Tag Archives: Donna Lypchuk

Mystical Toronto: The Oculis of Donna Lypchuk

My dear friend Donna Lypchuk unveils another series of stunning photographs for this year’s Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival – the official opening reception for her solo show  Mystical Toronto: The Oculis of Donna Lypchuk  takes place this Thursday May 11 (6-10pm) at Jinks Art Factory, a tattoo parlour, arts hub and coffee shop located at 1664 Queen Street West in Parkdale. The show runs until May 31st.

All photographs are printed on metallic paper that gives whites a silver reflective quality and a jewel-like depth. Prices range from $25 – $60 and sizes range 8″x 10″ to 11″x 17″.  Here are some of the spectacular skyscapes you’ll see….2013-10-16 17.13.342013-07-19 20.58.38-iloveimg-converted (1)fogThe Queen Street writer, anthropologist and arts scene contributor uses her signature cellphone “fauxtographie” to channel the essence of mystical Toronto with this series of fine art prints that draw new meaning from the city’s atmospheric skies, abandoned mid-century temples, secret parlour rooms, foggy forest clearings, and sacred condo-henges.  IMG_20161205_091732-685x4302014-07-08 06.10.56A long-time resident and arts scene contributor of the Queen Street West bo-ho community, Donna wrote a provocative weekly column (“the necrofile”) for the now-defunct eye Weekly newspaper and is a published author, playwright and multi-media artist. True to the intention of the original Art for Lobbies, Lounges and Living Rooms concept of producing livable interesting and affordable pieces , Donna’s cell phone folk art now hangs in the living rooms of many private collectors and in various government, religious and  business spaces.

I hope you will come on out during the month of May to support all local photographic artists participating in the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival  and Donna looks forward to welcoming you to her opening party at Jinks Art Factory this Thurs. May 11 between 6pm and 10pm. More information on the Facebook event page.th


Last night I was thrilled to attend the opening of my dear friend DONNA LYPCHUK‘s show that’s part of this year’s CONTACT Photography Festival taking place at galleries and venues across Toronto throughout the month of May.20160429_174325Hosted in the unique setting of Mrs.Huizengas Antique Emporium @28 Roncesvalles Ave, the 60+ framed and unframed photographic prints feature stunning landscapes, floral portraits and sassy street scenes. The show also includes one of Donna’s most famous shots of a hurricane-like tempest over Toronto back in August of 2015 – this photo went viral over the internet, was published by news outlets across the country and became Instagram’s “Photo of the Day”. It is also the title photo for Donna’s show promotional materials (see bottom of blog).20160429_174352A long-time resident and arts scene contributor of the Queen Street West Bo-ho community, Donna was a weekly columnist (“the necrofile”) for the now-defunct eye Weekly newspaper as well as a published author, playwright and multi-media artist…… and my dear friend since the early 80’s when we both worked at Yuk Yuk’s. Her own sense of humour and whimsy can be seen in a number of her photos, as well as her “darker side”.  I particularly liked her charming “Swan” series, esp. the full-colour framed print featured below….20160429_17434420160429_174618Donna greeted all her friends who dropped in to admire her work and support the show, and I watched as several prints were sold, too – congrats, Donna! For those wishing to purchase her work, Donna (below, centre) has priced her photo prints very affordably – you can pick up a great picture for as little as $16 or as much as $160.20160429_181804 20160429_174355 20160429_174315Donna’s florals attracted a lot of attention – here are two of my faves….20160429_180709 20160429_180749(0)I really liked this one (above) as the trees look like naked bodies dancing thru the flowers!!

I highly recommend checking out these beautiful photos that will hang in Mrs. Huizengas throughout the month of May…and have fun checking out all the kitsch and vintage treasures in this huge antique emporium. For store hours call T: 416-533-2112.  Thank you for supporting Canadian artists….especially Donna Lypchukimg328


So I celebrated my birthday today – December 26th, a.k.a. Boxing Day or St. Stephen’s Day for the more religiously inclined. I usually spend birthdays safe at home, locked away from the post-Christmas crazies at the malls, hoping that someone will remember to call or send me a Facebook greeting, or at least re-gift some god-awful Christmas pressie as my birthday treat. This year, however, I decided to head out and join my dear friend, Donna (with whom I shared many an “adventure” when we both worked at Yuk Yuk’s Komedy Kabaret in the 1980s) at Toronto’s latest hotspot – the Shameful Tiki Room on Queen St West (just past Dufferin).

Donna Lypchuk (L) and me (R) enjoying a festive Hawaiian feast

Donna Lypchuk (L) and me (R) enjoying a festive Hawaiian feast

Haven’t hung out with Donna for a while so there was a lot to catch up on other than birthdays and our various aches, pains and bitching about our sags, bags and WTF is that growing there?…LOL!

The lovely folks at Shameful Tiki made us a sumptuous repast and as I arrived early, I sat at the bar waiting for Donna to arrive and got stuck into a “Pain Killer” cocktail that certainly lived up to its name (below). 20151226_172952The drinks are all very affordable and pack a real punch. Many are rum-based and I admired their drinks menu which was reminiscent of the bar “placemat” at the old Trader Vic’s in Waikiki where I used to spend many an hour killing time between flights to and from Australia. All you have to do is just point to the picture of which drinkie you’d like and the barkeep at the Shameful Tiki Room will create a masterpiece in a glass, complete with garnishes and fancy swizzle stick.20151226_173120When Donna arrived, we moved to a cozy booth at the back of the room surrounded by all sorts of tiki memorabilia and mid-century Hawaiian nic-nacs. The music was right out of Mad Men and each time the song changed I found myself humming along and singing with Deano, Frank, and even a little Don Ho! Talk about authentic…wow20151226_191005 20151226_175313 20151226_190925The food menu is short but sweet…all sorts of nibblies and treats so we opted for the tiki platter that gave us a selection of everything and I highly recommend the awesome Huli-Huli chicken wings, all sticky and spicy. I also enjoyed the teriyaki fried broccoli and the Spam fried rice ball…yummm. We made short work of the platter and ordered even more wings. It was a virtual luau!10393732_10153303299456156_6749900993358948186_n 20151226_181701 20151226_185248 20151226_185252 We were so stuffed..Donna offered up a ladylike burp (below)20151226_185302…while I sucked those damned chicken wings dry!!!20151226_185333More drinks? Sure….then we got a bit sloshed. “allo, sailor!”20151226_185358 20151226_185409 1931325_10153303299266156_4407212793007193257_nFellow diners at a neighbouring table got stuck in to one of the “mystery bowls” announced to all in the tiki lounge by the bartender striking a big noisy gong. They were such a fun bunch…20151226_194118So here’s to the wonderful SHAMEFUL TIKI ROOM, 1378 Queen West, Toronto. Yes, we’ll be back for more…lots more. I have an entire double-sided drinks menu to point-n-guzzle my way thru this coming year!1926876_10153303299416156_7242844379031104999_n 969020_10153303299321156_5865649038342119551_nSee you all there: http://shamefultikiroom.com/toronto/