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The Regent Park Film Festival

The beauty of film is that it can relay powerful stories and messages which can resonate with the viewer and change perspectives. When those films are coming straight out of your own neighbourhood and represent your voice, that’s power.

The Regent Park Film Festival does exactly that and we were lucky enough to check out the 2014 festival at Daniels Spectrum. Festival Manager, Amanda Pileggi, told us that the festival is not only accessible and open to all, it offers free admission and free child care! She says RPFF is a place where “everyone can connect to storytelling and film” and fosters a deep sense of community and connectivity.

We caught the screening for “Black Men Loving” directed by Ella Cooper, Intersections directed by Snap! A youth filmmaking workshop, and Hope Heights directed by Marc Magnusson in partnership with Manifesto.

Black Men Loving did a phenomenal job demolishing the stereotype of Black fathers by profiling some in Regent Park and across Toronto. Jason Creed, father of four, was one of the fathers profiled and recounted some moving truths of parenting young girls. We also got a real look at a homosexual relationship which, regardless of the endless stereotypes, provides a loving home to their son.

Intersections is project by the RPFF, funded by the Ontario Arts Council. “Professional artists Sheena D. Robertson and Richard Fung worked with youth from the Regent Park and Lawrence Heights communities, who wrote, produced, acted, and filmed all aspects of the production.” It takes the audience on the journey of one kid and shows us how we all connect, or intersect, without even noticing it. It sheds light on stereotypes the kids of Regent Park and Lawrence Heights face and the reality they have to survive in a very clever way.

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Hope Heights is about a section of Toronto known as Lawrence Heights. Although the community has seen violence and tragedy, the point of the film explains that the media makes it worse than it actually is. We all rely on the news to tell us what’s happening in the world but sensationalism is compromising the facts. The community doesn’t deny terrible things have happened there but the good outweighs the bad; the people are respectable and the potential is infinite. The lesson we come away with is to seek out truth for yourself; if you didn’t see it with your own eyes, or hear it with your own ears, you don’t truly know.

For more info: regentparkfilmfestival.com

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

Follow @1LOVETO #RPFF14

The Remix Project was created in order to help level the playing field for young people from disadvantaged, marginalized and under served communities. Our programs and services serve youth who are trying to enter into the creative industries or further their formal education; The REMIX Project provides top-notch alternative, creative, educational programs, facilitators and facilities. Our mission is to help refine the raw talents of young people from across the GTA in order to help them find success as participants define it and on their own terms.

The Remix Project is now accepting applications for the following youth programs.

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APPLY NOW (DEADLINE: DEC 27TH, 2014)

For more info: theremixproject.ca

Follow @1LOVETO & @TheRemixProject #MakeItHappen

PEKOTA – Designed & Made In Canada

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We met Marco Pecota, Owner and Creative Director of PEKOTA, a Toronto-based boutique design firm, at the “RISE UP” party by DX and were wowed by his stunning designs throughout the venue; fitting for a party that is dedicated to design excellence! We had to know more so we caught up with Marco to talk art and design.

1. You wear many different hats, from publishing to film; why venture into furniture, how did you start?
I have always loved design. Once I finished designing and rebuilding my home a few years back, I felt a craving for more design. The hobby of building my first chair quickly turned into a small side business and then into a full blown design company.

2. Describe your creative process.
I am inspired by the design of the early 20th century. Not just furniture but also automotive, aviation and architecture. Combining this passion with an industrial edge has led me to design what I like to call “Industrial Elegance.” Everything I design starts with pencil to paper. I sketch out the design which is then converted into technical drawings and finally into 3D renderings. From there it goes to steel fabrication via laser cutting and CNC forming. After that we craft the wood components in house and handle all of the finishing and packaging.

3. Made and designed in Canada; why is this important to you?
Being made in Canada is very important as it allows me to have greater quality control over our products. I am hands on throughout the entire process allowing for quick changes to perfect the piece. This also allows for quick customization for customers. It is also important for me to support our local suppliers because it fosters a manufacturing community.

4. What do you hope people experience through PEKOTA designs?
I hope that people find my pieces both beautiful and original. I think that any art form should aspire to achieve this. Our pieces should make people feel comfortable and inspired.

5. Favourite experiences via designing?
I enjoy the entire process: from researching inspirational designs, to capturing a new look, to the process of manufacturing. There is great satisfaction in seeing a fresh idea come to reality in the matter of a few weeks.

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For more info: pekota.com

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

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ArtReach Youth Pitch Contest

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“The pitch contest challenged me on so many levels. I’ve had the opportunity to pitch for funding before, but I’ve never done a creative pitch with other people. Through the experience I learned how to be a better leader and how to deliver an entertaining pitch in front of a panel of judges. I was also able to meet new friends and establish connections that I didn’t have before. It was hands down one of the most exciting experiences of my life.” – Anthony Gebrehiwot, XVXY Photo

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That’s just a glimpse into the gravity of the Youth Pitch Contest created by ArtReach and City of Toronto Arts & Culture. It created a platform for young artists and entrepreneurs to pitch ideas surrounding their craft to a panel of respected judges including our very own, Bryan Brock, in hopes of winning up to $5,000!

“The arts are a powerful and motivating way that youth are involved in their communities. Whether it’s in someone’s basement, or through a community program – young people are creating art all over this city.” – ArtReach

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The eight finalists included: Black Like We, JellyTooFly, Pomegranate Tree Group, Wild Moon Jewelry, Pique Toronto, Alien Nation, XVXY Photo and Corex. Winners included, Anthony Gebrehiwot of XVXY Photo, Fiona Raye Clarke of Black Like We, Dwayne Holness of Corex and Asia Clarke of Wild Moon Jewelry.

Asia hoped the prize money would help her with funding to attend a Jewelry Arts Academy for Goldsmithing in Trinidad and Tobago as well as to hire an assistant to help with existing demand, two key pieces she felt she was missing. In her pitch, used a combination of audio/visual projection and live models. The four key element of her speech were, “Future, Heritage, Create, Magic”.

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“Preparing for the pitch contest was a challenge because I really wanted to win but was made nervous by my amazing competitors – I was already aware of and inspired by their work” says Asia, “I have connected with some of the other finalists and even made plans to collaborate on future work which is dope! I’m looking forward to that.”

It’s always a thrill to witness the scope of creativity in Toronto. The Youth Pitch Contest is another reminder that one proactive step towards your goals, is a giant leap towards your dreams.

For more info: artreach.org

Photos by Miguel Arenillas. Additional photos by Ebti Nabag & Idil Jailani.

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

Previously: Youth Arts Pitch Contest

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From Street Art To Feet Art

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Toronto-based sock wear brand Huely transformed their latest Street Art Collection (Series 02) with the help of co-founder and lead curator Nate Kogan. Nate selected eight of Toronto’s top street artists including SPUD, Uber5000, Anser, Darryl Graham, Lazerhorse, Paul Byron, Justin Pape, and Poser. Each artist designed their own Huely sock, drawing on inspiration from their respective styles.

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Remember when getting a pair of socks at Christmas was the worst gift ever? There’s a good chance most of the men out there would welcome a pair of Huely’s this holiday season!

SHOP HERE huely.com

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Toronto Skyline Porn (Video)

Ryan Emond does it again! Toronto Skyline Porn is exactly what its title implies – a full frontal visual journey through Toronto’s growing skyline. The scenes were shot over the past few years from different heights and in different seasons. Enjoy… #1LOVETO

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1LOVETO’s 2nd Annual Photo Walk

Last year @1LOVETO decided to host our 1st Annual Photo Walk with our official photographer @SoTeeOh. We spent over 3 hours hiking through Evergreen Brickworks, capturing shots and taking breaks to learn some helpful tips from @SoTeeOh. This year we’ve decided to switch up the scenery and meet at City Hall where we’ll be walking to the Financial District and eventually The Distillery District.

Join @1LOVETO along side both of our contributing photographers @SoTeeOh & @ellenaturel this Sunday, November 30th from 1-4pm.

If you love taking photos as much as we do, we want to see you there! All you need to bring is your smartphone (apple, android, other), camera (DSLR or film), or both.

Can’t wait to see you!

WHEN
- Sunday, November 30th
- 1 to 4 pm

WHERE TO MEET
- City Hall (Outside Front Door Entrance)

Follow @1LOVETO @SoTeeOh @ellenaturel #1LOVETOphotowalk

The Braille Project

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What happens when you pair an author and an artist? Brilliance.

The Braille Project, brainchild of Faye Harnest and Devon E. Sioui, highlights the beauty of braille and the art of communication. Faye was writing poetry with braille and using it as art. Devon’s artistic technique and textures caught her attention and before they knew it, they were collaborating.

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Faye: It’s most important that our works are fun to experience. I love concrete poetry—poetry that messes around with letters and words and makes you pay attention to every shape and pattern… We don’t think of our project as political—it’s a creative endeavor—but we would like it if The Braille Project made a few people excited about learning braille. By showing how cool braille is—and, of course, it is cool; it is reading and writing, two of the most important and enjoyable things in life.

Together, they developed a series called, PLEASE DO TOUCH! It’s a series of 40 paintings that play with wild coloured paints and expressive braille poetry inspired by those who have their own connection to braille.

Devon: We wanted the audience to explore the paintings with their hands, interacting with them in ways you normally wouldn’t. Touching paintings at a gallery is usually frowned upon, so actually being encouraged to touch them is really fun.

Faye: Yes! In the same way that we’re interested in stripping away some of the rules of how we’re supposed to interact with language, we want to strip away some of the rules about how we’re supposed to interact with paintings…The narratives told by the braille poems are cohesive in that they have a very “Let’s go! Let’s run away together!” attitude that encourages everyone to come along on this adventure.

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The duo is embarking on a new adventure with a documentary in the works and hopefully, a cross-Canada tour of PLEASE DO TOUCH!

Devon: We are shooting a documentary of the Project with Director Jay Lidstone, and we’re also beginning to work on large sculptures and installations incorporating braille and the theme of touch.

Faye: We’re planning to exhibit all of the paintings in the Please Do Touch series together, in Toronto, and afterwards, we would love for some pieces to travel throughout Canada, so that as many people can touch them as possible. How great would it be to have a travelling exhibit—oh! a painting mobile, like a book mobile, but with paintings, driving up your street! Alas, that’s only a dream.

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For more info: thebrailleproject.com

Photos by Adam Harnest

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

Follow @1LOVETO & @PleaseDoTouch

Disaronno Wears Versace Versace Versace

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On November 12, the Canadian launch of the DISARONNO wears VERSACE event took place at The Spoke Club Gallery in the city’s King St. West district. The evening was in celebration between two iconic Italian brands. Disaronno — the world’s favourite Italian liqueur has revamped its look in collaboration with the world’s most reputable Italian fashion houses — Versace.

The design combines the classic and recognizable shape of the Disaronno bottle with the signature decadence of Versace prints; creating a one-of-a-kind collectors item for both Disaronno lovers and fashion aficionados alike. The DISARONNO wears VERSACE design takes its inspiration from the classic Versace Home Collection, draped in light blue and embellished with an opulent white and gold motif.

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As the crowd mix and mingled and took a few selfies against the Versace mural, they had a chance to sip on the night’s signature drink, the ‘Disaronno Versace Sour’. Its collaborative unique flavours of Disaronno mixed with the sour notes of lime and bitter Vermouth and sparkling Prosecco, made for an enhancing bold blue colour of Curacao, garnished with a dramatic finish of real gold leaves — it’s a cocktail made in true Versace style.

The DISARONNO wears VERSACE project also supports the Fashion 4 Development initiative; a charity sponsored by the United Nations that creates opportunities for women working in the fashion industry in developing countries. ‘Tis the season of giving and this is just one more reason to add the exclusive bottle to your collection or give it as a gift during the holiday season.

The DISARONNO wears VERSACE limited edition bottles are currently available at LCBO locations and other liquor stores worldwide. Be sure and get yours while they last!

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Posted by Christina Cheng

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It seems like every year, the Design Exchange out-does it annual ‘Intersection’ soirée. The party is a celebration of creative collisions and this year, they took their game to new heights with Intersection 2014: RISE UP!

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The organization brought us some incredible exhibitions this year including, “This is Not A Toy” and their latest, “Politics of Fashion / Fashion of Politics”, which also influenced the theme of this year’s party. Picketers were scattered across with signs saying, “Love Each Other”, “Freedom Forever” and the silent auction featured fashions by Vivienne Westwood and even the famous flag dress by Catharine Malandrino.

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DX RISE UP honoured Frank Toskan, Co-Founder of M.A.C. cosmetics who co-founded the iconic cosmetic brand more than 30 years ago in Toronto. The brand is famous for not only its beautiful pigments and high quality coverage, but for its social initiatives including Viva Glam which benefits the M.A.C AIDS Fund.

Naturally, a party dedicated to design would of course, have to be outfitted with only the best esthetics. Toronto based company PEKOTA Design, decked the place out with their industrial yet elegant furnishings, all made in Canada. We got cosy in the PEKOTA city loungers and nibbled on delectable desserts by Marigolds and Onions.

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The night ended with an epic vogue-off; Toronto VS. New York City! Voguing, popularized by Madonna, originated out of Harlem via the LBGT community in the 80s and is now recognized as one of the most iconic styles of dance to date.

For more info visit dx.org

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

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“The 6 Right Now” By SoTeeOh

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We’re excited to announce our official 1 LOVE T.O. Photographer SoTeeOh has just released a new collection entitled, “The 6 Right Now”. It’s 9 photos that represent his view of life in Toronto right now.

ARTIST STATEMENT
This is my new collection of prints called “The 6 Right Now”. My goal with these images was to strike a balance between the beauty I see in my city and the strange sense of isolation that can occur living down town in a major urban centre. When I shoot I look for moments of calm in the midst of the chaos; moments when I’m surrounded by 1000 people yet I feel like I’m the only one here. These 9 images represent my experience of life in Toronto right now.

All 9 prints are available exclusively through Nu Vango for the month of November.

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Follow @1LOVETO & @SoTeeOh on Instagram!