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For those of you unaware, Art Battle is a thing. Beyond that, it is a really unique, engaging and entertaining thing. We were fortunate enough to attend the Art Battle National Championships on Saturday at the old Maple Leaf Gardens. Since 2011, regional winners have advanced to the National Championship held every year in Toronto. When many of us hear or read the term “battle” we immediately envision two emcee’s on a stage or in a circle verbally assaulting one another with an onslaught of rhymes until one is deemed the winner. Art battle is nothing like this and everything like this at the same time.

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Taking many cues from battle rap, Art Battle is still a distinctive entity unto itself. Many of the artists involved in the competition are fine artists who are technically trained, which shows in their compositions. Each artist has only 20 minutes to complete their piece. With time being every artist’s stodgiest nemesis, the cream of the crop will rise to the top. Wander from easel to easel observing each painter for half a minute at a time (there are 10 artists painting in each round) and upon returning to the easel from which you started the same composition you witnessed moments ago will have transformed into something entirely different. This is what makes Art Battle a worthwhile viewing experience. It offers immediate satisfaction in art, art being a realm wherein we are accustomed to compositions requiring inordinate amounts of time to materialize. In a culture where people want to see instant results, Art Battle offers just that.

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Congratulations go out to this years National Champ, Yared Nigussu. Yared has won the last 3 National Championships so as you can imagine he is pretty good with a brush. We are looking forward to watching him defend his crown in 2015! Learn more about Yared Nigussu HERE.

Photos by @marshallcole

Posted by Jesse Ingalls

Previously: Sneak Peek: Art Battle Canada

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Absolut Makerfest Toronto

Absolut-Makerfest

Absolut Makerfest is coming to Toronto on August 9th, celebrating the cultural impact of Canada’s emerging “makers”. The maker community is made up of world-class artists, inventors, tinkerers and entrepreneurs who combine traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking and craft with technology-driven creativity, including 3D-printing, device hacking, electronics, robotics and more.

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Toronto’s own Eric Boyd (Sensebridge) and Jonathan Moneta (MakeLab) are among the list of celebrated “makers” who will be exhibiting their work at Makerfest. You’ll also be able to see works from Marc Reeve-Newson, Derek Gaw, Corey Clayton and Steven Enns.

This special event will also play host to 2 celebrity “makers” of their own kind, featuring a DJ set by Q-Tip from the legendary A Tribe Called Quest, along side performer Theophilus London!

Join us on August 9th at 99 Sudbury for what promises to be a unique mash-up of art, technology, music and of course cocktails!

RSVP ONLY
EVENTS@1LOVETO.COM

(Space is limited. Email does not guarantee admission. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.)

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Follow @1LOVETO & @AbsolutCanada #Makerfest

We hope you love ping pong as much as we do, because on Thursday, July 24th we’re co-presenting the movie, “Ping Pong Summer” at Toronto’s Open Roof Festival.

SYNOPSIS
The year is 1985. Rad Miracle is a shy 13-year-old white kid who’s obsessed with two things: ping pong and hip hop. During his family’s annual summer vacation to Ocean City, Maryland, Rad makes a new best friend, experiences his first real crush, becomes the target of rich local bullies, and finds an unexpected mentor in his outcast next-door neighbor. Ping Pong Summer is about that time in your life when you’re treated like an alien by everyone around you, even though you know deep down you’re as funky fresh as it gets.

HOW TO ENTER CONTEST
Enter for your chance to win a pair of tickets to see “Ping Pong Summer” by tweeting @1LOVETO & @OpenRoofFest #PingPongSummer

(Contest closes Wednesday, July 23, 2014)

PS: If you don’t win the contest, don’t worry, you can still get your tickets here: openrooffestival.com

InspiredBy-Amex

In a city as big as Toronto we sometimes get stuck in our comfort zone and forget to explore what the rest of the city has to offer. A recent study commissioned by American Express, reveals more than half (53%) of Canadians feel stuck in their comfort zone, and almost everyone (98% of respondents) believe exploring our home towns or cities helps us live a more enriched life.

Toronto is filled with so much potential, not only the people, but the places. At 1 LOVE T.O. we constantly get the chance to explore and be #InspiredBy the different places throughout our city.

We’ve selected 5 of our ‘potentials places’ that highlight areas in the city where we get inspired through healthy living, fashion and style, music, reading and food/cooking.

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1. Healthy Living: When it comes to clearing our minds and taking a break from the daily grind, while staying healthy and active, we head over to High Park to hike the trails. You can’t help but be inspired when you’re surrounded by mother nature.

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2. Fashion: If you’re anything like us, we love to people watch! On any given day you can pull up a chair, or find a spot on the giant rock in Yorkville Park and you’ll see all different types of style. Summertime is the best time to get inspired by this place.

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3. Music: There’s something special about watching a concert outdoors! We’ve always been inspired by live music at the Molson Amphitheatre, especially in recent years with the now iconic OVO Fest. Seeing artists from Toronto like Drake, Kardinal and The Weeknd share the same stage as Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Eminem, TLC, Stevie Wonder, (the list goes) is nothing but inspirational.

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4. Reading: Believe it or not, we love to read on the Subway and/or Streetcar. Passing the time on your daily commute gets a whole lot better when you’re reading an incredible book.

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5. Food: Shopping for food is almost as much fun as eating! Wandering around St. Lawrence Market has always been something we enjoy. Seeing the different types of food, people and the history of that building is all inspiring to us.

We want you to help us ‘realize the potential’ of Toronto by telling us your favourite places and hidden gems that provide you with inspiration?! Tweet your suggestions to @1LOVETO & @AmexCanada using the hash-tag #InspiredBy or leave a comment below.

Toronto Time Lapse Movie

With the latest theme to emerge from our city being Drake’s newest album title “Views From The 6″, we thought it appropriate to showcase Toronto through the eyes of Randy Hoffmaan. He spent over 100 hours shooting, editing and producing this unique time lapse video of our city skyline and the “Metis” (pronounced “may-tee”) ship. In the 1950′s this bulk carrier was used to haul grain and ore along the St. Lawrence and around the Great Lakes. By the 90′s it was converted to a barge for the purpose of carrying cement. Now, it sits idle in the Toronto port lands, which makes for a very interesting subject piece to be captured in a time lapse format. Take a few minutes to see the incredible details of a ship most of us would probably just walk by, plus the views of the skyline are something else!

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Video by Randy & Brenda

Previously: Toronto Skyline Time Lapse Video

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Summer is in full swing and we’re back with one of our biggest SUMMER SALES events to date! Join us this weekend, Friday-Sunday at The Distillery District as part of Bacardi’s Festival Libre. Our pop up shop will be featured in this three-day cultural experience, celebrating rum culture in Toronto’s largest licensed outdoor patio! There will be everything from live music, food, cocktails, art, fashion, and of course more rum than you can drink.

Tees and Tanks are on sale for $20 this weekend, or 2 for $35! Make sure you check out the map below to see where all the action is taking place!

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For more info: festivallibre.ca

Follow @1LOVETO #FestivalLibre

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We partnered up with one of our favourite initiatives in the city, Cosmopolis Toronto, to curate a special exhibit called, “Torontonian.”

Torontonian launched last Thursday eveing at the Moniker Gallery with over 400 guests in attendance. The new exhibit, curated by Vanessa Tamburro, explores Toronto as a ‘home’ and features select portraits by Photographer, Colin Boyd Shafer. Alongside the incredible photography, was a spectacular performance by our friend and very talented violinist, Yosvani Castañeda, plus a poignant reading by Toronto Book Award winner, Kamal Al-Solaylee and award-winning author, Martha Batiz.

It was amazing to see almost every age and race show up from young high school kids to Colin’s grandmother! A perfect snapshot of what The 6 is all about and how it connects us all.

The exhibit runs until June 25th from Tuesday – Sunday, with gallery hours open from 12-6PM.

Check out the FACEBOOK GALLERY HERE!

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To see more of Cosmopolis Toronto visit: CosmopolisToronto.com

Photos by Anil H

Previously: Cosmopolis Toronto & 1 LOVE T.O. Present The “Torontoian” Photo Exhibit

Follow @1LOVETO #Torontonian

Millions-TheSeries

Who out there is working a job they hate, barely making ends meet all while trying to pursue their dream? With the exploitation of unpaid internships and vast unemployment, the youth of Toronto are facing hurdles never before seen.

Many get discouraged and only dream of something better. Few will actually make moves and take hold of their own future. One of those very few is Andrew C. who is newly minted as a writer, film director and producer of the new web series based in Toronto, MILLIONS.

“I was born and raised in Toronto. I love Toronto with all my heart, and think it’s such a diverse and rich city, so I wanted to pull my personal experiences in Toronto into the story…reality television, pop culture figures like the Kardashians, social media, and the advent of young people striking it rich in the tech industry (a la Mark Zuckerberg), have profoundly affected our generation’s beliefs about what they think they can and should become, forgetting what actually matters in their lives and what makes them genuinely happy. I wanted to reflect on all of these things in MILLIONS.”

Andrew told us, “I was in my mid-twenties and was going through a bit of a life crisis – or a quarter-life crisis as they call it. I had previously gotten a business degree at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto and worked at a bank for a couple of years. But I was miserable.”

Growing up in a traditional Chinese family, he went the “practical” route rather than chasing his dream of being a part of the film world. When the misery was too much, he bit the bullet and enrolled himself in film school. While there, he wrote the script for MILLIONS which was intended to be a full TV series but was passed up by networks. Still determined to get his message out there and create a platform for Asian actors, he produced it himself as a web series with an extremely tight budget and lots of persistence.

“We have a slew of very talented actors in our community yet the only roles being created for them were embarrassingly stereotypical. We’re in desperate need of change.” That change started with his cast.

Ben Brillantes who plays, “Jay” says, “ …the project became important to me because I saw how it important it was to him. I have my own goals in life and I dedicate time to them, but whenever I get the chance to provide a little help to those that want to chase their dreams, as cheesy as it may sound, I do it because I want to help them get there.”

Hubert Tran who plays “Brandon” says what he wants the audience to take away is quite simple, “A good story. That’s it. It just so happens that it features Asian North Americans.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE EPISODES

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

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Pique Toronto

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Warhol once said, “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” In Toronto, we only need 15 seconds.

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Imad Elsheik is proving that with his brainchild, PIQUE. The PIQUE movement showcases the talents of 100 young Toronto artists, dancers, fashion designers, beatboxers and more, in just 15 seconds. You’ll be able to check out artists from all over T.O. including, Unity Charity, RISE Edutainment, The Remix Project, BeatBox Canada, CJ’s Skateboard Park and JoyRide 150.

“Social media has shortened our attention spans. We want to see more in a shorter period of time – I’m definitely one of those people…We enjoy watching teasers for a reason,” explains Imad. “The most important goal is to ‘pique’ the audience’s interest in an artist’s talent–to learn more about the artist, hit up their website, go to their shows and pay for their work. PIQUE’s purpose is to bridge that gap.”

The point of PIQUE is simple but it encompasses a greater vision. “I believe if this becomes an ongoing movement, it will not only help the artists but it will help the city as a whole. By presenting large volumes of Toronto-based content, we can raise the bar of talent collectively, as a city.”

Interestingly enough, though always interested, Imad never formally studied photography or videography. He actually went to York for Business but PIQUE gave him the perfect excuse to learn the art of it all first-hand. “However, the most valuable thing was how to better interact with people, work wisely, and react diplomatically…when you collaborate with 100 different people in such a short period of time, you can run into all sorts of problems which may or may not be in your control. When that happens you just need to find a way, a solution–there’s always at least one.”

Here’s a sneak peak of some of PIQUE’s contributing artists:

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Nate Smith – Producer
“I started going to The Remix Project and another program called RISE (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere). Going to RISE really showed me to new and amazing people. That’s how I met Imad. I eventually showed him my work and it was synergy from there.”

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Noah Tynes – Skater (Photo by Will Jivcoff)
“Skateboarding is my craft, the creativity comes when you keep an open mind and eye.”

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Osama Siddiqui – Spoken Word
“In my opinion, spoken word poetry has the ability to really connect with the audience in the way the writer intended. It intertwines writing and rhythm to achieve an emotional impact on the audience, one that cannot be attained through traditional, written poetry.”

For more info: piquetoronto.com

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

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We’re excited to announce that 1 LOVE T.O. has partnered with the Drake General Store to create an exclusive World Pride Toronto t-shirt. The shirt is currently available at The Hudson’s Bay (Yonge & Bloor location), as part of their curated Pride Pop Up Shop! The tee will also be made available at The Drake General Store’s Queen St West location as well as online drakegeneralstore.ca. Don’t miss out on your chance to have your very own piece of World Pride Toronto history!

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Follow @1LOVETO #WorldPrideTO

CosmopolisTO-Main

We are extremely excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Cosmopolis Toronto to host a very special photography exhibit entitled “Torontonian”, featuring photos by Colin Boyd Shafer. This unique documentary photography project, curated by Vanessa Tamburro, captures and celebrates Toronto’s cultural diversity by featuring the portraits of 193 Torontonians from all over the world who now call Toronto home. Each Cosmopolis Toronto participant was photographed in a place where they feel ‘at home’ in the GTA. This Toronto centric project has already gained tremendous support and momentum, receiving media coverage from the Toronto Star, the Wall Street Journal, the Globe & Mail, CBC Radio and Global National News.

We’d like to invite you to our opening night reception on Thursday, June 12 at the Moniker Gallery, 452 Richmond St. West, from 8-11pm. The exhibit will feature a selection of 12 large-scale portraits and will run until Thursday, June 26, 2014.

RSVP ONLY
EVENTS@1LOVETO.COM (Subject: Torontonian)
*Admission is by donation*

For more info: CosmopolisToronto.com

Previously: Cosmopolis Love

Follow @1LOVETO #Torontonian