien Atkins, playing the piv-

ents of a strong repertory company

then like it is today. Hands down,

national horizons, we can all find

otal role of Prior Walter, has cov-

that he has worked with numer-

he presents to the audience that

personal resonance in a play that

eted the part ever since reading it

ous times enable him to tackle such

who we are is not defined by econ-

becomes, as Atkins so aptly puts

years ago when he was just coming

a mammoth undertaking. Actors

omy, society, gender, race or dis-

it, “a prism for seeing how civilized

out as a gay man. His impressive

Nancy Palk, Greogry Prest and Mike

ease. That being said, Belize would

and just a society can be.”

career as a multi-talented Canadian

Ross all worked with Schultz on

not be who he is if those variables

But we’re not there yet. In the

writer and performer has included

the acclaimed Soulpepper produc-

were not a part of his journey as a

more than 20 years since Angels

self-written solo shows at Theatre

tion of Death of a Salesman, and

human being. Being gay myself and

premiered, perception about gen-

Passe Muraille (Miss Chatelaine)

take on substantial roles in Angels

of mixed heritage (black, white and

der, race, sexual orientation—and

and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

in America. Schultz acknowledges

First Nations) there’s a lot that I

AIDS—is still a divisive issue in

(Real Live Girl) as well as the pre-

Kushner’s debt to Arthur Miller and

understand about Belize.”

both political and popular culture.

miere of his acclaimed ensem-

feels that the two years Soulpepper

As the antithesis to the charac-

Whether it’s comedian Bob Hope’s

ble play Good Mother at Stratford.

spent on Miller’s play prepared

ter of Roy Cohn, a semi-fictional-

homophobic remarks in 1986 or

Angels in America is, says Atkins, a

him for the challenge. “The clos-

ized persona who acts as the pri-

Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s contin-

“restorative fantasy where the cen-

est I have come to an experience

mary villain of the play, Belize, like

ued refusal to support his LGBT

tral character, a gay man with AIDS,

like Angels is Death of a Salesman,”

the central American country of the

constituents, it emphasizes just

is not disposable; instead, he is cho-

says Schultz. “There is so much of

same name, becomes a metaphoric

how relevant a work like Angels in

sen as an ambassador of humanity

Miller in this play, the politics, the

paradise, a kind of gorgeous con-

America is today—perhaps more so

in a better, more just world.”

culture, that Jewish mind behind

flicted coastal sliver of land existing

than ever.

In a Paris Review interview (2012),

the piece. They both place several

on the edge of profound inter-con-

Kushner speaks of his debt to

stories onstage at the same time

tinental turmoil. Kushner’s sym-

allowing a ghost to come into a play

bolic creation locates race, sex-

that seems to be naturalistic.”

ual identity and profound social

→ In rehearsal Albert Schultz (top

left) taps into Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman to direct Tony Kushner’s Angels in America with co-stars Damian Atkins (centre) and Troy Adams.

Belize, another pivotal role, is

responsibility within this single piv-

played by Troy Adams. Atkins

otal role. Playing a character on the

describes the character as being

front lines of early AIDS activism is

“the heart of the play.” Adams con-

a challenge that taps into Adams’

ANGELS IN AMERICA. $22-68. Fri, July 19Sept 14. Young Centre for the Performing Arts. 50 Tank House Lane (in the Distillery District). 416-866-8666.

24 25.Angeles in America.indd 25


19/06/2013 2:04:54 PM


Sonic switch →

The world’s favourite twin lesbian band, Tegan and Sara, put down their guitars for a slicker pop sound Story Mary Dickie

Lindsey Byrnes



here are both advan-

weaknesses so effectively.

have been doing since they first

Being half of the world’s favou-

tages and disadvantages

So imagine what it’s like work-

started writing and playing songs

rite twin lesbian band is defi-

to working with your

ing with your identical twin—

in Calgary when they were 15.

nitely a double-edged sword,

family. There’s a level of under-



Add in the extra attention that

according to Sara. “For years I

standing that can be easy and

around in a van, spending end-

comes with the news that they’re

was uncomfortable talking about

unspoken, a shorthand commu-

less hours together for months

both gay, and the fact that Tegan

our relationship,” she says. “We

nication, a shared history, but

at a time and then being quizzed

and Sara the band is still going

didn’t want it to be exploited for

the flip side is that no one else

about it all in interviews. That’s

strong 17 years later becomes

the wrong reasons, but on the

can irritate you or target your


even more impressive.

other hand, we weren’t allowed






July 2013

26 27.Tegan&Sara.indd 26

19/06/2013 2:05:20 PM


a space to talk about all the bene-

a remix EP. But Sara maintains the

he’d also made fantastic records

together with different points of

fits. It’s such a relief now to be able

sonic switch was something that

with Lily Allen, Kylie Minogue and

view in the music, something really

to say, yes, it is hard to be in a band

came about quite naturally. “I don’t

Kelly Clarkson.

special is created.”

with your sister. I want to open the

feel there’s been a consistent aes-

“We thought he was perfect, ’cause

Sara says she and Tegan didn’t par-

van door and kick her out, all the

thetic in our music. It hasn’t been

we’re kind of the same: We see our-

ticularly worry about how their die-

time! But it’s about the way you

able to be easily placed in any genre

selves in one world, but we know we

hard fans would respond to the new

unravel and negotiate that relation-

on any of our albums,” she says.

can have a place in the other world,

sound: “There’s something defiant

ship contract. I mean, Tegan and

“Some people call it folk, some call it

too. It’s kind of a weird fit, but it

about it, like a teenager who wants

I could have a whole other career

rock, some call it indie pop, so even

works. We had such a fun time, and

to dye her hair blue,” she muses. “In

in conflict resolution. We’re really

though this is the most dramatic

it didn’t feel like we were reinvent-

a weird way, I think it was a con-

good at that now.

and largest leap into something dif-

ing the wheel. We were just there

scious rebellion against our fan base.

“The side of it that makes it so spe-

ferent, I feel like we’ve always been

every day, having fun, taking the

Anytime I start to feel pigeonholed,

cial is a lot harder to articulate,” she

doing that. This time it was just a

songs to a different level, and the

my natural reflex is to say no and do

adds. “There’s a benefit to working

case of saying: ‘Now what? What

result was this album. We couldn’t

something else. So there is a friction

with someone you’ve known since

albums are getting us excited in

believe how effortless it felt.”

there, where I desperately want the



terms of production and sonic fidel-

While they work together closely

acknowledgment of my peers and

intrinsically connected about what

ity and that sort of thing?’ And it

on their albums, Tegan and Sara

the media and my fan base, versus

we do and who we are and how we

was pop music.”

make a point of keeping the rest of

this natural thing where I want to

their lives their own. They live in dif-

do something different. If they don’t


see the world. It’s amazing, but it’s

It turns out that both twins were

only now that I’m starting to really

moving in that same direction. “For

feel that. I think it took performing

the first time, there was a lot more

with other people to appreciate it.

crossover in terms of what was

The second Tegan and I start to play

influencing us,” Sara says. “Tegan

and sing together, I feel what hap-

has always been more interested in

pens, the energy that changes. And

rock music, and I was always dis-

that just doesn’t happen with other

appearing into whatever indie or


avant-garde thing was happening.

Clearly, the ups still outweigh the

The result would be some sort of

downs for the now 32-year-old sis-

compromise. But this time it didn’t

ters, who, since being signed to

feel like we were compromising—

Neil Young’s record label in 1999,

we were just making something that

have released a handful of albums,

felt good to both of us.”

like it, I’ll be sad, but we have six

“It’s such a relief now to be able to say, yes, it is hard to be in a band with your sister. I want to open the van door and kick her out, all the time.”—Sara Quin

other albums for them to love, and

ferent cities (Tegan in Vancouver,

be out and to be visible, to talk about

maybe there are other people who will like it.” The LGBT community has always been a core part of Tegan and Sara’s fan base, ever since their early days in Calgary. “I came out first, because I was in a relationship with a girl so it was natural for me to declare that earlier than Tegan,” says Sara. “I was 17. For me it’s so important to

been nominated for Junos and

The crucial choice of Greg Kurstin

Sara in Montreal), and tend to write

it and to assert that it’s important

Polaris Prizes, and toured or collab-

as a key producer—Mike Elizondo

separately. “My instinct to move

for others to do it.

orated with the likes of DJ Tiesto,

and Justin Meldal-Johnsen also pro-

somewhere different had less to do

“From the very beginning, we

Cyndi Lauper, Margaret Cho, Carly

duced several songs—came about

with Tegan and more to do with my

could see the audience members

Rae Jepsen, The Killers, Augusten

after lengthy discussions between

own interests and desire to travel,

were a reflection of us—they looked

Burroughs and David Guetta, among

the sisters. “We’d already started

experience something new, be out

like us, they had the same life-

others. Along the way they’ve man-

to write the music, but there was

on my own,” says Sara. “I desper-

style as us, they were influenced

aged to build a devoted fan base.

this ongoing conversation about

ately wanted autonomy, but I was

by the same things. But we didn’t

But for their seventh album,

where we wanted to go with it,” Sara

embarking on this career that was

think that was the only audience

Heartthrob, released earlier this

explains. “We want to see ourselves

binding me further to my sister. So

we should have. We knew early on

year, Tegan and Sara made a con-

in new places, and have new experi-

at 22, I felt I had to do something dif-

that we needed to build an audience

certed effort to expand their hori-

ences. We don’t want to be shut out

ferent. And I found that I really loved

that liked our music. Now, we have

zons beyond the indie folk-rock of

of radio or high fashion magazines.

Montreal, and connected to it in a

a career and we can advocate and

their past, putting the guitars down

We don’t want to be shut out of

way I never connected to Vancouver,

speak about our experiences in the

and taking up the keyboards to

headlining music festivals because

culturally and socially. I was able to

LGBT community and ally with dif-

make the kind of shiny, commer-

we’ve done something too niche.

tap into my roots of wanting to be an

ferent groups, and there’s power in

cial pop album that fits on the radio

But we also want to service what we

activist and an artist. And Tegan had

that. I feel like we can be the people

alongside tracks by Rihanna, Ke$ha

love and want to hear in our music.

more of a business sense. She was

we want to be and make the music

and Kelly Clarkson.

So we had to find a producer who

much more structured, she was dat-

we want to make.”

could help us build a bit of a bridge,

ing someone who was 10 years older

It was a calculated gamble that’s paying


and Greg was an obvious choice,

than her, and Vancouver really fit for

near the top of the charts in both


because he’d had his day in weird

her. I think the separation allowed

the U.S. and Canada, and its hit sin-

avant-garde bands and worked with

us to continue to develop naturally

gle, “Closer,” has already spawned

great indie bands like the Shins, but

as individuals. But when we come

Tegan and Sara open for Fun. $51. 4pm. Sat, July 6. Downsview Park. 35 Carl Hall Rd.

26 27.Tegan&Sara.indd 27


19/06/2013 2:05:40 PM

and going out dancing. I was dragged kicking and screaming into my politi A RT & E N T E RTA I N M E N T


and The band plays on →

Saucy Monky’s Annmarie Cullen and Cynthia Catania put their music above their breakup drama Story Mary Dickie




singers and co-songwriters, it was

Cynthia Catania are what


actually really nice. Because I was

you might call simpa-

never in a band before—it was

tico. The two Los Angeles-based

always just me and some people



I hired or begged to be part of my

been playing together for 12 years

project. It was a really different

in an indie-rock band called Saucy

vibe, and it was wonderful.

Monky (perhaps spelled that way

“Left to my own devices, I can be

so a Google search wouldn’t turn

a bit too poppy,” she adds. “Cynthia

up a slew of cute chimp videos).

makes me more hip, melodically

Keeping a band going that long

and lyrically, and I think I make her

is impressive enough; the fact that

a little more hooky—if she has an

during that time they went from

idea, I think I can get it ingrained in

being friends to romantic part-

people’s heads.”

ners to exes and still kept working

“To simplify that recipe, I bring

together is pretty remarkable. But

the vibe and she brings the hook,”

Cullen and Catania valued their

says Catania.

musical partnership enough to ride out the breakup drama.



“Of course it was difficult, but

Ball,” “Boyz” and “Good Day Down,”

having real chemistry with some-

Saucy Monky have found North

one is rare,” says Catania. “It’s been

American radio difficult to crack.

such a journey for us in so many

That wasn’t the case in Ireland,

facets of partnership, from com-

where their first album, Celebrity

different approaches, like releas-

→ full house (L to R) Cynthia Catania,

ing together initially as musicians

Trash, spawned two hit singles—

ing their latest album, Trophy

to becoming friends, having a rela-

three, if you include their cover

Girl, in three parts: the first three

tionship, the relationship ending

of the Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself.”

songs at the end of last year; the

and seguing into friendship and

“There seemed to be a lot less red

second three in mid-June (includ-

Steve Giles, Megan Jane and Annmarie Cullen of Saucy Monky seem to be playing all the right cards these days.

deciding to continue on for the love

tape in terms of getting radio play,”


of the partnership and the music.

says Cullen. “There were more big

“(My Girlfriend Is) Alcohol”); and

Now, I think we’re close enough

stations that would feature Irish

the third batch next winter. “We

They also used crowdsourcing



artists. I submitted it when I was

want to keep the momentum up

to help pay for publicity and mar-

between us. We’re very enmeshed.

home for Christmas one year, and

and keep our fans and the press

keting, and released 10 iPhone-

Our brains are joined together, like

one of the popular DJs just kind of

interested, and so far it’s worked

filmed videos of acoustic shows on

one brain.”

picked it up and championed it.

out well,” says Catania. “With

YouTube and their Facebook page.

From there we were able to tour a

iTunes and everything, having a

Now, it’s time for Saucy Monky to

bit and get into some festivals, and

full-length record isn’t essential,”

reach out and connect with LGBT

Catania, who’s from New Jersey,

the magazine Hot Press used one

adds Cullen. “I think people like to

audiences across the continent.

and Cullen, who’s Irish, met in

of our songs in their radio and TV

digest smaller pieces sometimes

“That’s really important. We’re gay

2001 and found they clicked musi-

ad campaigns. It was great; we just

rather than a full plate. I’m not

and it’s our people,” says Catania.

cally right away. “Both of us had

kind of caught a wave.”

saying that’s a great thing, ’cause

“There’s this whole underground




“One big brain!” Cullen hastens to add.



catchiness of songs like “Disco



crowd-pleaser to jump on board that train.”

solo careers we were getting tired

In their quest to keep the wave

I love buying LPs and listening to

music scene that’s existed for so

of,” explains Cullen. “So when we

going on this side of the Atlantic,

the whole shebang, but that’s the

many years, and we really want to

joined forces and became co-lead

Catania and Cullen are trying some

way it’s going now, so we decided

be a part of it.”

July 2013

28.Saucy Monky.indd 28

19/06/2013 2:06:13 PM


Synth pop, soul & indie rock hits the sweet spot

Secret History

By Mary Dickie



The talents of legendary soul singer Mavis Staples and alt-country singer-songwriter Jeff Tweedy made for a brilliant combination on Staples’ 2010 album You Are Not Alone. Now they’re back for a gospel-heavy follow-up that features a more stripped-down sound, with Tweedy and his son Spencer playing almost all the instruments, holding back to give Staples’ rich, warm, soulful voice lots of room to move and melt hearts. Tweedy’s lovely, wistful “Jesus Wept” might be the highlight, though a spirited cover of Funkadelic’s “Can You Get To That” gives it a run for its money.

Of all the projects Arts & Crafts has planned to celebrate its 10th anniversary, this set of collaborations might be the most charming. There are cleverly matched co-writing experiments, like Feist and Timber Timbre’s delicate “Homage,” Stars and Chilly Gonzales’ slowbuilding “Nothing Good Comes to Those Who Wait” and Hayden and Jason Collett’s “Lonely Is as Lonely Does,” as well as Broken Social Scene and Years’ sweet and wispy BSS outtake “Day of the Kid.” And then there are the covers: a gorgeous version of Elliot Smith’s “Waltz 2” by Dan Mangan and Zeus; Gold & Youth and Trust’s spacy take on Lee Hazlewood’s “Lady Bird”; the Constantines’ “Time Can Be Overcome,” played by the Darcys and Ra Ra Riot with less guitar and more percussion— plus New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” given an indie-rock edge by Apostle of Hustle and Zeus.

One True Vine (Anti-)


DVA (Ninja Tune)

The Czech-born, London-based electronic musician’s second album begins with a classical track, then pulls back into gentle, atmospheric dance pop. Throughout the album, Emika finds a sweet spot between classical, experimental techno and dance pop, moving all over the map and pulling everything together with her voice. Her imaginative soundscapes range from big synth washes to delicate piano tunes, and the fact that an ethereal take on Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” seems to fit in so perfectly is just evidence of her unerring taste and skills.

BLACK HEEL MARKS Feel Free (Northern Research)

Musician, producer, photographer and all-around treasure Don Pyle has played many styles—punk, rockabilly, electronic, indie-rock— with many performers. So it’s hardly surprising that his new album features those styles joining forces in intriguing ways, or that it rocks from beginning to end. While the songs range from relatively low-key (the dubby “Private Rooms,” the hypnotic “Draco Dwarf”) to frantic (the furious, no wave-reminiscent “Mirrors for Smashing,” the hysterical “Switch”), the intensity never flags, and the guitar contributions from Dallas Good, Sandro Perri, Jonny Dovercourt, Wilmer Henderson III, Kevan Byrne and Dave Evans are downright exhilarating.

X (arts & Crafts)


Olympia (Paper Bag Records)

Austra’s 2011 debut Feel It Break opened a lot of doors for the Toronto synth-pop band, from international tours to the Polaris Prize short list. And one listen to its follow-up, Olympia, makes it obvious that Austra has taken full advantage of those opportunities—it represents a big step forward in terms of songwriting and creative inspiration.The sound is still dark and moody, with booming bass, twinkling keyboards and dance beats laying the groundwork for former opera singer Katie Stelmanis’ plaintive, soaring vocals. But there’s more depth to the songs, more hummable melodies, more mood shifts and more percussion. (Interestingly, everything is played live this time, with no loops or programmed sounds.) “Home” shifts smoothly from a melancholy piano ballad to a dance tune with percussion beats and keyboard touches that give it a Middle Eastern flavour. “Fire” has the feel of early choral music, but bass and Latin percussion turn it into its own hybrid. “We Become” weaves two melancholy melodies together with vocal harmonies into a slowly building dance track, and “You Changed My Life” mutates from bare-bones piano and vocal track to ominous drum-driven rock song. It’s a sign of musicians unafraid to try different things, and succeeding.

BOOKS: Alison Wearing shines new light on coming out in Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter →

Review Alice Lawlor


lison Wearing always knew her father, Joe, was different. A free spirit, a happy eccentric, a talented baker of croissants. What the young Alison didn’t know was that her dad was secretly struggling with his own homosexuality, desperately seeking a way forward that wouldn’t hurt the family he loved. Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter (Knopf Canada) is the story of what happened before, during and after Joe came out of the closet. The book is structured around three different perspectives: Alison’s, her dad’s and her mum’s. Alison’s part came “flowing out” of her while she was working on another project. “What began as a diversion quickly took on a power and shape of its own, and at times it was difficult to keep my hand moving fast enough to keep up with the scenes that were pouring out of me,” she says. Years later, she shaped the story into a one-woman show she’s still performing today. “It was the audience response that inspired me to expand the material into a fulllength book, largely because the story, while relatively unique, seemed to resonate with so many people of such a variety of backgrounds and histories. We may not all have a gay parent, but virtually all of us have families that challenge us in some way, and that is when the real lessons in love and acceptance arrive.” After writing her own memories, Alison approached her father for his version. He hesitated for a second, and then produced a box full of journals, letters and newspaper articles. It was just what she needed to complete the picture. “My dad is 77 and has been living ‘a happy little gay life’ (to quote his partner of 32 years)

since the early 1980s,” says Alison. “The man in the book is a different person: someone still struggling to find and accept himself, someone still closeted, married, conflicted, divided.” Joe’s story is perhaps the most powerful section, giving voice to a particular moment in our shared history— before Toronto Pride, before “gay” was an acceptable identity—and a very raw personal transformation. This isn’t just a book about coming out, though. It’s a moving account of how that experience affected the whole family, in good ways as well as bad. And, at its heart, it’s a story about love: how it can sustain us, change us, set us free. “My dad modelled for his children what it is to come into full flower as a human being,” says Alison. “That is a great gift to give to your children, no matter who you are, what you do or what your sexual orientation happens to be.”

Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter Alison Wearing. Knopf Canada. $24.

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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 → I have a question about leather. Last week, I walked into a high-end leather and shoe store in an outlet centre. Banal suburbia does nothing for me. However, the smell was intoxicating. By the time I walked from the front of the store to the back, I was so wet that I thought I may have gotten my period. I did not want to cause a scene, so I left the store confused and embarrassed. As soon as I left the store the feeling subsided. There were no visual cues or other distractions that could have caused such a profoundly sexual reaction in me. Can you please explain the mechanism I experienced?

Eve Congratulations! You’re a fetish-

be unremarkable. Watch any epi-

ist! Welcome to the crowd. That’s

sode of Sex and the City to see a

the good news. The bad news is I

shoe fetish in action, for instance.

can’t explain it to you in terms of

But there’s no shame in having

mechanics. There is a mystery to

more advanced tastes.

fetishism that’s more about poetry than chemistry.

Beyond smell, many people love

This isn’t to say chemistry plays

touched or worn, or its symbolism: leather often evokes power, sensu-

for instance, has worked extensively

ality, edgy subcultures or care ritu-

with fragrance experts to “exploit

als such as boot-polishing. For some

the leather aroma” to achieve better

it’s a combination. Sounds like

car sales, mixing chemical blends to

you’re solidly in the olfactory camp.

better hit us between the eyes with

Leather is often associated with SM

just the right scent.

activities, too—but you don’t have

smell of leather—a potent mix of tannins, dyes and the organic mate-

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the look of leather, the feel when it’s

no part. The automotive industry,

Clearly, most people enjoy the

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to like whips to get off on huffing your new jacket. In Wild Side Sex: The Book of Kink,

rial of the hide itself. But for some


of us lucky ones it hits a primal part

fetishism. It’s worth a read so you

of our brain that screams, “Sex.”

know you’re not alone. In the mean-

It’s tempting to ask why, but that’s

time: don’t be embarrassed at your

like asking, “Why are some people

extra enthusiasm for certain outlet

gay?” as though a universal answer

stores. As long as you don’t stalk the

existed. I say chalk it up to biodiver-

salespeople or molest the merchan-

sity and sheer human sexual cre-

dise, what happens in your pants

ativity, and get about enjoying it.

is entirely your business. And rest




In her book Fetish: Fashion, Sex &

assured, plenty of us have the same

Power, Valerie Steele writes, “fetish-

twinkle in our eyes as we wander

ism probably needs to be conceptu-

the aisles.

alized along a continuum of intensities,” from a slight preference to a level at which “specific stimuli take the place of a sex partner.” At lower levels, fetishism is so common as to

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ANDREA ZANIN The Sex Geek blogs at

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caught in the act by Michael Pihach and James Kachan


Inspire Awards at Hart House






powerball at THe power plant






519 Gala at the 519





→ 1. Nikki Chin 2. Belle Jumelles, Johnny B. Goode 3. Shannon McDonough, Mike Chalut 4. Ryan G. Hinds 5. Stuart Milk, Antoine Elhashem 6. Laurent Fort 7. Karolyne Ellacott, Caroline Aksich 8. Clara Venice, George Whiteside 9. Thomas Hart, Tara Stubensey 10. Jeanne Beker, Jeremy Laing 11. Al Ramsey, Michael John Daniels 12. Michael Liebrock, James Gott 13. Lorraine Segato, Salah Bachir 14. Andrea Campbell, Poe Liberado 15. Christopher Peloso, George Smitherman •


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