Tag Archives: City of Toronto

20161010_123730

AHOY, MATEY….AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM TORONTO HARBOUR!

What a lovely way to spend Thanksgiving….cruising around Toronto’s stunning Lake Ontario harbour and islands, watching the planes come in and snapping away like a crazed tourist! I love taking quickee “stay-cations” or playing hookey mid-week and taking off for a calming boat cruise through the islands. Today is Thanksgiving Monday in Canada and everyone is busy roasting turkeys and shuffling between family homes with pumpkin pies and bottles of wine. Me? Well, I’m thankful to have access to simple pleasures like harbour boat cruises and the nice folks at Toronto Harbour Tours didn’t disappoint  www.harbourtourstoronto.ca20161010_132506Captain Dylan (pictured above) and Cruise Director Mike welcomed me aboard then cast off for a 1 hour tour – unlike Gilligan and his 3hr tour, there was little chance of getting shipwrecked. We cast off our boat, the Shipsands, and headed out into Lake Ontario, past all the condos and restaurants…..

What a beautiful city and waterfront we have. I sometimes forget the beauty that’s just minutes from my front door.20161010_12391920161010_123542 20161010_125024My sailing buddies were a fun bunch showing their out of town friends around the city.20161010_124201

20161010_13075920161010_131345As our boat was returning, we caught this scary plane landing…must have been Sully at the controls!

Whew, that was a close call. More picturesque photo opps….20161010_13211020161010_132012…then aloha and farewell to Capt. Dylan and Mike (who’s being dive-bombed here by a rogue seagull)20161010_132513The fun didn’t end there…I remembered there was an artisans’ market further along the harbourfront so I set forth to forage for food and oh boy…peameal bacon on a kaiser roll – my favourite!!20161010_135605And dessert courtesy of Carla’s Cookie Box! Yummmmm20161010_140814

So Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all my blog readers…wishing you lots of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pies…burp!

20160910_141623

GRACE DAM OPENS HER SOLO SHOW @ URBAN GALLERY IN TORONTO

Toronto’s URBAN GALLERY turned up the a/c for the launch of GRACE DAM‘s hot solo exhibition “The Artist Unmasked” which runs until October 1st.  Family and friends turned out on the sultry Saturday afternoon to celebrate her show and sale of paintings that reflects the complexity of life, the challenge of relationships –and the connections between earth and sky.20160910_144606“My approach combines figurative and abstract elements to explore the emotions and meaning inherent in my surroundings. My subject matter, sparked by the mood and politics of the day, is then researched and studied before I attempt to capture it on canvas. My message may appeal or it may provoke –my aim is to tempt the viewer to linger long enough to tease out the meaning.”    Grace Dam

20160910_14143620160910_14172620160910_141452Fellow artist Erik Chong and his wife Jeanette (below) arrived to show support…20160910_143352…as did good friend Linda Kaplan, shown below with Grace.20160910_143150Grace’s husband, Howie, admired her work…20160910_141635…as did her lovely daughter Hillary (below)20160910_141932Below, Wayne Abell of UrbanSource Catering and KJ Mullins, publisher of Newz4U.ca were happy to come out and celebrate Grace’s grand opening….20160910_142304

The Wait 48w x 36h Oil diptych Canadian Icons (Niagara Falls diptych) 48 x 60 oil on canvas Image THE MASK by Grace Dam -oil on canvasFor further information on Grace’s paintings and gallery hours, please visit: www.urbangallery.ca/20160910_144606

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

70 DOWN RESTO-LOUNGE BRINGS AFGHANI-FUSION CUISINE TO YORKVILLE (TORONTO)

When I learned about the exciting, exotic and super-tasty menu on offer at the 70 Down restaurant/lounge in Yorkville, I couldn’t wait to go try for myself. Previously a late night lounge, the venue, located at 70 Yorkville Avenue, just W of Bay St, was recently transformed by owners (and brothers) Alex and Wali Seddiqi, who brought in two experienced chefs to completely renovate the kitchen and menu to showcase their family’s heritage dishes – Afghani classics with a twist of Greek and Mediterranean. www.70down.ca6_large[jPD6]Wanting to push beyond the conventional ethnic restaurants they encountered in Canada, the Seddiqi brothers created 70 Down as a hub for patrons of diverse cultures to feel comfortable and at home.

My brother and I had this great idea of one day opening a fine dining modernized Afghani cuisine restaurant, Alex recently told me. We were inspired by the great history of our country and noticed there was nothing like it in Toronto; the demand and opportunity was there as the city is known for its diverse and multicultural community.5_large[MLPr]This unique approach to food, ambiance and art/decor all contribute to creating a sense of modernism while retaining the essence of the Eastern/Afghani heritage the brothers brought with them to Canada. Appreciating the growing movement of healthy lifestyles and sustainability, 70 Down consciously integrates local and organic food into the menu.7_large[LAdc]

As Alex goes on to explain: We are totally blessed to have a fusion between two totally different types of chefs. Chef Hamayuun has been in the industry for more than 25 years and highly experienced in the culinary field specializing in traditional authentic Afghani food. Chef Sebouh is a highly skilled Armenian chef specializing in Greek cuisine. So we get to blend old school and modern style cuisine for our diners.

There’s a stunning patio fronting onto Yorkville Avenue providing great people-watching opps, but discreetly sunken slightly below street-level so that you’re not bombarded with traffic noise and exhaust from passing cars. It’s truly a perfect oasis of calm and serenity for sharing cocktails and nibblies with friends…or that special hot date!20160421_190627On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, 70 Down presents live entertainment courtesy of some of the city’s most exciting jazz, soul/R&B and Latin singers and musicians. Starting at 7:30pm each  night, the shows run until approx. 10pm and there’s never a cover charge!  20160422_200223The servers and bar staff (below) are friendly and eager to please, and able to make recommendations for your appetizer and entree choices (I always recommend the hummus…the best I’ve had in years!)20160422_202742The late night club life returns to 70 Down Thurs. through Sat. nights when the venue turns into a hot dance cave and hangout where the millennials blow off steam from their heavy work week. 70 Down offers VIP table & bottle service with special packages available for groups – details can be found on the website. 4_large[60H4]70 Down is ideal for private functions, corporate events (they can host up to 160 for cocktail receptions) and celebratory soirees. Send your enquiries to info@70down.ca or call 416-323-369670DownYorkville_Logo-2

www.70down.ca

20150913_165016

ENJOY A TOUCH OF LUXURY DURING TIFF @ ARCHIVES in YORKVILLE

What a grey, rainy day dawned here on the 4th day of the Toronto Int’l Film Festival (TIFF).  I have no “official” screenings or soirees to attend so what to do…what to do?  Earlier last week, I had received a lovely invitation from ARCHIVES  [ http://www.archivesltd.com/ ] an exclusive concept store located in the new Four Seasons Hotel a few blocks away, so earlier this afternoon, I grabbed my umbrella, put on some bright lipstick and headed out to see their gorgeous new luxury bling… join me now for a virtual visit.20150913_162339

20150913_162154Archives is featuring two hot young jewellery designers, Brazilian Fernando Jorge, and UK-based Lebanese designer Noor Fares – see their showcases below:

Fernando Jorge

Fernando Jorge

Fernando Jorge

Fernando Jorge

Fernando Jorge: the Brazilian-born jewellery designer takes inspiration from the laid back attitude and effortless sensuality of his home country. Fernando’s pieces are imbued with energy and movement – his aesthetic is inherently Brazilian. Having gained an international media following, the designer is widely considered to be amongst the brightest emerging talents in the jewellery and fashion worlds alike. His collections can be found in the most prestigious stores in London, Paris, Beirut, New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, as well as online.

Noor Fares

Noor Fares

Noor Fares

Noor Fares

Noor Fares: the young London-based designer is known for her exotic, mythical, hand-crafted jewellery. Noor’s admiration for beautiful objects started as a young child, obsessed with her mom’s jewelry box. After studying art history and jewellery design, she combined her passion for art with her love of adventure by launching her first line in 2009. Noor fuses modern fashion with old world tradition, using a diverse range of materials like diamonds, sapphires, white gold, and rhodium. Her creative aesthetic is rooted in her Lebanese heritage – most of her pieces are engraved with an eye, the Lebanese tradition that protects the wearer from all things evil.

Archives also carries a number of great purses from Les Petits Joueus, including this awesome black and red piece that would go perfectly with an outfit I’m wearing to one TIFF party this week….20150913_162135Don’t you just LOVE these purple hats from London milliner Philip Treacy  – exclusive in Canada to Archives:20150913_162358I’ve always been partial to fine china and ceramics and Archives has a range of Meissen Couture home decor pieces…I love the birdies (below) that have no function other than to amuse.20150913_162536 20150913_162555 20150913_162850 20150913_162831I also found the Meissen historic “helmets” (below) rather intriguing…looks like another Roman invasion!20150913_162439

20150913_162457I didn’t realize until I was told by the store staff that even the chandelier and wall sconces were Meissen….wow! 20150913_162510They carry some cool men’s accessories, too, although I couldn’t grab a good photo without reflections…but definitely worth a look-see.20150913_162321When the store first opened, I remember seeing this fabulous mannequin that the store staff blinged out with mirror shards…look at her now, all chi-chi poo-poo !20150913_162208In-house designer Jaleh Farhad Pour creates stunning earrings and I have my eye on a number of pairs – guess which ones (below)….pair on bottom row, 3rd from left has my name all over ’em!20150913_162316The store also brings in some natural bling…love these carnations and orchids, all colour-coordinated.20150913_162159

20150913_162912Home decor designer Tom Dixon offers sumptuous home fragrances and accessories like these (below)….20150913_162736 20150913_162757

…and if you’re looking for some great reading specs Archives carries the See Concept glasses in various colours, frames and vision levels, starting at $49…so you can get a two or three pairs! Do you like the blue pair I’m wearing?20150913_163552

20150913_163533They also have cool sunglasses from Illestiva (below) so pick out your fave movie star look and away you go to the red carpet.20150913_162308So much to see, so much to drool over!  And you can enjoy all these in person if you drop in to Archives on Bay Street yourself (the NW corner of the Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville) between now and Sept. 20th…check out the invitation below.

20150913_165012 TIFFinvite

Thanks to the Archives staff for showing me around…..see you all soon.

http://www.archivesltd.com/

20150911_140719

OUT THERE @ TIFF WITH THE FABULOUS MELISSA DIMARCO

And so the dance begins….20150911_133522

20150911_133526The fans are lining up outside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (above) in hopes of spying visiting celebs during the Toronto Int’l Film Festival (TIFF) – the annual high holidays for the movie industry.

Got a great start to my TIFF’ing this year…I got to visit the media hospitality suites in the Hotel Intercontinental on Front St West and my first stop was the www.OutThereWithMelissa.com suite, hosted by the gorgeous, friendly MELISSA DIMARCO (yes, she’s even prettier in person).

Her team of hosts (below) welcomed me to the suite and I had fun with the photo wall….can’t wait to see how “fabulous” they made me look – only hope their Photoshop program was working overtime..LOL!20150911_134618

20150911_134627Downstairs, there was lots of schmoozing going on, as well as tons of nibblies and sponsor drinkies….20150911_134943

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20150911_13501920150911_135023…and more networking opps with industry folks like Dixon and Bruce (below)20150911_135412and I caught these two fellas below mid-chew (sorry)…. LOL20150911_135548Young ACTRA party organizer Sarena Parmar (below right) was working the room like a pro!20150911_135614…and here she is again with Rodger Edralin of Napintas Films (centre) and one of the numerous casting guys (left) in town over the next 10 days.20150911_135634Here are more of Melissa’s great team of room hosts and her official photographer (below right) who looks quite a bit like Chrissy Teigen, don’t you think?20150911_135652

20150911_135700Sadly I left the party a bit too early as I missed fellow countryman and Oscar-winner, Geoffrey Rush (below with Melissa )Geoffrey RushAussie star Rush is famous for The King’s Speech and numerous other films but I will always remember him for his award-winning portrayal of pianist David Helfgott in the movie SHINE which holds a special place in my heart. It’s based in my home town of Perth, Western Australia, and I remember seeing the real David play in the piano bar of the Parmelia Hotel which I frequented after work in the early 70’s (I was under-age to drink booze but kids and dogs were allowed in hotel bars in Oz – civilized or what, eh?). G’day, Geoffrey…if you need any Vegemite or Lamingtons, I got a stash here!

As I left the suites I ran into the adorable and super talented Katie Boland who was making her exit with her hands full of goodie bags. Such a pretty dress!20150911_142502So a really big thanks to Melissa and the Out There with Melissa DiMarco gang, and a special thank you to Caron Nightingale, Director of Sales for APM Canada (one of the suite’s sponsors), who kindly extended the invitation to me.  Check out what APM does here:  http://www.apmmusic.com/  

I’m looking fwd to visiting the ladies of Sirius XM’s What She Said next week so check back for more TIFF news.20150911_141038

 

 

 

20150909_112051

GLO COMMUNICATIONS HOSTS “MEDIA DAY” PREVIEW OF THEIR BASK-IT-STYLE CELEBRITY GIFT LOUNGE

Every year, I have the privilege of attending a number of media events during the Toronto Int’l Film Festival (TIFF) and today I had the pleasure of visiting the Bask-It-Style celebrity gift lounge presented by GLO Communications (for the seventh year). This year, they’re located in the exclusive Private Estates Above the Shangri-La Hotel….and oh what a view!

20150909_114053Bask-It-Style hand delivers their VIP gift bags to the hotels where the stars are staying during TIFF and this year’s sponsors cover all the want/need bases from beauty to fashion and from food to books. Past celebrities gifted through Bask-It-Style’s hotel partners have included Sir Elton John, Megan Fox, Matt Damon, Ellen Page, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Garner, Julianne Moore and many more.

“We are excited to kick-off the seventh year of Bask-It-Style,” says Jessica Glover, Principal, GLO Communications. “Every year we work with some top brands showcasing new products that we are thrilled to share.”

So here are all the lovely folks who greeted us all today….come enjoy a virtual walk-thru with me and see what fabulous swag the stars enjoy.

First, I was greeted by a lovely “safari guide” who escorted me around this stunning mansion in the sky….20150909_112044…and I was quickly whisked into the NEUTROGENA® room where I was treated to some great product info and samples, courtesy of the two Laura’s (below). www.Neutrogena.ca20150909_112326 20150909_112331 20150909_112513Then I met the mother & son team of Pat & Ian MacDonald (below) of Old Tomorrow, an exciting new Canadian Pale Ale named for the original Canadian Idol – John A. MacDonald (a.k.a. “Old Tomorrow”).  www.oldtomorrow.com  I can’t wait to enjoy my complimentary brewskie now chilling in my fridge!
20150909_112943Next, I met Jeannie and Melissa from the Starlight Children’s Foundation who were promoting the charity’s “Tea & Tiaras” fundraiser in October. Learn all about them at www.starlightcanada.org and www.teaandtiaras.ca 20150909_114002 20150909_114012I was pleased to see some great books and authors represented in the gift lounge, and I had the pleasure of meeting Chris Houston (below), the Marketing Director for DK book publishing [ www.DK.com ]  All the books are beautifully printed and bound – I know what’s going on my list for Santa this year…LOL20150909_114711 20150909_11420120150909_114205These two fabulous ladies (below) immediately caught my eye – I want that purple dress!! Here’s author L.C. Moon (below left) and her BFF composer Lana Chacra (right) who together have created a great book/CD package. LC’s erotic romance, A Bedtime Story, looks like a must-read, and the CD offers the perfect soundtrack for the book. Looking fwd to tuning in and turning the page! 20150909_115414 20150909_11550520150909_115417A Bedtime Story is available via http://thebtsproject.com/

Who doesn’t love dogs? Nobody here, that’s for sure. I was thrilled to meet author Colin Campbell who was autographing copies of his new book “Free Days With George” published by Penguin Random House Canada http://www.freedayswithgeorge.com/ His book tells of how caring for an abused rescue dog ends up rescuing him; a heart-warming tale of a once-nervous un-trusting dog walking into a man’s life and changing his world – for the better. Yep, I’m in!20150909_120219I may have to write a review of Colin’s book for www.theRider.com as I know horsey people are also doggy people, too.

Now let’s hit the fashion studio…follow me.20150909_12035420150909_120512

20150909_120624Gorgeous clothes and accessories from Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein (above) had me aching for my old svelte bod from the 80’s and 90’s, and don’t get me started on the glam Warner’s & Olga unmentionables (below). Their No Side Effects Bra and No Pinches, No Problem Panties are awesome and I’m thrilled to have a few samples for some special ladies (sadly, my big girl knockers wouldn’t fit these lovelies).20150909_120943Love the Van Heusen shirts that offer a little stretch in the collars and the soft Izod sweaters (below). I have a special man in mind for the beautiful sweater I was given. Thanks to Zov and Czery of PVH Corp, the marketing specialists for these heritage brands.20150909_120749

20150909_121207Bling! I see BLING ! Yaaaay, now these will fit me. LOL Here’s Tamara Kronis, designer, gemologist and metalsmith from Studio1098 that’s located up on Yonge St near Rosedale. www.studio1098.com Tamara is currently collaborating with CANFAR by creating a simple wishbone pendant to raise funds.  Here’s Tamara, pictured below left, with the charming rep from CANFAR. Thank you for my beautiful earrings, Tamara.20150909_122126 20150909_122135Coffee, coffee, coffee! Meet John A. Darch, President of Doi Chaang Coffee (below left, with the charming Daliah) the delicious new Beyond Fair Trade organic coffee.  www.doichaangcoffee.com   20150909_123022

20150909_123025Doi Chaang Coffee is a single-estate, premium Arabica coffee. It’s certified organic, shade grown, hand picked, fresh water washed and sun dried. Each bean is hand sorted and freshly roasted to ensure the highest possible quality for each cup. Naturally low in caffeine, it has a complex and flavourful profile that is enhanced and released through detailed cultivating, processing and roasting methods.  Cannot wait to brew up my first batch of the Social Medium beans.

So a BIG THANK YOU to all the gift sponsors I met today (and those who supplied the tasty treats found inside my gift bag when I got home) and an especially big thanks to Jessica and her GLO Communications team for their generous hospitality.   www.glocommunications.ca

20150909_105938Gotta love the Shangri-La Hotel for presenting such an outstanding hospitality suite, too. Now you know why I always refer to it as the Shangri-La Dee-dah (thanks to The Flintstones). Happy TIFF’ing to you all !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ANDY WARHOL: REVISITED

It was Saturday afternoon of this long weekend…I was bored, wandering around Yorkville just window shopping and bemoaning the fact that I had no “play money” (it’s rent weekend, big phone & internet bills to pay…blast it) I then suddenly remembered…Warhol! Yes, there’s a pop-up gallery that’s taken over the old Guess boutique space on Bloor St just west of Bay, featuring paintings and prints from the most prolific and important artist of the 60’s and 70’s…Andy Warhol.20150801_143915Most people have seen his “Marilyn Monroe” series at least one time or another and yes, she’s there in all her glory, but there are also many other brilliantly coloured works of art featuring political leaders, royalty and society mavens, as well as his advertising images, paintings of Hollywood divas and cartoon characters…all are represented in the space, thanks to Ron Rivlin’s Revolver Gallery.

One  jaw-dropping image that stopped me in my tracks almost as soon as I walked in was a painting I was not familiar with…Red Lenin (below).  This bright red image looms large over one section of the gallery and I felt pulled right in to his eyes – quite hypnotic.20150801_143644Next to Lenin is this gorgeous Alexander the Great painting (below) which I was also unfamiliar with.

20150801_143652Then there were the socialites, the men who made million$ and spent million$, who supported Andy with commissions and entertained him at chi-chi soirees and Club 54 (below). I surprised myself by recognizing many of the names…then realized how damned old I am that I actually remember who these guys were!!

20150801_143856I had forgotten Andy’s “wild west” series that included Geronimo, Col. Custer, Sitting Bull and “The Duke” who took centre spot on this wall (below). The portrait of Teddy Roosevelt, tho, looked disturbingly like Robin Williams in Night at the Museum but I soon realized just how important an artist Warhol was, considering major movie stars still fashion their on-screen characterizations after his work.

20150801_143843Muhammad Ali was there, as were Judy Garland and Ronald Reagan…even Uncle Sam and the Wicked Witch of the West are on display….

20150801_143716 20150801_143803 20150801_143720

But for me, the piece de resistance had to be the giant Mickey Mouse portrait….although I’m not a big Disney fan, I had purchased a museum quality print of Warhol’s Mickey back in the early 80’s. There was something very endearing and magical about it and the original didn’t disappoint, with some sparklies in the background paint and his big silly smile -I fell in love all over again with my own Mickey.

20150801_143822As you can see (above), Mickey was in great company surrounded by Aunt Jemima, Howdy Doody and Andy himself!

All hail Her Maj!

All hail Her Maj!

Blue Mao...part of a series of Mao Andy painted in various bright colours. Very provocative at the time.

Blue Mao…part of a series of Mao that Andy painted in various bright colours. Very provocative at the time.

The Revolver Gallery at 77 Bloor St West, Toronto, will showcase these incredible works of art until December 31st, with general admission tickets $10 (Seniors $8, Students and Youth $5) and VIP passes for $30 (lots of perks and return visits incl.). If you love art or simply have a soul(!), you MUST go visit in person.   Tel: 647-347-5355 or www.warholrevisited.com

And a big thank you to Korbin and his crew of knowledgeable art interns who guided me thru the exhibit.

Great gift shop with tons of cool souvenirs

Great gift shop with tons of cool souvenirs

20150801_144040And here’s my very own Warhol poster, purchased during the 1982 Hamburg, Germany, exhibition. He’s freshly dusted off and awaiting a re-hang; now if only I could find some space on my walls….

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For more info on ANDY WARHOL’s work and life, please visit: www.artsy.net/artist/andy-warhol

 

20150515_154848

JOIN ME FOR A QUICK VISIT TO MJG GALLERY IN TORONTO

I always enjoy dropping in on Mark Jeremy Gleberzon who runs the charming MJG Gallery at 1028 Queen St East, Toronto. His current multi-artist show offers some stunning works that intrigue, engage and arouse the senses, and Mark showed me some of his own work that I just love. He’s getting these new pieces ready for next month’s Riverdale Art Walk and I have my name on one of his miniatures (below). Very groovy and reminiscent of my fave 60’s art style.

20150515_154731 20150515_155238_001 20150515_154853So this month’s show at MJG Gallery is called Distant Roadside and features the work of Ian Busher (below)…

73x50-300x199 IMG_1315-211x300Richard Ahnert (below)

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20150515_154149 20150515_153747Ian’s blue bunny (above left) looks a bit scared next to Richard’s stalking hungry fox…LOL

Julie Himel‘s work is available in miniature as well as larger paintings….I love the series with the little fishies (below).

20150515_153739 20150515_154349 20150515_154201And the fourth artist featured is Daniel St-Amant, someone new to my eyes. His large format work (below) features canvasses with tire-tread (apparently Daniel drives over and distresses them) then paints over the pattern left behind with Canadian wildlife. Wow…isn’t the polar bear awesome?

20150515_154307 20150515_154322You can read all about these four artists and their work on the MJG Gallery website here: http://mjggallery.com/distant-roadside-april-30-may-17/

Mark was kind enough to show me some of his work featuring his grandmother, an elegant lady who exudes style and glamour. Look at her, isn’t she wonderful?

20150515_153808 20150515_153659Nana looks awesome (above) with her pink flamingos! Bravo, Mark, what a lovely tribute to your grandmother.   We also had fun playing with some of the more unusual metal sculptures at MJG, like this super cool robot (below)…it actually plays “Lara’s Theme” (from Dr. Zhivago) out of its head. Aaaaargh! No wonder Mark looks a wee bit nervous. One of us, one of us….

20150515_154635 20150515_154700If you want to spend an hour or so in the company of someone who really loves art and loves being an artist himself, Mark’s your man. Drop in and tell him Glenda sent you. Lots to see…and thank you for supporting Canadian artists.

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HEART & VISION AWARDS HONOUR LT.GEN’L ROMÉO DALLAIRE & DR. MARY JO LEDDY

This past Monday evening, the Toronto United Church Council honoured 2 of the world’s leading humanitarian activists, Lt. General Roméo Dallaire and Dr. Mary Jo Leddy, for their dedication to human rights by presenting them with Heart & Vision Awards.

Several hundred guests lined the pews of the Metropolitan United Church on Queen East (below)….

??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????….as the evening’s MC, tv & radio personality Michael Williams (below) introduced the presenters and guest performers.

??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????The world renowned Elmer Iseler Singers started off the concert with a beautiful rendition of  The Mi’Kmaq Song..

???????????????????????????????Rev. John Joseph Mastandrea (below) took the stage to open the proceedings….

???????????????????????????????and welcomed the two honourees (below)

???????????????????????????????VP of TUCC, Susan Smith  (below) was welcomed to the stage to talk about the evening and the honourees…

???????????????????????????????Susan also paid tribute to Vincent Alfano, the late Executive Director of TUCC (below) before introducing…

DSC00654….Alexa Gilmour (below) who spoke on the life and work of honouree, Dr. Mary Jo Leddy

???????????????????????????????…who was then joined at the podium by Michael Kooiman (below), minister of Central United Church in Weston for the presentation.

???????????????????????????????Dr. Mary Jo Leddy received her Heart & Vision Award, created by Canadian stained glass artist Dianne MacLeod, then spoke at great length about her work with refugees.

??????????????????????????????? DSC00743The Elmer Iseler Singers took the stage again, and Thom Allison performed a moving song prior to the next honoree

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????Reverend Ron Ewart (below) then introduced the second Heart & Vision Award recipient, Lt. General Roméo Dallaire

???????????????????????????????…who was presented with the award by Susan Smith (below)

DSC00801 ???????????????????????????????…and he kept the crowd spellbound with his tales of war and survival.

???????????????????????????????After thanks were given to all the guests, event sponsors and performers, The Elmer Iseler Singers sang Psalm 148 then were joined by Thom Allison and opera star Jennie Such to end the concert with Make our Garden Grow.

DSC00878A wonderful post-concert reception was held in the church basement where UrbanSource Catering presented delicious hors d’oeuvres and wine.

??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? 20150511_215649While guests were enjoying all the tasty treats, General Dallaire was interviewed by SiriusXM Radio’s Kate Wheeler (below) in the church library for her show What She Said (with fellow former TV network news anchor Christine Bentley). UrbanSource Catering made sure they were well looked after with wine and a tray of food!

??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????Here Kate’s interview with General Dallaire here: https://soundcloud.com/whatshesaid167/lieutenant-general-romeo-dallaire-joins-kate-wheeler

Ticket sales from the concert benefited the Community Relief Fund – you can find out more about the Toronto United Church Council’s work by visiting their website: http://tucc.ca/

If you would like more info on Toronto’s premier corporate and event caterers, Urban Source Catering, please visit their website: http://www.urbancatering.com/

Big thank you to my talented photographer, H.T. Jade Yeh, who shot most of the pics featured here. Please enjoy more photos from the event, including the great team of volunteers who worked hard to present a fabulous evening, the video and sound production team, Music Director Jason Jestadt and of course, I grabbed a few photos with some of the celebs attending (below). Here’s singer/songwriter Micah Barnes with snapd newspaper reporter Britney Townsend, then me with internationally renowned Canadian flutist Ron Korb.

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20150511_192216Thank you to everyone who contributed….

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CANADIAN MUSIC ICON MICHAEL WILLIAMS TO MC NEXT MONDAY’S “HEART & VISION” AWARDS CONCERT

I’ve known and worked with Michael Williams since the early 80’s when MuchMusic launched it’s all music TV channel across Canada. Michael was one of the founding veejays for Canada’s answer to MTV, covering live concerts and festivals and interviewing just about every living music legend we know. He’s pleased to be MC’ing the annual Heart & Vision Awards Concert, next Monday May 11 at the Metropolitan United Church in downtown Toronto. This year’s award recipients are Lt. General Romeo Dallaire and Dr. Mary Jo Leddy  (ticket information at end of story)

Michael Williams Fall 1986Before the internet made us all so easily accessible, Michael became a household name across the country for hosting the popular Soul in the City series for MuchMusic (80’s thru 90’s), which was syndicated in 19 European countries and Japan, as well as The Power Hour and Electric Circus, also on the MuchMusic TV network. Michael has interviewed politicians, newsmakers and international recording artists and filmmakers including Stevie Wonder, Whitney Huston, Quincy Jones, Celine Dion, Tina Turner, Bon Jovi, Queen, Metallica, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, and Mark Wahlberg. (Below, with Quincy Jones, with young country star Hunter Hayes, with Nile Rodgers & Quincy Jones and with Oscar & Grammy winning composer/singer Paul Williams)

MW,Quincy Jones at Jazz Educator Conference Toronto Toronto-20140Hunter Hayes Nile Rodgers,Quincy Jones ,Michael Williams

Paul Williams and MWNow a dynamic, talented music producer and host of talk radio and music-related radio and television programs, Michael appears frequently on Toronto’s tv news networks and radio, sitting in as guest host for Newstalk1010 radio talk shows. Michael is also a much-in-demand host and MC for fundraisers and galas, and has introduced such world luminaries as the Dalai Llama and Lt.-General Romeo Dallaire.  He has assisted in the audio mix of Living Color, Ice T and Burton Cummings live to air concerts, co-hosted the World Music Video Awards and the Much Music Video Awards and been a Presenter at the Juno Awards.

As owner of Michael Williams Productions Inc. (1993-Present), he has:

  • Created, produced and hosted the College of Musical Knowledge for 94.7 the Wave, Soul on the Beach for Cool 96 FM, Nassau, Bahamas, and Beach Network, ON
  • Wrote, produced and hosted Live at the Pearl Company for Cable 14 Hamilton
  • Co-producer, writer and voice for ten film shorts, Millennium Promise Project
  • Voiced 24 x one-minute shorts for Black History Month for Rogers national TV network
  • Co-hosted Cookin’ with Guests on Jazz FM
  • Guest lecturer, Centre for Creative Communications, Centennial College, and Faculty of Music, York University
  • Designed, developed, produced and delivered Music Business Overview, an introduction to the history of the music business from sheet music to DVD, International Academy of Design & Technology
  • Produced the symphony, Afroadia, performed by the Brampton Symphony Orchestra
  • Author of a weekly column Soul Session published in Canadian Music Network Magazine
  • Hosted Urban Music Seminar at Canadian Music Week for two consecutive years

Michael recently spoke during Black History Month (2015) with long-time pal and collaborator, Spider Jones (pictured below)

MW,Spider JonesJoin Michael on Monday May 11th (7:30pm) as the Toronto United Church Council presents the HEART & VISION AWARDS CONCERT – there are still some tickets available for concert only and the concert & reception:  https://www.facebook.com/events/658101637629824/

If you would like to book Michael to host your fundraising event or concert, please contact me at FordhamPR@rogers.com