Monthly Archives: November 2015

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LAURA ROCK SPREADS THE HO-HO-HO’S WITH HER ROCKIN’ CHRISTMAS SONG

Here’s a great stocking stuffer…or should I say festive playlist download for the music fans on your Christmas gift list. Check out Laura Rock‘s At Christmas Time song, now available for download from iTunes (for only 99c)

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/at-christmas-time-single/id1061505218

You can check out all of Laura’s music and information on her website: http://www.lrockmusic.com/

So whether you’ve been naughty, nice or downright outrageous, Laura’s At Christmas Time song will be a welcome addition to your own seasonal soundtrack.IMG_1383

Thank you for supporting Canadian artists!

Cdn music

 

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THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW ….AND THE STARS CAME OUT LAST NIGHT

Last night, FIFE HOUSE presented their annual “Spotlight” concert and fundraising gala (produced by Michael Rubinoff) at the Glenn Gould Studio in downtown Toronto and their guests of honour were the incomparable ANDREA McCARDLE (Broadway’s original Annie) with the equally amazing musical genius SETH RUDETSKY. They chatted about Andrea’s incredible career in musical theatre and Seth accompanied her on piano as she belted out hit after hit. Wow!

My friends at URBANSOURCE CATERING presented platters of the most delicious, scrumptious hors d’oeuvres throughout the pre-concert reception, ferried by an army of friendly servers who kept the goodies coming!20151127_181249 20151127_180149 20151127_180308Calvin Hambrook, Urban’s Catering & Events Manager, ensured everything went smoothly and he enjoyed schmoozing with the guests, many of whom are long-time clients of Urban. Below, here’s Calvin (l) with Fife Hosue’s Dir. of Development & Communications David Currah (r).20151127_175301 Apart from the amazing concert, there was also a fabulous silent auction featuring tons of donated prizes including a framed photo (titled “Quietude” 20” x 30” photoprint on Dibond) by Urban Gallery’s own Kaspara Albertsen, perfect for the festive season….here’s just a few of them:QUIETUDE by Kaspara Albertsen20151127_173004 20151127_172938 20151127_173426

20151127_175717Even some of Urban Gallery‘s artists donated paintings to the auction including Joan Andal Romano whose show opens next weekend. Below – “Life is Art” (from her Alice Series) 18” x 24” mixed media on canvas20151127_173347…and Nancy Jane Price (below), whose work was on show this past September at Urban Gallery (her donated painting is titled “Together 24” X 24” Acrylic on canvas)20151127_181625Also featured were paintings courtesy of  previous Urban exhibitors Janna Kroupko and Brenda Clews (pictured below with Calvin) – her donated artwork was titled “A Spring God” 24″ x 30″ oil on canvas (lower pic)20151127_195111
A SPRING GOD by Brenda ClewsIt was truly a great turnout for this event benefiting Fife House which provides secure, supportive, affordable housing to people living with HIV/AIDS in the Greater Toronto Area.HHH_Logo___website

http://www.fifehouse.org/

Here are a few more gala pics – see if you can spot anyone you know in the crowd…20151127_191750 20151127_191833…and more of the great Urban staff …20151127_191720 20151127_191625Check out the UrbanSource Catering website for catering ideas for your own swanky soiree: http://urbancatering.com/

Thank you to everyone involved for making the FIFE HOUSE “SPOTLIGHT” CONCERT & FUNDRAISING GALA such a success.20151127_213739 20151127_213738

 

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ARTIST LINDA LANGERAK INTRO’S ME TO SUPER WONDER GALLERY, TORONTO

What an unexpected pleasure to receive a last-minute invitation to join contemporary artist Linda Langerak last night at the super cool Super Wonder Gallery at 876 Bloor St West, Toronto.  The gallery was hosting a show inspired by Rorschach, featuring multiple local artists’ work incorporating the Rorschach inkblot concept and Linda was one of the participating artists (below) with three distinct pieces on show.  lankyratcreations.com20151121_203325 20151121_203916What an explosion of colour! I was blown away by the number of pieces cleverly curated by Daniel Anaka, also an artist himself…and very cuddly, too! (see below)

Photo courtesy Linda Langerak

Photo courtesy Linda Langerak

Below are a few of my fave works that really stood out, and I encourage you all to drop in to see the show yourself – Rorschach runs until Friday Nov. 27th.20151121_203042 20151121_203821 20151121_212357I must admit there were two pieces that really resonated with me….what do you think of these?

Relianece by Freya Kazemi

Relianece by Freya Kazemi

Bull Painting 1 by Thelia Shelton. Photo courtesy Linda Langerak

Bull Painting 1 by Thelia Shelton. Photo courtesy Linda Langerak

I ran into artist Kris Hamilton who has recently moved to Toronto to pursue her painting career and I loved the two pieces she showed me here..20151121_204101Linda intro’d me to several of her fellow artists whose work also hung on the walls -here’s the handsome and talented Paul Dolgov….Paul DolgovAnd below, here’s the fabulous Gaya Kairos….Gaya KairosMeet Michelle Dinelle (below) all colour coordinated with her art…Michelle DinelleAnd here’s the super suave Ricardo SilvaRicaro SilvaSo come take a virtual walk thru the gallery with me and enjoy more stunning works…20151121_204304
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20151121_212722I caught Linda snapping away, capturing some of her friends’ works….20151121_203201Big THANK YOU to gallery owners Christian Aldo (artist & event booking) and Kevin Bushman (operations/bookings) for hosting such a grand event and supporting local Canadian artists. Super Wonder Gallery is also available for event bookings (live entertainment shows, corporate events, private parties) and is fully licensed so check out their website for details. www.superwondergallery.com20151121_213343

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SINGER/SONGWRITER LAURA ROCK ROCKS DEAD DOG RECORDS, TORONTO

It may have been a dull overcast day in Toronto yesterday but inside Dead Dog Records, 1209 Bloor West, the lights were bright and the music was blasting out “Rock’s Not Dead” by local rock singer/songwriter LAURA ROCK (known as L’Rock to her friends and fans) who dropped in for an in-store promotional visit in support of her current CD, Rock’s Not Dead.    http://www.lrockmusic.com/20151114_135711Below, the Newfie-born now Toronto-based Laura was joined by bandmates Les (rhythm guitar) at left and Bleeding Betty (bass) far right with Dead Dog’s Stephen in grey DDR t-shirt.20151114_140618Between 2-4pm, a number of Laura’s friends and fans showed up (below) to support CD sales and buy the super cool Dead Dog Records t-shirts!20151114_150348Work with me people….make the duck face! I’ve been watching way to much America’s Next Top Model…LOL20151114_145228Even celebrities showed up @ Dead Dog Records…here’s my old friend Gemini and 3x Cdn Comedy Award winner George West below with Laura. George and I go waaaaay back to the late 80’s when he was part of a brilliant comedy duo, Al & George, and has since gone on to a successful solo music, writing and acting career. http://georgewesterholm.ca/ 20151114_142556In between meetin’ and greetin’ fans, Laura and the band browsed the bins, unearthing all sorts of musical treasures…20151114_143853…and I loved the t-shirt rack and lots of other pop-culture merch.20151114_135610

20151114_135456 20151114_135522But even tho the store was rockin’, work still had to get done….20151114_135557BIG THANKS to Stephen, Maesy and Kristie of Dead Dog Records for having us in their store. If you love music, esp. vinyl, they can find anything you want or desire. Drop in, spend an hour going thru the racks and bins and I guarantee you will find something you didn’t know you wanted but just had to have! Their website is launching soon but you can follow them here: https://www.facebook.com/deaddogrecordsto

And again, here’s Laura’s website: http://www.lrockmusic.com/  or you can follow her on Twtr @lrocknroll

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“EVENING @ THE MARKET” RAISES FUNDS & AWARENESS FOR FOOD SHARE

Last night, I over-indulged in some of Toronto’s yummiest food and beverages, thanks to a last-minute invitation from KJ Mullins, publisher of www.newz4u.net. The event was Evening at the Market (hosted at the St. Lawrence Market) to benefit Food Share (foodshare.net) a non-profit organization that works with communities and schools here in Toronto to deliver healthy food and food education.

All the market vendors shared samples of their products with the crowds of eager foodies and I was thrilled to sample my favourite peameal bacon sandwiches from Paddington’s and Portuguese custard tarts from another fave store (lower 2 pics)20151112_185258 20151112_185318(0) 20151112_185615 20151112_185427

20151112_185448I always visit Peter’s Natural Health Foods (below) to buy my raw redskin peanuts – the only place in town I can find them.20151112_185842 20151112_185852I enjoyed meeting the folks at Urban Fresh Produce, a brand new store in the Market. OMG, their samples were soooo deelish.20151112_190137 20151112_190233 20151112_190237And the salmon hors d’oeuvres across the aisle were tasty, too.20151112_190328So many fabulous treats, thank goodness I wore my stretchy pants…LOL!20151112_192100 20151112_193314KJ and I found the ladies from Baci chocolates and spent a very long time taste-testing!!20151112_194725 20151112_194729…followed by a nice shot of espresso, which meant I was up watching TV infomercials late into the wee small hours…yaaaawn!20151112_194935KJ just had to have one more dessert so we visited the lovely lady downstairs with the yummy macaroons. 20151112_195903

20151112_195941Stonemill Bakehouse (below) offered so many different pastry and bread samples, it was hard to choose…20151112_195144Earlier in the evening, it was easy to belly up to the oyster bar at Seafront Fish Market (below), but by the time we left (around 9:30pm), the aisles were jam packed and I couldn’t even back up enough to take a picture. Glad I snapped this one before the hordes of foodies arrived!20151112_190400Thanks to the folks at the St. Lawrence Market for a fantastic event, and to all the friendly volunteers from Food Share who managed the soiree with elegant aplomb!20151112_202157

 

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BENEFIT FOR ENTERTAINER GLENN OTTAWAY DELIVERS LAUGHS, TEARS AND A BIG STANDING O !

As the Irish Rovers used to sing…wasn’t that a party?  Last night friends, family and fans of comic magician GLENN OTTAWAY gathered at the Revue Cinema on Roncesvalles in Toronto to raise funds and awareness of Glenn’s encounter with a known scam artist who swindled him out of his life savings in a fraudulent theatre deal. On stage, well-known comedians, magicians and even a pair of mentalists celebrated Glenn’s career and encouraged the audience to dig deep to help Glenn and his depleted bank account. Thanks to comedian/magician Matt Disero, who created the one-night only comedy concert, some of the country’s top headliners volunteered their time and talent, so here’s a brief pictorial account of The Rocky Horror: It’s a Wonderful Life Anyway show. When I arrived at the Revue Theatre, I first ran into the adorable and funny Mini Holmes (below) who was making some last-minute tweaks to her set.20151109_185644Matt took the stage to greet everyone (below) and share a few thoughts about the evening’s meaning and to thank all the acts who came out to support Glenn, and even showed a groovy videotaped message from Canadian music legend, the one and only Gowan, a longtime friend of Glenn’s, then introduced the night’s MC, Mike Bullard.20151109_191735As usual Mike Bullard (below) was brilliant, acerbic and swift to pounce on hecklers and the poor unfortunate man, Kyle, in the front row who became the night’s comedy punching bag!20151109_194002First up was Mike Carbone. I used to book Mike (below) back in the 80’s and always loved his king-of-cool delivery whether he was performing to business crowds, hipsters or in biker bars. 20151109_193428Then next up was the amazing and baffling mentalist duo, The Evasons, who confounded the audience, including our man Kyle, (below) with Tessa’s psychic gifts while Jeff sought out the volunteers. They fooled me, that’s for sure.20151109_194255Then Mike brought up another brilliant and baffling sleight of hand artist, David Peck (below)20151109_200533Make way for Mini Holmes and her maxi comedy set…she nailed her set and had us all laughing our asses off! 20151109_201716Next up , the dapper and dandy Brian Roberts whose suit hid a multitude of magical mysteries!20151109_203124Brian was followed by Richard Forget (below) who again picked poor Kyle to play along with a card trick that involved some awe-inspiring deck choreography.20151109_203902Young comic sleight of hand artist James Alan (below) took the stage and had us all enthralled with his “dance of the red thimbles”…how did he do that?20151109_205217Then it was time for us to welcome That Canadian Guy…Glen Foster (below). Glen and Glenn has been working together since the 80’s – I frequently booked them into Yuk Yuk’s and for road gigs way back then so last night was a real Glen, Glenn and Glenda kinda night..LOL!20151109_210119Mike then brought the man of the hour up on stage…20151109_193936…ladies and gentlemen…Glenn Ottaway. 20151109_211405Huge ovation, laughter and quite a few tears! Glenn shared more of his story with us and thanked everyone who helped put the night together as well as the performers.  He then presented Matt Disero with a special gift for being the captain of that evening’s ship and we could all see how moved Matt was. Bravo, Mr. Disero, you did good. 20151109_211701As the generous folks of The Revue Theatre gently herded us all out afterwards (they had a 9:30 film to show), there were lots of hugs and smiles and I grabbed a few more pics like this one below with “Magic” Mike Segal (left) and Gordon Precious (right).20151109_212139Here’s Mike again with Gordon and Bob Taylor (far right) and a young lady fan of Glenn’s. That Ottaway guy is a real chick magnet!!20151109_212152FYI: Gordon and Bob are both past presidents of the Toronto ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Below, James Alan waves goodbye from backstage…what a charming young performer.20151109_212344Glenn bids farewell to his fans and thanks everyone for coming out.20151109_212505You can follow Glenn here on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/glenn.ottaway
as well as all the wonderful entertainers who made The Rocky Horror such a success.

Matt Disero  http://mattdisero.com/
Mike Bullard  http://www.newstalk1010.com/Shows/BeyondtheMicwithMikeBullard.aspx
Mike Carbone  http://www.mikecarbone.com/Home.html
Jeff & Tessa Evason http://evason.com/
David Peck http://www.davidpecklive.com/
Mini Holmes https://www.facebook.com/Miniholmes
Brian Roberts http://brianrobertsmagic.com/
James Alan  http://www.jamesalan.ca/
Richard Forget http://www.richardforget.com/home.html
Glen Foster  http://www.thatcanadianguy.com/

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I WON! LUMAS GALLERIES IN YORKVILLE (TORONTO) PRESENTS A $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO THEIR FIRST MONTHLY DRAW WINNER….ME!

One of the most fun galleries to visit in Toronto is the LUMAS GALLERIES located in the space that was previously the Four Season’s Hotel in Yorkville (159 Yorkville Ave). They carry some of the coolest photographic art ranging from giant wall-size digital photos down to miniature size framed photos suitable for the tiniest of loft spaces. Photographers featured include legends such as Damien Hirst, Man Ray and Edward Steichen whose portrait of silent movie queen Gloria Swanson (below) has been a part of my own art collection since the late 70’s, as well as architectural, landscape and figurative photographers like Erich Lessing, Sven Fennema, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Daniel Reiter …and many others.edward_steichen_CNA01_208_550I received a call from the gallery last week congratulating me on winning a $50 gift certificate in their first monthly draw, so today I went to collect my prize from the lovely Yoli, art consultant and gallery goddess (below left)20151108_133538Thank you so much to Lumas for my prize, I will be back a little later to choose something pretty as a Christmas gift to myself! I also met Gallery Director, Claire, who kindly allowed me to interview her and Yoli so I could share the story of the Lumas Galleries with you…

I encourage you to drop in and say hello to Yoli & Claire, and spend some time viewing the ever-changing artwork on their walls displayed in various themed rooms so you can see how cool your home would look with a Lumas photo on your own walls (below are a few examples).  20151108_133428 20151108_133432

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Check out their global website: www.Lumas.com

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COME TAKE A WALK “INTO THE WOODS” @ URBAN GALLERY

Another great opening reception for Urban Gallery‘s monthly show and sale of art, this time featuring local artists Mary Lynne Atkinson and Pauline Bradshaw.  The artists investigate their relationships to wood in nature and manufactured surfaces in their joint exhibition Into the Woods. Their mutual love of colour, light and form are expressed in this series of representations of both urban and rural landscapes.  The show runs throughout the month of November – please visit Urban Gallery’s website for hours (see web addresses at end of blog)20151107_145416Mary Lynne Atkinson (above) is a professional artist living near Barrie, Ontario. Her love of colour is evident in her diverse art practice. Atkinson holds a B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University and a graduate diploma in Studio Process Advancement [Cum Laude] from the Haliburton School of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited widely in Europe, notably in the Carousel du Louvre, Paris, 2012 and 2013. She was awarded a Bronze Medal, Paris by the Sociéte des Arts, Lettres, Sciences. Her paintings were exhibited in numerous curated shows including the Miami Art Basel and S Space Gallery, New York, NY.

 

 

Pauline Bradshaw (below) dedicated many years to the intensive study of old masters drawings and paintings. As a student, she was granted rare access to HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s private library at Windsor Castle to research and copy selected old masters drawings. Pauline passes along her extensive knowledge of academic techniques in private studio classes, lectures and workshops frequently held at the National Gallery of Canada, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the MacLaren Art Centre Barrie. She has also been invited, for the third year, to exhibit at the prestigious Louvre Museum in Paris as part of the Société National des Beaux Arts annual international exhibition.20151107_145338

Mary Lynne’s large format “forest-scapes” attracted a lot of attention and I particularly liked the piece hung near the gallery entrance – see how the rays of sunlight hit the trees (pic 2)….20151107_155050 20151107_145643 20151107_145540Pauline’s pieces included some smaller paintings (below) that created intimate views of trees, as well as larger still-lifes such as the antique Chinese porcelain set that included a rustic wooden handle. Just gorgeous and my favourite piece of her art.20151107_152202 20151107_152156 20151107_145637Below, Pauline poses with gallery goddess Kaspara (left) while curator Allen Shugar snaps a quick pic.20151107_152626Fellow artist Erik Chong (below) dropped in with his wife – they were celebrating their wedding anniversary and chose to share the day with us. Congrats, you two!20151107_151302Other fun guests included KJ Mullins (below centre) publisher of www.newz4u.net, a great Toronto-centric news website and generous media supporter of Urban Gallery.20151107_151320

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For more information on each artist, visit their websites
Pauline Bradshaw    http://paulinebradshaw.com/
Mary Lynne Atkinson   http://www.atkinsonartworks.com/
Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East, Toronto:   http://www.urbangallery.ca/

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LAURA ROCK TALKS ROCK MUSIC WITH “WHAT SHE SAID” HOSTS CHRISTINE & SHARON

Earlier this morning, I took music client, Laura Rock (a.k.a. L’Rock) down to the SiriusXM radio studios in Liberty Village to chat with the fabulous Christine Bentley and Sharon Caddy, hosts of What She Said radio show. http://www.whatshesaidradio.com/20151104_102849Laura’s philosophy about the music industry is “all the web’s a stage and music is a way of life…not a destination”.  Her willingness to encourage other artists has been recognized throughout the industry and acknowledged on many social media platforms. She believes the “point of power is the present view. Whatever you’re willing to conceive and believe is what will come to you. It’s The Law of the Attraction”.

The Newfie-born, Toronto-based singer/songwriter shared her views on the current state of the music industry, in particular rock music, with What She Said’s listeners, resulting in an animated, fun and thoughtful 15 minutes of insider expertise and opinions. She also brought in t-shirts and CDs for the hosts (Kate Wheeler is the 3rd host) who showed their enthusiasm for free clothes…especially Christine (below)20151104_101634If you want to hear what L’Rock’s music is all about, visit her website http://www.lrockmusic.com/ or better still, if you’re in Toronto, come down to Dead Dog Records, 1209 Bloor West (at Lansdown) on Saturday Nov. 14th 2-4pm to meet Laura in person, pick up her CD Rock’s Not Dead and some t-shirts, and hang out with her band and the big loud promo truck parked outside the store playing all her tunes.deaddoglogofbookYou can also listen to Laura’s interview via the What She Said website http://www.whatshesaidradio.com/