Category Archives: Music

Cropped headshot

NICEST GUY IN CANADIAN SHOWBIZ CELEBRATES 5th ANNIVERSARY AS ARTISTIC DIR. @ PEMBROKE’S FESTIVAL HALL

With so many live music and entertainment venues closing on an almost weekly basis across the country, Pembroke’s 600-seat FESTIVAL HALL is steadily building audience attendance and presenting line-ups that include music legends, current hit-makers, orchestral recitals and outrageous comedy shows that are the envy of show promoters in major cities. And the person largely responsible for this outstanding achievement is Artistic Director (and my dear friend) RICK WHARTON who celebrates 5 years at the helm next month, April 2017.b&wAfter starting his showbiz career as a comedian at Yuk Yuk’s and Second City, Rick created his popular television character “The Conspiracy Guy” on SPACE: The Imagination Station. Rick then spent 20 years in the Canadian music industry, working with Universal Music where he began as the liaison between record company, radio and retail – he helped maximize profile and value of the company’s music catalogue; marketed, tracked and promoted influential recording artists including The Tragically Hip, U2, Guns’n’Roses, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Rik Emmett, Alanis, Pursuit of Happiness, Michael W. Smith and others. He was quickly promoted to Head of Promotion in Ontario. Independently, he has also helped develop and manage the careers of many musicians as well as handled production and marketing duties.

with Alanis Morissette

with Alanis Morissette

Flanked by Aerosmith

Flanked by Aerosmith

Stepping into the role of Artistic Director at Festival Hall in 2012, he spearheaded the revival of the Hall by attracting big name performers from all music genres, comedians, classical recording artists, as well as celebrity guest speakers and supporting local theatrical groups. Some of the artists to grace the stage under his direction include:  Gord Downie, Matt Dusk, Rik Emmett, Randy Bachman, John McDermott, Gowan, Michael Burgess, Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe, Lunch at Allen’s, Sab and the Family Band, Malcom Burn and The Spoons , The Barra McNeils . Country stars Marty Stuart, April Verch and Corb Lund. Comedians Gerry Dee, Glenn Foster, Ron James, Derek Edwards, Carla Collins, Mary Walsh, the comic ensemble Women Full Clothed, as well as hosting the Canadian Comedy Awards’ Funniest Person In The Valley show.  He has also opened the doors to many theatrical events and Festival Hall is now home to local theatre groups.

I want people to experience the wonder of what the theatre offers. The magic of taking you away from life’s problems for a little while theatre can change and affect lives for the better.   Rick Wharton

Pembroke-Festival-Hall-Interior-1-1024x684Pembroke’s Festival Hall Centre for the Arts (above) is the largest performing arts centre in the Ottawa Valley. Through theatre, music, dance, storytelling, comedy, visual arts and educational programming, Festival Hall fosters artistic and historic awareness.   Since 2012, the hall has hosted over 55,000 theatre patrons for hundreds of productions that reflect the rich cultural diversity of the region. It’s also home to the Streetlight Theatre Company, Pembroke Symphony Orchestra, Kiwanis Music Festival, UTurn, and the Sears Drama Festival.

Rick and I go way back to the early 80’s when I ran Yuk Yuk’s Komedy Kabaret in Toronto – he was a frequent performer there. When I left to open my own talent & media relations agency in 1986, I would often run in to him backstage at the various concerts and tours I worked. One of my fave photos is this one (below) where Rick unexpectedly “photo bombed” me when posing with Monkee Davy Jones. Hey hey, it's Davy Jones with GlendaRick has often worked with leading comedians such as Rick Mercer and the late great Robin Williams (below)
rickmercer
wharton and williams…and he’s remained close friends with Canadian guitar god, Rik Emmett (below) with whom he’s worked on numerous tours and celebrity appearances.rikemmettCONGRATULATIONS, Rick, on reaching this milestone anniversary at Festival Hall…and thank you for supporting so many Canadian artists as well as securing the big name acts for your stage. Bravo, Spudman, and wishing you many more years as the impresario of Pembroke!spaceDuring Rick’s fifth anniversary month, Festival Hall presents the Pembroke Symphony Orchestra’s We Got Rhythm on Saturday Apr. 8th, int’l recording star John McDermott (Raised on Songs and Stories) on Friday Apr.28th and Whiskey Jack performing Stories and Songs of Stompin’ Tom on Saturday Apr.22nd. See www.festhall.ca for details of these and other April concerts.

20160907_205103

ALEXIS BARO BURNS UP THE LULA LOUNGE STAGE FOR CD LAUNCH!

Wow, what a night! Mother Nature threw down her mic and a ton of rain on the city, but inside Lula Lounge, Afro-Cuban trumpeter ALEXIS BARO and his Pueblo Nuevo Project band tore up the stage with two sets of hot hot hot Latin jazz.20160907_201439Launching his brand new CD, SUGAR RUSH, Alexis entertained a near-capacity house with new tunes as well as many of his previous hits. In fact, to celebrate the recent release of the official video for “Eres” from his Guilty Pleasure album, Alexis was joined on stage by Cuban hip-hop artist TELMARY (below) for the first ever live performance of their song. The crowd went crazy!20160907_220330Alexis and Telmary were interviewed by AfroGlobal Television (below) …..20160907_212110….and even Snap’d newspaper (below) came out to shoot the crowd enjoying the show20160907_203500A truly memorable concert…the fans left with smiles on their faces and copies of the Sugar Rush CD in their hands! You can get your own copy or download via Alexis’ website: www.alexisbaro.comAlexis_Baro_CD_FRONT cd insideYou can also catch Alexis performing tomorrow at The Rex (9:45pm) and Saturday at The Pilot (3pm), two of Toronto’s finest live jazz venues.

Big THANK YOU to the fabulous folks at Lula Lounge – one of the best teams to work with for live music presentation and promotion. www.lula.ca/  Just look how beautiful this venue looks even without people

20160907_192109 20160907_192037 20160907_192223

 

poster

Cuban rapper TELMARY to join ALEXIS BARO on stage @ Lula Lounge Sept. 7th

As he launches his brand new album, Sugar Rush, next Wednesday night Afro-Cuban jazz trumpeter ALEXIS BARO is thrilled to present renowned Cuban rapper TELMARY who will join him on stage at Toronto’s Lula Lounge to perform his hit Eres (from his previous Guilty Pleasure CD). This will mark the first time Alexis has performed song live with Telmary. Check out their sultry video here:

Telmary rose to prominence in 1999 with seminal Cuban rappers Free Hole Negro. Then she joined Interactivo in 2002 and spent five years touring with the likes of Yusa, Vivanco and Del Rio and Carcassés. It was with Interactivo that Telmary developed her distinctive rapping-crooning delivery, and this collaboration helped the 26-member supergroup score an historic double win (Best Debut Album and Best Fusion Album) at the 2005 Cubadisco awards. Telmary has also played and toured with fellow Cubans Gema & Pavel, Pío Leyva, X Alfonso and Kelvis Ochoa.telmary-5_2In addition to recording and touring Telmary has started appearing in films. She played herself in both German Kral’s Musica Cubana (2004) produced by Wim Wenders’ and Benito Zambrano’s Habana Blues (2005) – just to confirm that her kind of larger-than-life talent and personality need no embellishment for the big screen.telmary-4_2

Sugar Rush was partly inspired by my last few trips back home visiting old friends and having the opportunity to perform again with some of my old schoolmates who are now touring around the world with some of the biggest names in Cuban music. It made me realize that the musical spirit is still alive in my home city of Centro Habana, and that my neighbourhood, Pueblo Nuevo, is still an inspiration to many writers and home to many musicians. By going back to my roots with this album, I’m able to pay tribute to the music I grew up listening to every afternoon, and salute those who spread the Cuban sound all around the world. Alexis Baro   

www.alexisbaro.com

ALEXIS BARO & Pueblo Nuevo Project /Sugar Rush CD release

Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St West, Toronto

Wed. Sept. 7th Doors open @ 7pm, Show @ 8:00pm

Tickets: $15 ea.  Available from: www.lula.ca/events

lmac logo crop 2014

Alexis_Baro_CD_FRONT

TORONTO’S AFRO-CUBAN JAZZ TRUMPETER/COMPOSER ALEXIS BARO TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM SEPT.7

The week after Labour Day is always a very busy period – it marks the opening of the annual Toronto International Film Festival and this year, Wednesday September 7th it also marks the date for the release of “Sugar Rush”, the new album from Toronto-based composer & trumpeter ALEXIS BARO, who celebrates the occasion with a concert at Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas St West, Toronto).  Released on the G-THREE label,“Sugar Rush” showcases Baro’s vibrant Cuban roots in every original track. “The entire idea…” Baro explains, “is to pay tribute to my ‘hood and the music around me that I grew up with, influenced by my environment and perspective.”posterThe award-winning Afro-Cuban artist has performed and recorded with a variety of artists David Foster, Paquito d’Rivera, Paul Shaffer, Andrea Bocelli, Omara Portuondo, Joey DeFrancesco, Gino Vannelli, Wayne Newton and Tom Jones.  He has been the opening act for Herbie Hancock and has led his own groups on tour across Canada, Europe and the West Indies._MG_1130“Sugar Rush was partly inspired by my last few trips back home visiting old friends and having the opportunity to perform again with some of my old schoolmates who are now touring around the world with some of the biggest names in Cuban music. It made me realize that the musical spirit is still alive in my home city of Centro Habana, and that my neighbourhood, Pueblo Nuevo, is still an inspiration to many writers and home to many musicians. By going back to my roots with this album, I’m able to pay tribute to the music I grew up listening to every afternoon, and salute those who spread the Cuban sound all around the world.  

The neighbourhood of Pueblo Nuevo is in the centre of Havana and home to many of the most popular and accomplished Cuban musicians. “It’s surrounded by some of the most dangerous ‘hoods in the city and it’s this mix of social characteristics that makes Pueblo Nuevo a very interesting place to grew up and appreciate music from many perspectives.”  Alexis Baro   www.alexisbaro.comcd insideAll tracks on Sugar Rush were written by Alexis Baro (Sigueme was written with Yoser Rodroguez) and the album was recorded at Phase One & GMP Studios, Toronto and engineered by John “Beetle” Bailey & Josh Bowman. Alexis surrounded himself with some of Toronto’s finest jazz musicians who made up the Pueblo Nuevo Project including Jeremy Ledbetter (Keys), Roberto Riveron (Bass), Ahmed Mitchel (Drums) Jorge Luis Torres “Papiosco” (Bata Drums), Jeff King (Tenor Sax), Adrean Farrugia, Yoser Rodriguez (Bass)…and others.20160812_202816Baro’s passion for his home and music makes for some very exciting listening – the music transports you to the streets of Havana, filled with hot Afro-Cuban jazz riffs and melodies.  14040029_10157485285130651_8990524417047283623_nTickets are $15 per person, available in advance from Lula Lounge: www.lula.ca/events/2016/sep/alexisbaro.html
Guarantee your seat and table with dinner reservations, too.lula-lounge-logo lmac logo crop 2014

20160702_231100

AFRO-CUBAN TRUMPETER ALEXIS BARO PACKED THE HOUSE @ POETRY JAZZ CAFE

Last night, I was thrilled to be part of the capacity audience at Kensington Market’s Poetry Jazz Cafe (224 Augusta Ave) as Toronto-based Afro-Cuban trumpeter ALEXIS BARO and his band killed it on stage as part of this year’s TD Toronto Jazz Festival.

Performing music from his recent album, Guilty Pleasure, Alexis was joined by drummer extraordinaire Amhed MitchelJeremy Ledbetter on keys and Yoser Rodrigues on bass.  He also teased us with several new compositions from his upcoming Alexis Baro & Pueblo Nuevo Jazz Project that pays tribute to his Cuban musical roots – his new CD, Sugar Rush, due for release this coming September.

Alexis has performed and recorded with many celebrated artists including David Foster, Pacquito D’Riviera, Paul Shaffer, Andreas Bocelli, Omara Portunda, Joey DeFrancisco, Gino Vanelli, Wayne Newton and Tom Jones.  He has been the opening act for Herbie Hancock and has led his own groups on tour across Canada, Europe and the West Indies.

His Guilty Pleasure album is a collection of laid back, soulful original compositions touching on a variety of genres including Latin, Afro-Cuban and Contemporary Jazz, and features Cuban female rapper Telmary and Dwayne Morgan. Congratulations to Alexis – Guilty Pleasure was recently named the Gold Medal Award winner at the Global Music Awards.  You can purchase the album via iTune dowload or via www.alexisbaro.com

The venue, Poetry Jazz Cafe, located in the heart of Toronto’s Kensington Market, is a cosy showroom entered via an enclosed front foyer filled with comfy chairs and couches. Out back is an open-air patio with candlelit tables surrounded by shrubery that offers a discreet area for conversation or a romantic date night. Run by the charming Sean Pascalle and his welcoming staff, it’s a great new find for Toronto’s live music fans and I recommend you check it out in person. www.poetryjazzcafe.com  (you can find lots of photos and news on their Facebook page, linked via the website). 20160702_221644I sat at the bar with Alexis’ wife, Tracey (below) who kept me informed on the story of each tune and joined me in cheering along with the rest of the enthusiastic crowd as the band took their bows.20160702_230841The bar itself is decorated by some pretty cool posters and giant photos of legendary jazz figures such as Miles Davis (‘natch), Nina Simone, Stachmo…and over the bar, Sean has installed a giant tv screen – last night it was showing a famous Cuban animated feature to complimented the live music.20160702_225041I was really moved when Alexis picked up his flugelhorn and performed this gorgeous smooth jazz number….

Watch for the release of Alexis’ new album in September – I’ll post an event page on Facebook to promote the concert in Toronto. In the meantime, visit his website www.alexisbaro.com for more music and videos.20160702_220944 20160702_21592120160702_221626

 

 

 

 

 

20160604_193239

Toronto singer DEENA performs live @ 70 DOWN in Yorkville, Toronto

The beautiful and talented DEENA entertained guests at Yorkville’s 70 DOWN resto-lounge this past Saturday evening, accompanied by JACK LENZ on keyboard and GRAHAM YOUNG on guitar.

Jack Lenz (with Deena, below) is a  multi-award winning composer who heads up Lenz Entertainment, a world-renowned film, television and music production company providing diversified creative services to the entertainment industry.  www.lenzent.com20160604_213430Graham Young (below) is a young musician currently exploring various genres including country, pop, jazz and rock. He sounds fabulous here with Jack and Deena.20160604_213443

Deena is a multi- talented recording artist who is also developing her acting and TV/film production chops. She can be seen in TV commercials and she frequently models for various advertising campaigns.  Based in Toronto, Deena has her sights set on a global music career that will allow her to promote arts & culture as well as share her philanthropic & humanitarian consciousness.  Deena has been performing since childhood and in 2015, honed her songwriting skills by collaborating on two original singles You’re Not Alone and Supernova with renowned industry professionals Derek Brin and Rupert Gayle.  http://projects.swiftweb.ca/deenatheartist.com/

One of my fave songs is Besame Mucho and I captured this quick video of Deena serenading us with her sexy rendition of the Latin classic.

Thank you, Deena, and BRAVO to you, Jack and Graham for a fabulous night of live entertainment.  We hope to see you back at 70 Down again real soon.

Check out all the live entertainment presented (Thurs-Sat) at 70 DOWN, 70 Yorkville Ave, Toronto  www.70down.ca20160524_184921(0)

PRISM PRIZE ANNOUNCES 2016 TOP 20 BEST CANADIAN MUSIC VIDEOS

 The Prism Prize is thrilled to announce the Top 20 best Canadian music videos of the year, as voted by a jury of more than 120Canadian music, film and media arts professionals. After viewing hundreds of music videos released in 2015, jurors selected the Prism Prize Top 20 based on originality, creativity, style, innovation and effective execution.
View the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/154121538
THE 2016 PRISM PRIZE TOP 20 (in alphabetical order):
A Tribe Called Red – Suplex (Director: Jon Riera)
Absolutely Free – Vision’s (Directors: Scott Cudmore and Michael LeBlanc)
Aidan Knight – All Clear (Director: Ft. Langley)
Alessia Cara – Here (Director: Aaron A)
Braids – Miniskirt (Director: Kevan Funk)
Daniel Romano – I’m Gonna Teach You (Director: Chad VanGaalen)
Death From Above 1979 – Virgins (Director: Eva Michon)
Drake – Hotline Bling (Director: Director X)
Drake
The Elwins – So Down Low (Director: Alan Poon)
Fast Romantics – Julia (Director: Matthew Angus)
Grimes – Flesh Without Blood (Director: Grimes)
Harrison – How Can It Be (Director: Maxime Lamontagne)
Kalle Mattson – Avalanche (Director: Philip Sportel)
Monogrenade – Le Fantôme (Director: Kristof Brandl)
Peaches – Rub (Directors: Peaches, A.L. Steiner and Lex Vaughn)
PUP – Dark Days (Director: Jeremy Schaulin-Rioux and Chandler Levack)
Shy Kids – Rockets (Director: Walter Woodman)
SonReal – For the Town (Director: Peter Huang)
Spek Won – Black Body (Director: Mark Valino)
Yukon Blonde – Saturday Night (Directors: Mac Boucher and Gaya Abdalian)
“This was the best year for Canadian music videos ever, and a Top Ten list just couldn’t capture all the talent,” said Louis Calabro, Director and Founder of the Prism Prize. “With the Prism Prize Top 20, we are proud to present a diverse group of incredible artists and their remarkable work.”
The Prism Prize Top Ten will be announced on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.
2015_Prism-PrizeWeb-83
On Sunday, May 15, 2016 the Prism Prize Screening and Awards Presentation at TIFF Bell Lightbox will include a screening of theTop Ten videos, and award presentations including: the $10,000 Grand Prize for best Canadian music video of the year; the Audience Award (presented by Noisey Canada); the Special Achievement Award (presented by FYI Music News) for artistic achievements and exceptional world-wide contribution to music video art; and the Arthur Lipsett Award (presented by MuchFACT) for innovative and unique approaches to music video art.
All Prism Prize Award recipients, including the Grand Prize, Audience Award, Special Achievement Award and the Arthur Lipsett Award, will receive $2000 grants from William F. White for production equipment rentals, and an exclusive gift bag from MAC Cosmetics.
The Prism Prize is also happy to announce FYI Music News as Lead Sponsor of the Prism Prize with support for the Special Achievement Award and a post-screening celebration at the 2016 Prism Prize Awards Presentation.   FYI Music News is a daily newsletter focusing on the Canadian music industry, offering a tightly written digest of key events and news of the day in Canada and beyond, at the start of each workday.
We are very proud to have FYI Music News and Slaight Music onboard as a Lead Sponsor this year. These guys do so much for the music industry in Canada, it’s staggering. It’s an honour being associated with such a forward thinking organization.” said Louis Calabro.
Past Prism Prize winners for Best Canadian Music Video of the Year include Noah Pink for Rich Aucoin’s Brian Wilson is A.L.i.V.E (2013), Emily Kai Bock for Arcade Fire’s Afterlife (2014), and Chad VanGaalen for Timber Timbre’s Beat The Drum Slowly (2015).
Prism Prize is proud to host a comprehensive resource for music fans to watch the best Canadian music videos all in one place. Videos and news from Canada’s music video community are available throughout the year at www.prismprize.com@prismprizewww.facebook.com/prismprize
Prism Prize acknowledges the financial support of Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters.
2015_Prism-PrizeWeb-54
CTV pic

WHAT A WEEK THAT WAS FOR GRAMMY NOMINEE RON KORB

I can’t believe it’s been a whole week since I logged onto the Grammy nominee list, cuppa coffee in one hand, mouse in the other, scrolling down as I held my breath….Category 30, New Age Album…….blah blah blah blah…and RON KORB for ASIA BEAUTY. Yaaaay!!!!12096026_10153033946140448_2532998975567882371_nAfter a very busy year of composing, producing and performing, Toronto-based flautist and composer Ron Korb awoke last Monday morning as a Grammy nominee! Having worked with Ron over the summer to promote the release of Asia Beauty, I am so proud and excited for him at the prospect of walking the red carpet on Grammy weekend (mid-February) rubbing shoulders with the likes of  Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, and fellow Canuck nominees, Drake, The Weeknd and Justin Bieber.logo

As soon as the nominations for all the categories were announced I started working my media contacts here in Toronto – all the TV and radio networks, the dailies, the music bloggers – how would you like a Grammy nominated artist on your show?  Sadly, as is typical these days, we had few takers. Unless you are an international, multi-award winning artist, they just don’t care. But hang on…..that’s exactly what Ron Korb is. Ron has won countless international music awards, has performed in some of the world’s most celebrated concert halls and collaborated with numerous other award-winning artists, has produced over 30 hit albums in various genres (Celtic, Latin, Jazz, native American, African, classical, Japanese….) composes film & tv scores, and he’s also the third most well-known Cdn in China which has the greatest buying power in the universe these days.  Ron has performed for Queen Elizabeth, Princess Takamado of Japan, Princess Bopha Devi of Cambodia, and was featured on the World Youth Day recording for Pope John Paul and the Dalai Lama’s World Festival of Sacred Music in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He has also shared stages with Peter Gabriel, Jane Siberry, Tia Carrere, Liona Boyd, The Yardbirds, Olivia Newton John and Cesaria Evora.

With fellow Cdn artist Liona Boyd

With fellow Cdn artist Liona Boyd

So how come Canadian media doesn’t recognize his accomplishments and want to brag about them to their viewers/listeners/readers? Beats me!  At least the Toronto Star and CTV Headline News acknowledged Ron’s accomplishments…..

TorStar Dec 9Ron and his lovely wife Jade, who took all the photos for Ron’s Asia Beauty album which included a 32pg full-colour booklet, have worked long and hard to promote Canadian music and artistry around the world. Asia Beauty has already won “Best of Show” at the 2015 Global Music Awards as well as awards for Best Instrumental Solo performance (Blue Bamboo) and Best Album Design. The CD also won Best Instrumental Album and Best Instrumental Song (Two Mountains) at the Akademia Music Awards in Los Angeles. Ron has toured countless times around the world and when composing his 2014 Europa album, he performed in venues where classical legends  – Mozart, Beethoven, Bach – once trod the stage. Ron even shared the cover of a recent online edition of Billboard with Keith Richards……keith and ron….so why no love from our own media? This is the sad reality for most Canadian artists. No matter how brilliant, how popular, how well covered by int’l media or how awarded you are by other countries, Canada apparently doesn’t give a rat’s ass about its own artists. So hopefully I will be proven wrong and more editors, columnists, bloggers and news directors will realize the treasure they have under their noses and will step up as we head into Grammy month (Feb/16) and my phone will be ringing off the hook for interviews with the amazing Ron Korb!  Why not see for yourself why he’s such a superstar…. http://ronkorb.com/home_MG_2214

Post script: in his usual humble manner, Ron played a special Christmas concert on Saturday at the St. Paul’s Anglican church in Newmarket – the perfect way to end the hectic and exciting week. Here he is performing to the packed pews!su3IlLSoGq9IKL8EMgK2QECzFI7aLqOftJOwUl5-z3U SnUyYlWoD14w3bUuGCGogFsN8MHisTXgTpDNP7hwUQc

Santa1

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

 

jpeg

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