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Ivanunkown – “Fickle”

IVANUNKNOWN_

Ivanunknown may have to change his name after his latest release “Fickle”, which has put a spotlight on this Toronto-based artist. If you’re into music like JMSN, Jai Paul, or The Weeknd, there’s a good chance you’re going to like what you hear on “Fickle”. You don’t have to take our word for it, listen for yourself…

Now available on iTunes!

Previously: Introducing Ivan Unknown

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Black History Month

Black-History-Month

Every February, Canada and the US recognize Black History Month; honouring and celebrating the efforts of the Black race from the past and present. We talked to a few of the brightest of Toronto’s Black community about, race, humanity and everything in between.

RISE

“I’ve met countless ambitious youth that have taken the right steps towards achieving their dreams. There are thousands of young African-Caribbean youth in Toronto that are taking the initiative to fulfill academic, artistic and entrepreneurship endeavors. The issue is the media rarely highlights the positives happening within our community. The government spends millions of dollars on criminal activity, but can barely spend a fraction of it to aid the roots of these criminal activities. It’s a shame to know so many promising youth in our communities that have zero to minimum recognition for their achievements. But I do feel there is a wave happening. There is a wave of conscious-loving individuals who have experienced enough downfalls to know that the only way out, is up.” – Randell Adjei

Follow @RisePoetry

Maestro

“Hip Hop has reinforced knowledge of self to the black community. However, we have been mentally conditioned not to have knowledge of self. The roots of Hip Hop are Peace, Love, Unity, as well as having fun; that will always remain. Yet currently, we as blacks in Hip Hop have given the world permission to disrespect us because we disrespect ourselves every minute of the day.” – Maestro Fresh Wes

Website: wesmaestrowilliams.com

EJade

“The portrayal of black women in the media and on screen as either a vixen, a mother figure or a finger snapping ‘independent woman’ needs to end. From my teen years until now there are countless times when people who I have interacted with at events or work that have expressed their surprise at me not being an accepted definition of being ‘black’. They are surprised that I don’t listen to rap or hip-hop by choice, that I articulate my thoughts without ‘attitude’ and I find men of many different cultures attractive. These roles reinforce stereotypes that are ignorantly imposed on me without conscious choice by otherwise extremely intelligent people and that is what I want changed.” – Elaisha Green

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Rudy

“I think we embrace other cultures much better than we did 30, 20 and 10 years ago but there is still at times an underline of prejudice. As younger generations grow up in this city they are more accepting to other cultures and actually want to take part. Cultural festivals definitely help with that. But then at times there’s the ol’ skool race mentality. Mayor Rob Ford is a good example of that when he says he doesn’t want to take part in Pride celebrations or caught on video pretending to speak as if he’s Jamaican and not see that that is a problem.” – Rudy Blair

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yusra

“Hatred diseases us all to believe that there is a hierarchical value system in defining peoples humanity. Visionary love dismantles any dynamic defined through exploitation and violence. Peace gives us balance and stability to foster equality in our lives. Critical consciousness forces us to think and question our entirety who we are constantly. There is no room for hatred with this.” – Yusra Khogali

Website: yusrakhogali.com

DavidD

“Systemically, “Institutional Racism” as coined by the homie Stokely Carmichael exists in many forms. If it didn’t, they wouldn’t be such a major need for equity rights. Women are making less money compared to the male counterparts and black women are making less money compared to the female counterparts. Young black males are being victimized and profits are being made off the murder of folks like Trayvon Martin. Racism exists. But we have the capacity to empower ourselves to free our minds from it. It’s a proactive act.” – David Delisca

Website: delisca.com

Posted by Community Contributor Samira Zia Rehman

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Amex Ambassadors: 2013 Re-cap

AMEX_Ambassadors_1LOVETO

As Amex Ambassadors we get the chance to enjoy the incredible perks of being an Amex Cardmember and share those experiences with you! Over the past 3 years we’ve had the opportunity to attend exclusive VIP events, live concerts, traveled the world with Amex UNSTAGED, and enjoyed fine dining at its best (just to name a few).

Check out some of our highlights from 2013!

CC8

EXPERIENCE 1: City & Colour Road Trip #AmexEffect

In June of 2013, with the help of Amex’s Platinum Concierge Service, we booked a driver for our road trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake to see City & Colour perform live. Not only did we arrive in style, but our VIP tickets allowed us quick entry and access to an exclusive area within the park, complete with food, drinks, private washrooms and most importantly NO LINE-UPS! That’s what we like to call the #AmexEffect.

Take a look at more concert photos HERE!

Downtown Toronto is known around the world as being a unique shopping destination, with local shops from Kensington Market to Queen Street West always offering you something special.

MagicPony_1

As young entrepreneurs we understand how important it is to support small businesses within our communities, so we took part in Amex’s SHOP SMALL program. We got the chance to visit 5 of our favourite shops in Toronto and showcase them on our blog. Our favourite shop (which has recently closed and is now moving to a new location) is Magic Pony, the only store of its kind in Toronto, offering designer toys, cool housewares, poster art and some hard to find books and magazines.

Check out the other 4 shops we profiled HERE!

Amex-Platinum-Lounge

Last but not least, one of our favourite things to do is TRAVEL. Having the Amex Platinum card allows us to travel like rock stars! Skipping security lines at Pearson, exclusive Lounge access with complimentary food, drinks and rest areas, 24/7 personal Concierge providing premium service and travel advice… it doesn’t get much better than this!

We hope that you’ll join us on our journey for 2014…

For more info: facebook.com/AmericanExpressCanada

Make sure you follow @1LOVETO & @AmexCanada for updates and special offers throughout the year. #AmexAmbassador

ROOTS XL COLLECTION | POP UP SHOP

As part of their 40th anniversary, ROOTS Canada has created a special Canadian-made ROOTS XL Collection with the help of our good friend and Canadian designer – Adrian Aitcheson. We got the chance to sit down with Adrian at the ROOTS head office here in Toronto to discuss the XL Collection.

ROOTS-XL-Algonquin-Hoody

ROOTS is hosting a special Pop Up Shop this Thursday, Feb. 27th and runs until Sunday, March 2nd at 567 Queen St. West. The ROOTS XL Collection will also be available at the Venice Beach, CA flagship store, as well as the ROOT’s fifth store in the US, and online.

ROOTS-CANADA-XL

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“Doodle 4 Google” By Cindy Tang

Doodle4Google_CindyTang

If you log on to google’s homepage today, you’ll see the work of 17-year-old Toronto student Cindy Tang! Her beautifully coloured image entitled “Sea Telescope”, has won first prize in the “Doodle 4 Google” Canada contest. She won a $10,000 scholarship, a laptop, plus a $10,000 grant for her school, Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute in Scarborough.

If you you’d like to see her original drawing along with 70 other contest finalists, make your way down to the ROM to see the special exhibit.

CLICK HERE FOR EXHIBIT INFO

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Send Boi-1da’s #TeamTO to SXSW

boi-1da

Toronto’s Beat Academy and hit-maker Boi-1da have hand selected 8 talented local producers to represent Toronto (#TeamTO) at this years SXSW MUSIC FESTIVAL’S first ever International ‘Team Beat Battle’ in Austin, Texas. Multi-Platinum Grammy Award-Winning Producer Boi-1da (Drake, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Eminem and more) is the official Coach with an impressive line up of up-and-coming producers including: 17 year old Wondagurl (from Jay Z’s latest album), Rich Kidd, Chef Byers (produced OB’s “Steve Nash”), Nick Nikon, Superville, 2oolman, DZL, and C-Sharp.

#TeamTO needs our help! They’ve launched their kickstarter campaign in the hopes of raising funds for the trip. Donations will help pay for flight, accommodations, food, travel and documentation. There’s only 3 days left to donate. Let’s continue to put Toronto on the map!!!

PLEASE DONATE HERE

For more info: thebeatacademy.com

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Jonathan

Jonathan Nathaniel is a Toronto-based television and film actor who is best known for his spot on the panel of MTV Canada and Logo TV USA’s groundbreaking hit “1 Girl 5 Gays”. Recently, we got the chance to speak with Jonathan about his role in the new web-series “Other Men”.

Describe the conception of “Other Men”; how did you get involved?
Stephanie and I actually, grew up around the block from each other and graduated from the same arts high school a year apart. We’ve always kept in touch via Facebook. I had just finished working on a short film project I created and produced when we really started talking about a project she was creating and producing. Both projects circled around similar themes and subjects. We decided to catch up, in person, with her creative team over bbq at ‘Rose and Sons Big Crow’ and I was offered the part.

Why was it important for you to be a part of this web series?
I’m thankful and proud to be part of ‘Other Men’ because of what it’s about, what it stands for, where it’s based and shot and the impact it’ll have. I’m all about involving myself in projects that are progressive with a purpose and a message. As a gay black guy, I often ask myself, ‘What is this for?’ and ‘Who are we helping?’ before signing onto a project because there’s TV and film auditions out there for productions that have either been done before or is an inaccurate representation of individuals who are already underrepresented. ‘Other Men’ is neither of those things.

What do you hope viewers take away from watching?
I hope viewers, regardless of sexual orientation, will be able to watch ‘Other Men’ and relate.

What were some of the toughest challenges you encountered while shooting “Other Men”?
There haven’t been any…yet. We’re still shooting so, we’ve really only just begun. But, I think the challenge for myself is to bring honesty, vulnerability and truth to ‘Odie’. I want to offer something real and refreshing.

How has the “Other Men” experience impacted you (personally/professionally/artistically, etc)?
Personally, I love that this kind of content is being made, seen and received so positively. Professionally, I’m just grateful to be working.

For more info: facebook.com/OTHERMENseries

Posted by Community Contributor Samira Zia Rehman

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SoonCome_MixtapeFront

Toronto-based DJ Spoonz just released an ALL TORONTO mixtape, featuring music by Partynextdoor, Luu Breeze, Rochelle Jordan, Adria Kain, Majid Jordan and many more.

ABOUT SOON COME VOL. 1
DJ’s were always known as the ones to introduce new music to the world, somewhere along the way we stopped doing that. I decided to make this mixtape to showcase the talent that currently resides in my home town, Toronto. This is the first of many.

I wanted to create something you can vibe to, something people can be proud to share to the world as well. I often get asked “who got next?” Well, this is a collection of the ones I believe got next, the ones that are ready to shock the world and propel the Toronto music scene.

The mixtape aptly titled “Soon Come” pays homage to the Jamaican culture that has influenced our language and the Toronto slang. Soon Come means I’ll get there when I get there. In so many ways I think this relates a lot to Toronto, as we’ve never been in a rush to please the masses. The artists that are featured on this album are perfectionists, some have been in the game for awhile and some just starting out, but they all share the same desire to put out quality music on their own accord.

Without further adieu I give you Soon Come Vol. 1!

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