Gay & Lesbian Cit y Living
GUTSY MOVE BY ART-WORLD MAVEN DANIEL FARIA GEMS FROM THE gay ARCHIVES AUSTRA’S KATIE STELMANIS
ELECTRO ART POP SIREN
TREKKING up mount KILIMANJARO
Costa del Sol
? â€Ś a st ie f s, a p ta , ta es si , h c ea B What a tough life!
Costa del Sol Trendy beaches, boardwalk cafes, tapas poolside and live flamenco music set the backdrop for what the Costa de Sol region has to offer. A coastline stretching almost 150 kilometers along Malaga Province, Torremolinos and Marbella are the most popular for LGBT revelers with gay friendly hotels, bars and restaurants. A vibrant and eclectic nightclub scene in the gay neighborhood of Nogalera and surrounding area you will find most bars and clubs in Torremolinos ready to serve until sunrise. Playamar/Poseidon beaches are the closest gay beach in Torremolinos with many others along the coast with designated gay friendly areas. Marbella offers select few gay bars and restaurants, however, the area is known for great shopping and chic boutiques. Whatever your guilty pleasure, Costa del Sol awaits you.
- Armando MendonĂ§a LGBT Travel Expert, VoX International Inc.
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intorontomag.com PUBLISHER Patricia Salib EDITOR Gordon Bowness CREATIVE MARKETING DIRECTOR Nelson Tomé DESIGNERs Nicolás Tallarico, Jenny Watson PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Jara Solis 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 firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL INQUIRIES (416) 551-0449 email@example.com
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views | living & design | insight | listings | Art & entertaiNment | sex
SMALL SPACE, BIG IDEAS A tiny, perfect loft in Sherbourne/Wellesley by Michael Pihach TREASURE TROVE Rare CLGA collections unearthed by Bruce Jones
CREATIVE FORCE FIELD Daniel Faria opens his new art gallery by Paul Gallant
AUSTRA’S IRRESISTIBLE SIREN Katie Stelmanis and electronic music’s next big thing by Mary Dickie
DEB PEARCE Sounds off on pregnancy
DUBARRY WAS A LADY by Michael Pihach
TREKKING UP MT KILIMANJARO by Margaret Webb
YOUR PERFECT COAT by Paul Aguirre-Livingston
OY, THE IN-LAWS with Adam Segal
NOVEMBER’S EVENTS CALENDAR
LUXURIOUS OPUS by Anna von Frances
USED HOUSE OF VINTAGE by Derek Dotto
YOUTH LINE ART AUCTION by Gordon Bowness
SEX shop anxiety by Michael Pihach
CAUGHT IN THE ACT with Michael Pihach
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toronto talk exchange
VIEW FINDER → Vive la différence Paris during the French Revolution is just one stop on a wild ride from the pen of Toronto illustrator Maurice Vellekoop, who launches The World of Gloria Badcock this month. Last seen in 1997’s Vellevision collection, Gloria and her friends’ latest sexcapades include a lesbian genie, an out-of-control fleshbot and an eccentric time machine. Published by Koyama Press, it’s the first comic in more than 10 years from Vellekoop. The launch, presented by The Beguiling book shop, is hosted by another heroine with well-drawn curves, Sasha Van Bon Bon. 7pm-11pm. Tue, Nov 29. Buddies in Bad Times. 12 Alexander St. koyamapress.com. Vellekoop also has works in the Youth Line and Buddies auctions this month (see pages 23 and 27).
In their own words Michael Cohen
love that the writers are dedicated to telling the truth and aren’t afraid of being irreverent.”
He’s played a cantankerous neighbour on Modern Family, a magical wizard on Wizards of Waverly Place and an Algerian POW being tortured by Danny Glover on My Name is Earl. But Gemini-nominated actor Michael Cohen’s forthcoming role on the wonderfully offbeat CBC comedy Michael: Tuesdays and Thursdays is, in some ways, his most challenging yet because it hits so close to home: the character, like the actor, is trans. “When my agent sent me the character breakdown, mild panic set in,” says Cohen, who bounces between LA and Toronto. “I was surprised at my reaction. I was so skeptical about the possibility of a well-written trans character. I mean, my God, most of the portrayals on TV are dreadful. They’re either victims, criminals, or totally pitiable. So when they sent me the script, I was bracing myself. But it turned out to be an amazing script that
portrayed the transition process with great respect and accuracy, both medically and emotionally.” The series is written by and stars Bob Martin (who won a Tony for The Drowsy Chaperone) and Matt Watts. “Bob was so gracious. He assured me that they didn’t want me to do anything that made me feel uncomfortable and that one of the reasons they cast me was they wanted me to be a resource. “Everyone has a dark side and a light side and all sorts of internalized phobias. The best comedy comes from being honest and laying it all out there. Then our various identities fall into the background, and what everyone sees is how similar we all are.” Michael Tuesdays and Thursdays airs 9pm Tuesdays on CBC TV. Cohen appears in the season finale on Nov 29.
toronto talk exchange Sound off Surprises of pregnancy
Grand old dame
Deb Pearce decided to shine some light into her life and have a baby with her wife LeeAnn Pocknell. Relying on an anonymous donor, the host of Rogers Television’s LGBT talk3. show foQus now boasts a belly that, in her words, “looks like the underside of a trout.” Pearce describes what it’s been like carrying her baby boy Jack (who debuts at the end of November).
Waddling, prenatal classes and maternity clothes “When people first see my short hair and tattoos, they think I’m a man, then I turn around and people see I’m pregnant, they don’t know what to think. They don’t expect someone like me to be with a child. There’s also a point in some prenatal classes where they separate birth moms and fathers. When the fathers break off, where is my wife gonna go? Another question we get is, ‘Who’s the dad?’ That, to us, is offensive. There is no dad. We’re two women, two moms, in a same-sex parenting relationship.”
“There really aren’t any maternity clothes for dykes. Everything in maternity stores is so feminine — low-cut with flowers, paisley or pink. It’s nothing I’m used to wearing. Clothes and pregnancy, really, is sort of reserved for heterosexual women.”
FOQUS WITH DEB PEARCE 10:30pm. Tuesdays & Thursdays. Rogers TV.
“I look like I’ve swallowed a basketball. I can’t go into sports stores because people think I’ve stolen a ball. I’m shocked. Proportionally, you’d think I’d fall forward, but your body equals out. Your hips move. You start to waddle instead of walking. I don’t feel the weight.”
“I’ve never had the problem of looking like a man in a dress,” says Russel Alldread. Even armed with the thickest pan stick and poofiest wig, few men can count passing as a woman as one of their God-given talents. Except Alldread. As the face behind Michelle DuBarry, a diamond-wearing dame of sorts, the Toronto senior, who turns 80 on Nov 23, is one of the city’s longest-standing female impersonators. “Having done it for so many years, it doesn’t take me two hours to get ready like most people,” says the Bowmanville, Ontario native. Born in 1931, Alldread wore his first dress at age 9. As a teen he attended a high school dance in drag. Since the 1950s, he has performed in countless bars and fundraisers, toured in drag troupes — notably the now-defunct Great Imposters — and has ruled the roost at The Imperial Court of Toronto. Alldread’s advice to aspiring queens? Rehearse. Plan. Show up on time. “The big thing now is drag time,” he says. “Back then, if we didn’t start at 9pm sharp, there would be hell to pay. Drag requires thought and discipline.” The black-tie, invite-only celebration of Alldread’s birthday is Tue, Nov 22 at 6:30pm at the 519 Church Street Community Centre. Michael Pihach
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LIVING & DESIGN
O PE N H O U S E
Tiny perfect design Personal counsellor Scott Pope and human rights advisor Ali Ahmad used to get lost in their old, over-sized house in Cabbagetown. Now the socially conscious couple enjoys the virtues of a modern lofty townhouse in the Sherbourne/Wellesley neighbourhood â†’
Story Michael Pihach | Photography Lulu Wei
LIVING & DESIGN Continued from page 9
How did you guys first meet? AA: We both volunteered for the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT). The first time we met, Scott was doing a training session, I was one of his volunteer students. SP: We lost track of each other for three years until one barbecue after Pride Day, we met again. We’ve now been together for nine years.
And you’re one of them. Tell me about your dog. SP: Muffin is our son and heir. AA: He’s a cockapoo. It was a real change to get a dog, to come home and be welcomed. We really bond with Muffin as a family. This neighbourhood is also the most dogfriendly neighbourhood you could pick. The dog park is right beside us.
Where did you live before you moved here? SP: We lived on the 36th floor of The Met on Carlton Street. It had an unobstructed view of the lake with windows that wrapped around from south to east. It was hard to leave, but we got an offer we couldn’t refuse.
And it was partly because of Muffin that you constructed your ground floor out of limestone. AA: Yes, to avoid scratched wood or soggy carpets. SP: When we bought the property, we were concerned the floor would be too cold for Muffin, so the builder installed heating and cooling pipes in the floors. In the summertime, the floor becomes cool. In the wintertime, it’s warm. AA: It’s automatic too. SP: There must be a thermostat somewhere we don’t know about, but it’s brilliant.
And before that you owned a house in Cabbagetown? SP: Yes, but it was too big — four bedrooms, three baths, a study, There were rooms we never went into. We had a library, but I think we sat in it three times in 10 years. AA: We felt guilty about two people living in a huge house and not using all the space, stretching our furniture to make it look like we lived on four floors, but we were not. Now you live in a modern boutique loft. What are the amenities like? AA: We’re connected to the large condo tower building through underground parking, which means we have access to a party room, theatre, yoga classes, a beautiful terrace with a barbecue and a gym. SP: There are only 20 units in our building, and about 70 percent of people have a dog. → SMALL SPACE , BIG IDEAS Scott Pope and Ali Ahmad (bottom left) purchased a glass bar table instead of installing a kitchen island to enhance the room’s openness (preceding page). A 20-foot drop connects the first and second floors, showcasing a chandelier with 10 different bulb types (top left). Muffin the cockapoo enjoys the temperaturecontrolled floor (left). Opposite page: The reconfigurable dining table is made from reclaimed willow (middle). The upright pipe fireplace burns ethanol (middle right). The master bedroom (bottom) features a sculpture by artist W Allan.
What else is unique about your loft? SP: The whole building is green. The heating partially relies on geothermal energy. AA: All the external lights are on sensors, so if you’re not in a particular space they’ll go off and go on when they sense movement. Going green inspired some of your design choices, like your dining table. AA: The table was made by Urban Tree Salvage, a company that takes wood from old houses and trees and turns it into furniture. Ours is made from reclaimed willow. Right now it’s a table for six, but we can separate it into a buffet table if we’re having a party. In boutique environments, you have to be minimal and very creative. Even when it comes to fireplaces, such as the upright three-pipe fireplace that burns ethanol. AA: We couldn’t have a traditional fireplace because the building wouldn’t allow a gas pipe. We had a fireplace in our other homes and we missed that.
L I V IN G & D E S I G N
Your loft displays a lot of inter-
it’s clear you both have a deep
national flair: a handmade vase
connection to social issues.
from Mexico, a Burmese Buddha
AA: Human rights issues and HIV/
statue, a tribal figure from India,
AIDS prevention is at the fore-
a school of silver metal fish swim-
front… the environment. We have
ming down your living room wall
a lot of concern for the well-being
that was an art installation from
of the gay community, which is
why we volunteer. That is what
AA: We love travelling and picking
we believe in.
up little mementos that are different from fridge magnets.
What do you think of Mayor Rob Ford’s proposed cuts to commu-
What is your most memorable trip?
AA: A cruise from Singapore to
AA: It’s deeply concerning. As a
Dubai. I had never had gone to the
community, we need to generate
Far East before. We love going to
funds that are lost in the cutbacks,
either through monetary funds or
SP: Places like Hong Kong and
through volunteer hours that can
Singapore are so far advanced. Their
make up for positions that are lost.
transit system is beyond our wildest
SP: People who have resources or
dreams. The cleanliness in some of
skills need to bring them to the
these countries is remarkable.
community or the community will have a huge struggle in stay-
From your volunteering at ACT to caring about the environment,
ing vibrant and alive. •
B G S LE A N N I V E R S A RY
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LIVING & DESIGN
t r avel
Top of the world → How
a gruelling, gorgeous trek up Mount Kilimanjaro transformed the lives of nine women, inspiring them to confront Africa’s other challenges Story and photography Margaret Webb
y gal doesn’t do trips that take her away from a shower for more than 24 hours, so when I need an adventure fix, I turn to my adventure wives, Shena Hinks and Kathleen Urdahl. Invariably, the downtown Toronto couple say “yes” as soon as my email proposal lands in their inbox. Not this time. Apparently I had traumatized them with our last trip — retracing the Yukon Gold Rush of 1898, starting with a five-day hike through Alaska and ending with
a wild canoe ride down the Yukon River, all without a guide. So they took some convincing this time, even though I was pitching the number one trip on their bucket list: climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. We’ll be in good hands, I assured them, meaning not mine. We’ll have a guide this time, three in fact! I had met one, Montrealer Sunniva Sorby, at a LGBT travel conference in Toronto. She had trekked to the South Pole and
across the Greenland Ice Cap. Now, along with her business partner Kathy Soverow, a wellness coach based in San Francisco, she was launching a new venture, Shape Your Life Canada, based on a new model of adventure travel with an altruistic twist. As Sunniva explained, it was about changing lives, starting with our own. The two developed a training program that would whip expedition members into shape for the climb and would provide coaching to keep us motivated —
if the fear factor of climbing 19,341 feet wasn’t enough to lose 10 or 15 pounds and develop thighs of steel. Expedition members would then “pay forward” their new-found strength by raising money for children affected by AIDS, through the Stephen Lewis Foundation and the American Foundation for Children with AIDS (AFCA). In Kenya, we would visit with the kids our fundraising helped — and perhaps see how we could do more. Then, after we had become phys-
LIVING & DESIGN
ers reach the top. To try to beat
children run to greet us, shouting,
superheroes, the team would climb
those odds, most choose gentler
“How are you, how are you?”
names. But thanks to the drugs,
to the top of the world’s highest
sloping paths up. Yet our team
A half hour after the tour, our
the girls are amazingly healthy.
freestanding mountain, the fourth
was slated to do the infamous
vans turn into St Mary’s Hospital
They entertain us with a concert
highest in the world. Helping us
Umbwe, the steepest route to the
and Education Centre, once part of
of singing and dancing, and crowd
reach the “Rooftop of Africa” would
summit trail. Many guiding com-
the estate of Out of Africa author
onto our laps. It breaks our hearts
be a small army of African porters
panies actively discourage hikers
Karen Blixen, now on Kibera’s
to leave them, our African daugh-
headed by yet another guide, Kurt
from taking it.
doorstep. It feels like we have
ters. But fundraising has helped
stepped into a narrative about
this mission develop a new model
Wedberg of Sierra Mountaineering International.
As it turned out, every aspect of
the trip was an Umbwe — chal-
climbers to the highest peaks on
lenging us to a cliff’s edge physi-
all seven continents, including
cally and emotionally.
Everest, and knows a thing or two about extreme altitude. Good thing because about 10 people a year die
he all-woman team — six from Canada, three from the US —
meet for the first time in Nairobi,
trying to climb Kilimanjaro.
of care — it will be family to the
We saw ugly Africa, beautiful Africa, sad, happy, tragic, exultant Africa.
girls until they grow up. By the time we get to the mountain, we have become so deeply bonded that people start calling us “The Sistahs” (or “Dadas” in Swahili). The Umbwe throws everything at
The adventure was shaping up
Kenya. We are gay, straight, single,
to be a “dream come true,” as
married, mothers, childless, but all
AIDS in Africa. The disease has
rock cliff faces we must scramble
Kathleen described it. The cou-
neophyte climbers and all at the
left two million kids orphaned in
up, and narrow rock ledges wind-
ple had always wanted to combine
freak-out end of 40.
Kenya alone; some end up living
ing along deeply gouged valleys
us: a steep rainforest trail, volcanic
a climb of Kili with fundraising so
In the first hour of the first day,
on the streets of Kibera; some work
and cascading rivers that plunge
that they could “leave something
the team decides we must experi-
as prostitutes to survive or care for
down thousands of feet. We reach
behind.” Kathleen, 49, a lawyer, tar-
ence the tragic depths of Africa as
sick family members. The lucky
13,000 feet in two days — other
geted her corporate contacts while
well as the rarefied air on top of
ones end up here, a high school
trails normally take three or four
Shena, 46, a painter and landscaper,
the continent’s highest peak and
and university offering training in
— and seem none the worse for
focused on friends and family.
proposes a walkabout of Africa’s
health care. It’s a relief to see what
the rapid ascent.
directed fundraising can provide:
enjoy what the Umbwe offers up:
cause and the challenge. Within
Kibera. The adventure wives and
a safe haven and real opportunity.
the most spectacular views on the
hours of sending out an email,
I exchange horrified looks. That
The former slum kids tell us they
mountain. At camp that night we
they had pledges for thousands of
isn’t on the itinerary.
want to be lawyers, doctors, engi-
laugh so hard from the sheer joy
People were inspired by the
dollars. Toronto freelance photog-
Such a tour requires guides, in
neers, and they’re in a hurry to be
of being together in this beauti-
rapher Heather Pollock set aside
this case, two police officers armed
successful so they can help others
ful place that our African porters
a weekend to shoot portraits and
with rifles. Kibera looks a lot grit-
like themselves. We tell them we
think we’re drunk.
donated her fee. Together, the
tier than in the feature film The
came here to climb Kilimanjaro,
But the toughest part is yet to
team raised $40,000; Shena and
Constant Gardener, which makes
but they have scaled the real
come: the summit. On day four,
Kathleen raised $15,000 of that.
it seem full of happy, dancing slum
mountain, surviving Kibera. We
we hike up to high camp at 15,358
Then Kathleen called me after
dwellers. There are no happy slum
visit for a couple of hours — and
feet. We have only a few hours to
receiving the itinerary. “Um,” she
dwellers. Also, film emits no smell.
hug them fiercely when we leave.
acclimatize, then depart for the
said. “Did you know that we’re
Here, some 300,000 people squat in
Next day, we play mom to girls
one-room dirt shacks without elec-
at St Mary’s orphanage. They are
Almost everyone has started tak-
tricity, running water or city sew-
between the ages of 2 and 17, all
ing altitude medication to relieve
“Huh,” I said.
age, which gurgles down the dirt-
HIV-positive. They take us by
After doing their own research,
path streets in foul putrid streams.
the hand to show us their home,
cramping, diarrhea and, in my case,
Kathleen and Shena discovered
We are warned not to touch the
which includes a medical clinic.
a deep fatigue that makes me want
there are six routes up the moun-
children, as they walk and play in
By age five, they know how to
tain, and only 45 percent of climb-
that muck. This is torture, for the
take their drug cocktails, can even
summit at midnight.
Continued on page 14
LIVING & DESIGN Continued from page 13
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to curl up on the trail and sleep. As a marathoner, I might be the fittest of the Sistahs, yet I am the first to bonk. The temperature plunges to minus 15. Unable to eat, my energy is zapped, and I’m struggling with
→ ALT RUIS T IC ADVEN T URES Writer Margaret Webb’s “adventure wives” Shena Hinks and Kathleen Urdahl (above) trained hard to conquer Africa’s tallest mountain. They used that new-found strength to give something back.
hypothermia, just two hours into what is a seven-hour slog up 4,000
feet. Everyone’s hitting similar
will not let us go. “Their problems
walls. Shena has stomach cramps.
there are so huge,” Kathleen says.
At points, Kathleen thinks she’s
“You can get lost thinking about it.
We needed to bring it down and
emotional and mental mettle is
make it small.”
tested to a point where you think
The two are doing that by pay-
you can’t take the next step,” she
ing the tuition for the child of
recalls, “and then you do, and the
one of their African porters. “He
whole game starts again.”
helped us realize our dream,” says
But when we think we can’t go
Kathleen, “so we decided we could
on, we remember the kids we met.
help him realize his dream of get-
If they can survive the slums, we
ting his kids a good education.”
can climb a goddamn mountain.
They say they have gained a new
And we think about the Sistahs —
appreciation of what they have,
we will not give up on each other.
but also what they can achieve for
We hike by the light of a full moon
others. “Now I feel really strong,”
and stars so close they appear as big
says Shena. “I know now that if I
as baby fists. We pass the defunct
put my mind to something, I can
volcano’s blowhole and a tower-
do it. Because that’s the hardest
ing wall of ice — the last snows of
thing I’ve done in my life.” The
Kilimanjaro — and finally reach the
couple plans to do more fundrais-
famous sign marking the highest
ing, both in their community at
point on the continent, just as the
home and ones they may visit.
sun breaks over the horizon below
But I have yet to give them a call
us and casts an orange glow over
about our next trip. I think I’ll give
my adventure wives a few more
months to get over this one. hree months after returning to Canada, the adven-
ture wives and I joke that we are suffering from Post Africa Stress Disorder. We saw ugly Africa, beautiful Africa, sad, happy, tragic,
SHAPE YOUR LIFE CANADA shapeyourlifecanada.com. SIERRA MOUNTAINEERING INTERNATIONAL sierramountaineering.com.
LIVING & DESIGN
shopping BAG by Paul Aguirre-Livingston Do The Coat
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Dartmouth jacket in duke brown. $765. Oliver Spencer. 962 Queen St W. oliverspencer.co.uk.
Casual Cool 4 5
When you’re off-duty, opt for these stylish and laidback outerwear options that hit every fashion note this season. From affordable and weathered leather (a timehonoured staple) to the very in-right-now shearling collars and detailing, you’re fit for a night out or Sunday brunch. Just add jeans, boots, and go. 7
Imitation leather jacket. $69.95. H&M. hm.com.
Leather jacket. $399. Danier. danier.ca.
Military parka with mountain sheep collar. $750. Philip Sparks. philipsparks.com.
LIVING & DESIGN
— with Adam Segal
Help us continue to support people living with HIV/AIDS by volunteering or making a secure online donation at www.pwatoronto.org Toronto People With AIDS Foundation 200 Gerrard Street East, 2nd floor Toronto, Ontario M5A 2E6 416-506-1400
Robert Van Rhijn
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→ My boyfriend of one year and I recently made a trip to his hometown for the whole Thanksgiving thing. I had spoken to his parents briefly on the phone and met them in-person at my guy’s sister’s wedding, but this was really the first time that I saw his family in a more substantial way. In short, I was horrified. There was some pretty heavy drinking from the get-go and his father spoke down to my boyfriend in a way that some would classify as verbally abusive. While he seemed irritated with his parents at moments, it otherwise seemed totally normal for him. I left his family feeling exhausted and protective of my guy. He struggles with his self-esteem but has never spoken about his family struggles nor about their impact on him. What do I do? Alex
One of the gifts of having a part-
own family baggage. This way
ner is that, in that person, you
you’ll have a shot at soothing
hopefully find an ally. Your obser-
your angst before trying to learn
vations and related concerns, in
many ways, can be a gift to your
One of the safest ways to com-
partner who may not be able to
municate in a relationship, or
have the more objective perspec-
tive that you, as an outsider to
sonal relationships, is to focus on
his clan’s dysfunction, can offer.
impact. Specifically, this means
However, this is tricky territory
expressing how torn up you felt
as your man may be reluctant
by witnessing your sweetheart
to see his family’s imperfections
in the midst of his family circus.
and could resent you for criticiz-
To share that you felt sad to see
ing the only family he’s known or
him be degraded by his father is
will ever have.
a way of showing care without
While you may have found a
the risk of him feeling judged by
way to navigate your own fami-
you. The final nugget I can pass
ly’s sore spots, it can feel disem-
along is this: Stay curious. It’s
powering as the boyfriend in this
easy to jump to conclusions, but
situation since you don’t really
your best bet is to ask questions
have the leeway to speak up and
about your boyfriend’s perception
call shit out. If you are truly going
of his family and learn about his
to be a supportive partner, you’ll
accumulated coping strategies —
need to collaborate on what kind
after all, he’s had way more boozy
of support he would really find
feasts with his family than you.
valuable. But before even thinking about chatting with your man, make sure you are checking
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in with yourself first — mindfully reflect on whether the recent turkey fest is stirring up any of your
Adam Segal The writer and therapist works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental health question at firstname.lastname@example.org.
H i s t o ry
Ephemeral beauty â†’ What remains of a life after weâ€™re gone? The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives houses a treasure trove of diaries, letters and other personal artifacts. Long-time volunteer Bruce Jones has unearthed three collections that vividly bring into focus fascinating, unsung lives Story Bruce Jones | Photography Nicola Betts
Ronald McRae Acquired in 1981, the Ronald McRae collection showcases the amazing art and rich life of the Toronto designer and illustrator of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s. McRae’s large-scale costume sketches (above, preceding page) are vivid and engaging (one credit includes the designs for The Gay Blade Ice Show in 1937) and his famed costume parties (below) were reported on in the newspapers.
Murray Wilson Upon his death in 2010 psychiatrist Murray Wilson’s diaries were donated to the CLGA.
HISTORY CHANNEL Do you have stories to share of Ronald
Spanning five decades, these handsome
McRae, Murray Wilson or Joey Shulman?
journals (right) take us into his wide-rang-
Then please contact the CLGA or post a
ing, analytical mind. Drawings, along with
comment on intorontomag.com. For more
photos and articles stapled to some pages,
McRae images, check out our gallery online.
enrich our view of a fascinating man. Joey Shulman Years after leaving Toronto for life in the countryside, Joey Shulman (who’s still with us) began donating to the archives personal papers relating to the emerging gay life of Toronto in the 1970s. These decorated letters (right) from his friend Wally MacDonald reflect the wry humour that bolstered many gay men in challenging times.
CANADIAN LESBIAN AND GAY ARCHIVES 7:30pm-10pm. Tue-Thu. 34 Isabella St. (416) 777-2755. clgca.ca. FOUL SUPPER The archives’ annual fundraiser. $50. 6pm. Sat, Nov 5. St Lawrence Hall. 157 King St E.
LISTINGS & EVENTS
november Get IN on it.
IN THE CITY
3 Peter Chin Fluency opens at Enwave
Paul Goodman Feature doc opens at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Love Lies Bleeding Alberta Ballet’s Elton John work opens at Sony Centre
In Toronto is always on the lookout for strong contributors. Please submit a resumé, writing or photo samples, and story ideas to email@example.com. Celebrate Toronto. Provide our readers with compelling news, entertainment and your eye on the city.
Amphetamine Screens at Rendezvous with Madness
ART & PHOTOGRAPHY Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde Masterworks from the
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Mary Poppins Opens at Princess of Wales starring Steffanie Leigh
Are you a writer passionate about this city? Are you a photographer out and about? Why not contribute to In Toronto magazine?
Centre Pompidou in their only North American appearance. Includes 32 Chagalls, eight Kandinskys, plus works by Goncharova, Delaunay and Tatlin. $25. Until Sun, Jan 15. Art Gallery of Ontario. 317 Dundas St W. (416) 979-6660. ago.net. Commitment Issues Witty provocateur Jess Dobkin curates an evening of performance art featuring Heather Cassils, Mary Coble, Alicia Grant, Dominic Johnson and The Pole Club. Presented by FADO. $15. 7pm-10pm. Wed, Nov 16. Oasis Aqualounge. 231 Mutual St. The artists then join a panel discussion and reception. Free. 7:30pm-9:30pm. Nov 17. Studio Theatre. 4 Glen Morris St. performanceart.ca.
Heather Cassils Commitment Issues performance art
Romeo and Juliet Premieres with the National Ballet of Canada
Chris Curreri Opening Thu, Nov 17. See page 24. Julie Beugin Blaue Stunde, evocative interior landscape paintings. Opening. 7pm-10pm. Fri, Nov 18. 11am-5pm. Wed-Sat. Until Dec 23. Paul Petro Contemporary. 980 Queen St W. (416) 979-7874. paulpetro.com.
FILM & VIDEO Paul Goodman Changed My Life
Doc Soup presents Jonathan Lee’s feature documentary on the bisexual author of Growing Up Absurd, an influential US social critic, poet and philosopher (co-founder of Gestalt Therapy) who died in 1972. With Lee in attendance. $14. 6:30pm & 9:15pm. Wed, Nov 9. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. (416) 599-8433. hotdocs.ca.
Would You Say the Name of This Play? Berend McKenzie’s one-man show opens at YPT
Rendezvous with Madness
Running Fri, Nov 4 to 12, Workman Arts presents the 19th annual festival that shines light on the all-too common occurrence of mental illness. The Queer Film Showcase features the award-wining 52-minute documentary Baderech Lemalla (The Way Up) by director Shirly Berkovitz. Lian is an androgynous street kid, hustling for drugs in Tel Aviv, who sets out to find her birth mother. 3pm. Nov 6. Featurelength drama Amphetamine from Chinese director Scud (Danny Cheng Wan-Cheung) explores the unlikely love between a successful gay executive (Thomas Price) and a straight swimming instructor (Byron Pang) with a traumatized history. PWYC. 9:30pm. Nov 11. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. (416) 599-TIFF. rendezvouswithmadness.com.
LISTINGS & EVENTS
our guide to your month The Mint Media Group, publisher of In Toronto and Outlooks magazines, is looking for a full-time Account Manager. You have a proven track record of securing advertising revenue with agencies, media buyers and retailers. You can engage clients over the phone, by email and in face-to-face presentations to secure new businesses. You are efficient in executing the sales process from start to finish, providing exemplary customer service throughout. You enjoy working in a diverse environment and are passionate about the LGBT community.
Uncalled For First of two nights at Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival
23 Hallaj Soheil Parsa & Peter Farbridge’s new play opens at Buddies
Branford Marsalis First of two nights with the TSO
Reel Asian The festival, running Tue, Nov 8 to 19, celebrates its 15th anniversary with a series of new initiatives and expansion into Richmond Hill. Look for Pearls of the Far East, the feature debut by local filmmaker Cuong Ngo (his Golden Pin won best Canadian Short at Inside Out fest last spring). Based on short stories by Vietnamese writer Minh Ngoc Nguyen, who stars in the film and adapted her stories about the inner lives and forbidden loves of seven women for the screen. The film was shot entirely in Vietnam with one chapter shot in Toronto. The sexational cast includes Kieu Chinh (Joy Luck Club). $12. 5pm. Nov 13. The Royal. 608 College St. 1 (888) 222-6608. reelasian.com.
The Rez Sisters
Tomson Highway’s classic play opens at Factory Theatre on Thu, Nov 10
PRINT & READINGS Maurice Vellekoop comic launch
Tue, Nov 29. See page 6.
DANCE Fluency Danceworks presents the Tribal Crackling Wind premiere of Peter Chin’s multidisciplinary exploration of his attempts to integrate into the culture of Nicaragua. Videography by Jeremy Mimnagh, music by Garnet Willis and design by David Duclos. Performed by Chin, Alison Denham, Billy Marchenski, María Constanza Guzmán. $28. 8pm. Thu, Nov 3-5. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. danceworks.ca. Love Lies Bleeding Alberta Ballet brings its Canadian tour to Toronto. Choreographer Jean Grand-Maitre
continues his exploration of pop music by creating a full-length ballet based on 14 songs by Elton John and Bernie Taupin in a work that loosely tells the story of John’s life. (Grand-Maitre also created The Fiddle and the Drum based on music by Joni Mitchell, and Fumbling Toward Ecstasy based on music by Sarah McLachlan). $38-$136. 7:30pm. Tue, Nov 8-10. 8pm. Nov 11 & 12. 3pm. Nov 12. Sony Centre. 1 Front St E. ticketmaster.ca. Romeo and Juliet The National Ballet of Canada presents the world premiere by Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, former artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet and now artist-in-residence with American Ballet Theatre. Last season’s mixed program gave a taste of the celebrated choreographer’s work with his fascinating Continued on page 22
Responsibilities Actively seek and secure new business Build relationships to provide repeat business Exceed assigned sales goals and targets Maintain complete and accurate records Qualifications At least 2 years experience in media sales Exceptional communication skills, both written and oral Proven track record in exceeding sales targets Highly motivated, driven and committed Basic PC skills including the ability to use Word and Outlook Qualified applicants, please forward your resumé to firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about our publications, please visit intorontomag.com and outlooks.ca.
l i s ting s & e v ents
Continued from page 21
short Russian Seasons. The first cast of Romeo and Juliet stars Guillaume Côté and Elena Lobsanova. With music by Sergei Prokofiev and designs by Richard Hudson. $25-$177. 7:30pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Sat & Sun (and Nov 24). Wed, Nov 16-27. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 345-9595. national.ballet.ca.
Review Anna von Frances
Opus is one of Toronto’s best kept secrets. High end to the max, they have one of the most extensive and coveted wine lists in North America, and have even won a Wine Spectator award, which is a huge honour for any restaurant the world over. The establishment is conveniently located on Prince Arthur at Bedford, just off the beaten Yorkville path, which suits Opus just fine, since it’s always been the kind of restaurant only people in the know can find. Let me put it this way, Colin Farrell and Sienna Miller might eat at Sotto Sotto (a fact that always shows up in the dailies during TIFF) but Madonna and Bono eat at Opus, and you never ever hear about it. The bar scene is where all the regulars eat or meet for a casual glass of wine, and you only have to go a few times before you’re on a first-name basis with the waiters who all reek of the best taste in the city. Owners and brothers Tony and Mario Amaro tell jokes between recommending the right wine pairing for whatever you’re eating. If you want the best of all worlds, book the table in the window, then you can people watch, get the restaurant experience and be in the 22
→ IN T HE KNOW Luxurious Opus is just off the beaten Yorkville path.
midst of the bar scene. For eats, almost everything is good and the menu is forever changing, but the staples are the best. I like to start with the sauté mushrooms with garlic and herbs ($20) as an appetizer or the gnocchi and squash with duck prosciutto, beets and truffle ($22). The bread is baked fresh everyday. For a main I like the pepper crusted tuna on rice cake with sake shoyu beurre blanc ($44). To top it off, go with the jewel in the Opus menu crown: the molten chocolate muffin made on the premises ($10.50). A sumptuous dinner at Opus is one big mouth orgasm after the next, great for that seal-the-deal date or if you want to impress a client. Expect to spend, but regret nothing.
OPUS 37 Prince Arthur Ave. (416) 921-3105. opusrestaurant.com.
Ditch Sometimes Y Theatre presents Geoff Kavanagh’s Chalmerswinning play from 1994. It’s a fictitious account of two men abandoned by their shipmates on the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845. A darkly comic look at how love survives in the harshest of settings. Starring Clinton Walker and Robert Tsonos; Ed Roy directs. $10-$20 (PWYC Sun). 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Sat & Sun. Thu, Nov 3-20. Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. 16 Ryerson Ave. (416) 504-7529. artsboxoffice.ca.
Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival Runs Tue, Nov 8
to 13 at three venues. Headliners include Picnicface from Halifax and This Is That from Vancouver. Local troupes include Queer Comedy Collective (Darryl Dinn, Andrya Duff, Susan Fischer, Robert Keler and Lindy Zucker). 10pm. Nov 9. Lower Ossington Theatre. 100A Ossington Ave. Scott Thompson and Kevin Macdonald offer their hit show Two Kids One Hall. 8pm. Nov 10. Lower Ossington. Uncalled For (Matt Goldberg, Dan Jeannotte, Mike Hughes and Anders Yates). 11pm. Nov 10. Second City. 51 Mercer St. 10pm. Nov 11. Lower Ossington. British Teeth (Filip Jeremic and Allana Reoch). 7pm. Nov 9. Comedy Bar. 945 Bloor St W. $15. torontosketchfest.com. The Rez Sisters Equal parts hilarious and harrowing, Thomson Highway’s groundbreaking 1986 play is a unique piece of Canadian theatre. Seven women from Wasaychigan Hill reserve dream of travelling to Toronto to win the Biggest Bingo in the World. Just the main characters’
names get at the special lilting quality of Highway’s Cree, Ojibway and English script: Pelajia Patchnose, Philomena Moosetail, Marie-Adele Starblanket, Annie Cook, Emily Dictionary, Veronique St Pierre and Zhaboonigan Peterson. Starring Cara Gee, Kyra Harper, Jani Lauzon, Djennie Laguerre, Bill Merasty, Pamela Sinha, Michaela Washburn and Jean Yoon; Ken Gass directs. $20-$55. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Sun. Thu, Nov 10-Dec 11. Factory Theatre Mainspace. 30 Bridgman Ave. (416) 5049971. factorytheatre.ca. Seussical Young People’s Theatre presents a new production of the 2006 Broadway hit by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. Featuring Damien Atkins, Jane Johanson, David Lopez, George Masswohl, Sharron Matthews, Dale Miller and more. With musical director Diane Leah, choreographer Nicola Pantin and designer Judith Bowden; Allen MacInnis directs. $15-$20. 10:15am & 1pm. MonThu. (Some exceptions.) Thu, Nov 10-Dec 30. Young People’s Theatre. 165 Front St E. (416) 862-2222. youngpeoplestheatre.ca. Mary Poppins Steffanie Leigh stars in the title role of this national touring production of Cameron Mackintosh’s adaptation of the beloved Disney movie. $35-$170.
7:30pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Tue, Sat & Sun. Thu, Nov 10-Jan 8. Princess of Wales Theatre. 300 King St W. (416) 872-1212. ticketking.com. Crazy to Kill Toronto Masque Theatre presents the 1989 Canadian detective opera by composer John Beckwith and librettist James Reaney. A detective investigates a string of murders in an asylum for wealthy mental patients. The opera’s 22 roles are performed by three singers, two actors and 18 puppets. Starring mezzo Kimberly Barber, soprano Shannon Mercer, baritone Doug MaNaughton and actors Ingrid Doucet and Brendan Wall; David Ferry directs. $40. 8pm. Fri, Nov 11 & 12. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 410-4561. torontomasquetheatre.com. Debra Digiovanni The local comedian and star of Video on Trial is going big with her Single Awkward Female Tour — from Mississauga to Brockville. Opening acts include Mark Bennett, Ian Lynch and Andrew Johnston. $40.50. 8pm. Sun, Nov 13. Panasonic Theatre. 651 Yonge St. (416) 872-1212. mirvish.com. The Children’s Republic Hannah Mosco-
vitch’s story of friendship and courage in a Warsaw orphanage between a defiant young boy and Dr Janusz Korczak, revolutionary champion of child-
l ist ing s & eve n ts Would You Say the Name of This Play?
Young People’s Theatre presents Vancouverite Berend McKenzie’s one-man show nggrfg, a series of stories based on his life growing up gay and black; co-directed by Allen MacInnis and Tanisha Taitt. $15-$20. 7pm. Tue, Nov 22. 10:30am. Nov 23-25, 28-Dec 2. 1:15pm. Nov 23, 24 & Dec 1. 2pm. Dec 3. Young People’s Theatre. 165 Front St E. (416) 862-2222. youngpeoplestheatre.ca.
CLASSICAL & JAZZ
Kai Wa Yapp
→ Art At tack Charlene Nero returns as guest auctioneer for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s raucous fundraiser on Thu, Nov 10.
ren and signatory to the League of Nations’ Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Alisa Palmer directs. A Tarragon/ Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company coproduction. Wed, Nov 16-Dec 18. Tarragon Theatre. 30 Bridgman Ave. (416) 531-1827. tarragontheatre.com. The Addams Family
Dancap presents the touring production of the musical comedy still on Broadway, staring Sara Gettelfinger and Douglas Sills. $62-$180. 7:30pm. Tue-Sun. 2pm. Sat & Sun. Thu, Nov 17-27. Toronto Centre for the Arts. 5040 Yonge St. (416) 644-3665. dancaptickets.com. Hallaj Buddies presents the Modern Times Stage production by Peter Farbridge and Soheil Parsa. It’s the story of legendary 10th-century Sufi mystic, Mansur e-Hallaj. Starring Farbridge, Stewart Arnott, Steven Bush, Carlos González-Vio, John Ng, Beatriz Pizano, Costa Tovarnisky and Bahareh Yaraghi; Parsa directs. $18-$35. 8pm. Tue-Sat. PWYC. 2:30pm. Sun. Tue, Nov 22-Dec 4. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555 buddiesinbadtimes.com.
Canadian pianist plays JS Bach’s French Suites #4 and #5. $39-$79. 3pm. Sun, Nov 6. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. (416) 408-0208. rcmusic.ca. Toronto Symphony Orchestra Superstar
pianist Lang Lang plays Beethoven’s five piano concerti over a series of five concerts. Works by Mendelssohn, Smetana, and the Canadian premiere of Bright Sheng’s Tibetan Swing round out the series; Peter Oundjian conducts. $49-$179. 8pm. Wed, Nov 9, 10, 12, 17 & 19. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis joins the TSO for a program of Bernstein, Glazunov, Shulhoff and Dvorák; Andrey Boreyko conducts. $33-$145. 8pm. Wed, Nov 23 & 24. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 593-4828. tso.ca. Toronto Mendelssohn Choir A Night of Brahms
featuring Gesang der Parzen, Nanie, Alto Rhapsody and the German Requiem. With soloists Leslie Ann Bradley, Susan Platts and Michael York, and the Festival Orchestra; Noel Edison conducts. $53-$87. 7:30pm. Wed, Nov 9. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. (416) 598-0422. rcmusic.ca. Royal Conservatory Orchestra Leonard
Bernstein’s Fancy Free Suite, Ernest Chausson’s Poeme and Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra; Uri Mayer conducts. $22-$62. 8pm. Fri, Nov 25. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. (416) 408-0208. rcmusic.ca.
Still Black, Still Proud A funky African
tribute to James Brown with saxophonists Pee Wee Ellis and Maceo Parker and guitarist Vusi Mahlasela. $34-$90. 8pm. Sat, Nov 26. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. (416) 408-0208. rcmusic.ca.
in spots used Story Derek Dotto
EVENTS & CAUSES Line Art Auction Thu, Nov 3. See page 27. CLGA Archives’ Foul Supper Sat, Nov 5. See
Art Attack Gavin Crawford hosts the annual fundraising auction for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre with special guests Charlene Nero, Kristyn Wong-Tam, Bruce LaBruce and Sasha Van Bon Bon. Works by Evergon, FASTWÜRMS, Luke Painter, Alex McLeod, Jim Vergurg, Pascal Paquette, Ian Phillips, Maurice Vellekoop and many more on the block. The catalogue of works is now online. Lots of cool services, tech, shows, art and more in the silent auction. $25. 7pm preview. 8pm live auction. Thu, Nov 10. Buddies. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555 buddiesinbadtimes.com. Bloor Street Entertains The 15th anni-
versary edition of this glamorous fundraiser for Canfar, the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. Unusual venues like the Gardiner Museum, Pink Tartan and Ridpaths are turned into intimate dining rooms where top chefs like Jaime Kennedy, Susur Lee and Marc Thuet wine and dine guests. The afterparty, with music and auction, is at Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. $1,000. Tue, Nov 22. bloorstreetentertains.ca. bone weary Longtime activist and award-winning journalist Gerald Hannon, suspended in 1995 as a lecturer at Ryerson after discussing being a sex worker in the media, “retires” from sex work in a fundraiser for Maggie’s, the sex worker action project. With performances by Fay Slift, Helene Ducharme and others. 9pm-2am. Fri, Nov 25. Goodhandy’s. 120 Church St. maggiestoronto.ca. •
In a city downright infested with vintage shops, Used is raising the
→ FORGET DINGY Used has great vintage finds and a polished, glam vibe.
bar for peddlers of previously-
girl, a mod, a Fujian boy who loves
pastel, a big transexual Asian
boy and a wannabe lumberjack,”
for-all, the first Used opened in
she says. “People always want to
Vancouver a decade ago (known
stand out and look unique. If you
there as Used House of Vintage).
can’t afford couture you look for
The chain landed in Toronto this
Located on Queen Street just
eran picking skills with owner
west of Spadina, Used finds itself
Craig Doyle’s impressive collec-
on a block already home to two
tion from estate sales and auc-
tions, Used offers more than the
shop ups its game through its
typical vintage staples like plaid
buying team’s meticulous pick-
shirts, military jackets and vin-
ing. “From the beginning when
tage Ts (but those are all there
there’s a huge pile of stuff, until
too). Eye-catching finds and store-
it gets here, everything is hand-
made exclusives include a bond-
picked and edited a number of
age mask made from an old Louis
times,” says store manager Marcel
Vuitton handbag and a rare 1980s
Rocheleau. “Because it’s brought
Chanel bucket bag.
from Vancouver, we’re not picking
And speaking of the ’80s, Used
from the same rag yards as every
bucks the typical brick-walled,
other store in Toronto. We have
access to different stuff.”
vintage shops, opting for a more
In order to find that one vintage
polished look. The store’s white
gem, head picker Melo Anfield
marble floor and sheer, pink fit-
often has to wade through ware-
houses filled to the brim with used
think you just walked into a Pat
clothing. “There are huge bales,”
Benatar music video. And who
she says. “Bigger than your read-
doesn’t want to feel like a glam
ers are imagining.”
rock star while they’re trying on a
Helping her focus as she’s digging,
vintage Dior suit?
outfitting imaginary customers. “There is a preppy couple, a gypsy
USED 489 Queen St W. usedhouseofvintage.com. intorontomag.com
A RT & E N T E RTA I N M E N T
v i s u a l art
Centrifugal force → Gallerists
have to pull together the diverging orbits of artists, taste-makers and moneyed folk. Does Daniel Faria have what it takes? Story Paul Gallant | Photography Nicola Betts
evered media guru Marshall McLuhan once declared that artists have a special power to discern what is otherwise unknowable in the current environment. Like a brave advance guard, they patrol the technological and cultural changes from which lesser humans recoil. Then you have what McLuhan might have called “people with money,” who like pretty things, who like glamour and status and who especially like something that looks good hung over their Rafael Simoes Miranda sofa. The space where these two groups overlap can be an awkward 24
one, full of misunderstandings and misplaced hopes. Art dealers, the people who guard this swath of the art world’s Venn diagram, need their own special powers to hold it all together. Watching Daniel Faria ready his St Helens Avenue space for the launch of his new eponymously named gallery last month, at least two of these powers are readily visible. Firstly, even amidst the mopping and the dust and the mangled bubble wrap, Faria looks ready for a red carpet in his pressed white shirt and sharp black pants. A single shake of salt in the pepper colour of his hair, a twinkle in his
eye, he’s got handsome down pat. Secondly, he’s imperturbably and graciously calm as a half dozen friends, colleagues and contractors whip the gallery into shape around him — much calmer than anybody about to go solo in the risky business of art has any right to be. “Who would want to deal with somebody grumpy or yucky-looking?” says Olga Korper of Olga Korper Gallery, a stone’s throw from Faria’s new digs near Lansdowne and Bloor. A few years ago, she bought a couple of Douglas Coupland pieces from Faria and was impressed. “Art dealers are taste-makers, so it’s important to have the right image.
Daniel’s informed, he’s educated, he’s charming and he’s totally good looking. That’s more than anybody can ask for.” Faria’s leap of faith comes after almost a decade working for and then with Vancouver’s Monte Clark. In this, he’s following the lead of Clint Roenisch, who helped found Clark’s Toronto beachhead before hanging his own shingle on West Queen West. Clark himself worked at Vancouver’s most successful commercial galleries before setting out on his own in 1992. Each generation of dealers, it seems, takes up the baton of the last, whether it’s been passed to them or not.
A RT & ENTERTAINMENT
→ T HE SPIN In opening his own art gallery, a risky proposition at the best of times, Daniel Faria isn’t fazed by current economic uncertainties.
right, even if he couldn’t match
one who cleaned up after, mostly
affect his relationship with Arden?
it. Though his parents weren’t
because I was up before they were.”
There’s Faria’s big smile, the hand
museum-going types, he remem-
A stark contrast to the moneyed
gestures and finally: “It upset him.
bers a family trip to Portugal where
art world he was moving in during
It did…. I love RM Vaughan. He’s a
he wanted to see every single
work hours, Faria learned a lot from
friend. He’s a great writer. In the
church, just so he could take in all
those times. “Fritz and I would sit
end, it opened up a dialogue. It
with Clark came to an end after
the paintings and statues they con-
on the couch talking all night about
didn’t do any damage.”
a two-year partnership that saw
tained. He majored in art history at
where we wanted to go in life.”
the Toronto gallery renamed Clark
the University of Waterloo and by
Through the Helders Faria met
Faria ended his partnership with
and Faria. It was renamed back
his third year, contemporary art
Rui Amaral, his partner of four
Monte Clark, there must have
to Monte Clark Gallery after Faria
replaced religious iconography in
years and a fashion curator who
been a kerfuffle over which artists
announced he was going it alone
his heart. “I saw work by [US video
also looks good in photos. Amaral
and clients would follow him? The
earlier this year. Well, not exactly
artist] Bill Viola of a figure drown-
is helping out at the new gallery,
smile, the hands and then: “People
alone. With connections not only
ing and then rising to the top and
a striking high-ceilinged space on
like to gossip. People like to won-
in the art world, but also music
taking a huge gasp of air. There
a street whose most glamorous
der what’s going on. When I left,
and fashion, Faria’s able to bring
was something so profound in that
occupant, until Faria arrived, had
[artists] Kristine Moran and Derek
together people from disparate
gasp of air. It just shook me inside.”
been a plumbing and heating busi-
Liddington came with me. Their
backgrounds and get himself into
His time as a docent at the
ness. During my interview with
working relationship was with
party pictures in the social pages
of national newspapers.
established his later career trajec-
me. That was kind of it. Douglas
“Daniel’s informed, he’s educated, he’s charming and he’s totally good looking. That’s more than anybody can ask for.”
Coupland just happened recently.
“He has this wonderful force field
tory into the commercial art world.
around him. He’s also very glamor-
That’s where he met Roenisch and
ous,” says writer and artist Douglas
Carolyn Vesely, who went on to
Coupland. “I know that if he’s in
become visual and media arts offi-
a castle somewhere in Germany,
cer at the Ontario Arts Council. A
guests seated in the banquet room
master’s at York University led
watching him enter will all be whis-
him to Mercer Union, which politi-
pering to each other, ‘Hey, who’s
cized his appreciation of art. In one
that cool guy? Wait — it’s Daniel
of two internships at the artist-run
Faria. Dan! Come sit at our table!’”
gallery, he assisted Johannes Zits’
Faria in the gallery’s open-concept
work in progress. The inaugural
But the 35-year-old’s biggest tal-
2003 guerilla art project, where
upper-level office, Amaral calls up
three-woman show by Berlin-based
ent might be the one that brings
posters of men in sexual positions,
from the reception desk with feed-
him long-term success: His ability
juxtaposed against beautiful interi-
back on Faria’s answers. His vigi-
Elizabeth McIntosh and Vancouver-
to stand in the middle of art world
ors, were splattered all over down-
lance isn’t necessary. Faced with
based Kristine Moran was certainly
drama without getting any mess
town Toronto. “I like the tradi-
a question containing a mere
a painterly buyer-friendly cri de
on him. He’s a scenester who,
tion of queer artists taking queer
hint of controversy, Faria falls
coeur. Next up is work by Toronto
amazingly, avoids making scenes.
images into the street as a form of
silent. But it’s never awkward. A
artist Chris Curreri, whose lus-
activism,” says Faria.
huge friendly grin takes over his
ciously austere photos play with
Doug approached me. I have relationships with clients but they still go there. No one client belongs to one gallery.” (Clark didn’t return calls for this story.) Monte Clark built his international
photo-based West Coast work. The stand-alone Faria brand is still a
hen he was a kid, Faria real-
As Faria was building his adult
face; his hand gestures become
sex, beauty and masculinity. Asking
ized early on he wasn’t an
life in Toronto, he found himself
almost loopily emphatic. After an
Faria to describe his artistic vision
artist. One of his art teachers told
sharing a Euclid Avenue house
extended silence — like he has
for the gallery is the one time his
him as much.
with Fritz Helder, leader of glam-
to swallow all the dish first — he
gift of gab fails him.
“I still have a few paintings from
funk troupe Fritz Helder and the
brings forth the most diplomatic
high school,” he says. “I did one —
Phantoms. Faria’s maturely curated
responses humanly possible.
this is so lame! — a self-portrait
living space, with its mid-century
For example: Back in 2006, when
where my face was like a brick
modern furnishings, was the set for
Faria was working at Monte Clark,
wall, which was very Magritte.
a wild array of the city’s partying
I did one of Madonna. Her eyes
pop-music and fashion-world char-
wrote a feather-ruffling review in
were a bit wonky.”
acters. “There were random people
Canadian Art of the Vancouver
“I haven’t figured it out yet,” he says. Then, after some thought, “Actually, I’m not sure if I want to figure it out.”
Still, he took notice of his class-
showing up at all hours. Everybody
photo-based art scene, in particu-
mates’ work and realized he had
in the house had a Helder name. I
lar Roy Arden, one of the gallery’s
a sense of what they were doing
was Poppa Helder. I was usually the
signature artists. How did that
DANIEL FARIA GALLERY 11am-6pm. Tue-Fri. 10am-6pm. Sat. 188 St Helens Ave. (416) 5381880. danielfariagallery.com. The inaugural show closes Nov 13. Chris Curreri opens Thu, Nov 17. intorontomag.com
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What if you, or someone close to you, is told ‘You’re HIV postive’? income support support income treatment programs treatment programs foodprograms programs food healthpromotion promotion health engagement PHAPHA engagement Help us continue to support people living with HIV/AIDS
Toronto People With AIDS Foundation by volunteering or making a secure online donation at 200 Gerrard Street East, 2nd floor www.pwatoronto.org Toronto, Ontario M5A 2E6 416-506-1400
Toronto People With AIDS Foundation It’s all about the image
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A RT & ENT ERTAINM ENT
display case by Gordon Bowness on the block Line Art, the LGBT Youth Line’s fundraising art auction, is a great opportunity to gather with folks passionate about supporting queer and questioning youth across the province, and to gain inspiration from each other and cool art. Here’s a preview of a few works on the auction block this year Geoffrey Pugen Purple Rain “Purple Rain is a visualization of Prince’s classic song,” says photography, film and video artist Geoffrey Pugen. “It explores the relationship between fantasy and the real by using photography, 3-D software and digital effects.” geoffreypugen.com.
Suzy Lake Beauty at the End of the Season #11 “I found it remarkable that my garden roses, tall and spindly, would
David Grenier Falling Peonyhead
often have blooms after late fall frosts,” says photo-based artist Suzy Lake. “To culminate this parallel towards aging, I photographed the roses with techniques (like very long exposures and mixed temperature lighting) that would
Kris Knight Hardcore Fairy Tail
bring value to a ‘different
“This is one of the last paintings left from
my Tragic Kingdom series,” says painter
“This print was made in conjunction with Open Studio and produced by the masterful printer Daryl Vocat,” says David Grenier, whose work ranges from sculpture and installation to performance and drawing. “The Petalhead series, begun in 2005, depicts the lives of flower-headed men and their trials and tribulations in and with the natural world.” davidgrenier.ca.
Kris Knight. “It’s a humorous and romantic take on the historical alpha male done in a soft candy palette.” krisknight.com.
LINE ART 7pm-10pm. Thu, Nov 3. The Burroughes. 639 Queen St W. youthline.ca.
A RT & E N T E RTA I N M E N T
A RT & ENTERTAINMENT
Dark, gorgeous melancholy → Katie
Stelmanis and the creative forces propelling electro-pop band Austra to the top Story Mary Dickie | Photography Vanessa Heins
atie Stelmanis is on a
“I still don’t feel like we neces-
about it,” she says. “It wasn’t like I
music. Women only fit into that
mission: As lead singer
sarily have a home in Canada,”
had a marketing plan or anything.
and main creative force
Stelmanis says. “We’ve had some
It’s complicated, because I don’t
genres just don’t have as much
support from the CBC — and we
really have a desire to address
respect. It’s hard for a woman to
band Austra, Stelmanis is fight-
really do appreciate all the sup-
social issues in my lyrics, and I
be acknowledged for artistic integ-
ing an uphill battle against the
port we have had here — but there
never expected to be a spokes-
rity. We’re judged on aesthetics
Canadian music industry’s love
just isn’t much of an infrastruc-
person for anything. It’s just that
more than anything else. I don’t
affair with indie rock. Her main
ture to support electronic music
I happen to be gay and making
want to sound bitter, because I’m
weapon? The dark synth tones,
in Canada. There aren’t really any
music, and I kind of fell into that
not; I just feel it most when I come
pulsing beats and soaring vocals
major electronic radio stations or
role. At the same time, it’s only
on Austra’s debut album, Feel It
Canada-wide blogs that special-
done good things for me. I have
Break, which was released in May
ize in electronic music. I mean,
more gay people at my shows,
cal love was classical. She played
and has been winning over listen-
it is on the radio in the form of
and I get to meet lesbians all over
piano from a young age and started
ers ever since, even being short-
hip-hop and Lady Gaga’s Euro-
listed for the 2011 Polaris Prize.
trashy electro, but that’s dif-
Still, like fellow Canadian electronic musicians Caribou, Richie
ferent. There’s nothing more… experimental.
performing with the Canadian
“I don’t feel comfortable writing in a major key, ever. It just doesn’t do anything for me.”
Children’s Opera Chorus at 10. Five years later she began studying opera, receiving vocal train-
Hawtin, Crystal Castles and Peaches,
“I think North America just has
Austra had to go to Europe to find an
a different attitude toward elec-
audience before returning home to
tronic music than Europe does,”
storm a few entrenched barriers to
she adds. “It might be because
mainstream success. On a European
disco died in a big way here in
tour last summer — Austra’s fourth
the ’70s and ’80s, and for a lot of
this year — several shows were
people it still has a bad reputa-
the world. It’s a great life, and
anymore — and I couldn’t if I tried
sold out and at least one had to be
tion. But in Europe, it flourished.
I can’t complain about it.”
— but I do know how to breathe. I
moved to a larger venue. In North
People listen to a lot of electronic
America, they’re only now on their
first headlining tour, which brings them to Toronto on Thu, Dec 1. → SOARING VOCALS “So many people in bands cannot sing in tune to save their lives,” says classically trained singer Katie Stelmanis, “so I feel lucky that it was ingrained in my body at a young age.”
ing that’s proven to be invaluable to her as a singer. “It’s kind of like riding a bike,” she says. “I learned how to sing properly when I was 15, and I have a technique that never goes away. I don’t sing opera
She still finds herself railing
know that different ways of shap-
against sexism in the music indus-
ing your mouth produce different
Stelmanis is also something of a
try, though. “To be honest, I notice
sounds, and I have the basic tech-
trailblazer as an out lesbian front-
more sexism in the Canadian
niques. It helps a lot, as did being
ing a female-dominated band in a
music industry than I do in Europe
in choirs. I think just being able to
mostly straight male industry. “I
and other places where female
sing in tune is kind of a big deal. So
never really thought about being
musicians get more respect,” she
many people in bands cannot sing
out. It was something that came
says. “I don’t know why… maybe
in tune to save their lives, so I feel
naturally, and people started ask-
it goes back to the indie-rock thing
ing me about it so I started talking
having such a hold over Canadian
Continued on page 31
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A RT & ENTERTAINMENT Continued from page 29
you’re pretty limited to the stan-
ist Ryan Wonsiak and backup sing-
I’ve sort of pushed it to the pop
dard instruments, but in elec-
ers Romy and Sari Lightman of
world a little more. Slowly but
lucky that it was ingrained in my
tronic music you can have com-
body at a young age.”
pletely different instrumentation
But switching musical styles did
for every single song on a record.
have its challenges for Stelmanis.
That inspired me.”
“I went through at least a five-
While the sprightly rhythms of
Eventually, perhaps inevitably, Stelmanis decided to leave opera
surely, I feel like my music is getting more boring every year. Less weird, that’s for sure!”
to create her own music. “I had
At first, Stelmanis worked on
year transitional period of getting
a single like “Lose It” show how
dreams of writing music for com-
Feel It Break’s songs by herself, but
to the voice I have now from my
Austra can fire up a dance floor,
mercials and TV shows and mov-
when she brought in bassist Dorian
opera voice,” she recalls. “I strug-
ies, so I got a computer and a MIDI
Wolf and former Galaxy drummer/
gled for the first couple of years,
toward the darker side of things no
controller,” she says. “It wasn’t
programmer Maya Postepski to fill
because opera was the only way I
matter what style of music she’s
until a few years later that a friend
out the sound, they soon solidified
knew how to sing. But over time I
creating. “I don’t feel comfortable
pressured me to play a show with
into a band. “I used to be obsessed
developed my own sound, which
writing in a major key, ever,” she
my own music, and I started focus-
with having control over the proj-
I now feel good about.”
says. “It just doesn’t do anything
ing on that.” She started going to
ect, and reluctant to let anyone
That sound draws from all her
for me. I spent a lot of time in high
Wavelength’s experimental shows
else in,” she admits. “But I eventu-
musical ventures, mixing synth
school listening to tragic Puccini
and hanging out with a friend who
ally warmed up to it, and it ended
pop and a bit of goth with a certain
operas, and I’ve always liked music
worked with Fucked Up front-
up being a really positive experi-
punk sensibility and echoes of her
that’s melancholy and dark and
man Damian Abraham, who in
ence. Maya started programming
classical training. “I spent so much
gorgeous, with weird chords and
turn introduced her to Toronto’s
beats and Dorian was writing his
time in choirs, which is why my
stuff. I don’t know why; I guess
indie music scene. She played in
own bass parts, and it became
music has such dense harmonies
that’s just what I’m drawn to, so
the punk/riot grrrl trio Galaxy for a
such a collaborative effort that it
and so many vocal layers,” she
that’s what I make.”
while before going solo and releas-
didn’t make sense for it to be just
says. “All of that comes naturally
ing a keyboard-based album called
me anymore. And once we put
to me. The stuff I used to write
Join Us in 2008. “There’s so much
the record out, we acquired more
was way more experimental, kind
more you can do with electronic
musicians for the live show.” (The
of crazy but also more directly
music,” she says. “In a rock band
touring band includes keyboard-
inspired by classical music. I think
PHOTO BY JOAN MARCUS • ORIGINAL BROADWAY PRODUCTION
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A different performance anxiety
Story and photography Michael Pihach
ome people really expect to be treated poorly when they come into a sex shop,” says sex educator Sarah Forbes-Roberts. Going in to a sex shop can be an anxiety-filled experience. It takes guts to step into a public space and shop for toys and lubricants that are designed to pleasure. But why is shopping for pleasure sometimes so painful? “People are used to being made fun of for their sexual preferences,” says Forbes-Roberts, who co-owns Toronto-based sex shop Come As You Are, which sells a gamut of sex aids, from dildos and vibrators to movies and books. Snickering and jokes are by-products of that anxiety. Many sex shops embrace this, capitalizing on the gag-aspect of sex. If you’ve ever received a wind-up walking penis as a birthday present, you know what I mean. And while the folks at Come As You Are are by no means killjoys — laughter can be a very healthy part of sex — they take sex seriously, offering a wide range of events and workshops for all tastes and experience levels.
→ AT EASE All kinds walk through the door at Come As You Are sex shop.
“Sex shops become their own universes,” says Forbes-Roberts, who regularly sees nervous clientele perusing items in her store. “I’ve seen customers in their 80s who are super comfortable with sex, others who haven’t had an orgasm in their life.” Gay or straight, sex shopping is a “huge journey for each of us no matter what community we live in.” It’s natural to worry about what kind of public statement you’re making when buying a 10-inch dildo or an SM manual. But sex shopping is partly about easing yourself into a free, exploratory state of mind. “When people walk around our store, we get a feel if they need more space. Sometimes it takes a couple of visits,” says ForbesRoberts. If you’ve never walked into a sex store before, Forbes-Roberts has this piece of advice: Research a store and its products online, first. It helps take the edge off.
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caught in the act by Michael Pihach
Egale Canada 2011 gala, Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Art With Heart auction for Casey House, The Carlu
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Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto