– Arts Festival 2008

Toronto Queer Arts  & Culture Festival

(also known as  Queer West Fest)

Friday June 13 to Tuesday June 24th, 2008


Berlin has one, Copenhagen has one, and now Toronto has one. An International Queer Festival! Queer West Fest now in it’s eight year, is an event that showcases the best of alternative queer culture, taking place at various west end Toronto establishments from June 13th to June 24th “It’s an eye-opening experience for many people to see such diversity and acceptance”, said Chris Mitchell, Marketing, Publicity & Exhibitions Manager, Gladstone Hotel

The Gay West Community Network Inc, and Triple-X Productions have teamed up to bring have teamed up to bring Toronto an alternative Festival for queer culture, making it the 2nd largest gay pride type festival in the city. Having successfully coordinated several queer focused events over the past several years, 2008 marks a series of events that are being presented over the course of one week as part of the new Queer West Fest.

West Queen West: Home to a vibrant arts, fashion and culture scene, “Queer West” as it’s affectionately called. It is now a “sizzling neighbourhood”, as many Gay Travel magazine have called it, attracting a younger gay/straight bohemian crowd. Two of the neighbourhood’s favourite spots, The Drake and the Gladstone, will host a number of Official Queer West Fest events during the week.

Queer West Fest Toronto is one of city’s premier alternative arts and cultural festivals. Together with the thousands of individuals, community groups, businesses and participating sponsors, we are proud to celebrate the lives and stories of West Toronto’s Queer Communities.


June 12 to 22, 2008 – The Fur Real Art Collective @ Gallery 1313 Presents: “Fur Real: Bears Without Boundaries Art Show’.’ Gallery 1313. It included the works of Scottt McEwan, Freshdiscoporkergass, Mark Ciale, Alan Charlesworth, Bill Pusztai, madame Hair, John Roberts, Jesse Inkol, Charlie Hunter, Andrew Harwood, Geo Romolo and J.P. Kane held at 1313A Queen St. West www.g1313.org

Friday June 13, 2008 – Queer West Fest Launch Party @ Beaver Cafe & Patio – Friends of Gay Toronto’s Queer West Fest, crew, organizers and a bevy of DJ’s were at Will Munro’s NOT T.O. as we kick off Queer Festival Week 2008 at the Toronto’s famous The Beaver Cafe While DJ’s Triple-X and 4Est entertained the crowded bar, spinning sexual mayhem and girly tunes for girly boys, Beaver Cafe, 1192 Queen W. PWYC suggested $5:00

Saturday June 14, 2008 – Mix and Mingle Community Fair & Marketplace @ Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen Street West, artisans, retail vendors, and community organizations, 11 am to 2 pm www.thedrakehotel.ca

Saturday June 14, 2008 – Dirty Bingo with Shirley @ The Friendly Bar & Restaurant. Bingo ball buster Shirley showered winners with great prizes from bongs and dildo’s to bar tabs. Of course, everyone went wild when she called out her favourite number, Oh-69. Shirley’s bingo-calling is somewhat, um, eccentric but highly amusing (if occasionally politically incorrect)10 PM – 1116 Queer St. W. www.shirleysdirtybingo.com

Sunday June 15, 2008 4th Annual Toronto Pride Ride This was a leisurely three hour ride along Toronto’s waterfront from Sunnyside to the Beaches with about 20 cyclists. A non-profit bike club dedicated to providing a safe cycling experience for riders of all levels. The participant’s were of all ages and genders, A sudden thundershower near cut the ride short. The ride was from noon to 4 pm, with a pub stop in city’s east end.. http://www.queerwest.org/bikeclub.php

Sunday June 15, 2008 – The Fat Femme Mafia Fat Flea Market from 10-5 PM in the Art Bar at the Gladstone Hotel. If you have old Fat Clothes you would like to donate…please email us with your address and an appropriate time…and we will come and pick them up. Or we will provide you with an address where you can drop off your stuff! We are looking for clothes…size 14 and up. Nothing else please. In exchange…you will receive Fat Flea bucks that you can use to shop freely at the actual event….if you choose to do so. Give us your old wardrobe and we will give you a new one!!! Please email this to all your fat friends! Circulate WIDE-ly! Fatfemmemafia@hotmail.com | www.myspace.com/fatfemmemafia |Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood

Wednesday June 18, 2008 Queer Ears & Eyes @ Gladstone Hotel A night of Art and musical madness The Evening starts off with a Visual Artist Show and Reception in the Art Bar 7 pm Art exhibition will feature nearly a dozen queer-identified artists displaying an array of work in various mediums, running from June 13th to June 19th, with an public reception on Wednesday June 18th from 7pm to 9pm in the Art Bar. Featuring Philip Cairns, Chanelle Gobeil, Mick Fin and Michel F. Paré displaying an array of work in various mediums, running from June 13th to June 19th, with an public reception on Wednesday June 18th from 7 pm to 9 pm in the Art Bar. Toronto singer, Fait Dormi entertained guests at Art Bar reception between 7 and 9 PM. Joining Dormi was the beautiful and voluptious Jolie Accomplice on vocals and in gusto. Only Queer Ears and Eyes” was supported by Pride Access & Diversity Grant (Pride Week Grass Roots Project Grant) through Pride Toronto and the Lesbian & Gay Community Appeal Foundation Following the art show was a night of musical madness with live performances by Vivek Shraya and GiraGira.Gif Band, followed by a queer dance party with DJ’s Triple-X and 4Est Gladstone Hotel 1214 Queen St. W, 9pm. www.gladstonehotel.com

Wednesday June 18, 2008 Queer West Film Fest @ Good Catch General Store Hey! Were you one of the 55 people all ages and genders, that showed up to sit in a tiny parking lot, behind a Good Catch General Store in Parkdale. Where movie goers laughed, clapped, cheered, contemplated the fine selection of videos at the 1st annual Queer West Film Fest choosen by our multi- talented Program Manager, Forrest Lightbody. Then your going to love our Queer Youth Movie Night on August 23rd, 2008. Jolanta Sobolak, managing owner of Good Catch General Store in Parkdale, kept us entertain during various film breaks with 7 or 8 fund-raising raffles, a swag bag of goodies from Fair Trade chocolate bars to Gypsy Playing cards. Good Catch is an unique shop with a little bit of everything – from handmade toys, to works by local artisans and crafters, to jewelry, candles, environmentally-friendly cleaning products and organic food stuffs.

Including two guests speakers. Documentary film-maker Kristyn Dunnion will be at film festival to talk about her promo film Big Big Sky and book by the same name. And Film-maker Robert Thomson, who works at Woody’s talking about his films “Waking Up” and “Waiting”roberthomson.com

Thursday June 19, 2008 Art Discussion – Toronto Wilde Chats Socrates Cafe @ Tinto Coffee House, A small group amatuer philosophers passed the sugar and gabbed for a few hours, during street level Socratees cafe, held at Tinto’s in Parkdale, 89 Roncesvalles Avenue, 7.30 pm to 9 pm Topic: Is censorship of Canadian public art’s community unjust or perfectly legal? Moderated by Michel F. Paré

Thursday June 19, 2008 Lief Harmsen’s HOMODIGITAL Art Show “a censor’s worst nightmare” @ Fountain Contemporary Gallery Leif Harmsen’s series of large digital nudes in oil on canvas read as abstract at close range, but with more distance they can be imaginatively discerned as photo-graphic male nudes or gay porn, depending on your unique politically and sexually informed way of seeing. People see what they will —be that colorful digital abstraction, obscenity, or humanist erotic delight. They prove to would-be censors that obscenity, a legal term, rests squarely in the eye of the beholder.652 Queen St. W. at Palmerston Ave

Friday June 20, 2008 Frydaze @ Gladstone Hotel Live performance by People You Know and The Torrent with DJ Triple-X spinning classics before, between and after sets – People You Know Trio www.myspace.com/peopleyouknowmusic – The trio fuses jazz, blues and rock vocals with funk and hip hop percussion to create a cocktail of strong lyrics with delicately powerful melodies and funky beats Torrent Trio www.myspace.com/thetorrentrocks – post-punk trio combining 80’s new wave, synth and guitar melodies with DJ Triple-X between sets- Gladstone Hotel 1214 Queen St. W, 7pm, www.gladstonehotel.com

Saturday June 21, 2008 Knotty Nights Closing Night 80’s Dance Party Featured Toronto’s number two Queer DJ Triple-X spinning all our favourites from new wave, punk, and junk from the 80’s (just the kind of hot and sweaty dance music west end lezzies love) This year the bar was filled to capacity with a large influx of inner-city Parkdale-kids young and old, Bay Street CEO’s, Trinity Bellwoods queer in-crowd, westend lezzie’s and arty fags from Church and Wellesley, all having a good time.with – Lot 16, 1136 Queen St. IO PM

Sunday June 22, 2008 Family Brunch @ Mitzi’s Sister Started at 3 PM, we were offered a choice of 4 brunch entrees for the special Queer West Fest Rate rate of $9.95 each. Many joined the festival organizers at this after party brunch on the Patio, which seats 25. Owner Leslie Gaynor, is a strong supporter of Queer West events.Parkdale neighbourhood www.mitzissister.com1554 Queen West 3PM

Sunday June 22, 2008 Forte – Queerly Beloved with a 24-voice Men’s Chamber Choir @ Emmanuel Howard Park United Church 214 Wright Ave, 8PM www.forte-chorus.com Queerly Beloved,was a light-hearted and energetic look at the recent phenomena of “legalized” gay marriage in Canada, It featured Music Director Ed Connell, as Freddy – marriage planner to the stars, and Terry Thompson as Teddy, an elderly gent who never seemed to find the right guy and comes to Freddy to help him do that now, as gay marriage in legal in Canada. Through songs dealing with love and marriage over the ages, he reminisces about his past loves who slipped away for various reason. But there was a Happy Ending!

Tuesday June 24, 2008 A Java Knights – International Women’s Human Rights Panel Discussion @ Gladstone Hotel Art Bar  Hosted  by Michel F. Paré Guest speaker – Carolina Gama, from Mujeres al Frente (Women in the Front Line) support group for Latin American LBTIQ Women and Transgender Persons 2nd Guest Speaker Andrea C. Siemens, Andrea has spent over 8 years working and volunteering in the areas of international human rights and immigration/refugee advocacy. She has worked in direct legal and social services with asylum seekers, primarily in the US, with a focus on the most vulnerable of these, in particular detainees. Since returning to Canada in 2004 Andrea is active with Amnesty International’s Refugee Network and is currently a member of Christian Peacemaker Teams, which has multiple nonviolent violence reduction teams around the world, and has been on team with CPT in the West Bank and Uganda. In Uganda,1214 Queen St. W. 7 PM to 9 PM.


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