– Arts Festival 2011

Welcome to the
Toronto Festival of Queer Culture

Monday August 8 to Sunday August 14, 2011


Monday August 8 — “What Do Queer Neighbourhoods do for Cities?” – An Urban Space UnConference –

Where: Toronto Parkdale – Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre
Address: 220 Cowan Ave at Queen Street W Street Map
Doors: 6:15 PM – Activity Room #2
Start: 6:30 PM Ends 8: 30PM
Cover: FREE – All ages

This is final event of a three part series on Queer Neighbourhoods in Toronto.

Michel F. Paré launched the three part series on January 29, 2008 – The Future of Queer Neighbourhoods in Toronto at Gladstone Art Bar Presenters were: John Colautti, Toronto Parkdale BIA; Professor Kevin Stolarick, Associate Director, Martin Prosperity Institute MaRS Centre, (The Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) is a global think-tank located at the Rotman School of Management and led by Professor Richard Florida.) and Tanya White, owner of West Side Stories LGBTQ Video store, .

The 2nd in the series was held on May 26, 2010 Are Gay Neighbourhoods Worth Saving? Retitled: Queering Urban Geographies/Spatializing Identity at Parkdale’s Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre Presenters were: Dr. Catherine Jean Nash, Brock University, associate professor Geography Department, Adrienne Comars Graduate Urban Studies & Geography, York University, John Paul Catungal PhD Candidate, Department of Geography University of Toronto. Robert Lidstone PhD student in the Department of Geography at York University and Alexis Mitchell Toronto-based media artist

 The great thing about tonight’s event, is everyone is a panelist. An unconference is a conference organized, structured and led by the people attending it. Instead of passive listening, all attendees and organizers are encouraged, even required to become participants, with discussion leaders providing moderation and structure for attendees.

Tonight August 8th – “What Do Queer Neighbourhoods do for Cities?” – We will explore the function of GLBT neighbourhoods within the greater urban contexts that they shape. Not necessarily in Toronto and or pitting one neighbourhood against another. We are bringing together business people, urban planners, queer youth, gay historical archivists and other queer community activists to explore the political, cultural, and economic values of queer neighborhoods for cities. You can pepper the Presenters with questions, while sharing your own ideas and dialogue with other attendees. This dialogue will help develop consciousness around why such neighbourhoods bring vitality to cities and how governments and communities should value them.


Michel F. Paré (Facilitator)

This is final event of Michel’s three part series on Queer Neighbourhoods in Toronto.

Guest Presenters are:

Dr. Catherine Jean Nash (Presenter)

Dr. Catherine Jean Nash, Associate Professor, Geography Brock University. Where she teaches social and cultural geography with a focus on urban issues. Her area of personal interest is urban social and cultural geography with a focus on sexuality, gender and space, as well as queer, feminist and trans geographies. Professor Nash has published a number of articles and book chapters on historical aspects of Toronto’s “gay ghetto” and on contemporary queer spaces such as the Toronto’s women’s bathhouse. Catherine holds degrees in Doctor of Philosophy, Geography, Queen’s University, Master of Urban and Regional Planning, Queen’s University, Bachelor of Laws, University of Ottawa. Her current research projects are; Queering Parkdale: an examination of the changing urban landscapes in Toronto and Understanding trans experiences in LGBTQ spaces in Toronto. Professor Nash is delighted to be a guest Presenter.

Professor Nash’s Queering Parkdale research project is on a the newly emerging ‘queer’ neighbourhood located on Queen Street West, west of Dufferin St. in west central Toronto. The research considers the social, political and economic implications of the formation of a self-stylized ‘queer’ district that positions itself as an alternative community location for those looking beyond Toronto’s so-called traditional LGBT village at Church and Wellesley Streets. The research explores not only the spatial formation and organization of ‘queer’ identities, practices and ways of being but positions these within the larger questions of urban planning and politics; urban cosmopolitanism; sexual citizenship and tourism; and identity politics and difference.



Michael Went (Presenter)

Michael Went, Senior Municipal Financial Advisor at Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Ontario. Co-author of Community Advisory Panel recommendations to Pride Toronto. Co-founder of the Ontario Public Service Pride Network. He also serves as a Treasurer and Board Member at Black Cap, an organization that works to reduce and advocate for HIV/AIDS issues among Black, African and Caribbean communities. His volunteer work includes the Out on Bay Street business conference, Pride Toronto and at The 519 Community Centre on Church St. . In 2010 was one of the founding members of Pride Coalition for Free Speech. Michael Went on Facebook



Michael Erickson (Presenter)

Michael Erickson, is a high school teacher, community organizer, photographer and sometimes politician. He’s been on the LGBT Youth Line Board, created the Converge Conference and is active in creating Toronto’s first shelter for LGBT youth. Michael Erickson on Facebook




Rebecka Sheffield (Presenter)

Rebecka Sheffield, a volunteer with Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA). Rebecka will be guiding us on the historical aspect of Toronto queer neighbourhoods. For the past ten years, She’s worked in the areas of intellectual property, communications, records & information management, and publishing. Rebecka is currently working toward a PhD in archival studies with the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. This is a collaborative degree with the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies. Her research looks at LGBTQ archives as sites for collective memory, activism and community development. She is particularly interested in the role of queer community archives in a Canadian context where collecting practices have traditionally followed a total archives approach. Rebecka holds a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters of Information Studies from the University of Toronto.

The Details: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM FREE. at the Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre, 220 Cowan Avenue, Activity Room #2 (Toronto Parkdale) Street Map Queer West Village, Toronto Ontario



Wednesday August 10 — Queer Eyes and Queer Ears – Bicycle Art Gallery Tour & After Party

Where: Six west central Toronto galleries, various locations.
Facebook: Photo Albums
Start Time : 7 PM Tour ends at 9: 30 PM
After-Party Naco Gallery Patio: 9:30 PM to 2:30 AM
Cover: Tour Free all ages – Naco’s party 19+ Cash Bar.

ROUTE; Trinity Bellwoods Park south gate, along west Queen west, up Dovercourt to Argyle, East to house #66, then left, up back allys to Dundas W. Dundas W. to final stop Naco Gallery

The SIX arts shows we are touring on August 10th, , run from three to four weeks… In essence, the visual arts portion of our festival runs for a month

close to 100 cyclists did this tour last year, few of the galleries have small spaces, cyclist then entered in smaller groups. Professional Tour guides Peter Marczyk and Michel Paré from the Gay West Bicycle Club are organizing this event (Visiting 6 different galleries) from 7 PM to 9:30 PM. An average of 29 minutes is alotted to each visit.

Cycling is one of the most eco-friendly ways to travel because it relies on human energy, rather than fossil fuels, for power. In addition to being popular with eco-tourists, cycling tours are perfect for local residents and travelers interested in leisurely tours with plenty of opportunity to soak up the local scenery and culture..

Tonight will be A Night of Visual Viewing and Musical Madness, you won’t want to miss. A FREE fun-filled introduction to Queer West Village exciting art scene! ALL AGES are welcome; from queer cyclists; to art lovers to couples, friends to total strangers, come and cycle with us. .Discover galleries that you may not know and see art of all kinds including glass, painting, fabric, and sculpture as we cycling at a slow pace, through back-alleys and side streets to each gallery.You’ll meet gallery art curators, artists, have art discussions, see the best artwork, photographs, sculptures, listen to guest speakers at every stop…followed up by Festive Outdoor Patio Afterparty 9:30 PM to close.

We are extremely grateful for all these gallery owners, who agreed to stay open past closing time, for this special evening tour.

The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), 952 Queen Street West MOCCA (Arrive 7:10 PM approximately) MOCCA was closed when we arrived at 7:10 pm,….Received Letter of Apology on August 20th. “Please accept my sincere apology for confusing this date. I closed up as usual when the other group canceled their appointment. I had made one reminder that covered both reservations, which was in hindsight was a mistake. I’m always happy to lead groups through the exhibitions, and I hope to work with your group’s next tour.Again, I am sorry for any inconvenience this caused for you and your group.” Brett Despotovich, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art Head, Gallery Operations & Visitor Services

The Propeller Centre For The Visual Arts – 984 Queen St W Main Gallery: Joseph Muscat & Holly Wheatcroft “Beyond A Shadow”The notion of portraiture as a conceptual depiction of one’s character or “self” is nothing new. It has been explored so many times and in so many ways and not just by painters and photographers. Propeller presents an exhibition by Joseph Muscat and Holly Wheatcroft, happening concurrently ninth main gallery space, each exploring different approaches to portraiture. North Gallery: David Griffin “Interference” An exhibition of drawing in which the artist develops a positive notation for a silent vocal music. The vexing relationship between words and images finds some resolution in these scores which inscribe exchanges between graphical line and musical timbre as exchanges between oneself and exterior, between perception and interpretation, between breath and intention. As drawings they recast the question ‘Can we both show and say?’ in terms of our human desire to make music with our voices, and then to write an image of that experience. The arts how runs Aug 3-14, 2011 |. (Arrive 7:30 PM approximately) Web Site: propellerctr.com

Twist Gallery at 1100 Queens St. West For the 9th Annual AWOL Square Foot Show a 1000 12” by 12” works by local and international artists will be exhibited htis year at Twist Square Foot Show. In its nineth year, the show has grown to such a scale that the works will be displayed in a 2,500 square foot room. Purchasing a square is easy! Just fork over $225 and you can have a square of your very own! The Art show runs August 5th to 21st., 2011 (Arrive 8:00 PM. approximately) Web Site: awolgallery.com/square_foot

LE Gallery | 1183 Dundas St. W. Art Exhibits: “Inappropriately Beautiful” Artist Elicser Elliot finds himself continuing to explore narrative structures, new surfaces, and new sensations, always through the lens of more than a decade spent in the global street art community. Japanese born artist Mitsuo Kimura ” Go into the Deep Forest” The Deep Forest has come to represent the theatre of Kimura’s experence, one which he moves through assigning meaning and importance to interactions, replayed at the end of the day. Both shows runs from July 20th to August 14th. (Arrive 8:30 pm approximately) Web Site:le-gallery.ca

Loop Gallery, 1273 Dundas W.: Artist Heather Carey: Plastic Geometry – featuring new paintings which present a way of seeing the world which is both calculated and malleable. Pictorial space assembles itself in an understandable way, and then collapses in on itself or deflates. Artist, Ian McLean: Recreational Use. This series of oil paintings focuses on residential environments including living rooms, backyards, swimming pools, and hot tubs. Both art shows run July 23 – August 14, 2011 (Arrive 9 PM approximately) Web Site: www.loopgallery.ca

Naco Gallery 1665 Dundas W.The Mary Project; exhibition of art works inspired by the image, idea, and history of the Virgin Mary. The confirmed artists for this event are: Julian Calleros, Yigi Chang, Jessica Haberman Contreras, Catherine Crowe, Xris Kukiel, Michael Mackid, Andrew McGregor, Tim Ng-Cheong-Ton, Stephanie Perpick Christina Schlegal, Amy Taylor, Jane Estelle Trombley and Sara Witalis The art show runs to August 30, 2011.. followed by Queer West Fest Cyclists Afterparty cash bar. (End of tour – Arrive 9:30 PM, approximately.) Web Site: www.nacogallery.com

MEETING POINT is on Wednesday August 10 at Trinity Bellwoods Park Queen & Strachan gate, between 6:30pm – 7 pm (Starts 7pm shape) when everyone rides, en masse, at a slow pace, towards the first gallery of the night. The tour ends around 9:30 pm….Safety Volunteers will watch your bicycle, at each stop while people head into each gallery . People are welcome to join or leave the tour as they wish/need. Helmets and night lights are recommended. Queer West Village, Toronto Ontario


Thursday August 11 – A Queer Story: A Writing Workshop

Where: Another Story Bookshop
Address: 315 Roncesvalles Avenue. (Street Map)
Start: 7 PM
Cover: PWYC (suggested $5) All ages

Another Story Bookshop is a proudly independent bookstore with over 20 years of history and a commitment to social justice, equity and diversity. We are thrilled to be hosting our first event as part of this year’s QUEER WEST FEST! More than just a reading we’ll be hosting an interactive writing workshop where our featured authors will explore the writing process, share some of their favourite writing prompts and provide feedback on your writing!

Bring along your writing materials, share your own story or simply come listen to three young, queer writers from Toronto’s west end. Delectable goodies from Cardinal Rule will help fuel the creative spirit!!!

A Queer Story: A Writing Workshop featuring Farzana Doctor, Vivek Shraya and Zoe Whittall.” All authors will be giving a short reading and writing prompts, so bring your writing materials! PWYC ($5 suggested) — all of the proceeds will be going to the authors.



Farzana Doctor

Farzana Doctor is the recipient of the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s prestigious Dayne Ogilvie Grant for an emerging gay Canadian author (2011). Her first novel, Stealing Nasreen, received critical acclaim and earned a devoted readership upon its release in 2007. She is currently touring her second book, Six Metres of Pavement (Dundurn 2011), which Publishers Weekly has praised as “..a paean to second chances.” In her spare time, she provides private practice consulting and psychotherapy services. She lives just over the bridge in the Brockton Triangle in Queer West Toronto, where she is a co-curator of the popular Brockton Writers Series. www.farzanadoctor.com.



Vivek Shraya

Vivek Shraya English literature graduate from the University of Alberta. The prairie boy is now living in Queer West Toronto’s Liberty Village. Besides writing, he is best known as a musician who has toured North America, showcased at NXNE and CMW, and appeared with Tegan and Sara, Dragonette, and Melissa Ferrick.. His dream has always been, to be a writer. Shraya published his first book; God Loves Hair, is a contemporary Bildungsroman anthology of a young man coming to terms with his sexuality, religion and, well, his hair. Inspired by American author Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues, Shraya couldn’t find himself represented in literature, so he wrote his own story in the Spring of 2010. He debuted his first short film the fall of 2010 (Seeking Single White Male), which is being screened at film festivals, throughout Canada this year.vivekshraya.com



Zoe Whittall

Zoe Whittall, is a Toronto author of two literary novels — the Lamda award-winning Holding Still for As Long as Possible (House of Anansi, 09/10) amd Bottle Rocket Hearts (Cormorant, 07) which was named a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year, made the CBC Canada Reads Top Ten Essential Novels of the decade.The book was named an American Library Association Stonewall honor book. She has published one short novel for adults with low literacy skills called The Middle Ground (Orca Books, 2010). She won the Writer’s Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Award in 2008. Her poetry books included the Best Ten Minutes of Your Life (McG, 01) and the Emily Valentine Poems (Snare, 06) and Precordial Thump (Exile, 08). . zoewhittall.blogspot.com/


The Details: Another Story Bookshop, 315 Roncesvalles Avenue. A popular haven for books and magzines specializing in social justice, equity, and diversity with a special focus on children’s and young adult literature. PWYC 7 pm . 416-462-1104 www.anotherstory.ca Queer West Village, Toronto Ontario


Friday August 12 – Alterna-Queer Music Extravaganza


Where: Mitzi’s Sister – Restaurant Capacity 142 and 35 on the patio
Address: 1554 Queen Street West (Street Map)
Doors: 7 PM for dinner
Show Start: 10 PM
Cover: PWYC (with all proceeds going to performers) 19+

(Set Times – each performer gets up to 45 minutes)

“240 mind-blowing minutes of Caribana Soca, explosive dance, electrifying rock and a few ballads to bring you down.” Queer West Fest is thrilled to have this opportunity to showcase the best of local Toronto artists

Tonight we are bringing you Criztal-Jay ((Caribbean Soca Singer, a first for any queer festival), Green Splat band (Lesbians love them) , Mark Cassidy (Back by popular demand) and Sista Fista A female fronted indie rock band.



Criztal-Jay Toronto – Caribbean Soca Singer

(Set Time: 10 PM – 10:35 PM)

Multi-talented Criztal-Jay (A new discovery, never heard before at any music fesival in North America) She originally just applied for our Smash Words event, Michel (Our Event Guru) discover her singing talent and ask her to perform tonight.. Queer West Fest has introduced many new talented performers, to the festival scene.

Criztal-Jay is a young woman born and raised in Toronto. Known for her acting, singing, and Spoken Word. In 2010 she performed as the lead female role in the theatrical play called The Golden Seed;” during RASTAFEST which is about the quest of Hope Banigan finding her cosmic ancestors. She also is one of the lead actresses of the play called “Tree Amigas.” “Tree Amigas,” is a play that talks to the youth about how to deal and cope with substance abuse; which will be taking back up within the next school year. Criztal-Jay currently a member (since the fall of 2010) of a Community Group called NoManzLand;an activist grassroots theatre group from Jane & Finch. The Jane and Finch community has “one of the highest proportions of youth, sole-supported families, refugees and immigrants, low-income earners and public housing tenants of any community in Toronto”

As a singer Criztal-Jay has been singing live since she was 10 years old at various churches, community functions, talents show, and school productions. She has been trained in Classical, and Gospel and currently working on 70’s genre. Criztal-Jay has also released her first Soca single “You Didn’t Come Home Last Night.” Visit Criztal-Jay’s website discoverthegem.webs.com/bio.htm



Toronto Band – Sista Fista Army

(Set Time: 10:45 PM – 11:20 PM)

PYN Band are unable to play — People You Know Band doesn’t have a bass player right now and won’t have a substitute for the Queer West Fest show. The two bands members have, played Pride and are playing the Garrison August 6. Which is a little stranger? .

Rather than no band at all, we looked around for a queer or LGBT friendly female-fronted indie band and selected SISTA FISTA ARMY recomended by Jason Darren Lee, PYN music agent. They seem to be new band over the past year Playing Bovine Sex Club and The El Mocambo, in the heart of the Toronto Music Scene.. (Youtube video below, poor sound quality) We looked and listened to nine videos. not quite heavy metal and not rock either…..Band Members Mary Crotchzilla (guitar), Sami Cesspool (bass), Gary Fairy Fista (drums), Megan Jailbait Merrick (Leads). They could be lots of fun. Facebook .facebook.com/pages/Sista-Fista-Army/163882100329480


Toronto Singer and Song writer – Mark Cassidy

(Set Time: 11:30 PM – 12:10 PM)

Mark Cassidy A gifted Toronto singer and song writer. He played our festival in 2010, the audience raved for more. We asked him back again, available and agreed. Over the past year Mark has been performing his unique blend of folk/pop for audiences in and around his home town. Primarily focusing on developing his craft of writing and performing. Opting for the intimacy and intensity of a solo voice and guitar. Further allowing him to connect more intimately with his audience. Prior to this Mark had spent 3 years traveling across Canada and through The United States playing on college and university campus’. His stage show repertoire has grown.

Mark made a video for the lead song “Ordinary Dreams”. The video was picked up by BRAVO in Canada. It had over 300 plays nationally enabling Mark to further widen his audience. Also in that year Mark entered “Ordinary Dreams” in the Billboard Songwriting Competition in the pop category. Although he was not awarded the top prize he did finish first runner up.

“I tend to hide. I avoid things that make me uncomfortable. I really want to change that. I want to be happy. I want to live my best life. I want to be kind. I want to believe that there is enough success for everyone including me. I want to never feel the strain of envy. I want to share what I know and listen to others when I don’t. I want to sing in the foregound and sing in the background and not sing at all.” Mark Said.

His most recent compositions are emotionally charged reflections on his past, his present and his future. In 2010 he returned to more extensive touring to expand his growing audience. Visit his Website:.www.myspace.com/markcassidy or www.markcassidymusic.com
Tonight’s event will be so much fun, and so genuinely different, because it makes absolutely no assmptions, about what queers find appealing. Queer West’s mission is to bring visual and performing arts and musical forms to Toronto’s gay community, and to provide a fun, alternative venues such as Mitzi’s Sister for bands with LGBT content and members, and bands that are LGBT supportive. 8:30 PM to close. PWYC min $5 Mitzi’s Sister – 1554 Queen Street West, 416-532-2570.Queer West Village, Toronto Ontario

Saturday August 13 — Queer West Film Festival – Revue Cinema

The 4th annual Queer West Film Festival 2011. We regret to inform you. We are unable to find a sponsor 2011 Queer West Film Festival which was to be held Sat Aug 13th, 2011. The Revue Cinema could no longer hold the date for us, as they were going to press with the August calender. We have decided instead to feature the twelve different LGBT films we selected as winners for this years festival, on our web site quietly and without publicity.. The film selection was made by Michel F. Paré, ML.S – M.Phil torontodigitalq@yahoo.ca after reviewing over 700 films.

Our annual film festival will return again in August, 2012, hopefully in a new location and with committed sponsorship. In the meantime make some popcorn, get your favourite beverage, settle back for over 3 hrs of the best of Queer Cinema.. See Them Live Here!



Saturday August 13 — Toronto Queer Midsummer Slowdance

New event just added Sunday August 6

Where: The Dovercourt House
Address: Dovercourt House – Main floor ballroom
805 Dovercourt Rd. (1 block North of Bloor, 3 blks West of Ossington)
Start Time: 9 pm
End Time: 2 am
Cover $10 admission includes your Dancecard-booklet!
Regretfully, the Dovercourt House is not wheelchair-accessible.

You are cordially invited to Toronto Queer Midsummer Slowdance! With a lending library of designated dancers for all you wallflowers, and a dancecard-booklet to set up dances in advance (should you choose to), Queer Slowdance Night has all slow songs, all night long! (Except for the occasional intermission when we play the fastest songs we can find!)

It’s high school with a happy ending. Come and experience why slow is beautiful, and why love is not ironic.

PS. Fabulous and inspired attire, while desired, is not required. But would be AWESOME & HAWT. Finally, you do not have to be queer to attend this party, but you must have an open mind, an open heart, and have open arms. More Details and slowdance rules www.slowdancenight.blogspot.com/



Affiliated Event Saturday Evening August 13 — DRAG ME OUT TONIGHT!

Where: Naco Gallery19+
Address: 1665 Dundas W. (Street Map)
Start: 10 PM to 3 AM
Cover: Fundraiser $10

Drag show extravaganza! Featuring Helix Grossmen, Camilla Scotch, Zatin and DJ Home Rekha (Sugar Bush hostess) All money raised will be given to the East African Famine, on behalf of Oxfam. There is a great deal of needy, starving and dying people that could really use our help. And, get this, the Canadian government will match the money we raise!

So, come on party people! Dig deep in those pockets, for money not for pleasure! And have a great time doing it! We’re gonna put on a show to bring down the house and the hoes to their knees!Cover is $10, no biggy! And if you want to give more all the better! If for some reason you can’t make this fantabulous event, which would suck, but you still want to donate you can check out the Oxfam website and contribute what you can.www.together.ca


Sunday August 14th, 2011 — Smash Words
An afternoon of queer poetry and a Chinese classical music concert.

Where: The Lula Lounge
Address: 1585 Dundas St. West (Street Map)
Doors: 3 PM
Start: 4 PM to 8 PM
Cover: PWYC Minimum $5 (with all proceeds going to performers) all ages

The Mission of Queer West Fests Smash Words is build audience participation, stimulate creativity, awaken minds, foster education, inspire mentoring, encourage artistic statement and engage communities worldwide in the revelry of language.

At SMASH WORDS – You may hear; Rap, beat punk, hip hop, comedy, justice issues, erotica, shattered hearts, wild west, words from the soul whatever poets feel comfortable doing, that they think is a powerful message that should be heard. – Featuring some of Toronto’s best known Spoken Word Artists: Phlip Arima (Poet & MC), Criztal-Jay, Duncan Armstrong, Melissa Benner, Philip Cairns, Imran Rehmani, Yehuda Fisher, and a Chinese Classical Guqin Music Concert with Juni L. Yeung, a first for any queer festival.


First set: 8-10 minutes each, in following order from 4 PM: Philip Cairns, Criztal-Jay, Yehuda Fisher.
Second set: 8-10 minutes each, in following order: Duncan Armstrong, Imran Rehmani and Melissa Benner.
Third set: Juni L. Yeung. 30 Minutes at around 6:15/6:30 pm. This will give her a relaxed half hour of performance time and allow about an hour for people to drink, enjoy one another’s company and talk with the performers after she finishes.
The MC Phlip Arima, will open both first and second sets with a single poem, and close the second set with a single poem.