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If you aren’t already aware, Thursday’s are the new Friday’s, and if you weren’t at The Fitting Room Toronto’s event alongside the Handsome Brut, you most certainly missed out. It was an outstanding, intimate, networking evening filled with sparkling wine, savoury food pairings courtesy of Luther’s Chicken, and great conversations. Owned by Bryan Brock and Brian Cafua, this cut and culture shop knows how to get the conversations going. With the power of social media, a contest rollout was the initiative to a successful night:

“Enter for your chance to win an exclusive VIP experience at The Fitting Room with Handsome Brut on Thursday, March 19th from 8-10PM. Post a photo of your latest haircut on Instagram tagging @fittingroomtoronto and include the hash tag ‪#‎AreYouHandsome‬.”‬

Dim lights and mellow groovy tunes accompanied the relaxed ambiance of the lounge-like gentlemen’s grooming shop. The atmosphere was undeniably attractive. As the crowd mixed, mingled, sipped on some bubbly, and enjoyed h’orderves, Levi of the Handsome Brut, gave the crowd an informative insight on the creation process of the sparkling wine.

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“The Niagara region is really bang on for Sparkling wine,” he said. “The climate, the soil type, the seasons — It’s perfect for it.”

The Handsome Brut is said to do things old school by believing in quality, tradition, and doing things right.

“The problem with bubbles is any little mistake you make with it, it’s going to show up in the wine; it’s a science.”

It takes longer and requires more work but the end results are worth it.

“I love making sparkling wine because it’s the hardest one to make. Reds and whites are a walk in the park,” Levi said as he threw his hands up.

The key to a successful sparkling wine is in patience and moderation with alcohol content and fermentations.

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“With sparkling, you don’t want too much alcohol to begin with. You want to start off nice and low with under 10 per cent of alcohol because it’s going to go through two fermentation processes,” he said. “If you rush the process and go too high with the alcohol percentage, it’s going to kill the yeast and you’ll be left with too much residual sugar, which can lead to bacterial infections later on.”

The Handsome Brut is a true traditionalist. Their wines are handmade in the traditional method from 100 per cent Ontario Chardonnay and undergoes two fermentations in the bottle, where it also spends two years aging on average.

“The traditional method is putting the wine back into the bottle, putting the yeast with the sugar, and that’s what produces the bubbles in the bottle,” Levi explained. “We add to it what we call a dosage, a secret herb and spices — it’s the wine making secret. It take about 18 months to eight years.”

Much like The Fitting Room, the Handsome Brut loves great company. Bryan Brock had mentioned the importance of the evening’s event was to gather not only their loyal clients and supporters, but also some of Toronto’s creative influencers for a night of networking, building, and sharing. We all have hectic work and personal schedules and Brock found it fitting (pun intended) to host an intimate event where memories, experiences, relationships and conversations are guaranteed to be created.

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Featuring the Handsome Brut tasting in Toronto’s newly opened lounge-like men’s barbershop was a no-brainer. Combining the culture and style of the city that’s conveniently located in the heart of Dundas West, it was only appropriate to also include local Luther’s Chicken in the mix for food pairings.

According to the beliefs of the Handsome Brut, “Bubbles are key to enjoying many foods, so, if it’s something you’d serve beer or soda pop with, you can serve Handsome Brut with.”

“I’d give it a go with all types of foods… You’d be surprised with that you’ll stumble across,” Levi said. “I think it would compliment a variation of dishes and spices and make the simplest dish fancy in flavour.”

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Naturally, the Handsome Brut is said to be a great solo act that can go from posh parties to game-day hangouts. Either way, Handsome Brut classes up pretty much any occasion and it certainly outdid itself at The Fitting Room’s event!

As an added bonus, mucking around with sparkling wine and having fun with different flavours is highly encouraged, according to Levi.

“Maybe some Brandy, maybe some Cognac, maybe a little but of Port; just something to give it some complexity, and that’s the secret. It’s incredible how something so small can change the wine.”

In regard to the men of The Fitting Room, mixing more alcohol with alcohol shouldn’t be a problem. They aren’t groomed to be handsome brut’s for nothing!

For more info visit: fittingroomtoronto.com

Posted by Christina Cheng

Follow @1LOVETO #AreYouHandsome #TheFittingRoom

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The Remix Project has teamed up with Samsung to produce a multi-media exhibit featuring photos, videos, and audio projects created exclusively on Samsung mobile devices. CONTENT features the works of 10 alumni from The Remix Project’s Academy of Creative Arts. Each artist was provided with a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or Samsung Tab S and challenged to use their devices to create art showcasing how mobile technology allows them to get closer to what they love.

You’re invited to join the creative community for the launch of CONTENT on Thursday, April 23rd from 8pm – 12am at Neubacher Shor Contemporary Gallery (5 Brock Ave). This event is free and open to the public. The exhibit will remain open from 12-5pm on April 24th and 25th.

We’ll see you there!

Follow @1LOVETO & @TheRemixProject #Content

Legendary Toronto designer Adrian Aitcheson (of Too Black Guys) is speaking with Artscape & Manifesto for an exclusive “In Conversation with” on Saturday, April 18th from 3-4:30pm inside Ada Slaight Hall at Daniels Spectrum. This talk, hosted by Juno Award winning rapper Kardianl Offishall, will highlight and celebrate the last 25 years of Adrian’s work with Too Black Guys. Don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of this!

FREE RSVP HERE

Check out tooblackguys.co

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Follow @1LOVETO & @FreshestGoods #TooBlackGuys

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Without any exaggeration, Bryan Espiritu and his brand The Legends League is hands down one of the most important movements in Toronto. We know this is a wild statement and you may be skeptical, but hear us out.

Upon first exposure (which for many now-a-days is via instagram) you’d conclude that Legends League is a Toronto-based clothing brand. You’d be right, but you’d also be missing the point. It’s not until you do a little more digging that you’ll learn exactly what makes the brand so unique. What sets The Legends League apart from the rest? Well, it’s a bunch of obvious stuff (quality design, consistency, a strong team) but more importantly, it’s honesty that you won’t find anywhere else. Seriously, we challenge you to find a brand, let alone a person that bares their soul in a more stripped down honest and humble way. The Legends League/Bryan’s honesty is as brave as it is necessary.

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The line between Legend League and Bryan Espiritu does not exist. They are the same entity. In a world oversaturated with faceless brands that write words that mean nothing, Legends League is the antithesis. This brings us to Saturday March 28th, when the LL Sweatshop officially opened its door to the public. The plan had been in the works for at least a year. We know this because as in everything that the brand does we were given a very open and candid behind the scenes look into exactly how a brick and mortar shop materialized. At 5PM on opening day we arrived at the shop. There was still a line! The first person had lined up the night before at 7:30pm. It was bitterly cold but this factor didn’t dampen the spirits and the overall electric atmosphere. Bryan was outside, kicking it, greeting everyone and thanking each person individually for their continued support.

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After probably the most jovial waiting experience of our lives we were ushered up the stairs and into the LL Sweatshop. Hands down the most aesthetically pleasing ‘sweatshop’ we’ve had the pleasure of visiting! Every detail in the spot is meticulously strategized (again, check out @legendsleague on instagram for all the behind-the-scenes rationalization of all the architectural details), the merchandizing is on point and the overall experience is world class. The team is an extension of the brand. It’s a family. It’s a group of dudes who genuinely understand their responsibility in positively effecting Toronto’s culture. They are the leaders of a movement that, “is growing up quick”.

The opening of the LL Sweatshop is monumental, it is a testament to hard work and acts as proof that our inner fundamental core should be embraced and celebrated not repressed to appease others. If Bryan and the Legends League has taught us anything it’s to always be true to ones self. Write your own Legend and create your own League.

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Make sure you check out the LL Sweatshop for yourself. The store is located at 9 Camden Street and is open Monday – Saturday 11am to 7pm and Sunday Noon to 5pm.

For more info: thelegendsleague.com

Posted by Jesse Ingalls

Follow @1LOVETO #1LLOVETO #LLSEASON

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Located in Toronto’s bourgeoning Riverside neighbourhood, East Room is reinventing the modern workspace where creative professionals can flourish. This co-working membership outlet is separated into two: club and resident, and both cater to forward-thinking freelancers, creative professionals and small businesses.

“It’s a co-op space but we’re not entirely co-op,” said Derreck Martin, co-founder of East Room. “There’s a lot of co-op spaces in the city but ours is more geared toward creative minds, as opposed to many other tech-oriented co-op spaces… This gives you a mix of freelancers with full-on companies.”

East Room aims to offer a community, location, and the tools necessary to grow their unique member’s careers. Their dynamic community of members includes some of the city’s most creative minds working in the fields of: media, art, technology, and design.

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“The idea is a cohabited environment with creatives that range from freelancers, videographers, and even a few venture capitalist!” Derreck said.

Each potential member’s application is reviewed to ensure that they will fit into the ecosystem of East Room, as they strive to create a co-operative space of professionals that share complimentary skills to benefit the whole.

East Room provides the ideal environment for like-minded individuals to collaborate, share ideas, and merge their talents.

“We’re open 24/7 which allows members to come at any point of the day. This is perfect for web developers and freelancers because a lot of them are night owls.”

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According to Melissa Serrano of Membership and Marketing at the East Room, she had mentioned that members for both the Club Membership and Resident Membership have access to meeting and lounge spaces, state-of-the-art technologies, and exclusive member events.

In addition, as a member, you will be part of a curated community of technologists, artists, designers and futurists whom you may grow your business with professionally as you share ideas or even merge talents as various projects come and go.

The Club Members ($250 per month + HST) have unlimited access to the fully-serviced open work lounge, while the Resident Members (500 per month + HST) have a semi-private personal workspace with a desk, chairs, and lamp plus more.

“This is phase one of the space,” Derreck said. “In March, we’re going into phase two and this is what’s called, Resident Two Memberships. They’re going to be larger, enclosed offices for business of two to three, which we’re pretty excited about! And you’ll have another board room in there as well.”

Resident 2 Members ($1,500-$2,000 per month + HST) have the option of choosing a 2-5 person or 5-8 person enclosed office, fully equipped with desks, chairs, and lamps plus more.

All founding members will be part of the growing business of the East Room as it plans on expanding by building photo labs, sound studios, test kitchens, and fashion ateliers.

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“In the future, we’re looking to build in studios such as: photography studios, recording studios, things in that nature,” Derreck said. “It’s going to be like a crowd-source idea so we pay for it through the membership that’s in the space… It’s good for the members because it’s cheaper for them… What they’re paying for a month in studio spaces is what they’d be paying for a day anywhere else.”

The East Room’s workspace has been designed with refinement and comfort in mind; providing the perfect environment for work and play.

“We have a lot of events … We have partnerships with TIFF, Design Exchange, Power Plants, and Arts and Crafts,” he said. “Every month we’re having music events and for TIFF, we’re putting together a Speaker’s Note where we present a film along with a lecture series. For Design Exchange, we haven’t nailed down exactly how we’re going to work with them but we see it as more of a Speaker’s Note as well.”

Book your complimentary tour at: info@eastroom.ca

Posted by Christina Cheng

Follow @1LOVETO #EastRoom

Join Artscape & Manifesto for an ‘In Conversation with… Adrian Aitcheson’ on Saturday, April 18th from 3-4:30pm, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of ‘TOO BLACK GUYS’ at Ada Slaight Hall inside Daniels Spectrum! Adrian has ventured on an incredible journey in building his notable brand ‘TOO BLACK GUYS’ and made exemplary strides over the course of his personal career. Hosted by Juno Award winning rapper Kardinal Offishall, we aim to give you greater insight into what has made Adrian so successful, touching on the highlights and hardships of being an entrepreneur.

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To give you a bit of background for those who are not very familiar. In the year 1990, starting out as a clothing line and a store founded in downtown Toronto, TBG was known for their thought-provoking t-shirts surrounding the ideologies and history of black culture. TBG apparel has been seen on the backs of some of the most prominent figures in hip hop culture, including Mos Def, Spike Lee, Redman, and Mary J Blige, to name a few. In 25 years Adrian and TBG have become icons, paving the way for Canadian streetwear fashion along the way.

FREE RSVP HERE

Check out tooblackguys.co

Previously: The Return of “Too Black Guys”

Follow @1LOVETO & @FreshestGoods

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Manifesto’s “Freshest Goods Market” is back for another Spring Pop-Up Market at Daniels Spectrum on Saturday April 18th, 2015. The market includes some of Toronto’s most notable brands including of course, 1 LOVE T.O., 40oz Heroes, 5ives On Top, 100 Miles, and more!

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This Freshest Goods Market is also featuring a special “In Conversation With…” Adrian Atchison – Creator of Toronto-based brand TOO BLACK GUYS, celebrating 25 years in the game! Stay tuned for more info…

Follow @1LOVETO & @freshestgoods

PRIDE + BASS Boat Cruise

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We’ve teamed up with some great folks to bring you the first ever PRIDE’N’BASS, an unforgettable sunset boat cruise aboard the River Gambler during Toronto’s PRIDE weekend. Kick off your celebration on Friday, June 26th, with the LGBTTIQQ2SA Community and friends with DJs Hydee, DJ Love Hz, Remedy, Maddi Qwikstepp and PVP for an unforgettable experience.

PURCHASE ADVANCE TICKETS HERE
PRESALE PASSWORD: 1loveTO

Our exclusive pre-sale password is in effect until midnight on Thursday! Don’t miss out…

For more info visit pridenbass.ca or find us on FB.

Follow @1LOVETO

Today marks a special moment in Toronto’s music, arts and culture history. Fast-approaching 10 years of serving Toronto through their innovative mix of talent incubation, youth engagement and cultural programming – two of the city’s youth arts and culture heavyweights are finally coming together to realize a grand vision for the future of Toronto arts and culture. The Remix Project and Manifesto just announced the launch of the Convergence Campaign, which will create a dynamic new permanent home for both organizations and an accessible cultural hub for artists, arts administrators and organizations from across the city.

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“Manifesto and The Remix Project are thrilled to partner with The Daniels Corporation to create our new home in Daniels Waterfront – City of the Arts. This space will become the centre of gravity for youth, arts, culture and creative industries in Canada. Daniels’ investment in this project is not simply an investment in our organizations, but rather an investment in Toronto’s future as a global cultural leader.” – Che Kothari (Manifesto) & Derek “Drex” Jancar (The Remix Project) Co-Chairs of the Convergence Campaign

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With the generous support of The Daniels Corporation, the space will be part of the just-announced Daniels Waterfront – City of the Arts project – a pioneering vision for a master-planned, mixed-use community coming to the corner of Queens Quay and Lower Jarvis that will amplify Toronto’s growing role as a global cultural leader. The space will combine administrative offices; a public performance theatre and cinema; a recording studio with affordable opportunities for diverse communities; a studio dedicated to photography, videography, and dance; accessible venue space with affordable prices for gatherings and events; video editing and post-production suites; a gallery; a community café; as well as access for artists and young entrepreneurs to obtain business and legal support, career guidance and professional consultation from some of the city’s key leaders and instigators. It will be a game-changing place for Toronto’s current and future arts and culture leaders to connect, cultivate and collaborate that responds to directly to the unique challenges faced by the sector.

Through the Convergence Campaign, The Remix Project and Manifesto’s combined creativity and drive will supercharge Toronto’s cultural sector, and safeguard the sustainability of these two vital organizations for years to come. To learn more about how Toronto can support the Convergence Campaign to create a new centre of gravity for youth, arts and culture, please visti: convergencecampaign.com

Follow @1LOVETO @Manifesto @TheRemixProject #Community

Rotman Lens Rendezvous 2015

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The Rotman Lens Rendezvous 2015 event is happening this Thursday, March 26th inside the Fleck Atrium (Rotman School of Management) from 5:30-7:00pm, and 1 LOVE T.O. is inviting you to join us and support both the Toronto-based photographers, as well as local arts & cultural incubator – The Remix Project. All proceeds from the silent auction will be donated to The Remix Project’s Academy of Creative Arts. Top submissions from the Lens photo competition along with professional photographers works will be displayed, including submissions from some of our cities finest: Jalani Morgan, Taha Muharuma, Rajeshta Julatum, Joshua Telfer, and J R Bernstein.

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Taha Photo

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J R Bernstein

For more information and to get tickets, CLICK HERE.

Follow @1LOVETO #RotmanLens15

Interview: Humble The Poet

We’ve been watching Kanwer Singh aka “Humble The Poet” for a while now and recently got a chance to talk to the Toronto teacher and MC who is making it his mission to dissect deep motifs and connect with anyone willing to listen.

What is it about writing/poetry that resonates with you so deeply?
It’s not just poetry and writing. It’s just creativity in general. I love the concept of bringing ideas to life. I love the feeling of having a spark in my mind and then watching it come to life. The journey isn’t as enjoyable. If I write a verse on a beat, and it’s a painful process at times, once I release it and see the finished product and see it connect with people, it motivates me to start all over again.

How did Humble the poet come to be? Why Humble?
I was raised in a family of Sikh heritage and it’s a common theme that our egos are a big source of a lot of our misery so staying humble is something we can do to reduce that. Obviously we all got egos at different levels and in different situations; I’m not the exception to that rule. The idea of “poet” came from the evolution of literary art, to not simply be a rapper, to simply be an MC but taking it to another level, acknowledging the Shakespeares, Edgar Allen Poes.

Why do you think people from all over the world, truly connect with your words?
In the past couple of years I shifted the focus from social issues to the human condition. In my research, learning about what’s happening in the world and scratching beneath the surface and realizing the themes that are going on; a lot of it has to do with human nature. We’re all going through the same things, doesn’t matter where you are in the world. You deal with anxiety, regret. We’re haunted by our past; we get nervous about our future. We’ve been through heartbreak. Ideals like that, not only do they touch everybody around the world, they’re timeless as well. Having the ability to articulate that, nice and simply, especially when they’re heavy concepts, I think that’s why people gravitate towards what I do.

Tell us a little bit about your book Unlearn and why you thought it was important to publish.
What happened was I was working full-time as teacher with the Toronto district school board, grade three at the time. And I was doing slam poetry on the side. Slowly, I started writing more and putting stuff up online and when that transition came where this no longer was the side project and took my main attention. When I made that transition and left my job, or took time off the job specifically to focus on this, I realized I didn’t have to pick up a lot of new things, I really had to forget a lot of biases and idealisms that I had ‘cause they were holding me back from progressing. The idea of Unlearn came from there. I just started blogging, blogging on my Facebook page just to connect. And it was the support that was like, ‘you need to start collecting your work, and publish it as a book.’ I crowd sourced the book though indie go-go and raised over $26,000.

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What is your objective; why is it important to you?
My objective is to bring ideas to life and I have grand scale ideas. Like, full length feature films that I want to bring to life. I realize I have to stay on my grind. Working in entertainment and working in the creative space for a number of years now, you understand how it really works so you have to keep your profile up there if you want those doors to open. In the beginning it was just you know, getting the attention of a couple girls (he says with a laugh) and doing something cool but I think now at this point, I realize that that this path in life is the first time I feel like I’m exploring my potential and I wanna realize my potential. Through that, I wanna connect with as many people as possible and make a contribution to society and this planet. It’s important to me because it gives me purpose, gets me outta bed. I think so many people in this life aren’t fortunate enough to have the time to discover their purpose, a purpose that excites them. My parents immigrated to Toronto, me having the freedom to take that risk; I feel that it’s my obligation now.

Most rewarding part about teaching/poetry?
You get to see your words/ideas change shape based on the context of who’s listening to them. You see them connecting. You learn so much about yourself working with kids ‘cause you start to realize how much of what you think is in your second nature, how much you are wired to believe, wired to act is really just socialization. Kids are blank slate; they don’t have the same biases that we do, the same preconceived notions. So when you encounter a child and they don’t have that, it reminds you that at one point, you didn’t have that either. So that puts you in great position to unlearn.

What do you hope people take away from your work?
We turn on the radio coz we want life to feel a little bit better. We read a book ‘cause we want life to feel a little bit better; we consume art for that purpose. When dealing with emotions nowadays people are going towards medication. I’m really hoping at the bare minimum people are hearing what I have to say through the different types of art I create and realize they’re not alone. Once we connect with people, once we realize we’re not alone and the things you’re feeling or going through are normal, you feel a lot less isolated, letting people know they’re not the only ones with anxiety of what may happen tomorrow, letting people know they may not be the only people who regret their past and re-live it over and over and beat themselves up about it. Sometimes you gotta put on that a catchy beat, sometimes you gotta put it on the page, capture it in an image and put that on a sweat shirt. I just want to connect.

Photo by Gurjit Badal

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

Previously: Humble The Poet – “F.E.A.T.H.E.R.S”

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SHUFFLE-DINNER-WEB

Greatness isn’t measured by how much you have, rather it’s gaged by how much you give.

Dear friends of @1LOVETO, Chef @AdrianForte (Food Network) has decided that for his 3rd annual community holiday dinner he wanted to team up with 1LOVETO to reach even more people in need. On Saturday December 27th, when everyone is out shopping for Boxing Day sales we will co-curate a dinner for members of our community who need it most. No matter the details of the story, if you or someone you know could benefit from this dinner, all are welcome.

We are excited to open the doors to our home Revival Bar (783 College St.), from 3-6pm on Saturday Dec 27th, with already confirmed attendance c/o Street Voices and Breakfast Club of Canada, this will reach people in need from every part of the city.

So now to you! We are inviting our readers to donate non-perishable food items at our Holiday Shuffle Party at Revival this Friday night Dec. 26th! A portion of the donated food will be used by Chef Adrian Forte for our 1LOVETO dinner and the rest will be donated to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

DONATIONS CAN BE MADE HERE

What: Holiday Shuffle Party

When: Friday, Dec 26th, 2014

Time: 10pm – 2am

Where: Revival Bar – 783 College St. West

For more info visit: facebook.com/shuffleparty or email: shuffleparty@gmail.com

Follow @1LOVETO #ShuffleParty