Contributed by Christopher Jones
03/27 2015

A Conversation With Arts & Culture

Toronto’s arts community filled St. Lawrence Hall yesterday for an informative presentation by the City’s Arts & Culture Section highlighting the many changes that have taken place since a thorough reorganization of the Economic Development and Culture Division last year.

As Director of Arts & Culture, Terry Nicholson, below, pointed out, “Culture has gone from having one Director among five to having three: Arts & Culture, Film Commissioner and Director of Entertainment Industries, and Museums & Heritage Services.” Furthermore, the Division’s new Program Support section works with all three units and newly appointed Manager, Policy Development,Larissa Deneau, was on hand to outline some of her team’s plans and challenges.


Posted in Art, Street Culture
Contributed by Christopher Jones
03/18 2015

Kickstarting the Artists’ Newsstand

Jess Dobkin is doing what artists are supposed to do, she’s being creative. Dobkin’s local subway station is Chester and she’s had her eye on the fallow, shuttered Gateway newsstand, literally, for years.

Dobkin has organized a “small and mighty collective of Toronto artists” to move in and take over the space beginning May 1. They’ll run it partly as a typical newsstand selling standard commuter confections, and partly as an exhibition/performance space stocking art prints, books, etc.

Dobkin and company are in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign raising money to renew and refurbish the kiosk and make it art-ready.

“The kiosk is going to be staffed by artists and we’ll be bringing in artists to create work for the space,” she explains. “We’ll operate it as a traditional newsstand space and as an artist space for site specific exhibitions, screenings, performances, community arts projects. We’re commissioning work by local artists that will speak to issues of transit and mobility, accessibility, civic engagement.”


Posted in Art
Contributed by Christopher Jones
03/13 2015

T.O. Rock City

Toronto has always been a rock ‘n’ roll town and the evidence is once again up on the walls at Analogue Gallery, where the fourth annual Sound Image photo contest opened last night.

Analogue trades mostly in black and white nostalgia — classic rock from the 1960s and 70s — but once a year gallery owner Lucia Graca opens her doors to younger photographers, many of them shooting locally. Consequently, Sound Image is a celebration of the Hogtown music scene featuring a cross-section of venues and artists, both local heroes and international sensations. Pictured above is Roger Cullman’s contest winning photo of Nick Cave taken at Sony Centre in 2014.


Posted in Music
Contributed by Christopher Jones
03/11 2015

Moudy Schricker’s Uncharted Territory

Electronic, folk and world music collide at Revival Saturday night where Toronto’s Mahmood Schricker – Moudy to his pals – spearheads intriguing collaborations with Vancouver-based electronic artist/DJ Michael Red and Paris-based, Iranian act Shanbehzadeh Ensemble. On Friday, all three acts pull into Small World Music Centre to record what should be an intriguing mix of analog/electronic dub.

In addition to producing and promoting concerts and tours through his Link Music Lab, Schricker is a composer and player of the Iranian setar, a traditional three-stringed instrument that he plays in very non-traditional ways. The electrified setar is morphed and bent with a battery of effects to create a sound that is utterly of the moment – global, modern yet rooted in the past.

“In Persian music you always hear these drones,” notes Schicker, left, “and I thought I could do something else, personalize it. My ultimate goal is to have a minimal, dub electro sound with Persian music on top. It’s a very big challenge but I think we’re getting closer and closer and this concert will help bring us even further.”