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Gay & Lesbian Cit y Living


TELEVISION The boys of Degrassi

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Paul Gallant, Krishna Rau CONTRIBUTORS

Brian Bailey, Nicola Betts, Jim Brosseau, Dino Dilio, Derek Dotto, Marty Gallin, Serafin LaRiviere, Michael K Lavers, Keith Loukes, Michael Pihach, Kevin Ritchie, Adam Segal, Pam Shime, Annemarie Shrouder, Richard Silver, Michael Thorner, Chris Tyrell, Jenna Marie Wakani ON the cover

James Minchin III photography


issue 10

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





Hats off to hats Local designers hold their heads up high by Derek Dotto


Rockin’ and Rollin’ Melissa Etheridge’s Fearless Love by Serafin LaRiviere


Take one for the team Degrassi’s football-playing boyfriends by Michael Pihach




Golden in Florida by Michael K Lavers & Jim Brosseau

22 Open House Collector Bruce Jones by Gordon Bowness

Discover Canada by train. Great deals all year round at

24 Neighbourhood in Focus Don Mills by Richard Silver 25

Home Turf Leslieville by Brian Bailey

26 The Cabinet Salon by Annemarie Shrouder

27 Stylin’ with Chris Tyrell 28 The Grooming Game with Dino Dilio 29 Savour the City with Marty Galin 30 The 60-Day fitness Challenge by Michael Pihach 31

Relationship Advice with Adam Segal

32 Pride and Mark Singh by Paul Gallant 36

John Fluevog Shoes by Derek Dotto

37 The Burger’s Priest by Pam Shime 38 Snap photo auction by Gordon Bowness 41 Legendary DJ David Marsden by Kevin Ritchie 47 Sex and Health with Dr Keith 50 Caught in the Act by Michael Pihach & Derek Dotto TM

Trademark owned by VIA Rail Canada Inc.

toronto talk exchange The Report Pride’s Community Advisory Panel → Pride Toronto’s Community Advisory Panel released a 232page report Feb 17 to address a laundry list of problems plaguing Pride. The panel includes MCCT pastor Brent Hawkes, human rights lawyer Douglas Elliott, the Ontario Public Service Pride Network’s Michael Went and performance artist Nicki Ward, among others. Here are highlights from its 133 recommendations; the full report is at

• Pride should acknowledge it has wronged the community, in particular, repair relationships with the trans community and people of colour. • Pride should hire an interim executive director immediately to replace former ED Tracey Sandilands. • Any group should be allowed into the Pride parade as long as they meet specific criteria (messaging must celebrate LGBT identity and abide by anti-discrimination policies). • An ajudication panel should be set up to handle complaints over any group marching in the parade. • The parade should be split into three sections: For LGBT groups or floats with sexual identity messages; for groups or floats with wider political concerns or messages (though still pro-gay); and unaffiliated individuals.


March 2011

VIEW FINDER → SWAN BLACK A taut wire of dance and desire tethers Toronto and St Petersburg, Russia this month with the appearance of the Mariinsky Ballet in Swan Lake, the Erik Bruhn Prize dance competition and the National Ballet of Canada’s production of Onegin. It was at the Mariinsky (or Kirov) in St Petersburg that the reconfigured Swan Lake (with choreography by Marius Petipa) debuted in 1895. It was at the Mariinsky, too, where the great dancer Rudolph Nureyev shot to stardom in the 1950s. Nureyev defected from the Soviet Union in ’61, soon after beginning a torrid affair with Danish dancer Erik Bruhn. The two dancers remained close until Bruhn’s death in 1986; he was artistic director of the National at the time. Bruhn left part of his estate to create the Erik Bruhn Prize, a high-level competition for young dancers. It’s widely assumed that Bruhn died of AIDS; Nureyev died of AIDS in 1993. The score to all this drama, of course, is by Tchaikovsky, who composed the music for Swan Lake and Onegin (and other works the National performs this month). Tchaikovsky wrote the opera Eugene Onegin while recovering from a breakdown brought on by his ill-fated marriage to a former student who, in an eerie parallel to the opera, had written him a passionate love letter threatening suicide, precipitating their engagement. (Surprisingly, John Cranko’s 1965 ballet doesn’t use much of the opera’s music; pictured above is Xio Nan Yu and Jiri Jelinek in the National’s Onegin, photo by Aleksandar Antonijevic.) Tchaikovsky became so distraught by the marriage, he turned to one of his powerful gay friends, Prince Meshchersky, to secure separate compartments for the gay composer and his new bride during their honeymoon train journey. How does that tie back to Toronto? Meshchersky is the great, great uncle of Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff (MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore). Ah, tragic princes. See page 36 for dance listings.

toronto talk exchange Sound off Fashion trends

LETTERS Squeaky clean → Thanks for this (“Dirty Little Secret,” In Toronto, Feb 2011). I’m a little addicted to products and now I have a reason to just say no. Peggi Lepage, Toronto → Excellently written piece, very informative. It sounds like the “Just Beautiful” campaign is exactly what the doctor should be ordering. It is good to know that this project is being spearheaded by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie, the same gentlemen who helped bring us the Greater Golden Horseshoe Greenbelt, the Ontario Green Energy Act, and of course the removal of bisphenol A from kids’ products. Let’s hope every Canadian consumer can rally behind and support research that will shed more light on the healthiness of all those ingredients in our “health” and beauty products. Shane Price, President, Green Circle Salons, Toronto

With LG Fashion Week this month, we asked industry insiders what fashion trends and must-haves are on the horizon for spring and summer. →

Gentlemen, be prepared for the following trends: Fitted suits in lightweight cotton or linen and bold accessories, such as printed silk scarves and pocket squares, to give your outfit some added kick. Also, suspenders are making a big comeback. Opt for a narrower strap for a modern look. This season’s key colours will be safari, lavender and white.

Christopher Bates, fashion designer

For women, the one trend I see popping out is the English Rose with an equestrian vibe, red lips and smart little suit-style jackets over tailored shirts. A lot of black, white and grey. Ballet flats are definitely staying on as the summer footwear of choice for day, but there is a lot of excitement over little lace-up oxfords.

Get in touch Spring/Summer ’11 is about a slimmer silhouette, a body conscious cut for suits and shirts. The nautical theme that was big last year is back, but in a more sophisticated way and a lot less literal. The colours of the season are blues, whites and coral (pinkishorange). The preppy and collegiate looks remain on trend. Lots of blazers with elbow pads and crests. The most important accessory is the overnight bag that has now become an everyday bag. Invest in a smart leather bag that is roomy enough for overnight trips (or sleepovers), but polished enough for business.

→ Send your letter to the editor to: In Toronto magazine, 348 A Queen St W, Toronto, ON, M5V 2A2 or email us at You can also comment online at Drop us a line. We value your feedback.

Glen Baxter, host of CTV’s In Fashion, reporter for Fashion Television

Breeyn McCarney, fashion designer


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toronto talk exchange Tech notes

How Tweet It Is Social Change Is Upon Us

A streetcar to desire

By Michael Thorner

ening divide between rich and poor or the measurable consequences from the energy crisis and climate change, the informed intelligence shared in new interactive social forums is contributing crucially to the collective and democratic education of the global village we call Earth. It’s why more and more people see access to the internet as a human right. As we have recently seen with the events unfolding in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and beyond, social media and information networks influence and


ith the advent of Facebook and Twitter over the last four years, the world has experienced a social awakening in ways never before imagined. Transparent communication and information sharing has changed and continues to change how we see our planet. Our first two years on Facebook brought us shared baby photos, vacation snapshots, home renovation pics and images of drunken debauchery. All well and good; part of the human experience worth sharing. Soon after came the serious information sharing, especially once Twitter arrived on the scene. Whether it is revolution in the Middle East, the false promise of Wall Street, heated online customer feedback, debate about Canadian tax dollars funding bigotry within the Catholic school system, the ever-wid-

never before have events been transcribed and shown to a mass audience with such unfiltered immediacy. illuminate the world in realtime. Old information channels, often shaped by corporateowned media, with their own unique agendas on the whys and hows of news sharing, have been superseded. Revolutions — and counter-revolutions — occurred prior to the advent of social networks, of course, but never before have events been transcribed and shown to a mass audience with such unfiltered immediacy. People are learning about issues like climate change from each other, through the informed content they find and share with their peers. Since

this curation of ideas is coming from friends and colleagues they trust, it provides the building blocks for consensus, which in turn can create the conditions for significant social change. As always, trust is earned, and one must be cognizant of where information is sourced — crackpots or credible commentators, CNN versus Fox News versus Huffington Post versus MSNBC. Old media has been forced to rethink and reform. Progressive Toronto journalists like Antonia Zerbisias, columnist for The Toronto Star (on Twitter, @AntoniaZ), and Doug Saunders, European bureau chief for The Globe and Mail and (@DougSaunders), embraced social media early, understanding how it can extend the reach of their work and expand their audience. By sharing their continuous research in real-time, they expose their journalistic process, providing invaluable insight to their readers. They are also creating an opportunity for those readers to feed into and engage with that research. It’s this type of global cross-pollination that I find so rewarding. Although polarized discourse online is inevitable, my hope is that all this curating and sharing of intelligence will breed and nurture innovation in tackling Earth’s challenges. Since information sharing in the digital age knows no geographical borders, innovation may come from anywhere. Fascinating times indeed.

Michael Thorner Follow at

→ Adam Schwabe was fed up with waiting for the streetcar. Instead of getting frustrated or hailing a cab, he made an iPhone app. Rocket Radar is a recent app for iPhones that effectively tells users when TTC streetcars will arrive at their stop. “It will tell you when the next streetcar is arriving based upon where you’re standing,” says Schwabe, 27. With a single tap, the app identifies all nearby cars and displays arrival times for multiple routes and stops. “It is accurate within 10 to 20 seconds,” says Schwabe, who has also invented a flighttracking app for Air Canada. Rocket Radar, which is gayowned and operated, uses the TTC’s Real Time Next Vehicle Arrival System (NVAS) open data feed, which calculates vehicle locations and arrival times. The TTC has its own next-cararrival system that requires riders to send stop numbers via cell phone to receive a message in return indicating when the next car is due to arrive. But Schwabe says his app is more practical because it tackles a specific problem and automatically calculates where people are standing. “Most people can’t believe it hasn’t been invented before,” he says. Get the Rocket Radar app for your iPhone at Michael Pihach


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Mad for hats → Put away the toque Springtime is the right time for a Canadian-designed hat Writer Derek Dotto | Photography Jenna Marie Wakani


A RT & D E S I G N


ake a cue from Mother Nature and change your style with the season. Top off your new spring look with a stylish fedora or dapper derby. Menswear designers from Dolce and Gabbana, Moncler Gamme Bleu and Paul Smith featured very wearable headgear in their Spring 2011 collections. From porkpies to cycling caps, the resurgence of headwear harkens back to an earlier time when almost everyone wore a hat. If you’re one of those who say, “I’m just not a hat guy,” then open your mind. There are amazing custom hatters and milliners in Toronto who know a thing or two about finding a brim befitting any man or woman. Designer Stephen Temkin, the man behind custom hat label Leon Drexler, says there’s no better time to add a stylish lid to your wardrobe. “Spring affords an opportunity to think of one’s hat in less purely utilitarian terms,” he says. “Celebrate the season with a hint of flare — say a lighter colour or a more distinctive silhouette or a sporty ribbon treatment.” Before things really heat up, he suggests starting with a transitional, lightweight felt fedora — all of his hats are made of beaver felt. “In this climate, a standard dress hat weight will usually be in service until early May, and then it’s time to dust off your straws.” If you don’t have a straw to dust off, look no


month 2010


further than Lilliput Hats. Owner and head designer Karyn Gingras says a straw hat with a minimum three-inch brim is optimal for sun protection but, for the more fashion-conscious, a stingy-brimmed style is the way to go. “It’s a hybrid, mixing a pork pie with a mini, turnedup brim, kind of like those old jazz musicians wore. It’s a great, easy look, without looking like a tourist.” Finding a great hat starts with discovering the right shape and fit for your head. “Often guys can be really hard to fit,” says Gingras. “What we try to do is balance. We’re not going to put a tiny brim on a guy who is six feet tall and has broad shoulders. Even adding half an inch to the brim is going to make it more proportional.” An expert milliner for the past 21 years, Gingras says the experience of buying a hat has to feel as natural as the real straw she uses for her spring collection. “A man may come in with a particular image or a piece of nostalgia — he remembers his grandfather’s hat. Through the course of a conversation, these bits of information come out. From that we’re able to determine exactly what he’s looking for,” she says. There’s an old saying that goes: “If you want to get ahead, get a hat.” So take a chance and try on a Canadian-designed or custom-made hat for size. If it doesn’t look great, I’ll eat my hat. For hatters and hats, see page 17

→ WHO & WHAT Model: Yinka Bode-George (Elite Model Management). Makeup: Karleigh Johnstone. Linen Skipper hat by Wildhagen (previous page), Madras Plaid Panama (opposite page) and Dale Stingy Brim (this page) by Lilliput. Dress shirt from H&M. Denim shirt by Firetrap, belt by Brave, pants by Kai-Aakmann, from Balisi ( 711 Queen St W;

→ WHO & WHAT Model Yinka Bode-George (Elite Model Management). Makeup: Karleigh Johnstone. Newsboy hat by Wildhagen (previous page), straw fedora and custom straw fedora by Lilliput. Dress shirt from H&M. Denim shirt by Firetrap, belt by Brave, pants by Kai-Aakmann, from Balisi ( 711 Queen St W;


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LIVING & HEALTH Continued from page 15

The Hatters Lilliput Hats See your hat made from scratch at Lilliput Hats, a must-visit boutique on College St. Owner and designer Karyn Gingras has perfected the art of hat making, especially her summer straw fedoras. 462 College St. (416) 536-5933. Leon Drexler What could be more perfect for the still-chilly spring months than a custom beaver felt fedora in light camel or beige? Designer Stephen Temkin may be the new kid on the block, but he makes up for it by using the oldest of hat-making techniques. (647) 764-9537. Wildhagen The skipper hat, a hybrid of the newsboy and cyclist cap, is a style unique to Queen West’s Wildhagen. Available in fabrics from Dutch embossed upholstery to breathable Polish linen, it’ll keep you cool in every sense of the word. 575 Queen St W. (416) 830-8589. Big It Up Toronto-based Big It Up has been on the hat scene for the past 15 years. This spring, the design team’s offering includes straw hats hand-woven in Ecuador and available in a myriad of shapes. 58 Spadina Ave. (416) 591-0864. Biltmore Hats Established in 1917, the storied Guelph-based company has done it all, including the official headdress for the RCMP. This season’s collection recaptures the jive style of 1940s zoot suiters with a 21st-century twist. Biltmore was sold last year to US-based Dorfman Pacific; they’ve promised to keep the Guelph factory going for at least a year. 139 Morris St. Guelph.

The Hats

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Panama Straw Manabi

Diamond Top

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Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau/


Life’s a beach → Fun,

sun and sand along Florida’s Gold Coast Writer Michael K Lavers


outh Florida is certainly on the top of any winter-weary traveller’s list of getaways, but both Miami Beach and Miami proper offer much more than Speedos, sun and all-night parties — though that’s okay too.

MIAMI BEACH Pedestrian-only Lincoln Rd is one of Miami Beach’s main cross-town thoroughfares. Surgically enhanced models who leave little to the imagination, bodybuilders, street performers, shoppers, tourists and locals alike readily take full advantage of this outdoor catwalk. And 18

March 2011

the dozens of restaurants, cafés, bars and clubs take full advantage of their strategic location. These include Pizza Rustica, QuattroGastronomia Italiana, Sushi Samba, Sushi Siam, Tiramesu, Yuca and Van Dyke. Scores is a popular gay club on Lincoln Rd near the intersection of Meridian Ave. David’s Café on Meridian is a great place to try a Cuban coffee or cafecito. Their alfajoles, which are traditional Cuban cookies with dulce de leche, topped with powdered sugar and coconut, are particularly delicious. Ocean Drive is another outdoor runway of sorts that allows any-

one who is anyone (or who may think they’re someone) to see and be seen amidst the beach’s tropical backdrop and South Beach’s art deco architecture. The Palace Bar and Restaurant’s raucous drag queens certainly put on a show every Friday and Saturday at 6pm, but the bar/restaurant’s terrace allows visitors to watch the Speedo-clad volleyball players who play across in Lummus Park while drinking their cocktails. Around the corner, new gayowned Lords South Beach Hotel on Collins Ave and 11th St opened to much fanfare on New Year ’s Eve.

A few blocks south, News Café is known for their prime location and brunch. Gianni Versace frequented the popular coffee shop and bookstore (before Andrew Cunanan shot him in July 1997 as he returned home from his morning walk to News Café). Miami Beach is certainly not as gay as it once was, but the Winter Party still takes place at Lummis Park (Wed, Mar 2 to 7; winterparty. com) with art events, walking tours and massive circuit parties for both men and women. Other big events coming up include the Miami Beach Gay Pride in April (miami-


raisers, the White Party, is held in

in the bar. Those who patronize

November (

these bars often resemble Snooki

South of the Miami River in

and her Jersey Shore cast mates.

downtown Miami, Mary Brickell

And while the Club 50’s sweeping

Village has become an increasingly

views of Miami-Dade may justify

popular place for Miamians to pre-

the $40 cover charge, some visitors

party. The Viceroy Hotel’s Club 50,

may decide staying in South Beach

which is on the 50th floor as the

suits their tastes perfectly well.

name suggests, features duelling DJs spinning on the pool deck and

Head north by Jim Brosseau and the Aqua Girl party in May (

→ MIAMI & MIAMI BEACH The buildings — and the people — are uniquely designed.

One of my fave events is Art Basel Miami Beach. First held in

1st Ave and Biscayne Blvd, Miami’s

2002, it drew nearly 50,000 people

Design District contains more than

into the sprawling Miami Beach

130 art galleries, furniture show-

Convention Center in December

rooms, bars and restaurants. The

last year. More than 250 galleries

area bustles during Art Basel, but

from around the world showcased

other events take place through-



out the year. The Launch Arte is a

textiles and interactive art from


weekly artists’ market that takes

Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Andy

place every Saturday afternoon



from November through April at

Haring and others (artbaselmiam-

NE 39th St and First Ave. Art +

Design Night takes place on the



second Saturday of each month at

Miami Beach and Miami proper offer much more than Speedos, sun and all-night parties — though that’s okay too.

various locations throughout the neighbourhood. The Miami Design District’s website has a detailed map and guide of the area ( Located south of the Design District on Biscayne Blvd near the






Center (arsht- is home to the Florida MIAMI

Grand Opera, the Miami City Ballet

Miami Beach visitors may not

and the New World Symphony.

think there is much reason to cross


Biscayne Bay outside of flying into

Theater and Ballet Nacional de

and out of Miami International

España recently performed. And

Airport, but Miami is certainly try-


ing to cash in on South Beach’s

Boston Pops and comedian Kathy

beach bums, party animals and

Griffin in the coming weeks.

beautiful people.








Sizzle circuit parties (sizzlemi-

Located roughly between North- are held in May, and

east 36th and 43rd St, Northwest

the granddaddy of all AIDS fund-

Time was a gay resort distinguished itself from a conventional one with piped-in disco and those ubiquitous condoms. But in places like Key West and Palm Springs, gay lodging evolved with gay culture. Now, in the sun-blessed metropolis of Fort Lauderdale, 23 miles north of Miami, the gay stay is poised for a move up the luxury ladder. This spring’s debut of the newer, larger incarnation of the Royal Palms was preceded by months of buzz. The anticipation is likely to turn to approval, as discerning travellers check into the chic, 50-room addition to the royal family. “I want to take the gay market to the next level,” says owner Richard Gray. Since opening the original Royal Palms 20 years ago, Gray has been called Fort Lauderdale’s “founding father of gay tourism.” So Gray knows today’s gay resort needn’t be très gay. From the minimalist furnishings against solid-white walls to the luminescent ruby-red tiles lining the indoor-outdoor bar, sensuality trumps sexuality. Pools on opposite ends of the sprawling property afford guests of the clothing-optional resort both a party-boy scene or something more sedate for their sunbathing. Happily for those wedded to the original Royal Palms, that intimate 12-room guesthouse remains open. Its guests and those of its offspring have the run of both properties. Summarizing the newcomer’s impact on Fort Lauderdale, the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau president, Nicki

Grossman, has said, “We have boutique hotels and gay guesthouses, but nothing that brings the two together in this kind of hip, urban way.” Some have speculated that the resort’s arrival could be pivotal in moving the gay beach at Sebastian St, about a 15-minute walk south, farther north. But even if it doesn’t alter the geography, the Royal Palms Resort and Spa will claim considerable ground on the gay map.

Royal Palms Resort and Spa 1-800-237-7256.

→ FORT L AUDERDALE The new Royal Palms Resort updates what it means to be a gay hotel.


A private little spot where you’ll feel like the only two people in the world.

Destination Weddings and Vow Renewals Sharing your special day with family and friends

As the song goes, love is a many splendoured thing, and yours is unlike any other, so why not do something truly special. Say your vows barefoot on the beach as the sun sinks slowly into the horizon; or on board a cruise ship in front of family and friends then set sail through tranquil, turquoise seas. These types of settings aren’t reserved exclusively for Hollywood movies. You can step into your own scene, one that you designed, and make your dreams come true.

Marlin Travel Gift Registry

How are contributions made?

Make it easy for those who mean the most to you and let them know about your gift registry.

Your guests can purchase Marlin Travel Gift Registry Certificates** in any denomination by contacting the Marlin Travel location at which you are registered. Payment can be made by cheque, cash or credit card. Marlin Travel Gift Registry Certificates are presented to your guests at the time of purchase.

Gifts that last a lifetime

How does the Registry work? Just register your destination wedding or honeymoon at any Marlin Travel location. We’ll provide you with Gift Registry Notification Cards* that you can send to your friends and family. Include them in all your pre-wedding mailings to help spread the word.

How do I redeem the Gift Certificates? Your Marlin Travel wedding specialist can plan your Exclusive Experiences Destination Wedding or Honeymoon. Redeem your Gift Certificates as a credit towards the cost of your trip.

Electronic Save-the-Date & Invitations Same Sex Collateral Available!

*First 25 gift registry notification cards with envelopes are complimentary to Marlin Travel customers that have registered their destination wedding or honeymoon. Additional notification cards can be purchased, inquire for details. **Gift certificates are non-refundable. If the destination wedding or honeymoon is cancelled, the value of the gift certificates will remain on credit in the name of the registered couple. If the value of gift certificates is higher than the cost of the trip, the balance will remain on credit in the Marlin Travel agency for future travel.

European Adventures Barcelona, Spain Culinary Adventure Exclusive Departure June 4 to 12, 2011

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per person Add taxes $305

Package Includes:

• Roundtrip airfare from Toronto to Barcelona onboard Air Transat • Roundtrip transfers from Barcelona airport to hotel • 7 nights accommodation at Ayre Caspe, 4H hotel in city centre • 14 meals including Flamenco show during farewell dinner • Services of a professional bi-lingual guide • Tour inclusions as per itinerary

• Private first class motor coach transportation • Visit to La Boqueria Market, followed by ‘Paella’ cooking class • Visit to Santa Caterina Market followed by ‘Tapas’ cooking class facilitated by Chef Anna & Michael Olson • Tour the Torres Winery & Montserrat • Complimentary bottles of wine or cava at each of the Cava Cellars/Wineries • Keepsake Spanish Cookbook


Holland Tulip Time in Holland

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*Base reward mile offer is 1/$35 on vacation packages, cruise fares and charter flights. Not applicable on scheduled airline or rail tickets, hotel and car reservations paid locally, taxes, service fees, non-commissionable items, foreign exchange and insurance. Other conditions may apply.

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†To redeem for your Reward Certificates visit 800 AIR MILES reward miles = $100 Marlin Travel Reward Certificate. Valid on new bookings only with select suppliers. No minimum booking value required. A maximum of 4 Reward Certificates per person, per trip may be used. Base reward miles are not issued on the value of Reward Certificates applied to the booking. All rewards are subject to the terms and conditions of the AIR MILES Reward Program, are subject to change and may be withdrawn without notice. Some restrictions apply. See for details.

Download your copy of the Marlin Travel Wedding Brochure or for more information on our Exclusive Experiences visit our website!

1-877-333-7890 Marlin Travel is a division of Transat Distribution Canada Inc. Ont. Reg. #50015084, B.C. Reg.#23567. Head Office: Transat Distribution Canada, 191 The West Mall, 7th Floor, Etobicoke, ON, M9C 5K8. ®™ Trademarks of AIR MILES International Trading B.V. Used under license by LoyaltyOne, Inc. and Transat Distribution Canada Inc.



Welcome to the doll house → Bruce Jones’ small east-end townhouse is packed to the rafters with a gigantic collection of paper dolls, movie memorabilia and printed ephemera Writer Gordon Bowness | Photography Nicola Betts


March 2011


What do you collect? Paper. Mostly movie memorabilia: film stills, lobby cards, posters. And paper dolls, in a variety of illustration styles. I’ve always loved how they create whole miniature-sized people. How did it start? I grew up in small-town Jamaica. There was no TV but there was a local movie theatre. We got the standard Hollywood fare, films from England as well as French and Italian films dubbed into English. This made me realize that there was a big, glamorous world out there, exotic locales and beautiful people. I started clipping movie ads out of the newspapers and saving bubble gum cards with pictures of movie stars. Who is your favourite movie star? Claudia Cardinale. I fell in love with her when I was 12. A friend at school — a Catholic boarding school run by Jesuits — alerted me to a picture of her in Time magazine. She was described as a cross between Brigitte Bardot and Sophia Loren and she lived up to the description. I was hooked. How big is your Cardinale collection? You’ll think I’m mad. I have more than 1,000 magazine covers, plus hundreds of film stills and posters. And the paper dolls and the rest? I don’t want to tell you. You’ll have me committed.

serve something, it’s about control, collecting it all and bringing a certain order to things. Is it about collecting stories, too? You’re collecting a life for yourself. Invaluable experiences have come out of collecting, absolutely marvellous people and great friendships. Scouring flea markets and going to fairs has taken me around the world. You like eccentric characters. The people I’ve met through collecting have made my life very rich. I love knowing older people. I look at older people living well and say to myself, “That’s how I want to be.” For a lot of us, there is a missing generation that was killed off by AIDS. In the 1970s and ’80s, when you went to parties, you would get a full range of ages, young to old. That doesn’t happen much anymore. What about the internet? I have a love/hate relationship with it. I am constantly amazed by the things I see on the internet, but I don’t feel I own it or anything on it. There is too much of a disconnect. All those images belong out there. I get much more satisfaction from looking at an old magazine or reading a book. How has it affected collecting? The internet changed everything. Everyone’s too aware. You can’t find those hidden gems anymore. Continued on page 24

Okay, give some highlights. As a toy, paper dolls have gone out of fashion, yet they continue to turn up in advertisements and as editorial illustrations. These are the ones that I go for. The Scandinavian countries seem particularly fond of them, and I have some gems like Idi Amin, a nude Queen Silvia of Sweden and various celebrities, politicians and heads of state. Where does the collecting urge come from? In a philosophical way, collecting is more than just wanting to


L I V I N G & H EA LT H Continued from page 23

I used to find great stuff at the flea

and up. Had I been an astute collector and buying for investment,

— Don Mills by Richard Silver


e Av



d ls R Mil

Now that stuff is going for $100

in focus

n Do

market in Rome for under a dollar.


I would have bought a lot more in the ’80s. You’ve








Archives for more than 15 years. Why? I worry that the younger generation will forget how we got where we are now, how we got the freedoms they take for granted. There is the very real danger that these can be lost again. The archives are Ben Rahn /A-Frame Inc

very important; they keep history alive. What’s coming up? I’m painting a portrait of activist Jearld Moldenauer for the archives’ National Portrait Collection for a show in May. And I’m illustrat-






→ T EAR OFF T HE ROOF The mall is gone and the shops have gone upscale. Is this the new urbanism?

ing my second paper doll book for

and born-and-bred denizens of

Dover, this one on Bettie Page, out

Toronto, the new Shops at Don

sometime this summer. •

Mills must be like déjà vu repeat-

demolishing the mall in 2006,

ing itself. If you haven’t visited yet,

building streets, street parking and

go spend a few hours enjoying the

upgrading the stores and services,

high-end stores, restaurants, out-

hoping that density would increase

door music, outdoor skating rinks,

surrounding the location.

fountains and distinctly US shopping experience.

If they build it will they come? Have a visit and answer that ques-

The detailed history that appears

tion for yourself. Definitely check

on the website is really amazing.

out the website and read the his-

In the early ’50s, industrialist EP

tory at

Taylor decided to build a town, a

Just remember that this is not

planned community, on 200 acres

a discount mall. McEwan’s can

in what is now North York. The

help break the bank but you can

plan followed then-new US ideas

count on it having everything that

about designing “garden cities” in

you would find at a Whole Foods

the suburbs. At the centre of the

or Summerhill market and then

development was a strip mall,

some. Check out Joey’s Grill, the

which then morphed into a shop-

first of a chain of very hip spots.

ping area, that later became one of

As you look around at the Shops

the first covered shopping malls in

of Don Mills remember that it

North America.

began with EP Taylor more than

As the demographics of Don Mills

60 years ago. With all the changes

changed and one community was

in the first 60 years what will the

replaced by another, developers

next have in store?

took a radical chance bringing in some great stores and restaurants and making the area a hot location again. Part of that dream meant 24

March 2011

RICHARD SILVER is a salesperson with Bosley Real Estate and blogs at


Home Turf Leslieville by Brian Bailey Something’s brewing and it’s not just at local coffee house Dark Horse. Leslieville is like a new Soho on Queen. My first home was in the Brewery Lofts. Loved it. Enough to make me long to move back after four years on Bloor. Lovely Bloor. But the flavour of Queen East, Leslieville and Corktown was on my mind and in my heart. Enough. I bought a house and can now I walk to work. This is good! Please join me on one of my favourite walks….

FIRST DAY First stop: The very best in traditional Italian. Tommaso Trattoria (400 Eastern Ave; Owner Tommaso Conti returned from Italy two years ago to open this place in a not so pretty strip mall. The power of amazing food — now the spot is beautiful and the food completely addictive. It’s got personality bigger than all of Italy. Once you’ve found your way there, you’ll be back once a week (eat in, take out or delivery). Kitty corner from Tommaso is Avenue Road (415 Eastern Ave;, the ultimate in modern furniture. from Yabu Pushelberg.

Two blocks north and you are back on Queen West. Which brings us to the very, very best hot spot in Toronto for flowers. Stemz (783 Queen St E: Just pure, just beautiful, beautiful flowers, flowers that sound the chic alarm. Right across the street on the north side of Queen is Bonjour Brioche (812 Queen St W;, a Toronto institution. Beautiful French pastry. Two alarm! Next up, Table 17 (782 Queen St E; It’s packed to the walls every night, a testament to the food and those patrons who live in the hood.

Just past the reno stores and the newly renovated shoppers (yay) is the spot to have a cocktail, Wayla (996 Queen St E; whatareyoulookingatbar. com), an east-end gay bar that is just way more than fine. Which takes us to….


→ Food , flowers & fun Table 17, Meat on the Beach, Stemz and Bonjour Brioche make the tour.

are in the Beaches. It’s time to sink into relax mode, go to the boardwalk and enjoy the lake. One of my fave strolls. Dog in hand (on leash). This is an area to invest in. It’s energizing. Entrepreneurs abound. A slice of Toronto not to be missed.

Keep walking east on Queen. Brunch. Hello Toast (993 Queen St E; So good. Then shop for a few moments at the reprise furniture shops. And onto Meat on the Beach (1860 Queen St E; meatonthebeach. com), the food shop of food shops. Move aside. This is the real deal.

Designer Brian Bailey He’s the “ambassador” of this year’s Rock the Runway gala fundraiser for War Child Canada on Sat, Mar 5 at the ROM. See page 34 for details.

If you have gotten this far, you



L I V I N G & H EA LT H S m all b u siness

Avoiding those split ends → Friendship

and business can mix

Writer Annemarie Shrouder | Photography Jennifer Rowsom


alking into The Cabinet Salon in the evening feels like arriving at a dinner party: chandeliers provide a warm glow and music fills the room. There is conversation and laughter. A woman is sitting in an armchair by the window reading a magazine. The only thing distinguishing this from a typical living room scene is the hairdryer perched over the woman’s head. Welcome to The Cabinet Salon. A homey feel has been owners’ Emma Rose and Alex MacDonald’s vision from the beginning. The high ceilings, radiators and large framed windows suggest the Victorian men’s dressing room the salon is named after. Dark brown hardwood floors add warmth; wooden armoires host the sound system and the hair products. Rose and MacDonald have known each other since they were 12, growing up in Renfrew, Ontario. After high school, MacDonald went into pharmacy and Rose trained as a hairstylist and then in graphic design. By the early 2000s MacDonald was in styling school and they found themselves working together at the Lid Lounge on Church St. Eight years later they opened their own business, The Cabinet Salon. While the economy was still reeling, and some thought they were crazy, MacDonald and Rose hammered out a business plan and crunched some numbers. What followed fairly quickly was a successful visit to the bank, a trip to a trade show, and finding the perfect spot: 577 Queen St W (at Portland). On Aug 9, 2009, five weeks after signing the lease, they opened their doors, and haven’t looked back. “It was our time,” says MacDonald. “We knew it [the recession] was 26

March 2011

happening but we didn’t take that into consideration.” “We weren’t scared of that,” Rose adds. “Maybe we should have been.” There have been some scary moments, however. Completing major renovations, on budget, within five weeks, on top of fulltime work can put a strain on any relationship. “By the last week we were burning out emotionally and physically,” MacDonald says. Lack of hot water and a non-functioning dryer the day before opening added to the tension. But opening day went off without a hitch, and the transition has been smooth. The Cabinet Salon felt “comfortably busy” within just a few months thanks to loyal clients and a wellpublicized launch party. Co-ownership and industry quirks have supported their success. Long days on their feet can drain inspiration. Having a business partner means being able to take time off to rejuvenate. Although clients may

stretch the time between appointments when money is tight, says Rose, “they aren’t going to switch hairdressers to save 20 dollars.” Plus, clients tend to follow their stylist as long as geography permits. Their new address meant more than the usual 70 to 80 percent client retention. The neighbourhood isn’t new to Rose. Her uncle, artist Steve Rose, owned a boutique and hair salon in the 1980s and ’90s called Narcissism just down the street from where The Cabinet Salon is today. He is pleased by their success. “They have a good friendship as well as a good partnership,” says Steve Rose, “and they both have strengths and weaknesses that complement each other very well.” Hairstyling isn’t the only thing he and his niece have in common. His art was the first to grace the walls of The Cabinet. Art by local artists is rotated bi-monthly. “It’s a community-based space that people feel warm and welcome to hang

→ OFF T HE T OP Friends Alex MacDonald and Emma Rose opened their own business, The Cabinet Salon, at the height of the recession.

out in,” says Emma Rose. It’s an intimate environment,” says MacDonald, “for the employees and the clients.” Clients sit in front of beautiful full length mirrors framed in dark brown, spread throughout the space back-toback, not in a row. Leesa Berry and Renae May (stylists) and Brid Rennie (reception) complete The Cabinet Salon family. Rose and MacDonald’s friendship has built and sustains The Cabinet Salon. “It has given us a really good foundation to build our business from,” says Rose. Business success — and fun — makes building a dream an extension of who they both are. The Cabinet Salon 577 Queen St W. (647) 344-3132.


stylin' with chris tyrell It’s always refreshing to see someone whose casual look reflects elements of old-school hipster style. Musician Shadrack Jackman-McKenzie combines old-school elements, like Rude Boy hat and three-quarter length velvet coat, with leggings and ankle boots to create a cool, relaxed vibe. →


What are you wearing?

Brown velvet jacket (a gift from my mother), leggings from Lululemon, Brixton hat from Urban Outfitters and black worn-out boots from H&M. I love this juxtaposition specifically because the result is casual and unpretentious, not costumey or dressy, and that’s so very stylish.

What item of clothing can you not live without?

Who had the most influence on your sense of style?

Do you have a fashion fantasy?

I once lost my black Brixton fedora, and on that same day, I lost myself. It’s funny how you can grow so attached to a piece of clothing, but that Brixton has saved me from some bad hair days and has always been good to me. Fortunately, I was able to find the exact same hat. We were meant to be.

My grandfather recently passed away, and I received a bunch of his clothes. He was a man fond of history, and that’s what his clothes gave me: a sense of history. It has ignited something within me to be retrospective.

I’ve had this reoccurring dream of me in the Amazon with a dread-locked ponytail wearing a skin-tight zebra print body suit. Yes, I dream big.

Your first fashion memory?

I highly dislike Uggs. I also cannot bear to be in the presence of anything polka-dot.

Using my mother’s window drapes to create an extravagant strapless Oscars-worthy gown. I won best dressed.

What’s your fashion pet peeve?

ou will run out of places Ybefore we run out of SELECTION


the grooming game

— with Dino Dilio

Shop our beautiful showroom now to find the perfect light for any room in your house, condo or cottage.

→ Better looking skin can boost personal confidence and career opportunities. But healthy, youthful and handsome skin doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. Here’s what a basic, modern and effective skin-care routine looks like.


1549 Avenue Rd. (North of Lawrence) 416.782.1129 |


Use a gentle, non-soap, liquid

Apply lip balm right after brushing

cleanser to remove the day’s debris.

your teeth every day and your lips

Wet face and hands. Dispense a

will be ready for any task.

tablespoon size of cleanser into


one palm and rub between hands.

No more huffing and buffing.

Massage over face, throat and gently

Chemical exfoliants are clinically

around eyes and deep into lashes.

proven to dissolve the bond that

Rinse well and thoroughly in the

holds dead cells to the skin’s sur-

shower or at the sink with many

face. It sloughs off trapped dead skin

splashes of water. Don’t completely

cells and other debris that won’t

dry your face. Pat water droplets

shed freely and deep cleans the

with a soft towel but leave skin

pores, increases skin cell turnover,

moist. This is the time to apply your

reduces the appearance of crin-

moisturizer/sun screen as it will

kles, and polishes the skin making

spread evenly and better penetrate

it smoother, softer and radiant. Who

the skin’s surface.

doesn’t want that?

Face Cocktail

Exfoliating products come in two

I’m a big believer in multipurpose

basic versions. Often manual exfo-

products and here’s where you can

liants can be too abrasive and when

go basic or hybrid. Choose a basic

improperly used can do more dam-

moisturizer with a formula and

age than good. I prefer the ease and

weight to suit your taste, skin type


and needs. Light-weight oil-free liq-

exfoliants that are similar to “ton-

uids and gels suit young, combina-

ers.” Apply after cleaning and shav-

tion, oily, acne and sensitive skins

ing every other day and you will

because the formula hydrates and

love what you see and feel. Alpha-

then evaporates leaving a smooth

hydroxyl acid is glycolic acid —

matte finish. Richer lotions and

excellent for dry and mature skins.

creams and balms condition and

It dissolves flaking skin, hydrates

nourish dry skin effectively with a

and helps to repair sun damage.

smooth, soft and supple finish.

Beta-hydroxyl acid is salicylic acid




Upgrade and fortify your moistur-

— best suited for combination and

izer with antioxidants (green tea,

oily skins. It removes dead skin

vitamin C) to protect skin from free

cells, clears blackheads, treats blem-

radical environmental damage. Add

ishes and has anti-redness prop-

anti-aging prevention ingredients

erties. These exfoliants can cause

like broad spectrum sunscreen of

irritation and redness for sensitive

SPF 15 and/or vitamin A (Retinol) for

skins — then remove product imme-

line prevention and skin radiance.

diately and apply a cold compress.

Stay away from the new diamond dust additives — this is just pure BS (beauty silliness).

Dino Dilio is a freelance makeup artist, writer and resident beauty expert on CityLine.


FREE PARKING contact Gallery to reserve parking spot.

Savour the city — with Marty Galin

→ Heroes are everywhere. Mike Klein survived a concentration camp and came to Canada at age 16. He was the sole survivor in his family. He started Nortown Foods with a partner in 1960 as a small butcher and fish shop. It is now one of the city’s most respected prepared hot and cold food stores.

NORVAL MORRISSEAU | Erotic, 49.5” x 77.0” 260 RICHMOND ST. EAST, SUITE 100, TORONTO ON M5A 1P4 T. 416.777.0260 • F. 416.340.0851 • WWW.GALLERY260.COM

Oil on canvas | 30 x 40 in

The soups at Nortown Foods taste like there’s a Jewish grandmother in the kitchen. There is

→ Qualit y Firs t Fresh meat and prepared foods demand attention at Nortown.

everything from beef barley and

hearty options include a chili

chicken to hot and sour soups.

chipotle and a vegetarian home-

Mike Klein, now joined by his chil-

made chili. Each say, “Eat me, I am

dren Marilyn and Brian, creates


this world of amazing delicacies.

Nortown Food will prepare all

The service is great and the food

kinds of food trays for your next

displays are delightful. Brian says

celebration. They can feed you, as

it is all about dedication to qual-

well as a hundred friends.

ity; they will never bend on this.

Cooking tip

Paula, who has been working for

Brisket is a delicious cut of

25 years, knows most customers

meat from the breast of a cow.

by name.






The salads are all prepared fresh

to break down the connective

each day and sold by weight. There

tissue. Cook it on high, then bring

is a scrumptious tuna salad — that

down the temperature so the

even comes in low-fat variety.

juices flow in the meat. Use lots of

Other choice selections include

water and onion soup; keep it cov-

the three grain salad, egg salad,

ered and moist. And use love.

guacamole and couscous. Nortown marinades all its meats and fish for cooking. Burgers are a big seller — both raw and cooked — and include chicken, turkey and beef. They are all amazing. Other

Nortown Foods Three locations: 892 Eglinton Ave W (416) 789-2921. 303 York Mills Rd. (416) 447-0310. Promenade Centre Mall. Thornhill. (905) 889- 1610.

MON - SAT 10AM - 6PM • SUN 11AM - 5PM


The 60-day challenge → Want

to trim the fat? Be reasonable Writer Michael Pihach


n the television game show The Biggest Loser, overweight contestants are put through insane sweatyour-brains-out fitness challenges in an attempt to lose weight and win fat cash prizes. Is pushing yourself like a Biggest Loser contestant healthy? Personal trainer and nutritionist Jody Boynton doesn’t think so. “The goals on that show are unrealistic,” he says. “People can get injured.” Instead, Boynton suggests weight-loss hopefuls focus more


month 2010

→ GE T REAL Nelson Tomé’s realistic workout is supervised by Extreme Fitness trainer Jody Boynton.

on reasonable goal-setting, rather than pushing yourself too hard. It’s the thinking behind the 60Day Challenge, the latest fitness campaign to come out of Extreme Fitness, where Boynton works. The challenge, says Boynton, is designed to achieve fitness results; but it’s also designed to get people excited about working out. “You’ll feel better, you’ll sleep better,” says Boynton, listing off the bene-

fits of the program, which includes weight loss and strength building. What makes the program unique is its realistic approach to your fitness needs. “You spend more time on less muscles,” says Boynton. Typical exercises include a cardio regime that gradually increases each week and core training using a medicine ball. “The muscles have a longer recovering time between workouts,” says Boynton, whose most notable client is a 300-pound man who completed the program, lost 25 pounds, and was given the opportunity to share his story on the Dr Phil show. The biggest challenge for most people is improving their diet. “If your food comes out of a package, don’t eat it,” says Boynton, pointing to the fatty, often unknown ingredients that lurk within prepackaged food. The trainer advises his clients to cook at home and “cook for leftovers,” which eliminates the excuse of having no time to cook. Fresh chicken breasts, stews and quinoa, a South American grain and “healthy filler,” are the right foods to eat, he says. In Toronto magazine’s creative director, Nelson Tomé, recently

completed the 60-Day Challenge. Not only did he slim his figure, he also became more self-conscious of his bad habits, such as drinking excess wine at night. He also approached workouts more reasonably, and didn’t overexert himself to the point where his muscles could not properly heal. “I’ve dropped two pant sizes,” says Tomé. “I’m getting compliments. People are flirting with me.” The onus to get to the gym, identify your weaknesses, set reasonable goals and get in shape, even if it takes 60 days, is on you, and you only. It’s not about winners and losers.

Tips to get fit fast 1. B e reasonable. Increase your cardio and weights gradually. Don’t overdo it. 2. Eat light at night. Avoid heavy carbs, like bread, after 6pm. 3. Stay away from packaged foods. They contain fatty ingredients you don’t need. 4. Love the gym. Go with friends. Bring an iPod with your favourite tunes. Staying motivated is everything.


Meet Your Perfect match

relationship advice

— with Adam Segal → “I’ve been seeing my girlfriend for about eight months and I couldn’t be happier with her. About four months ago, we decided it was time for me to meet the two young children she has from her previous relationship. The kids stay with her every weekend and I’m pretty sure they’re not so fond of me. They seem to throw more tantrums when we’re all together and my attempts to ingratiate myself to them have fallen flat. While I understood their resistance to me at first, I’m beginning to fear that I’ll forever be slotted into the step-witch category. How can I convince them that I’m really on their team?” Maggie

Not feeling liked, by just about

Meet Them Where They’re At

anyone, is always difficult for our

Unfortunately, you are already

ego. Despite your best intentions,

at a disadvantage: Kids who’ve

there’s a chance the kids won’t be

survived a separation are wres-

alright for a little while longer.

tling with their allegiances to

Here are some tips that should

either one of their folks, so becom-

help ease the turbulence.

ing besties with you could feel like

Be Authentic

a threat to those loyalties. Like it

Kids have their finger on the

or not, you represent the end of

pulse and can sniff inauthentic ges-

a dream: Some of the edge you’re

tures from miles away. Being real

seeing in them could be their real-

and consistent is more likely to

ization that their parents won’t

build a connection over the long

be magically reunited. You are a

term. Honour their authenticity

reminder to them that their mom

too: Don’t pressure them to show

has moved on, so be sensitive to

affection that they aren’t yet feel-

their processes.

ing. When it comes to forming a

Keep it cool

strong bond, kids are no different

Leave disciplinary stuff to their

than adults — so show your genu-

mom — the munchkins have no

ine interest in their lives. Ask about

reason to see you as a parental fig-

their friends, activities, likes and

ure at this point. You don’t need

dislikes; be invested in their day-

to prove your place by taking a

to-day lives instead of trying to be

heavy hand, which could only fos-

their favourite.

ter more ambivalence about you.

Don’t Compete

One last thought: While you don’t

Assume that your girlfriend’s pri-

want to delude the kids into think-

ority will be the kids when she’s

ing you’re just their mom’s pal, it

looking after them. Their time with

may be helpful to lay back on the

her is precious right now so you’ll

overt displays of affection so that

need to rely on your separate cou-

it’s not a trial by fire for them.

ple time together for true intimacy. Ultimately, the kids come first — so if your gal needs to cancel dinner plans to fetch the kids, you’ll have to be okay with it. The more relaxed you are in the presence of the kids, the more relaxed they’ll be.

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



Eye of the storm → Former

Pride Toronto co-chair Mark Singh faces tough questions about his tenure Writer Paul Gallant | Photography Michael Pihach


verybody’s got something to say about Pride Toronto’s rough year. But through the political controversy (the banning and subsequent unbanning of the phrase “Israeli Apartheid” from the parade) and financial woes (a $431,808 deficit on a budget of almost $3 million), there’s always been one voice you can count on hearing: Pride’s former co-chair Mark Singh. Of course, executive director Tracey Sandilands, who came all the way from South Africa in 2008 to helm the fractious organization and who resigned in January, became a lightning rod for criticism. But Singh was co-chair during the 2008 and 2009 festivals, the period when Sandilands was hired and when Pride experienced its most rapid growth. Even though Singh’s term as co-chair ended last year, he has 32

March 2011

time into building the content.... In 2009, Tracey came to me expressing frustration that the web person we were working with was not responding to requests quickly.... Tracey said, “Janine’s been volunteering for a long time, she has the skills, do you think it would be a conflict of interest if we pulled her in and paid her as a consultant to do the work.” I said, if you declare that you have a conflict and you make sure you don’t maintain decision-making power over the contract, it was okay. So we assigned the contract to the operations director to manage. There was never any discussion about the quantity of the contract. We assumed it was ongoing. I can’t remember what the 2009 numbers were but I can assure you it wasn’t $40,000. Whatever approval happened after that was not my decision. remained the organization’s fiercest defender and the subject of much speculation about his role in Pride’s current troubles. Through the AGM in January, his commentary was sharp and unrelenting. During one volunteer’s presentation, Singh tweeted: “your ability to perform screen capture is astounding. alternatively, your ability to understand basic org structures is lacking.” In an exclusive interview with In Toronto late in January, Singh talked about the $40,317 contract that Pride gave Sandilands’ wife, his own husband’s party-planning contracts with Pride and other controversies (for his comments on Queers Against Israeli Apartheid and his connection to WorldPride, see the extended interview online at

I know you can’t talk about the resignation of executive director Tracey Sandilands and you aren’t on the board now. But back when you were on the board, did you approve the contract that paid her wife for working on Pride Toronto’s website? I find this whole issue — I’m not trying to deflect blame away from me — but I find this whole issue to be funny because when the organization put out its financial statement about this issue, it clearly indicated that in 2009, when I was co-chair, I approved her [Sandilands’s wife, Janine Marais] first coming on board, and there was another cochair after me who continued to endorse the situation. The story is... in 2009, we started revamping the website to make it much more dynamic.... That required an investment and somebody had to put

In retrospect, does that seem like a good decision, paying the executive director’s wife like that? We’ve hired friends and family of the organization for a long time. At one point, we had a policy in place that people who were volunteering for the organization could not be paid for anything, and the year that [former executive director Fatima Amarshi] left, that boiled over into a major issue and a number of volunteers were up in arms about it. It was a bit of a draconian measure from my perspective. I work with the City of Toronto and we have a number of policies in place for these kinds of things. That’s why we developed a purchasing policy, which was approved during my term as co-chair. We wanted to address the concerns while protecting the organization from any harm. Two years


later, with this situation having

body would do the work. Nothing.

thing I find funny is that nobody

doing what he was doing for the

blown up the way it did, it’s easy to

Everybody tried. I asked Daniel, he

ever thanked Daniel for helping

benefit of the community.

look back and say it was an error on

said flat-out no. We put out the

Egale Canada pro bono with their

our part, but who would have ever

RFP and nobody responded. At

gala for the first year.

thought it would have gotten to that

the end of it, I went to Daniel and

point? For me to say it was an error

begged him to take the contract.

Couldn’t you have anticipated that

you see the current board mov-

would be disingenuous.

When he said he’d do it, I imme-

Daniel’s and Janine Marais’ con-

ing past the current situation?

diately declared my conflict to the

tracts could be seen as nepotism?




As someone who’s now just a member of Pride Toronto, how do



board, which is well-documented.

I can’t speak to Janine’s contract.


I don’t. My outlook on Pride Toronto as we knew it is very bleak


I wasn’t in the leadership role of

With regards to Daniel’s, the optics

at this point. I don’t think the orga-

Productions, got the contract for

the gala at that time.... I find it so

were discussed and the organiza-

nization is going to fail or dissolve,

the Pride Gala for the last three

funny that people make so much

tion was comfortable with that.

but the celebration of the past five

years. The last gala cost, I think,

ruckus about this issue when they


don’t understand the details behind

How much did your household

forces at work here are too power-

[Laughs] I’m glad you brought that

it. All dealings were outside the

profit from 2010’s Pride Gala?

ful and have a very clear agenda to

up. [Before I joined the gala com-

realm of my influence. People seem

[After conferring with Chimento.]

make Pride smaller and make Pride

mittee] they had decided to hire

to think I’m an evil super genius

It was a $15,000 contract. There were

less corporate — there are so many

someone to take over the logis-

who made hundreds of thousands

staff, the costs of doing business, so

agendas now, each pulling Pride in

tical work of the committee. The

of dollars during my time at Pride.

that’s not profit. I don’t have a num-

a different direction. I’m not just

RFP [request for proposals] is in the

In the second year, the contract

ber on what his profit would be. It’s

talking about size and scope, but in

public record, it was $5,000. It was

was tendered to renewal. The event

frustrating. Daniel has come under

spirit, in international impact.

ridiculously below market value

may cost a certain amount but the

such attack for his work for Pride

and everybody knew it would be

event planner doesn’t have access

Toronto, but nobody’s paid atten-

tough to get anybody to respond to

to that. All cheques go through

tion to the volunteer work he’s done

an RFP at that value. We tried all of

Pride, not through anybody else. All

for Pride Toronto. He started in the

our personal networks to see if any-

he received was his payment. The

organization as a volunteer and was

or six years will no longer be. The

See an extended version of this interview at See page 8 for Pride’s Community Advisory Panel report.

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l i s t i n gs & e v e n ts

Continued from page 35

in spot John Fluevog Writer Derek Dotto

Classical & jazz St John Passion The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Festival Orchestra perform JS Bach’s gorgeously gorgeous oratorio with soloists Suzie LeBlanc, Laura Pudwell, Rufus Müller, Lawrence Wiliford

and Daniel Lichti; Noel Edison conducts. $43-$73.

Few stores can make you utter these seemingly contradictory questions in the same breath: “What the hell were they thinking?” and “Why don’t I own those?” John Fluevog is one of those stores. With styles ranging from elegant three-inch heels to chunky Dr Martens-style Angel boots, there’s something for pretty much everyone. Found on Queen St W at John, just across from the MuchMusic building, the Toronto John Fluevog store is modelled after a 1950s diner, minus the surly waitress. You’ll find the entire product line here, so take your time when browsing. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the oddball shapes and vibrant colours for which Fluevog is known. The innovative designs and attention to detail are what gained John Fluevog a cult following when he started selling shoes in Vancouver in the early 1970s. Forty years later, he’s still responsible for the majority of the designs you see today. Fluevog shoes are made from eco-friendly products in factories that employ old-school cob36

March 2011

→ s t ep i t up Fluevogs have won a devoted following for 40 years

bling techniques. Since his humble beginnings on the west coast, Fluevog has expanded his wellheeled empire both north and south of the border. In commemoration of his 40th anniversary, Fluevog has brought back several fan-favourite styles from the past four decades but my pick for the spring season is a new shoe, the RAI. It’s the latest addition to a family of shoes named after public broadcast radio stations around the world. Available in black and brown, this stylish two-toned loafer has enough vintage flare and ba da boom to live up to its namesake, Radio Audiziono Italiane. Fluevog’s footwear philosophy is best summed up by a quote from John himself: “There are two kinds of people — those who shy away from attention, and those who wear Fluevogs.”

John Fluevog 242 Queen St W. (416) 581-1420.

7:30pm. Thu, Mar 3. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. Oscar Swings The Monty Alexander Trio with guests Russell Malone on guitar and Houston Person on tenor sax. The penultimate concert in the Aspects of Oscar series, this one looks at the social and civil rights works of Oscar Peterson including the Hymn to Freedom. $20-$65. 8pm. Sat, Mar 5. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. (416) 408-0208. Jonathan Harvey New Music Concerts offers a number of works by the celebrated British electro-acoustic composer. Featuring Robert Aitken, Lori Freedman, Stephen Clarke, Fujiko Imajishi and the New Music Concerts Ensemble. $35. Talk 7:15pm; concert 8pm. Sun, Mar 6. Betty Oliphant Theatre. 404 Jarvis St. (416) 961-9594.

Theatre & Dance The Secret Garden The

Edinburgh Festival Theatre’s musical version of the British children’s classic. With lyrics by

Marsha Norman and score by Lucy Simon. The role of Mary is played by Ellie Coldicutt and Sophie Kavanagh. $40-$110. 7:30pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Wed, Sat & Sun. Until Sun, Mar 20. Royal Alexandra Theatre. 260 King St W. (416) 872-1212. Swan Lake The Mariinsky Ballet (better known in the west as the Kirov) performs Tchaikovsky’s ballet now made infamous from the film Black Swan. Konstantin Sergeyev revised the choreography and directs, with set designs by Igor Ivanov and costumes by Galina Solovieva. Apparently there’s a happy ending? Pavel Bubelnikov conducts the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. $60-$225. 8pm. Tue, Mar 1-5. 2pm. Mar 5 & 6. Sony Centre. 1 Front St E. (416) 872-2262 La Voix Humaine

Celebrated Dutch director Ivo van Hove and Holland’s largest repertory company, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, present Jean Cocteau’s classic monologue from 1927, The Human Voice. Starring Halina Reijn. In Dutch with English surtitles. Part of World Stage. $15-$45. 8pm. Wed, Mar 2-5. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queen’s Quay W. (416) 973-4000.

Norman Wong

Takahashi), the Brooklynbased punk-house band touring with its debut album Talk About Body. 8pm doors; (wristbands accepted). Sat, Mar 12. Sneaky Dees. 431 College St (416) 603-3090. On the conference side of things, CMW honours radio pioneer David Marsden. Mar11 (see page 41). $75 fest pass. Melissa Etheridge Fri, Mar 11. See page 43. Janet Jackson Number Ones Up Close and Personal Tour. $69-$149. 7pm. Sat, Mar 12 & 13. Sony Centre. 1 Front St E.

The Erik Bruhn Prize

The ninth international ballet competition features dancers from American Ballet Theatre, Hamburg Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and Stuttgart Ballet. The National Ballet of Canada will be represented by corps members Shino Mori and Naoya Ebe. The National will also perform George Balanchine’s Theme and Variations. $22-$152. 7:30pm. Sat, Mar 5. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 345-9595. national. National Ballet of Canada Don Quixote. Cre-

ated by Marius Petipa and set to music by Ludwig Minkus, later restaged by Alexander Gorsky. This version, after Nicolas Beriozoff, hews close to

→ SNOWFL AKE Gentleman Reg plays the Gladstone for CMW on Thu, Mar 10.

the original. Wed, Mar 9-13. John Cranko’s Onegin, with music by Tchaikovsky and sets and costumes by Santo Loquasto. Thu, Mar 17-20. Balanchine’s Theme and Variations with music by Tchaikovsky, Balanchine’s Apollo with music by Stravinsky, and Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons with music by Desyatnikov. Wed, Mar 23-27. $22-$152. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 345-9595. Tombs of Vanishing Indians: Still Here

Native Earth Performing Arts and Red Diva Projects presents Marie Clements’ account of contact between European and aboriginal peoples as seen through the personal lens of three sisters. A seamless, poetic blend of languages (English and Gabrielino) and time periods. Featuring Keith Barker, Flaen Johnson, Nicole JoyFraser, Martin Julien, PJ Prudat, Michelle St John and Stephan Wolfert;

li st ing s & even ts I Marcus Garvey

Yvette Nolan directs. PWYC: Fri & Sun. 8pm. Tue–Sat. 2:30pm. Sun. Thu, Mar 10-27. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. The Best of Sketch Fest Three award-win-

ning troupes: Falcon Powder (Jim Annan, Scott Montgomery and Kurt Smeaton), Deadpan Powerpoint (Mike Kiss and Ted Sutton) and Reverse Oreo (Adam McNamura, Olivia Coburn and Jonathan Langdon. $15. 11pm. Fri, Mar 11. The Second City. 51 Mercer St. (416) 343-0011. Spin Songs about bikes,

women and advertising written and sung by Evalyn Parry accompanied on a vintage bicycle. Inspired by the true tale of Annie Londonderry, the first woman to ride around the world on a bicycle in 1894. With musicians Anna Friz and Brad Hart; directed by Ruth Madoc-Jones. A Buddies in Bad Times presentation in association with OutSpoke Productions. $16-$20. 8pm. Wed-Sun. Tue, Mar 16-27. Buddies. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555.

Theatre Archipelago and B Current present the North American premiere of Edgar Nkosi White’s 1987 multimedia biography of the Jamaicaborn pan-African activist. Starring Richard Stewart, Beryl Bain, Jack Grinhouse, Quancetia Hamilton, Azeem Natoo and Muoi Nene; Rhoma Spencer directs. $15-$35. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm Sun. Tue, Mar 16-27. Papermill Theatre. 67 Pottery Rd. Are You Okay A kinetic conversation about creation, physical mastery, body betrayal, the brutal humour of time and the ephemeral nature of professional competence. Peggy Baker Dance Projects, in association with Necessary Angel, presents the world premiere of a theatre/dance piece created and performed by Peggy Baker and Michael Healey: Daniel Brooks directs. $25; PWYC Mar 6. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 4pm. Sun, Fri, Mar 4-13. Factory Studio Theatre. 125 Bathurst St. (416) 504-9971. Three Boyz, Three Countries and One Dream Dance Immersion

presents the Baby Boyz Dance Group’s world premiere of Joseph Jomo Pierre’s dance theatre piece, with choreography by Kevin A Ormsby and Trevor Brown; Weyni Mengesha directs. The stories of three young men are entwined in urban dance and the connections among dancehall, hip-hop, African and contemporary dance. $27-$32. 8pm. Thu, Mar 24-26. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queen’s Quay W. (416) 973-4000.

TV & Radio The F Word: Who Wants To Be a Feminist

Doc Zone presents Michael McNamara’s documentary of first-, second- and third-wave feminists, including Germaine Greer, Naomi Wolf, Susan Faludi and Amy Richards. 8pm. Thu, Mar 3. CBC TV.

Causes & Events Make a Wish Gala The opening night performance of the Mariinksy ballet’s Swan Lake (see above) is bracketed by a pre-dinner and postshow reception. The fundraising gala supports Make-A-Wish Canada, which enriches the lives of kids with life-threatening illnesses, and Recovery Acres Society, an addiction counselling centre in Edmonton. $600. Tue, Mar 1. (416) 872-1212. FemCab 2011 Nightwood Theatre’s 28th annual International Women’s Day celebration. Activist, writer and educator Judy Rebick is the keynote speaker; comedian Sandra Battaglini hosts. Featuring comedian Chelsea Manders, playwright Judith Thompson, choreographer Julia Aplin, poet Lara Bozabalian and music by Shakura S’Aida, Donna Grantis Band, Alejandra Ribera and Guiomar Campbell. $32. 8pm. Tue, Mar 1. Brigantine Room. 235 Queen’s Quay W. (416) 944-1740. Kitchen Sisters Marion Kane and Lynn Crawford team up for an exquisite dining experience to benefit Sistering, an organization serving hot meals to homeless and low-income women in Toronto since 1981. Reception and dinner features a five-course meal by a who’s who of local chefs including Lora Kirk (Ruby Watchco), Colen Quinn (Pangaea) and Anne Yarymowich (Frank). $500; $1,000 chef’s VIP table. 6pm. Tue, Mar 8. Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. 85 Hanna Ave. (416) 926-9762 ext 243. Laughing Out Loud and Proud A comedy gala to

raise money for the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. Featuring Leslie Jordan (Will and Grace) and local singer and drag artiste Miss Conception. $125; $200 VIP (includes reception). 6pm. Sat, Mar 12. Great Hall, Hart House. 7 Hart House Circle. (416) 777-2755.

in spot The Burger’s Priest Writer Pam Shime | Photography Derek Dotto

The exquisite burgers at The Burger’s Priest are too good to be true.

→ t he good news Cheeseburgers at The Burger`s Priest are divine.

them inside that brilliant bun.

The Burger’s Priest is run by a

The Priest raises The Option one

former seminarian whose gospel

cheeseburger, so that while you’re

is now fresh ground beef griddled

savouring that cheese-burger mix,

to perfection on a soft bun (though

a gooier cheese spills out of deep-

he hasn’t abandoned the other

fried mushrooms to produce an

Gospel — he closes down every


Sunday to go to church). The pre-

The only thing more confession-

mium beef is ground on the prem-

worthy is the chili cheese fries, a

ises every hour; the “insubstan-

meal in itself and well worth a try.

tial” bun will make its way into



Two tips: Bring cash (the only

your fantasies (you think it won’t,


but it will Blanche, it will).

arrive too late. Take it from me




The basic cheeseburger is my

— it’s not pretty when you’re

favourite. It’s where the rub-

hanging around at 9:15pm and

ber hits the road on The Burger’s

The Burger’s Priest informs a

Priest simplicity mantra. My girl-

group of tough local skateboard-

friend swears it has curative prop-

ers that the last two patties have

erties, for cold and flu at least.

just been taken and it’s too late to

Fried onions and bacon are the

grind another batch. Faces crum-

only add-ons and available top-

ple, pleading ensues, the recently

pings are the basics: ketchup,

lucky customers smell danger.

mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles.

Head on down, grab one of the few stools at the slim counter,

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A RT & D E S I G N

Ph o t o graph y

luminous →

Feel the glow of snapping up great art at Snap Writer Gordon Bowness


March 2011


→ Opposite page New Home series by Stefanie Fiore t his page Air de Nymphe by Sonja Scharf (left); Yuki Nonaka as Tokisumi by Hiroshi Watanabe (below); Hideaway of the Imagination by Steven Nederveen (bottom).


ublisher MaryAnn Camilleri

to raise the most money possible



for ACT. These works sell because

hunter and collector. Her

we curate the hottest emerging tal-

arts publishing house, the Magenta

ent as well as established artists

Foundation, keeps her constantly

within the auction lots.”



on the move, checking out pho-

There are some big name art stars

tographers locally and internation-

on the block, like Hiroshi Watanabe,

ally. For the past five years she’s


curated Snap, the AIDS Committee

Greg Girard and Barbara Cole.

of Toronto’s big photo fundraiser,

Some works may sell for more than

one of the most high-octane arts

$5,000. But don’t feel intimated by

events on the Toronto calendar.

the big price tags. “I’m not just look-

“We put on a good show,” she says.

ing for heavy hitters. This is still an

“The energy is really high.

affordable event,” Camilleri says.




“After five years, I know our

“I want Snap to be welcoming for

crowd and our market. I know

first-time collectors. So I want to see

what ACT is about and what ACT

works go for $500 as well as $5,000. I

collectors are about. Yes, the work

want everyone to come out and feel

is visually beautiful, but I’m here

Continued on page 40


A RT & D E S I G N

Continued from page 39

sion; artists like Russell Brohier,

they can participate and go home

Nelson French, Steven Nederveen

with a great piece of art.”

and Sonja Scharf participated in the

Similarly, she loves the exchange

Ten for Ten lot in the live auction.

of energy that happens when

“It was so wonderful to see how

younger artists get to share the

much care and thought these art-

spotlight with more successful

ists put into the process. I can’t



say enough about how that rep-

two years ago, one of the student

resents the spirit of Snap. It was

pieces in the Snap Stars series

such an honour and joy for every-

went for seven times its asking

one involved.”



price. “It’s so exciting. Here’s an

The public preview is at Edward

emerging artist coming into his

Day Gallery (952 Queen St W) from

own, and people recognize it.”

Thu, Mar 17 to 20; the art is view-

Snap has raised $1.3 million over

able online at

the last nine years. To mark the 10th anniversary of Snap, organizers approached 10 photographers to create a special one-off commis-

Snap $90. 6pm-11pm. Sun, Mar 27. National Ballet School. 400 Jarvis St. (416) 340-2437.

→ start your bid Cloud Study by Barbara Cole (above); Palau de la Musica Catalana by David Leventi (top right); Gardiner by Toni Hafkensheid (middle right); Untitled by Jinyoung Kim (bottom right).


March 2011

A RT & D E S I G N m u si c

The spirit of radio lives on →DJ

David Marsden to be honoured during Canadian Music Week Writer Kevin Ritchie


avid Marsden is dogmatic about free-form radio. More than 30 years after he convinced execs at pioneering alternative radio station CFNY of the commercial merits of going format-free, the veteran rock DJ continues to broadcast on his own terms. “Most people play songs. I don’t play songs — I play music,” says Marsden. “It’s about mixing the music together so that in 20 minutes I might play five songs but hopefully you’ll think it’s one.” On Saturday and Sunday nights, Toronto station The Rock 94.9 FM broadcasts The Marsden Theatre in Fabulous Free Form, five hours during which Marsden spins whatever he feels like, from classics like The Beatles and Patti Smith to newer acts like My Morning Jacket, Scissor Sisters, Elbow and Gentleman Reg. Scoring a free-form DJ gig on a terrestrial radio station in Toronto is extremely rare. Eight years ago, the internet radio station Iceberg Media, which Marsden helped co-create, was bought by Astral Media; Marsden says it was turned into a “jukebox.” Then The Rock approached him and made an offer he couldn’t refuse. “They asked me what would it take to get me back on the radio? And so I said, ‘What are you offering?’ And they said, ‘You can do whatever you want,’” he recalls. “I said, ‘Okay, can you put that in writing?’” A quick glance at his 50-year career explains why execs at The Rock were so obliging. Marsden’s life as a rock ’n’ roll DJ took off in the ’60s and ’70s when he began broadcasting as the fast-talking, freestyling Dave Mickie — an on-air persona that would inspire a chapter in Marshall McLuhan’s book Understanding Media. He parlayed that success into

boutique sofa $1595*

several radio, print and television gigs before becoming programming director at CFNY with a mandate to break new music. Its faithful listeners dubbed it “the spirit of radio” in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Marsden jumped on the punk and new wave sounds out of the early ’80s. He partly attributes his ability to hone in on popular music trends to his time spent in gay clubs. “I had a record executive say back to me in the early ’80s — and I think he knew I was gay — he said to me, ‘David if you really want to see what tomorrow’s music is, go to a gay club.’ It’s always been that way.” On Fri, Mar 11, Marsden will be inducted into the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame and will receive the Allan Waters Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award at the Canadian Radio Music Awards, part of Canadian Music Week. Though he’s not revealing what message he plans on imparting to attendees at the ceremony, he hopes his induction serves as a reminder that, in order to remain relevant, broadcasters must give listeners something they can’t find elsewhere. “My motto has always been this,

→ SAT ISFACT ION David Marsden’s 50-year career began in the 1960s with the fast-talking, free-styling persona Dave Mickie (right).

right from the very beginning, even when I was 15 years old: If I can’t give the audience something they can’t get anywhere else or make themselves, why would I bother?” he says. “With digital it’s so easy to do yourself, but you can’t do it like I do it.” At The Rock, he DJs primarily with burned CDs, supplemented with some vinyl and digital music, and he eschews any sort of order. The only song he plans is his first one. Like a club DJ, he gauges the music’s feeling, beat or texture as he flips through his black leather CD book to find the next song. “Nothing’s in alphabetical order,” he says of his music collection. “Order would destroy it. Order would make it like a format — that’s what format is — it’s an order, and I don’t believe in order when it comes to music.”

Canadian Radio Music Awards $125. 12:30pm. Fri, Mar 11. Royal York Hotel. 100 Front St W. David Marsden

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Rollin’ → With the rockin’ punches Writer Serafin LaRiviere | Photography Les Cohen


March 2011


“I look out on my audience and I could cry sometimes. It’s all totally mixed. I love the straight guys that have loved me from the first album and they’re still coming. Those brave, brave men that come to a Melissa Etheridge concert!”


t’s been more than 20 years

roll punch. Her 1993 album Yes, I

“For me, it’s always been about

expect plenty of straight 905ers

since Melissa Etheridge first

Am spawned several hit singles,

the music,” she says. “But now

rocking out to the artist’s Top 40

thundered onto the main-

and cemented the singer-song-

there are interviews that are about


writer’s growing reputation as the

the cancer, then music, then the

female Bruce Springsteen.

gay stuff. It’s normal, it’s natural.


People want to talk about these

Etheridge. “It’s all totally mixed.


I love the straight guys that have





through late-’80s pop like a hot knife through treacle. Her debut

Now, more than two decades

single, “Bring Me Some Water,”

later, Etheridge is still in fine form,

with Etheridge’s blazing guitar and

even racking up an Oscar in 2007

powerful vocals, was in stark con-



loved me from the first album and

about her use of medical marijuana

they’re still coming. Those brave,

trast to the bubblegum acts like

Inconvenient Truth. Her latest

in coping with the symptoms of

brave men that come to a Melissa

Scritti Politti and Paula Abdul (back

album, Fearless Love, still exhibits

cancer and the brutal chemother-

Etheridge concert!”

when she was pretending to sing)

the songwriter’s heartfelt lyrics,

apy treatment — something that is

dominating the charts at the time.

hinting at the turmoil she’s been

still pretty controversial south of




dealing with over the last couple

the border. But like so many parts



tially kept her sexuality carefully

of years, while showcasing the

of her life experiences, she feels


wrapped under her rock chick

impeccable musicianship listen-

strongly about sharing anything

checking out their women instead

image, the lesbian community still

ers have come to expect.

that helped ease her journey.

of them, Etheridge remains philo-


managed to sniff out a comrade-

“They’re all very personal and



for “I Need to Wake Up” from An







“I look out on my audience and

While there are certainly some









“So much of it was the mari-

sophical about any fans she may

in-arms and came in droves to see



juana I smoked and not taking all

have lost in being up-front about

their new idol in concert. When

Etheridge. “But it’s also my job as a

the crazy medication that goes

her orientation.

the singer finally came out in 1993,

writer to make them accessible to

along with chem,” she says. “The

“Coming out was a real leap of

she rode a crest of lesbian chic that

other people. That’s what my goal

marijuana helped me to have an

faith on my part,” she says. “But

started with kd lang and eventu-

is to hit that level of satisfaction in

appetite and to eat. It made all the

if people aren’t going to come see

ally trickled down to late-bloom-

myself and still speak to others.”


the show because I’m gay, then

ers like Ellen DeGeneres and Rosie


Given her recent messy split with

Now back in peak physical con-

they didn’t really love the music


dition, the 49-year-old is touring

in the first place. It’s been 25 years

And while much ado was made

(with whom she shares two chil-

in support of Fearless Love, after a

and we’ve all moved on.”

over lang’s (somewhat unsurpris-

dren), and a successful battle with

quick detour to Broadway to per-

ing) exit from the closet, Etheridge

cancer, there’s certainly a wealth

form the role of St Jimmy in the

managed to exit with less of a

of experience on which to draw.

Green Day musical American Idiot.

splash and more of a solid, rock ’n’

But Etheridge seems upbeat about

Back on the road, she arrives at

her life and, though eschewing talk

Toronto’s Massey Hall on Fri, Mar

of her break-up, she’s always ready

11. And while we’re sure to see lots

to share her experiences in regain-

of butchy gals screaming their love

ing and maintaining her health.

from the audience, you can also


→ FEARLESS Melissa Etheridge addresses life’s ups and downs, including her messy breakup — it’s all there, in the music.



Melissa Etheridge With guest Serena Ryder. $65-$115. 8pm. Fri, Mar 11. Massey Hall. 178 Victoria St. Etheridge will be interviewed on stage as part of the conference at Canadian Music Week. $50. 1:30pm. Mar 12. Royal York Hotel. 100 Front St W.


A RT & D E S I G N

T e l e v isi o n

Team players → Being

friends in real life helps actors Argiris Karras and Shannon Kook-Chun play fictional boyfriends on Degrassi Writer Michael Pihach | Photography Stephen Scott


s a teenager Argiris Karras would stay up late with his good friend Shannon Kook-Chun, often passing out on Kook-Chun’s couch after a night of partying, sharing tips on the acting biz or just chillin’ out. Those days the boys were best known as two artsy guys who shared a love of acting. Nowadays, since simultaneously scoring roles on Canada’s teen drama Degrassi last year, the pair is more likely to be identified by their fictional TV characters, Riley and Zane — two football-throwing, openly gay jocks who share an on-and44

March 2011

off-again relationship at Degrassi High. Unlike most gay characters on TV, Riley and Zane actually kiss and show affection, something easier to explore than the actors — both straight — expected. “When I’ve had to kiss girls on screen, I felt uncomfortable because you don’t really know them. You don’t want to come across as a creep,” says KookChun, sitting next to Karras in a hallway of blue and yellow lockers on Degrassi’s set in North York. “With [Argiris], I know I can push boundaries because he knows how we are together. You’re not second

guessing anything,” he says. “On set, we’re in character,” says Argiris. “Off set, we’re able to say, ‘Hey man, you’re a good kisser!’” Well, what are friends for? Kook-Chun, who has also appeared on TV series such as Durham County and Being Erica, plays Zane Park, a well-rounded student who draws, does well in math and hates ignorant people. Zane, who is openly gay, is the kicker on Degrassi’s football team, which is captained by quarterback Riley Stavros (played by Karras) a football-loving, anxiety-ridden jock confused by (and who eventu-

ally confronts) his sexuality. The show’s plotline brings both characters together, sometimes romantically, other times in conflict — usually having to do with Riley’s insecurities or failure to stand up for himself, and others, when challenged by homophobic jeers from Degrassi’s resident bullies. Their performances in the series, which became a nightly drama back in May 2010, are totally winning. “We were able to bring an emotional connection to our characters that we already had as friends. It almost became a game to be able


to do things you wouldn’t normally

character. Back then it was pretty

want. “You don’t want the ones

do with a friend,” says Karras,

edgy,” says Brogren.

that are like, ‘Oh. I lost my home-

→ INSIDE T RU T H Playing gay characters on a series like Degrassi pushes actors Argiris Karras and Shannon Kook-Chun both professionally and emotionally.

whose only TV gig before Degrassi

The Degrassi alumnus has since

work.’ You want the stories that

was appearing on the cheesy show

reprised his role on the show,

force you to push yourself,” he says.


returning as the school’s principal.

Still, Karras admits he was at first

He also produces and directs the

cautious about playing Riley, even

by groups of kids calling me ching-

series which, in addition to Riley

if it meant getting his first big break

chong,” says Kook-Chun. “When I

he two characters mark a

and Zane’s plot, introduced its

on TV. “I was like, ‘What’s my fam-

was young, kids would say, ‘Hey

new generation of regularly-

first transgender character, Adam,

ily going to think?’” he says. “But

moffie! [an African slang for fag-

appearing queer Degrassi students

played by actress Jordan Todosey,

they were really cool about it. They

got].” Having a name like Shannon,

since Marco Del Rossi, played by

last year.

were like, ‘Go for it.’”

commonly a girl’s name, didn’t




Justin Timberlake doppelganger.


actor Adamo Ruggiero, debuted

“I think we got scared with

On TV, Karras proves he’s a

on Degrassi: The Next Generation

Marco that we’d never be able to

pro at portraying the awkward-

Kook-Chun admits he is some-

ness associated with adolescence.

times still bullied — ironically,

“What’s important is my perfor-

for playing a gay character on TV.

mance and what message I’m giv-

“Some people make jokes. I’ll see

ing out. I try to help and influence

some guy I haven’t seen in a while

other young gay kids to deal with

and he’ll be like, ‘Hey! Fucking fag-

themselves,” he says.

got.’ And I’ll be like, ‘Whoa. I know

in 2002. Ruggiero’s character was the first on Degrassi to come out and grow on the show (Ruggiero himself would come out during the process). This was 14 years after the franchise introduced its first gay plotline. Back in 1988 on Degrassi Junior High, a responsible, red-headed teen named Snake

“On set, we’re in character. Off set, we’re able to say, ‘Hey man, you’re a good kisser!’”

had an older brother who was gay.

Kook-Chun’s character Zane is forced to deal with high school

help either, he says.

we’re friends and stuff, but I’m representing something here.’”

homophobia, from name calling to

Degrassi proves that art and life

being tossed into a dumpster. Like

are inescapably connected. “Like

“It was really hard back then to

tell another gay storyline,” says

his character, Kook-Chun, too, has

any story,” says Brogren, “there

tell a story about a young gay per-

Brogren. “Now we’re in this com-

experienced bullying first hand.

has to be truth from the inside.”

son,” says Stefan Brogren, who

fort zone. I don’t think we’re any-

Born and raised in Johannesburg

played Snake throughout the char-

where close to ending the stories

and Cape Town by a Chinese

acter’s time at Degrassi; Snake’s

about kids coming out, or being

father and South African mother,

older gay brother was not a reg-


the actor was often singled out

ular character. “It may have been

Gay roles, says Brogren, are the

for being a minority or being per-

too early to bring in a [regular] gay

types of roles young actors should

ceived as gay. “I’ve been picked on

Degrassi Airs weeknights on MuchMusic at 9pm. VIDEO INTERVIEW Check out Karras and KookChun at


s ex s p o n s o r e d b y s p a e x c e s s

sex & health — with Dr Keith

→ “I see more about HPV vaccinations and the importance of pap smears for gay men every day. What should I be doing?”

The Human Papillomavirus, or

tion. Rates are even higher with

HPV, belongs to the large family

men who have suppressed immune

papillomaviridae, a group of viruses

systems — either from HIV or other

found in most animal species and

illnesses. A smear to detect anal

acquired through direct surface-

changes is available to doctors to

to-surface contact. (Don’t worry,


you won’t catch it from your dog

smear detects pre-cancerous cells

or cat — it does not work that way.)

in exactly the same way a female

Spread by touching or sex, they

pap does, and corrective measures

grow within body surface tissue.

can be taken to prevent the future

Each sub-type prefers a certain sur-

development of anal cancer.




face — the plantar wart is the most

Policies and recommendations are

common and prefers the tough skin

still controversial and being devel-

on your hands or feet. Some types of

oped on who should be screened

HPV can infect the anus and genitals

and when, but strong recommen-

through sexual contact, also causing


warts that grow quite large, while

patients should receive screening

other types can be invisible to the

every one or two years if possible.




naked eye. These warts are treated

There is a vaccine for some types

by chemical (burning or freezing) or

of HPV. It should be taken as early

surgical (cutting) removal.

as possible, and while initially

The infections are relatively harm-

marketed for girls, it’s now also

less and fairly common. You can

approved for use in boys. The value

bank on getting at least one type

of vaccinating adults including gay

of HPV infection in your lifetime,

men, or those already infected,

whether it’s plantar or genital. No

remains an issue and is currently

cause for alarm — see your doctor

under study. It is also uncertain who

for removal.

should receive the vaccine for free

The concern comes from the

— recently only school-aged girls

changes the viruses can cause in

around Ontario have had access to

some specific areas of cells — like

free vaccine (unless you are lucky

the cervix (female internal opening

enough to be selected for a drug

to the womb) or anus. These very

trial). Some drug plans may cover

slow cellular changes can become

the cost of about $150 — although

cancerous over time. A lot is known

many men are opting to pay for it

about this process when the cervix

since there appears to be no harm

is exposed to the virus through sex.

and the potential benefit could be

Cervical cancer is curable if caught

huge. I am going to get mine.

early — this is what a pap smear test is for. Less is known about men but there seems to be a strong link between anal HPV infection and anal cancer — anal cancer rates are much higher in men with anal HPV infec-

Dr Keith Loukes works in emergency in a Toronto hospital. Send him your sexual health question at This column should not be viewed as medical advice; always consult your physician.

Meet Your Perfect match

The Global LGBT Summit April 25 – May 1, 2011, Philadelphia




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