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OUR MISSION Inspire gay men and lesbians to live life to the fullest. Expand the gay and lesbian community by valuing diversity and individual choice. Celebrate Toronto. Provide readers with compelling news, information and entertainment. ADVERTISING & OTHER INQUIRIES (416) 551-0444 EDITORIAL INQUIRIES (416) 551-0449 PRODUCTION In Toronto is published by The Mint Media Group all rights reserved. 542 Parliament St, Toronto, ON, M4X 1P6 THE MINT MEDIA GROUP PRESIDENT Patricia Salib DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Reggie Lanuza DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING & MARKETING Nelson Tomé CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Paul Gallant, Krishna Rau CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE Paul Aguirre-Livingston, Peter Knegt, Brian Phillips, Stephanie Power, Adam Segal, Nelson Tomé, Doug Wallace, Lulu Wei, Andrea Zanin ON THE COVER Photography by Lulu Wei

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F-BOMB The ratings battle over Bully documentary by Krishna Rau LOVING DESIGN The Lamdan family home by Gordon Bowness


CUCKOO FOR SWITZERLAND Sister cities Zurich and Lucerne by Doug Wallace


ROAD MOVIES Cloudburst and other Inside Out festival picks by Peter Knegt


WHO’S OGLING WHOM? with Adam Segal












THE LETTER Q excerpt by Maurice Vellekoop


SMELL ETIQUETTE with Andrea Zanin


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→ SOUTHAM EXPOSURE Last month saw an efflorescence of Ann Southam, the Toronto composer and philanthropist who died in 2010. The April issue of Walrus magazine contained a feature story on Southam detailing her fascinating journey from scion of a very wealthy media family to one of Canada’s most respected contemporary composers, breaking new ground as a woman, and lesbian, in the male-dominated world of composition. “She always used to say that her music was simply a mask so she could be herself,” her brother Kip is quoted as saying in the article. On Apr 25, Christopher House premiered the full-length piece Rivers with the Toronto Dance Theatre, set to Southam’s 30-year-old song cycle of the same name. The music was first recorded in 1982 by Canadian pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, who re-recorded the series of minimalist piano solos in 2005; she accompanied the TDT performances live. Southam’s relationship with TDT went back more than 40 years through her friendship with company co-founder Patricia Beatty. Southam composed nearly 30 works for TDT and was a generous benefactor. The Walrus article noted her many instances of quiet philanthropy including bequeathing $14 million to the Canadian Women’s Foundation.


→ “Canada is a nation of first generations. Growing up here creates an understanding and tolerance of different cultures and ethnicities, the idea that people are people. I never realized how special Canada was until I moved to the US — they are nowhere near Canadians’ levels of compassion and understanding.”

After four years in the US, R&B singer and dance-chart topper Kreesha Turner has returned to live in Toronto. “I’ve been busy, busy, busy,” says the singer of number one hits like “Don’t Call Me Baby” and “Dust in Gravity” (with Delirium). “I go crazy if I’m twiddling my thumbs.” Turner performs at the Climax event on Sun, May 27, ProudFM’s comedy and music showcase in support of PFLAG (see page 23). “Gay people have always been a part of my world. I went to a performing arts school until I was 15. I had gay classmates, teachers and friends. And the gay community have been my biggest supporters. As someone with multiple identities, I can relate to the experience of being misunderstood. So doing a concert like this feels right. It’s a great partnership.” The third single “Love Again” from Turner’s sophomore album Tropic Electric has just hit the airwaves, simultaneously released in French. Tropic Electric is a double disk release, with a dancehallinflected disk showcasing her Jamaican roots and a second disk reflecting her new-found passion for electronic dance music. “It took two and half years to record Tropic Electric. I’m riding it until the wheels drop off. It is a true expression of me, how I feel music, how I write music.” Her music mixology is evident in the sexational video for “Rock Paper Scissors,” shot in Jamaica, that sees Turner surveying from a throne literally hundreds of fantastic dancehall dancers — all male. “We always see females half-naked in videos, so I thought it would be good to even the score a bit. And to have a whole bunch of shirtless sweaty men dancing, well, I thought, this is going to be fun.”


May 2012





harrowing look at bullying, following a handful of kids — including gays and lesbians — and showing in horrific detail the bullying they have to endure on a daily basis and the depths to which they sink. The film has been hailed as pioneering, one which could be a powerful tool for schools, educators and students. But because of its sometimes graphic language, specifically the word “fuck,” the film initially received an R rating from the MPAA in the US. That meant that anybody under 17 would have to be accompanied by an adult. After widespread outrage, the MPAA backed down, allowing the film to be released with a rating of PG-13 and a crucial scene intact, though some “fucks” were cut. In Canada, the film was rated PG — G in Quebec — meaning anyone can see it unsupervised.

“I feel completely vindicated with this resolution. While I retain my belief that PG-13 has always been the appropriate rating for this film, as reinforced by Canada’s rating, we have scored a victory from the MPAA. The support and guidance we have received throughout this process has been incredible, including the more than half a million people who signed [bullied student] Katy Butler’s petition. The scene that mattered remains untouched and intact, which is a true sign that we have won this battle. “I was bullied as a kid. And as a filmmaker, you try and find films

you connect with. I wanted to make a film that gave a voice. I wanted to try and just show it and let people walk in their shoes and experience it. Bullying exists sometimes in this construct that’s very hard to define: What is bullying? It’s often met with this response that can be minimizing, ‘Kids’ll be kids; this is just a rite of passage.’”

DIRECTOR LEE HIRSCH, WHO SPOKE AT THE APR 2 TOWN HALL IN TORONTO “Kids are the ones that need to see the movie and see what’s happening to their fellow class-

mates. In the US, if there’s an F-bomb, after one use it gets shoved to PG-13. Here it’s 14A after three ‘fucks,’ but it’s at our discretion. “Language is not a concern of mine, speaking personally. Children hear this language and worse in the playground every day. We felt it deserved to be seen by a wider audience. There’s an important message in the film. Our website does warn that, ‘Hey parents, there’s something to be aware of in this film.’”


→ The US documentary Bully, now opening across Canada, takes a

Mayor Rob Ford has again refused to attend Pride, citing the same excuse he used last year — that he’ll be at the family cottage. We’re getting the distinct feeling that the mayor doesn’t like us. Pride is a 10-day-long festival. If the parade is too hot to handle, the mayor has ample opportunity to attend an event more to his liking, like the official flag raising ceremony at City Hall. Or he could create his own event — that’s what the police chief did a few years back, instituting an annual Pride reception on Church Street. The possibilities are endless. Ford could attend the Triangle Program’s Pride Prom. He could watch a game with the Toronto Gay Football League — Ford likes football. He could lay a wreath at the AIDS memorial. There must be something this mayor could do to show his respect — if not support — for the city’s vibrant LGBT community. His continued absence is not just a snub against us LGBT folk, it tarnishes the whole city. Help the mayor find his way. What would your Rob Ford Pride event, real or imagined, look like? Let us know. Send suggestions to or post a comment to our website at


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FORM IS FUNCTION Business analyst Steve Lamdan and architectural and graphic designer Noam Lamdan balance the demands of work and home by focusing on essentials, like a calm haven for 15-month-old Yarden


Story Gordon Bowness | Photography Lulu Wei



Continued from page 9

You’ve been together for 19 years. How long before you decided on having a kid? SL: We thought about having a child for eight years but we were always on different pages. When Noam wanted one, I was out of work. When I wanted one, he was back in school. NL: Two years ago everything aligned. SL: First thing we did was go to The 519’s Papas 2B program. We wanted to educate ourselves on all the options. NL: We still go, we participate in panel talks. We got so much from [coordinator] Chris [Veldhoven] and the program, we wanted to give something back. We also want Yarden to have a sense of community, to see other kids with gay parents, to know that he’s not alone. Yarden is now 15 months. What does his name mean? NL: It’s Jordan in Hebrew. Has being a parent impacted your friendships? NL: Not really. A couple of friends stopped inviting us over for their regular Friday night get-togethers because they thought it was too much bother for us to hire a babysitter, or for just one of us to go on our own. We had to tell them don’t assume, still give us the option, still make that connection. You do have to make an extra effort sometimes. Then again, we’ve gotten closer

to one of our single friends who now babysits. So you don’t feel more isolated? SL: [laughs] When I was on parental leave I was always complaining how busy I was. I was so over-caffeinated with all the coffee dates and gym dates I had with other parents. Not to complain, but I wanted to be at home cooking. I wanted to be baking bread — that didn’t last long. Once Yarden started moving it was back to sliced bread. You both switched or reoriented your careers over the last few years. NL: I did my Masters in architecture and worked for a year at KPMB. It was a great experience but I realized I preferred working for myself. So most of my work now is as an art director in publishing. The balance of my time is architecture. SL: I went back to school to become a chef and joined the Four Seasons right after school. But kitchen life is very challenging to relationships. Noam and I are very tight, we do everything together, and my hours were always evenings, weekends, holidays… you couldn’t plan ahead. It was just too hard on us. So I went back to the corporate world. Balancing the demands of work and home is something you’re very conscious of. NL: I love the flexibility of working for

→ LOVING DESIGN Noam Lamdan painted the Spock portrait as a gift to his husband Steve. He also made the Turn On Table (opposite page, top). Noam’s father Arie Lamdan made the mobile and mural in the baby’s room, Yarden’s rocking horse, the “Childhood Harvest” sculpture from Noam’s childhood marbles and the portrait of Steve’s mother, Alberta Young. 10

May 2012


myself. I always thought it would be

Noam, your father has made some

like being a writer… you’d roll out of

special contributions.

bed when you wanted, with a smoke

NL: He painted the mural in Yarden’s

in your mouth [laughs]. But if you are

room and made the mobile above the

not careful, you end up crazy talking to

crib. He’s made lots of puzzles and toys

the cats. For me the perfect mix is three

out of wood, including a swing, a rock-

days in the office and two days work-

ing horse and a toy train that’s also a

ing at home. Sometimes I’m out on the

menorah. After Steve’s mother passed

back deck with my laptop and phone…

away, he painted the portrait of her

that’s the shit.

that’s hanging in our dining room. And

SL: You really have to balance all three

we painted the Hockney reproduction

components: the individual, the cou-

above the fireplace together. My father

ple, the three of us. My time at work is

is an artist. He draws, paints, does etch-

just about Steve, being judged on my

ings and creates sculptures from found

own merits and my bad jokes. I really

objects. As kids, when we brought home

need that.

a good report card my dad would take

NL: Running your own business means

my brother and I to the dump to look for

working long hours. So I started this

junk he could build or sculpt with.

tradition that from 5pm to 8pm, my phone’s off, my laptop’s away, and it’s

You’ve taken Yarden to Israel and

just about being with Yarden and Steve.

Panama already. SL: Travel with him is amazing. People

You guys have a casual vibe to your

smiling at you, stopping you on the street,

parenting and yet the house doesn’t

asking, “Where’s mommy?” [laughs]

look like a giant play pen.

NL: The friend we went to Panama with

SL: We tried to avoid reading parenting

loved the priority boarding, and getting

books. We just looked at our parents. A

first class service in coach. Between the

friend gave us good advice, that we are

pretty stewardesses and the gay stew-

inviting a kid into our lives, it’s not the

ards, the kid got spoiled.

other way around. NL: We’re not really kid-focused in that

Let’s talk about the house a bit. It’s a

weird way a lot of parents are. I think

100-year-old semidetached located

there’s a push-back against the helicop-

between Leslieville and the Beaches.

ter parents who hover over their kids.

SL: It was reno’ed in the ’80s, made very open.

Your families are very much a part of

NL: What attracted me from the first

your lives.

was all the light, it comes in from all

NL: My family is back in Israel. I moved


here over 20 years ago. We see them

SL: When you lie in bed, all you see are

about once a year. With Yarden, there’s

pine boughs in the upper window. It’s

a lot of Skypeing. My mother almost

like being at a cottage.

climbs through the screen to be with

NL: We bought the house 12 years ago


and chipped away at it slowly so it’s a

SL: I grew up on a farm outside Tweed,

mish-mash of vintage hand-me-downs

near Belleville. My family always comes

like my uncle Wally’s great Art Shoppe

in for visits and has helped us with all

couch, and design and art pieces pur-

our renos. Luckily they work for food.

chased over the years.

Our families have been incredibly supportive at every stage of our relation-

How would you describe your design

ship. I know it sounds cliché, but when


we got married, I said in my speech that

NL: Growing up in Israel, I was sur-

it wasn’t about the two of us, it was

rounded by functionalism — and that

about throwing a party for our friends

still informs me — cut down to the

and families to say thanks.

chase, no fluff. I strive to get at what is the bare minimum needed to survive, comfortably. •



Swiss Tourism



the stuffy stereotype — Zurich’s cool design and hip neighbourhoods are the perfect complement to Lucerne’s historic charms and laidback, lakeside vibe Story Doug Wallace | Photography Boje Ploeg


urich is many things but, contrary to its reputation, stiff certainly isn’t one of them. An international meeting place with four official languages (none of them English), the German-speaking city is a captivating mix of cultures, cuisines and attitudes. Zurich Pride is June 8 to 17 ( if you’re looking for a deadline to make that booking. For a start, Zurich mayor Corine Mauch is lesbian, so away we go. 12

May 2012

The city is known as a hotbed of gay activism, beginning with Der Kreis (The Circle), the first real gay and lesbian network in the world that began meeting in the 1930s. Not surprising, then, that the first gay bar in Europe is here, Bar Barfüsser, now known almost as well for the sustainable sushi restaurant it houses (Spitalgasse 14, Cute little café and bar Daniel H is good for a quick respite. There you can pick up those ever-important flyers that will let you in on what’s

happening around town music- or gay-wise or both (Müllerstrasse 51, Snappy cocktails can be found at Cranberry: loud, lively and a little saucy (Metzgergasse 3, It’s the place to meet (and there’s plenty of “I’m checking you out” going on) before everybody heads to Club T&M, Zurich’s first gay disco, still swirling the disco ball 25 years on. Don’t bother going until midnight (Marktgasse 14,

Notable gay-okay hotels include the bright and clean G-Hotel, in the same building as Club T&M, so you won’t have to stagger far. From $185. (Marktgasse 14, g-hotel. ch). Hotel Platzhirsch translates to The Leading Stag, a Swiss equivalent to top dog. Great central location. From $185. (Spitalgasse 3, There’s always time for a quick shop, isn’t there? With luxury mecca The Bahnhofstrasse being the third most expensive shop-


ping street in the world (every-

to the spacious rooms, rich with

thing from H&M to Hermès), your

dark wood floors and sumptuous

credit card will likely see plenty of

colours. Walking distance from

action. And don’t forget to load up

Hardbrücke Station, which has

on chocolate for your suitcase or

express trains to the airport. From

your belly, whichever comes first.

$250 (Turbinenstrasse 20, renais-

If you can tear yourself away from the shops for one second, get lost in the variety of visual candy focuses on design, visual com-


fter a Zurich blowout, you’re going to need to recharge

by hopping the train to Lucerne

munication, graphic design and

— founded in the 12th century

architecture (Ausstellungsstrasse

and, blessedly, it shows. Italian


Renaissance and German baroque

Just a bit west of centre is hot

architecture are the two biggest


influences, with Lake Lucerne the

and Spa Zurich, constructed of

biggest draw, bringing in 2.5 million

100-year-old stone in the vaults of

visitors a year. Tourism began its

an old brewery. Afterward, relax

steady escalation in the latter half

in the open-air rooftop pool with

of the 19th century, with the British

the city laid out at your wrinkling

showing up first; Queen Victoria was


a big fan. Anchored by a 700-year-





old brick watchtower, Lucerne’s

Zurich West is a new business

gabled foot bridges and cobblestone

and entertainment zone created

pedestrian streets are quaintness

from the shells of old industrial

incarnate, picture postcard-perfect.

buildings, a newly transformed and

The posh side of the river (Old

trendy end of town flooded with

Town) is filled with lots of small

30-somethings on the weekend.

inns, including cute Hotel des

Renovated old warehouses, such

Balances, which has been an inn

as the Schiffbau, have new lives as

in some form or another since the

theatres, nightclubs, restaurants,

1200s. From $355 (Weinmarkt, bal-

shops and markets, including the For a full-on mod alter-

stores of supercool Im Viaduct built

native, Hotel Astoria is right near

underneath the tracks and the styl-

the train station, an affordable

ish Lasalle Restaurant and Bar

home-base designed by the archi-

(Schiffbaustrasse 4, lasalle-restau-

tects who produced the famous This is also where to find

Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing.

the fun flagship of Freitag, pur-


veyors of recycled-tarp messenger

bags and wallets (Geroldstrasse 17,


$225 parties

(Pilatusstrasse take


Post Hotel Weggis

Doug Wallace

at Museum für Gestaltung, which

29, cer-

tain clubs and pubs on Fridays

If you choose to hang your hat

or Saturdays, like any smaller

out here, one of the brightest

town, so get your gaydar out and

stars of Zurich West is the ele-

quiz the good-looking busboy on

gant Renaissance Zürich Tower

what’s happening.

Hotel. This hotel goes big all the

How can you pass up the only hotel

way, from the giant lobby lounge

in the world where you take a funicular from the street to the lobby?

→ QUAIN T MEE T S COOL Historic Lucerne (opposite page) is home to Art Deco Hotel Montana (this page, top left), Hotel Astoria (top right) and Post Hotel Weggis (upper middle). Zurich (lower middle) boasts the Freitag flagship store in trendy Zurich West (bottom) and the T&M disco (next page).

Check into one of the penthouse spa suites at Art Deco Hotel Montana Lucerne and put your feet up. A study of colour and contrasts, this hotel originally opened in 1910, and Continued on page 14



Continued from page 13

ings and more than 100 drawings, watercolours and sculptures (Pilatusstrasse 10,

has been fully updated with an enormously

expensive reno, marrying past with present,

For even more quiet time, a short ferry

successfully maintaining the original deco

up Lake Lucerne will land you in Weggis,

style. The very busy and sexy Restaurant

and mere steps from the dock is your next

Scala, and more importantly its terrace, has

check-in point, the Post Hotel Weggis, a

undoubtedly one of the best views in town.

great spot to get over the weekend. Making

More than 100 single-malt whiskeys take up

full use of punchy colours and high-octane

prime real estate at Louis Bar, which has a

art, the “PoHo” is a touch of glam in this

full schedule of jazz. From $290; penthouse

little lakeside burb. Rooms are rich with

from $540 (Adligenswilerstrasse 22, hotel-

textures, patterns and decadence, includ-

ing your own Playstation3. Make time to

Gorgeous gallery The Rosengart is in the city centre near the train station, so you

chill at the cozy spa after a dip in the illuminated pool.

can’t miss it. Art dealer Angela Rosengart

The restaurant on the main floor is fab-

gathered together her family’s massive art

ulous, a mix of international flavours

collection into one building in March 2002.

done very well. Make a point to duck into

She and her father Siegfried nurtured the

Weggiser Stübli, a smaller adjunct res-

talents of many of the artists they dealt

taurant that is a rustic step back in time,

with over the years, which has resulted

with portraits of the town’s forefathers lin-

in an impressive collection of painting —

ing oak-panelled walls. The hotel also pre-

Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Klee, Miró and

sides over a comfortable lakeside terrace

others. A friend of the family who painted

that serves up full views along with barbe-

Angela several times, Picasso takes up the

cued fare and home-made ice cream. From

lion’s share of wall space, with 32 paint-

$300 (Seestrasse 8, Weggis, •

“A blissfully funny MONSTER MASH.”



“The Broadway musical at its dizziest, glitziest and funniest!”


May 2012

MAY 22 & 23 at 8PM




— with Adam Segal → I’ve

been dating my man for just over a year and, for the most part, it has been pure bliss. We have incredible conversations, share similar values and the sex is fantastic. But I feel like he’s always distracted by other men. He’s always sizing up other guys. It’s not that he should only have eyes for me, but when we’re spending time together, I want to feel prioritized. I notice guys too. I just don’t ogle them or talk about their hotness out of respect. Am I too old-fashioned or is it fair to want to feel like “the one”? Eric Nothing feels good about your boy-

ing is fear of abandonment or rejec-

friend staring off into the distance

tion (What if I’m not good enough?

at some other guy as you’re trying

What if he tires of me and wants

to relay how crappy your day was.

a young twink? And so on). On the

Generally, we like to feel that the

other hand, if you think he’s crossing

people we are with (friends, family,

a line into full-on inappropriate terri-

partners) are attentive and present

tory, you’ll have to speak up and ask

in our conversations with them. It

for something to change.

makes perfect sense that you would

You didn’t mention whether your

be annoyed if your partner couldn’t

guy checks you out and compli-

get through a conversation with-

ments your brand of sexiness. If he

out visually straying towards other

wants to keep perusing what’s on

men. What I’m wondering, however,

display out there, he’ll have to be

is whether it is his actions that are

sure to ogle you a little and com-

shaking you up.

pliment your assets just as much

You acknowledge that you notice

or more. It will be easier to stom-

other guys too; so at least we’re

ach his wayward glances when you

not working under the illusion that

are getting sufficient attention from

being coupled somehow impairs our

him in general.

ability to notice, appreciate or even

Lastly, even though it will seem

desire other people. Is this simply a

counter-intuitive, experiment with

matter of frequency or is it the partic-

occasionally pointing out guys to

ular way in which your man checks

him that you think he’ll find cute

out guys that feels especially off-put-

and vice-versa. That way you’ll feel

ting? There is a fine line between

a little more in control of this whole

noticing/appreciating a cute guy and

issue and break the tension. You’re

leering (for example, turning around

both smitten with each other. You

to get a longer look at a sexy jogger).

are also both living, breathing sexual

To ask your partner to completely

creatures who are not blinded to the

refrain from laying his peepers on

hotness that abounds. Maybe if you

other fine gents is a recipe for mak-

face this reality head-on, it will no

ing him feel controlled and resentful.

longer haunt you in such a privately

Take a good look at your reactions

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agonizing way.

to figure out whether you are simply experiencing jealousy or actually taking issue with your bf’s behaviour. If jealousy is really what’s at work, usually the underlying feel-

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

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Source image: Suzanne Tucker



a time when LGBT folks are buying homes across the GTA, the suburban dream is being exposed as unhealthy and unsustainable Story Brian Phillips


arry Penn and Bart Desiron learned that their suburban dream wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. A stint in the boonies made them long for the healthier lifestyle they had enjoyed in downtown Toronto. The couple met online in 2000 and married in 2004. Being from Belgium, Desiron lobbied hard to


May 2012

begin their married lives in Europe. So after the nuptials, they decided to sell Penn’s home in Riverdale and move to a suburban community outside of Brussels. “Living in a small town was interesting at first,” says Penn, “but the dayto-day reality of getting into the car for everything, like going to get milk or many other essentials,

really started to be a problem.” After three years, they decided to move back to Toronto and purchased a house in Riverside. Penn’s new job means he can TTC to work and catch up on the books he never got to read when he was behind the wheel. The couple has a new addition to the family, Sookie, a lab cross who gets regular

walks through the neighbourhood and in the park across the street. There are great restaurants close by. Most nights the car stays home. “When my family is here for a visit they can’t believe the change in our lifestyle,” says Desiron. “Starting my career as a sous chef I quickly realized the difference in the North American diet which is


better balanced than the deep-fried

buying into the suburban dream of

they live, prefer walkable neigh-

office furniture, she finally pur-

Belgium one. Living in Toronto for

big houses, lush lawns and plenty

bourhoods. It’s in our DNA. “I was

chased a sexy Mini Cooper and a

seven years has really opened me

of open space, the dream is being

surprised at how strong the pref-

fab condo in Don Mills. Now that

up to living healthier.”

exposed as an unhealthy, unsus-

erence was for more walkable

she has wheels though, she has

tainable lifestyle.

neighbourhoods across the GTA,”

become hyper-sensitive about her

says Monica Campbell, director of

weight and claims that driving,


Healthy Public Policy at Toronto

while convenient, has resulted in

Whalen, who has a new show

Public Health, and one of the

a general lethargy that she is hav-

in development, spent seven years

report’s principal authors. “Yes, it’s

ing a difficult time coming to terms

the UK will be clinically obese by

in Mississauga before moving to

much more in the city of Toronto

with. “It is a 20-minute walk to the

2050 (The Lancet); 79 percent of

Bathurst and St Clair in the mid-

but it’s strong in other parts of the

bus stop and then 15 minutes from

US adults will be overweight or

’90s. The difference in body sizes

GTA, too. For every person in the

the subway to work. If I were to

obese by 2030 (European Journal of

from suburbs to city core struck

take transit, that is over an hour of

Clinical Nutrition); up to 5.2 million


walking per day, five days a week. I

Canadians are presently obese,

thinking, ‘Who are all these skinny

costing up to $ 7.1 billion each year

people rushing around with such

in health care expenses (Canadian


Institute of Health Information).

you had to drive to do everything,

Obesity is a monumental problem

even the convenience store. It’s

exploding before our eyes.

super scary.”

Choosing the right lifestyle is getting




from around the world and at home are shocking: 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women in









Why are so many people mor-

The Walkable City report zeroed

bidly overweight? The old excuses

in on what’s called utilitarian

of genetic predisposition or hor-

walking, the walking we do every

mone imbalance in no way explain

day as we go about getting the stuff

the legions of the obese that have

done we have to get done: going to

cropped up in the last few decades.

work, taking kids to school, buying

More and more research, including

food, heading out to socialize or to

a recent report out from Toronto

attend cultural events.


know I’d be in much better shape, mentally and physically. But driving is faster, so I take the easy way out. And beat myself up about it all the time.” It may seem obvious to state that people walk more in more walkable



the behavioural findings of The Walkable City report are remarkable. “If you compare the people who prefer and live in the most walkable neighbourhoods to people who prefer and live in the least

Public Health called The Walkable

The report surveyed 1,525 res-

City, points to a fascinating cor-

idents across the GTA and com-

relation between weight gain and

pared them to a neighbourhood

city of Toronto that strongly pre-

utilitarian purposes nearly three

where you live. The suburbs, it

index of walkability. The walk-

fers to live in an auto-oriented

times as much, they use transit

seems, make you fat.

abilty of each neighbourhood (for

neighbourhood, 12 people strongly

nearly three times as much, they

Gay men and lesbians are now

each postal code, in fact) was based

prefer a more walkable one.

use vehicles around four times less

staking claim to all parts of the

on various factors like the density

“It’s a nice alignment: That peo-

GTA. It’s no longer just a mat-

and variety of housing, the number

ple seem to want what’s healthy

ter of moving beyond the Church-

of nearby shops and services and

for them.”

Wellesley Village to other central

the concentration of street inter-

Marilyn Maxim’s story bears that

shows it doesn’t matter what your


sections (fine grids versus long

out. For her first few years living

preferences are. Even if you pre-

blocks or cul-de-sacs).

in downtown Toronto in the ’80s,

fer getting into your hot-rod and

Maxim didn’t own a car — she

bombing around town, if you live



or High Park, gay men and lesbians are purchasing homes from


most from

striking the



walkable neighbourhoods,” says Campbell, “the first group walks for

and travelled six times less far. These are huge differences.” Surprisingly,




Mississauga to Durham County. At



couldn’t afford one. After years

in a more walkable neighbour-

a time when many LGBT folk are

Torontonians, no matter where

working in the world of high-end

Continued on page 18



trips and the size of one’s middle

cial resources can choose to make

vegetables that deter the onset of

area. The Ontario College of Family

where they live part of a healthy

diabetes and insulin resistance.

hood, you inevitably walk more.

Physicians’ report titled Health


Instead, many of these residents

How we design neighbourhoods

Impacts of Urban Sprawl states,

denied the luxury of choice.

matter. And the impact on our

“Obesity, and its related health

The 2007 Institute for Clinical

fatty sugary treats that pack on the

overall health is huge.

problems, is one particularly harm-

Evaluative Sciences Atlas clearly

pounds and play havoc with their

ful effect of sprawling car depen-

shows much higher rates of dia-

insulin levels over time.

Continued from page 17

The Walkable City found that 25


rely on convenience stores full of


The Walkable City report notes

GTA were found to be obese com-

ing the downtown core, what’s

that the health benefits of living

known as the inner suburbs. Places

in a walkable neighbourhood are

like Etobicoke, North York and

often denied to the low-income

Scarborough were the first car-

households who need them the



most. Better planning is a matter of

built in the GTA after World War II

equity. Well-designed neighbour-

and show up as the least walkable

hoods, healthy neighbourhoods,

neighbourhoods in The Walkable

should be available to all.

of between six or seven pounds per person. Losing seven pounds is hard enough, but think how big that number becomes when you are looking at averages. “We can’t say there is a causal relationship,” says Campbell, noting other possible factors like


access to fresh food or other predispositions for being overweight, “but it’s a consistent trend, it’s not




On average there was a difference



percent of residents in the outer pared to 18 percent in Toronto.





City report. The ICES Atlas also looks at many nomic status and proximity to

dent communities.”

healthy/unhealthy foods. It is no

And it’s not just about weight.

coincidence that these inner sub-

Our sedentary existence is a big

urbs are among the poorest neigh-


part of the increased rate of dia-

bourhoods in the city and have less

ous other reports on the correla-

betes and heart disease in North

access to grocery stores carrying

tion between the frequency of car

America. Those with enough finan-

the unprocessed grains, fruits and

accidental.” The



With files by Gordon Bowness

other factors such as socio-eco-

THE WALKABLE CITY View the report online at city.pdf


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MICHEL TREMBLAY The Real World opens at Tarragon

LOST LOUNGE The Split Britches opens at Buddies

SEMELE Opening night at the COC

THE CONVENT OF PLEASURE First of two nights

CAROLE POPE Joins Bluebird North

sa ek Al


LEONARD COHEN Nabs the Glenn Gould Prize

Emily Cooper



ny s

hc he

nk o

Andrew Eccles


15 SWAN LAKE The Bolshoi comes to town

Art & Photography PABLO PICASSO Exhibition features more than 150 works from Picasso’s private collection, now in the holdings of the Musée National Picasso in Paris. Over his 70-plus year career, these are the works he kept to shape his artistic legacy. $25 (timed entry). Tue, May 1Aug 26. Art Gallery of Ontario. 317 Dundas St W. (416) 979-6648. CONTACT Huge photo fest all across town throughout May. Highlights include works by Berenice Abbott, Ai Weiwei, Lynne Cohen, Richard Mosse, Larry Towell, Weegee and Michael Wolf. See page 24 for some of our LGBT selects. Also look for the Wish You Were Here show with Kelly Clipperton, Mark Gleberzon, Stev’nn Hall and Sandy Middleton. Opening. 6pm-10pm. Fri, May 4. MJG Gallery. 555 Parliament St. Huge group show Exposed with Julie

25 ATLANTIC BALLET THEATRE OF CANADA Ghosts of Violence, first of two shows



RAGTIME Opens at Shaw starring Alana Hibbert & Thom Allison

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Opens at Stratford starring Ben Carlson & Deborah Hay

Castonguay, Daniel Chiu, Chris Ironside, Tom Ridout, Nicola Woods and many more. Opening. 7pm-10pm. May 3. Gladstone Hotel. 1214 Queen St W. And Drasko Bogdanovic’s Submisison, a new collection of sexually explicit male nudes. Opening. 7pm. Tue, May 15. Until May 27. Tallulah’s Cabaret. 12 Alexander St.

Thu, May 3. Royal Ontario Museum. 100 Queen’s Park. DOORS OPEN More than 130 buildings open to the public. Check for guided tours, architect talks and other special events. Sat, May 26 & 27. doorsopen.

Architecture & Design

SWAN LAKE 135 years after its premiere

TFI25 Toronto Fashion Incubator is a

nonprofit that fosters young design talent; many top designers in the country got their start there. The TFI celebrates 25 years with a dinner and fashion show inspired by Barbie. Four young designers vie for a $10,000 prize: Jameson Kane and [blak]-i of Toronto, Patrick l’Arrivée of Montreal and Sid Neigum of Edmonton. Hosted by songstress Jully Black. $100. 8:30pm doors.

Dance by the Bolshoi Ballet, the company brings its most celebrated creation to Toronto in a production with original revival choreography by Marius Petipa and music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. $71-$255. 7:30pm. Tue, May 15-17. 8pm. May 18 & 19. 2pm. May 19. Sony Centre. 1 Front St E. 1 (855) 872-7669. GHOSTS OF VIOLENCE Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada makes its Toronto debut with its seminal ballet, an original full-length multimedia production,

choreographed by founding artistic director Igor Dobrovolskly, that puts gender-based violence centre stage. With music by Alfred Schnittke and Sergei Rachmaninoff. $29-$99. 2pm. Fri, May 25. 7:30pm. May 26. Bluma Appel Theatre. 27 Front St E. (416) 366-7723.

Film & Video INSIDE OUT The LGBT film and video festival runs Thu, May 17 to 27. The opening gala is My Brother the Devil. (The opening party with DJ Shane Percy is at OCAD Great Hall at 100 McCaul St.) The Closing Gala is Bye Bye Blondie by Virginie Despentes. Emmanuelle Beart and Beatrice Dalle star as two women who were lovers in a psychiatric institution when they were teenagers. See page 26.



ALISON BECHDEL Visits TCAF on Sat, May 5 for the Canadian launch of her new memoir, Are You My Mother?

Stage WEST SIDE STORY Dancap presents the national touring production of Arthur Laurents’ hit revival of his and Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins’ peerless musical. $51-$180. 7:30pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Wed, Sat & Sun. Tue, May 8-June 3. Toronto Centre for the Arts. 5040 Yonge St. (416) 644-3665. LOST LOUNGE Legendary New York performance group Split Britches offers up a tribute to the seminal lounge acts from the glory days of NYC’s Bowery Corridor. Written and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver, with sound and music by Vivien Stoll and choreography by Stormy Brandenberger. $20. 8pm. Thu, May 3-5. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555.

THE REAL WORLD Truth within fiction, families within art, a play within a play. The Tarragon presents Tremblay’s groundbreaking work in the English language translation by John Van Burek and Bill Glassco which originally premiered at Tarragon almost 25 years ago. The new production, directed by artistic director Richard Rose, stars Matthew Edison, Cara Gee, Sophie Goulet, Tony Nappo, Cliff Saunders and Jane Spidell. $21-$51. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2:30pm. Sat & Sun (except May 26 & June 2). Wed, May 2-June 3. Tarragon Mainspace. 30 Bridgman Ave. (415) 531-1827. ROCK.PAPER.SISTAHS B Current’s festival of word, sound and performance runs Mon, May 7 to 11 and features new works by Djennie Laguerre, Carline Zamar, Naomi Abiola, Roselyn Kelada-Sedra, Navneet Rai, Teneile Warren, Andrea Scott and more. Continued on page 22

PresenTing sPonsor


Continued from page 21


The average condo size in Toronto has shrunk by 100 square feet over the last five years. Despite experiencing the biggest condo boom in North America right now, space and livability are huge issues for Torontonians. We can’t solve all our storage quandaries by placing $10 plastic bins from Ikea underneath our beds. More often than not, elevating to custom can turn any shoebox into a home. Enter Positive Space Interiors on King Street East. This familyowned, Canadian-based manufacturer has been in the business of creating smart storage solutions for more than 35 years. With a larger, more extensive outpost already thriving in Mississauga, Positive Space’s downtown showroom opened in February with a scaled-down selection of city living separates to make any small space a wonder of real estate. The sparse shop is true to the showroom aesthetic, devoid of clutter and colour to highlight the brand’s key offerings and accent pieces as they may look in your own room. Find queen bed units featuring multi-level, built-in storage (from $1,800 to $10,000) to a standard, but slim, chest of drawers ($1,950) to gorgeous, barely-there night tables (starting at $650). All pieces are made with the company’s unique touch: raw wood treated with oil — with 22

May 2012

→ ROOM T O SPARE Great condo-sized design choices.

impeccably-stained espresso finishes that will last a lifetime twice over — featuring drawer spaces lined with taupe micro-suede bottoms to avoid colour transfer from garments and minimize wear and tear. While the downtown store caters mostly to the boudoir, there are also a few extras to consider, like an array of light fixtures (starting at $400) in an exclusive collaboration with Distillery District neighbour Eurolite (who recently completed a lighting project for Holt Renfrew). Positive Space also houses ALX Raw Design, a custom interiors firm from owner/ designer Alex Arcese, which produces everything from furniture to kitchens to powder rooms. Before you shop, check out the website and play with the Custom Bed Builder application. Otherwise, there’s always the option of importing an “off-therack” item from the brand’s suburban headquarters (look for collections dubbed “Condo” and “Studio”).

POSITIVE SPACE INTERIORS 167 King St E. (416) 360-8551.

Kicks off with singer Lisa Michelle and an art show curated by Sandra Brewster. PWYC. 8pm-10pm. Mon, May 7. Artscape Wychwood Barns. 601 Christie St. HIGH Kathleen Turner stars as Sister Jamison Connelly, a nun and drug rehab counsellor who takes in a 19-year-old drug user. The Mirvishes present the National Tour of the Matthew Lombardo drama. Also stars Evan Jonigkeit and Timonty Atlmeyer; Rob Ruggiero directs. $50-$110. 8pm. Tue, May 8-12. 2pm. May 12. 2pm & 7pm. May 13. Royal Alexandra Theatre. 260 King St W. (416) 872-1212. BEYOND THE CUCKOO’S NEST Young People’s Theatre presents the premiere of Ed Roy’s story about three teens with mental health issues as they battle school workloads, worried parents, their peers, their loves and social stigma. Starring Miranda Edwards, David Patrick Fleming, Brendan McMurty-Howlett and Soo Garay; Roy directs. $15-$20. 10:15am & 1pm (with some exceptions). Mon-Fri. 2pm & 4pm. Sat. Wed, May 9-17. Young People’s Theatre. 165 Front St E. (416) 862-2222. THE SHIPMENT World Stage presents the New-York based Jean Lee’s Theater Company and the Canadian premiere of Lee’s fiendish take on race in the US. $45. 8pm. Wed, May 9-12. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queen’s Quay W. (416) 973-4000. LUBA, SIMPLY LUBA Pleiades Theatre presents Luba Goy starring in an autobiographical journey that goes from the troubled childhood of Ukrainian immigrants to starring in the Royal Canadian Air Farce. Written by Diane Flacks, in collaboration with Goy and director Andrey Tarasiuk. Unexpected poignancy among the laughs. $33. 8pm. Wed, May 9-12, 14-19, 22-26. 2pm. May 19, 21 & 26. Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs. 26 Berkeley St. (416) 368-3110. SEMELE The COC presents the company premiere of GF Handel’s opera about the pitfalls of love between gods and mortals. The production from Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie near Brussels is directed by Chinese visual and performance artist Zhang Huan in a specatular blend of Chinese and western mythology and is set in an actual salvaged 450-year-old Ming Dynasty temple. Starring Canadian soprano Jane Archibald, US tenor William Burden and Canadian mezzo Allyson McHardy; Rinaldo Alessandrini conducts. $12-$318. 7:30pm. Wed, May 9, 11, 16, 19, 22 & 24. 2pm. May 13. 4:30pm. May 26. (Members of the COC Ensemble Studio take over the leads at 7:30pm on Wed, May 23. $22-$55.) Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 363-8231. WE’RE FUNNY THAT WAY The 15th — and final — queer comedy festival runs Thu, May 10 to 12. Broadway legend Betty Buckley headlines the $200 opening gala, a benefit for the WFTW Foundation, which this year supports Ten Oaks, connecting children and youth from LGBTQ communities. The rest of the fest features Gavin Crawford,

Lea DeLaria, Christopher Peterson and more. $20. Buddies in Bad Times. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. STOCKHOLM Seventh Stage, with Nightwood Theatre, presents the North American premiere of Byrony Lavery’s unsettling exploration of love, lust and victimization as told through the lives of a “perfect” couple. Starring MelissaJane Shaw and Jonathon Young. Kelly Straughan directs, with choreography by Susie Burpee. $15-$30. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 1:30pm. Wed. 2:30pm Sat & Sun. Tue, May 15-June 3. Tarragon Theatre Extra Space. 30 Bridgman St. (415) 531-1827. RENT Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking musical about young people struggling to find their way is presented by a group of young people struggling to find their way, graduates of Sheridan College’s music theatre performance program. Lezlie Wade directs. $40-$60. 7:30pm. Tue-Thu. 8pm. Fir & Sat. 2pm. Sat & Sun. Wed, May 16-June 3. Panasonic Theatre. 651 Yonge St. (416) 872-1212. DANCE MARATHON Toronto collective bluemouth inc reprises its wildly popular interactive theatre experience where audience members compete in marathon dances and other contests over four hours. Part of World Stage. $35. 7pm. Fri, May 18 & 19. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000.

Pop & Rock BLUEBIRD NORTH TORONTO Carole Pope, Tomi Swick and Matthew de Zoete share their songs and stories round-robin style, presented by the Songwriters Association of Canada. With host Blair Packham. $26. 8pm. Sat, May 12. Conservatory Theatre. 273 Bloor St W. (416) 408-0208. LEONARD COHEN TRIBUTE The legendary poet and singer will receive the


Le Baiser, 1969, © Picasso Estate SODRAC (2012)

→ GENIUS , GENIUS Pablo Picasso’s The Kiss, just one of 150 works at massive AGO show.

$50,000 Glenn Gould Prize in a starstudded concert featuring The Cowboy Junkies, Serena Ryder, John Prine and more, plus readings by Gordon Pinsent and Travis Good. Colm Feore hosts. Proceeds go to the Glenn Gould Foundation ( $35-$150. 8:30pm. Mon, May 14. Massey Hall. 178 Victoria St. (416) 872-4255. VIP dinner (and concert). $1,250. 5:30pm. Arcadian Court. (416) 962-6200.

Books & Print TORONTO COMIC ARTS FAIR This event gets bigger every year, attracting some high-powered talent, cool publishers and an amazing cross-section of emerging talents. On the bill are Jeff Smith (Bone), Brazil’s Fábio Moon, Germany’s Arne Bellstorf and Canadian institution Aislin leading an impressive team of Canucks including Chester Brown, Joey Comeau, Guy Delisle, Willow Dawson, Jeff Lemire, Seth and Maurice Vellekoop (see page 28). Alison Bechdel attends (Sat, May 5 afternoon only) for the Canadian launch of Are You My Mother?, her much anticipated follow-up to best-seller Fun Home. She’s part of the queer panel at 1:45pm at the Pilot (22 Cumberland St) and featured in the Queer Mixer that night at Buddies (12 Alexander St) beginning at 7pm. Free. 9am-5pm. Sat, May 5. 11am-5pm. May 6. Toronto Reference Library. 789 Yonge St.


Highlights this month include pianist Todd Yaniw and conductor Joana Carneiro in a glorious — and very gay —

program of US music from Bernstein, Adams, Gershwin, Tower, Barber and Copland. $30-$82. 7:30pm. Sat, May 5. 3pm. May 6. The premiere of the TSO-commissioned The Hockey Sweater sees composer Abigail Richardson setting to music Roch Carrier’s beloved story from 1979 (later turned into a film, a kid’s book, and even featured on the five dollar bill). Carrier narrates and hockey legend-turned-politician Ken Dryden hosts. The concert also features work by Andre Jutras, John Estacio and Doris Clayman. Alain Trudel conducts the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. $20-$32. 1:30pm & 3:30pm. Sat, May 12. World renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs Elgar’s Cello Concerto (the first concerto he performed with the TSO when he made his début in 1979), as well as the Canadian première of Dimitri Yanov-Yanovsky: Night Music: Voice in the Leaves for Cello and Orchestra. $49-$185. 7:30pm. Wed, May 30 & 31. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 593-4828. ORI DAGAN The local jazz crooner performs with his quartet. Cover TBA. 7:30pm. Sat, May 19. Flying Beaver. 488 Parliament St. (647) 347-6567.

Causes & Events CLIMAX ProudFM’s anti-homophobia

comedy and music showcase, this year benefiting PLFAG Toronto. Featuring comedian Richard Ryder, singers Jeffrey Straker and Kreesha Turner (see page 6) and dancers from So You Think You Can Dance, Canada. Guests are invited to wear purple. $10 suggested. 3pm. Sun, May 27. Berkeley Church. 315 Queen St E.

Out of Town STRATFORD FESTIVAL The 60th season

opens first with Rick Miller’s one-man hit show MacHomer on Sat, May 5, followed by a week of openings beginning Mon, May 28, with Much Ado about Nothing directed by Christopher Newton, 42nd Street (the 1980 musical based on the famous film) starring Cynthia Dale, the Clark Gesner musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Cymbeline starring Cara Ricketts. 1(800) 567-1600. SHAW FESTIVAL The first batch of openings, beginning Thu, May 23 with Noel Coward’s Present Laughter, Githa Sowerby’s A Man and Some Women directed by Alisa Palmer, GB Shaw’s Misalliance and Terence Rattigan’s French without Tears, is capped by Ragtime, the Tony-winning musical with book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahren and music by Stephen Flaherty. The interconnected story of three archetypal families is set against the backdrop of social unrest and cultural dynamism. Directed by artistic director Jackie Maxwell, starring Thom Allison, Patty Jamieson and Jay Turvey. Niagara-on-the-Lake. 1 (800) 511-SHAW. •






and two new studio directors,

→ CONSCIOUSNESS Moksha’s hot yoga and cool politics.

the LGBT-friendly Moksha Yoga Danforth is refreshed and ready to

ted to ethical, compassionate and


environmentally conscious living.

Senior instructor and original

But these folks aren’t preachy and

Moksha teacher Michelle Corbeil

have made inclusiveness a pri-

has joined forces with fellow

ority, with numerous LGBT stu-

yogini Megan Hoskins, admired for

dents and teachers. “Community

her Asha Massage Healing space

has been our vision,” says Corbeil,

nestled within the studio. The pair

“and our space stands for inclu-

have taken over the ownership of

siveness, welcoming all people.

the original Danforth location and

We just provide a space where

are receiving praise from students

people can be themselves, and I

for their down-to-earth approach

think the gay community appreci-

to yoga and living well.

ates it.”

With classes ranging from $17 up

The Danforth studio also sup-

to a $100 monthly membership the


studio continues to offer a variety

through the New Leaf Yoga foun-




of hot yoga classes for every level.

dation, which is committed to

Newbies can take advantage of a

improving the lives of at-risk

$20 unlimited pass to test out the

youth through yoga. In Toronto’s

space. For those on a budget I sug-

own relationship columnist, Adam

gest getting on the waiting list for

Segal, an anti-oppression-based

the “energy exchange” program

psychotherapist, is an advisor to

where you can trade studio work

the foundation.

hours in exchange for yoga passes.

Beginning in May all Moksha stu-

Being a former teacher at the stu-

dios are kicking off a seven-week

dio I was so happy to come back

Living Your Moksha transforma-

to find out how much the Moksha

tion challenge. Sign up is only $10.

community has flourished in the

Peace out!

past five years. Founded





Jessica Robertson at the Danforth space, Moksha has grown into a worldwide community with 75 locations — each studio commit-

MOKSHA YOGA DANFORTH 372-A Danforth Ave. (416) 778-7744.




PORTALS → Whether

reframing our view of this world or opening windows onto whole new worlds, photography has a unique power to preserve and perturb reality. Here are three ways of seeing from this year’s Contact photo festival Story Gordon Bowness

VANTAGE: APRIL HICKOX Toronto photographer and teacher April Hickox’s new photos were taken aboard a ship travelling down the St Lawrence to Montreal; they draw attention to the camera and the experience of taking the image. The “Port Holes” series was taken through the ship’s stained and pockmarked glass portholes. “Juxtaposing the jewelled landscapes with the mysterious, stark darkness of the interior of the ship,” says Hickox, “transports the scene to another time or place.” 24

May 2012

The “Rain” series finds her camera “facing the weather and impending darkness head on.” As rain accumulates on the lens, again drawing attention to the camera, she says it helps evoke a “watery in-between world.” Opening. 5pm-8pm. Thu, May 10. Until June 2. Katzmen Kamen Gallery. 80 Spadina Ave, #406. (416) 504-9515.





“Miss FSC, 1977 and her sky blue








Nicole Brossard, Katherine Forrest,


Richard Labonté, Daryl Hine and


eye liner, pink polished nails, thick

After seeing a production of Larry

Forsey has abandonment issues.

hoop earrings and plucked brows

Kramer’s AIDS play A Normal

Mary Meigs (above). “Giard’s portraits invite you to look

Her photos of derelict buildings

was captured ill at ease with her

Heart in 1985, US photographer

at these cultural icons on an inti-

stretch out into the past, seeking

tiara,” says Forsey. “Her ‘moment’

Robert Giard began a series of por-

mate and personal level,” says co-

stories from the locations and zero-

is most likely destined for a landfill.

traits of LGBT writers, both famous

curator Renee van der Avoird. “It’s

ing in on the moment when peo-

She was precious for 35 years and

and emerging. It turned into a

always intriguing to see the face of

ple abandoned a site. Whether

then abruptly left behind. Her enig-

two-decades-long project involv-

the author behind the words.”

it’s a TB sanatorium where the

matic photo so casually discarded is

ing more than 600 artists, rang-

imagined isolation of nurses and

both devastating and beautiful.”

ing from Edward Albee, Allen

May 4.




Until June 30. UTAC Art

patients is juxtaposed with nature’s

Opening. 6pm-9pm. Thu, May

Ginsberg and Dorothy Allison to

Lounge. 15 King’s College Circle.

wrath, or the final moments of a

3. Until June 30. Cabinet Salon.

Adrienne Rich, Quentin Crisp and

Lakeshore strip motel, Forsey fore-

577 Queen St W, 2nd floor. (647)

Samuel R Delaney. This Contact

grounds the implacable passage of


exhibit features 40 prints from the

time. “Abandoned Beauty Queen”

estate of Girard, including por-

(above) was taken at an old ware-

traits of Canadian writers like

CONTACT PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL Throughout May. See page 20 for more.


*†At outset of contest. *No Purchase Necessary. For complete Contest details see the rules posted at participating Pizza Nova stores and at Contest closes May 06, 2012. Mathematical skill-testing question required. ®/MD Coca-Cola Ltd., used under license • © Toshiba of Canada Limited • ©2012 Reebok International Ltd. All rights reserved Blu ray is a registered trademark of the Blu-ray Association.





Fitzgerald returns with a joyful road movie celebrating tough women Story & reviews Peter Knegt


loudburst comes nearly 15 years after writer-director Thom Fitzgerald made a rather grand entrance on to the Canadian filmmaking scene with his debut feature The Hanging Garden. But unlike Garden — and most of Fitzgerald’s subsequent films (Beefcake, The Event) — Cloudburst doesn’t have queer male central characters. Instead, 26

May 2012

he offers up a good old-fashioned lesbian road trip movie. The film — screening at Inside Out this month — stars Oscar winners Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker as a US couple who decide to head to Nova Scotia (where Fitzgerald is based) to marry after 30 years together, coming across a hunky hitchhiker (Ryan Doucette, in his first onscreen role).

Given that synopsis, one might be inclined to dub Cloudburst a senior citizen version of Thelma and Louise. But that would be reductive. The film has its own unique sense of humanity and humour that’s handled gently by Fitzgerald, who said he was drawn to pretty much every aspect of the story. “Angry lesbians, a dusty hot road trip, old women, a cute hitch-

hiker…,” he says. “I had reached a certain state of mind where I wanted to write just for my own pleasure and this is what poured out of me. It is a pretty honest, goofy, uncalculated film.” And maybe not one as far from The Hanging Garden as you’d think. “All I’ve ascertained about my body of work is that I’m drawn to outsid-


→ GOING UP T HE ROAD After 30 years together a US lesbian couple (Oscar winners Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker) drive to Nova Scotia to get married.

ers who don’t fit in, who for what-

lesbians, with attitude. Some of Stella, some even gruffer. I don’t see much of those women on


screen but in real life, I enjoy being

Opening Inside Out is Sally El Hosaini’s powerful debut film My Brother the Devil. Set in East London, the film follows two Egyptian brothers, Mo (Fady Elsayed) and Rashid (the incredibly sexy James Floyd). A smart young student, Mo idolizes his older brother Rashid, who is heavily involved in a local gang. But when Mo wants to join in on Rashid’s lifestyle, his older brother does everything in his power to keep him on the straight and narrow. What results is an unexpected, energetic story about two brothers at a crossroads. Why it warrants being screened at an LGBT film festival should be kept a surprise, but rest assured it’s a very sexy one.

around them.”

ever reason have rejected normalcy

Fricker’s character, who is going

or been rejected,” Fitzgerald says.

blind in the film, was originally

“And that’s in my films. Life’s big rit-


uals represent that moment when

Joan Orenstein, who passed away

outsiders feel most outside. The

before she got a chance to take on

Hanging Garden was set at a wed-

the role.




ding ceremony where a gay brother

“Joan was not a lesbian but was

was trying to find his place. Fifteen

blind,” Fitzgerald says. “She was

years later the lesbian couple in

in two of my films, The Hanging

Cloudburst are making a long jour-

Garden and The Event. Joan was a

ney to feel what it’s like to have a

wit and a gentle ball-buster in her

recognized wedding for themselves.

own way.”

So there’s certainly a continuum of

The same could be said of

ideas. It’s not too deliberate… I actu-

Dukakis and Fricker. After watch-

ally just realized the wedding con-

ing the film, it’s clear the two were

nection when you asked.”

having a whole lot of fun on set.

Cloudburst originally began as


them much more elegant than

Which rubbed off on Fitzgerald.


Director Ira Sachs (Forty Shades of Blue) paints a painfully realistic portrait of an epic relationship in Keep the Lights On. Set in 1990s New York, the loosely autobiographical film follows a Danish documentarian (Thure Lindhardt) who falls for Paul (Zachary Booth), a closeted lawyer. Sachs charts what follows over a volatile 10-year time frame, with each man struggling with their own private compulsions and addictions — often at the expense of their relationship. With strong performances and a thoughtful screenplay that defies convention, Keep the Lights On captures a poignant, raw love story sure to resonate strongly with audiences.

a play that Fitzgerald wrote and

“We had a longer than average

directed at Halifax’s Plutonium

schedule so we’d never shoot more

Playhouse in early 2010. “I think

than 12 hours,” he says. “It was

perhaps I approached it as a play

everything I’d hoped for, to spend

because I knew it could be a play,”

time with them and absorb their

he says. “I wanted to tell the story

wisdom and strengths, learn to be

in words, not pictures. But then I

a better artist. It was often gruel-

saw how much people laughed

ling for me, I was often bouncing


and loved the play and, you know,

on a box in the bucket of a pick-

whenever I read a book or see a

up truck driving in front of Stella’s

show I imagine the movie I would

pick-up truck, yelling directions

make of it. Turns out I do that even

over wind and engines — but

when it’s my own play.”

Olympia, Brenda and Ryan made

A new addition to the canon of great LGBT rights documentaries, Jeffrey Schwarz’s Vito is a passionate look at the life of Vito Russo. Russo is probably best known for the 1981 book about the representation of LGBT people in Hollywood, The Celluloid Closet (which was adapted into the 1995 documentary by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman). But he was also a remarkable figure in the early gay rights movement, and the fight against AIDS (which he succumbed to in 1990). Using interviews with Russo’s family and peers as well as wonderful archival footage, Schwarz gives Russo’s legacy the documentary it deserves with Vito.

Part of what makes both the

the whole experience joyful for me.

play and the film such a joy is that

For someone who’s always tripping

they give such meaty characters

over himself and getting in his own

to types of women rarely seen on

way, I’m incredibly lucky.”

stage or screen. “I’ve




women like [Dukakis’s character] Stella,” he says. “Foul-mouthed, pissed-off women, some of them

CLOUDBURST 7:30pm. Fri, May 25. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W.

INSIDE OUT Thu, May 17-27.





an effort to reach today’s teens — an unusual twist on the “It Gets Better” campaign — a new book asks LGBT writers and artists to pen a letter to their teenage selves. Participants include novelists Michael Cunningham and Armistead Maupin, playwrights Terrence McNally and Paul Rudnick and cartoonists Eric Orner and Erika Moen. In this excerpt illustrator Maurice Vellekoop looks back at his troubled years in Etobicoke


May 2012


Continued on page 30


A RT & E N T E RTA I N M E N T Continued from page 29

THE LETTER Q: QUEER WRITERS’ NOTES TO THEIR YOUNGER SELVES Edited by Sarah Moon and James Lecesne. Scholastic/Arthur A Levine Books. $15. MAURICE VELLEKOOP Also contributed to the forthcoming comic anthology Little Heart, created to show support for marriage equality in the US, published by 2D Cloud. Vellekoop is attending TCAF on Sat, May 5 and 6 (see page 23), as is 2D Cloud. The Letter Q will be available at TCAF at The Beguiling table.


May 2012



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

ASK THE SEX GEEK — with Andrea Zanin

I have a question about smell etiquette. How do you deal if your body (especially crotch) odour — or flavour — makes you feel self-conscious, or if a partner smells bad… or just not to your taste? Kathleen →


a result of our bodies not elimi-

inconvenient packages sometimes,





nating waste properly — your liver

aren’t they? Wouldn’t it be great

or kidneys may be sluggish, for

if we could just will ourselves to

instance. Or you may be overdo-

smell like a fresh spring breeze?

ing the curry, garlic, alcohol or cig-

Well, maybe, maybe not. The

arettes. Wheat and dairy sensitiv-

latest hetero dating trend is the

ities can mess with your system,

pheromone party, where singles

too. Hormone imbalances, chronic

sleep in the same shirt for three

anxiety and stress can also lend a

days, Ziploc it, and then sniff the

certain sharpness to your scent.

“opposite” sex’s bags to see what

Or you may also have a bacterial

gets their juices flowing. This is

infection, such as bacterial vagino-

actually about their subconscious

sis, or an STI — so see your regu-

response to pheromones, which

lar doc, too. In short, consider all

are odourless, but you just can’t

the possibilities with the help of

sniff ’em without also sniffing the

a professional or two. Your smell

person’s scent.

is a sign of what’s going on inside,

I’m certainly not advocating for

so while it might be quicker to try

the pink-and-blue-bag approach,

masking your scent, I’d encourage

but it’s no secret that we often

you to dig deeper instead.

follow our noses when it comes

As for dealing with other peo-

to attraction. So I wonder if your

ple’s smells, that depends. With

odour is actually a problem to oth-

a long-term lover, I might gently

ers — or just to you. Women espe-

say I’d noticed they weren’t smell-

cially are often told that we’re sup-

ing quite right, and encourage

posed to smell pretty all the time;

them to look into it because I care

douches, deodorants and perfumes

about their health. For an occa-

galore are all designed to make us

sional fuck-buddy, I’d explain that

feel ashamed of our bodies and

I’m sensitive to smells and, noth-

their natural scents. But plenty

ing personal, but could we clean

of folks out there adore, and even

up first? With a one-night stand,

fetishize, the smell of sweaty arm-

I’d just invite them to take a hot

pits or recently worn underwear.

sexy shower with me before we get

If you can bracket out internal-

down to business.

ized body shame and still find

But if someone’s scent totally

your own body smells offensive,

turns you off, you are allowed to

you can do the basics: wash regu-

simply say “I’m not feeling this

larly, brush your teeth, wear cloth-

after all.” You don’t owe anybody

ing and skivvies made of nat-

a sexy time.

ural fibres. Next, see a natural health practitioner to take stock of your diet and organ function. Sometimes bad personal odour is

ANDREA ZANIN The Sex Geek blogs at

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


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