Thursday, June 30, 2016

Canada Day 2016: The Pride of Canada Carousel #folkart

From a media release:

Canada Day 2016 - free rides, cotton candy & more
The Pride of Canada Carousel

After July 1, the Pride of Canada Carousel will be open seven days a week 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. - $2:00 a ride
162 Enterprise Blvd and Birchmount in Downtown Markham

TORONTO – The Pride of Canada Carousel, a 50-foot, one-of-a-kind merry-go-round featuring 44 rideable sculptures was unveiled at a private preview event, today, Tuesday June 28, 2016 in Downtown Markham. The Carousel will make its public debut at a free Canada Day celebration, noon to 5:00 p.m., Friday July 1 at 162 Enterprise and Birchmount in Downtown Markham.

Canada Day celebrants will take free fantastical rides on the sculpture characters including a beaver, a bumblebee, a massive moose, a mermaid, a Canadian Mountie and more, all made from repurposed materials forming ingenious works of art. In addition to free carousel rides, the Pride of Canada Carousel July 1 celebration will feature, free cotton candy, air brush tattoo artist, mini Canadian flags, balloons twister, water station and costumed stilt characters inspired by the sculptures.

• A live BelloSound DJ will play the best of Canadian music. Beaver Tails will be on hand and The Great Canadian Food Truck and Caplansky’s will be curbside for the festivities.
• Across the street at 169 Enterprise Road, the Canada Day block party features more free activities with face painting, live music from Los Moralitos at 3.00 p.m., 5.15 p.m. and 6.15 p.m. and Awash with Flames: the Billions Cobra Show at 4:15 p.m. in the square.

The centrepiece of the celebration, The Pride of Canada Carousel is a spectacular interactive art piece created by notable, Canadian-born, California-based urban folk artist, Patrick Amiot, who is a master at creating art out of found objects. Amiot works in tandem with his wife Brigitte Laurent. The creative duo work side-by-side out of Sebastopol, California, Patrick sculpts while Brigitte paints.

The Pride of Canada Carousel is many things – a piece of kinetic art, whimsy and engineering in motion, a joyful lifestyle connection to tradition and a bucket list destination for globetrotters who seek an old-fashioned ride on a 21st Century Carousel. The legendary Daniel Horenberger of Brass Ring Carousel Company built the Carousel structure. Some of his notable carousels include Disneyland’s King Arthur Carrousel and the General Electric solar-powered Carousolar.

The Pride of Canada Carousel is housed in a dramatic open glass pavilion designed by acclaimed Toronto-based architect Sheldon Levitt of Quadrangle, Architects, Ltd. and will serve as a cultural anchor and meeting place in the 243-acre Downtown Markham development. The Pride of Canada Carousel will soon join the ranks of Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn, New York and Pier 39 Carousel in San Francisco. Christopher Bratty of The Remington Group, the pre-eminent real estate and development firm behind Downtown Markham, commissioned the Carousel to be a centerpiece of The Remington Contemporary Art Gallery (RCAG) The Remington Group’s ambitious $25 million public art initiative in Downtown Markham.

Commissioned pieces such as the Carousel are only part of Downtown Markham’s public art story. The Remington Group endeavors to build a creative community with studio spaces, shows and exhibitions. Art will feature prominently throughout all 243 acres of Downtown Markham as the true live, work, play community evolves in the coming decades. Such as the development itself, RCAG will continue to push boundaries, helping shape a dynamic and truly original urban landscape.

#PrideofCanada

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Recently released: Eric Anders - Big World Abide: The Best of Eric Anders (Independent - March 30 2016)

Recently released:
Eric Anders - Big World Abide: The Best of Eric Anders
(Independent - March 30, 2016)

Buy the CD

This is a "Best Of' compilation from Eric Anders, a native of San Francisco. The songs are culled from several different releases - and it's a nice introduction to the work of this artist if you're not yet familiar - but there's a sense of cohesion and consistency to Eric's musical output that doesn't make it feel like a jumble sale of songs.

Eric's songs So Wrong was used in feature film, Man in the Chair and Big World Abide was used in the TV Show "Dirt," starring Courtney Cox.

It begins with the sombre Tethered to the Ground, a track that has a classic vibe in a folk vein. The pared down instrumentation and anthemic melody highlight Eric Anders' slightly raspy, romantically breathy tenor. His vocals have a sensitive sense of expression and a nice range that really carry the music.

A nice, crisp drum line adds impetus to the moody title song, Big World Abide. He pays as much attention to the lyrics as to the music and thoughtful arrangement with a poetic mix of cleverness and poignancy that matches the feel of the track.

God's got a list, he's checking it twice;
Heaven's the gift for those who are nice.

Eric Anders got into writing and recording songs late in life and then tried to make up for lost time by releasing four critically acclaimed CDs in four years: Not At One (2003), Songs For Wayward Days (2004), More Regrets (2005) and Tethered to the Ground (2006). Jeff Peters, who mixed four of Eric's releases, remastered the songs compiled for this 2016 release, Big World Abide: The Best of Eric Anders.

Big World Abide is a full length CD and the songs range from folk to country/rock within a familiar range but played and sung with a conviction you can hear in the recording. The mood ranges from plaintive to driving to bluesy, with each track offering something a little different.

Remembering On My Own is a highlight, a song with flashes of Indian strings and tabla underneath the folk-rock melody and guitar. It's gives the track an intriguing kind of texture. His vocals are soft on an acoustic version of the Violent Femmes' hit Blister In The Sun in a retake that you don't recognize at first. He mines the song for the romance of the words in a version that likely won't please fans of the original - but then again, it's not meant to be compared. Some tracks, like Genocide and Justice, are politically aware.

This is the best of the singer-songwriter genre, lit up by a laid back energy (if that can be a thing) and Eric's voice.

Eric is currently working on his next release with Mark O'Bitz and Matt Brown.

Websites:
www.EricAnders.com
https://www.facebook.com/ericandersmusic
http://ericanders.bandcamp.com/

Scarborough Afro-Caribbean Festival August 20 & 21 2016

I'm an official "community partner" and looking forward to this fun event coming up in August:

Scarborough Afro-Caribbean Festival 
August 20 & 21, 2016
Albert Campbell Square

“Celebrating Our Diversity” at the Scarborough Afro-Carib Fest

Scarborough, Ontario – June 2016: It’s BACK!! It’s BIGGER!! It’s BETTER!! The 5th annual Scarborough Afro Carib-Fest taking place on August 20-21, 2016 offers exciting live musical performances, mouth-watering ethnic cuisine, a cultural fashion show, dance competitions, vendor exhibitions, marketplace, beer tent, drum and dance workshops, face painting, kid’s zone and much more!

"Celebrating Our Diversity" is the theme for this event for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience the richness of the city’s diverse communities. Organized by the non-profit organization, Heritage Skills Development Centre (HSDC), with support from the Canadian Heritage and TD Bank, the event fosters pride and demonstrates the richness of the Afro-Caribbean culture, and other ethnic groups that make up the fabric of Canada. The 2-day festival is unique as it helps to bridge social, cultural and economic gaps through sharing music, dance, cuisine, arts and culture.

The Festival will take place from 12:00pm – 9:00 pm on Saturday August 20 and Sunday August 21, 2016 inside Albert Campbell Square at the Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Drive, Scarborough, ON. The event is FREE and will welcome 20,000 people from across Ontario and Internationally.

• For Sponsorship Opportunities, please click here 
• For Vendor Opportunities, please click here 


About Heritage Skills Development Centre (HSDC):
HSDC is a grassroots non-profit organization established in 1993 with a mission to promote the health, social, cultural, and economic self-sufficiency of new immigrants, low-income, at-risk and marginalized groups in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Email: info@hsdconline.org; info@scarboroughafrocaribfest.com
Phone: 416-345-1613 Fax: 416-345-8696

Stay Connected with us on Social Media
www.facebook.com/SACFestival
Twitter: @AfroCaribFest 
Instagram: @AfroCaribFest

Highlights from last year:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Afro Cuban Soundclash On Tour 2016: BATTLE OF SANTIAGO - Toronto June 25, US Dates July 7-9

From a media release:

On Tour:
BATTLE OF SANTIAGO - Fábrica de Ritmo (Rhythm Factory)

June 25, 2016 in Toronto as part of Luminato

US Tour Dates:
July 7 @ ArtsRoit, Burlington, VT
July 8 @ Rockwood Music Hall, NYC, NY (Fabrica de Ritmo – Live Electronic DJ set)
July 9 @ Joe Pub, NYC, NY 

There’s an epic soundclash taking place North of the Border. Toronto-based group the Battle of Santiago combines classic Afro-Cuban rhythms and vocals with a distinctly Canadian post-rock spirit and sensibility. The result is a wholly unique sound that tells a universal 21st Century story, transcending borders while staying rooted in one city’s immigrant experience.

“There are a couple of different Battles of Santiago’s to choose from,” explains the group’s founder Michael Owen. “There were a few in Cuba, mostly during the Spanish-American War, and there was even an infamous World Cup match in Chile that’s been given the name, too. So you can take your pick. We liked that ambiguity. It reflects how our music can change and take on different vibes. The name also implies some kind of soundclash, which works for us since the band has both a Latino and non-Latino section, and that dynamic can create a really exciting creative tension.”

Fábrica de Ritmo ( Rhythm Factory) is the group's newest exploration deconstructing and rebuilding these classic latin rhythms with their own district sound while marring their experience with electronic dance music. The band has a love of rhythm and percussion with a mission to explore the musical boundaries in non traditional directions using their ambience, electronic, noise, jazz, and post-rock influences.

The Battle of Santiago has been marked by this restless, transnational experimentalism since the beginning. The group has evolved from an exploration of experimental rock grounded in drummer-less Latin percussion, to an instrumental groove machine, to a tight Afro-Cuban post-rock outfit, and to this new mash up with their love of electronic dance music.

While Canada is well-known for its thriving indie rock and electronic scenes, with acts as diverse as Grimes and God Speed You Black Emperor, the country is seldom thought of as a Latin music hotbed. But Toronto hosts many thriving immigrant communities — including one of the largest Cuban expat communities in North America — and the Battle of Santiago is strongly rooted in the city’s wealth of Cuban and Latin musical talent.

The Battle of Santiago doesn’t skimp on their live show, either. There multimedia component developed with Chilean-born artist/designer Patricio Davila,  integrates digital visual art, live musical performance and audience interaction. The result is a one-of-a-kind organic audio / visual installation not to be missed.

The band will be promoting the upcoming release which dives deep into Afro-Cuban waters, mixing Afro-Cuban Yourba chants with subtle electronica (“Barasu-Ayo”) and rumbas with post-rock experimentalism (“Asi Vengo Yo”). The sound is more than just Radiohead meets Irakere, though: there’s cumbia tinged with dub (“Cimmaron”), anthemic Latin rock (“Pa Bailar”) and even the smooth funk of “Complica”.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Epic After Parties at Toronto Summer Music Festival 2016 July 22 & August 2

From a media release:

Toronto Summer Music Festival 2016 presents two epic after-parties! 
Long Winter at the Elgin - July 22 - TIX 
Definitely Not The Proms - August 2 - TIX

More info

TORONTO…Toronto Summer Music launches two new after-party events during the 2016 festival:  Long Winter at the Elgin and Definitely Not The Proms.

Toronto Summer Music has partnered with Mike Haliechuk of Long Winter, the inter-arts festival, to create an epic after-opera event on July 22 starting at 10 PM.   Rumoured to be haunted, the lobbies of the historic Elgin and Winter Garden Theatres (189 Yonge Street) will be transformed by artists, musicians, and dancers for an eerily unforgettable, immersive, artistic experience.  Opera tickets purchased for The Rape of Lucretia include access to the Long Winter at the Elgin after-party.  Tickets to the after-party can be purchased separately online for $20.

On August 2 at 10 PM, Toronto Summer Music Festival hosts Definitely Not The Proms, an after-party featuring great music, wine and food at Integral House (194 Roxborough Drive, Rosedale).  Definitely Not The Proms features food by Michael Tong of Sublime Catering and performances by classically trained singer-songwriter-pianist Jeffery Straker who has recorded for CBC's Canada Live and has toured internationally as far as Peru, Chile and Mexico. "Rufus Wainwright and k.d. lang are among the Canadians making essential and beautiful music – add Jeffery Straker to that list,” writes The Chicago Free Press.  Tickets to Definitely Not The Proms are $75 (admission includes food and drink).


About the 2016 Toronto Summer Music Festival
From July 14 to August 7, the Toronto Summer Music Festival brings outstanding classical music experiences to the city with a program featuring renowned Canadian and international artists in 24 mainstage concerts at Koerner Hall, Walter Hall and the Winter Garden Theatre, plus masterclasses, free outreach concerts, lectures, and workshops.

The 2016 Festival theme, London Calling! celebrates the vast musical traditions of Great Britain – from the Baroque to the 20th century pop British Invasion – with a special focus on the music of great British composers including Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten, Walton, and many more.  Performances include pianists Jeremy Denk and Christopher O’Riley, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, the Parker and Dover String Quartets, and a semi-staged production of Benjamin Britten’s chamber opera The Rape of Lucretia by Against The Grain’s Artistic Director Joel Ivany.  

For information on all 2016 Toronto Summer Music Festival activities call 416-408-0208 or visit www.torontosummermusic.com .
 
Facebook: facebook.com/Torontosummermusic
Twitter: @TSMFestival
YouTube:  TSMFestival
Instagram: tsmfestival

A taste of Jeffery Straker (playing August 2):



Saturday, June 18, 2016

Existential musings at the Drake Hotel #Toronto

Existential musings at the Drake Hotel
#Toronto

It's been a while since I've slid my (vintage) designer-clad ass into a leatherette booth at the Drake Hotel.

While some of the decor elements may have changed and the demographic shifted - at least for tonight - but the artsy bent and high end energy are the same.

The mixologists are talented; this sherry/passion fruit concoction is possibly the most delicious cocktail I've ever had.
A sherry cocktail, they said

Down market seems to be in vogue these days as a design aesthetic. We are served little paper cups, with wooden forks to pick out the fragrant, spicy rice laced with salmon roe and fish along with veggies. It feels virtuous, somehow, albeit glutenous.

A DJ spins the tunes one into another and naturally, Purple Rain is on the list.

I'm watching the crowd of white scenesters groove, eat and drink to black music. Upstairs, they listen to hip hop as they chatter and take hors d'oeuvres, only to set them down again after a single bite.

These people aren't writers, in other words.
Drake Hotel, rooftop lounge (image by Anya Wassenberg)

There are photographers swarming all over the place.

I'm glad the Rorschach wallpaper and the tangled arrangement of lights along the wall have survived redecorating binges. They've always been among my favourite features of this room.

The crowd is fashionable 20-somethings, with a smattering of oldies like me.

They've tricked the young fashionistas into wearing ugly, shapeless dresses and blocky, unattractive shoes. They wear the kind of old-lady gear I used to make fun of in my teens, such has the pendulum of fashion swung around.

And around and around...
Rorschach wallpaper at the Drake Hotel, Toronto (by Anya Wassenberg)

#TravelSpain: Dalí, Shakespeare, Visconti in a Medieval Town - Exhibition at Gala Dalí Castle Púbol continues to Jan 6, 2017

With material from a media release:

#TravelSpain
Dalí, Shakespeare, Visconti
Gala Dalí Castle Púbol
Exhibition continues to Jan 6, 2017

Púbol is a small town in the municipality of La Pera, in the comarca of Baix Empordà, in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain. A beautiful village with its medieval charms intact, it was home to Salvador Dalí and is now home to the castle where he lived. You can absorb the gorgeous Catalonian countryside as you take in an exhibition that looks at Dalí's ties to the world of theatre.

The Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí is presenting a temporary exhibition at Púbol Castle, officially opened in March and continuing until January 6, 2017. This year the temporary exhibition at Púbol is dedicated to Salvador Dalí’s involvement in the theatre production of Shakespeare’s As you like it directed by Luchino Visconti at the Teatro Eliseo in Rome in 1948.

Concept and content
With the Dalí, Shakespeare, Visconti exhibition, which delves into Salvador Dalí’s relationship with the performing arts, we have sought to take part in the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and, at the same time, we wanted to remember an important moment in the history of western theatre.

Dalí, Shakespeare and Visconti
As you like it is a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare written between 1599 and 1600. In 1948, the Italian director Luchino Visconti decided to stage a production of the play and sought the collaboration of Salvador Dalí to give the project greater visibility. Dalí was commissioned to create the set design, which also involved a young Franco Zeffirelli as art director, and also the costume design.

Historical context 
In July 1948 Salvador Dalí returned to Portlligat after eight years of exile in the United States to escape the war. The artist announced his desire to rediscover Italian classicism. In Venice, in front of the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, he noticed a stone hemisphere surrounded by four rectangles. For Dalí, it was the confirmation that he was on the right path towards his work assuming the logic of classical perfection. Later he travelled to Rome, where he met Luchino Visconti. The director had finished La terra trema, a film commissioned by the Italian Communist Party. Afterwards, he presented the project Rosalinda o Come vi piace as “an uncomplicated show, a game, musical entertainment that evokes calm thoughts. [...] Then came Dalí. I was looking for an eccentric stage designer, a wizard”. With this commission, Dalí immersed himself for a month with total freedom to create the set design and costumes.



Set & costume design
Visconti wanted his theatre to be the expression of a visual fact. Dalí decided to attract attention by creating a structure that would frame the stage. This frame was the geometric motif the artist had seen on the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice. In addition, he also gave precise instructions for the lighting.

The costumes were made by Eva Mangili Palmer. Dalí himself referred to them in the text Bonjour! that was included in the programme: “my costumes are morphological and, in order to better serve my audience, they are even prophetic”.

Areas of the exhibition
In this year’s temporary exhibition at Púbol Castle there are three original works by Salvador Dalí on display: the drawing Elephant with obelisk from c. 1946, the oil painting Project for ‘Romeo and Juliet’ from 1942, and the wash drawing Study for the set of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ from 1942 (this last work is on display in the Castle library), 29 photographs taken by different authors, including Pasquale de Antonis and Tommaso Vasari, and seven documents. The two works from 1942 are not linked to Dalí and Visconti’s project, but they do complete the homage to Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death.

The seven documents in the display case are: one copy of the luxury edition of the programme from 1948, two period leaflets about the play, a photocopy of a handwritten letter from Dalí giving Visconti instructions about the staging, and three specialised theatre magazines which covered the premiere. There is also a screen showing an audiovisual of the programme’s pages being turned one by one. In the middle of the room a sofa has been placed to serve as seating and as a screen. Projected onto it is an excerpt from the television series Per Luchino Visconti broadcast by Rai 3 in 1987, in which the actors Vittorio Gassman and Marcello Mastroianni relate anecdotes about 1948.

The production company DocDoc Films is responsible for these two projections.

Staging
The staging of the exhibition was designed by Pep Canaleta from 3carme33 and the graphic design is by Alex Gifreu. Through the use of special lighting in the rooms, all the walls are washed in a faded red that reminds us of one of Dalí’s set designs. The aim was to add a theatrical effect to the staging of the exhibition. The red colour is inspired by Salvador Dalí’s Project for ‘As you like it’ from 1948. The display case has been designed to look like an old stage. And, finally, the button-tufted white sofa in the centre of the room is reminiscent of the ‘sheep couch’.



Catalogue
The catalogue includes texts by Salvador Dalí and Luchino Visconti, with an introduction by Montse Aguer, director of the Dalí Museums, and an article by Lucia Moni, CED coordinator and curator of the exhibition. The catalogue was coordinated by Rosa Maria Maurell, from the Centre for Dalinian Studies.

Púbol
Púbol is a village with medieval flavour. Its Sant Pere Church (14th century) is an outstanding monument. This church was one of the richest in the region until the Civil War, when its treasures were destroyed, with the exception of the 15th century Gothic altarpiece by Bernat Martorell, now kept at the Girona Diocesan Museum. References to the Castle-Palace go back as far as 1017.

This Gothic-Renaissance fortress has undergone numerous transformations. In 1968 Salvador Dalí bought it and gave it to his wife Gala as a gift. With restoration work that lasted throughout a year, Dalí changed the castle's appearance almost completely, furnishing it with pieces from antique dealers in the region. He decorated the garden with elephants with huge feet, and he built a swimming pool with busts of Richard Wagner. In 1982, Gala was buried in the palace and it opened to the public in 1996. Inside you can see the paintings and drawings that Dalí gave his wife.

Hotel Pick
Las Moradas del Unicornio
Bed & Breakfast
Address: Plaza de Púbol, 17120 Púbol, Girona, Spain
Phone:+34 972 48 88 19
Very well reviewed, this bed & breakfast offers a taste of the area's characteristic Romanesque charms - cut stone on the outside and a lavish sense of decor inside. Outside the Hotel features a pool to cool off in, surrounded by a lush garden. Indoors you'll find a warm palette of colour with lots of natural hardwoood, including an enchanting library.

Púbol Castle, Gala Dalí House-Museum
Plaza Gala Dalí s/n
17120 Púbol, Pera, La
Girona, Catalonia
Telephone  +34 972488655
Fax  +34 972488653
E-mail  pbgrups@dali-estate.org
Website  http://www.salvador-dali.org

Practical information Reservations
E-mail  pubol@fundaciodali.org
Website  https://www.salvador-dali.org/serveis/entrades.html