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G a y & L e s b i a n C i t y L i v i n g | SE P TE M BE R 2 0 1 1

ENTERTAINMENT

TIFF: LOUIS NEGin, GUY MADDIN’S UNLIKELY MUSE BJÖRK IS ON THE PHONE HAULED TO THE RED CARPET

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IST ET L ps K C BU ESS ti FITN

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Art here is not only to be found in museums

www.spain.info

Madrid I need Spain ! The country’s motto is a passionate message to welcome tourists from around the world to visit and Madrid takes centre stage celebrating diversity and pride. (Madrid Pride June 24 - July 2). Madrid is a bustling city with charming historical districts, amazing shopping choices, scrumptious tapas and a vivacious gay scene in the heart of the Chueca district. The gay village has two main avenues, Calle Fuencarral and Calle Hortaleza offering a vibrant nightlife with many restaurants, bars and clubs. Landmarks such as the Royal Palace of Madrid and Teatro Real (Royal Theatre) including the Golden Triangle of Art is a must visit.

- Armando Mendonça GLBT Travel Expert, VoX International Inc.


intorontomag.com PUBLISHER Patricia Salib EDITOR Gordon Bowness CREATIVE MARKETING DIRECTOR Nelson Tomé DESIGNER Nicolás Tallarico PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Jara Solis OUR MISSION Inspire gay men and lesbians to live life to the fullest. Expand the gay and lesbian community by valuing diversity and individual choice. Celebrate Toronto. Provide readers with compelling news, information and entertainment. ADVERTISING & OTHER INQUIRIES (416) 551-0444 info@intorontomag.com EDITORIAL INQUIRIES (416) 551-0449 editorial@intorontomag.com PRODUCTION ads@intorontomag.com 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 Patricia Salib DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Reggie Lanuza DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING & MARKETING Nelson Tomé PROJECT COORDINATOR Jara Solis THIS ISSUE CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Paul Gallant, Krishna Rau CONTRIBUTORS Paul Aguirre-Livingston, Nicola Betts, Mary Dickie, Dino Dilio, Derek Dotto, Jeremy Foreshew, Anna von Frances, Marty Galin, David Hawe, Peter Knegt, Sholem Krishtalka, Serafin LaRiviere, Keith Loukes, R Jeanette Martin, Michael Pihach, Adam Segal, Michael Thorner, Chris Tyrell ON the cover Photograph by Mike Ruiz


Contents

issue 16

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

22

11

11

36

42

Love, hope, optimism Our tribute to Jack Layton by Gordon Bowness & Michael Pihach

36

Witty wonders How General Idea conquered the world by Sholem Krishtalka

42

Yes, she has limits Dishing with Kathy Griffin by Serafin LaRiviere

CELEBRATING DIVERSITY

8 Randy Filby scales the heights

Discover Canada by train. Great deals all year round at

9 Provincial election issues 10 How Tweet It Is by Michael Thorner 12 History-soaked luxury by Michael Pihach

viarail.ca

16 The Art Stylists by Paul Aguirre-Livington 19

Jean machine by Derek Dotto

20 David Dunkley’s style with Chris Tyrell 21 Bucket lists come to fitness by Jeremy Foreshew 22

Fall getaways to Algonquin by Gordon Bowness

25 Savouring Bagel World with Marty Galin 26 The well-stocked medicine chest with Dino Dilio 27 Age-gap relationships with Adam Segal 28

Former hostage James Loney by Paul Gallant

34 Studio Brillantine by Derek Dotto 40 Negin & Maddin at TIFF by Peter Knegt 44 Queen Street West’s moment by Mary Dickie 49 Barebacking with Dr Keith 50

Caught in the act by Michael Pihach

TM

Trademark owned by VIA Rail Canada Inc.


toronto talk exchange

VIEW FINDER → TOP OF THE WORLD “You hear people professing about being cancer survivors, but you rarely hear people pronouncing that they’re HIV survivors,” says 54-year-old Randy Filby, who’s been HIV-positive for at least 24 years. On Aug 14, Filby, who operates the Garage Sandwich Company in Church Street’s Pusateri Fruit Market, tackled the CN Tower’s EdgeWalk as part of his own contribution to the AIDS Walk for Life, the annual fundraiser for the AIDS Committee of Toronto coming up on Sun, Sep 25 (aidswalkforlife.ca). Conquering his fear of heights while making a bold statement against HIV stigma, Filby walked around the top of the CN Tower’s pod 1,168 feet above the ground while strapped to a harness. To date, Filby’s campaign, titled “Conquer Fear, Conquer HIV,” has raised more than $6,000.

In their own words Colin Phillips

→ “Is

it ‘gravy’ to house the city’s most vulnerable citizens? I think not.” On July 28, gay activist Colin Phillips was one of 169 people to speak at the 22-hour executive committee meeting at Toronto City Hall. Phillips was there to dispute possible cuts to the city’s Affordable Housing Office. Speakers were originally promised five minutes, and Phillips, who was born with cerebral palsy and relies on a computer voicing system to speak publicly, timed his speech accordingly. Everything was set until Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, at the last minute, successfully passed a motion limiting speeches to three minutes. Unable to edit his pre-recoded

8

September 2011

speech, Phillips was cut off after three minutes. “It would have taken hours to shorten it,” said Phillips, who wanted to end his deputation by giving an example of affordable housing that has benefited from city funding, such as the Christian Resource Centre in Ward 28. “They are now building 87 units of subsidized and supportive housing,” stated Phillips in an unheard portion of his speech. Phillips has posted his entire speech on his Facebook page.


toronto talk exchange Sound off Queen’s Park

Letters

BUILT FORD TOUGH → As an American, I am shocked that this would happen in Toronto (Under Attack, In Toronto, Aug 2011). Just because your country has gay marriage does not mean you all should be less vigilant. ’Cause if you are not vigilant, fools like this mayor will take office. Nyah Levone Molineaux, Washington, DC

3.

The Ontario provincial election is Thu, Oct 6. What issues should LGBT people keep in mind before casting their ballet? We asked three activists to discuss.

Before the “silent” ban on Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) in Ontario Catholic schools was exposed earlier this year, leaders from our own community assured us Catholic schools did, in fact, allow GSAs. Since learning this wasn’t true, the government has responded to calls for equality in publicly-funded schools with empty gestures. When we go to vote this year, we shouldn’t forget that Leanne Iskander and the LGBT students of St Joseph Secondary School in Mississauga are still not allowed to have a GSA at their publicly funded school.

We haven’t been successful in getting the Liberal government to amend the Ontario Human Rights Code to include “gender identity” as a recognized prohibited grounds against discrimination. Including gender identity would protect trans people, especially in housing, employment and in using facilities, like going to a restaurant or gym. It must be clearly articulated so that young trans people, or people wondering about their identity, know they’re protected. It also tells employers, landlords and the rest of society that it’s wrong to discriminate.

Justin Stayshyn, activist & blogger

Susan Gapka, chair, Trans Rights Lobby Group

The criminalization of nondisclosure of HIV has a disproportionate effect on gay men living with HIV and the queer community, not only in terms of being frightened of being turned into the police, but also the general stigma that arises from that. It’s been almost a year since Ontario’s attorney general Chris Bentley promised to instruct his ministry to develop guidelines for criminal prosecutors in cases involving allegations of non-disclosure. Now we’re at an election, and we still haven’t heard anything, which is scary. We may have to start educating a different attorney general and start from square one.

Tim McCaskell, AIDS Action Now

→ Undoubtedly, the new Ford era is meaner, less politically correct and less tolerant. But there’s danger is reacting to Ford’s oppositional tactics with inflammatory rhetoric that fuels ideological fervour. The shake up at City Hall can have some positive consequences for artists if they reevaluate their modes and messages and work to develop a larger basis of potential support from arms-length philanthropic donors, as in the US. Some art is truly world class, but much Toronto art is easily forgettable, safe, predictable, badly executed, lacks humour or irony and just doesn’t engage enough people. Too few artists and arts administrators are brave enough to bite into the nuts-and-bolts issues of life, like aging, as an example. Hard times can do the arts community good if it will serve to instill a sense of reevaluation and begin to open up discussions about the current narrow-casting of gay issues. Essentially, though, most artists don’t believe they can ante up and deliver an increased interest from the public in what they do. Rick Vassallo, Toronto Continued on page 10

intorontomag.com

9


toronto talk exchange How Tweet It Is The future of digital albums?

letters Continued from page 9

by Michael Thorner

SUN OF a GUN recently been diagnosed with early stage skin cancer, I’m all for sunscreen everyday from a young age (The Grooming Game, In Toronto, Aug 2011). I have to take issue, however, with spray sunscreens. The Environmental Working Group’s website (ewg.org) ranks hundreds of sunscreens. The site notes that many spray sunscreens contain oxybenzone and details the possible health risks. Inhaling this and other chemicals can’t be good for you. Also watch out for sunscreens containing vitamin A as this has shown a risk of increasing tumours in lab animals. There are a number of high quality sunscreens that have some advanced sunscreen ingredients that aren’t available in the US due to waffling by the FDA. These include products by RoC, Ombrelle and L’Oreal. I won’t be buying the cheapest thing on the shelf anymore, and neither should anyone else, especially if they have kids. Joren Carlson, Toronto

FASHION SMOOTH RUNWAY MOVES BY THE FASHION COLLECTIVE

GAY & LESBIAN CIT Y LIVING

|

TRAVEL GLORIOUS BUDAPEST, PEARL OF THE DANUBE

to consistently upgrade my iPhone hardware and iOS. But

I’ve worked in interactive media in a variety of capacities for more than a decade and a half, so I’ve always craved — and because of my tech addiction I would always purchase and upgrade — the newest versions of hardware and software. During that same period, I grew more aware and progressive in my views. I became more determined to do my part in reducing landfill. Hence the ethical decision I made a couple of years back to only upgrade my 3G

LGBT CANCER RISK ROB FORD’S ANTI-GAY AGENDA?

WE CAN FIGHT

CITY HALL

01.INTO.AUG.Cover.indd 1

September 2011

7/25/2011 10:36:21 AM

3.

phone when it dies, or when a real

apps by Björk? (You can find sev-

professional need arises requiring

eral YouTubers posting video clips

the new iteration. I’ve learned to go

of their attempts to get the apps to

zen whenever a friend or colleague

work on earlier 3G phones, to no

showboat their fancy video-capable

avail.) Thankfully, I have access to

iPhone 4s, believing I’m doing my

my network, so I could experience

like game, with an immersive maze

part in reducing waste. So far I’ve

these apps firsthand.

environment. The player can collect

remained calm and collected. I am

→ CRYS TALLINE Björk’s new album Biophilia is accompanied by apps for games, immersive environments, animation, karaoke versions and more… and David Attenborough.

I’ve been listening to Björk since

crystals while travelling through

she was a Sugarcube and her first

celestial tunnels. Each song app will

band’s breakout single, “Birthday,”

employ a sub-menu, including the

in 1987. No one else sounds like her.

song, an accompanying game, ani-

“I almost went batshit insane recently when I realized that my favourite contemporary composer, Björk, was ingeniously releasing really snazzy apps.”

No one.

mations, essay, a karaoke varia-

a cool cucumber. Then I almost went batshit insane

Björk works with some wonderful

tion of the musical score and cred-

interactive visualists on this proj-

its. Future apps are said to include

ect, which is no surprise; she has

an exploration of the relationship

always collaborated with extraor-

between biological virus and host,

dinary talents. Who can forget

an opportunity to compose text and

Alexander

incredi-

music concurrently, and a linear

ble work on the Homogenic album

animation journeying through the

cover from 1997?

microscopic and molecular world

McQueen’s

The initial Biophilia download-

inside of us.

able app is free and, upon launch,

Quite galactic, organic and cellu-

is introduced by none other than

lar, and one has to hand it to Björk

recently when I realized that my

David Attenborough. The app pro-

and her collaborators for wanting to

favourite contemporary composer,

vides menu options and naviga-

engage the listener in an innovative

Björk, was ingeniously releasing

tion in a cosmic environment, with

way. It does harken back to the inti-

really snazzy apps for iPhone 4 and

all the songs listed. The first song

macy one would experience with

3GS and iPad 2, to accompany each

is included for free. Each subse-

vinyl album packages of yesteryear.

song off her ambitious new album

quent song application is available

of music Biophilia. How could I, of

to download for $1.99. The first sin-

all people, not be able to run new

gle “Crystalline” comes with a Tron-

AUGUST 2011

ANALYSIS

10

I

made a conscious decision not

→ As someone who has

MICHAEL THORNER Tweets at twitter.com/michaelthorner


toronto talk exchange In tribute Remembering Jack Layton By Gordon Bowness & Michael Pihach

O

n Aug 22, Canada lost a

testing and needle exchange pro-

friend. Surrounded by

grams. He persuaded the city to

family and loved ones,

spend millions on HIV/AIDS pre-

NDP leader Jack Layton, leader of

vention programs, long before the

the opposition in Parliament, died

province

after a hard-fought battle with

health is a provincial responsibility.

cancer. He was 61.

did

anything,

though

“Jack recognized the important

To many, he was known as the

role a city can play in heath and

most successful NDP leader in his-

wellness of its citizens, including

tory. To others, especially those

those who were often most mar-

who remember him from his years

ginalized,”

on Toronto city council, he was

director of programs and services

simply known as Jack.

at the AIDS Committee of Toronto.

says

John

Maxwell, R Jeanette Martin

Layton was a longtime ally and

The list of issues Layton tackled,

supporter of the LGBT community.

from gay rights and AIDS to afford-

In the 1980s, when few, if any, pol-

able housing and the environment,

iticians dared to go near us, Layton

showed a keen passion for improv-

was, as author Tom Warner recalls,

ing people’s lives. “Jack supported

recalls Layton’s boundless energy.

the most “gay-positive straight

causes before they were popular,

“There was no off switch,” says

man and politician” around.

because it was the right thing to

Brown. “There weren’t many ral-

“Whether it was marching with

do,” says Brenda Cossman, law pro-

lies, protests or events where

sex marriage back in 1988 at his

us in demonstrations, speaking

fessor at the University of Toronto

Jack didn’t show up to offer his

wedding to MP Olivia Chow after he

at rallies, supporting our rights,

and head of the university’s sexual

support.”

told guests his wish to see his gay

marching with us in Pride parades,

diversity studies program.

From the NDP’s recent inroads

→ JOYFUL CONNECT ION Jack Layton, with his wife Olivia Chow, at Toronto’s Pride Parade in 2008.

and lesbian friends legally marry.

or advocating for us at City Hall or

Former Toronto city councillor

in Quebec to fans cheering at

“Jack was the only party leader to

in Parliament, Jack was a stead-

Kyle Rae, council’s first openly gay

Toronto’s Pride Parade, so many

whip the historic vote on same-sex

fast supporter,” says Warner, co-

representative, says Layton was

people felt Layton was one of “us.”

marriage noting that it was a non-

founder of the former lobby group

the gay community’s voice during

He had that special touch — magic

negotiable matter of equality and

for politicians. Layton’s joy in that

rights and all NDP MPs would vote

“So many people felt Layton was one of ‘us.’ He had that special touch — magic for politicians.”

connection was palpable.

in favour,” says Jane Farrow, exec-

“Not only did he speak up for us,

the 1980s. “Most Canadians only

in the 1980s. Hawkes officiated

Whether responding to the man

he provided us with office space

know a thin veneer, smiling Jack

Layton’s state funeral on Aug 27, as

or his message, Layton’s death has

with numerous phone lines so

on the federal scene. But anyone

per request by Layton and his fam-

sparked an outpouring of affection

we could organize,” recalls Bob

who was in Toronto since the ’80s

ily. “His strength was in his abil-

across the county. His final words,

Gallagher, a longtime friend and

has a much more profound knowl-

ity to bring people together,” says

in a letter released on the day of his

Layton’s former chief of staff.

edge of who he was,” says Rae.

death, partially captures why. “My

“He was a breath of fresh air and

Hawkes. Layton was crucial to Parliament

a pleasure.”

legalizing same-sex marriage in

Hope is better than fear. Optimism

Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario. In 1982, one year after police raided Toronto’s gay bathhouses and arrested 300 men, Layton was elected city alderman in Ward 6. In a move many deemed political suicide, Layton condemned the raids.

When Layton became chair of Toronto’s Board of Health in 1985,

“Jack was a friend, a very good

utive director of Jane’s Walk. When

friend the LGBT community knows

MP Bev Desjarlais voted against

they have lost,” says Brent Hawkes,

same-sex marriage, she was forced

who first met Layton shortly after

from the NDP caucus. “That’s lead-

he became pastor of Toronto’s

ership you can be proud of,” says

Metropolitan Community Church

Farrow.

friends, love is better than anger.

at the height of the AIDS crisis,

Glen Brown, interim executive

2005, two years into his term as the

is better than despair. So let us be

he became an advocate for con-

director of Pride Toronto and a for-

federal leader of the NDP. Layton

loving, hopeful and optimistic. And

dom campaigns, anonymous HIV-

mer leader of AIDS Action Now,

reportedly first advocated for same-

we’ll change the world.” •

intorontomag.com

11


LIVING & DESIGN

O PE N H O U S E

The sun never sets on money matters →

Financial advisor and author David Lester moved from a sleek “gay-perfect” condo into a history-soaked apartment in a grand 19th-century Italianate mansion Story Michael Pihach | Photography Nicola Betts

12

September 2011


LIVING & DESIGN

You live in a mansion apartment in Cabbagetown. The house was built in 1875 when everything here was dairy farms. The house has gone through various owners and renovations over the years. In the ’80s it was a boarding house, then in 1997, it was renovated into six units.

My friends refer to me as Lady Lester, which is inspired by the TV show Little Britain. The characters on that show call each other lady friends, which is how I got the name. When I moved into this place, my friends started calling it The Lady Mansion. It was a natural progression.

What do you love about your place? My unit is 2,000 square feet with 14-foot ceilings. The kitchen feels like a cottage. It’s white. It’s bright. All the dishes, which belonged to my Nana, are exposed. The great room is also beautiful. The walls and roof are all original maple wood from 1875.

You’re currently promoting a financial coaching book you wrote called I (Heart) Money. What’s it about? It’s about understanding your values, what makes you tick, what makes you happy, then changing your belief system. If your belief system is wobbly with money then you can really change that by saying that it’s not about having a lot of money, it’s about having a great life.

What else remains of the original house? The bathroom has an early 1900s sink and old-style soaker tub. The front of the house has Italianesque columns and statues of lions. There are lion heads on the doorknobs to the kitchen cabinets and on the towel racks in the bathroom, too. Where did you live before? My friend hosts the HGTV reality show For Rent and put me on the show. She moved me into a gayperfect modern condo downtown. It had floor-to-ceiling windows, grey hues, black leather seats, a glass desk and a marble dining table. At that moment in my life I loved the minimalist sleek look. And now you prefer 19th-century mansions? I’ve always loved beautiful old houses and castles. When I was kid I used to dress as a knight or a pirate. I’ve always been a huge history buff. When I was in university I got a job at the Bombay Company just so I could get a discount on a painting of British Cavalry soldiers doing maneuvers in a field. That painting now hangs above the fireplace in the great room. I love the old style of British imperialism. Friends have nicknamed your place “The Lady Mansion.” What’s the story there?

Have you always loved money? When I was really young I used to roll coins while watching Looney Tunes. When I was 14 I had mutual funds. Every other kid would be riding their bike outside and I would be watching my mutual funds. What do you love about money? It’s not the money I love. It’s about satisfying my values with money. I have a really strong value of freedom, being able to travel whenever I want and spending time with family. What’s the best way to save money? Start young and treat your money like it’s your best friend. Respect your money by paying your bills on time. If you respect it, it will respect you back with security or freedom. How might some gay people relate to this? I have a lot of gay clients. A lot of times they’ll spend a lot of money on clothing and expensive cars that they can’t afford. If you do a little digging as to why they want to be dripping in Prada it’s because they’re looking for respect or perhaps leadership. There’s a value underneath why they spend. It’s Continued on page 14

→ “l ady mansion” The great room (opposite page) features original maple walls and ceilings from 1875. The house (top right) has been converted into six apartments. One of the first acquisitions by David Lester (lower left), an avid history buff, was a painting of British Cavalry (lower right). Lions (bottom right) are found throughout the building. intorontomag.com

13


LIVING & DESIGN

Continued from page 13

because of our past that we haven’t

tant to you. You’ll spend less.

been able to have that freedom or respect or sense of leadership. And

What is one thing money has

now we’re looking for it and we

allowed you to do?

try to satisfy it by spending. The

Horseback riding. I started a year-

trick is to reverse that. Make a list

and-a-half ago and just started

of things that will satisfy your val-

learning how to jump. I also

ues that you don’t have to buy first.

love spoiling my family. I spent

Then, once you have the proper

Christmas with my parents and

cash flow, reward yourself. Buying

brother in Las Vegas.

to satisfy your values never works. What’s next for you? What’s a quick trick you use to

I’m currently writing kids books

save?

about money, Mercer Mayer-kind

Set all your bills and savings to

of books. Really animated, beau-

be automatically withdrawn from

tifully illustrated. They’re about

your bank. Know exactly how

teaching kids how to use money,

much you have coming in, going

what money is about. How che-

out and for play money. Then you

quing accounts work. How banks

can start saving for trips you want

work. Teaching kids to understand

to take, or retirement on autopilot.

money right from the get-go.

For miscellaneous stuff, like going to bars, use cash only. That way when the money is gone, it’s gone. You actually see your money being RL-11-000-1d June Ad IT_4.1563 W x 5.1563 11-05-18 10:22 AM Page 1 spent on things that aren’t imporDavid Lester iheartmoney.ca.

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→ values Lester has always loved money for the life it allows him to lead. “I have a really strong value of freedom,” says Lester, “being able to travel whenever I want and spending time with family.”


LIVING & DESIGN

c olle c t ing

Art smart → Ready

to invest in something a little pricier than Ikea prints or flea-market finds? The Art Stylists can help Story Paul Aguirre-Livingston | Photography Natalie Castellino

A

rt buying can be daunting. You want to buy art, but -what the hell do you know about it? What’s good and how do you find it? Whom do you see and what do you say? There’s a lot of pressure out there for an art neophyte. Enter The Art Stylists, a service that takes stock of your artistic expectations and then scouts the city and beyond for works that fit your taste, space and budget. The Art Stylists are Manny Neubacher and Anya Shor, a real-life twosome who decided to combine their passions into a service that makes art accessible for just about anyone, from seasoned collectors to first-time buyers. The two specialize in contemporary Canadian art, aiming to erase the “Group of Seven

16

September 2011

or nothing” notion and promote the future of our art world. Neubacher opened his first gallery, Gallery Neubacher, at the corner of Charles and St Nicolas about five years ago, with the sole mission of embracing younger homegrown artists. Shortly after industry friends began to guest curate exhibits, the gallery became an overnight hotspot for art spotting. In 2006, when Neubacher met Shor, who had studied art in university and was knee-deep in a thriving career as a fashion stylist, things clicked and the pair sold the gallery, bought a farm in the country, and started a family. When they returned to town a little over a year ago, the two knew exactly what they wanted to accomplish. “Meeting Manny brought my

→ PASSIONS Gallerist Manny Neubacher and stylist Anya Shor share their love of Canadian art as The Art Stylists. One of their first gigs placed work by Thrush Holmes into Brassaii restaurant (opposite page).

world full circle to my original love,” says Shor. “The Art Stylists came out of different things that pointed to one idea: joining our interests as two people who study and love art, and two people with an extensive background in art and design.” The Stylists set up shop and started to cultivate clients. The first was a major project for The Designer Guys, the interior design firm that also had its own television show. Shor and Neubacher were given very specific instructions for a renovation project at King West resto

Brassaii: Create a “holy fuck” wall (“a wall that makes you shout ‘holy fuck’ when you see it,” Neubacher explains). With a $10,000 budget, the pair presented their top picks, and immediately sealed the deal. The installation featured a neon and resin piece by Toronto artist Thrush Holmes and a wall of gold-leafed books. Brassaii re-opened to much fanfare. And the art was much marvelled at. Shor says that’s when they figured out that their service would really appeal to almost anyone. If you call them up, there’s an initial consultation, measurements, photos, and a survey of things like light, furniture and paint. There’s also a discussion of price and expectations. Then Shor and Neubacher do the legwork. Through industry connections, the pair is able to source artwork from more than 100 city galleries and artists’ studios. But the search isn’t limited to Toronto. “Although we like to focus on contemporary Canadian artists, we’ll go as far as we need to go to find a piece,” says Shor. Through the use of a projector, Shor and Neubacher are able to showcase dozens of works right in your own home for a pretty accurate assessment of what it would look like if purchased, often projecting selections to true size on any given wall. Sit back with a glass of wine, and watch what happens. Once a shortlist is compiled, they’re often able to physically bring a few pieces into the space for a “try out” that lasts a couple of days. As for price? “The service is free, but the art is not,” is their motto. “Art buying can be an expensive purchase to begin with,” says Shor, “and it can be a time-consuming process. We make our commission on the other end,” that is through galleries and agents. If you’re not ready to buy, you can


LIVING & DESIGN

also rent. But who rents art?

Christine Bentley. Although the

“If people want to sell a house,

majority of the team’s clients are

they stage it. A good way to change

described as “people who are in a

a house quickly and update it is to

place to buy art,” everyone is wel-

use bold, contemporary art,” says

come, citing a recent project for a

Neubacher. High-end houses fetch-

20-something new condo dweller

ing seven figures or more also pre-

who challenged the team to get cre-

fer the allure of such “haute” art

ative in a small space with a mod-

as a selling feature. No Ikea prints

est budget. The resulting finds were

allowed. Other times, it’s simply a

comprised of mostly younger artists

conversation piece for parties. The

with small-scale works on paper,

Stylists also offer a rent-to-own

prints, and multimedia.

program that allows clients to pur-

Earlier

this

year,

the

Stylists

chase selections at the end of a

opened up a 3,600-square-foot gal-

three-month rental period, with the

lery on Brock Ave in Parkdale called

entire rental fee going into the pur-

Neubacher

chase of the piece. You can also pay

(NSC). In just a few short months,

in installments. “We want people to

the space has become a favourite

keep the art at the end of the day,

not only for event planners, but also

and we want to make it as less pro-

for art connoisseurs who want to see

hibitive as possible, so you’re more

what’s on the cusp of Canadian con-

likely to purchase.”

temporary. There’s also a new sem-

Shor

Contemporary

And how far does the styling

inar in the works called “Buy Early,

part of The Art Stylists go? This

Buy Young,” an introduction to

is where Shor’s expertise shines.

what’s happening in the art scene,

If it’s requested, she’ll finish off a

providing pointers on buying works

space with housewares and acces-

under $5,000 and the duo’s top picks

sories, from accent pieces to rugs

for artists worth your investment.

and more. She also likes to intro-

With NSC and the styling busi-

duce non-traditional art into client

ness, it’s clear that the Stylists sim-

collections. “Sometimes, it’s about

ply want to expose people to the

making things look sophisticated by

bounty of original talent that exists

rounding out someone’s collection

in Canada. “This is just another

with other works, like photography

vehicle for placing art,” says Shor,

and multimedia.”

“and getting art up there and sup-

The team has worked on over two dozen art styling projects as

BUYING art 101 Love it

Break convention

You will be living with it for many years so you should pick something that speaks to you.

Put a sleek contemporary photograph in a traditional space or a textured painting in a sleek modern room. Try a wall sculpture or a grouping of multiple small drawings by the same artist in a main room, or even in the bathroom.

Have a budget

This will help you figure out what the options are and keep you in check. Start at less expensive places like the OCAD graduate exhibitions and the Queen West Art Crawl to slightly more expensive gatherings like the Toronto International Art Fair. Size and colour matter

Measure your space and know your limitations. If a piece is too large or too small for the wall, it will throw off the room. Colours in a painting will be in conversation with every colour in your room. Stay current

Pick up recent art publications and look at the reviewed artists and articles to see if there is anything that catches your eye. Visit art galleries and speak to professionals and other collectors.

Artists to look out for

“Paul Butler is one of Canada’s better-known collage artists,” says Neubacher. “He does these collage parties around the world with musical artists like Beck. He takes these collages and shoots them, and cuts into them and transforms them. He is unanimously respected and his talent is unanimously acknowledged, and he was just invited as artist-in-residence at the AGO. Another one is Derek Mainella, a young painter that blends fashion and hip hop and pop culture into stunning statement pieces.”

porting artists in our community, and it’s great for everybody.”

far as Waterloo and Sarnia, consulting over Skype if necessary. In the city, their client list runs from run-of-the-mill private citizens to local television personalities like

THE ART STYLISTS artstylists.com. NEUBACHER SHOR CONTEMPORARY neubachershor.com.

Joseph’s Home - Bramasole


COMING SOON

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FOR GOD AND GAYS

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OUTLOOKS’ RELAUNCH FALL 2011


LIVING & DESIGN

S h o pping t rends

Goodbye acid wash → When

it comes to denim, the future is now. More than ever before designers are putting interest, effort and technology into the not-so-standard pair of jeans Story Derek Dotto | Photography David Hawe

Shrink To Fit

Reverse Fade

These jeans bring customizable denim to the next level. Pure Blue Japan’s shrink-to-fit line comes unsanforized, which means the jeans haven’t been pre-shrunk. This leaves you some work to do at home. Pick a pair two sizes too big, throw them on and hop in a warm bath for about 45 minutes. Let them dry while you’re still wearing them and you’ll have jeans that have shrunk to fit you just so. Available at Dutil. $368.

Naked and Famous is at the top of the heap when it comes to innovative denim. Glow in the dark, stainless steel, even raspberry scented jeans are just a few of the offerings from the Montreal-based company. This season’s most intriguing style is the reverse fade denim. Opposite to raw denim, these jeans get darker with wear. Over time, the white resin coating breaks off at the creases, revealing the dark denim underneath. Available at Holt Renfrew. $170.

VINTAGE Put yourself in someone else’s jeans. No, these aren’t second hand, but they sure look it, don’t they? That’s the beauty of Levi’s Vintage Collection 1947 501s. The iconic brand revisits its past by recreating denim worn over the decades. This pair is a hybrid of jean styles worn pre- and post-World War II. You can see the signs of fabric rationing in the design. It’s like wearing a piece of history. Available at Nomad. $365.

Colour Blue, black, and grey have long ruled the denim spectrum, but indigo is no longer the only game in town. Colour is big this fall, so reconsider that basic blue in favour of a hue that will make a statement. There’s no need for over-the-top pastel or neon jeans. Stick to deep and rich tones like burgundy, khaki, or terra cotta, like this pair from Top Man. Available at the Bay. $72.

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intorontomag.com

19


LIVING & DESIGN

stylin' with chris tyrell → Thanks to the royal wedding hats have been the most talked about fashion accessory. Who’d heard of a fascinator before? Accomplished Toronto milliner David Dunkley, however, has always been fascinated by hats and is rarely ever seen without a proper topper. Never one to settle for the ubiquitous baseball cap he shows us how to work a hat into a very casual look.

Q&A

What are you wearing?

The hat is one of mine. The shirt is from Pink London, the jacket from Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein jeans. My glasses are from Eyes on Church and I bought my scarf on London’s Portobello Road.

Who most influenced your sense of style?

What’s the difference between style and fashion?

For millinery it’s Frank Gehry and Philip Treacy.

Style comes from within a person and fashion is merely one’s attempt at following a trend. It takes courage to wear anything different, especially millinery. A person with style understands that great millinery finishes one’s look. Stephen Jones said millinery “is the punctuation of fashion.”

Your first fashion memory? I hated denim at the age of eight and would only wear slacks.

If money were no object what would be your fashion purchase? A men’s trench lined with mink.

DAVID DUNKLEY See his work at kcshats .com.

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LIVING & DESIGN

H ea lt h & f i t ness

Achievable performance versus ideal image → Being

healthy and fit doesn’t necessarily mean having a Herculean chest and an impossibly tiny waist. Take a break from chasing the perfect body to try a new approach to fitness — the bucket list Story Jeremy Foreshew on your positive accomplishments and improvements. We’re talking about a total paradigm shift, placing importance on performance and ability over looks. Try it for yourself. Instead of worrying about how tight your stomach is or how round your shoulders are, opt instead for challenging yourself to see how fast you are, how determined you are and how creative you can be. You just might surprise yourself. “I felt on top of the world,” says Joanna Zdrojewska. Nothing compared to the feeling of accomplishing her 2011 goal of dead lifting double her body weight. Zdrojewska, a Toronto-based personal trainer, is now working on the next items on her list, qualifying for a regional performance-fitness competition and a full ironman triathlon. Here’s a few more examples of performance-oriented goals by local Torontonians. “I want to learn to golf, play tennis and whitewater raft in Banff,” says Mark Steffler, chartered accountant. “Play for Team Canada Roller Derby,” says Acey Rowe, radio host

T

and producer. he bucket list is a pretty

the world. The bucket list is said to

“I want to ski Whistler Blackcomb,”

simple but powerful tool

help people boost their self-esteem,

says Anthony Hello, branded content manager.

that became popular fol-

improve productivity and increase

lowing the release of the aptly-

overall quality of life. When com-

“Win a medal in an Out or Gay

titled Jack Nicholson film in 2007.

bined with a healthy living and

Games event? Done. Gold medal?

The concept, creating a list of tasks

fitness strategy, it can make an

Still working on it,” says Charles

and activities you wish to accom-

incredible impact on a person’s take

Pavia, booking director.

plish before you kick the prover-

on health and fitness. It helps shift

“I’d like to start taking dance

bial bucket, is now being used by

your mind away from the negative

classes again,” says singer and drag

psychologists, corporate trainers,

physical stereotypes all around us

artist Miss Conception.

and life and fitness coaches around

and instead encourages you to focus

Tips for a Great Fitness Bucket List 1. Keep your list short, between 5 and 10 items. Don’t add anything to your list before you cross something off. This will motivate you to keep accomplishing more and more and help you maintain your focus. 2. Make sure your list consists of tasks or activities. Stay away from body composition goals like “lose five pounds” opting instead for performancerelated goals like “kayak the Toronto waterfront.” or “eat only locally grown food for a month.” 3. Prioritize your list and create a micro plan for each item. If you plan to go deep sea diving, you’ve got quite a few steps ahead of you before you hit the water. Be sure to do some research about equipment, safety and certification courses so that you can plan accordingly. 4. Make it social. Keep your list out in the open and invite your friends to take part in your new life challenges. You’ll find more accountability and it will strengthen your relationships.

·

intorontomag.com

21


Arowhon Pines

LIVING & DESIGN

t r avel

Leafing through bounty → Algonquin

in the fall offers stunning vistas, fresh air, plenty of exercise, fantastic food… and no bugs Story Gordon Bowness

T 22

hey greet you upon arrival

more clichés. It’s too easy to wax

hike squeezed in the middle?

Killarney confirmed that, while

without fail, saluting like

poetic about Algonquin; the pur-

And it’s too late to curry favour

both resorts treat their visitors

Mounties in their scar-

ple prose flows freely when walk-

with that friend of a friend who

extremely well, they offer very

let uniforms. The maple trees at

ing on a red-leaf carpet through a

owns a cottage in the Muskokas.

different experiences.

the western gate of Algonquin

forest cathedral. Oops. Sorry.)

The elegant solution is to stay for

Arowhon Pines is a 50-room

Park always blaze red at the end of

Algonquin in the fall is a won-

a couple of nights in one of the

resort dating back to the 1930s.

September. It’s a promise of more

der. You can do it as a day trip,

three private lodges in the park:

It has a dining room that must

autumnal marvels to come as you

but who wants to spend seven-

Arowhon Pines, Killarney Lodge

be experienced, a three-storey-

explore Ontario’s oldest, most vis-

plus hours in a car, especially

and Bartlett Lodge.

high

ited park. (And I promise to avoid

with a big lunch and vigorous

September 2011

A recent trip to Arowhon and

hexagonal

log

structure

built around a towering cen-


LIVING & DESIGN

tral fireplace, ringed by windows

one meal while you are in the

in September) fills up with less-

worlds: fantastic food, top-notch

and a verandah, all dramatically

area (prix fixe lunch is $32, din-

active sun-worshippers and folks

service

perched

unblemished

ner is $70). Accommodation costs

with kids. But the social demands

And you get to glam it up at night.

shores of Little Joe Lake. Dinner

$240 to $400 per person per night;

are easy to negotiate… and the

Divine.

here is a special event (so is lunch

that

honking

park always beckons. This place

or breakfast for that matter).

meals, canoes, kayaks, sailboats

really offers the best of both

After an active day in the fresh,

and other amenities, the park fee,

fresh air, who doesn’t want to be

plus a location that can’t be beat.

rewarded by surprising choices,

And no Wi-Fi.

on

the

like osso bucco or smoked haddock

cakes?

The

accommodations

few lovely private cabins for rent

since you’ve already grazed away

and a number of small but com-

at a tantalizing appetizer buf-

fortable rooms with private baths,

fet (that would stand in for din-

with three to 12 rooms housed

ner at most places: fresh greens,

together in large lodges that have

house patés and pickles, herring,

a shared sitting room with a fire-

sushi, chicken wings…). Then

place (ideal for groups and fami-

there’s that long table of des-

lies). Most log cabins and lodges

serts and cheese to work through.

look out over the lake, though

The resort doesn’t serve alcohol,

some of the individual rooms are

so dinner is bring your own bot-

oriented away from the water,

tle; another opportunity to spoil

toward a pretty creek, in some

yourself.

cases, and less auspicious green elegant.

They

spaces, in others. Don’t worry

advice smart casual dress, but

about securing the best rooms

don’t be afraid to work a fancy

because you’ll be spending the

outfit at dinner. As the sun sets

whole day in the park. Arowhon

and the warm glow from inside

offers easy access to the park

spills onto the verandah, the

interior by canoe or walking trail

place assumes a timeless air, as

— take along one of the kitchen’s

if you were back in the 1930s or

tasty packed lunches.

’40s. You half expect frock coats or zoot suits. Arowhon was started in 1938 by Lillian Kates (grandmother to

nature.

Killarney, on the other hand, Continued on page 24

Christopher Dew

aren’t overly large, which is good

is

unspoiled

range

from fine to gorgeous. There are a

place

The

three

mains

This

crab

includes

and

This isn’t a wilderness resort. You can’t avoid people. The huge sundeck

and

swimming

dock

(if you are lucky weather-wise

food reviewer Joanne Kates) and is now run by her son Eugene is a lovely 20-minute drive from the park’s western gate. And definitely worth visiting for at least

Peter Ferguson

and his wife Helen. The resort

→ DRAMA The dining hall at Arowhon Pines (opposite page) sits on the shores of Little Joe Lake. One of the adorable cottages of Killarney Lodge (above right) and the region’s ubiquitous loons (bottom right). intorontomag.com

23


LIVING & DESIGN Continued from page 23

is less glam, more ham. It too dates back to the 1930s and now offers 30 pretty lakeside cabins (one to three bedrooms) bursting with nostalgic charm. The small log cabins are boldly painted black, white and red, giving Killarney

almost

a

funhouse

Canadiana feel. You wouldn’t be surprised to see a photo shoot by

Canadian

designers

like

DSquared2 or Klaxon Howl who mine old backwoods’ looks. There are a few original cabins dating back to the 1930s, like the restaurant and lounge buildings. All are decked out in attractive antiques. Accommodation ranges from $240 to $340 per person per night. All three meals Peter Ferguson

are included as are canoes and park pass. The restaurant, also BYOB, is perfectly adorable and welcoming, the food big and hearty — get the pie. Packed lunches are available. The

only

problem

with

Turn colours

Killarney — and it may be a deal-breaker for some — is that it’s located right off Hwy 60, the busy highway through the park. A couple of the cabins even look across a narrow bay onto the highway. It’s noisy during the day. Despite that, Killarney’s location is great for exploring some of the best fall-view trails in the park (see “Fall Trails” at right). And with cooler weather and closed windows, you may find highway noise to be not that much of a problem. Again, this place is well-worth visiting, at least for a meal (prix fixe lunch is $26, dinner is $54) and a look-see. Be inspired. Make that trip to Algonquin you keep promising yourself. Arowhon Pines 1-888-633-5611. arowhonpines.ca. Bartlett Lodge 1-866-614-5355. bartlettlodge.com. Killarney Lodge 1-877-767-5935. killarneylodge.com. 24

September 2011

Timing

The third week in September is always your best bet to see Algonquin Park’s peak colours. For updates see the fall colour report at algonquinpark.on.ca. I ask park naturalist Rick Stronks if he’d hazard a guess at when the peak will hit this year. “Nice try,” he says with a laugh. “No. There’s too many variables — temperature, precipitation, sunlight….” He points out that “peak colour” refers to the crown of the trees; there is still plenty of red after the peak. “And then a couple of weeks later, it’s the turn of the tamaracks,” says Stronks. “They turn a lovely golden colour.” Because Algonquin is situated on a highland, the trees turn first there, so a later trip still catches a lot of drama in the surrounding areas. Arowhon Pines and Killarney Lodge are open until Mon, Oct 10. Economics

There are cheaper options than resorts. Camping in September is great. The campgrounds are less crowded and there is less

demand on the easily accessible canoe camp sites. I’ve even lucked into warm swimming weather late September. And no bugs! You can rent everything you need onsite. Since 1996 Algonquin Park has offered an alternative to camping in a tent. There are a number of small rustic rangers cabins, very basic, with no heat or water, for rent. Most are in the interior and may not be suitable for fall camping. But there are also a few year-round yurts, with electricity, heating and beds. All camping options can be booked ahead of time (ontarioparks.com). Fall trails

For colourful fall vistas try Lookout (1.9 km), Hemlock Bluff (3.5 km), Booth’s Rock (5.1 km), Track and Tower (7.7 km) and Centennial Ridges (10 km). Be prepared to hike. There are also great bike trails. Located on an old railway bed, the Old Railway trail (10 km) is nice and flat with conveniently located rentals at the Lake of Two Rivers store.

→ T RADI T ION Whether an easy paddle or camping in the interior, there’s nothing like experiencing Algonquin Park by canoe.

By train

Who knew there was a train to Huntsville? Ontario Northland’s Northlander train runs between Toronto’s Union Station and Cochrane every day except Saturday (ontarionorthland.ca). Muskoka stops include Gravenhurst, Bracebridge and Hunstville. You take a lovely three-hour ride along a tree-lined single track to Huntsville ($90 return), then rent a car (they’ll pick you up at the station). You only have to drive that perfect last hour into the park. On the return you also get to make the most of Northlander’s bar car. (Note: In Hunstville, only Discount rental is open on Sundays, even if the central reservation call centre says it isn’t.) It may cost a little more, but this was the first time I returned from up north totally relaxed, no tension in my shoulders and a little red in my cheeks.


L I V I N G & D e sign

Build Your Dream Home Today

Savour the city

elegance

— with Marty Galin

quality

comfort

In life everyone searches for that special place, usually a place to see our friends or make new ones. It is also about great food that we find comfort in. Bagel World restaurant and bakery is that place — so unique and friendly, with a living spirit. And the bagels are the royalty of the city. →

Tel. 416.258.6642 Bagel World’s owner Ephraim Dloomy is brilliant and kind. Try

→ l andmark The original Bagel World up on Wilson.

ToronTo PeoPle WiTh AiDS FounDATion'S

his new flat bagel. Homemade soups (available for takeout) are made daily with low sodium and low fat. Sorry, grandma, I know you are feeling sad but, yes, I’m here for another one.

Latkes We all love a great latke. Here is Bagel World’s secret recipe. Grate two potatoes and one onion.

Breakfast here is a good price.

To mixture, add two eggs and a

For $4.99 you get two eggs, a bagel,

spoonful of flour, a pinch of salt

and a choice of juice or a scoop of

and pepper and mix together.

cream cheese. So reasonable, but the taste is to die for.

On a hot frying pan that has been

The tuna brings a smile to even

spoonful of mixture and fry on

a fisherman’s face. It is literally

both sides until golden brown.

the best in TO. The Tuna bagellini

Make sure the stove is on medium,

is always a favourite. It is a grilled

not high.

bagel with tuna, tomato, red onion and cheddar cheese. Having a party? Bagel World has party trays starting from $9.99 (and you can

Thanksgiving 2011 N www.TorontoPieintheSky.orgn

touched by vegetable oil, take a

Add some love and a little sour

Buy a pie and make a positive difference for people living with HIV/AIDS.

cream or apple sauce. Baby, I’m leaving home for a new love. Bagel World.

Buy a pie from one of our sponsors and 100% of the proceeds will go to providing nutritious food to people living with HIV/AIDS in Toronto, or make a donation online.

order online). Your selection could include egg salad, cream cheese, veggies, tuna, lox, salmon salad, or potato latkes with sour cream or apple sauce.

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LIVING & DESIGN

IT’S HERE!

the grooming

The Evolution in Male Grooming

— with Dino Dilio

game

You’re a wreck with a headache, nausea, a pallid complexion, red eyes, dry lips and a brand new shiny pimple. And you still have to go to work. Too often the emergency resources are not there when we need them most and that’s why it’s a good idea to have a well-stocked medicine chest that can cover you in times of peril.

A spa oasis for men with expert staff to match the million dollar environment.

In addition to your daily grooming

• Tweezer for removing splinters

aids here is an arsenal of super sta-

and wandering sprouts of facial

ples to keep at the ready.

hairs • Nail clipper and file

Eyes & skin • Visine Totality Multi Symptom

Over the counter medication is

relief from red, burning, itchy, gritty

always good to have on hand for

and dry eyes Comforts, moisturizes,

yourself and guests.

soothes and gets the red out.

• A multipurpose pain killer like

• Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Treatment, exfoliates and heals

body pain. • Antihistamines for allergic reac-

bly. Dab on blemishes with a cotton

tions. Good for unsuspecting guests

swab.

who didn’t know you have pets.

• Oxy Acne Vanishing Treatment

• Alka Seltzer Effervescent Antacid

for Sensitive Skin has 2.5 percent

and pain reliever for indigestion and

benzoyl peroxide and works well to

heartburn from yours or someone

treat blemishes over night. Apply

else’s cooking. Gives good burp.

face, with a cotton swab.

www.thespaformen.com Yorkville - 647.342.8525

Tylenol for headaches, fever and

blemishes with salicylic acid invisi-

only to the blemish, not the whole

Metrosexual, the Spa for Men

Basic First Aid

Eye Relief Drops, for occasional

• Gravol for nausea, also a gentle sleep aid.

• Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour

• Polysporin Complete is a univer-

Cream, a classic beauty staple that

sal topical antibiotic ointment for

treats super dry and chapped skin

cuts and burns.

anywhere calms

on

and

contact.

heals

Soothes,

redness

and

irritations.

• Bandages, small and large. • Liquid bandages. For those of us who use our hands a lot this little

• Styptic Stick, made with alum,

wonder is painted over minor nicks,

stops minor bleeding from razor

paper cuts and hangnails providing

cuts. Blot blood with a tissue. Wet

treatment and a protective invisible

the stick and rub over cut. Blot and

film.

repeat depending on the size of the

• A thermometer for either end is

cut. Once dry you can use a wet cot-

the gauge between staying in bed or

ton swab to clear away the chalky

calling an ambulance.

residue. Much better than a blood soaked piece of Kleenex.

• Have your medical cards and documentation of the doctor-prescribed

• Erpace, for cold sores. This magic

drugs you are on easily accessible

blue metal bullet works brilliantly

for when things are really bad and

and quickly.

you require hospital assistance.

Tools • Safety scissors for trimming nose and ear hairs

Dino Dilio The freelance makeup artist and writer is resident beauty expert on CityLine. dinodilio.com.


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LIVING & DESIGN

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relationship advice

— with Adam Segal → “For about three months I’ve been dating a great guy. He’s

C

incredibly kind and witty and the frequent sex is the best I’ve ever had. The only glitch is that he’s 17 years younger than me. We’ve connected so easily but I’ve never been one to chase younger guys so this feels really weird. I’m 49 and he’s 32. There are ways in which he makes me feel younger — he exposes me to new music and nice people I wouldn’t otherwise meet. The flipside is that I can feel older too (seeing photos of us is a hard one). The bigger fear is that, while this works for now, what about 10 years from now when I’m nearing senior citizen-hood and he’s still in the prime of his life? Am I crazy to worry whether this relationship can go the distance? Dean

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

People who get into age-gap rela-

for the security. What if he realizes I

tionships have to ask themselves

never get his Dynasty references?”)

a lot of the serious questions that

Both of you will need to remind each

you’re asking. Because the two of

other, as fears arise, of the reasons

you are at different life-stages, I

why you’ve chosen to be together.

think you’re wise to think ahead

A lot of the strain for age-gap rela-

and investigate some of the com-

tionships, especially at the begin-

mon pitfalls of being with someone

ning, can come from the outside

younger.

world — or at least our imaginings

While you’ve mentioned how

of how others see us. While the

much you can enjoy his youthful-

occasional “sugar daddy” or “cra-

ness (and endurance!), my hunch

dle robber” crap might be thought

is that you are both benefiting from

by some, the majority of folks will

the generation gap. Those extra 17

either not care about your age differ-

years have likely imparted some

ence or they’ll actively support your

additional wisdom and clarity that

connection.

I’m sure your honey enjoys. But

We’ve all been fed an idea that age

don’t pretend the gap is a non-issue:

commonality is some sort of rela-

Being honest about your feelings

tionship holy grail, but I don’t see

decreases the likelihood that fears

age, itself, as a primary element in

and insecurities could build and

compatibility. Priorities, goals, sex-

erode what you have built up.

ual chemistry and cultural interests

As evidenced by your squea-

seem like the factors that, on a daily

mishness in seeing photos of you

basis, are more likely to make or

two lovebirds, an age gap relation-

break a couple. Knowing the future

ship can often fall prey to insecuri-

in any relationship is impossible, so

ties and jealousies. The truth is that

you’ll need to go with your actual

your guy seems to have no trouble

lived experiences with your BF and

jumping your 49-year-old bones, so

not your fearful imaginings of a

it’s really going to be up to you to

future breakdown.

K

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keep body-image issues in check and trust his desires for you. This arrangement could also invite insecurities for your youthful loverman (“His friends think that I’m just here

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insight Continued from page xx

N ews m a k e r

Hostage to love → James Loney was held captive for 118 days in Iraq. During that whole time, the Canadian media conspired with family and friends to keep his sexual orientation a secret. After a dramatic rescue in 2006, Loney refused to testify against his captors, despite the murder of one of his confreres. Now the burden of freedom lies heavily on the Christian peacemaker Story Paul Gallant | Photography Nicola Betts

28

September 2011


insight

J

ames Loney was the hand-

tors’ intentions (lies abound), nor

“The essence of the story wasn’t

and Sault Ste Marie, he felt he was

some one, the one with blue

what their possible rescuers are

about being gay,” Loney tells me,

on the bottom of the social hierar-

eyes and a “very nice shirt.”

doing. When they are locked in a

sitting on the front step of the red-

chy. “I thought popularity was so

To his captors — who in 2005 kid-

trunk and hear voices outside —

brick house in Parkdale where he’s

phony and fake.” When he was 16,

napped Loney and three other men

Loney’s most terrifying moment

been living since last fall. “For me

he became a counsellor at a sum-

working in Iraq as Christian peace-

— they don’t know whether yell-

it’s more about talking about big-C

mer camp run by Basilian fathers.

makers — it was a complete mys-

ing for help will result in rescue or

captivity through a little-C cap-

There he met fellow counsellor Dan

tery why he was unmarried.

an immediate, brutal death. All the

tivity experience — the universal

Hunt. Their friendship became an

“Why this? No madam?” Loney

captives know is the drudge and

experience.”

intense intermingling of spiritual

was asked during the first week of

terror of days handcuffed together,

his captivity. “It’s a long story,” he

the moods of their prison guards.

told the men who held him hostage

After they were thrown into a van

for 118 days until he was freed in

at gunpoint, Loney had no idea how

the spring of 2006 by an elite team

long his team — two Canadians, a

of British and US special forces.

Brit and an American — would be

searching, passion for social jus-

“For me it’s more about talking about big-C captivity through a little-C captivity experience — the universal experience.”

tice and, eventually, physical and emotional intimacy. Loney’s gayness comes across as more holy than hedonistic. Even his memoir, at 406 pages, is short on personal

Loney, who had gone to Iraq to

kept. He had no idea if the Brigade

intervene non-violently in the con-

had already Googled him, discov-

flict, did not want to lie about his

ered his sexual orientation and

sexual orientation or his partner

were bluffing until they found the

back in Canada. Nor did he want to

right time to kill him. The Brigade

give his captors, members of a small

did kill the American hostage, Tom

In his memoir, Loney paints him-

pretty closeted at that point and for

previously unknown terrorist group

Fox, possibly because of his nation-

self as the fussbudget prisoner, a

a long time it was an unrequited

called the Swords of Righteousness

ality or because they had discov-

Felix Unger type who reprimands

relationship,” says Loney. By 1995,

Brigade, any reason to kill him.

ered his military background. It is

his fellow captives for not shar-

they had become a couple, collab-

One of the striking discoveries in

likely they knew the latter fact for

ing food equally. He discourages

orators as much as lovers. They

reading Loney’s fascinating new

weeks before acting. Loney was

Canadian Harmeet Singh Sooden

founded Zacchaeus House in 1990

memoir, Captivity: 118 Days in Iraq

forced to put his faith in his fam-

from

that

with another gay man, William

and The Struggle for a World with-

ily, friends and, more worryingly,

bound them; their captors should

Payne, just around the corner from

out War, is how little kidnapping

the Canadian media to keep him

be obliged to get them themselves.

where Loney now lives. Based in the

victims know about their own sit-

safely in the closet. His partner was

Loney was the one who unclogged

Catholic Worker movement, which

uation. Even when the blindfolds

cropped out of the photo of him

the sink and tidied up. “I didn’t

takes a DIY approach to promoting

are removed, they only get small

sent around the globe.

want to be sleeping in filth,” he says

peace and justice, the project provides housing for those in need.

fetching

the

chains

glimpses of what’s going on around

For a man who wants the world

now. “The other guys didn’t care

them. They don’t know their cap-

to accept him for who he is — a

that much, they were, ‘Oh, we’ll do

Christian who wants everybody to

it to make Jim happy.’”

→ Risky peace James Loney belongs to a contraversial and committed activist group, Christian Peacemaker Teams.

details that don’t relate directly to his social justice work. Coming out did not come easily to him. “We lived together in university. Dan fell in love with me. I was

The longer Loney lived with people whose lives were marred by

accept everybody for who they are

Loney, who is 46, topples gay ste-

poverty and violence, the more he

— it was agonizing. But it was also

reotypes as easily as he personifies

craved large-scale social change.

beside the point.

them. Growing up in Thunder Bay

Continued on page 30

intorontomag.com

29


insight Continued from page 29

tion from the very people they’re

to testify against the men who were

remain faithful to those things

In the late 1990s, Payne told Loney

trying to help. Obviously, rescuing

arrested as their suspected kidnap-

that I learned in the decisions that

about the Christian Peacemaker

Loney and his team was not cheap.

pers. Instead, they issued a public

I face now,” says Loney. First he

Teams (CPT). In 2000, Loney carried

The loss of Fox’s life was a horrif-

statement of forgiveness.

wrote a play about the experience

out his first CPT assignment in New

ically high price. Does Loney have

“I don’t know if [our captors]

(he wasn’t happy with the result).

Brunswick’s Miramichi, observing a

any regrets? His answer is long and

heard what we did,” says Loney. “I

He waded through movie and

nasty dispute between a Mi’kmaq

full of pauses.

hope they did. I’d love it if they laid

book proposals and invitations to

First Nations community and the

“There’s lots of ways to respond….

down their guns and went on to do

speak. He gave up his job as CPT’s

federal Department of Fisheries and

If I had some crystal ball and could

the things we were created to do,

Canadian

Oceans. In 2003, he made his first

see we were going to be kidnapped,

which is love and create and raise

Captivity, which he started while

visit to Iraq.

I would have said, ‘maybe this isn’t

children.”

staying at a monastery in the US.

coordinator

to

write

CPT sends civilians to areas of

such a good idea’,” he says. “We

After his rescue, Loney issued a

A man who has cheated death

conflict with the official objective

made the decision based on the

statement that he wanted to “dis-

has a special burden. Loney feels

— stated with an apparent lack of

best information we had at the

appear into a different kind of abyss

the full weight of what it means to

irony — of “reducing violence by

time. The premise of CPT is risky

— an abyss of love.” He laughs

be free.

getting in the way.” The teams doc-

peacemaking. It’s not just writing a

about it now, calling it hyperbole.

“If I wanted to just have fun? That

ument human rights abuses, and

letter to your MP or signing a peti-

Still, the first weeks and months of

would be a difficult thing to admit

try to promote goodwill and under-

tion. So… I don’t regret going.”

being home, of reconnecting with

to myself,” says Loney. “I’m much

hesitation

the people he loved, were just that.

more easily in touch with what I

conflict. The risks inherent in CPT’s

when he’s asked if he’d go on

Even doing the dishes was a joy.

ought to do than what I want to do.”

strategy makes the organization

another CPT mission. Loney would

Gradually, though, Loney was able

controversial. Their critics, which

— just not to Iraq.

to take daily life for granted, “which

standing between participants in a

include

other

peace

There’s

much

less

advocates,

Loney is not one to boast. But he

is a sad and beautiful thing.” His

complain that they suck resources

suggests that, at least in the after-

relationship with Hunt, which had

away from other less-glamorous

math of the kidnapping, CPT got to

been a source of love and support

efforts. By drawing attention to

make its larger point on the world

for almost 30 years, ended last fall.

themselves, they can steal atten-

stage. The three survivors refused

“Part of the struggle is how I

Captivity: 118 Days in Iraq and The Struggle for a World without War James Loney. McClelland and Stewart. $32.

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Thu & Fri. Sep 7-Oct 8. Telephone Booth Gallery. 3148 Dundas St W. (647) 270-7903. telephoneboothGo Figure Six Canadian artists with gallery.ca. divergent approaches to figurative art: Edmonton-based Brenda Draney, K-Town Luke Painter and Meera Toronto-based Dean Drever, London- Margaret Singh asked video artists to create music videos for existing based Sky Glabush, Toronto-based Denon Mini System songs to use in this karaoke perforSholem Krishtalka (see his review of Compact integrated CD/AM/FM/iPod* playback mance environment (part of the General Idea on •page 36, Winnipeg• USB frontTorontoinput for iPod/iPhone* in performance a snap gallery’s connection month-long based Dominique Rey and • 30 watts per channel showcase). With videos by Jennifer based Jeff Tutt. Noon-6pm. Wed-Sat. Cherniak, Closes Sat, Sep 3. MKG127. 127from system • Control iPod* remote Keith Cole, Julian Higuerey Núñez, Sameer Farooq, Ossington Ave. (647) 435-7682. DM38S/BK Johanna Householder, Alex McLeod, mkg127.com. Wrik Mead, Camilla Singh, Walter Possible Outcome Laura Willems and many more. NoonPeturson’s gorgeous prints, from 5pm. Wed-Sat. Sep 21-24. Closing screen and linocut to lithograph, reception/karaoke party. 6pm-9pm. that play with the gendered expecSat, Sep 24. Angell Gallery. 12 tations placed on young girls. With Ossington Ave. (416) 530-0444. glass works by Kasia Czarnota. angellgallery.com. Reception. 2pm-4pm. Sat, Sep 10. 11am-6pm. Wed & Sat. 11am-7pm.

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Kim Cattrall Private Lives opens at the Royal Alex

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Chess: The Musical Opens at Princess of Wales

Dance From Thine Eyes The world premiere of a dance theatre piece written by Yvette Nolan and choreographed and directed by Michael Greyeyes. Troubled souls caught between life and death look back on their lives. The Signal Theatre/Native Earth Performing Arts co-production stars Michael Caldwell, Luke Garwood, Ceinwen Gobert, Sean Ling, Shannon Litzenberger and Claudia Moore, with music composed by Miquelon Rodriguez. $23 & $28. 8pm. Thu, Sep 22-24. 2pm. Sep 24. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. danceworks.ca.

Stage Rick Miller The Dora- and


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the maids Jean Genet opens Buddies’ season, directed by Brendan Healy

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Gemini-winning comedian opens Factory’s season with a trio of one-man shows. Miller reprises his tour de force impersonation of every Simpsons character while performing Shakespeare’s Macbeth in MacHomer; Sean Lynch directs. Tue, Sep 13-25. Then he dissects Christianity in Bigger than Jesus; Daniel Brooks directs. Thu, Sep 29-Oct 9. (October will see a reworked Hardsell.) $35-$45. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Sun. Factory Theatre. 125 Bathurst St. (416) 504-9971. factorytheatre.ca. The Maids Buddies in Bad Times opens its season with Jean Genet’s 1947 psychodrama about two maids who fantasize and role-play about killing their abusive mistress. Starring Diane D’Aquila, Ron Kennell and Maria Ricossa; Buddies’ artistic director Brendan Healy directs. The

Is an in-ear, noise-isolating headphone, offering pristine sound quality on the move. translation by Martin Crimp. The is innovate Secure Loop designGale plays a young hustler. It’s a $23-$33. 8pm.C5 Tue-Sat. PWYC. naturalistic look at two days keeps comfortably in place, and 2:30pm. Sun. Thu, Sep 22-Oct 9. surrounding the Vancouver premaids fit and performance. Buddies mainspace. 12 Alexander iere, a reflection on life, creation and C5 comes supplied with a Made decline. The 2007 Vancouver premSt. (416) 975-8555. buddiesinbadFor iPhone compatible cable, iere of His Greatness won a Jessie times.com. which is ideal for theatre making calls on for best new script. $40-$60. 8pm. His Greatness Toronto the have move,been and waiting a quiltedfor pouch audiences this forTue-Sat. 2pm Sat. 3pm. Sun. Thu, one: Daniel Sep 22-Oct 23. Factory easyMacIvor’s storage. imaginative 95 Studio look at legendary playwright Tennessee Williams near the end of his life. In 1980, the Vancouver Playhouse produced Williams’ play The Red Devil Battery Sign. Williams attended opening night. The play was panned. He would die two and a half years later. That infamous production starred Richard Donat, who plays Williams in this Independent Artists Repertory Theatre production directed by Ed Roy. MacIvor takes the stage as Williams’ long-suffering assistant and Greg

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Theatre. 125 Bathurst St. (416) 504-9971. factorytheatre.ca. Private Lives Noel Coward’s naughty comedy from 1930 exposes what happens when marriage is restricted to straight people. Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City) reprises her lauded performance from the recent West End hit run, now joined by fellow Canadian Paul Gross, en route to Broadway. Richard Eyre directs. $35-$175. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Wed, Sat & Sun. Fri, Sep 16Oct 30. Royal Alexandra Theatre.

Continued on page 34

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in spot

Studio Brillantine Story Derek Dotto | Photography Michael Pihach

Flanked by a unisex hair design shop and a rundown hardware store, Studio Brillantine sticks out like a sore thumb in the slowly gentrifying Parkdale neighbourhood. The ultra-modern storefront filled with eye-catching objets d’art sets the scene for what you can expect inside. When you walk into Studio Brillantine, it’s easy to get caught up in all the kitsch. The small space on Queen Street just west of Lansdowne is packed with an impressive collection of bright and shiny objects. “I like toys. I collect toys. So it’s nice to have them in the shop,” says owner Ferdinand Suzura, who’s about as cute and collectable as the wares he sells. But these aren’t your run-of-themill toys. Hard-to-find plushies modelled after Studio Ghibli characters, Barbapapa figurines and erasers shaped like sushi adorn the shelves and hang from the ceiling, making this shop a memorabilia hunter’s dream. “There are a lot of characters, things that make people happy,” says Suzura. “Humour is important.” Humour aside, the more refined collector will appreciate Studio Brillantine for its offering of accessories and housewares fit for a museum... literally. The shop boasts an impressive collection of 34

September 2011

→ HAPPY, SHINY Humour and great taste makes Parkdale design store Studio Brillantine sparkle.

recreated items that can be found in permanent museum collections, including an Achille Castiglioni stainless steel ashtray reissued by Alessi Italian Design Factory. “It’s like a history of really great ideas and minds and the objects they created,” says Suzura. You can take home your own piece of designer art without breaking the bank. That’s not to say these pieces come cheap. If you plan on leaving Studio Brillantine with souvenirs, you’ll have to loosen up your wallet. A Bauhaus egg cup, recreated by Alessi, goes for $142. Even the toys aren’t cheap. One particularly charming resin Tintin figurine will cost you $700. With a background in fine arts and design, Suzura carefully curates the store’s collection. Ultimately, he says he looks for things he would want to receive as a gift. “I just trust my instincts. It’s nice to have that freedom. “Everything will have a function, even if it’s to make you laugh.”

STUDIO BRILLANTINE 1518 Queen St W. (416) 536-6521. studiobrillantine.com.

260 King St W. (416) 872-1212. mirvish.com. Chess: The Musical The Cold War refracted through a love triangle and the game of kings with music by Benny Andersson (of Abba fame) and lyrics by Tim Rice (The Lion King). A hit in London’s West End in the ’80s; didn’t fare so well on Broadway. This recent UK touring production with new staging is choreographed and directed by Craig Revel Horwood and stars James Fox, Shona White, Tam Mutu, Rebecca Lock, James Graeme, David Erik and Steve Varnom. $35-$175. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Wed, Sat & Sun. Sat, Sep 24-Oct 30. Princess of Wales Theatre. 300 King St W. (416) 872-1212. mirvish.com. Mamaloshen Broadway star Mandy Patinkin brings his tour of Yiddish music, ranging from Irving Berlin to Paul Simon, to Toronto for two shows only. Accompanied by Paul Ford on the piano. Presented by Harold Green Jewish Theatre. $56-$131. 8pm. Sat, Sep 17. 2pm. Sep 18. Bluma Appel Theatre. 27 Front St E. (416) 366-7723. hgjewishtheatre.com. The Odd Couple Soulpepper presents Neil Simon’s 1965 classic bromance starring Diego Matamoros and Albert Schultz reviving their 2008 roles. Stuart Hughes directs. $45-$65. 7:30pm. Tue-Sat. 1:30pm. Wed & Sat. Fri, Sep 23-Oct 21 (select dates). Young Centre. 55 Mill St. (416) 866-8666. soulpepper.ca. Canadian Opera Company The creative

team from last year’s beautifully moving and Dora Award-winning production of Orfeo ed Euridice comes together for the season-opening production of CW Gluck’s Iphigenia in Tauris. The company premiere is helmed by legendary Canadian director Robert Carsen and stars in her company debut soprano Susan Graham in the title role (critics have been going nuts over her Gluck repertoire). Pablo HerasCasado conducts. Thu, Sep 22, 25, 28, Oct 1, 4, 7, 12 & 15. Then it’s a new production, designed by

former Torontonian Michael Levine, of Giuseppe Verdi’s tragic masterpiece Rigoletto. Baritones Quinn Kelsey and Lester Lynch share the title role; Christopher Alden directs and COC music director Johannes Debus conducts. Thu, Sep 29 & 30, Oct 2, 5, 8, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20 & 22. $12-$318. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 363-8231. coc.ca. Another Africa

Canstage presents two plays from Volcano Theatre’s The Africa Trilogy, exploring the relationship between Africa and the West. By Binyavanga Wainaina and Roland Schimmilpfennig. Starring Maev Beaty, Lucky Ejim, Kristen Thomson and Dienye Waboso; Ross Manson and Liesl Tommy direct. 8pm. Mon-Sat. 1:30pm. Wed. 2pm. Sat. Thu, Sep 29-Oct 22. Bluma Appel Theatre. 27 Front St E. canadianstage.com.

Rock & Pop Erasure ‘80s synth pop band is still at it, touring with its latest CD Tomorrow’s World. $52-$59. 7pm doors. Sun, Sep 11. Sound Academy. 11 Polson St. ticketmaster.ca. The Human League More ’80s revival with the Credo Tour 2011. Philip Oakey,

Susan Ann Sulley and Joanne Catherall tour with their first album in 10 years. Supported by Men without Hats and AutoKratz. $40 adv; $45 doors. 7pm doors (THL go on around 9:30pm). Sun, Sep 18. The Guvernment. 132 Queens Quay E. isnradio.com/humanleague.

Classical & Jazz Tafelmusik Music Fit for a King. Court music from across Europe. Jeanne Lamon conducts. $15$84. 7pm. Wed, Sep 2123. 8pm. Sep 24. 3:30pm. Sep 25. Trinity-St Paul’s Centre. 427 Bloor Street W. 5. (416) 964-6337. tafelmusik.org. Toronto Symphony Orchestra Legendary

actor Christopher Plummer brings Shakespeare’s Henry V to life for the TSO’s opening weekend. The Shakespearean theme continues with Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, Tchaikovsky’s evocation of tragic romance, and the world première of Larysa Kuzmenko’s piece for children’s chorus and orchestra, with text from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With the Toronto Children’s Chorus and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Peter Oundjian conducts. $49-$179. 7:30pm. Thu, Sep 22 & 24.


l is tin gs & e vent s AmFar, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and Canada’s Dignitas International, which provides frontline medical care, training, research and advocacy around HIV/AIDS and other diseases. John Legend performs, Kim Cattrall co-hosts. $1,000-$2,500. 6:30pm. Sun, Sep 11. The Carlu. 444 Yonge St, 7th floor. amfar.org. dignitasinternational.org.

in spot Asuka Story & Photography Anna von Frances

Egale Canada Human Rights Trust Speakeasy

→ heroic softness Possible Outcome, prints by Laura Peturson at Telephone Booth Gallery from Wed, Sep 7.

Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. Then violinist Jonathan Crow, the TSO’s new concertmaster, is joined by renowned pianist Emanuel Ax for a concert of Beethoven and Brahms; Oundjian conducts. $35$145. Thu, Sep 29 & Oct 1. Roy Thomson Hall. 3pm. Oct 2. George Weston Recital Hall. 5040 Yonge St. (416) 593-4828. tso.ca

ball Club hosts teams from across North America. The tournament is on Sun, Sep 3, kickoff at 9am. Markham Irish Canadian Rugby Club. 150 Austin Dr. Markham. beaverbowl.ca.

Books & Readings

Causes & Events

Brian Francis He’s got a wonderful way with characters. Local author launches his follow-up to Fruit, the novel Natural Order, from Random House. 6pm-9pm. Wed, Sep 7. Gladstone Hotel. 1214 Queen St W. randomhouse.ca. The Word on the Street

Lovely outdoor book and magazine fair in Queen’s Park. From big guns to indie darlings, scores of publishers, best-seller book tent, lots of kids programs and appearances by writers like Farzana Doctor, Deborah Ellis, Brian Francis, Sylvia Tyson and Guy Vanderhaeghe. Free. 11am-6pm. Sun, Sep 25. Queen’s Park. thewordonthestreet.ca.

Sports Beaver Bowl IV The Muddy York Rugby Foot-

Labour Bear Weekend

Club nights, barbecues, a boat cruise, rugby (see Sports) and more over five days beginning Thu, Sep 1. Highlights include the Jack Hammer dance party with DJ Mark Falco. 11pm2am. Sep 3. Phoenix. 410 Sherbourne St. Pit Bull boat cruise with DJ Shane Percy. $35. 11:30am. Sep 4. Departs from Polson Pier. 11 Polson St. pitbullevents.ca. The Bear BQ (at 2pm), followed by the T-Dance in the Woods (4pm-8pm). $5. Sep 5. Fantasy Farm. 50 Pottery Rd. labourbearweekend.com. Cinema Against AIDS

The Toronto edition of this international fundraising series, timed for the Toronto International Film Festival, is a black-tie gala featuring a champagne reception, dinner and live auction benefiting

is the 2011 gala fundraiser for Egale’s sister charity dedicated to advancing LGBT rights through education, research and community engagement. $225. 6pm. Fri, Sep 23. Ritz Carlton Hotel. 181 Wellington St W. (416) 964-7887 ext 22. egale.ca. AIDS Walk One in three new HIV diagnoses in Toronto are among youth under 30. One in five gay men in Toronto are HIVpositive. Two people are infected with HIV every day in the city. So we keep on walking. This year’s goal is $500,000 for the AIDS Committee of Toronto. 11am registration and community fair. 2pm 5km walk. 3pm-6pm afterparty. Sun, Sep 25. Church and Alexander streets. aidswalktoronto.ca. Out on Bay Street

Blink and you’ll miss it. Asuka Japanese Restaurant is one of the only authentically good places to eat in Yorkville, a neigh-

→ IN THE KNOW Locals and celebrities alike love the easy charms and great maki at Asuka Japanese Restaurant in Yorkville.

borhood normally known for over-

pretty much anywhere else in the

priced mediocre food served with

city, and the prices aren’t astro-

poly-blend napkins.

nomical either. Try the chirashi

Located down a few steps on the

lunch, the wonton soup or the

north side of Yorkville Ave, Asuka

salmon sashimi to get a really

has been there for as long as I’ve

authentic Japanese meal.

Annual conference for LGBT undergraduate and graduate students in business, law and technology. Fri, Sep 30 & Oct 1. Marriott Downtown. 525 Bay St. outonbayst.org.

lived in the neighbourhood (we’re

If you’re planning to pop in

going back to the 1990s), and it’s as

with more than one friend, make

loved by locals as it is celebrities

a reservation. If you want a pri-

visiting for movies and love affairs

vate booth, make a reservation. If

alike.

you’re going during TIFF, make a

Parties

ness people, and dinner is rammed

Or, if you’re like me, drop by in

even more. During the Toronto

the off hours, sit at the bar with a

International Film Festival (TIFF)

book or magazine and get to chat-

everyone comes through here at

ting with Sato about baseball or

some point, and Asuka has the pic-

movie stars. He’ll thrill you all

tures and autographs on the wall

afternoon.

Labour day magic Two stages in outdoor courtyards lakeside featuring DJs Sneak, Miss Honey Dijon, Hector Morales, Jason Palma and more. $35 adv. 3pm-11pm. Sun, Sep 4. Sunnyside Pavillion. 1755 Lakeshore Blvd W. linebypass.com.

Out of Town Elton John The Rocket

Man blasts the Shwa and Rose City with a sampling of his greatest hits over five-decades. $93-$153. 8pm. Fri, Sep 9. General Motors Centre. Oshawa. 8pm. Sep 10. Windsor Family Credit Union. Windsor. ticketmaster.ca.•

Lunch is packed with local busi-

reservation way in advance.

to prove it — from Britney Spears to Jean Chretien to Captain Kirk. Sato, the loveable owner, never forgets a face. He’s known me since I was a kid and even though I left the country for my university years, returning as a woman, he still remembered my order the first time I sat at the bar upon return. The ninja rolls are a signature maki but, really, everything is good. The cuts of fish are above

ASUKA Noon-11pm.Mon-Fri. Noon-2am. Sat. 5pm-midnight. Sun. 108 Yorkville Ave. (416) 975-9084. intorontomag.com

35


A RT & e nt e rta i n m e n t

v i s u a l art

Going viral → Long

before YouTube, three young men shocked the Canadian art establishment by calling themselves art stars and seducing the world into believing their brazen claim. The AGO’s definitive Haute Culture retrospective shows how ahead of the curve General Idea really was Review Sholem Krishtalka

I

36

was looking at General Idea’s

It’s generally unwise to read too

space it is already un-ignorable,

curated by Frederic Bonnet, which

iconic AIDS sculpture, newly

far into Cole’s prankish one-liners,

and its content — it says ‘AIDS,’ you

arrives at the AGO via the Musée

installed

Art

but he has something of a point.

know — makes it all the more con-

d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

Gallery of Ontario, as a kind of

It is 2011, and an enormous pub-

frontational. Different iterations of

It is a homecoming for Toronto’s

public ambassador for the exhibi-

lic sculpture that announces the

the sculpture have been covered

first prodigal children, and the AIDS

tion Haute Culture: General Idea,

word “AIDS” is simply part of the

in graffiti, inadvertently becom-

sculpture is the emcee.

A Retrospective 1969-1994. All of a

scenery. First exhibited in 1989, it’s

ing magnets for both queer activ-

The sculpture is an apotheosis

sudden, artist Keith Cole walked up

the most visible of General Idea’s

ist and homophobic sloganeering.

of a kind. It, and the “Imagevirus”

behind me and whispered into my

already provocative body of work

Today, it is the perfect introduc-

campaign of which it is a part —

ear, “It says ‘AIDS,’ you know.”

about AIDS. Merely as an object in

tion to this touring retrospective,

paintings,

September 2011

outside

the

wallpaper,

pins,

bill-


A RT & en t erta inmen t

boards, subway advertisements —

tion, I began to wonder whether any

ciously queer an otherwise insuffer-

plans for the fictitious General Idea

are arguably what General Idea is

other kind of curatorial approach

ably heterosexist benchmark in the

pavilion, File Magazine, the flags

most known for. The AIDS work is

made sense. Arranging General Idea

canon of Modernist abstract paint-

and the heraldry all became after-

a logical and terrible (I’ll get to why

into a disinterested timeline would

ing. The potency of the GI poodle is

the-fact artifacts of an improvised

later) extension of their entire prac-

seem like an onslaught of pedantry,

most evident in their Mondo Cane

mythos (they even fashioned fake

tice, and among the many joys of

forcing linearity onto an artistic

paintings, where three neon poo-

Roman ruins depicting themselves).

Bonnet’s curation is how well he

entity and career whose very nature

dles enact a procession of porno-

Toronto has always excelled at

situates that work within the over-

mocked and resisted these kinds of

graphic choreographies. The Mondo

the creation of alternative cultures.

arching stream of GI’s artistic flow.

Modernist tropes. As an undifferen-

Cane works are as poetic an artist

When General Idea first began,

And what a flow it is: Haute

tiated trio, General Idea resisted the

statement as GI ever issued: sex as

there wasn’t much of an art scene

Culture spreads across the fourth

mythos of progress, of the “singular

creative process, their mode of liv-

and fifth floors of the AGO’s con-

artistic genius.” They resisted the

ing folded neatly into their mode of

temporary tower, presenting some

notion of authorship. They resisted

working.

300-plus works. Instead of opt-

personhood, even speaking in ad

They were brilliant self-mytholo-

ing for a traditional chronology,

slogans, changing their names, and

gizers. Their entire project was an

Bonnet has arranged the show the-

operating as a kind of corporate

exercise in the creation of a self-

matically, highlighting various con-

entity.

fulfilling legend; in this sense, their

cerns of GI’s 25-year output, mak-

It is 2011, and these gestures don’t

art consisted of nothing more than

ing extremely intelligent use of

seem so exceptional now. In 1969,

the claims they made for them-

however, Felix Partz (Winnipeg-

selves. They said they were a corpo-

“A cloying emblem of naïve sentimentality was infected by the image-virus, and became the artistic insignia for a queer community under siege.”

born Ronald Gabe), Jorge Zontal

rate entity, and so they were. They

(Italian-born Slobodan Saia-Levy)

claimed to be world-famous artists

and AA Bronson (Vancouver-born

whose every thought, gesture and

Michael Tims) didn’t have already-

creation needed to be housed in a

published theorists to guide them

pavilion, and it was so. Thus, every-

along their way — the romantic and

thing they produced only served

creative partners made it up as they

to buttress that claim. The Miss

went along. I would argue that the

General Idea pageants, the ersatz

the labyrinthine floor plan of the

curve General Idea really was. Let

AGO’s contemporary spaces. The

us count the ways.

Continued on page 39

principal pleasure of Haute Culture and the show’s thematic organization is that it provides a clear picture of exactly how ahead of the

meandering maze of smaller rooms

It’s astonishing how gay their

nested in larger galleries normally

work was from the very beginning.

has a nasty habit of isolating works

Granted, they spoke in codes, but

from one another, unnecessarily

even their codes were effete. One

fragmenting what could be cohe-

of their insignias is an arched hand,

sive shows; Bonnet uses these

each finger tapering to a finely

rooms as parentheses, bracketing

curved point, the pinky held archly

off particular artistic trees while

aloft. This is the their hand of cre-

keeping a firm eye on the shape of

ation, their Promethean flame(r).

General Idea’s forest.

The poodle is their most potent

Wandering through the exhibi-

queer symbol, because throughout

→ appropriat ion From the AIDS sculture (opposite page) and AZT pills of Playing Doctor (above right) to numerous naughty poodles, like 1991’s Process of Elimination (bottom right), General Idea spoke in witty gay codes.

their career, that sissiest of dogs is their stand-in, their gay familiar. The cheeky glory of XXX (Bleu), a reenacting of Yves Klein’s use of nude women as paintbrushes, lies in their use of stuffed poodles — they deliintorontomag.com

37


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A RT & en t erta inmen t Continued from page 37

shift, especially for the queer community. The utopian free love of gay liberation and the sexual revolution was gone; this was now the age of AIDS. A cloying emblem of naïve sentimentality was infected by the image-virus, and became the artistic insignia for a queer community Carlo Cantenazzi

under siege. The AIDS wallpaper and paintings have their own room which, despite its chromatic boldness, has the hushed air of a mausoleum. Then formances, in flags, in paintings —

mean feat for a collective devoted to

again, the entire show has the pall of

is their spirit animal, but also their

deconstructing the icon — the sin-

two curtailed lives hanging over it. I

logo; File Magazine was so suc-

gular masterstroke (if there must be

can’t help but wonder what General

cessful in its visual mocking of Life

one) being the total subversion and

Idea would have made of this end of

here at all (much less an alterna-

Magazine that GI were threatened

absorption of Robert Indiana’s LOVE

the 21st century, with Internet cul-

tive one). To say they invented what

with breach of copyright. The sub-

logo.

ture taking the notion of viral imag-

we now think of as the Toronto art

version lies in the fact that these

General Idea always played fast

ery (and viral video) into warp speed.

world is no exaggeration; in partic-

objects refer to a fictional entity.

and loose with the idea of copy-

It is a testament to Bonnet’s clear-

ular they laid the groundwork for

Warhol famously remarked of his

right. Another artwork, a flag of an

headed curation that his show can

DIY experimentation and for what

works that everything you needed

abstracted black skull with copyright

prompt such questions, that this ret-

would become the Queen West

to know about them lay on their sur-

symbols as eyes, can easily be read

rospective isn’t merely a parade of

and queer scenes: Bruce LaBruce,

face; he treated his art as an adver-

as an encapsulation of their atti-

dead artifacts. He has a long history

GB Jones and Will Munro all forged

tisement for itself. By contrast,

tude towards corporate idea-owner-

of studying GI. He wrote his gradu-

ahead on a road created by General

General Idea created self-advertise-

ship. File Magazine was a prank that

ate dissertation on them, and is thus

Idea.

ments as their art.

turned into a wildly influential pub-

reverential with all of the work (the

→ INfect ion General Idea’s AIDS logo was replicated in numerous paintings and wallpapers.

They anticipated the dominance

In some sense they even man-

lishing enterprise. But the hubris of

flag and heraldry room, my particu-

of design culture and branding.

aged to anticipate the social con-

GI’s takeover of Indiana’s LOVE still

lar favourite, seems like a gay ban-

The success of their project and

ception of AIDS, and thus, strangely

shocks me.

quet hall). It is that careful and pre-

the ironic authority of their output

and tragically, their own death. Even

LOVE had been around since 1964,

cise framing of this work that makes

would never have flown were it not

before Zontal and Partz’s HIV diag-

and was already iconic by the time

this show so important. In addition

for their prescient understanding of

noses (both died in 1994), General

General Idea got to it. Initially pro-

to everything else, it seems defini-

the unassailable power of innova-

Idea imagined themselves as viruses

duced as a Museum of Modern Art

tive; with Haute Culture, Bonnet is

tive presentation. Their output is at

in the world of mass-media, suffus-

Christmas card, it later achieved

writing a chapter of contemporary

once a celebration and a delicately

ing and poisoning the bloodstream

the ubiquity of postage stamps.

queer history, one whose influence

lethal subversion of visual media

of media and advertisement; their

And still, in one fell swoop, in a ges-

we are still watching unfold.

culture. The architectural drafts

work around AIDS, then, becomes a

ture so simple and so brilliant, they

of the GI Pavilion have all the cos-

retrospective metaphor for that, hor-

turned LOVE into AIDS. More than

metic seriousness of blueprints; the

ribly apt and cruelly ironic. It’s their

simply toying with copyright, that

GI poodle — which occurs in per-

most iconic work — and this is no

gesture narrated a seismic cultural

engaging

Help us continue to support people living with HIV/AIDS by volunteering or making a secure online donation at www.pwatoronto.org Toronto People With AIDS Foundation 200 Gerrard Street East, 2nd floor Toronto, Ontario M5A 2E6 416-506-1400

www.pwatoronto.org

HAUTE CULTURE $20. Until Jan 1, 2012. Art Gallery of Ontario. 317 Dundas St W. (416) 979-6648. ago.net.


A RT & e nt e rta i n m e n t

TIFF

Enchantment → Actor

I

Louis Negin is the unlikely muse of fantastical filmmaker Guy Maddin. Their latest collaboration, Keyhole, premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival story Peter Knegt

just love the guy,” says

seer in The Saddest Music in the

ultimate ghost story, or sometimes

her bedroom. Udo Kier plays the

director

of

World. The trend continues this

I think of it as an attempt to make

doctor. Negin plays what Maddin

actor Louis Negin. “People

September with Maddin’s latest

a filmic adaptation of Space, a best-

deems the “patriarch of the house.”

will ask me if Isabella Rossellini is

film, Keyhole, premiering at the

selling French philosophy book

But as with anything in a Maddin

my muse. And she kind of is my

Toronto International Film Festival

from the 1940s that discussed the

film, there’s clearly more to it than

part-time muse, but Louis Negin

(TIFF).

meanings of rooms and spaces in a

that.

Guy

Maddin

really is my muse.” Louis bly

40

Negin

played

roles

“Right now I’m still trying to has

scores

“There’s something sexually up

decide whether to describe this

The film is a surreal odyssey

or off or any number of synonyms

of

film as an ‘autobiography of a

(with characters named Homer

for ‘not quite right,’” Maddin says.

Maddin’s films, from the mayor

house,’” says Maddin. “That may

and Hyacinth) about a gangster

“As a domestic patriarch, maybe he

in My Winnipeg to the narrator of

be the closest thing to the truth.

(Jason Patric) trying to reach his

should be a little more decorous but

Brand upon the Brain to the blind

Sometimes I also think of it as the

wife (Isabella Rossellini) locked in

he does walk around naked at all

September 2011

in

memora-

house.”


A RT & en t erta inmen t

→ MELODRAMA Louis Negin (opposite page) plays the naked patriarch in Guy Maddin’s newest feature Keyhole, starring Isabella Rossellini, Jason Patric and Udo Kier (above).

times and he’s a little bit sadistic.”

to come.’ I thought she was joking.

on the elevator and I get, ‘Bonjour

This is of particular interest to

Well, we had the party and I didn’t

madame.’ And I’m looking around

Negin because his partner, Charles

say anything to anyone because

for the madame, but then I realize

Dunlop (a set designer with a

then everyone would be expect-

they’re looking at me! I’m thinking

resume that includes everything

ing it. Then the limousine drives

to myself, at least give me ‘Bonjour

from Meatballs to SCTV), is visu-

up, the door opens, and Joan makes

mademoiselle!’ Why am I get-

ally impaired and owns a seeing-

Maddin and Negin met back in

this great appearance. She was

ting the fucking ‘madame?’ That’s

eye dog called Quesie (pronounced

1991 when Maddin was in the

wonderful, and very funny. She’s

one of the age things. I want to be

kwazy).

midst of editing a film. According to

not a bitch at all. Everyone thinks

a ‘mademoiselle’ if I wanted to be

Maddin, Negin “simply appeared at

she’s like Alexis but it’s not true.”

anybody.”

Besides continuing to work with Maddin, there are a few other proj-

his editing room.” Negin had been

Born in England and raised in

in Winnipeg working on a theatri-

Toronto, Negin says his endlessly

Maddin, Negin is just as quick to

“I’ve got a children’s book that I’m

cal production of M Butterfly and

adventurous

began

compliment. “I love him,” Negin

trying to write,” he says. “It’s there

had asked around who the film-

when he “got old enough to real-

says. “I mean, you think you’ve

in my head and on bits of paper.

makers in town were. Someone

ize there were other cities besides

seen everything and then all of a

But I need to put it all together.

gave him Maddin’s name.

Toronto.” He went to Broadway

sudden he comes with a new thing

It’s really about my cat. I have an

“He tracked me down and invited

with a Stratford production, went

that is so extraordinary and nobody

Abyssinian cat that I’m really in

me out for coffee,” Maddin recalls.

to nightclubs with gangsters in

else has ever done. He’s unbeliev-

love with. It’s a cat that has no fear

“And we became friends. It was

Montreal, and lived some 30 years

ably inventive.”

of anything. And I know I’m boring

11 years until we actually worked

in London, England (where he got

biography

As

for

his

relationship

with

ects on tap for Negin.

Keyhole is no exception.

people. They see me coming and

together, but we kept in touch by

“I’ve seen it four or five times

they think, ‘Here comes another

phone. He’s a wonderful raconteur.

story about the cat.’ They run! But

from anything Guy’s ever done.

Abyssinian cats are brilliant. They

There are parts in it that I find abso-

have great, great minds. There’s

lutely beautiful and moving. And

nothing he doesn’t know. And I’m

Ali McGraw… he just decided to

“He’s a wonderful raconteur. He seems to know everyone.”

now,” Negin says. “It’s different

very touching, because in a way it’s

not saying this to be airy-fairy, it’s

enter into the lives of these peo-

to work on a film with Dame Edna).

about all of us and our lives — the

really true. I want to take it out. I

ple and earned his keep by being

He played Truman Capote on stage

disappointments that happen, and

want to take it to the bars, I want

so enchanting and hilarious and

in Tru and in the film 54.

the good things that happen. But

to go dancing with it... I wouldn’t

somehow you survive it.”

mind sitting in a very chic restau-

He seems to know everyone. He used to be friends with Joan Collins, the ghost of Anthony Dooley, Liza,

delightful.”

No one knows how old he is.

Such traits are immediately evi-

Maddin himself says he has no

The film also gave Negin a chance

dent even from a single phone con-

clue, adding that Negin “has the

to work closely with Maddin’s other

versation from his current home

energy of 10 daycares and a mem-

muse Isabella Rossellini. “It’s a joy

Clearly, many people would be

in Montreal, which quickly finds

ory to die for.”

to work with Isabella,” he says. “I

very happy reading a children’s book about that very event.

Negin offering anecdotes on a remarkable lineup of friends. “The funny thing is a couple years

When pressed to give an answer

can’t stop raving about her. I’ve

himself, Negin predictably provides

worked twice with her but the first

a funny story instead.

time my scenes weren’t really with

ago when I was living in Toronto,

“Sometimes in the winter I get

her. This time it was always with

Joan Collins was there, doing that

on the elevator in my apartment

her. And we had so many laughs I

play with Linda Evans,” says Negin.

building,” he says. “And I’ll have on

cannot tell you. She’s very intelli-

“And I told her I was having a birth-

a babushka... I mean, it’s really cold

gent with a great sense of humour.

day party. She said, ‘Oh well I want

in Montreal in the winter. So I’m

“ And she trains seeing-eye dogs!”

rant with the cat opposite me having dinner. I’d be very happy.”

KEYHOLE 5:30pm. Fri, Sep 9. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. 12:30pm. Sep 11. AMC. 10 Dundas St E. TIFF Thu, Sep 8-18. Single tickets go on sale Sep 3. tiff.net. intorontomag.com

41


A RT & e nt e rta i n m e n t

O n s ta g e

So innocent → Comedian

O

Kathy Griffin gleefully skewers the pretensions of those famous people we love to hate story Serafin LaRiviere

kay, I’m about to tell you

than two decades ago. Small parts

of Vicki Groener, Brooke Shields’

on shows like The Fresh Prince

sidekick on the TV show Suddenly

I mean, it doesn’t get

genuinely excited. Even with her

of Bel-Air and Mad about You

Susan. When Suddenly Susan was

more gay and more fabulous than

countless television appearances,

led to two unforgettable appear-

cancelled in 2000, Griffin contin-

this.” Two minutes into a conver-

sold-out tours and triumphant

ances on Seinfeld (as Sally Griffin,

ued to tour her successful stand-

sation with Kathy Griffin, and it’s

Broadway runs, the flame-haired

an aspiring comedian who struck

up act, while keeping her TV cred

already feeling like a friendly, gos-

comedian

herself

gold with a cable show called

up with appearances on prime-

sipy chat with an old friend. “Are

as she brushes shoulders with

Jerry Seinfeld is the Devil). After a

time favourites like ER and The

you ready for this? In three hours,

superstars.

few more guest shots on ’90s sit-

Drew Carey Show. Then in 2005,

coms, Griffin landed the plum role

she hit comedy gold with her own

I’m going over to Cher’s house. For 42

lunch! At Cher’s house!” more

something so fabulous.

September 2011

Griffin

couldn’t

still

sound

pinches

Griffin first hit the TV scene more


A RT & en t erta inmen t

Bravo reality show, Kathy Griffin:

her many friends in the industry,

the men from the boys,” Griffin

Joan Rivers (who accused Griffin

My Life on the D-List.

Griffin feels that orbiting the stars

says. “I’ve got to hold my own

of stealing “her gays” in a recent

gives her a better perspective in

when Whitney Houston is sticking

TV roast), Griffin doesn’t treat us

crafting her routines.

her cracky finger in my face say-

like some sycophantic, cute poo-

ing, ‘Never put me in your act!’”

dle accessory to trot out in a bid

For six seasons Griffin and her cast of family, friends and assistants have wickedly skewered LA

“I have my most fun when I’m

celebrities as the raucous redhead

an observer,” she says. “I really

struggled to climb the Hollywood

will always be that person first.

radar

pop-tart-turned-pro-

of her special connection to gay

ladder. The show played beauti-

I do have a handful of celebrity

fessional-disaster Britney Spears,

men, it’s clearly from the heart.

fully on Griffin’s talent for scath-

friends, but I really can’t do my

and our own Canadian shame,

“It’s such a cliché,” Griffin says. “I

ing

self-deprecat-

job if I have too many. I mean, I

Justin Bieber. “I can’t look at

was that girl who only hung out

ing humour, netting a gazillion

went to Drew Barrymore’s house

myself in the mirror with dignity if

with the gay guys at school. Then,

awards and solidifying her posi-

for a party and I was really wor-

I don’t put JB in the act,” she says.

when I started out in comedy,

tion as one of the most outrageous

ried… literally everyone there was

“Oh, and the way he’s boning that

I’d go to open mics at any place I

and unpredictable comics on TV.

in my act. Then Drew says to me,

poor little Mexican teenage girl.”

could get onstage.

satire

and

Other celebs currently on Griffin’s are

for hipster cool. When she speaks

Watching the show, it’s some-

‘Oh I love you, we hate the same

While Selena Gomez may not

“I’d play gay bars, and the audi-

times difficult to tell where the

people.’ Well, yes dear, but I say

appreciate Griffin’s acerbic assess-

ences were just so much better.

line between reality and real-

their names on TV.”

ment of her love life with the

They really got what I was doing. I

ity TV is drawn in Griffin’s cha-

Watching Griffin do red carpet

diminutive Canuck, there are a few

identify with groups who feel dis-

otic and hilarious life. In speak-

commentating for media outlets

surprising exceptions to Griffin’s

enfranchised, who have to strug-

ing with her, there is no line: That

like E!, it becomes clear that the

rule of conquest. “Based on her

gle or are treated differently. They

mouthy, quirky, fearless and com-

father alone, Lindsay Lohan gets a

know what it’s like to be under

pletely delicious personality isn’t

pass for life.”

fire.”

some crazy persona created for the camera’s benefit.

In short,

Kathy Griffin in person is exactly like Kathy Griffin on TV. “I was this girl in fucking grade school, in high school, before TV,” says Griffin, laughing. “I’m gonna fucking die this girl. I can’t help it.

“Then Drew [Barrymore] says to me, ‘Oh I love you, we hate the same people.’ Well yes, dear, but I say their names on TV.”

“I wish I was a milquetoast

Of course, celebrities aren’t the

So is Griffin as unflappable under

only game in Griffin’s hunt for

fire as she seems to be? Does get-

humour. The current Republican

ting the cold shoulder from Nicole

race for a 2012 presidential candi-

Kidman rankle? Is it scary to be on

date is offering up a veritable feast

so many Hollywood never-send-a-

of targets ripe for ridicule.

Christmas-card-to blacklists?

“Oh my God, Michele Bachmann

“Sure, I get scared all the time.

and her husband with his Pray the

And I second guess myself all the

Gay Away ministry bullshit,” says

time, if I’ve bombed or gone too

comedian who makes jokes about

animosity directed at her from

Griffin, her voice practically drip-

far. But I still do it. Every show I

airplane peanuts, but I just don’t

some of the celebs is no act. After

ping acid. “I’m thinking of call-

do, I fucking do it like it’s my last

know any other way to do it. Plus I

all, asking Mariska Hargitay who

ing my next Bravo special Kathy

show.”

fucking love it.”

she thinks will get the drunkest

Griffin: Pray the Gay Back.”

willing-

at the 2005 Emmy Awards isn’t

The pro-gay stuff isn’t just lip

ness to tread upon heavyweight

While

her

gleeful

exactly going to endear you to

service. Griffin has been a long-

Hollywood egos may not gain

folks like, say, Jeremy Piven — as

time supporter of our commu-

suggested by Hargitay, to which

nity, marching in parades, attend-

Griffin replied, “Money in the

ing protests and speaking up

bank!”

when it comes to LGBT equality.

→ BORN T HIS WAY Kathy Griffin dishes on her high school ways, Justin Bieber, Michele Bachmann and why she gives Lindsay Lohan a break.

“Hey, the red carpet separates

And, unlike folks like Madonna or

KATHY GRIFFIN $72-$84. 8pm. Sun, Sep 25. Sony Centre. 1 Front St E. ticketmaster.ca. kathygriffin.net. intorontomag.com

43


Sandra Meigs, Purgatorio, A Drinkingbout, 1981, NGC Collection © CARCC

A RT & E N T E RTA I N M E N T

H i s t o ry

Queen of culture → The

Q

44

unique social and artistic moment of 1980s Queen Street West story Mary Dickie

ueen Street West is hav-

Toronto’s artistic heritage (though

Club, a collection of photographs of

Is Black, which featured band post-

ing a bit of a moment right

the Power Plant did look back on

the mid-’70s Toronto music scene

ers

now. That is, the culture

“the Queen Street Years” in 1998),

featuring local punk bands like

rock scene. They were both part of

of Queen Street West in the vicin-

suddenly it’s a hot topic. Liz Worth’s

The Viletones and The Ugly, and

Paradise Now, a series anchored by

ity of Spadina Ave between the

2009 book Treat Me Like Dirt, an oral

Jennifer Morton’s Dirty, Drunk and

This Is Paradise, a show that ran

mid-’70s and the mid-’80s is hav-

history of the ’70s Toronto punk-

Punk, a biography of the notorious

from June to August at the Museum

ing a moment — if you can imag-

rock scene, might have kick-started

’80s band Bunchofuckingoofs.

of

ine squeezing all the varied forms

this wave of interest in local culture,

On the visual arts front, Archiving

(MOCCA) and focused on work cre-

of artistic expression that happened

but an increasing number of related

the ’80s, an exhibition of posters

ated in the ’80s in and around one

in that place during that time under

releases and events have turned it

from the era’s “downtown culture,”

significant cultural hub — Queen

one umbrella and calling it a culture.

into more of a tsunami. First came

took over the Toronto Free Gallery

West’s Cameron House bar.

After decades in which no one

two books published this spring:

in June, while at the same time the

Meanwhile, the Art Gallery of

seemed to pay much attention to

Don Pyle’s Trouble in the Camera

Butcher Gallery hosted The Legend

Ontario is hosting Haute Culture:

September 2011

from

Toronto’s

Contemporary

’80s

punk-

Canadian

Art


Bobbe Besold

A RT & ENTERTAINMENT

tional painting, which experienced

has its roots in gay culture. “The

a boom in the ’80s with the work

word ‘punk’ actually comes from

of the Chromazone collective, co-

queer culture; it’s the tough young

founded by Paradise Now cura-

boyfriend, the rough trade,” says

tor Rae Johnson. “In some ways,

Paterson. “And I think in some ways

the MOCCA show is the painters’

the more social art emerged from

revenge against the Power Plant

gay

show,”

“because

ing more entertaining cabaret-type

that was mostly photography and

performances as opposed to strict

video.”

modernist performance art.”

says

Paterson,

performance

styles,

mean-

One theme Paterson does rec-

As gay artists who collaborated

ognize as significant is a focus on

with many others, including The

the body, particularly as it began to

Dishes and David Buchan, addressed

come under attack from AIDS. “You

AIDS directly and worked in (and

can see AIDS anticipated in some of

played with) social arts like fashion,

→ SALON Sandra Meigs’ painting Purgatorio (opposite page) was part of the recent MOCCA show that looked back at cultural hub the Cameron House. Artist Andrew J Paterson, seen here with his band The Government in 1978 (above), still lives in the Cameron and is uniquely positioned to reflect on why a certain kind of social art took root in the Queen West neighbourhood.

The Government, as well as a video

the works in the MOCCA show, like

music, performance and publishing,

artist, writer and longtime Cameron

Stephen Andrews’ drawings,” he

General Idea were influential fig-

waiter who still lives in the build-

says.

ures. “They were doing what could

ing, he may be uniquely qualified to

But perhaps the major unifying

be called relational esthetics before

provide a perspective on the current

theme of the era is not style, mood

Nicolas Bourriaud ever coined the

flurry of activity — and he’s wary of

or genre so much as art becoming

term,” says Paterson. “The social

roping everything into one dreaded

more social in nature — whether

event and the people are part of the

c-word.

that refers to artists emerging from

equation, and the way the people

“The most overused word in the

their studios to join collectives, leav-

come and react to the space is per-

General Idea, a retrospective of the

language is ‘community,’” he says.

ing abstraction behind to paint their

formative without being theatrical

multimedia collective that greatly

“When I hear ‘the community,’ I

friends or collaborating with others

performance.”

influenced Toronto’s art and music

wonder who’s in charge of who’s in

using different media. One exam-

So why does that era resonate so

scenes, running until the end of

it and who’s not? And does it mean

ple was The Government backing

much with people now? Is it because

the year (see page XX), while Colin

geographical? When you have peo-

up The Hummer Sisters in shows

we’re entering another era of social

Brunton’s local punk-music docu-

ple frequently found under the same

that incorporated music, theatre,

art, facilitated not so much by a bar

mentary The Last Pogo Jumps Again

roof, that’s called a neighbourhood.

video and performance art. Another

as by our habit of constantly staying

is expected this fall. And Theatre

“I would never reduce General

Passe Muraille this month opens

Idea to the ’80s. They go back 40 or

The Tale of a Town: Queen West,

more years. And to me, there’s a big

Lisa Marie DiLiberto’s theatrical por-

difference between what happened

trait of the Queen West neighbour-

from ’76 to ’78, the period Don Pyle’s

hood over the past 30 years.

book covers, and in the ’80s, when

in touch with each other through

“The social event and the people are part of the equation.”

technology? “I think there’s nostalgia for what’s perceived as a looser, less bureaucratic era, and a less intellectual, more gut-feeling era,” says Paterson. “I don’t have nostal-

Some of these efforts have been

the Cameron was happening,” he

created by veterans of the scene,

says. “People are confusing that.

was Donna Lypchuk’s play, the “liv-

for academics — but those who go

others by people born years after

I’ve signed off on songs for The

ing painting,” Tragedy of Manners.

by the gut do.”

its peak (like Worth and DiLiberto).

Last Pogo, but The Government was

And no doubt the Cameron’s posi-

Or maybe it’s all about indie cul-

Some attempt to provide context

really not part of that scene; we just

tion as a hangout facilitated all of

ture, as punk led to independent

for the content; others do not. Some

played the same venues.”

that socializing.

record labels and arguably to art

gia for that myself — I’m a whore

are gay, some are straight, some

In fact, even in the ’70s, as Pyle

“In some ways the crossover really

collectives and outside-the-system

never bothered to ask; some are

has noted, there were clear distinc-

was with theatre,” says Paterson.

thinking and acting. “I think there’s

serious and political, others are not.

tions between raw punk bands like

“Some of the painting of the period

a quality of independence about

With such a wide range of moods,

The Viletones and keyboard- and

became this kind of salon painting,

that culture, and a desire to speak

from the reckless muscularity of

sax-heavy outfits like The Dishes,

or people painting social scenes. It

out about things outside the main-

the punk scene to the fear-battling

although they both could trace

was not abstract; it was more per-

stream,” says DiLiberto. “Queen

response to the AIDS crisis, is it pos-

their roots back to Bowie and Rough

formative. A lot of that painting is

Street has been a place where peo-

sible to say they have anything in

Trade. And the ’80s saw completely

very theatrical, meaning maybe it

ple can be individual and say what

common other than their decade

different bands like Parachute Club

was fun to do but not so much fun

they want to say, and we’re trying to

and geographical location — and

and L’Etranger playing the clubs.

to watch afterwards, which one can

continue that now.”

does it matter if they don’t?

Similarly, there were divides in

·

say about a lot of performance.”

Andrew J Paterson thinks so. As

the art world between video and

Much of that theatrical, social

frontman for the post-punk band

photographic art and representa-

art, from punk to performance art, intorontomag.com

45


C

M

Y

M

Y

Y

MY

K

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sex & health — with Dr Keith

→ “I am seeing more and more guys preferring bareback sex. Why do you think this is?”

Barebacking, having sex without condoms, seems more openly dis-

them a nuisance and would rather take the risk of contracting HIV.

cussed (and to some, more accept-

Others, including myself, feel that

able) than decades ago. Expert opin-

a strong motivator for unsafe sex

ion however has not changed: HIV

is that gay men no longer fear get-

is still easily transmitted this way

ting HIV. In the ’80s during the epi-

and is not curable. (Also you need

demic there was no good treatment

to worry about getting gonorrhea,

and the death rate was high. People

warts, chlamydia and syphilis.)

were terrified. Now we see smiling,

Many HIV-positive persons are

happy, healthy-looking people in

choosing to have unprotected sex

HIV drug ads and rarely hear stories

with other positive partners. This

of our positive friends dying from

is still thought by many experts to

the disease. Why put on a condom

have its own risks and should be

when you can have sex that feels

discussed with your own health-

good and if you catch it, just take the

care provider. In the context of true

meds like you would for diabetes or

monogamy between two negative

high blood pressure?

partners you often see condoms fall

I find this train of thought to be

to the wayside. However the amount

most terrifying of all. These people

of trust involved in this is huge — to

are missing the point: Yes, you live

be 100 percent safe you should trust

longer and yes, there are good treat-

no-one, including your boyfriend.

ments that extend your life (perhaps

More worrying is HIV-negative

even a “normal” lifespan) but they

casual partners going bare. You’re

are expensive, require frequent doc-

gambling when you bareback, espe-

tor and hospital visits with repeated

cially with strangers. A 2002 study

blood tests and, on top of this, you

in San Francisco reported 57 per-

have to deal with potential horri-

cent of HIV-positive barebackers

ble side-effects and large pharmacy

were willing to have unprotected

bills. Not to mention the bother of

sex with someone even if they were

taking medications up to four times

HIV-negative. Other studies fur-

a day. Those picturesque “life is per-

ther show HIV-positive men do not

fect” ad campaigns don’t talk about

always disclose their status to nega-

the other problems frequently asso-

tive partners. And finally, many men

ciated with HIV like chronic pain

live with HIV and do not even know

and fatigue, increased cancer risk

their status and bareback not know-

and susceptibility to infection (to

ing they are putting others at risk.

mention a few).

Many HIV-negative people are

So, to sum up: Why? We don’t

aware you can catch HIV through

know. Should you? No. Confused?

unprotected sex but are choosing to

Talk to your healthcare provider.

have unprotected sex anyway. Why that is remains a bit of a mystery and numerous theories abound. “Condom fatigue” is one, meaning that guys are just tired of hearing that they should use condoms, find

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

intorontomag.com

49


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September 2011 - In Toronto Magazine  

Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto

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