Archive for October, 2008

Flashing Lights and Other Distractions…

Glad I took some time out from the hustle, bustle and market mayhem yesterday. Picking up my film cameras (and my digital) was a welcome change to the mindless grind. I always try to experiment with a new photo technique on 1024, in the past it was cross processing, pinhole photography, shooting B+W film… Never hurts to have a creative distraction.

TenTwentyFour was originally a Lomography based event in 2002. The international photo day in the life is now open to all formats/cameras and I’m proud to have been a contributor for most all of them. It’s been awhile since I shot film and even longer since I’ve tinkered with my Diana. The “mystery” of film is part of the allure and I’m anxious to see what images will look like when shot with regular 35mm instead of 120 film. Of course it will be exciting to see the images from around the world once the gallery for 2008 gets assembled later this year.

The Urban Water Cycle… Best Yet!!!

The Urban Water Cycle Pools Together Near Trinity Bellwoods

The Urban Water Cycle Pools Together Near Trinity Bellwoods

Glad I had a chance to check out this year’s Human River – Urban Water Cycle on Sunday. It was a brilliant idea to try the event as a bicycle adventure through the streets of Toronto. Of course it helped that the ride was downhill (basically the path of Garrison Creek toward the lake).

A big bonus were the speakers and stops along the route which brought new insight into Toronto, past and present. L.E.A.F. , Toronto Public Spacing Committee, Human River, Lost Rivers, The Toronto Green Community, River Sides, Coach House Books and the many volunteers should be proud of their efforts. A job well done on improving on what was already such a great event! Four years strong, here’s to four more!

Dion Listens to his Conscience and Colleagues

Last week Toronto MP Joe Volpe was the first party member to publicly call for Dion’s resignation after the weak Liberal election result. Today Dion was man enough to admit his failings to sell Canadian’s on his platform of income tax cuts and taxes on pollution, “The Green Shift”. Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett won her seat despite despicable vandals but Dion felt the most damaging instrument this election campaign was the Conservative ad machine. (Sad that it seemed there was no denouncement of the vandalism but it was good to hear some people from the community banding together and asking for signs even if they were not planning on voting Liberal).

Dion will stand the course as leader until the next convention. The speculators can only guess as to whom will succeed him but at least he has accepted his fate and is moving on in the interest of the party. As the dust settles one can only smile not to cry. We still have spent massive amounts of taxpayers money to re-elect a minority government. About $300 million!!! Talk of a coalition continues and Canadians are still quaking in fear over the prospect of another dysfunctional parliament. An economic crisis is looming. It’s not the best time for MP’s to be distracted from the needs of Canadians.

Mr. Harper called this election to cement a Conservative Majority, the third swing at the plate as leader of the Conservative party in just four years! Harper, like Dion, has put forth an strong effort but perhaps he should consider stepping down as leader as the Conservatives regroup for their Convention in November. Reviving the Reform Party talk of Senate reform in the midst of recession is insulting. Perhaps some Conservatives will talk sense into to the PM? He’s a hockey lover and Toronto Maple Leaf’s fan and all but…Whoa??? Hasn’t he pissed off Quebec enough to invigorate the Bloc (and lose all chance for a majority)?!!!

Get your sticks on the ice and giv’er people. Canada expects more from it’s “all-stars” no matter what colour their home jersey is. You guys actually have to DO something more than call an election and send money to ad agencies every couple years!

Urban Water Cycle


It’s back again for another year! The Human River. This year’s event, The Human River Urban Water Cycle, is a leisurely bike ride. The downhill ride will have riders follow the route of the now buried Garrison Creek, Toronto’s biggest buried river, toward Lake Ontario. Urban Water Cycle promises to be a great family friendly event that will enlighten and entertain while providing a different take on Toronto neighbourhoods and the environment. The ride starts at St. Clair and Humewood and ends at Old Fort York’s Blue Barracks. There will be food, raffles and a photo show at the Blue Barracks at 3:30pm.

So if you are not too much of a ZOMBIE Sunday morning dress up in blue and join the Human River!

Human River – Urban Water Cycle
October 19th starting at 1pm
Free (Donations are Welcome)

7Km ride Starts at 1pm – North West Corner of St.Clair and Humewood
(Waiver Required)
Stops include Bickford Park (approx. 1:45 – 2pm), Trinity Bellwoods (approx. 2:20 – 2:40pm) and Old Fort York (approx. 3:10 – 3:30pm)
Food and Photo Show at 3:30pm after the bike ride at Fort York’s Blue Barracks

Non-cyclists are encouraged to join in the fun at Fork York or at other Water Cycle stops (Bickford Park or Trinity Bellwoods).

Whoa! What are you doing? What the people want?

Sad to see that only 59% of Canadians went out to vote. The distressing thing is that many seats were determined by a slim margin of votes. Amazing considering the times we are facing but apathy must be high.

By Monday we could see Dion announce whether he continues to be Liberal leader. Some are calling for Harper’s head after not producing a majority even after pushing the election button early but I don’t expect that to happen too soon.

Most people want the powers that be working for the needs of the voters; transit, jobs and the economy as opposed to abstract issues like Senate reform. That would seem to ring true for most in Toronto as transit infrastructure is badly needed. If parliament was unproductive last time I can only guess the confidence vote/ransom notes will be passed even sooner this time around.

At least the Ontario government is saying that they will focus on fighting poverty while being mindful of spending cuts and program delays. Hey Stevie, people will like you more if you actually DO something for them. We are in an unprecedented market meltdown, put down your parliamentary structure wishlist for a second. Suddenly I don’t feel well. Perhaps we have another election coming up.

Voting is HOT!

Yes, voting is hot. Don’t let the opinion polls fool you. Any prospect of another minority government means that every vote could be a tipping point for anyone in the running. The recent turbulence in the financial markets and proposals made by each party should be incentive enough to help shape our government. In my opinion, voting is not just about picking the winner. Whether it’s a spoiled ballot or vote for a particular candidate voting is a reaffirmation of the rights so many have fought for. Get out and vote add your voice lest others speak for you. Of course whomever wins it never hurts to keep them honest by contacting your MP.

Remember you need ID this year to vote (or have you a neighbour with ID make a sworn statement that you are eligible). The Toronto Star has some excellent info today. Get informed and get out and make a difference.

Adrift Archive – Web For Now…

Looking forward to the Adrift Archive show as their tribute site reveals some highlights circa 2004 to 2008. Adrift is celebrating it’s past life in Kensington Market with an art show in November’s. The old shop was host to great parties, great music, and great skateboarders. Contributing photographers from Ryan Allan, Canice Leung, and David Waldman so the show is sure to impress. Hopefully Adrift can continue to raise the bar and represent Toronto’s skateboard/art scene for many more years.

Nuit Blanche = Niche Issue?

The spirit of the night.  A custom shirt made for Nuit Blanche still dripping with irony.

The spirit of the night. A custom shirt made for Nuit Blanche still dripping with irony.

Another year, another Nuit Blanche. Nuit Blanche put art on the map and quite well I might add. From free movies at AGO’s Cinematheque, free admission at the Gardiner Museum or the light show at City Hall there was plenty to see. I have to say that I’m impressed with many of the exhibits this year.

I’ve faired well in the aftermath considering that I traversed nearly all the zones and stayed awake almost the whole spectacle. Whether it was flashing lights, dance, theatre, spoken word or zombies I hope you had a chance to enjoy the show. My fellow Torontonians (about a million strong?!) had an interesting art adventure in the dark. It was great to see so many people on the street, meeting new friends on the TTC and taking in interesting art. Art a niche issue? If you have to ask, you’ll never know…

World Press Photo 2008 + Nuit Blanche this week…

World Press Photo is back at Brookfield Place in the Albert Lambert Galleria. I haven’t heard who the Saturday speakers will be yet but last year’s afternoon presentations were informative and flushed out a lot of the stories behind the images. Last year there were new speakers every weekend and it was well worth going more than once.

Looking forward to catching the World Press exhibit this year but Nuit Blanche will be my destination of choice Saturday, especially the Cabbagetown spots. Interested to see what some local artists have dreamed up for tomorrow! Don’t think I’ll be alone either. Last year some 800,000 people hit the streets to check out Nuit Blanche and a MILLION are expected this year. TTC don’t fail me now!!!

World Press Photo 2008
Until October 22, 2008
Free
Allen Lambert Galleria
Brookfield Place
181 Bay Street, Toronto

Nuit Blanche
From sunset at 6:52 pm on Saturday, October 4
to sunrise on Sunday, October 5, 2008
Free
155 different installations all over Toronto in three Zones

Zone A – Main Scotiabank Information Centre
Yonge-Dundas Square (south-east corner of Yonge Street and Dundas Street East)
TTC directions: exit Dundas Station on the Yonge subway line

Zone B – Main Scotiabank Information Centre
Scotia Plaza (40 King Street West, entrance from Adelaide Street and King Street)

Zone C – Main Scotiabank Information Centre
Lamport Stadium south parking lot (1151 King Street West, entrance on Liberty Street)

(Additional Info at various satellite booths at Toronto City Hall, Queen’s Park, Union Station, Exhibition Go Station and Trinity Bellwoods Park at Queen W and Strachan)

Essence of Fluorescence

New York artist Ryan McGuinness solo show Aestehetic Comfort runs until November 15th at ARTCORE / Fabrice Marcolini in the Distillery District. The show is his first ever solo show in Canada. Just another place to get your art on with Nuit Blanche fast approaching. Ryan McGuinness’ great work is also featured in Arkitip No. 48, perhaps a way to take home a McGuinness work for far less than a gallery piece.

Ryan McGuinness – Aesthetic Comfort
55 Mill Street, Building 62, Toronto
M5A 3C4
Exhibition Runs from until November 15, 2008

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