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Gay & Lesbian City Living


travel Stratford beyond the stage

october 2010


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STA_Ad_Pride_INToronto 10-09-09 5:32 PM Page 1

“The Gayest Small Town in Canada.” RANDALL SHIRLEY


a pair of tickets to Rock of Ages PUBLISHER

Patricia Salib EDITOR


Nelson Tomé Design

Pulp & Fiber Associate DESIGNERS

Anna Sera Garcia, Nicolás Tallarico, Jenny Watson PRODUCTION COORDINATOR


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



Come to Stratford’s first Gay Pride Weekend, October 22-24 Stratford Shakespeare Festival Performances special pricing throughout the weekend

Pazzo Welcome Reception Edible Stratford Tour “Halloween Howler” Costume Party Stratford Symphony Red Carpet Gala Season Opening Sunday Brunch at The Church Restaurant For tickets and more information visit

(416) 551-0449 PRODUCTION

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In Toronto is published by The Mint Media Group all rights reserved. 348A Queen St W, Toronto, ON, M5V 2A2 THE MINT MEDIA GROUP PRESIDENT





Paul Gallant, Krishna Rau CONTRIBUTORS

Jamie Alexander, Thomas Bellec, Nicola Betts, Chris Jai Centeno, Kira Crugnale, Henrik Drescher, Serafin LaRiviere, Alice Lawlor, Keith Loukes, Brian Phillips, Glenn Mackay, Josh MacKinnon, Corey Pierce, Michael Pihach, Adam Segal, Pam Shime, Richard Silver, Abi Slone, Michael Thorner, Chris Tyrell, Jenna Marie Wakani ON the cover

Fashion: Ezra Constantine Photography: Kira Crugnale


issue 06

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






Greta & Ezra Constantine Fashion forward with Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill by Chris Jai Centeno


He’s my brother (& sister) TV heartthrob Luke Macfarlane by Gordon Bowness


Book her Emma Donoghue’s Room by Alice Lawlor




Open House: East-end drama by Abi Slone


Relationship Advice with Adam Segal


Midlife Career Change by Paul Gallant


Dare to Wear Love at Fashion Week by Gordon Bowness


Stylin’ with Chris Tyrell


Stratford Travel


In Spot: Chabichou by Pam Shime


Get Jake Gyllenhaal’s Body by Michael Pihach


The Dish by Thomas Bellec


Immigration crisis by Krishna Rau


The Stephen Lewis Foundation by Gordon Bowness


Author David Rakoff by Alice Lawlor


Priscilla Queen of the Desert by Serafin LaRiviere


Ella Fitzgerald in her prime by Michael Thorner


Sex & Health Advice with Keith Loukes


Caught in the Act photos by Michael Pihach

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TORONTO TALK EXCHANGE VIEW FINDER > Take Me To Art October means art in Toronto. In addition to the score of regular gallery shows, the month is bracketed by two humongous events: Nuit Blanche, the citywide outdoor art celebration on Sat, Oct 2, and Art Toronto, the big international art fair running Thu, Oct 28 to Nov 1 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Mira Godard Gallery returns to Art Toronto this year; among the gallery artists represented is Montreal photographer Laurent Guérin (pictured is his 2008 digital print Taxi). For info on both events see page 26.



“We don’t talk about orgasm in sex education. Every female expects to have at least one orgasm every time she has sex. It’s not going to happen!”


he Mark S Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto awarded renowned sex educator Sue Johanson its 2010 Citizenship Award. “[Johanson’s] groundbreaking work in sex education has created new space in the public sphere for open and engaged discussions of sex and sexuality,” said Brenda Cossman, director of the Bonham Centre, at the award’s presentation on Sep 22. Johanson is best known as host of the now-defunct phone-in radio and television talk show, the Sunday Night Sex Show, where audiences could have frank and honest discussions about sexuality. “I’ve shocked even myself,” Johanson says of her success. “I realized I was good at talking to kids and working with kids,” says Johanson, who trained as a nurse at a Catholic hospital in Winnipeg. “That’s when the


October 2010

career took a turn.” Though retired from broadcasting, Johanson, 80, continues to lecture on sex education at schools across Canada. It still gets her riled up. Johanson feels sex education in schools is pitifully inadequate, especially on gay, lesbian and trans sexuality. “Schools tend to avoid it completely. ‘We’re not gonna go there. We’re not gonna touch that one with a 10-foot pole.’ They avoid all the issues that are controversial.” She wishes schools focussed less on the penis and more on homosexuality, masturbation and female sexual pleasure. “The one thing I want is much more emphasis on pleasure.”

TO SEE MORE Sue Johanson check out our video interview at




3. From magazines to television, Jeanne Beker is one of Canada’s most trusted sources for fashion and entertainment news. Author, editor and television personality, Beker travels the world, reporting on the latest runway trends, while interviewing A-list celebrities and designers. Beker used to cohost the groundbreaking music series The New Music, while this year she celebrates 25 years as host of Fashion Television. She also returns to the designer’s role, just launching her own clothing line, Edit, at The Bay. >

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF HOSTING FASHION TELEVISION. WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU HEAR THAT? That I’ve been responsible for the cultural education of a whole generation. Certainly we’ve opened windows onto worlds that people would not ordinarily have the chance to peek into or visit. We’ve tried to demystify certain things as well. We all live in awe of celebrity and big iconic designers or models. To be able to blow away some of the smoke and mirrors and really try and talk to people on a very humanistic level… that’s been fun.”



I’ve had the chance to pick the brains of so many incredible designers over the years. Who have I loved interviewing? Alexander McQueen, one of the greatest designers who ever lived, and certainly Karl Lagerfeld. And a brief chat that I had with Yves Saint Laurent backstage at his show — wow.

Mick Jagger! I met him at a party in Joe Mimran’s backyard once. Going back to my rock ’n’ roll days, I had the chance to meet my old teenage idols, like Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Robert Plant, even Smokey Robinson. I got to interview all the great ones. But I never got Mick.

> I agree with Michael Thorner (How Tweet It Is, In Toronto, Sep 2010). Grindr is not just about pick-ups. I found a friend who loves art, reconnected with old friends whom I had not seen for a long time and a possible business partner. Grindr, just like any other social network, is just an enabler — we can use it for whatever suits us. I also like the creepiness factor because it’s fun — especially if the guy is just 26 metres away from you. I once met someone who was sitting at the next table. What started as a simple Grindr hello is now a potential business collaboration. Loading more guys. Jorge Lee, Toronto

MORE, MORE > I’m reading through your September issue and wanted to take the time to express my gratitude. Thank you so much for sharing your vision

uplifting stories about my city. It’s about time that we started sharing stories about all the fantastic gay men and lesbians living in Toronto. I’m excited for more. James Powell,Toronto

GET IN TOUCH Loved a story, or did you hate it? We got some something wrong? You like what we're doing? Let us know. Send us your letter to: Letters to the editor, In Toronto magazine, 348 A Queen St W, Toronto, ON, M5V 2A2; email us at or online at






“There seems to be a gaming or competitive spirit to serious Foursquare users: earning badges, gaining mayorships, and hitting the leader board.”



lthough I’ve only both ered to “check in” 12 times since last December, I understand the allure of Foursquare. An application for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Palm users, Foursquare uses a smart phone’s global positioning listings of things to do, venues to see and places to eat. As the website states, Foursquare looks “to encourage people to explore their neighbourhoods, and then reward people for doing so.” Connecting Foursquare to your address book, Twitter and Facebook accounts taps into your friends for each app who are Foursquare users, providing access to your friends’ recommendations and, equally important, their criticisms. The app provides an active record of where a user has been, rewarding the user with “badges” earned as one “checks in” to various venues and places. The more a user frequents a venue, the better chance of achieving the coveted “mayor” title for that venue. Often businesses will provide discounts or freebies for those who achieve mayor status. There seems to be a gaming or competitive spirit to serious Foursquare users: earning badges, gaining mayorships, and hitting the leader board. Toronto photo blogger Rannie Turingan


October 2010

currently has 29 mayorships. For six months earlier this year, he was the mayor of Woody’s gay bar, not to mention the mayor of no less than three local TD banks. “I get interesting tips from friends,” says Turingan. “On occasion when I check, it’s interesting to see where my friends are, or to see who else is at a place with me at the same time.” Local social media sales and marketing professional Sam Chungyampin agrees. “There is a sense of status, checking in at a location; a sense of cool. There is also the ‘creep factor’ as well. Some actually like the idea of having followers ‘creep on you.’” Is this a new and acceptable form of geo-stalking? For Chungyampin, it’s more about convenience. “Now that many of my friends are on Foursquare, I can see where they are without asking, and vice versa. If I see they are somewhere close, I can text them and we can meet up.” Orwellian Big Brother? Perhaps. ure out how to knock this person out of the “mayor” spot for The Beguiling comics store. I’m only at the “adventurer” level, and I want to delude myself into thinking that all of this really matters. MICHAEL THORNER tweets at michaelthorner.


So what are you going to do about it? Writer Brian Phillips Illustration Nicolás Tallarico


y partner and I gardened up a storm again this past summer — guerrilla style. The bottom of our street, the alley behind our house and the corner near my hair salon are now beautiful welcom-

herbs, fruit trees and the odd vegetable. We have met many neighbours while gardening. Some have told us they feel safer because more people are out enjoying the looks more like people care, there is less garbage and less drug dealing. “We pay taxes,” one older gentleman insisted, “the city should be doing this, not you.” I reminded him of the city’s budget woes and that if we want beautiful places to live in, we all have to help out. He Friends Jim Searle and Chris Tyrell of Hoax Couture live off the alley south of Queen and Augusta. Years ago it was a scummy toilet run until the urban art and music collective Style in Progress ( launched the ReSurface event in the summer of 2005. Janna van Hoof, co-founder and event organizer, helped create the mandate: to channel positive elements of urban youth culture — hip-hop music, dance and art — into restorative and exciting events. For ReSurface, they invited 50 artists to go crazy. The laneway became an incredible kilo-

a day goes by without a photo shoot, guided tour or some form of fashion event taking place in the alley,” says Searle, “and the shady elements have gone elsewhere.” Dave Meslin of the indie rock band The Hidden Cameras is behind initiatives like Spacing Magazine, the Toronto Cyclists Union and Dandyhorse Magazine. He is working on a new book about civic engagement. On Sat, Oct 2, he launches Windfest (, tival down by Woodbine beach to promote awareness of renewable energy. Meslin is a new breed of urban animal, a proto-Machiavellian-artist-activist committed to making this city a more productive and healthy place to live. Another of his passions is Better Ballots (, formed last year to highlight our dysfunctional municipal voting system plagued by low voter turnout, low turnover of even unpopular councillors and a lack of diversity. Better Ballots aims to get citizens involved in electoral reform through a series of proposals like permanent resident voting, term limits for councillors and pre-election contribution disclosure. “City Hall belongs to its citizens


Run nym ede Rd

—Bloor West Village






r St


by Richard Silver

and not the other way around,”

able. “We shouldn’t expect civil

says Meslin. “The councillors work

society,” says Deans, “we need to

for us and we have a right to be

work at it.”

involved in the process. This idea

I talk to clients frequently about

of reclaiming public space means

politics and a surprising number

that the two million-plus of us

have no idea who their city coun-

should be doing a lot more than

cillor is. According to the City of

just voting. We essentially run this

Toronto’s Vital Signs report from

city and things need to be designed

2008, only 39 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the last two

Better Ballots grew out of the

municipal elections. In my ward

Toronto City Summit Alliance’s

(29), Case Ootes won by only 26

Emerging Leaders Network. “Civic

votes in 2008. He was part of

engagement is people playing a

the old guard at City Hall (Mel

role in the life of their city, coun-

Lastman’s deputy mayor); he is

try, locale, that is bigger than their

not running in this election. Now

own,” says Julia Deans, TCSA

we have a great new candidate,

executive director. “We have to

Jennifer Wood, a lawyer for RBC


who lives down the street, bikes

ing city builders. Ideas like the

everywhere with her kids and is

ones promoted by Better Ballots

very focussed on environmental

have the potential to improve

issues. We have met her at a few

our municipal electoral process

events and have decided to sup-

and mobilize the community.”

port her.

The TCSA (,

Rob Ford, Toronto’s Tea Party

spearheaded by the

candidate, is capitalizing on the

late David Pecaut,

anger and frustration many feel




with city bureaucracy. His sim-

as a collabora-

pleton message appeals to many,

tion between

but nothing is so black and white.



business, labour, non-

Torontonians can’t have it all — lower taxes and a perfect city. This coming election will be crucial. We need a great mayor,


but the mayor is only one vote

ment. Of their


on council. More importantly, we




need great city councillors. We

ments, one of the

have to search them out, elect

most inspiring was

them and then give them our



feedback. If we want beautiful,

Toronto report released in

healthy communities to live in,

2008 which outlines how the

we all have to participate more

city can improve its economic

fully in ways that bring each of

Once considered staid and conservative, this thriving village now boasts a hot European-style shopthing and anyone walking the high street, enjoying the bakeries, restaurants, gyms, shops and community events. Founded in the early 1900s, the housing stock is detached homes on larger lots with big gardens, similar to the Beach (and equidistant from Yonge St). Some multifamily homes exist as part of a European extended family tradition. You’d best be handy with a rake and hammer or have a partner who has power tools. It's true: bigger house, bigger property —

more maintenance. The good news: proximity to High Park, Sunnyside, the QEW, Bloor subway, bike lanes and walking trails. The bad news: You have to lure downtowners to visit; many will wrongly consider the area the burbs. You can always buy a house with a pool-sized lot and develop a large following of young and pretty pool party attendees. If you are looking for a mature neighbourhood with a great you could not do better. But don’t expect low prices. The price per square foot is comparable to most of Toronto’s hot areas.

Build Your D ream Hcomfort ome Today elegance quality

health while being more sustainGet out and vote on Mon, Oct 25. > T HE SEEDS OF CHANGE Civic engagement means much more than voting.

And do something nice for your community in the meantime.

Tel. 416.258.6642




Architect Garth Norbraten and fundraiser Greg Lichti’s Riverdale home is an impressive architectural work of love, designed by Norbraten with dramatic cantilevers and seductive, durable materials


Writer Abi Slone | Photography Nicola Betts


October 2010

L I V I N G & H E A LT H

Have you always lived in the east end? Garth Norbraten: When we met, we were living in the west end. I was living at College and Dovercourt and Greg was living at Parkside. Then we moved to Church and Maitland… Greg Lichti: Ground Zero… GN: In this little dumpy apartment. We saved our pennies. Greg is Mennonite so we went to the Mennonite Credit Union in could afford. We had a great real started looking we were looking in the west end. But for $100,000 less we could get the same thing in the east end. And because the houses were mostly built by the owners, they’re all a little different and have their own character. How long have you been here? GL: Ten years. GN: We lived in it for two years to By the time we got to the renovations we had discovered that the kitchen was where it should be, as was the living room and dining room. The renovations took two years… GL: Two and a half. GN: And we’ve been living in the whole house for about six years.

How has the response in the neighbourhood been? GN: On this block across the street there are two houses that are copying the design of the front of the house, complete with the cantilevered porch. GL: One of the things that’s fun, is that people in their cars or walking down the street stop to look at the house.

Did you do any of the work on the house yourselves beyond the design? GL: Yeah. I had never heard of vapour barrier before the construction, but I became an expert! And our families were really helpful. GN: My father and brother came out to help. My father was an architect — yes, I’m the son of an architect. But before that he was a carpenter, so they came to help. GL: One of the funniest memories I have from the renovations is of my parents, who also came to help out. I came home from work one day and through the door I can see der, supporting my mother, who lation. Our families were great.

the front of the stairs leading down to the basement. On the stairs leading upstairs, we used the same design, but instead of granite and stone, it’s wood. The hard maple is used throughout. We kept colour consistent, as well. Since it’s such an open space these elements help the design feel complete. What’s your one favourite thing about your house? GN: Besides the boyfriend? Sixteen years and counting... GL: You’re sweet. I guess for me it’s that it’s so open to the outside. So many windows! You get the sun, wind, plants. It’s like the outside is inside. GN: It’s a comfortable place to live. I think lots of different kinds of people could live here. It’s a modernist building with traditional elements — inclusive.

How did you deal with the more than two years of construction? GL: We did do some fun things throughout, like dinner parties in the construction zone. GN: After the new foundation was poured there was a tarp separating it from the existing basement, and one evening, standing in the new concrete space I looked at the tarp and saw this beautiful glowing white light like a Peter Greenaway set. So we had a dinner party with tea lights. It was great. Gilberto Prioste

What do you mean the whole house? GN: We lived in the basement of the original house for more than two years. Throughout most of the renovations the rest of the house was exposed to the elements, and in the winter, some mornings we would come upstairs and there would be snowdrifts in the living room.

GN: Greg likes it… it makes me nervous.

What are the elements that bring the house together? GN: We used the same Quebec black granite from the kitchen on




Meet Your Perfect match


—with Adam Segal > “The

good news: I’m madly smitten with a woman I’ve now been seeing for just under a year. She is like no one I’ve ever met and our chemistry is fantastic. The bad news: I’m a 28-year-old proud lesbian who came out to myself, and my circle, when I was 19. For my girl, who

she is completely self-accepting of her sexuality, she has yet to tell any friends or family. This makes our social life awkward and makes me feel, at times, like I’ve rolled back into the closet again. I think she should be moving a little faster and am worried that it will never happen. Help!?” Shumona in Toronto Anyone who’s picked up an outdated 1970s-font-laden brochure at their local community sexual health clinic might be reminded that “coming out is a process, not an event.” I can absolutely understand your frustrations: You’ve worked hard to cultivate the outlife that you lead and here you are being stunted by a newbie. But you did fall for this special newbie and she happens to be at a pretty different stage in her life from you. Here’s a helpful hint when you really want your partner to hear your needs without putting her up against a wall: Speak more about the impact of her actions (or inactions) than of your notions about where she “should” be. Do: Talk of how it makes you ebrate your beautiful love thang with your peeps. Don’t: Say things like “You should be moving faster than this.” Expressing our feelings and needs in relationships is not only fair game but crucial for keeping the connection strong. Judgments are shaming and divisive. Coming out in your teens and coming out in your 30s can be two very different experiences. As a 34-year-old, your gal has had that much longer than you to inhabit a straight identity, making for that much more upheaval, or at least the anticipation of upheaval, in

her life. Reminding her that she can turn to you for support when that shake-down hits could go a dence around coming out. While I absolutely don’t encourage you to assume the role of therapist with your own GF, I wonder whether you could learn a little more about her hold-up. Is she afraid her friends will freak? Does she fear that you’ll both get hurt should her family suggest she attend some sort of twisted sexual “re-orientation” summer camp? While you are so happy to wear your proud pink triangle hat, you have to remember that we are living in a culture that on one hand is becoming increasingly open with fearful and hateful folks who haven’t read Our Bodies, Our Selves. Your woman is likely to feel resentful should she decide to bolt out of the closet sooner than she was feeling prepared for because of your nagging. You’re a team so be her best cheerleader and not her coach. Good luck.

ADAM SEGAL is a writer and therapist who works in private parctice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental health question at relationship@





The fear and promise of changing careers Writer Paul Gallant | Illustration Corey Pierce




English lus at the University of British Columbia, he realized he wouldn’t be a doctor. Since he was an excellent debater in high school, law seemed like the best alternative. He wanted to be a litigator, “like you see on TV,” but he soon realized that behind the glitz of courtroom drama lurked something much more tedious. “Every minute you spend in court, you spend an hour preparing,” says English, 46. After six years at back on a partnership. Working for


October 2010

a while as an in-house labour lawyer was less pressure but after rising to the level of VP, the corporate side of things seemed more interesting to someone with English’s taste for novelty. He eventually found himself knee-deep in mergers and acquisitions, adjusting contractual minutia that no one else noticed but which invaded his own thoughts most of the time. English is an adventurous and social person, who thinks nothing of heading off to a new city for a circuit party weekend with friends or taking a sabbatical to backpack around Europe or Asia. But his job

often made him feel unpopular. “In the business world, lawyers are a necessary evil. We throw in all kinds of problems, so they avoid us. The interaction between you and your client always has tension,” says English. Last year, after years of postponements, English struck out on his own, trading in legal briefs for cacao beans, billable hours for Belgian bittersweet. He spent months in his kitchen, developing a lineup of products, and this summer opened The Chocolateria at 361 Roncesvalles Ave. Although friends had noticed years earlier how much

> T RYING ON DIFFEREN T HAT S A lawyer, an ad man and a cop discuss how they took that leap of faith into a different future.

English had enjoyed a George Brown pastry cooking course he had taken, colleagues were more bewildered. English says there is some continuity between the two occupations — the long periods of intense concentration to get things just right. But owning his own business, and the long hours it takes, has proved less stressful than law. “All my interactions with customers are positive now. Who doesn’t like chocolate?”



or those who make dramatic career changes late in life, it’s the small, emotional rewards — peace of mind, more control over their own lives, more positivity — that makes the tremendous risk worth it. It’s rarely the money. Most professions frontload the dirty work, rolling out the cushiness only after mid-career. Walking away can seem like a loss of a lifetime of investment. According to a 2008 Statistics Canada study, people report fewer major life changes, including employment changes, as they grow older, especially after age 45. But those facts mean little to gay and lesbian people, creatures of reinvention who learn early that being true to themselves is paramount. Following your heart, though, does not mean that your life path suddenly becomes well-lit. “Back in 2007, I went to Burning Man,” says English, referring to a trippy arts festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, “hoping for an epiphany. But I didn’t have one.” What worked for English was touring the city, looking for businesses he thought were cool, making a list of those he thought seemed to be successful and those where he thought he had some skills. Hardly a celestial revela-

was similarly methodical when he was plotting to leave the advertising industry. A creative type, university, but balked at the strict formulas news reporting foist on writers. After school, he found a more enjoyable outlet in advertising copywriting and spent 25 years rising to the top of the business, an international agency. Running a department of 35 people, the man who wanted to be creative was writing barely at all. All the other work demands took a toll. “Anybody who thinks they can work in advertising their whole life constantly moaning about how miserable I was in my job… and I ended up having a health breaksix months. I couldn’t take the time off to get better.”

As he was meeting with his own boss to plan an exit strategy, also met with a job counsellor to come up with an entrance strategy for his new life. It had to be philanthropic, social and creative. He in different ways. He joined a board

“ALL MY INTERACTIONS WITH CUSTOMERS ARE POSITIVE NOW,” SAYS FORMER LAWYER TIM ENGLISH, NOW A CHOCOLATIER. “WHO DOESN’T LIKE CHOCOLATE?” more recently Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention), opened a restaurant (The Laurentian Room, from 2004 to 2008), started taking courses to be a psychotherapist and began writing a book. The isolation of this last passion was offset by the busy-ness of the rest. “I keep having to remind myself I’m on the path to my new career because I’m not there yet,” says to stop saying, ‘former advertising guy,’ ‘former creative director’ because I had to start thinking about what I wanted to become.” ner of six years was freaked out. “I can’t tell you what was going on in his head.” They had a “Hollywood home” in the Beaches ures they have reduced their living expenses by two-thirds. They sold one of their two income properties and moved themselves into a much smaller rental house. “When you have all that stuff, but you’re never at home to appreciate it, you don’t miss it that sizing couldn’t have turned off his partner that much either — in the midst of it all, he proposed to

Jackie O’Keefe also found herself changing careers and considering matrimony at the same time. After ing — studying it, avoiding it, then doing it — O’Keefe got engaged as she was putting law enforcement behind her. At age 17, O’Keefe enrolled in law and security administration at Humber College. Although she aced the program, her coming out as lesbian at the end of her school years radicalized her. It was the 1980s, she was out and proud and a police department seemed like about as homophobic a workplace of jobs in restaurants but her real devotion was to women’s and lesbian issues. By the time she was in her mid-30s, though, she wanted a more stable career and she realized she still wanted to be a cop. She talked to a few people to see if the environment had changed. It had. She joined the force in 1999. “I was shocked and amazed when I was hired, considering my activist past,” says O’Keefe, 48. “But it was a great opportunity to help people, to right wrongs. I remember going to a call with a transgendered person and I could see their face relax when I came in the door because they could relate.” not so rewarding. O’Keefe had been prepared for homophobia, but the systemic sexism was what wore her of relief when she decided to leave the force, even though O’Keefe wasn’t exactly sure what her next step would be. Her sister sold real estate and she eventually convinced O’Keefe to give it a try. Living commission to commission rather than pay cheque to pay cheque has been a challenge. But the freedom and autonomy has been worth it. “Real estate has helped me make my own mistakes. It’s all on me whether I succeed or fail. It’s not in somebody else’s hands,” says O’Keefe. A good bidding war on a house can give O’Keefe some of the adrenaline rush policing used to. But it doesn’t quite meet her activist or creative needs. She’s writing

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN TO QUIT? Source: Personal Balance Sheet Career Planning Book, by Randall Craig (Knowledge to Action Press) >

1) Are you still having fun? If you’re not enjoying what you are doing with your precious time, then maybe you should think about a change. 2) Are you being intellectually challenged? Even the most interesting job eventually becomes dull and repetitive — are you at that point yet? 3) Do you like your colleagues? We all pick up characteristics from those around us: expressions, habits, and attitudes. Do you like how you’re being influenced? 4) Are you reaching your career goals? Does your job take you closer to, or further away from your career goals? 5) Are you achieving life balance? Does your job prevent you from being involved in the community? Has it had an impact on your relationships? If these questions make you uncomfortable, maybe your job doesn’t let you achieve the balance that is right for you. 6) Is your compensation somewhat close to your worth? No one likes to be underpaid, but people don’t usually quit for this reason, unless the compensation is significantly lower than it should be. Is yours? If you answered no to any of these questions, then you do need to consider whether it’s time to leave the mother ship. all but died out during her policing days — and she’s in the process of starting a group that will help disadvantaged lesbians. Is real estate her life calling? She’s not sure. Once someone has survived a leap out of a long-term career, the thought of changing directions again is not nearly so scary. There may be no going back, but there’s lots more ahead.





fashion community comes together

Writer Gordon Bowness | Photography Brian Summers


who’s who of Toronto fashion designers come together in the colourful, joyous spectacle Dare to Wear Love, LG Fashion Week’s closing gala. Celebrating and supporting the inspiring work of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which assists grassroots AIDS initiatives in Africa (see story on page 34), Dare to Wear Love is much more than a fashion show. The fundraiser was started last year by design-


October 2010

ers Chris Tyrell and Jim Searle of Hoax Couture. As part of the foundation’s A Dare to Remember campaign, the two designers pulled together the inaugural event in only two months. “We dared the fashion design community to get behind the foundation and its work,” says Tyrell. “The response was amazing.” Designers like Kingi Carpenter of Peach Berserk, Linda Lundstrom and Lida Baday were already keen supporters of the foundation.

Others quickly came on board once Tyrell and Searle made their pitch. “We realized awareness needed to be a key component,” says Searle. “Everyone we approached wanted to help. People want to help, they just need an opportunity.” That desire to help soon got things moving faster than Tyrell and Searle had anticipated. “We thought we’d club, something small,” says Tyrell. “When the Fashion Design Council of Canada got on board and gave

us the closing slot at LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oréal Paris, then we were like, ‘Oh, we need more designers.’ It got big fast.” Last year’s event raised $40,000; Tyrell and Searle are aiming for $100,000 this year. The concept for the show sees each designer given six yards of fabric, incredibly vibrant African prints picked by Tyrell and Searle, designers are challenged by those prints,” says Tyrell, laughing. “But


> VIBRAN T Featuring a score of designers, like Evan Biddell (modelled by Stacey McKenzie), Ross Meyer, Jason Meyers and Thomas Chung, the inaugural Dare to Wear Love ended last year’s Fashion Week on a joyous note.

Chatto, Wayne Clarke, Brian Bailey and Adrian Wu (“He’s someone to watch”). “We really try to keep the designers front and centre,” says Searle. “Their work should be cel-

all the designers enjoy the chal-

ebrated.” Fittingly for the closing

lenge,” says Searle. “They get to

event of Fashion Week, the cele-

play with their design approach.”

bration is a party, with music and

The unique creations are later sold

dance and a host of celebrities both

off to raise money.

on the runway and in the crowd.

In a new twist Marty Rotman of

“There’s so much integrity to

Northbound Leather, Hoax and

the cause,” says Searle, “every-

perhaps a few others will be send-

one approaches the event with

ing menswear down the runway

such passion.”

in addition to the dramatic women’s wear. Among the 25 designers this year are Baday (“Canada’s number one designer,” says Tyrell), David Dixon, Izzy Camilleri, Farley

DARE TO WEAR LOVE is Fri, Oct 22 at the Heritage Court in Exhibition Place. Tickets cost $50 with VIP around $300.




Self-taught, successful and charting their own course — Greta Constantine’s Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill Writer Chris Jai Centeno


ith bold cuts and fashion-forward drapless, accessible luxury, design duo Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill this month, unveil their latest and women’s and menswear collection a week before LG Fashion Week. Currently the duo is enjoying much creative and commercial success. Their women’s wear line, Greta Constantine, counts some high-powered clientele, including supermodels Yasmin Warsame and Coco Rocha and celebrities like Nelly Furtado, Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Hudson. They recently acquired a showroom in Milan and, just a year ago, launched a second line called Ezra Constantine dedicated to menswear. Known as creative forces in the


October 2010

city, Wong and Pickersgill are unabashedly critical in their opinions of Toronto Fashion Week, preferring to showcase at an intimate setting of their own choosing, rather than the glitzy runways at Exhibition Place. Though they have been friends for years, the sule collection in 2006. The result became a successful homegrown label named after Wong’s mother, Greta, and Pickersgill’s grandfather, Constantine. “We had always wanted to design a line of clothing together and the time seemed right,” says Wong. Living more than 6,000 miles apart was not a deterrent to their

Pickersgill. “We each had worked for so long in fashion for others and for once we wanted to work for ourselves. The timing was right

launch Greta Constantine, I was living in Italy and Stephen and I would correspond via MSN,” says

order clothing — as his education

collection was born.” Both Wong and Pickersgill were born in Kingston, Jamaica. They also share a lack of formal design training. But their work experiences gave them a competitive edge and a well-rounded approach to stay relevant in the industry. Pickersgill, a former stylist, counts Toronto label Comrags, and Milan-based DSquared2 and Neil Barrett to his experience; Wong credits his time at Susan Dicks —

For Fall 2010 womenswear, the

look is slick, mostly dark palettes of blacks and grays. The waists are cinched, giving the body smooth contours that, according to Wong, scream “a million dollars.” “It will knew you had,” he says. And the deconstructed military-inspired


L I V I N G & H EA LT H > DARK & DRAMAT IC Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill take a bow after the Fall 2010 women’s and menswear show. (photos by Jenna Marie Wakani.) > SCULPT ED YE T FLOWING Sneak peak at Ezra Constantine Spring/ Summer 2011 (below, far right).

tops add armour and texture, which brings out a soft allure to the wearer. Catching up with them weeks before their showcases in Montreal and Toronto, the designers promise that their Spring/Summer 2011 collections will deliver — with new fabrics, pieces in earthy tones tion, including the layering trend increasingly embraced by the urban man. They gave a sneak peek of spring earlier this year, showcasing some of Ezra’s sexy mix of structure and drapery. The October

show will feature mainly women’s wear that echoes the men’s. “Playing with proportion is very popular for menswear in Spring 2011,” says Wong. “It’s all about changing the shape of the body. Still a strong trend that carried over from the fall would be utilitarian details and pieces that are very wearable and masculine.” Their updated take on staples push boundaries. “We don’t follow trends,” says Wong. “We love to meet our clients and the people who sell our clothes and incorporate the feedback into our design.”

“As a new season approaches,” says Pickersgill, “each staff member begins doing his or her own research. Then we come together to brainstorm, discuss and bounce ideas off each other. Soon after the collection forms. Along the way, there are countless changes to patterns, colours, fabrications and to certain themes we were originally set on. Our collection changes all the way until the models walk the piece down the runway.” For this month’s Greta Constantine womenswear Spring/Summer 2011 show, expect the culmination of its

brother line Ezra: innovative cuts, body-hugging designs and a sophisticated mix of fabrics worthy of red carpet galas and event nights out. “We have many friends who have great style,” says Wong. “We design clothes that we think will suit them. With Ezra Constantine, it’s more personal. I like to make clothes I would wear myself.”

GRETA AND EZRA CONSTANTINE are available at Rac Boutique in Yorkville, various Holt Renfrew locations across Canada and Harrods in London, England.






decades with ease. That makes her a very modern style icon

Internationally, Marc Jacobs. Locally, my friend Kasha, owner of Deluxe Boutique.









Vintage rose headband. Gold,

Heart-shaped gold and jade earrings. Paris-themed charm belt worn as necklace.

Double-knit ivory chemise mini dress by Toronto designer IHC. Lavender tights. Leather and brass African necklace, style based on Masai jewellery. Leather ankle booties by Tiger of Sweden.

rings. My mom’s vintage double collar cropped ’40s printed jackets. My black sateen peplum dress is by Religion. Vintage ’80s brass and canvas belt.Mom’s gold, silver and brass bangles. Black patent leather gladiator wedgies from Aldo.



October 2010

dress (my mom’s). Gold and ceramic needlepoint ring.

mom was a hippie who went to Woodstock. She loved mixing everything together. We had this thing where we loved to vintage shop together. She loved bracelets, accessories and fashion from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. She recently passed away and she left me all her beautiful vintage pieces. Sometimes I miss her terribly and I just throw on one of her pieces and instantly I feel better. My dad is an artist and painter and from him I developed my love of colour and print. His paintings were always inspirational. And my dad loves his jewellery too!

WHAT ITEM OF CLOTHING OR ACCESSORY CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT? I can’t leave the house without my mother’s bangles. The sound of them reminds me of being a kid and her going about the house.

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AVON CALLING Stratford residents, whether long-term locals or actors just staying for the season, are very vocal about the charms of their small city. Fantastic theatre at the Stratford Festival is not all the town has to offer. Here’s a roundup of local faves to get you searching for beauty and drama beyond the footlights >

THE BOATHOUSE CAFÉ York St (under the tourist info booth) My favourite secret in downtown Stratford is this waterside café where the Juliette, our city’s 20-passenger boat, sets sail on the Avon River. The sandwiches are hearty and delicious. The setting is ers and trees, with no more than eight tables on the little plaza, and a wonderful view of Lake Victoria, with swans passing by from time to time. Earlier in the year, when Stratford Summer Music is in full swing, this is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the performers on the nearby MusicBarge. John A Miller, artistic producer, Stratford Summer Music ( FAMILY & COMPANY 6 Ontario St


October 2010

The best toy store! Great selection of wooden toys, educational toys… superior service. Staff wraps gifts in a brown paper bag with the child’s name on it. At Christmas they serve hot apple cider while you wait and periodically break into song. Christine Wach, employer relations consultant DOWN THE STREET BAR & RESTAURANT 30 Ontario St My preferred haunt. This is a business that brings a taste of Toronto to Stratford. The menu is amazingly delicious and the beverage selection is as vast as it is satisfying. I can often be found there amongst a group of friends, with a cocktail in hand, on a Saturday. Matty Ian Smith, organizer of Stratford Pride (

FOSTER’S INN 111 Downie St One of my favourite places to eat, drink and socialize. Located just steps away from the Avon Theatre, it’s the perfect place for a pre-show

BOAR’S HEAD PUB 161 Ontario St (519) 271-1400 For wings… and beer, of course. This is Stratford’s only pub that’s not pretending to be something else. The music is good, but quiet;

steaks are mouth-wateringly delicious! It’s what some people would call “up-casual” — dinner prices range from fair to moderate to “neither a borrower nor a ful rooms for overnight stays. It is a favourite location for brunch (try the huevos rancheros. Trust). The ambiance is very relaxed, a nice

always welcoming and the turnover is really low; some have been around a long time. Food’s good as well, which is a bonus. Amede Lamarche, chef and pastry instructor

staff is great, and it’s a popular hangout for members of the festival acting company. Quincy Armorer, appearing in Peter Pan and Dangerous Liaisons, running until the end of October (

THE BELFRY 70 Brunswick St Another fave haunt is located within The Church Restaurant. This is truly a unique space literally within a belfry of an old church. Local designer Ron Nuhn redesigned the interior about three years ago and created a luxurious space with a non-intimidating atmosphere. My friend and assis-

L I V I N G & H E A LT H

TJ DOLAN NATURE AREA John & Centre streets If you follow the west side of the Avon River, south of Stratford’s downtown just off John St, you will arrive at a wooded area with a choice of walking trails (from tic, quiet, secluded and gorgeous, especially in the fall (my favourite season), when the tree branches and the ground are covered in

tant restaurant manager Jessie Larson has created a new and innovative cocktail menu for this season using many infused vodkas made on-site. This is the perfect place for an after-theatre bevy, or pre-cocktails before heading out on the town. Matty Ian Smith CLAY CAFÉ 51 York St My favourite place in Stratford is tery studio. I am an addict: I’ve a tea pot... eventually everything in my home will be a clay creand helpful and there are a lot of for inspiration. I love to go in for an afternoon — armed with my iPod and a coffee from Sputnik — and let out my inner kid with a paintbrush. Because when you’re 26, no one can tell you to paint inside the lines. Kyle Golemba, starring as Gremio in Kiss Me, Kate, running till Sat, Nov 6 (

> T HE BELFRY Unique space, innovative cocktails.

cially those heading west) have been using this market a lot this summer, dropping in just before leaving the town on their way home. Kevin and Kim Gormley, owners of the Old Rectory Bed and Breakfast ( SATURDAY FARMERS MARKET Stratford Agriplex 353 McCarthy Rd 7am to noon Saturdays

community. Not only great stands and produce, but also the best deal on gladiolas known to man. When my partner Lee and I got married, we had only glads and tons of them at the ceremony and outdoor reception at our house. Tim French, director of [Title of Show] at the Toronto Centre for the Arts

there to clear my head, and feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere. It’s the perfect little getaway for those without a car — an easy walk from downtown, and away from the crowds. Paul Dunn, starring as John in Peter Pan ( FALL DRIVES Map.pdf We get a lot of folks who like to tour about the county using Stratford as a base. This is especially popular in October when the colours are quite lovely. This is a great map that features many farms, orchards and artisans. Kevin and Kim Gormley

STRATFORD PRIDE Thu, Oct 22 to 24 > “The weekend is going

to be fun and classy,” says Stratford Pride organizer Matty Ian Smith, “with cocktail parties, walking tours, culinary creativity and a plethora of bands and DJs creating amazing music.” This is Stratford, so all things theatrical are built into the festivities. There are special Pride rates for Stratford tickets, a cocktail mixer on Friday night with festival players (featuring DJ Shane MacKinnon) and a costume party at the grand Hughson Hall on Saturday. “Many local business owners, gay and straight, have gotten involved,” says Smith, who is hyped about the closing party on Sunday featuring altcountry singer Rae Spoon, indie rockers Hunter Valentine and many other bands.

> SAT URDAY FARMERS MARKE T A real social event for locals.

MONFORTE DAIRY SLOW FOOD MARKET 10am to 2pm Sundays We are foodies. We use the Slow Food Market at Monforte as our main supply of fruit, vegetables and cheese. It’s a great place to meet many of our friends and acquaintances. Our guests (espe-




Jojo Whilden

NOw OVER 50% SOLD. new release of terrace suites.


EL ANATSUI Art retrospective opens at the ROM

Jason Chow

Slightly off Queen. Slightly off kilter. 12°, a new attitude in design.

whatever moves you.

416.408.1200 25 BEVERLEY at QUEEN from the mid $300 s

Mon-WED 12-6pm//THURS & Fri closed//Sat & Sun 12-5pm architect: core architects INC. interior design: munge leung Exclusive Listing Brokerage. Brokers Protected. Illustrations are artist’s impression. Prices subject to change without notice. E. & O. E.

Art & Photography ALEKSANDAR ANTONIJEVIC The National Ballet of Canada’s principal dancer steps off the stage and behind a camera to photograph his colleagues. Human or Dancer. 10am-6pm. Mon-Sat. Until Thu, Oct 7. Pimlico Design Gallery. 789 Dupont St. (416) 538-0909. V TONY HAUSER NUDE Retrospective by the Toronto-based portrait photographer. 11am-6pm. Tue-Fri. 11pm-5pm. Sat & Sun. Until Thu, Oct 7. Akasha Art Projects. 511 Church St, 2nd floor. (647) 348-0104. ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa, a 40-year retrospective of one of Africa’s most influential contemporary artists, best known for his monumental wall-sculptures made from discarded bottle tops. Also opening is the contemporary

LES BALLETS C DE LA B Out of Context – for Pina closes at Fleck Dance Theatre

The Radiant Child doc opens at TIFF Bell Lightbox



DIONNE BRAND Reads at International Festival of Authors

BARBARA COOK Sings at Koerner Hall


BUIKA Spanish singer makes her Canadian debut at Koerner Hall


ALLEN GINSBERG Howl opens starring James Franco

Mike Martin

NUIT BLANCHE Installation by Max Streicher on Yonge St

photography show, Position as Desired: Exploring African-Canadian Identity. $24; half price after 4:30pm. 10am-5:30pm daily; 10am-9:30pm Fri. Sat, Oct 2-Jan 2. ROM. 100 Queens Park. (416) 586-8000. NUIT BLANCHE Featuring more than 130 projects and 400 artists, the fifth edition of this all-night art fest spreads over much of downtown, from Yorkville to the Distillery District to Liberty Village. They are closing down Yonge St from Bloor to Front, Bloor St from Church to Bedford, Bay St from Dundas to Richmond and Queen St from Victoria to University. Kent Monkman’s Iskootao is an installation featuring his alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle atop the rock in Cumberland Park. Architect Philip Beesley creates a interactive forest of light in the atrium of the Royal Conservatory of Music on Bloor St W. Mark Laliberte presents a

multimedia performance False Kraft-werk in the atrium at Bay and Dundas. Mammalian Diving Reflex set up a night market appropriately called Nuit Market down Victoria St Lane beginning at Dundas. Max Streicher stuffs two giant inflatable clown heads into the narrow space between the neo-classical buildings at 67 and 69 Yonge St. Orest Tataryn, Bruno Billio, Jason Dressler and Lars Dressler team up to turn the Gladstone Hotel into an art hub with installations and performances. Company Blonde Dance Projects present up to 30 women clad in long red velvet hoop dresses and blonde wigs for Ruby Venus, one of scores of events in Trinity Bellwoods Park. Sing along to favourite musicals, from kids’ fare to darker stuff, at TIFF Bell Lightbox. How long and far can you go? 7pm-sunrise. Sat, Oct 2.



DEREK MCCORMACK New book from Pas de Chance launches at Naco

NOw OVER 50% SOLD. new release of terrace suites.


MARGARET ATWOOD In the Wake of the Flood documentary opens Planet in Focus

Slightly off Queen. Slightly off kilter. 12°, a new attitude in design.


VANILLA Northbound Leather’s fetish party at Sound Academy


ACIS & GALATEA Opening night for Opera Atelier

THE POWER PLANT In Ian Wallace: The Economy of the Image, the veteran Vancouver artist has created a new body of photo-lamination paintings depicting Toronto’s financial district. In Pae White: Material Mutters, the LA-based artist has woven a new monumental tapestry that will form the centrepiece of a survey of her prior tapestries, as well as video animations and works on paper. Opening. 8pm-11pm. Fri, Oct 8. Noon-6pm. TueSun. Noon-8pm Wed. Until Jan 2. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4949. UPART The Gladstone’s second floor is transformed with site-specific installations and an eclectic sampling of the city’s contemporary art and design. Includes a spotlight on textile artist Bev Hisey. Noon-5pm. Thu, Oct 28-31. Reception. 7pm-10pm. Oct 29. 1214 Queen St (416) 531-4635.


TROY BROOKS Virago paintings open at Pentimento Gallery

whatever moves you.

TROY BROOKS The Virago Series, new paintings by the Toronto artist. Opening. 6pm-9pm. Thu, Oct 28. Through November. Pentimento Gallery. 1164 Queen St E. ART TORONTO 2010 More than 1,000 featured artists from 100 Canadian and international galleries. London’s Adam Gallery has an Andy Warhol. Vancouver’s Equinox Gallery has some cool Fred Herzog photos from the 50s and 60s. Calgary’s Loch Gallery has Ivan Eyre landscapes. Toronto installments include Clark Faria with Mark Lewis, Christopher Cutts with Xiao Guo Hui, Fehely Fine Arts with macabre Samonie Toonoo sculptures and XEXE Gallery with wonderful painter Kirsten Johnson. $18. Noon-8pm. Fri, Oct 29 & 30. Noon-6pm. Oct 31 & Nov 1. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, north bldg. 255 Front St W. Opening night preview party is a fundraiser for the Art Gallery of Ontario. Special collectors

preview. $300. 4:30pm-6:30pm Opening preview. $200. 6:30pm-10pm. Thu, Oct 28. (416) 979-6608.

Film & Video : THE RADIANT CHILD Tamra Davis’s feature documentary on the New York artist who shot to superstardom in the 1980s. He died of a heroin overdose in 1988. Featuring interviews with Julian Schnabel, Larry Gagosian, Bruno Bischofberger, Tony Shafrazi, Fab 5 Freddy, Annina Nosei and others. Opens Thu, Oct 7. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 326 King St W. HOWL Documentarians Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s debut feature. James Franco stars as the young Allen Ginsberg, poet, counter-culture adventurer and chronicler of the Beat Generation. His electrifying work, Howl, is on trial for obscenity. Also starring David Strathairn, Continued on page 28

416.408.1200 25 BEVERLEY at QUEEN from the mid $300 s

Mon-WED 12-6pm//THURS & Fri closed//Sat & Sun 12-5pm architect: core architects INC. interior design: munge leung Exclusive Listing Brokerage. Brokers Protected. Illustrations are artist’s impression. Prices subject to change without notice. E. & O. E.

LISTINGS & EVENTS Continued on page 27

IN SPOT THEODORE 1922 Writer Josh MacKinnon | Photography Nicola Betts

Jon Hamm, Jeff Daniels and Mary-Louise Parker. Opens Thu, Oct 7. PLANET IN FOCUS The environmental film festival, running Wed, Oct 13 to 17, kicks off with the Toronto premiere of In the Wake of the Flood, Ron Mann’s documentary following Margaret Atwood on her worldwide book tour for her post-apocalyptic novel The Year of the Flood. Atwood and her partner, novelist Graeme Gibson, will receive the Canadian Eco Hero award that night. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 326 King St W. (416) 531-4689.


New talk show with the local comedienne. 10:30pm. Tue & Thu. Beginning Oct 26. Rogers TV.


Shopping can be an aggravating

plastic bags so cheap you’re lucky to get your goods home in one piece. Gone are the days when shopping was a personalized experience, when you walked into a shop and the salesperson knew your name, inseam, shirt size, which fabrics you loved and which patterns you hated, and gave you the one-on-one kind of service you deserved. So if you’re looking to update your fall/ winter wardrobe with some super stylish pieces and receive great service, there’s a hidden gem in Toronto that’s just for you. Theodore 1922 is a men’s boutique clothing store in the Annex Miranda Black is dedicated to workdifferent pieces and ensembles that are tailored to each person’s unique tastes. She also believes strongly ting perfectly.” Theodore 1922 is a full-service shop, offering a wide variety of dress shirts, including Eton and Sand, ranging from $175 to $300.


October 2010

Ties, including Canadian-designed and produced Dion, range from $75 to $150, and cuff link collections like David Donahue and Babette Wasserman start at $95 and go up to about $600. One of Black’s favourite ways to distinguish a client’s style is with a custom jacket. Starting at $995, Black can personalize colour, pattern, fabric, lining, everything down to the buttons. Tired of your worn out jeans? Theodore 1922 carries Sand denim, a lightweight alternative to the standard heavy denim choices of today with a more polished look. Black says her unique colour palette — colour! — and quality fabrics help set her shop apart. And Theodore 1922’s in-house line of dress shirts in a range of colours and patterns just launched. Acting as a personal shopper and seasoned stylist for each of her clients, Black has successfully brought old-world customer service back into vogue.

497 Bloor St W. (416) 850-0175.

Theatre presents an irreverent look at the state of multiculturalism in Canada. Written by Camyar Chai, Guillermo Verdecchia and Marcus Youssef and performed by Youssef, Verdecchia, Anita Majumder and Raugi Yu. Verdecchia directs. $15-$32. Tue-Sat. 8pm. PWYC. Sun. Until Sun, Oct 17. Factory Studio Theatre. 125 Bathurst St. (416) 504-9971. DE COLORES FESTIVAL New works by Canadian-based Latin American writers. Comedian Martha Chavez pens Staying Alive, a play about a woman dealing with her emigration from Nicaragua, the death of her mother and coming out. Her memories take the form of drag queens (starring Pauline Abarca-Cantin and featuring José Aria aka Dyna Thirst). Other playwrights include Amranta Leyva, Juan Carlos Velis and Marilo Nunez. $15. 8pm. Thu, Oct 7 & 8. Wychwood Theatre. 601 Christie St. (416) 652-5442. IN BETWEEN Choreographers Roberto Campanella and Robert Glumbek premiere a new full-length work. $22-$38. 8pm. Wed, Oct 6. 1pm. Oct 7. Fleck Dance Theatre. 207 Queen’s Quay W. (416) 973-4000.


Leading-edge dance theatre company from Belgium, Les Ballets C de la B, performs Alain Platel’s recent work inspired by Pina Bausch. Kicks offs the World Stage season. $15-$49. 8pm. Wed, Oct 13-16. Fleck Dance Theatre. 207 Queen’s Quay W. (416) 973-4000. THE LIST Nightwood Theatre opens its 31st season with the Toronto premiere of the French language Governor General’s Award-winning play by Jennifer Tremblay, translated by Shelley Tepperman. A woman inadvertently is responsible for her friend’s death. Allegra Fulton stars; Kelly Thornton directs. $22-$49. 8pm. Mon-Sat. 1:30pm. Wed. 2pm. Sat. Thu, Oct 14-Nov 6. Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs. 26 Berkeley St. (416) 368-3110. DEATH IN VENICE The Canadian Opera Company presents Benjamin Britten’s last opera, composed when he was 59 and very ill. It became an obsession (and is about obsession) but Britten did live to see his lover, tenor Peter Pears, give a performance of a lifetime in the lead role. British conductor Steuart Bedford conducted the world premiere in 1973 and returns to the COC to conduct this production. Starring tenor Alan Oke as Aschenbach. Yoshi Oida directs in his COC debut. $62-$281. Sat, Oct 16-Nov 6. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 363-8231. See page 42 for Aida. UP UNTIL NOW Toronto Dance Theatre remounts its 2009 commissioned work from US choreographer Deborah Hay. $20-$26. 8pm. Wed, Oct 20-23. PWYC. 2pm. Oct 23. Winchester Street Theatre. 80 Winchester St. (416) 967-1365. THE ANDERSEN PROJECT

A Québécois songwriter’s appearance at the Paris Opera propels him to explore sexual identity, unfulfilled fantasies and a thirst for fame. A multimedia fairytale from theatre visionary Robert Lepage, drawn from the life and writings of Hans Christian Andersen. Yves Jacques stars in this Ex Machina production. Thu, Oct 21-30. Bluma Appel Theatre. 27 Front St E. (416) 368-3110.

> HUMAN OR DANCER Photos by Aleksandar Antonijevic showing at Pimlico Gallery until Thu, Oct 7. PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL Opens

Tue, Oct 26. See page 41. ACIS AND GALATEA The baroque opera company Opera Atelier presents George Frederic Handel’s operatic setting of the Ovid story about a water nymph and her doomed love for a shepherd. Starring Mireille Asselin, Thomas Macleay, Joao Fernandes and Lawrence Wiliford. David Fallis conducts; Marshal Pynkoski directs. $33-$146 Sat, Oct 30-Nov 7. Elgin Theatre Box Office, 189

LISTINGS & EVENTS PAS DE CHANCE It’s hard to believe that illustrator and designer Ian Phillips has been making beautifully crafted books for 25 years. To celebrate, he’s releasing four new titles, three from Mexican-based author Elissa Joy (inside boxes of Lucky Elephant Pink Popcorn) and one from Toronto’s Derek McCormack (in a box of breakfast cereal). Free fudge and tattoos. Both authors present. 7pm-11pm. Thu, Oct 7. Naco. 1665 Dundas St W. JOHN GIORNO Sexual, spiritual and political radical. The legendary US author’s rebellious roots stretch back to the Beat scene of NYC in the 1960s. Editor Marcus Boon talks with Giorno about his recent anthology Subduing Demons in America: Selected Poems, 1962-2007. Presented by This Is Not a Reading Series. 8pm. Tue, Oct 12. The Annex Live. 296 Brunswick Ave. (416) 929-3999. INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF AUTHORS Runs Wed, Oct 20

to 30. Among the scores of authors, look for Dionne Brand, Michael Cunningham, Alison Pick and Richard B Wright reading. 8pm. Oct 21. John Waters reading and interview. 8pm. Oct 22. Artists Charles Burns, Dylan Horrocks and Seth in discussion. 3pm. Oct 23. Patricia Engel, Adam Gopnik and Andrea Levy in discussion. 8pm. Oct 28. Camilla Gibb, Anchee Min, Matthew Tierney and Russell Wangersky read. 8pm. Oct 28. Lynda Barry reading and interview. 5pm. Oct 30. $18. Harbourfront Centre. 207 & 235 Queen’s Quay W. Harbroufrontcentre. com. For Emma Donoghue see page 39. For David Rakoff see page 40.

Yonge St. 416) 872-5555.

Readings & Books EILEEN MYLES & ZOE WHITTALL Celebrated US poet

and author Myles (Chelsea Girls, School of Fish, The Importance of Being Iceland) talks about her new book, Inferno: A Poet’s Novel with Toronto’s righteous Whittall. Presented by This Is Not a Reading Series. 8pm. Tue, Oct 5. Gladstone Hotel. 1214 Queen St W.


Scores of performers performing in four small venues. Each show costs $20; $15 for second same-day show. Fri, Oct 1: Carole Pope at 7pm, Molly Johnson at 8:45pm, Heather Bambrick at 10:30pm. Oct 2: Lorraine Segato at 2pm & 8:30pm, Adi Braun at 9pm, DK Ibomeka 10:30pm. Oct 3: Sharron Mathews at 3:15pm, Adi Braun at 6pm, Stephen Sondheim Songbook with Paul Sportelli, Sharron

Matthews, Mike Ross, Patricia O’Callaghan and Adam Brazier at 10:30pm. Young Centre. 55 Mill St. BUIKA She’s a superstar in Spain. The Afro-Spanish singer from Mallorca was once a Tina Turner impersonator in Vegas before becoming a peerless interpreter of coplas (female-centric torch songs). The tour is in support of her latest CD, El Ultimo Trago, a tribute to legendary rancheras singer Chavela Vargas — who came out at 81! $30-$60. 8pm. Sat, Oct 16. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. (416) 408-0208. SERAFIN LARIVIERE The regular In Toronto contributor launches his newest jazz CD Love’s Worst Crime. Hosted by Jaymz Bee. 8pm. Thu, Oct 21. Lula Lounge. 1585 Dundas St W. BARBARA COOK The Broadway diva performs a night of Sondheim and other favourites. $50-$100. 8pm. Fri, Oct 22. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. (416) 408-0208.


I’m throwing down the gauntlet: If

Causes & Events OPERANATION The Canadian

Opera Company’s grand fundraising gala. Cinderella: Rock the Ball, themed around the forthcoming production of La Cenerentola. Special drinks, food, performances and a DJ. VIP includes dinner and auction. $125-$150; $350 VIP. 7pm VIP; 9pm party. Fri, Oct 29. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 363-8231. HALLOWEEK Weeklong festivities culminate with much of Church St shut down to make way for big hair and gender confusion. 7pm-3am. Sun, Oct 31.

Nightlife VANILLA The 14th edition of Northbound Leather’s annual fetish party. Reflecting how mainstream kink and kinky fashion has become, this year’s fashion and stage show goes a little lighter with more fun. With DJ Jimi Lamort. $45 adv; $55 door; $120 VIP. 9pm door. 11pm show. Dancing till 6am. Sat, Oct 23. The Sound Academy. 11 Polson St. (416) 972-1037.

Beurre in Toronto, I’m buying. The sandwiches at Chabichou are an art form. The Grilled Cheese with your choice of bread (white, rye, wheat), cheese (brie, swiss, cheddar) and extras (apple, spinach, pear, among others) rivals the Jambon Beurre and Croque Monsieur — good luck deciding. The café-provisioner at Harbord and Borden streets — look for the old-style “Manny’s Coffee Shop” sign — boasts an abundance of othfrom France and beyond. The brainchild of Laurent Brion, owner of Tati Bistro down the road, ple-watching is an added delight. Bike-helmeted academics make an appearance to gossip over bowls of café au lait and, later in the day, suits and locals stock up on prepared Chicken Proven al, imperfectly round French cheese made for the farmer’s table, and Iberico ham direct from Spain. Early to disappear off the shelves buttery croissants and quiches to please the palates of meat-eaters and vegetarians alike. Tati’s kitchen provides the pastry-perfect

quiches and almost everything else up for offer. Pull up a bistro chair, sit by the plate glass window and read Le Monde (or at least a French author). That way you can eavesdrop as the well-versed and friendly staff chat with patrons about the regions each of the impressively varied cheeses hail from and whether they should go for the Serrano ham or Proscuitto Parmi. The charming, talented and très mignon Olivier bakes the mouthwatering desserts on the premises. you wait — it’s one of the best in the city. Try the pear tarte with almond crust — a dessert-lover’s dream. Browsing through the shelves, you are in France: dried lavender, de sel, spice tins, dried morels, raw honey, artisanal jams, Haribo licorice, Cote d’or Chocolate Lait latte, cornichons, chicken mousse, and Rieme Sparkling Limonade (blood orange, pomegranate, natural and lemon; Olivier recommends the peach). Where else can you pick up both crème fraiche and mac and cheese?

196 Borden St. (647) 430-4942.




Salmon, lemon-cranberry salsa, pesto and Israeli couscous Recipe by Thomas Bellec


@Disney Enterprises

combinations. It was created for the fall menu of Studio Café, located in the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. The sweetness of the salmon is complemented by the essence of the cranberries and the crunchy texture of the fall season. Enjoy! Bon appétit.”

MUSCLING IN > Fitness: You

have to work hard to bulk up

Writer Michael Pihach


hen actor Jake Gyllenhaal got the lead in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, fans and critics were left scratching their heads, wondering why Disney would pick Swedish-Jewish Gyllenhaal to play a Persian. But no one complained about Gyllenhaal’s body. The doe-eyed Brokeback Mountain star looked like a new man. So what did Gyllenhaal have to do to develop that washboard-ab, bicep-bulging body? “He acted like an athlete,” says Simon Waterson, Gyllenhaal’s personal trainer. “If you act like an athlete, [training] is very simple.” Waterson, a former Royal Marine who has helped tone other A-list actors — including Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig and Denise Richards ness program for the Prince of Persia star that included lots of sprinting, jumping and climbing to mimic the movie’s highenergy action scenes. For cardio, Waterson made Gyllenhaal wear a 20-pound weighted jacket and run in sand at a horse track to “simulate the armour he would have to

> “AC T LIKE AN AT HLE T E” Celebrity trainer Simon Waterson put Jake Gyllenhaal through a gruelling training regimen to ready the actor for his Prince of Persia role.

“He gained ten pound of muscle,” says Waterson, who estimates it took up to 10 weeks of intense training in pre-production to get Gyllenhaal his warrior body. Waterson would have Gyllenhaal running each morning at 5:30am. The actor would then spend his afternoons at script readings, sword training and stunt rehearsal, before returning in the evening for resistance training. Compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups, such as bench presses with dead lifts, helped Gyllenhaal put on more muscle. The actor ate six times a day — three meals and three snacks packed with protein and carbohydrates. Under this regimen, getting Gyllenhaal the ultimate bod was a 24/7 job for Waterson, who continued to train the actor during pumped-up body is to play the part, says Waterson. “If you eat and sleep like an athlete, you’ll end up looking like one.”


de-boned, skinned 3 cups chicken stock 9 oz Israeli couscous 1 bunch green onion 3.5 oz dried cranberry 4 tbsp plus 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 lemon ½ bunch chives, chopped ½ bunch fresh basil (washed) 1 clove garlic 2 tbsp parmesan cheese 1 tbsp paprika salt & pepper Preparation: 45 minutes/ cooking: 10 minutes In a sauce pan bring the chicken stock and paprika to a boil, add couscous and salt to taste. Cook like pasta “al dente.” Spread on a tray to cool. For salsa: Peel lemon and cut into segments (supreme style; no

membrane). Squeeze juice, set aside. Dice segments, add sunolive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. For pesto: In a food blender mix until smooth basil leaves, parmesan cheese, garlic, 1 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. In a pre-heated non-stick frying skin side up (if it had skin), sauté until crispy and golden brown. Put in an oven at 300 F (7 minutes for cooked through; 5 minutes for pink). Sauté the couscous with green onion, cranberries and remaining olive oil, put in a pasta bowl, add salmon, topped with the lemonpesto. Serves four.

THOMAS BELLEC is executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel (Studio Café and Avenue). 21 Avenue Rd. (416) 928-7330.



> FEAR-MONGERING Critics says the Canadian government is whipping up security fears in order to shut down the refugee system — just when gay and lesbian refugees need Canada most.



We stand on guard against thee

Writer Krishna Rau | Illustration Henrik Drescher


s gay men and lesbians in Africa and the Middle East ingly criminalized and even under penalty of death, advocates say the Canadian system that could help protect them is under threat. Organizations and lawyers say refugees in general face increasing prejudice world-wide, but gay men and lesbians are bearing a disproportionate amount of the abuse. For those refugees who make it to Canada, recent changes brought in by the Conservative government nent safety here. “The government’s ultimate goal is to do away with the refugee protection system,” says El-Farouk Khaki, a Toronto immigration lawyer and prominent advocate for


October 2010

gay and lesbian refugees. “The government wants to shut our borders again.” Khaki says the recent controversy over Tamil refugees who arrived by boat in BC has provided an opportunity for the federal government to ramp up anti-refugee rhetoric under the guise of security. “I think this is a campaign they’ve been waging for a while,” says Khaki. “Now there’s the fearmongering. You can’t talk about the ‘darkies’ taking over. Now it’s all about security.” As even traditionally liberal countries move to the right on immigration issues — witness the recent decision by France to expel Roma discrimination in Eastern Europe — Khaki says post-war immigration

rules are being overwhelmed. “I think there’s a greater global trend towards xenophobia. Increasingly, the refugee is more and more the ‘other.’ European refugee acts were based on post-war refugees from within Europe. They weren’t expecting refugees from Africa and Latin America and Asia.” The news isn’t all bad. Historically Britain has had a terrible record on gay refugees. According to the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, 98 percent of cases involving people claiming refugee status because of their sexual orientation were refused by the Home But a recent Supreme Court ruling requires the government to accept sexuality as grounds for protection.

In the ruling, court member Lord Rodger wrote, in somewhat colourful language, that gay men should not be forced to hide their sexuality. “What is protected is the applicant’s right to live freely and openly as a gay man,” he wrote. “To illustrate the point with trivial stereotypical examples from British society: Just as male heterosexuals are free to enjoy themselves playing rugby, drinking beer and talking about girls with their mates, so male homosexuals are to be free to enjoy themselves going to Kylie concerts, drinking exotically coloured cocktails and talking about boys with their straight female mates.” But Khaki says that while he welcomes such rulings, they don’t take into account the reluctance


of many gay refugees to come out. He says that recent changes to Canada’s regulations are especially tough on those refugees. The new regulations greatly streamline the refugee process, ensuring that cases are heard and decided much more quickly. That, says Khaki, works against many refugees. “There’s not very much time. If you’re a refugee, you need to get

ground. Recently, for example, Iran has reportedly executed a number of gay men. Uganda proposed legislation that would have meant execution for some homosexual acts. A gay couple in Malawi was sentenced to 14 years — although they were pardoned after an international outcry — after an engagement ceremony. The result, say gay and lesbian groups, is that refugees have

legal aid. With a client, I might need two or three appointments with them, and anywhere from two to 10 hours. Under the new system they’re talking about, will they be forced to make their claim at the airport? “What is the quality of the story you’re going to get? Particularly from queer refugees and women — people who can’t be open, women who have been raped. I have clients who tell me about being raped, stuff they haven’t told anybody else. Now they’re expected to go in front of a government employee much more quickly. “If you’re going to have shitty stories, you’re going to have more rejections.” The new rules also allow for the creation of a list of designated countries considered less likely to be threatening to refugees. While that list could include the US or Britain, it could also include countries like Mexico, with a history of violence against gays. Refugees from those countries will be allowed even less time to prepare for hearings. The pretext for these changes, says Khaki, is the backlog of claims that has built up over the last few years. “The government has deliberately understaffed immigration for two years. They created that wait so they could turn around and smash that system down. I think you’re going to see more rejections and I think there’s going to be a disproportionate effect on women and queers.” Criminalization of homosexuality in much of Africa and the Middle East is forcing many gay men and lesbians to live under-

to countries like Canada. South Africa is the only country in Africa that has enshrined protection for sexual orientation in its constitution. Even so, say advocates, they have no doubt that gay and lesbian refugees are being singled out for abuse from both South Africans and fellow refugees. “We have anecdotal evidence that this is a problem that’s overwhelming them,” says Kim Vance, the co-director of ARC International, an international gay human rights group. “There are really no groups in South Africa dealing with LGBT refugees. “And while South Africa has created a legal framework that is quite tolerant towards refugees, it’s kind of across the board that tering down. We need to map policies against what’s really happening on the ground.” Vance says she also worries about how South Africa might use the anti-gay laws of other countries to mitigate its refugee numbers. “I don’t doubt it’s a possibility. It’s pretty standard in most immigration law that someone who has a criminal record should be denied entry. I can imagine that a country like South Africa, who’s dealing with the immigration issues they are, could put a criminal stamp on somebody and send them back.” That means refugees may seek shelter in countries like Canada that don’t recognize anti-gay laws. But with a hardening attitude towards refugees in Canada the result might be the same.


Ricki Horowitz




Stephen Lewis Foundation upends our notions of development and charity Writer Gordon Bowness


he Stephen Lewis Foundation is a Canadianbased aid agency turning charity on its head. In supporting

the AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, SLF reverses the traditional charity dynamic that sees Western experts helping hapless Africans. Instead, the foundation takes its cue from people doing amazing work on the frontlines: The Africans are the experts. They need money and access to resources, certainly; they don’t need our help. terms of Canadians funding the foundation, is equally untraditional. Don’t give money because you feel sad and guilty, because you feel you have too much. Give because you want more. Africans aren’t the ben-


October 2010

“There is an extraordinary amount of suffering and death and struggle,” says Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, executive director of SLF. “That’s the reality of AIDS in Africa. But people in the communities, in grassroots projects, are doing an extraordinary amount with very little. “The communities are coming up with sophisticated, innovative strategies, amazing ways of counselling one another, supporting one another, trying to build a future for the kids.” One example can stand for the more than 300 projects funded by the foundation: GAPA (Grannies against Poverty and AIDS) in Cape Town, South Africa began in 2001, one of many self-help groups that sprang up. African grandmothers care for millions of children orphaned by AIDS. They bury their adult children and then take care

of as many as 10 to 15 grandchildren. Many grandmothers are HIVpositive themselves. “In these groups of grandmothers,” says Landsberg-Lewis, “one of them will tell her story and she’ll start crying. All of the other grandmothers start to sing. And they sing and they sing and they sing. They sing until she can join in.” Out of this kind of informal counselling an incredible regional support network has developed. GAPA is setting up schools for the kids so that the grandmothers have time and energy to support them; it’s establishing workshops on growing food, generating income, parenting, sex and sexuality and human rights. “Because the grandmothers are no longer worried about getting the kids in school, no longer worried about where the next meal will come from — it’s not perfect,

there is still not enough support — they’ve become activists. Now they talk about how they have to reach all the grandmothers in southern Africa…. Now they talk about elder abuse and violence against women, they talk about access to pensions and access to rights and all of this stuff. A huge transformation.” A labour and human rights lawyer who spent eight years working at the United Nations Development Fund for Women, Landsberg-Lewis has two kids and is married to singer Lorraine Segato. LandsbergLewis is the daughter of author and activist Michele Landsberg and former UN special envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis. She and her father started SLF in 2003. SLF is built on a streamlined communication and assessment syssentatives, mainly African women


> A BI T T ERSWEE T SENSE OF HOPE “This is the story of the triumph of the human spirit over the most extraordinary obstacles,” says Ilana Landsberg-Lewis (far left), executive director of SLF. > IN T HE NAME OF T HE FAT HER Stephen Lewis (left) and his daughter set up SLF in 2003. There are an estimated 20 million AIDS orphans in Africa.

“THIS IS THE STORY OF THE TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT OVER THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY OBSTACLES.” with strong experience in community organizing, visit every project. There are follow-up visits if the project is funded. Canadian-based lar contact. The growth of effective grandmother networks in Africa speaks to the foundation’s openLandsberg-Lewis remembers how in 2005, her father would return from Africa talking about these informal groups of older women. At the time Landsberg-Lewis was getting proposals from SLF projects for programs on parenting and care giving. A light went on. She called up the projects to ask if they were talking about grandmothers. “And they all said, every one of them, ‘Of course it’s grandmothers,’ like we were crazy and ridiculous. For them it was just such a given. “But the projects themselves hadn’t thought of grandmothers as people for whom they could raise funds. They didn’t think anyone would be interested. “That’s what I mean about learning, paying very close attention and letting projects and the people in them tell you what’s happening.” Landsberg-Lewis wants to avoid


ark asri

many large, more traditional aid and development agencies, with their focus on measuring results. She stresses the need to follow the money: The foundation must know if monies are being used effectively; they must maintain the trust of “… Canadian donors (50 percent of the foundation’s budget comes from transcends traditional individual donors and fundraisers; boundaries of popular music…” see story page 18). But LandsbergLewis demands a more sophisti- Jim Brickman cated notion of results. “In the context of HIV and AIDS, a result can be that when a young Mark Masri is quickly gaining a woman dies, her children know reputation for soulful music with what’s going to happen, that they know before she dies it’s okay to timeless appeal. hug her and kiss her, that they know how the virus is contracted so that they are not afraid to touch her, that there’s a counsellor at the ready and a grandmother waiting to step in…. How do you measure that?” hen you think of Africa, do you think of tri905.874.2800 | umph? Of joy and victory? There’s a holocaust happening. It’s not going away any timeToronto Mag 4.1563x5.1563.indd 1 soon. But the folks at SLF zero in on glimmers of hope and tiny suc-

rich and powerful voice



TICKETS: $35-56

experience it live!

to ever greater success. “What we’re really saying to Canadians is don’t give because it’s such a sad story, don’t give because we’ve managed to pull on your heart strings, or you feel bad,” says Landsberg-Lewis. “Actually join us in this. The reason to give is because there is such extraordinary work going on. There’s so much courage. And there’s so much hope in spite of ing because this is the story of the triumph of the human spirit over the most extraordinary obstacles. “It’s a real privilege to support them. [People working in these projects] often say thank you to us. And always I say, no, in fact we feel deeply honoured and privileged to be able to support this kind of work.”

23/09/10 11:25 AM





571 Adelaide St. E, Toronto

416 601 1454


BROTHER IN ARMS > TV’s sexy taboo-buster, Luke Macfarlane

ABC Studios

Writer Gordon Bowness

ART & DESIGN > LUKE , JOIN T HE DARK SIDE Luke Macfarlane is keen to take Scotty Wandel, his “perfect gay” character on Brothers and Sisters, into darker territory this season.



uke Macfarlane is the sexiest gay on TV — an out actor playing a well-rounded gay character on network television. The 30-year-old Canadian plays Scotty Wandel on the ABC serial drama Brothers and Sisters

a character who has smashed taboos south of the border. The commitment ceremony between him and his partner Kevin Walker (played by Matthew Rhys) was the tinuing characters on a US network (broadcast the same year as California’s notorious Prop 8 banning same-sex marriage). Last season, Kevin and Scotty began planning for a child through surrogacy. And the two men’s relationship is portrayed as physically passionate; no missing nor chaste kisses on this show. Macfarlane is humble in the face of such controversial fare. “I think the writers are doing something controversial. I’m just saying the words on the page,” he says. “I do feel a part of it, though; it’s wonderful. “I’m quite proud of the fact that we told the story of how two people meet, how they fall in love, how they break up, how they fall in love again and how, ultimately, they build a life together, including kids, and integrate it into a wild family.” Last season ended with a bang, a bloody car crash that will impact greatly the sprawling Walker family headed by matriarch Nora (Sally Field). Leads Rob Lowe and Emily VanCamp are gone and this season

picks up one year later. “It’s been a year of tragedy for the family,” says Macfarlane. “A lot has happened since the car accident. In a strange sort of way it sets a tone that’s different for the show, it’s a little bit darker.” MacFarlane is looking forward to taking his character into new territory. Given the Walker family’s penchant for drama, in many ways, Scotty and Kevin’s relationship is the most normal on the series. “Scotty is kind of the perfect guy, and Kevin and Scotty have almost the perfect relationship. But we’re actually in the middle of taping an episode that calls all that into question, which I’m pretty thrilled about. I’ve always thought that Scotty lets Kevin get away with way too much shit.” Macfarlane was born and raised in London, Ontario. After high school, the LB Pearson School of the Arts, he bypassed Toronto and headed straight to New York to attend Juilliard to study drama. He graduated in 2003. LA soon beckoned. “So I’ve never did the whole Canadian thing.” He did nab a leading role in the 2008 CBC miniseries Iron Road. “I had a great experience. I had always wanted to go to China. And we had an excellent cast, who I’ll never get to work with again: Peter O’Toole, Tony Leung and Sam Neill. “I remember from my childhood these epic CBC miniseries… so it felt like I am a part of it, now.” Notwithstanding Canadian progress on gay rights, Macfarlane is continually struck by how different

the US and Canada are. “They do really feel like two different places,” he says. “The stereotype is true — Canadians are nicer.” Is he worried about American reaction to that observation? “Oddly, I think Americans sort of pride themselves on not being C nice,” he says, laughing. “I don’t M think they’re going, ‘Ah, gee. I wish Y we were nicer.’” Kevin, are you listening? CM Macfarlane came out to the MY media in 2008. “It’s odd being put CY in the situation where you feel you have to talk about it, that it’s the CMY right thing to do to talk about it. K I certainly never regret it, but I guess I was a little bit naïve to think that once you come out, you are done. I think it’s something that’s been said before, but coming out is almost a lifelong process. It’s been very strange for me. “Not that I don’t want to talk about my sexuality, I guess I’ve just run out of things to say.” Despite his leading man good looks, Macfarlane may have narrowed his career options by coming out. He remains hopeful, however. “The only thing I can say is that I don’t know…. Society tends towards inclusion — in my lifetime it certainly has. So I’ll be part of that movement towards [gay actors] being leading men, because that’s the direction everyone wants to go.”

BROTHERS AND SISTERS airs Sundays at 10pm on Global.

got a





Design Clinics sat & sun 12-4pm

416.214.1377 173 King Street East Toronto, ON M5A 1J4





Featuring the designs of Adrian Wu, Avioanni, Brian Bailey, Damzels In This Dress, David Dixon, Evan Biddell, Comrags, Farley Chatto, Franke, Hoax Couture, Ines Di Santo, Izzy Camilleri, Jason Meyers, Kimina, Lida Baday, Linda Lundstrom, Lovas, Lucian Matis, Northbound Leather, Pat McDonagh, Reva Mivasgar, Nada, Peach Berserk, Ula Zukowska, Wayne Clark, Zoran Dobric,as well as musicians, dancers and an awesome after party. In Support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation For Tickets, VIP packages or more information please go to or call 416-504-7132 Using the Power of Fashion for Good



old narrator of Emma Donoghue’s new novel, Room. Jack lives with his Ma, who was abducted at age 19 and imprisoned in an 11-foot-square shed. Jack was born in there and has never left. Every night, he sleeps in a wardrobe. It sounds like the plot of a horror story. But in Donoghue’s deft hands, this is a story about love. She takes a universal subject — the bond between a mother and her child — and looks at it from a very unusual angle. It’s quite a departure from ally authors, but it’s received critical raves — and a spot on the shortlist of the prestigious MAN Booker Prize, announced later this month. The book was partly inspired by the 2008 case of Elizabeth Fritzl, the Austrian woman who was held captive by her father for 24 years. Donoghue brings details from that case to Jack and Ma’s story. For example, Elizabeth and her children were kept in a sealed basement with a TV and video; Jack


review: Emma Donoghue’s Room Writer Alice Lawlor Photography Glenn Mackay

and Ma live in a custom-built shed with only a TV for company. Another source of inspiration for the book was Donoghue’s own experience as a mother. She and her same-sex partner Chris live in London, Ontario with their two children, Finn and Una, now aged six and three. “In my experience, the bond between mother and newborn creates a tiny, cozy world that gradually relaxes its magic to let the rest of the world in,” writes Donoghue in her essay “Writing Room: Why and How.” “But moth-

erhood — even under ideal circumstances — has elements of nightwell as realism. It’s a trip like no other, and it can occasionally feel (let’s admit it, shall we, mothers of the world?) like a locked room.” It’s the kind of book that makes you wonder what would it feel like in that locked room? The subject matter is dark, but Jack’s narration — full of honest and funny observations — lightens it up. The result is a novel that’s challenging to read, for all the right reasons.

EMMA DONOGHUE discusses her work at the International Festival of Authors. 8pm. Fri, Oct 22. Then does a reading. 3pm. Oct 23. $18. Harbourfront Studio Theatre. 235 Queen’s Quay W. ROOM. Emma Donoghue. Harper Collins. $30.

ART & DESIGN > “ WHERE ’ S T HE FIRE EXI T?” After 30 years in the US, Canadian expat David Rakoff still doesn’t feel

up with this [book]. He said you should write about your incapacity to feel joy. Which is not really true, I do have a capacity for pleasure, but it’s not unmediated by a



David Rakoff’s pessimism strikes a chord in the US Writer Alice Lawlor | Photography Paul Roossin


avid Rakoff is very good at making melancholy funny. In fact, his capacity to look on the less-than-bright side has led to a successful career as a writer, broadcaster and occasional actor. “Regardless of what I’m writing about, there’s always a period during the reporting of the piece where I acknowledge a certain kind of poignancy or despair,” says the Montreal-born, Torontoraised New Yorker. “So a book that explored and defended negative emotion — a kind of clear-eyed assessment and celebration of despair — was inevitable.” His new collection of essays, aptly titled Half Empty, is exactly that.


October 2010

Sound a tad depressing? Not so. The book is infused with Rakoff’s signature wry wit. To illustrate his “unique incapacity for identifying trends,” for example, Rakoff recalls a night at Danceteria, a nightclub in 1980s Manhattan. The entertainment — “a whiny, nasal girl in torn lace and rubber-gasket bracelets” — is the cherry on top of a downright crappy evening. “‘Well, she’s lousy,’ I thought to myself, happily envisioning my departure from this throbbing club… and this girl’s return to the obscurity whence she sprung. The world, however, had different plans for Madonna.” As well as his own shortcom-

exit?’ and ‘Is there enough oxygen in the room?” Such unabashed pessimism isn’t very American. Could Rakoff’s Canadian heritage be responsible for such a bleak worldview? The son of a GP and a psychiatrist, Rakoff grew up at Bathurst and St Clair before leaving Toronto for New York at age 17. “If you’re not in a place, the United States in my case, during those formative years when you’re a child, certain myths and ways of phrasing things don’t ings, Rakoff takes aim at Broadway megahit Rent. “Here is what the characters do in Rent to show us that they are creative: nothing,” he writes. “Just as being gay does not make one witty (you can suck a mile of cock, as my friend Sarah Thyre puts it, it still won’t make you Oscar Wilde, believe me), the only thing that makes one an artist is making art.” It’s an amusing (and refreshing) take on an unchallenged behemoth of gay culture. But there’s a serious point behind the snark. “The contempt [these characters] seem to have for anybody that [works] seemed symptomatic of something larger,” says Rakoff. He also writes about Jews who eat pork (himself included), a visit to the Exotic Erotic Ball and various tales of his own journalistic exploits. These days, Rakoff’s working routine is more procrastinatesnack-write-repeat than 9-to-5, but he has paid his dues in the workaday world. He was an underpaid and underappreciated “wage slave” at a book publisher for many years. A coworker from those days, Bill Thomas, is now Rakoff’s editor and chief sounding board. “Ideas are really problematic for me, I never come up with them,” says Rakoff. “But Bill came

After living in the US for nearly 30 years, Rakoff still doesn’t feel American — although he does describe himself as a New Yorker. “I wasn’t there when they were putting the seeds of ‘It’s your right to carry a gun’ into my wet clay,” he says. “And certain framings of a kind of masculinity that can be very American — that sort of stuff I’m immune to. I wasn’t there. That does give one a perspective, and that’s very helpful.” After three books, two Lambda Literary Awards and a regular spot on NPR’s popular This American Life, it’s a perspective that’s clearly serving him well. He even came within spitting distance of an Oscar this year, when a movie that he wrote and starred in won Best Live Action Short. He’s typically sardonic about the experience. “Well, I wasn’t there of course,” he says, with a shrug. “But I guess it was better than a sharp stick in the eye.” Glass half empty? Rakoff’s glass is dry as a bone. DAVID RAKOFF reads in Toronto at the International Festival of Authors, $18. 8pm. Wed, Oct 27. Lakeside Terrace. 235 Queen’s Quay W. HALF EMPTY. David Rakoff. Doubleday Canada. $30.



ixteen years ago, something truly remarkable was happening in movie theatres across North America: An ual and transgender drag queens was pulling in huge mainstream audiences to laugh, cry and rediscover Abba with The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. In 2006 the girls made their stage debut in Sidney, Australia. From there they minced their way over to Melbourne and New tinent to London and Germany, and are now set to descend on Toronto for a highly-anticipated North American debut. Next stop: Broadway in February of 2011. Director Simon Phillips has been on board Priscilla’s fabulous stage bus from the start, overseeing early workshops and helping to cast the iconic roles. “You certainly don’t replicate

Phillips, “but, like Hamlet, if the characters are that richly drawn then they do yield to other people’s interpretations of them.”

AYERS > Stage: Writer

Priscilla rolls into town Photography Tristram Kenton

Australian actor Tony Sheldon has been the one constant performer in the piece as Bernadette (played by

and a pair of shorts but I still knew that he was absolutely the man for the job,” Phillips says. “I’ve kept him in the show through thick and thin when others may perhaps have cast bigger names. He’s like a good luck charm.” At the heart of the trio’s story is Tick Belrose (drag name Mitzi Del Bra). Tick has instigated the girls’ cross-country tour to meet his eightyear-old son from a previous relationship. Hugo Weaving’s portrayal was a cinematic tour-de-force, leavstage actor Will Swenson.

“Tick really is the hardest character to re-create,” says Phillips. “It’s easy for him to get lost in the

big numbers and the big laughs of Adam and Bernadette, so I gave him lots of ballads — ballads are the close-ups of the stage world.” Swenson is relishing the role, though he had to do some pretty intensive research with friends in the gay and drag communities while learning how to play both convincingly. “I shaved my chest this morning “That was very educational. I’ve been taking lessons on how to be pretty.” Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the Musical also features Nick Adams as Adam/Felicia and Toronto’s own Thom Allison. There are 15 big production numbers featuring both lip-sync and live perforrelieved to hear that their favourite songs from the movie will be brought to life on stage.

PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT THE MUSICAL opens Tue, Oct 26 (previewing Oct 12). Princess of Wales Theatre. 300 King St W. $20-$130. (416)

ART & DESIGN > “MY DEAR COUN T RY ” With Aida, soprano Sondra debut — her reason why is shocking.


Swooning over Toronto’s Sondra Radvanovsky Writer Gordon Bowness | Photography Pavel Antonov


pilling superlatives as they swoon, audiences and critics agree, soprano Sondra Radvanovsky has got it all: power, control, range, expressivity and a silky, sensual tone. She is one of the most exciting singers working an opera stage today. Even though she has lived in the Toronto area for 10 years, Radvanovsky is only now making her Canadian Opera Company debut. Her reason why is shocking. “Richard Bradshaw was not a big fan of mine,” she says, referring to the COC’s former general director, who died in 2007. “As long as he was running the opera company, I was not going to be singing here. It’s really unfortunate. I don’t think he was a big proponent or supporter of Canadian singers.” It took a new regime to welcome Radvanovsky to the fold. Alexander Neef took over the COC in 2008. Radvanovsky feels Neef is bringing in more Canadian singers, as well as stronger international


October 2010

singers. “I really think Alexander Neef has a mission to make this a Canadian opera company… but still an international opera company. And I applaud him for that. He is getting international talent in here, and I think the Canadian audience really deserves that. They are fabulous audiences here; the performances are always sold out. And they are very astute. They know the difference between good singing and bad singing.” Radvanovsky debuts the role of Aida this month in a new production directed by Tim Albery (COC’s War and Peace and Luminato’s Prima Donna). Canadian soprano Michele Capalbo sings Aida in the second half of the run. Telling the story of a war-torn love affair between a captured Ethiopian princess sold into slavery and an Egyptian general (Rosario La Spina), Verdi’s 1871 opera has seen some spectacular productions. But don’t look for elephants on the Four Seasons stage anytime

“I THINK CANADIANS ARE REALLY THE BEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, THE NICEST, THE FRIENDLIEST… AND GREAT SINGERS.” soon. Radvanovsky is cagey about what to expect. “It’s not your standard Aida. There are no Egyptian costumes, I am not black-faced. “I will say that it’s updated. We are not in Ethiopia, anymore.” She describes a western-oriented monarchy somewhere in the Middle East of the 1960s. “The women are very Jackie O, with beautiful costumes, very elegantly dressed with beehive-kind of hairdos and sunglasses. The guys are wearing shiny silk suits with the slim pants, very dashing. And I’m just the slave woman in my little washerwoman shirt dress.” The production is designed by Hildegard Bechtler and Jon Morrell (who designed the spectacular War and Peace). Radvanovsky is the leading Verdian soprano right now. She won raves in the Met’s Il Trovatore opposite Dmitri Hvorostovsky (broadcast live next spring). She also released a CD of Verdi arias earlier this year (on Delos). At 41 she’s entering her prime and has begun taking on more demanding roles. “This Verdi [Aida] is a little different from the other Verdi that I’ve sung in the past,” she says. “This is what I call grown-up Verdi, big girl Verdi. It requires a little more sound, a little more heft in the voice.

“You want to hear the soprano soar over the chorus and the orchestra because it’s thrilling, it’s exciting. That’s what Verdi wanted. I’ve read it in his notes. He wanted the soprano’s voice to just — boom — hit you in the face.” Vocal pyrotechnics and spectacle aside, at its heart Aida is an intimate really is a torn woman and very human. Oftentimes she’s not played that way. I think any person can relate to her, any one who has had to leave their country…. Your heart is always where you came from. “Aida is a woman caught between two worlds. She actually lives in limbo, and dies in limbo.” Such divided loyalties don’t plague Radvanovsky. Raised in small-town Indiana, Radvanovsky lives in the Toronto area with her Canadian husband and business manager. She’s keen to plant like the COC, and performing in my country. I call it my country though I was not born here. I consider myself Canadian.”

AIDA runs Sat, Oct 2 to Nov 5 at the Four Seasons Centre (145 Queen St W). Tix cost $70 to $318. (416) 363-8231.



review: Ella Fitzgerald in her prime Writer Michael Thorner Photography Herman Leonard


some of her best work in a live setlla Fitzgerald was arguably ting. Granz knew this, and took the approaching her vocal zenith necessary steps to record as much of in 1961 and 1962. Under the her live shows as possible. direction of Norman Granz, who With 73 previously unreleased ran Verve Records, Fitzgerald was in the midst of recording the great tracks, the four-CD collection, American songbook. Her collections Ella Fitzgerald: Twelve Nights in of songs by Harold Arlen, Irving Hollywood, is an incredible docuBerlin, Rodgers and Hart, Duke ment, culled from a 12-night stand Ellington (and Billy Strayhorn), Cole at The Crescendo Club, an intimate Porter, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Sunset Strip nightclub where jazz Gershwin, and Johnny Mercer are musicians loved to play. Selections acknowledged to be some of the greatest recorded jazz works of the 1961 were released at the time on P1397 In Toronto:RL 4/23/10 PM Page 20th RLcentury. But Fitzgerald did 12:56 an album called1Ella in Hollywood


(with fake “concert hall” applause added), but as it followed the immense live album hit Ella in Berlin, critics weren’t as thrilled, although it sold well enough. This new collection provides better context. It showcases just how marvellous Fitzgerald was live: how she interacted and fed off her audience, what a great sense of humour she had, and just how good an improviser she was. And the lady could swing. Hard. Few could approach her natural ability to scat; others who try seem insin-

cere or too mannered. Not Ella. At the time she was playing with a sensational band that had been with her for almost a year: longtime accompanist Lou Levy on piano, Herb Ellis on guitar, Wilfred Middlebrooks on bass and Gus Johnson on drums. They were like a well-oiled machine. On the last two nights captured, in June 1962, Ella is backed by a trio: Paul Smith on piano, Middlebrooks again on the bass and Stan Levey on drums. Fitzgerald sings almost her entire repertoire at the time, with several live versions of her hits over the years. What’s incredible though is that there are no repeated songs from her tenure at the Crescendo. Each night showcases a different set. You can even purchase the newly re-issued Ella in Hollywood single disc as well — none of the takes used in the box set are repeated on the single CD. A must-have for any jazz fan. ELLA FITZGERALD. Twelve Nights in Hollywood. Verve Hip-O-Select. About $100.

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just turned 40 and was told to watch my prostate because it could get big. Does abstaining from sex affect this? And should I avoid certain foods and spices?”

The prostate is a gland in the male urinary tract that lies between the bladder and the urethra, the tube where urine exits the penis. The prostate is respon-

ejaculation. Because of its position in front of the bladder and around the urethra, the prostate can slow swells or gets larger. The main cause of an enlarged prostate is simple: aging. As we get older, our prostate gradually swells. The medical word for this is hypertrophy. Because it is a natural process, we call it benign; hence its name, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH for short). With BPH, some men can experience the prostate can eventually block the bladder completely, requiring emergency intervention. Most men, however, have few or no symptoms. A urinary tract infection can also cause enlargement of the prostate. Such cases often happen quickly, are very painful and can be treated with antibiotics. A third and less frequent cause of a big prostate is cancer, which can grow inside the gland. There is some medical literature that seems to support a link between younger men who ejaculate frequently (for example, a decreased risk of prostate cancer by up to a third. I must caution that other studies to date show only weak evidence of such a link, and in fact several have found no correlation. But if it’s true, it would be great news. There are those who assert that not “exercising” your prostate through ejaculation may make the

gland more prone to infection, but this is largely unproven. But speaking of infections, remember that increased sexual activity increases your risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so it is always important to protect yourself with condoms and safer-sex practices, especially since gonorrhea and syphilis may actually increase your risk for prostate cancer. The jury is still out on that, however. Whether or not foods and spices affect the prostate is not an easy spices, like turmeric and curry, have been suggested as treatments for both BPH and prostate cancer. Other spices have anti-oxidant properties — basil, oregano, rosemary and cumin, to name a few — although there is continued debate over the exact role anti-oxidants might play in the prevention of cancer. There are, however, no good medical studies supporting the use of nutritional supplements or spices in the prevention or treatment of prostate conditions. On the other hand, spicy foods have been blamed for causing irritation to the prostate and the urinary tract. I don’t know of any spemedical sense that the compounds in spices that irritate your digestive tract could bother your urinary If you are having recurrent prostate problems, you might consider monitoring your diet to identify offending agents, then eliminating them accordingly. It’s worth a try.

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


by Jamie Alexander



fall and darkening evenings upon us, lighting becomes a necessity. Lamps, pendants and chandeliers … where to start? Camera, measuring tape and designer man-bag in hand,




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