The Frocktail auction stole the show consisting of clothes, accessories and luxurious experiences donated by the city’s most stylish including, Rachel Sin, Greta Constantine, LINE, Drake 150 and more. Pre-loved pieces were also donated by heavy-hitters like, Rachel McAdams, Nelly Furtado and Cheryl Hickey.
Frocktail came to fruition in 2009 thanks to the vision and determination of Jessica Oliver, Ali Reid and Jen Foster. They were inspired to raise awareness and funds for juvenile diabetes for Jessica’s sister, Vanessa, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at only age six.
“I have seen her struggle with thousands of finger pokes and insulin injections, blood sugar highs and lows and the fears of potential complications that could arise” says Jessica, “She is brave and dedicated herself to helping find a cure. This is my way of supporting her in reaching that goal.”
They had no idea what a success and impact Frocktail would have on their cause and were inspired to only get bigger and better. “The first year we had no idea to expect. We hoped to get 100 people out and raise a few thousand dollars. That first year, more than 600 people attended and we raised $23,000. The high we got from creating something from nothing and exceeding our wildest expectations was amazing.”
This year’s Frocktail raised the most money to date, bringing in $70,000, taking their five year total to over $200,000.
For more info: thefrocktailparty.com
Posted by Samira Zia Rehman
To see the city through the lens of a photographer can have you looking at the place you call home, in a way you’ve never envisioned before. What those photos would say, how they would make you feel, what questions it would evoke, make up the magic of photography.
Award-winning Photographer, Colin Boyd Shafer, is currently embarking on a photographic depiction of Toronto’s most famous asset: its people. He calls the project, “Cosmopolis Toronto”; a collection of portraits of Torontonians born in another country, but who now call Toronto home, at a place in the city they bond to, taking a second photo of them holding an object which connects them to their past and telling their story.
Colin, who is also a teacher, intends to examine migration and capture the unmatched variety of Toronto, saying, “I think we say ‘diversity’ quite often but rarely (maybe never) are there ‘real stories’ about the individuals involved. I guess the aim of the project is to visualize/capture the diversity of this great city and create an accurate picture of Toronto 2013.”
He also distinguishes “diversity within diversity” explaining that, “many people do not fit into the mould of what an average person of their ‘culture’, ‘religion’ or ‘country of birth’ is like.” He goes on to give examples such as, “my participant born in UAE is of Pakistani-background, my Syrian participant is training to be a Franciscan priest and my Canada-born participant is a black gentleman from Nova Scotia who is a fifth generation Canadian.”
“My grandparents migrated here and contributed as educators and artists. The participants I have met have their own incredible stories and are all adding to make Toronto an incredibly rich city. As I see Canada closing its doors (making migration nearly impossible for some people) I want us to not forget that most of us, are ourselves, the product of migration. Migration has made this city great.”
Cosmopolis Toronto will be showcased in two exhibitions early next year at the Toronto Centre for the Arts and CONTACT Photography Festival.
For more info: cosmopolistoronto.com
Posted by Samira Zia Rehman
Toronto’s music scene is not only gaining popularity across Canada, but it’s making a major impact around the world. For that very reason, we’ve been posting cover songs in our series entitled “Covered”, which highlights and showcases other artists (not necessarily from Toronto) who have been inspired by our cities sound.
This time we’ve selected Ottawa-based DJ/Producer Illo and singer Noah, who collaborated to cover Drake’s “From Time” off his “Nothing Was The Same” album. Take this in when you have some time to just vibe out and relax.
Let us know what you think?
Previously: Covered: “Breathe”
At this moment, there are over 10,000 homeless youth in Toronto. Of those, half come from middle to upper class homes and have been the victim of physical, emotional or sexual abuse. And unless you experience it for yourself, it’s hard to understand just how ruthless street life is.
Over 74 of Toronto’s top business and community leaders, participated in Sleep Out: Executive Edition, a fundraiser put on by Covenant House Toronto. For what was to be an eye-opening night, they said goodbye to their cozy quilts and plush pillows for cold concrete and a shady alleyway. With just a sleeping bag and a cardboard box, they slept outside to raise funds and awareness about homeless youth in the city. Some of the participants included: Jeanne Beker – Fashion Icon, Annie Young-Scrivner – Starbucks President, Robert Deluce – Porter Airlines President & CEO, Bill Blair – Toronto Chief of Police, MLSE President & CEO – Tim Leiweke
“But it was the loneliness I focused on as I snuggled up in my sleeping bag out there on the cold, hard pavement of that dismal back alley. And as I lulled myself to sleep, I tried to imagine the isolation and despair that so many kids face.” – Jeanne Beker, Toronto Star.
The Toronto chapter of Covenant House was established in 1982 when the late, Cardinal Carter, raised concerns and gained support over the homeless kids who were sleeping outside his downtown office. Today, it is the largest homeless youth agency in Canada and since its inception, has helped over 85, 500 homeless youths through donations which also fund 80% of their operating budget. They provide education, counselling, health care, employment assistance and most important, love, respect and hope.
It seems the number one thing the participants took away from the experience was perspective and even bonds with the homeless kids they came to know. What they gave back, $762,976 in total for Covenant House Toronto.
For more info: covenanthousetoronto.ca
Posted by Samira Zia Rehman
Rhye’s Michael Milosh (from Toronto) recently released his new video for “Slow Down”, a single off his new solo album “Jetlag”, which is due out November 26th. Milosh describes the album: “Jetlag is an expression of my deep love for my wife, my happiness and excitement for a new place in my life, my sadness or fear of stepping out of my old life… Jetlag is about dancing between two worlds simultaneously, learning about myself through the process and ultimately making a choice to be with someone, to fully commit to that life even though it’s on the other side of the world.”