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On August 25, 2015, the City of Toronto released the complete artistic program for the 10th edition of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. On Saturday, October 3 from 6:55 p.m. until sunrise on Sunday, October 4, the streets of Toronto will feature more than 110 art projects created and performed by approximately 400 local, national and international artists.

“For the 10th edition, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche will transform Toronto with one of its most interactive and exciting programs yet,” said Mayor John Tory in the city’s latest press release statement. “Since 2006, the city has come alive through contemporary art for this one sleepless night, creating magical experiences and resulting in an impressive economic impact for Toronto.”

In honour of the event’s 10th edition, photographer, director and curator Che Kothari presents 10 for 10th – Memory Lane, which features 10 projects spread throughout the city, and coproduced with the following 10 cultural organizations: Art Gallery of Ontario, Artscape Wychwood Barns, Bata Shoe Museum, Drake One Fifty, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, The Gladstone Hotel, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at Hart House, University of Toronto, OCAD University, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and Toronto International Film Festival.

“Every year we produce Nuit Blanche is quite different because we work with new artists and new curators annually… But I think what’s quite special this year is this 10 for 10th – Memory Lane exhibition area in celebration of our tenth year,” said Kristine Germann, Programming Manage of Economic Development and City Culture Events with the City of Toronto. “ It’s special because the focus is on really working in full coproducing relationships with those 10 major arts and cultural institutions and artists.”


For instance, Ekow Nimako is 1 of 10 visual artists featured, whose work is honourably coproduced with the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art.
Sculpted with more than 50,000 LEGO pieces, ‘Silent Knight’ is Ekow’s monumental tribute to one of the most admired and extirpated animal species in Ontario, the barn owl. The stark white, larger-than-life sculpture captures the beauty and stealth of this exquisite bird like it has never been seen before.

“I’ve always admired barn owls as silent-winged keepers of the night, unique in their helmed visage even among other owls, yet for years they have been endangered in Ontario due to urbanization and loss of habitat. So if I can add them to the collective memory of the masses for even one night, it may cause a shift in consciousness to help draw these magical creatures back from the brink of local nonexistence.”

Similar to Ekow’s creative and artistic thought process, this particular exhibition explores the textured terrain of memory; dissolving the lines between space, place and time. It allows for contemplation and reflection while providing fertile ground for the creation of millions of new memories in the process.

Relying on the seemingly infinite variations of sloped and angled LEGO pieces; Ekow masterfully animates the inanimate, breathing a unique quality of life into the popular plastic medium.


In addition to Che Kothari’s “10 for 10th – Memory Lane” exhibition, the City produced a component feature of 50 engaging contemporary art projects in conjunction with three other new exhibitions including: Agustin Pérez Rubio’s “HTUOS/HTRON – The New Coordinates of the Americas”; JR’s “Black and White Night”; and Christine Shaw’s “The Work of Wind”.

“We’re exploring for the very first time, a couple of new exhibition areas with geography,” said Kristine. “For instance, the Waterfront along Queens Quay from Harbourfront Centre to Parliament will be Christine Shaw’s exhibition area of The Work of Wind. With Agustin Pérez Rubio’s exhibition, we are going to be exploring along the College-Jarvis area and also up from Queen’s Park to Bloor. So it’s exploring two interesting areas.”

Details for the full program and City-produced exhibitions are available at: scotiabanknuitblanche.ca

Posted by Christina Cheng

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Five of Toronto’s most notable independent art galleries have collaborated to create SURFACE, an exclusive alternative art fair and party at Toronto’s 99 Sudbury the weekend of September 19-20th, inside 99 Sudbury. The Black Cat Artspace, Creative Blueprint, #Hashtag Gallery, Graven Feather and Project Gallery have created this event in celebration of young contemporary visual arts talent in Toronto. The exhibit features five unique series of curated works from local artists along with installations, live performance and music. All works will be available for purchase. Opening night Reception starts at 7pm, with Saturday and Sunday being open from 11am – 6pm.

For more info CLICK HERE

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Toronto’s F-You: The Forgiveness Project, headed up by Tara Muldoon, presents its first ever photo exhibit, entitled ‘Triggers’. The groundbreaking exhibit showcases stories of pain, forgiveness, strength and resiliency through the perspective of key individuals from the city, including 1LOVETO’s very own Bryan Brock. The exhibit is not limited to only photos, but includes commentary from the subjects, live performances and more!

Opening night is this Friday, August 28th at The Richmond (477 Richmond St West), doors open at 7pm.


CLICK HERE for more info.


SummerWorks Festival 2015


The performances at this year’s SummerWorks festival had us seriously wowed with the intricate range of artistic abilities, techniques and perspectives. The festival, which celebrates four key components: Music, Dance, Theatre and Live Art, packed an extra punch for their 25 year milestone. It was hard to pick a few favourites but we’ve narrowed down our most memorable shows in each category.


Music: LAL / All You Can Hold
You can’t box this Toronto-based collective as simply ‘Canadian electronica’ because they’ve found a way to infuse those beats with a fiery, unique voice and a mandate which “bridges the art with social justice.” Vocalist, poet and activist, Rosina Kazi alongside producer and sound engineer, Nicholas “Murr” Murray seduced the audience into a trance. It was a dreamy rhythm but also had heads bobbing to the bass and electronics at the same time. The vibe was so powerful and positive, it was almost tangible.

Director / Designer / Costumes by Ange Loft (Cult of Kateri); Dance performances by Ill Nana and Victoria Mata; Live Digital Painting by Sonny Bean; Projections by Matt Maaskant

Dance: Forgetting Remembering
This performance is described as a “relational sensory song and dance, modulating frequencies of experiences to empty time from mind.” It was cool because it was like choreographed chaos, a freestyle with a note of structure which played out a purpose. The strobe lights and rhythmic moves, voices and projected visuals created an immersive experience as they sprawled themselves among the audience. There was a lot of the same, yet we were still left guessing ‘what was next?’

Created by Robert Kingsbury; Performed by Niomi Cherney, Francesco Gagliardi, Danielle Baskerville, Julia Male, Brian Solomon, Claire Turner Reid, Jasmin McGraw, Winnie Ho


Theatre: That Syncing Feeling
This project had our hearts racing more than once. This was an experiment which consisted of two parts. Both examined our relationship with technology, our cellphones in particular. We were asked write our phone numbers on a piece of paper which were then mixed up and handed out to the audience. Then, we had to call that number and leave a random message. At one point we all had to put our phones in the middle of the floor. The unease on everyone’s face was reason enough to conduct these exercises which were re-teaching us how to communicate.

The second part was an experiment conducted by a woman in a doctor’s white coat. Half of us were given a number to text of someone in the room and an iPod loaded with instructions. We ended up sharing deep connections with these strangers and left never knowing who they were. We definitely got a dose of ‘that syncing feeling’ and currently, re-examining how we engage with technology, ahem, I mean, humans.

Written by Hannah Jane Walker and Chris Thorpe; Directed by Simon Bloom; Performed by Alex McCooeye and Nicola Elbro; Produced by Mitchell Cushman; Stage Managed by Bryn McLeod

Live Art: Wildlife
Wildlife was an awesome collection of skits and monologues which tapped into heavy themes like, race , religion and Drake vs. Meek Mill; hilarious but in a real thought-provoking way. For example, one skit was a depiction of Eve eating that fateful apple. She starts off sweet and innocently ( as I’m sure lots of us imagine) but then she gets really into this new found taste. It turns subtly sexual, then comedic. These nuances forced us to re-visit this famous imagery in a way we never thought to consider it.

A collaborative performance produced by Events In Real Time; Conceived of by Liz Peterson; Written by Amy Lam and Liz Peterson with Hannah Cheesman, Lindsey Clark, Onyeka Igwe, Sean O’Neill, Aliya Pabani, Matt Smith




Special Presentation: HYPER_
This performance was an intersection of ‘visual and digital arts…a combinations of UV lights, body paint and video projections’. It was a dance which used all these facets to produce a trippy expansion of our periphery. The colours were wild and the movements were full of conviction and strength. You know you’re in for a hell of an experience when you’re handed 3D glasses upon entry.

Performed and Created by Freya Björg Olafson; Lighting Design by Hugh Conacher; Music by Ghostigital, Davíð Þór Jónsson, Kippi Kaninus [Guðmundur Vignir Karlsson], LE1F, Dubbel Dutch

SummerWorks is the largest, curated performance festival of theatre, dance, music, and live art in Canada with a strong focus on Canadian works. Can’t wait for next year’s line-up! For more info visit: summerworks.ca

Photos by Dahlia Katz

Posted by Samira

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On August 12, #WorldElephantDay had a global and social impact with approximately 60,718 Instagram posts, over approximately 118,000 Twitter posts, and over 20,000 supporters on Facebook. In addition, 15,161 have signed the petition on worldelephantday.org to protect elephants, wildlife, and their habitat. Staying relevant on a timely and fashionable manner, Holt Renfrew’s H Project shop has teamed up with BRIKA, a retail concept that highlights the best of modern craft, to curate a charitable elephant-themed pop-up shop for the month of August in support of “Save the Elephants.” Inspired by Holt Renfrew’s recent travels to Kenya and Rwanda for the Spring/Summer 2015 “Uncrate Africa” shop, a curated assortment of luxury elephant-designs and products support culture, craft and artisans from designers such as: Tanya Taylor, Me To We, Chantecaille, BRIKA, and more.


“The journey to Africa was a great opportunity to meet extraordinary artisans across a creative and cultural mosaic, and to celebrate many dignified talents and beautiful handicrafts,” says designer Stella Jean. “Uncrate Africa is a cultural crossover, demonstrating how boundaries are just a state of mind.”


Holt Renfrew’s H Project presents their latest “Uncrate Africa” shop filled with extraordinary products with extraordinary stories. Their discovery through their travels in Africa brings unique products and unparalleled partnerships, all in support of humanity and habitat throughout the continent. For instance, an assortment of apparel, accessories, home décor and beauty products, including products made from socially conscious materials are all for a charitable cause.

“These products equal opportunity, education, empowerment, creativity and entrepreneurship,” said Alexandra Weston, Holt Renfrew’s Director of Brand Strategy. “The H Project shops present products which may be extraordinary in a number of ways. Perhaps it is the artisanal method with which they are made, the unique materials used, or the way they might celebrate a culture.”


Alexandra Weston and her team recently journeyed through Africa for ‘uncrate a culture,’ sourcing a rich showcase of exclusive merchandise from across the region for H Project, in partnership with a variety of powerhouse designers. For Spring/Summer 2015, H Project transformed into “Uncrate Africa” boutiques; bringing to life the region’s culture, craft and artisans through a spectacular capsule collection of fashion, accessories, home wares, cosmetics and textiles. Renowned designers, such as Dannijo, Stella Jean, LemLem, FEED Africa, Mark Holden, Indego Africa, Otago, Kiya Kenya, and many others, have collaborated on exclusive designs for H Project’s “Uncrate Africa” boutique- each giving back to the region in its own incredible way.

“A large percentage of the global population relies on traditional craftsmanship as work. By investing in these products, you’re helping support the artisans who made them,” Alexandra said.

In addition to “Uncrate Africa,” H Project supports two amazing lifesaving elephant initiatives: Save The Elephants and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.


With the escalation of habitat loss, human-elephant conflict, poaching, ivory trade, and mistreatment in captivity, Save The Elephants is the world-leading elephant research and conversation organization devoted to securing a future for elephants, and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a Kenyan-based initiative that saves elephants everyday through field projects that protect animal welfare.


From now until August 31, 2015, H Project’s “Uncrate Africa” pop-up will be available at Holt Renfrew’s Bloor Street, Yorkdale, Calgary and Vancouver where 10% of total proceeds will be donated to Save The Elephants.

Posted by Christina Cheng

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The Dundas West Portrait Project


The Dundas West Portrait Project by photographer Miguel Arenillas is a collection of contemporary portraits of the faces that make up Dundas Street West. This is the first solo show by Arenillas, and will be on display for public viewing at Hermann & Audrey (1506 Dundas St. W) from August 21st – 22nd, with a private opening reception on August 20th.

Dundas Street West (or #DuWest as it has been affectionately dubbed) is on its way to becoming recognized as one of the most multicultural and fastest growing neighbourhoods in Toronto. The Dundas West Portrait Project was created by Miguel Arenillas in conjunction with the Dundas West BIA and Hermann & Audrey to showcase local businesses and owners who are helping to grow this burgeoning area. The exhibit features more than 20 business owners to celebrate their stories of success and dreams, while shining a spotlight on each owner’s independent business with the recognition they deserve.


To see more work from Miguel, visit: miguelarenillas.com

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Toronto’s only Filipino Festival is back to celebrate their 10-Year-Anniversary of Kultura on August 5-9th, 2015. The Philippine inspired festival is spearheaded by Kensington Market-based, youth-led Kapisanan Philippine Centre for Arts & Culture and supported by community volunteers. The purpose of the event is to expose Toronto to everything the Filipino community has to offer, from arts, culture, food, entertainment and style. Through a variety of workshops, live shows, and community engagement the festival continues to grow each year, allowing the idea of understanding Toronto’s diverse communities to truly be celebrated.


You can purchase tickets HERE.

For more info, visit: kultura.ca

Photo by Dwayne Fundano

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On August 6, elusive graphic artist, Fucci, presents his collective installation entitled, ‘Squirt’, An Underwater Adventure at Toronto’s District 28 event space. Fucci is best known for his hyper sexualized graphics and thirst for creative expression, and invites Torontonians for the first time into his playful interactive world. This event will also commemorate Fucci’s first public appetence and the unveiling of his brand new iconic graphics.

Fucci re-invents modern surrealism with a unique approach and detail to minimalism. He can be identified only through his unique and bold stylized saturated colour palettes, clean lines and attention to the human form. Fucci’s thought provoking visuals have been known to spark an online craze and a collective curiosity to his identity.


As an added bonus to this unique showcase, there will be live performances by Toronto-based music artists: Bizzarh, Morelikeaqua, Bambii and Internet Daughter. Guests will be able to enjoy beverages by Fucci’s sponsors: Stolichnaya Vodka, Tromba Tequila, Jack Daniel’s Whiskey, Peroni Beer and Red Bull.


Tickets can be purchased online HERE.

For more details about the artist and to view a select collection of his work, visit: fucci.ca

Posted by Christina Cheng

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Holt Renfrew recently hosted an exclusive fashion event with Haculla, a designer streetwear collection designed by creative director Jon Koon. The latest collection is a collaborative project inspired by Harif Guzman, New York based contemporary artist and designer.

Haculla’s first collection references to Guzman’s “Dark Ages” characters. The original series is an examination of the old masters in classical art, and within this series, Guzman juxtaposes his signature street art characters with iconic styles often depicted in old master paintings.

“The Haculla characters all came about when I came to New York. It’s a character that’s been around for 18 years,” he said.


Guzman began tagging the streets of New York in the early-2000’s and became recognized for his work soon after, gaining a celebrity following. They have since watched him transition from a street artist to contemporary painter. His street and contemporary art works have been exhibited internationally. However, he calls New York home as well as his favourite canvas and inspiration.

“My collection is my life on a day-to-day basis, it’s the way I feel and I’ve put it all over New York,” he said. “It’s become an iconic imagery in New York and now I brought it to clothing along with Jon Koon who designed different styles.”


When asked about who he envisions wearing his collection he said, “Anybody that’s got a dark side to them but also likes to have a little fun; but I think there’s a little dark side to everyone.” With that being said, Guzman also adds he initially paints and designs for himself, stating, “Everything I paint is for myself. My collection is my life, what I’ve lived.”


Holt Renfrew’s concourse level was transitioned into a New York underground fashion and art event. Guests entered through the back alley where Guzman had painted a huge mural on the brick wall upon entrance. Following through, more of Guzman’s artwork and designs in monochrome with hints of deep red led the crowd through the event. A mixture of hip-hop, rap, trap, and r&b filled the space in the most suitable way possible courtesy of DJ Sophie Jones. In addition, Chef Matthew created a contemporary and cool menu for guests to enjoy tasty hors d’oeuvres. Alcohol was also sponsored, including Peroni and signature themed cocktails.

“Being creative is almost like you’re being tortured… and then when you’re well received in other countries it feels nice. – Harif Guzman, Haculla”

Photos by Lesean Harris

Posted by Christina Cheng

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Toronto plays host to an exhibition of select works from the 14th annual VICE Photo Issue on July 17-18th at the Angell Gallery (12 Ossington Ave.) The exhibit is co-curated by VICE Canada and award-winning Canadian photographer Larry Towell. Towell is Canada’s first photographer to be associated with Magnum, the world-renowned photographic cooperative​ ​​and collaborator on this year’s photo issue.

In an era where photography is more accessible than ever before, the exhibit explores the diverse approaches to documentation and will feature some of the best new works from Canadian and international photojournalists including unpublished work by Aaron Vincent Elkaim, Dominique Nahr, Brent Gundlock and Mauricio Palos.​

CLICK HERE to get to know more about Canadian photographer Larry Towell in this exclusive VICE interview.

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More than 7000 of the finest athletes from across the Americas and Caribbean are in Toronto for the 2015 Pan Am and Para-pan Am Games and as you probably already know, the city is on fire! There is so much anticipation and excitement surrounding the games and we absolutely love the passion.

The arts scene is also getting in on the action being inspired by the skill, diversity and excellence the games represent. The Pan Am Path Arts Relay is “comprised of 14 consecutive weeks of arts programming in 14 zones throughout the city which will feature a mix of installations and events”. The Pan Am Path extends from Brampton to Pickering and will serve as the artistic “connective tissue”. With almost 2 million dollars in funding and over 80 kilometres of multi-use trails, the path is shaping up to be a lasting legacy in Toronto’s history.


Zone 9 a.k.a SHIFT, features a “variety of temporary and permanent art installations and murals created to celebrate arts in the east end of Toronto. The artworks selected for this project playfully explore themes of diversity and emphasize the potency of a simple shift of perspective.” SHIFT is brought to you by East End Arts, Friends of the Pan AM Path, young civic leaders and The City of Toronto.

Last Saturday, a guided bike tour explored all that Zone 9 has to offer so far. It will be officially completed by 2017.


For more info: panampath.org

Posted by Samira

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Hennessy celebrates its 250th anniversary in Toronto with a custome Hennessy Time Barrel and their exclusive Hennessy ‘250 Collector Blend’.

By now there’s a good chance you’ve seen the incredible work of art and design known as the Hennessy Time Barrel located in Yorkville on Bloor Street West in front of La Societe. The piece is on display from July 8-14th, giving passers by the opportunity to send a digital text or video message to the future. The Time Barrel has been designed as an interactive experience to take part in Hennessy’s tradition of perpetual transmission from one generation to the next.


“My real mission is to prepare the eaux-de-vie for the generations of Master Blenders that will follow me…”, says Yann Fillioux, Hennessy’s Master Blender.


This 21st century time capsule will preserve messages written in 2015, all around the world, in a barrel in Hennessy’s historic cellars in Cognac. Messages for future generations will remain sealed in the Time Barrel until it will be opened 50 years later. 

From March through October 2015, The Hennessy Time Barrel will travel to 9 cities all over the world. Destinations include Cognac, France (February), Guangzhou, China (March); Taiwan (April), Berlin, Germany (May), Moscow, Russia (May); London, Great-Britain (June), Toronto, Canada (July), Johannesburg, South Africa (August), Lagos, Nigeria (October)

Today’s your last chance to send a message, what are you waiting for?!


In tandem with the announcement of The Hennessy 250 Tour, Yann Fillioux, the Maison’s Master Blender, presented the Hennessy 250 Collector Blend: “To mark milestone celebrations, Hennessy has always carefully created a special cognac to illustrate a sense of continuity. Today, the Maison celebrates 250 years of savoir-faire and excellence by creating a unique anniversary blend.”

As Hennessy Ambassadors, we were one of the lucky few who got the chance to taste the special Hennessy 250 Collector Blend, which was aged in 250 handmade, especially commissioned barrels of Limousin oak, containting 250 litres each. Let’s just say we savoured each and every sip.

Previously: Hennessy Artistry Presents “The Art Of Blending” With SOULECTION & WILDE

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