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Manifesto & 1LOVETO have partnered to present the first official “6IX x 6″ Photography Exhibit as part of the Manifesto Festival’s “Common Ground” Art Show. The exhibit is on Sunday, September 20th at the Super Wonder Gallery (876 Bloor St W.) and features 6 of Toronto’s top Instagram shooters. We got the chance to ask our very own @soteeoh six questions as part of our interview series. See below…

What part of Toronto (GTA) are you from/Where do you live in Toronto (GTA)?
I live in Kensington Market.

What is your favourite thing about where you live or the part of the city you are from?
I think of Kensington as the unofficial heart of Toronto. It’s right in the middle of the city and to me it really represents what Toronto is about. In only a few small blocks you have people from every part of the world. People of different cultures and identities, really people from all walks of life, getting a long and making it work in this small community. It’s so interesting to me. Just walking down the street is so entertaining, you never know what your going to see. There’s also a really creative vibe in the neighbourhood. These are the things that make Toronto special in my opinion and its all represented in Kensington.

How have you seen art and creativity directly impact the area of the city you live in?
As I mentioned, Kensington has a super creative vibe. I know a lot of artists that live in the area and I think a lot of people, myself included, draw a lot of creative inspiration from the neighbourhood. I think the art is one of the reasons that Kensington has been preserved. There are a lot of changes taking place right now but hopefully that creative vibe gets saved.


What do you think that you as a photographer brings to the table that is different than other artists and is your identifying trait?
I think the main thing that makes me different is how I think about photography. I’m constantly asking myself how I can bring the images I create back into a physical form. Whether its through prints or on textiles or wheat-pasting I like to see my work in tangible forms. That pushes me to be more experimental and playful with the images I create because I’m constantly thinking about how an image will work in all these different scenarios.

What particular image that you have photographed has been the most striking to you and why?
I have this one image of the reflection of a boy walking past a puddle in Regent Park. That’s always been one of my favourites. The other one is the image of the CN Tower and the cross-walk sign counting down to 6. I think that one just captured the mood of the city right now. The 6 is becoming an icon for the new wave in Toronto.

Why is it important for you to take part in the 6ix by 6 exhibit at Manifesto festival?
Manifesto is such a huge part of the arts scene here in the city. It’s played a huge part in the development of so many artists in Toronto. I think teaming it up with 1LoveTO is the perfect move because 1Love is also about community building. It really represents that city pride and that positive energy. So getting to represent those two organizations is just a huge honour and to get to do this exhibition with so many other talented artists is really special to me.


For more info about the “6IX x 6″ Photography Exhibit, CLICK HERE.

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Manifesto & 1LOVETO have partnered to present the first official “6IX x 6″ Photography Exhibit as part of the Manifesto Festival’s “Common Ground” Art Show. The exhibit is on Sunday, September 20th at the Super Wonder Gallery (876 Bloor St W.) and features 6 of Toronto’s top Instagram shooters. We got the chance to ask @tahaphoto six questions as part of our interview series. See below…

Interview: Taha

What part of Toronto (GTA) are you from/Where do you live in Toronto (GTA)?
I grew up in a few different areas in the east end of Toronto. I’d consider East York my true stomping grounds (specifically St. Clair and O’Connor area). However, my family and I also lived south of Pape and Danforth for almost 10 years, we moved down there when I was about 10 years old. Now I live closer to the core in the St. Lawrence neighbourhood.

What is your favourite thing about where you live or the part of the city you are from?
I appreciate the history and 19th century architecture of my neighbourhood. There are also great spots nearby like the St. Lawrence Market, Lake Ontario and The Distillery District. You’re also close to the Don River, Cherry Beach and surrounded by some of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods. When you include the easy access to street cars, the bike path and subway stations, travelling from one end of the city to the other is fun and inspiring.


How have you seen art and creativity directly impact the area of the city you live in?
There’s a beautiful basketball court just down the street from me at David Crombie Park. There is a huge mural there that was painted by a group of local youth. The art is a symbol of teamwork, peace and diversity. I often walk by it and feel the energy and positive vibes. You see kids along with their families, laughing and staying active in a safe environment.

What do you think that you as a photographer brings to the table that is different than other artists and is your identifying trait?
I appreciate and love learning about Toronto’s history. When I go out to shoot, I always try to do a little research on the location to understand what had been there in the early days. So naturally, I’m always trying to find the soul− the energy and the essence of what was and now is.

I’m inspired by Toronto photographers that captured the soul of the streets decades before me like Michel Lambeth and Ivaan Kotulsky and of course, Arthur Goss who was literally everywhere! He documented the city like no other. He took thousands of photographs and he was very objective. I always look to the past to inspire where I want to go and I guess that might be what makes my style unique.

What particular image that you have photographed has been the most striking to you and why?
There are a few images that come to mind, but I would say the photo of the TTC train arriving at Victoria Park Station. It always gets me thinking. I took that through a fence on my iPhone4, on a really cold winter day. It brings me right back to my childhood. I started taking the subway when I was 8 years old and I can vividly remember taking that exact train up and down from East York.


Why is it important for you to take part in the 6ix by 6 exhibit at Manifesto festival?
Well, each and every person sees this city differently based on his or her experience in that moment in time. I love that this exhibit helps showcase the different perspectives of Toronto. That’s what we need so we can keep our community and creative dialogue going. Also, it’s an exciting time for Toronto with a bunch of spotlights on us. Decades from now when people look back, I’d want them to think we were alright! This exhibit and the whole Manifesto festival is contributing to our history and I’m honoured to be a part of it.

For more info about the “6IX x 6″ Photography Exhibit, CLICK HERE.

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Introducing Anthony G. (XvXy Photo)


You might remember Anthony Gebrehiwot of XvXy Photo from last year when we told you about the ArtReach Youth Pitch Contest. Since then, this talented photographer has accomplished even more. We’re always intrigued by emerging artists making moves so we wanted to talk to him and see where his journey has taken him and where he’s headed.

“The first three years were me just learning the basics. I had a simple studio set up in my best friend’s, girlfriend’s apartment and collectively we started a charity called “Shooting For Change.” We took all the profits made from our shoots and bought food/clothes to feed the less fortunate. When that didn’t work out, I didn’t pick up a camera for over a year because I couldn’t handle the idea of failure.

But when things are meant to fall in place, they do. “After that period of time, I got involved with RISE and that inspired me to pick up the camera again and to give it another shot.”

Now after shooting for six years, he’s had his work displayed in Toronto’s City Hall, been published in The Globe & Mail and produced a solo exhibit. That photo exhibit focussed on healing it’s participants through art and expression, discussing the roller coaster of mental health issues such as depression.



“Creating is the only form of expression that gives me peace of mind at the end of the day. This world that we live in makes very little sense to me. If I didn’t have these outlets, I don’t think I would have the will to continue living. I have a strong need to express myself and the things that we’re so reluctant to speak on.”

The power of art to not only inspire but to heal people is the reason why people are addicted to creative culture – music, dance, blogging, etc. To be that beacon, to be that vessel, is something people aspire to attain and it looks like Anthony, is well on his way. We’re looking forward to what he develops next.

To see more of Anthony’s work, visit: xvxyphoto.com

Photos by Patrick Leung

Posted by Samira

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Manifesto and Complex Canada have partnered to present this year’s art exhibition entitled ‘Common Ground’. The exhibit is on Sunday, September 20th at the Super Wonder Gallery (876 Bloor St W.) and features a special @1LOVETO co-curated photography exhibit, highlighting 6 of Toronto’s top Instagram shooters, including: @bora.vs.bora, @soteeoh, @mr.jobeezy, @jayscale, @tahaphoto, @ellenaturel.


The art exhibit features works from international artist/designer Taj Francis as well as local artist such as Aleks Bartosik, Andrew Palmer, Hans Poppe, Mark ‘Kurupt’ Stoddart, Tabban Soleimani, Eugene Paunil, Adrian Hayles and many more.


For more info CLICK HERE

Curated by Ashley McKenzie-Barnes for MNFSTO.

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Last week we celebrated the unveiling of the new line of jeans by Silver Jeans Co. and Toronto Blue Jay, José Bautista called, “Joey Series”. The event was attend by a select bunch of attendees, media and of course, Joey Bats himself!

“Developing this line with Silver Jeans was a fun and unique experience, Bautista says. “Stepping outside of my normal routine and getting to see some of my personal creativity come to life like this was fantastic.”




The Joey Series collection, which arrives this Fall at Jean Machine, features a classic, straight fit and has that well-worn, relaxed feel. You’ll notice the stitching you see on baseballs, embroidered on small areas of the jeans like the back pocket and watch pocket. The inside of the jeans are just as artfully constructed with a signature waistband and graphics on the pocket bag. The initial production of Joey Series will be a limited edition, only 1000, so each pair of jeans comes with a cool collectible, numbered hangtag inspired by a vintage ticket stub.

As he was pursuing his baseball dreams, his family always hammered in the importance of having a solid education so he started The Bautista Family Education Fund. Proceeds from the sales will be donated to his charity which aims to raise awareness about the power of education and helps provide access to higher education to young athletes.

For more info CLICK HERE

Photos by Patrick

Posted by Samira

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Streetcar Living In The Upper Beaches


It seems like every corner you turn, there’s a new condo popping up. Developers get a bad rep for tearing down long-loved establishments to make way for more “affordable housing” but, there is a Toronto-based developer who’s tearing down that stereotype.

Streetcar Developments has a serious commitment to communities. They’re in the business of building bonds, partnerships and relationships. Their latest venture, The Southwood Ravine Collection in the Upper Beaches, is based on those values and hopes to provide “an urban oasis” for people looking to plant their roots. We got a tour of this little known, gem of a neighbourhood and want to tell you about some of the people who call it home and a few spots we think you’ll love!


The first stop was The Art of Cheese. The cozy shop was overflowing with every kind of cheese you can imagine. We were treated to a special kind called, “San De Oro” which words can do no justice to describe its deliciousness. We met Bill Miller who owns the joint and is known as the “grand fromage” around town. He can (and will) tell you everything you ever wanted to know about cheese— history, production, pairings and more. Aside from his vast knowledge on the subject, the most memorable part was Bill’s genuine passion and incredible sense of humour!


A few doors down we dropped by Yellow House Gallery owned by Christina Kostoff. It’s a quaint fixture in the neighbourhood which specializes in framing and exhibiting local and regional artists with unique niches. Themed exhibitions and workshops are held regularly and open to anyone who’s interested.

There were two establishments which stood out because the owners actually left their 9-5, corporate jobs to pursue their true calling.

Sharon Smyl of Collected Joy says there is no rhyme or reason as to what she chooses to sell at her store, simply saying, “I only include stuff that I would personally buy”. And a lot of what she likes to buy is quality goods made by entrepreneurs. The shop is stocked with beautiful, artisan-style goods, from tea to stationary. For pretty much every item, she can tell you the name of the creator, their story and the last time they spoke. She makes it a point to build those relationships. Her store emanates a very positive energy and a lot of that has to do with her genuine intentions.

Like Sharon, Robert Maxwell, Founder & Owner of The Beech Tree restaurant, is all about quality. He left his corporate job where he was steady in front of a computer, crunching numbers, to open up this business. He said, ‘I didn’t know anything about the restaurant business, only that I know I like to serve people good food and be a part of a close community.’ He treated us to some amazing eats which are made of the strictest organic ingredients. To them, it’s the best or nothing and you can taste that throughout their incredible menu.


But the food didn’t end there. We also visited a charming little pizza place called The Stone Pizza where we tried Apple Jack pizza. Yes, that’s pizza with apple on it and it is phenomenal! They specialize in 8 gourmet-style pizzas with customizable toppings which are so fresh, there isn’t even a freezer on-site! We washed everything down with super refreshing juice by Sanna’s Farmacia. It’s a small, Toronto-based juice bar started up by Steve Sanna, a former personal trainer who would concoct specific juices for his clients. The organic juices are blended by the belief that getting the right nutrients in your system, can help remedy and prevent certain health issues. You’ll notice him cruising down the streets on his mobile shop!

And if that isn’t enough, all this and more sits along the Glen Stewart, an 11-hectare ravine alive with all that nature has to offer; the perfect blend of community and greenery. We’ve officially fallen in love with this nook of the Upper Beaches— can’t wait to come back!

Posted by Samira

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On Saturday, Sept 26th, Etsy: Made In Canada marketplace returns to Toronto in celebration of the Etsy community. The one-day indoor/outdoor market plays host to 170 local Etsy sellers at two different locations, including: MaRS Discovery District (101 College St W) and OCAD U (100 McCaul St & 49 McCaul St). The marketplace which highlights handmade wares and vintage goods includes everything from sustainable fashion designs, children’s toys, to one of a kind laser-cut wood pieces. The event runs from 10am to 6pm, don’t miss out on shopping local.


“Etsy: Made in Canada is our biggest event of the year, taking our online experience offline, to connect sellers, communities and buyers in person,” said Erin Green, Managing Director, Etsy Canada. “With Toronto and 32 other cities participating across the country this year, we couldn’t be prouder of Canada’s commitment to shopping local and supporting its maker communities.”

For more info visit: Etsy.com/madeincanada

Previously: Etsy Canada – “Make Your Living”

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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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