web analytics

- Alterna Queer Music Fest Aug 8

Friday August 8, 2014 from 8 pm to Midnight

Toronto Queer Arts Festival

Alterna Queer Music Fest

Visual Acoustics concept picture

 toronto queer arts festival alternaqueer music nightFriday August 8  – Toronto Queer Arts Festival again hosts the  4th annual Alterna Queer Music Fest  @ The Sister- showcases alternative queer artists that support the underground music scene of punk, folk, industrial, electro, reggae, indie, hip hop, spank rock, new wave and no wave. Mitzi’s holds 142 and 35 on Patio, place was packed last year.

The word ALTERNAQUEER was coined in 2004 by the organizers of Montreal’s Divers/Cité. The Radical Queer Semaine group in Montreal are using Alterna-Queer to describe their annual festival. We think it’s the right name, to use at our unusual event at Toronto Queer Arts Festival.


Toronto Queer Arts Festival Contact\:416-879-7954 queerwestartsfestival@gmail.com Michel F. Paré – Artistic Director

Festival Sponsors

Toronto Queer Arts Festival gratefully acknowledges the support in 2014 from;  Buddies In Bad Times Theatre; The Press Club, The Sister, Open Roof Festival; Basement ArtsimagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts FestivalBar 1602  Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival DailyXtra.com and IvarDesign.com

 Event Location – The Sister (Toronto Parkdale)


The Sister

1554 Queen Street West, 416-532-2570. The Sister’s recently refurbished interior and revered back patio is a Parkdale community must. A staple neighbourhood hangout, you won’t be shocked to find that our walls are still updated with local artist showcases and every Thursday, Friday and Saturday the stage overflows with live music. Hungry for more? The Sister’s menu is just as creative as the locals. “Our bar menu is all microbrews, so I think that is one of the attractions,” says owner Lesli Gaynor. The Sister supports local breweries. A sizable space 142 in the restaurant and 35 on the patio made cozy by warm staff and mauve walls displaying local artwork; friendly chatter happens over microbrews and massive servings of well-crafted pub dishes.

M-W 5pm – 11:45, R – F 4pm – 2am
Sat 10am – 2am, Sun 10am – 11:45
Brunch – Sat, Sun, Holidays 10am – 3pm

Public transit: subway to Osgoode station. The shopping strip is about 5 km (3 miles) long but the 501 Queen streetcar runs the whole length. A TTC day pass is handy for hopping on and off streetcars.) You can also take the Lansdowne Bus south to Queen  and get off at Sorauren Ave or or 29 Dufferin bus south from Dufferin subway)

The Details: FREE (No Cover)  The Sister – Restaurant Capacity 142 and 35 on the patio. Address: 1554 Queen Street West (Street Map) Doors: 7 PM for dinner Show Start: 8 PM – Ends at Midnight. Web Site: http://www.thesister.ca/

Program Guide – PDF Format

We will have 100 color copies available. One side  our Official Poster,  the other side  Biography of Singers and Set Times

Music at the Sister on a Friday night usually starts at 8 pm, co-owner Fred Robinson has graciously allowed us to start at 8 pm

Performers set times. Who’s on When?

the sister restaurant in toronto parkddale view of stage


  • Anna Gutmanis – Set Time – 8 PM to 8:35PM
  • Amy Campbell – Set Time – 8:50 PM to 9:25 PM
  • Ted Scarf – Set Time – 9:40 PM to 10:15 PM
  • Jamieson Eakin – Set Time – 10:30 PM to 11:05 PM
  • Elek Smilla – Set Time – 11:20 PM to 11:55 PM

Band Merchandise Table

We will have a Performers Merchandise Table in front of house, if any performer wants to sell CDs, T-shirts etc. See Michel or Chris, event managers when you enter the venue. Michel will mention the Merch Table in his opening address and you should too, before your performance or afterwards. Michel or Chris can look after your sales, if you don’t have an assistant. Some performers have already made arrangement for Merch items to be sold.

casual picture of songwriter anna gutmanisAnna Gutmanis – Pickering ON – Award-Winning Singer/Songwriter

Anna Gutmanis is a Canadian singer-songwriter and passionate social justice activist was born in London, Ontario, but now lives in Pickering Ontario. She is universal in her appeal and comprehension. Anna’s activism is human activism so she transcends boundaries of country and or culture. You will hear influences of folk, rock with a blues edge, some ‘get on up’ Gospel, and even warm Caribbean rhythms all of which bring the senses to a higher appreciation in Anna’s music.

Anna is able to speak or sing to such commonly avoided subjects like aging and family with an understanding voice in songs like; “When I Get Out Of Bed” and “Middle Of The Line”. Not dark or pessimistic in tone or delivery Anna brings common joy and peace in her lyrics

When Anna debut her first album “Anna Gutmanis”, she was not very out in the music world. This was way back in the late 80s-early 90s, before Melissa Etheridge, kd lang or any other famous musician had come out. “I didn’t have the maturity and confidence to come out under those circumstances, especially as a young indie artist. Later on, after I had taken my hiatus from the music business to raise a family, I returned to school and did social work, I decided that I would record “I Am Who I Am”, my queer liberation song. It was a very conscious decision to return to the business as an out-and-proud musician. I had to come back completely honest or not come back at all. I have not looked back ever since. “ Anna said.

Anna and her partner Georgia Wilder have been together for over 22 years, and married for 8 of those. “Georgia is amazing spouse, one of the most intelligent and compassionate people on the planet.” Anna said. Wilder teaches writing at the University of Toronto,

In November 2013, Anna and CMA Producer of the Year Karen Kane recorded 2 new original songs – “Lately It’s Cold”, and “Diamonds and Stiletto Shoes”, the latter with lyrics co-written by Ann’s Life time partner, Georgia Wilder. Anna’s critically-acclaimed album “Glimmer In The Dark” (2012) has been named the Number One album of 2013 on the international OutVoice Top Twenty Album Chart, and her award-winning single “I Am Who I Am” (2008) remains an anthem to the LGBTQ rights movement. A video for Another Way Out, a song about bullying, is being featured at the Queer West Film Festival on Sat August 9th @ Buddies In Bad Times Theatre. Anna’s Website: www.annagutmanis.com | Anna has new songs available; Visit her store www.annagutmanis.com/store.html (Set Time 8:00 PM)

Amy Campbell toronto singerAmy Campbell – Toronto Singer /Songwriter

Amy Campbell was born in Newfoundland. She lived there until her family moved to near Halifax when she was 12. “I lived in Halifax for 16 years and my family still lives there. But at the end of a long day when I think of going home it’s to Toronto where I’ve been for the last seven and a half years.” Amy brings together classical training and folk sensibilities to create music that reaches into human experience and comes back with stories written from the soul. Devoted equally to lyrical craft, innovative musicianship, and engaging performances, Amy’s dozen years of writing, composing, and touring have cemented her position in hearts and playlists across the world. Amy’s work is supplemented by her community activism – Over the last six years she created an independent music program for participants at Sketch (Toronto working arts studio for homeless and street-involved youth), with whom she works regularly and intensely. As for being a proud queer performer, Campbell says she’s never given the relationship between her sexuality and success in the music industry much thought. You definitely don’t want to mess with Amy, She’s a member of B.A.TL (Toronto Backyard Axe Throwing League) She plays regularly, on last Saturday of the month, at The Saturday Songwriters Circus in the Tranzac Club

Her latest album Letters Home was released 24 Jul 2012, was produced by Don Kerr (Ron Sexsmith, The Rheostatics, Karyn Ellis). This is one of those albums worth listening to with lyrics in hand. Each track exudes subtle production nuances that take the listener on a rhythmic harmonic journey. Amy on Twitter: Visit her web site: http://www.amycampbell.ca/ (Set Time 8:50 PM)

Parkdale Love Song: Amy Campbell guitar, Carlie Howell on bass and Cheryl Reid on percussion

ted scarf toronto pop musicianTed Scarf – A bent guitar playing sound technician, with a yen for Alt rock

Ted Scarf, born in Owen Sound in 1957 and grew up listening to Beethoven, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin. He learned to play piano, but later fell in love with guitar. Although Ted is not a professional musician he was part of the Kitchener/Waterloo punk evolution (‘Artistic Endeavors’), playing in the ‘Guard Dogs’, ‘Special Guests’, and later ‘DV8″. Shared the stage at the ‘Kent Hotel’ with ‘Rheostatics’ (one of Canada’s most influential and unconventional rock bands) in 1997, ‘Masterbeats’, ‘The Zealots’, ‘Wars in Transit’, and ‘A Certain Ratio’ bands followed He was also ‘Big Monkey Do’ with ‘Belinda Wu’ and ‘Wally Jericho’ in 1981. The cassette release ‘Where’s the Kaboom’ raised some eyebrows on the campus radio circuit. They played live shows at the ‘Princess Theatre’ with ‘Geoff Bennett’ and the ‘Brothers Williams. Ted later moved to Toronto in 1989 and made some noise with ‘Sonic Boom’. He recorded and mastered many CD’s and projects with folk rock legend Fran McKendree, Ali Koushkani, and others. He worked at ‘Saved by Technology’ for 10 years and then freelanced as a Mac Technician specializing in Music applications. Ted worked for the Rolling Stones pre tours in ‘1998 and 1999. He also worked as manager at Studio 92, a audio production facility based in the city of Toronto. Ted can still be found lurking behind mixing boards and computers in various capacities in Parkdale and Brockton neighbourhoods of queer west Toronto Ontario. (Set Time 8 PM)

Jamieson Montgomery Eakin performs at queer west fest Jamieson M. Eakin – Influences; Pop, Folk, Middle Eastern and Balkan styles.

Jamieson Montgomery Eakin originally hails from Calgary Alberta. He moved to Toronto from Calgary in 2006 after studying Theatre at Mount Royal University to pursue music and is currently studying for a Masters Degree in ethnomusicology at Toronto’s York University, learning and performing traditional music of world cultures as well as adapting such idioms to pop/folk and contemporary production. He plays guitar and sings a variety of covers as well as his own compositions. More recently he has been incorporating world music tunes into his repertoire, mostly from the Balkans, and Eastern Europe. Jamieson singing the Bulgarian folk song Rasti Bore at York University’s World Music Festival March 2013.

He was the Producer of Sneak Attack Folk Festival (2010 @ Buddies) He has worked with Pollux dance, Harbourfront Centre, 60×60 Dance Festival, He has performed at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Hammer Theatre, Buzz Festival, Cabbage Town Festival, Mandy Goodhandy and Todd Klinck’s Club 120, Queer Idol, Canadian Idol, The Fringe Festival, Nuit Blanche, LabCab, Special Olympics Awards Ceremony, TIFF, Toronto Artspace, Hererosexuals for Same Sex Equality, Pride, The Flying Beaver Pubaret and Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People. other fundraisers, community events and venues in Toronto and Calgary. http://www.reverbnation.com/jamiesonmeakin

Joining Jameison on stage tonight, will be Scarus Ironwood on Saxophone.

“This year a group I sing with called Spectra Showcase (spectrashowcase.com), received a Gold Record for our group original single If You’re Not Here at Chistmas.” He Said See him on Facebook or visit his home page: jamiesonmontgomery.com/ (Set Time 10:30 PM)

i wish i was the moon tonight – Neko Case cover

toronto troubor Elek Semilla Elek Semilla  – Toronto  Folk / Blues / Roots  troubador

Elek is keeping the troubadour tradition alive with a repertoire of classics and originals, performed in his characteristic blues, folk, and bluegrass infused style. He’s travelled North America from Mexico to British Columbia, Montreal to California collecting songs and stories in true hobo-tradition.

Now he’s brought his signature banjo and harmonica performance back to Ontario where he spends his days as a licensed TTC busker and his evenings with audiences in Toronto’s vibrant café and club scene.

He recently collaborated with Argentinean artist Simja Dujov and community arts organization Sketch,  to create an original song and video entitled “Worldwide Headlines” – a fusion of popular, hip hop and world music to raise funds and awareness about the epidemic of world poverty. His independently released EPs – Atrocious Ponderosas, Bedroom Banjo Lab and Coming Up For Air – are available by request; he is currently in production on his first, full-length studio recording.

Joining Elek tonight on Dulcimer,  will be Toronto Musician Paul Gribalas.

Elek when not playing music lives in Regent Park and lists himself as a  gay bicycle mechanic and musician looking to affect social change with other like minded equality activists. Elek Semilla on Twitter Visit his Homepage: http://www.reverbnation.com/eleksemilla (Set Time 11:20 PM)

When not performing in clubs; Elek is a Subway Busker –

Support Our Sponsors & Friends of the Festival

Where: The Sister – Restaurant Capacity 142 and 35 on the patio. Address: 1554 Queen Street West (Street Map) Doors: 7 PM for dinner Show Start: 8 PM Cover:$5 Show Runs 8 pm to 2 Am. Web Site: http://www.thesister.ca/Festival Hotline: 416-879-7954

  Gay West Community Network Inc (Queer West) was founded in 2000 and incorporated in 2008, as a not for profit organization. We are dedicated to producing performing arts festivals for the purposes of educating and advancing the public’s understanding and appreciation of performing arts and to educate artists through participation in such festivals and related workshops.

Mailing Address 562 Dufferin St. 2nd floor B1 Toronto ON M6K 2A9. Visits By Appointment Only. 416-879-7954 queerwestartsfestival@gmail.com

Street Map – 1554 Queen St. W.

View Larger Map

- top of page -


Go to Top