JOUEZ 2016

JOUEZ @ BIG on Bloor

Festival of Arts and Culture 

July 23-24, 2016

JOUEZ PARTICIPATORY/PERFORMANCE ART PROJECTS 2016

JOUEZ is a sequence of outstanding original, interactive, arts and culture programs, created by local artists, whose practices reflect the diversity of our downtown neighbourhood.

JOUEZ is a vehicle to, make a shared community experience that everyone attending the BIG On Bloor Festival of Arts and Culture can enjoy and if they like, become involved in.

JOUEZ is about creating our street culture together, connecting people with place and enabling a communal narrative to unfold.

In 2016 JOUEZ featured two culture hubs:

Out on Bloor Street West, near St Clarens, projects/performances were delivered by: Justin Schwab/Holy Oak (Brenna MacCrimmon & Demetri Petsalakis, Eucalyptus, LAL, Prince Nifty, OG Melody, Mamalia and DJ Cam Lee), Andrew Harwood/Madam ZSA ZSA, Annie Wong, BONER KILL/Young Women’s Empowerment Collective, LIFT [Liaison of Independent Filmmakers Toronto], Melanie Lowe, Paul Butler College Party, Stephen Fakiyesi, Keith Cole/NIGHT NURSE and MERCER UNION (Jason Dodge with CAConrad and Bridget Moser and Jon Sasaki.

JOUEZ projects/performances in the TDSB Bloor/Dufferin tennis courts were carried out by NWIA [Native Women in the Arts], Patrick DeCoste, Impluse(b:), TSV [Trinity Square Video] (Jessica Karuhanga, Raphael Bendahan and Fraser McCallum), A01& UnoHu, Clint Griffin, Toronto School of Art/Andy Fabo, Iain Downie, Shantel Miller, Alexander Pilis and Finn and Wolf Sonic Media (The Cool Hands, Hurricane and Able, Wolves in the Timber, Zones, Nico Henderson, theflow and Del Hartley).

~ JOUEZ @ BIG curator Carla Garnet, with special thanks to JOUEZ curatorial assistant, Jennifer Vong   


A01 & UnoHu (Andrew Owen A01 & Sheila Yihua Hu) presents SOLARGRAPHIC FLOWERS AND DANCE

SOLARGRAPHIC FLOWERS AND DANCE is a free public workshop for anyone to participate in creating their own small solargraphic flower prints, using only natural sunlight, flowers and water on photosensitized cotton paper. The prints created will be of the highest fine art quality (suitable for framing at 11 x 14 ins.).

Andrew Owen A01 and partner Sheila Yihua Hu, aka, A01+UnoHu create IMPRESSIONS, large-scale floral landscape paintings, and SOLARGRAPHS, large-format camera-less photographic prints, employing real flowers and people. 

Andrew Owen A01 studied Korean, Japanese and Chinese languages, philosophy, calligraphy, ink painting, seal carving and scroll mounting while immersed in the respective cultures for more than a decade. A01's work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally, including: Marion Scott Gallery, Vancouver; the Illmin Museum, Seoul Korea; the Canadian Embassy Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; and the Isaacs Gallery and Garnet Press Gallery, Toronto. Andrew and Sheila met in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China, and have lived and created together in Taipei, Vancouver and Toronto.


Alexander Pilis presents Sightless Drawings

Sightless Drawings is a two-day interactive project designed for children of all ages.
 
Children will be wear a sightless pair of glasses and given a 35cm X 30cm sheet of paper and colour pencils in order to produce drawings from their past experiences. They will be asked to draw an important and memorable place that they remember from the past or an experience that had an impact on their lives.
 
The intent of the “Sightless Drawings” project is to generate drawings by children that will reveal a set of important issues regarding architecture, the city, the environment and their relationship to objects.

Alexander Pilis was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and currently lives and works between Montreal and São Paulo. 

He is an un-disciplined architectural investigator, artist and curator working under the aegis of Architecture Parallax a methodology that displaces sight as the singular verification of reality. Furthermore, Pilis instigates a multi-media project exploring issues and questions raised by “the blind architect as a critique of the modernization of vision and the collapse of the depth of field. He is a seasonal professor in the MFA department at Concordia University and was previously Director of the Global Architecture Sao Paulo Program in the John H. Daniels, Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of Toronto. Pilis has exhibited, taught, lectured, delivered workshops and published internationally, in Canada, USA, England, Spain, Germany, Italy and Brazil. He is represented by Galeria Virgilio in São Paulo, Brazil.


Andrew Harwood presents Mme. Zsa Zsa, The $2 Psychic

Mme. Zsa Zsa, The $2 Psychic is an ongoing form of drag-social relativism. This project had its inception in the mid-2000's in Toronto and perfected while I lived in Winnipeg 2009 - 2014. I have done 'Psychic Readings' of over 4000 people at various performance art festivals and special events across Canada. Despite the title of this performance anyone who does not have any money may participate by singing a song or tell me a short story as a form of "payment".

Each guest is requested to ask me three questions about their future and I respond, "yes", "no" or "maybe". I also give a brief explanation on each question.

Andrew Harwood is a Toronto-based artist who is a graduate from the Masters Degree in Fine Arts program at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg in 2014. 

Harwood is the former Co-Director of Mercer Union, Interim Director of A Space Gallery, General manager of C Magazine, Director of Zsa Zsa (Toronto) and Zsa Zsa West (Winnipeg). He has had over 20 solo exhibitions in Canada, The United States and has participated in group exhibitions and biennales internationally. Harwood’s work is in the collections of the Toronto Dominion Bank, The Bank of Montréal, The University of Guelph, Queen’s University, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery and in private collections throughout Canada and internationally.


Annie Wong presents The Maze of La Vie Maison

Staying past midnight to finish up paperwork, owner of the furniture store La Vie Maison, Rafia Irum fell asleep at her desk. Unaware of her sleeping state, Irum woke to discover that all the furniture in the store had re-arranged itself into a maze. At every corner she was confronted by a knock-knock joke that plunged her deeper into the labyrinth of her dream. The Maze of La Vie Maison is a reconstruction of Irum’s dream inviting participants to wander through the maze and make sense of the mysteries that inhere in the store’s living furniture. 

Annie Wong is a multidisciplinary artist interested in the poetics of intimacy, cultural memory, collaboration, and participation as methods of reflecting the social ecology of affinities. 

She holds a BA with Honours in English Literature and a MA in Communication and Culture from York University. She has presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Nuit Blanch, and Modern Literature and Cultural Research Centre.

La Vie Maison is a family owned and operated furniture store located in the heart of downtown Toronto, 1231-1237 Bloor St W. We provide high quality, exceptional furniture at reasonable prices. If you are looking for beautiful furniture for your new home or updating your place with the latest design you've come to the right place.


Bonerkill presents Schoolin’ U 

Schoolin’ U is a project brought to you by Bonerkill - an intergenerational feminist art collective. Bonerkill makes socially engaged art, ephemera, and zines. Highlighting issues related to equal rights and social justice (or lack of), using public pedagogy through shared dialogue between audiences, drawing attention to critical intersectional issues goin' on in this crazy world - you got 'beef? Come bitch at 'us!

This year's featured artists include: Keira Boult, Shaista Latif as well as the Bonerkill collective.


Clinton Griffin presents on dis play 

Clint Griffin’s participatory project, on dis play is an invitation to build and play.... A variety of unique toys and sometimes broken objects are summoned to create a make believe fairy/folktale wonderland where festival are invited to play, create a mash up like miniature map like, play box like, junk pile like, town like, fantasy like, readymade like, photo set like, unfinished like, gift shop like, assemble like, parking lot like, set up.

Clint Griffin is a visionary artist who plays with the duality of space, which he believes to have a double dimension: it is either tangible, defined in terms of positive/negative or it is astronomical and inaccessible. 

His compositions combine these two confronting worlds by interconnecting tangible, earthy elements with the mysterious astronomical universe, thus rendering the impalpable tangible.

Griffin’s pictorial process involves the juxtaposition of a variety of recycled materials and paint, so as to create playful and dynamic stories. By dismantling classic space arrangement and perspective, the artist exploits space’s dual nature and binds time and space into a unified self.


Iain Downie presents Starbursts

Starbursts represent the coming together of community and the celebration of its unique beauty. Downie would like the people of the community to help him in creating a number of starbursts. He’ll ask festival-goers to wind 2 wooden dowels with a variety of coloured yarns, to create 'starbursts'. The wrapped dowels will be assembled during the festival revealing the work as the weekend progresses. These starbursts will take on their own life, guided by the imagination of all participants.

Iain Downie's practice is infused with recollections of childhood toys and craft. He likes to apply the principles of mindlessness, chaos, order and chance when working so that the aesthetic develops as much from process as it does from concept. 

Prior to attending art school Downie worked in many creative fields including hairdressing, fashion, dance and choreography.  A graduate of Fanshawe Fine Art Program, Downie worked as assistant curator and installer at the Johnathon Bancroft-Snell Gallery and as a gallery assistant at The Arts Project in London, Ontario. He is a board member of Sculptors Society of Canada and the John B. Aird.  In 2017 as a member of the Throbbing Rose Collective, Downie has been active in presenting Nuit Rose as both an organizer and an artist.


Impulse(b:) presents dialogues about publishing

Impulse(b:) is a collective that will present dialogues about publishing. Authors and editors will be present to engage with the public about their concerns with the state of current publishing. The public will be encouraged to present their ideas about potential books. The editors will respond to the public's ideas while the authors will present their ideas for potential and future books. All and all, it will be a dialogue about the book featuring James Gunn, Eldon Garnet, Dan Bazuin, Fan Wu, Jason Steltman, Marina Greeno McNeil, Nicole Bazuin and Andrea Werhun.

Impulse is a seminal Toronto art magazine. Reining for over several decades, the articles are wildly pertinent not only to Toronto art culture but also internationally.


Keith Cole presents Street Nurse Giving It All That I Got

Keith Cole .......Keith Cole ....... just ask around. Everyone's favourite street nurse / mid wife / doula gives you, his adoring fans, everything he has in this solo performance. Arrive sick. Leave well. There will be interpretive dance.


Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto presents DRAWING ON FILM

DRAWING ON FILM is workshop where festival-goers can learn how to make a 16mm animated film loop using stickers and colourful markers to create lines, dots, stripes and other abstractions. Watch your drawings flicker, bounce and come to life on a 16mm projector with Toronto-based film artists Eva Kolcze and Leslie Supnet.

(LIFT) is an artist-run organization dedicated to facilitating excellence in the moving image through media arts education and production resources. LIFT exists to provide support and encouragement for independent filmmakers and artists through affordable access to production, post-production and exhibition equipment; professional and creative development; workshops and courses; commissioning and exhibitions; artist-residencies; and a variety of other services. Founded in 1981 by a small collective, LIFT has since grown to become one of the foremost centres of its kind globally.


Melanie Lowe presents Contemporary Cat

Contemporary Cat Lady brings an ever-expanding collection of cat figurines outdoors and onto the street for the Big on Bloor festival. Some are handmade, while others are mass-produced, but all have been given away or discarded. These objects have been held onto for a time out of sentimentality or simply forgotten. Contemporary Cat Lady gives them a new home in this 'cat colony' collection, carefully selected from secondhand stores.

Melanie Lowe is a Toronto-based artist and arts administrator originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Lowe received a Bachelor of Design in Communication Design from NSCAD University and a MFA in Visual Art at York University. Lowe works in video, installation and the organization of ephemeral, participatory events. She has had exhibitions and screenings in artist-run centres, festivals and galleries in Canada, including Dalhousie Art Gallery, Doris McCarthy Gallery and InterAccess. 


Mercer Union presents Width of a Witch Exhibition

(Special Saturday Night Screening with TSV)

Mercer Union and Kunstverein Toronto are delighted to present a solo exhibition by Jason Dodge with CAConrad titled Width of a Witch.  Jason Dodge founded Fivehundred places in 2012 to present books by contemporary poets to contemporary artists and everyone who reads poems. CAConrad describes himself as “the son of white trash asphyxiation whose childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift.”

The exhibition opened with a reading by the American poet CAConrad of MARFA POETRY MACHINE in 36 Things: Width of a Witch, the written dimension of the show published in a new chapbook to accompany the exhibition.

In partnership with Trinity Square Video, Mercer Union will present a screening of recent video work by artists Bridget Moser and Jon Sasaki on Saturday night.

Mercer Union, A Centre for Contemporary Art, is an artist-run centre dedicated to the advancement of contemporary art. We support the production and presentation of Canadian and international critical artistic practices, often premiering artists’ work to local and international audiences


Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) presents Only You

Only You is a tee-pee project that arrives at JOUEZ @ BIG On Bloor festival of Arts and Culture courtesy of NWIA, an organization for Indigenous women artists working at the intersection of traditional and contemporary practices. 

NWIA serves as a site of artistic exchange, encouraging dialogue between artists and audiences about social, cultural and political issues and their relationship to artistic expression. Though focused on the development of Indigenous women as creators, our projects are inclusive of youth, men and two-spirited artists, and our programming connects to a diverse participant and audience base, predominantly across Ontario. 


Patrick DeCoste presents The House on Hawthorne

The House on Hawthorne, is an immersive installation that re-imagines the artist’s childhood home in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. When the artist was a child in the 1960s, he was taught step dancing by his father.  The House on Hawthorne will give visitors a chance to learn some dance steps from the artist and to perform in front of a video camera. The installation is comprised of one canvas, five feet high by eighty feet wide. This continuous roll of canvas wraps around the artist’s double tent to form walls and create an intimate space to gather, dance, have drinks, and tell stories.

Patrick DeCoste is a Toronto based visual artist. Through his art he explores Indigenous histories and his Nova Scotia Métis roots. 

In 2014, he received the President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies from OCADU, where he completed an Interdisciplinary MFA. His recent solo exhibitions include Galerie Youn in Montreal, Station Gallery in Whitby, and next year at J.B.Aird Gallery, Toronto, curated by Carla Garnet. This past year DeCoste was awarded grants from The Canada Council for the Arts and from The Ontario Arts Council's Aboriginal Artists in Schools program.


Jacob Hughes presents PAUL BULTER Collage Party (represented by Division Gallery)

Paul Butler’s The Collage Party is a nomadic studio made open to the public where participants come together to make art in a social setting. Since 1997, The Collage Party has been staged throughout North America and Europe in museums, private residences, public schools, universities, hospitals, department stores, and community centres.  

Winnipeg artist Paul Butler’s multidisciplinary practice hinges on the logic of collage, from the traditional approach of combining collected-paper source materials to staging events focused on combining participants and establishing collaboration and community, always with a canny intuition for proximity and balance. 

Butler has exhibited at venues including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, White Columns in New York, Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland and La Maison Rouge in Paris.

Butler met Jacob Hughes at ESA when he staged the College Party there and Jacob was still a student. Hughes currently works at Division as a gallery tech hence has gained experience present the Collage Party.


Shantel Miller presents Things not seen

Things not seen is an installation that makes use of multiple peepholes for viewers to peer into the enclosed studio space of visual artist Shantel Miller as she works on her ongoing series, the Side Profile. Working in this manner, the artist seeks to explore ideas related to the surveillance of black bodies and the politics of looking.

Shantel Miller intentionally works with oil paint to make portraits as it allows for a kind of appropriation to take place. Traditionally, portraits made with oil usually connote power, class and gender. As a black woman choosing to use oil paints to make portraits, her paintings hope to renew and reinvest possibilities that can democratize image making. 

Miller is fascinated by the varying spaces the black body occupies, and employs the Tableau form as a departure point for understanding portraitures ability to reference something outside of itself in order to reveal something inherently true. She is heavily influenced by current political and social issues and layers symbolic figures, imagery and events to represent complex experiences, emotions and ideas related to representations of blackness.


Stephen Fakiyesi presents It’s in the air

It’s in the air, comprises a project created using large helium filled balloons on which are printed various phrases and idioms that figuratively inflate and deflate our present politically charged moment by referencing everything from civil rights inspired slogans – “Black is beautiful,” to pop musical lyrics – “Party like it’s 1999”.  These inflated forms are handed out (exchanged for a small fee, a song or poem and/or dance) .

Stephen Fakiyesi is a Nigerian-Canadian artist based in Toronto. He is best known for producing print media installations that are conceptual in nature and address social, spiritual and cultural identity. He explores the complexities of loving when it’s hard to love, removing the log from one’s own eye first, and turning the other cheek. His art practice has been described, as reflecting on the legacy of colonialism and its effects on African-Canadian culture in the global economy. He employs various creative strategies at times predicated on reproduction, appropriation and collaboration. 


Toronto School of Art presents Andy Fabo Dreambooks - Playing with Imagination

Dreambooks – Playing with Imagination by Andy Fabo, is an ongoing workshop where small groups of people (6-8 at a time) can create a bookwork by using one of the simplest formats, the accordion book. The artistic method for filling the books would be automatism, the technique the Surrealists developed in literature and the visual arts for drawing from subconscious or unconscious mind- stream of consciousness. Participants are provided with materials to create their own book based on a technique most often used in Japanese bookmaking, and variety of drawing materials along with information about the concept of automatism- its history and its contemporary context.

Once the books are ready, participants are instructed to relax, clear their mind, and create a series of images from their unconscious, basically drawing in a wakeful dream state, trying to avoid any self-censorship or overt pre-planning. Participants learn to play with unbridled imagination rather than over-planning creative pursuits. Spontaneity over preconception! Dreambooks is a little art history, a little bit of learning skills, and a lot of fun and experimentation with the assistance of Kevin O’Byrne

Andy Fabois an artist, art critic, independent curator, and art educator. He has exhibited nationally and internationally for more than thirty years. His art ranges from mixed media paintings, drawing installations, computer graphics, digital projections, and video. 

Fabo was a founding member of the groundbreaking ChromaZone Gallery, and has served on the boards of Art Metropole, Mercer Union, and Toronto Arts Council’s visual arts committee. He has taught full time contractually at McMaster University, York University, Brock University, and U of T Scarborough, and as a sessional instructor at Brock, York, OCAD, U of T (St George and Scarborough campuses), and the Toronto School of Art. He received an MFA in the Interdisciplinary Art, Media & Design program at OCAD University in 2013 and did his undergraduate studies at the Alberta College of Art and University of Calgary.

Currently he is working on a community-based national art project featuring six Canadian artists for CATIE, Canada’s HIV treatment information network, as well as an exhibition for b contemporary in Hamilton, Ontario.

The Toronto School of Art fosters the inherent capabilities of its students through an education model that revolves around artists teaching artists to help them make their mark.


Trinity Square Video presents featuring artists


Jessica Karuhanga’s Carefree, Fine and Mellow (2016) is a performance work that considers the force of language in shaping our understandings of the world. The term “carefree” draws from a hashtag that is simultaneously embraced and revoked, while “fine and mellow” riffs off a lamentation. Karuhanga will enact a series of movements in response and re-action to an assemblage of public videos found on various social media platforms archived through the hashtags #carefreeblackgirl and #carefreeblackboy.

Trinity Square Video will reflect on the history of Bloor Street, presenting historical and contemporary interpretations of Rochdale College, Toronto’s infamous experiment in alternative education and communal living, which opened in 1968 and closed seven short years later.

Raphael Bendahan’s Rochdale College 1970 (1970) is a portrait of Bloor Street’s Rochdale from deep within it. Bendahan paints the College as an experiment with new ideas and ways of living that simultaneously confront conventional pressures to live within an old, dead civilization and its structures. The results, perhaps inevitably, are steeped in confusion and angered disillusionment. Bendahan’s film proposes that the new ideas and ways of Rochdale, which were not allowed time to evolve and produce positive results, were smothered for the sake of convenience and convention.

Fraser McCallum’s Come Live With Us (2016) exhumes and critically examines this history. Made up of site visits to the former College site, meetings with residents and artworks responding to Rochdale’s visual culture, this video considers the conditions of possibility that first allowed the College to be formed, as well as its place in Toronto history. Come Live With Us reflects on Rochdale’s archive from a positioning that is emphatically within the contemporary university. Forming a dialogue between past and present, university and free college, McCallum uses technological reproduction as a means of reanimating the forms of life tried out at Rochdale College.

Between the two videos, a portrait emerges of some of Bloor Street’s lurid history, asking questions about what the passage of time erases or, conversely, makes visible.

Trinity Square Video is a space to re-imagine media arts. TSV meaningfully engages diverse creative voices through its accessible production, post-production and exhibition support. Trinity Square Video champions an evolving definition of video by presenting challenging contemporary art that inspires its members and audiences to expand their understanding of media art. We strive to create a supportive environment, encouraging artistic and curatorial experimentation with video that challenges notions of medium specificity and advances media art as a creative discipline.

Thanks to Maximilian Suillerot for his assistance in programming this screening, and to Pleasure Dome for their structural support


Finn and Wolf Media programs Sonic Toronto


Sonic Toronto showcases local Toronto bands, in a variety of different sounds and atmospheres. Saturday is Rock and Roll focused, with some young up-and-coming bands as well as some veteran players, with genres ranging from folk rock, to traditional Rock n' Roll, to Punk inspired Rock, to Psychedelic Surf Rock. Sunday focuses on local Funk and RnB acts, chalk full of exceptional players and souls.

Sonic Toronto aims to give festival-goers a wide range of different sounds and styles, to open ears to the vast selections and scenes of music in our much-loved city.

Next

The Cool Hands

The Cool Hands are a garage rock and roll band from Toronto who spent time living and writing music above a hardware store on the worst road in Canada. Sally Cinnamon, Luke James and Ty Hudecki have released several 7's and are releasing an LP next year. Fun is a thing of the future and the future is now!

The Cool Hands are here the sun is here, you're here let's have a good time and feel alright. 3 piece garage rock 100% local 100% organic and 35% vegan.

Hurricane and Able are an Indie-Rock group based in Toronto, with members from all around Southern Ontario, that incorporate elements of surf and folk rock. Formed with all talented and experienced musicians, they create a dreamy and enticing sound.

Hurricane and Able

Hurricane and Able are an Indie-Rock group based in Toronto, with members from all around Southern Ontario, that incorporate elements of surf and folk rock. Formed with all talented and experienced musicians, they create a dreamy and enticing sound.

Wolves in the Timber

A alternative Rock/Punk band from Toronto, members Mike Overend, Zach O'Rourke, James De Keyzer, and Justin Dobbs come together for a ripping, captivating sound, that has classic rock n’ roll elements fused with Punk-Rock influence and modern style

ZONES

ZONESinitially began as a sphere of sonic exploration established in the summer of 2012 by Toronto-based multi-media artist Derek McKeon. Working as ZONES, McKeon weaves hypnotic loops and psychedelic textures together to create a marbling of pop hooks and kaleidoscopic haze. Multi-instrumentalist Kat Murie joined as a member of the live band, re-interpreting and augmenting the recorded material for a live environment.

Nico Hednerson

Nico Henderson's compelling vocal style and songwriting reflects a worldly sensibility and richness of experience beyond her 24 years. Her songs are characterized by a vibrant, tightly-wound currency, underpinned by folk and roots traditions. Having received years of formal training in dance and theatre, music ultimately evolved as her real passion. Nico is an accomplished and self-taught guitarist, and she hones her performance skills with residencies at Toronto acoustic roots clubs and other GTA venues.

theflow

Features a rotating membership of local Toronto musicians. A dynamic eight piece collective theflow embraces pop, hip hop and neo-soul aesthetics while pushing their exploratory boundaries with jazz and funk nuances.

Bandleader/Producer Julian 'Fatsound' Clarkeis the last surviving member of the band's original lineup. This exciting young collective features their lead singer alongside full rhythm and horn sections, and highlights guest rappers and vocalists.

Del Hartley

The once anonymous city kid who has come to be a modern renaissance man and captivating R&B, Pop, Soul artist. Hartley's passion for storytelling has led him to study various art forms, but no other captured him the way music has. Self-taught on guitar and piano, Del's songs are a melodic composition of his own experiences. The album, provides listeners with perspective and insight on the cycle of relationships, from the initial infatuation and to when it fades.


HOLY OAK/MERCER UNION Hub Stage


Justin Schwab programs the Holy Oak/Mercer Union Hub stage with special guest MC KEITH COLE

Brenna MacCrimmon & Demetri Petsalakis

Individually, Â Brenna MacCrimmon and Demetrios Petsalakis perform with a lot of bands in Toronto: Nomadica, Turkwaz, Zephyr, Ventanas and Fray to name a few. Together they delve into tunes and songs from Turkey, Greece and Macedonia on oud, Cretan lyra, baglamas, tambura, ukulele and voice. Soulful, lyrical, rhythmic, crazy and fun.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is an instrumental ensemble led by Toronto composer and saxophonist Brodie West (Drumheller, the Lina Allemano Four, the Ex). The band plays original instrumental music which draws upon the rhythms and melodies of Calypso, Dancehall Reggae, Bossa Nova and embraces the collective freedom of improvisation established by Jazz greats such as Sun Ra, Duke Ellington and The Art Ensemble of Chicago. The group features an all-star cast of Toronto’s most unique and inventive musicians.

LAL

Formed in 1998 by the dynamic duo of poet, lyricist, activist, singer and Bengali-rooted tough-guy Rosina Kazi and her life partner, producer, sound designer, philosopher, aphorismist and Barbados-born king of chill, Nicholas Murray, LAL always proved hard to describe. The group has developed a sound over the last decade fusing South-Asian roots, West Indian fruits, and melancholic vocals with jazz sensibilities, hip hop influences, down tempo grooves, broken soul, and electro. 

LAL has produced two full-length albums,Corners (2002), and Warm Belly High Power(2004), which were awarded the best soul album in 2004 by Exclaim! Magazine They're a band, but not only a band - they're a music making magical mushroom, the visible flowering part of a much larger organism, connected with very fine but infinitely resilient roots.

Prince Nifty

Prince Nifty is the creation of Toronto's Matt Smith. He constructs weirdo, progressive pop-tunes of the psychedelic persuasion. Multi-faceted and genre bending, he creates experimental tracks that contains elements of freak folk, psychedelia, ambient techno, walls of sound, progressive pop chanting.

OG Melody

OG Melody is the duo of Thom Gill and Isla Craig. These two take classic and fuse it with pop sensibility and silkiness to create a sexy pop sound.

Mamalia

With a massive appetite for all things that make people dance and fly, Mamalia (previously Amalia) creates beat driven boogie and funk with a ferocity that makes bodies move.

First introduced to the art world by way of her involvement as lead vocalist/writer for Juno nominated contemporary jazz band SEKOYA, the past decade has been that of exponential growth. Circling the globe, playing from Tokyo to London, she has been pushing herself outside of the genre box... mind you she always seems to make her way back home to the FUNK.

DJ Cam Lee

Cameron Lee (Feministry, SISTEM) is a Toronto-based artist and DJ. Cameron performs as Marilyn Mansion, an alter ego who builds installations, collects ephemera and combines these using humour, making familiarity feel strange. Cameron received a Toronto Arts Council Grant for Emerging Artists in 2015 for this project.

Cameron’s monthly DJ event FEMINISTRY is a queer oriented dance party, inviting queer and allied friends to play a mix of house, techno and weird music; making space for queer femmes on the dance floor.