Page 1

Gay & Lesbian Cit y Living

|

november 2011

CULTURE

GUTSY MOVE BY ART-WORLD MAVEN DANIEL FARIA GEMS FROM THE gay ARCHIVES AUSTRA’S KATIE STELMANIS

ELECTRO ART POP SIREN

Travel

TREKKING up mount KILIMANJARO


Costa del Sol

www.spain.info

? ‌ 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 Mendonça 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 info@intorontomag.com EDITORIAL INQUIRIES (416) 551-0449 editorial@intorontomag.com

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Contents

issue 18

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

17

9

9 17

24

SMALL SPACE, BIG IDEAS A tiny, perfect loft in Sherbourne/Wellesley by Michael Pihach TREASURE TROVE Rare CLGA collections unearthed by Bruce Jones

24

CREATIVE FORCE FIELD Daniel Faria opens his new art gallery by Paul Gallant

28

AUSTRA’S IRRESISTIBLE SIREN Katie Stelmanis and electronic music’s next big thing by Mary Dickie

7

DEB PEARCE Sounds off on pregnancy

7

DUBARRY WAS A LADY by Michael Pihach

12

TREKKING UP MT KILIMANJARO by Margaret Webb

15

YOUR PERFECT COAT by Paul Aguirre-Livingston

16

OY, THE IN-LAWS with Adam Segal

20

NOVEMBER’S EVENTS CALENDAR

22

LUXURIOUS OPUS by Anna von Frances

23

USED HOUSE OF VINTAGE by Derek Dotto

27

YOUTH LINE ART AUCTION by Gordon Bowness

33

SEX shop anxiety by Michael Pihach

34

CAUGHT IN THE ACT with Michael Pihach

28 RL-11-000-1d June Ad IT_4.1563 W x 5.1563 11-05-18 10:22 AM Page 1

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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

→ “I

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

6

November 2011

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

Denise Pocknell

→ Comedian

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.

David Hawe

“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

intorontomag.com

7


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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 →

Story Michael Pihach | Photography Lulu Wei

intorontomag.com

9


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.

10

November 2011

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

Santorini, Greece….

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?

nity services?

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,

exotic places.

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-

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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

M

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

12

November 2011

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

ically

fit

ers reach the top. To try to beat

children run to greet us, shouting,

pronounce

superheroes, the team would climb

and

philanthropically

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.

Kurt

has

As it turned out, every aspect of

guided

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

T

he all-woman team — six from Canada, three from the US —

meet for the first time in Nairobi,

trying to climb Kilimanjaro.

the

tongue-twisting

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.

second

slum,

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

largest

urban

We certainly

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

taking

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

symptoms:

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

the

toughest

route

up

Kilimanjaro?”

summit at midnight.

headache,

nausea,

Continued on page 14

intorontomag.com

13


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

exultant

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.

sleepwalking.

We needed to bring it down and

“Your

physical,

emotional and mental mettle is

Africa.

The

continent

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

the world.

my adventure wives a few more

T

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,

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LIVING & DESIGN

shopping BAG by Paul Aguirre-Livingston Do The Coat

Sport & Utility

As fall changes to winter there are two distinct camps when it comes to coats: form and function or straight-up style. Here’s our selection of outerwear to match every taste and every temperature. Pick your armour accordingly

Do you hit the slopes or do other crazy cold things in the winter? From refined to rugged, these heavy-duty coats will pull double duty without compromising fit or comfort — from Blue Mountain to Bathurst Street.

LOW

HIGH

SPLURGE

1

Ice Parka with a faux-fur hood. $109. Joe Fresh. joefresh.ca.

2

Citadel Parka in military green. $650. Canada Goose. canada-goose.com.

3

Polar Trench in jet black. $825. Aether Apparel. Available at Motoretta. 554 College St. motoretta.ca.

Monday to Friday

1

2

3

Despite what you’ve heard, big, bulky jackets don’t pair well with a suit — or any thing that’s buttoned-up or even dressy-ish, really. Once you’ve graduated to the real world, slip into one of these options that will make work or play look all business. 4

Twill overcoat. $94.49. Moon Apparel. Available at The Bay. thebay.com.

5

Pursuit jacket, $325. Fred Perry. 964 Queen St W. fredperry.com.

6

Dartmouth jacket in duke brown. $765. Oliver Spencer. 962 Queen St W. oliverspencer.co.uk.

Casual Cool 4 5

6

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.

8

Leather jacket. $399. Danier. danier.ca.

9

Military parka with mountain sheep collar. $750. Philip Sparks. philipsparks.com.

7

8

9

intorontomag.com

15


LIVING & DESIGN

relationship

engaging

advice

— 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

www.pwatoronto.org

LOFT hunting.ca

Robert Van Rhijn

Broker

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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

about his.

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-

in

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

most challenging

interper-

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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*as per the Toronto Real Estate Board

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 relationship@intorontomag.com.


H i s t o ry

Ephemeral beauty → What remains of a life after we’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


insight

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.

18

November 2011


insight

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.

intorontomag.com

19


LISTINGS & EVENTS

november Get IN on it.

Jeremy Mimnagh

IN THE CITY

Joa

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3 Peter Chin Fluency opens at Enwave

8

9

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 editorial@intorontomag.com. Celebrate Toronto. Provide our readers with compelling news, entertainment and your eye on the city.

11

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

Christopher Wahl

Are you a writer passionate about this city? Are you a photographer out and about? Why not contribute to In Toronto magazine?

arc

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

16

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.

22

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

Jeremy Bobrow

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

Jeremy Bobrow

10

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

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 jara@themintmediagroup.com. 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

in spot

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.

opus

Review Anna von Frances

STAGE

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

November 2011

→ 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

Angela Hewitt

→ 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

page 17.

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

worn

pastel, a big transexual Asian

than

clothing.

More

boutique

bargain-basement

free-

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

vintage.”

fall.

Combining

Anfield’s

vet-

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-

other

The

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.

secondhand

stores.

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

dingy-carpeted

access to different stuff.”

vintage shops, opting for a more

decor

of

most

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-

ting-room

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,

Anfield

pictures

curtains

make

you

vintage Dior suit?

herself

outfitting imaginary customers. “There is a preppy couple, a gypsy

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23


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

R

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

November 2011

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

relationship

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

Faria’s

business

party pictures in the social pages

Kitchener-Waterloo

of national newspapers.

established his later career trajec-

Art

Gallery

Example

number

two:

When

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-

Shannon

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

W

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

reputation

primarily

on

photo-based West Coast work. The stand-alone Faria brand is still a

Bool,

Brooklyn-based

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

critic

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

and

artist

RM

“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.”

Vaughan

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

25


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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

beauty.’” suzylake.ca.

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

music

Dark, gorgeous melancholy → Katie

Stelmanis and the creative forces propelling electro-pop band Austra to the top Story Mary Dickie | Photography Vanessa Heins

K behind

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.

in

and main creative force

Stelmanis says. “We’ve had some

It’s complicated, because I don’t

genres just don’t have as much

Toronto

certain

models,

and

other

electro-art-pop

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

home.”

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.

The

26-year-old’s

first

musi-

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

music there.”

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

intorontomag.com

29


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1


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-

Tasseomancy.)

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-

Stelmanis

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

tends

to

gravitate

PHOTO BY JOAN MARCUS • ORIGINAL BROADWAY PRODUCTION

AUSTRA $18. 9pm doors. Thu, Dec 1. Phoenix Concert Theatre. 410 Sherbourne St. austramusic.com.

MEMPHIS BOOK & LYRICS BY JOE DIPIETRO MUSIC & LYRICS BY DAVID BRYAN CHOREOGRAPHY BY SERGIO TRUJILLO DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER ASHLEY

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1


s ex s p onsored by spa excess

Shop ’til you bop → SEX:

A different performance anxiety

Story and photography Michael Pihach

S

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.

COME AS YOU ARE 701 Queen St W. (416) 504.7934. comeasyouare.com. intorontomag.com

33


O N T HE T OWN

caught in the act by Michael Pihach

4

Egale Canada 2011 gala, Ritz-Carlton Hotel

1

3

5

6

8

Art With Heart auction for Casey House, The Carlu

7

9

14

11

10

12

15

16

17

6

15 16

18

→ 1. Jane Farrow 2. Bob Rae, Elizabeth May 3. Jonathan Goldsbie, Matthew Cutler, Andrea Houston 4. Ken Brown, Bob Brews 5. Olivia

oPERANATION, fOUR SEASONS CENTRE 13

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1

November 2011 - In Toronto Magazine  

Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto

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