Local videographer James Balutan pieced together some raw footage from this past year, which highlights a collection of key moments that end up showing why Toronto is so unique. Press play and enjoy!
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Well known Toronto photographer Matt Barnes switches things up from using his usual DSLR, to shoot a time lapse video of the “Cavalcade of Lights” with his new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. If you missed this year’s event, press play and check out the footage from Nathan Phillips Square!
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The entire city and possibly all of Canada is rooting for our hometown Blue Jays this playoff season, and after 22 years the excitement kicks off this Thursday, October 8th at the Rogers Centre (Skydome for those of us who remember) against the American League West-Champion Texas Rangers. In true Canadian fashion, what’s a baseball game without a beer or maybe six of them?! The fan-favourite Budweiser Blue Jays #6IXPACK Rally Pack is now available exclusively at the LCBO for a limited time only.
Another highlight Budweiser is bringing to the playoffs this season is the introduction of the Red Light, exclusively for the Jays! For the first time ever, Red Light owners will be able to update their app which syncs with every Toronto Blue Jays home run during the playoffs. After each home run the official Blue Jays home run horn will sound to help spread the playoff celebrations across the country.
For more info: budweiser.ca/redlight
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The Remix Project and The City of Toronto present “Tale of Two Cities” – a Toronto Showcase happening on October 1st, 2015 at Tattoo (567 Queen St. W). The showcase is an initiative of the sister cities agreement between Toronto and Chicago, supporting the exchange of culture and community programming. The Toronto show is headlined by Juno Award Winning Naturally Born Strangers and Wilde, along with Chicago’s own Bread Doe and Frankie08 with music provided by The Remix Project’s very own Hustlgrl.
For more event info CLICK HERE.
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…
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.
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”
With a touch of a button customers will receive front-of-the-line access and incredible service at some of Toronto’s best local restaurants and cafes thanks to Ritual. If you haven’t heard of Ritual yet, it’s the latest app dedicated to connecting busy Toronto-based ‘urban professionals’ with great coffee and food spots around the city. The mobile technology allows users to make selections from a diverse range of options and place orders directly from your phone. Notifications keep you up to date on your order status and pick-up time so the experience becomes seamless, with no extra cost.
Ritual is currently offering their service in the following downtown Toronto neighbourhoods: King West, Entertainment District, Liberty Village, St Lawrence Market and The Discovery District.
Some of our favourite places available on the app are: It’z A Wrap, Magic Oven, Ravi Soups, Portland Variety, and Rose City Kitchen.
To see some of the tasty options visit their instagram page HERE.
For more info and a complete list of participating restaurants and cafes, check out: ritual.co
More than 7000 of the finest athletes from across the Americas and Caribbean are in Toronto for the 2015 Pan Am and Para-pan Am Games and as you probably already know, the city is on fire! There is so much anticipation and excitement surrounding the games and we absolutely love the passion.
The arts scene is also getting in on the action being inspired by the skill, diversity and excellence the games represent. The Pan Am Path Arts Relay is “comprised of 14 consecutive weeks of arts programming in 14 zones throughout the city which will feature a mix of installations and events”. The Pan Am Path extends from Brampton to Pickering and will serve as the artistic “connective tissue”. With almost 2 million dollars in funding and over 80 kilometres of multi-use trails, the path is shaping up to be a lasting legacy in Toronto’s history.
Zone 9 a.k.a SHIFT, features a “variety of temporary and permanent art installations and murals created to celebrate arts in the east end of Toronto. The artworks selected for this project playfully explore themes of diversity and emphasize the potency of a simple shift of perspective.” SHIFT is brought to you by East End Arts, Friends of the Pan AM Path, young civic leaders and The City of Toronto.
Last Saturday, a guided bike tour explored all that Zone 9 has to offer so far. It will be officially completed by 2017.
For more info: panampath.org
Posted by Samira
Nike Women Toronto celebrated a weekend of Women in sport from June 11-14th. Approximately 13,000 athletes participated, supported, encouraged, and came together to run and train their way to a personal best. As part of the Nike Women’s Race Series, 10,000 women gathered at the start line on Toronto Island on Sunday, June 14, to fuel their passion for running.
After a solid 10 weeks of training, some 10,000 runners pushed themselves to go farther and faster while running the Nike Women’s 15K on the Toronto Islands; through neighbourhoods, parklands and along the runways of Billy Bishop airport, all set against the backdrop of downtown Toronto. The adrenaline was at an all-time high. Hearing and feeling the planes take off and land as you ran across its runway was exhilarating to say the least! Spectators and supporters cheering you on as you crossed each kilometre made you push even harder and faster. Performances from bands and choirs were a refreshing surprise after running a few kilometres surrounded by just nature. And the scenic view of sailboats floating atop an oasis of serenity waters while running on the bride before the finish line put runners at a place of Zen. Everyone finished peaceful and strong.
It was my first official race and my nerves the night before were going bonkers – I barely slept! I didn’t know what to expect, I just knew I was anxious and ready to run!
Firstly, I was put in Wave 4 which clocks in at a pace between 5:30 to 6:00 per kilometre when I really wanted to be in Wave 3 (5:00 to 5:30 pace) with the rest of my running crew. They had made an announcement that runners weren’t allowed to go up a wave, only down. Nonetheless, I didn’t stress it at all. I thoroughly enjoyed running on my own and getting in my own zone. Secondly, it was a cold and very wet start to the race but that was least of my worries. I was actually hoping for rain or cooler temperatures rather than hot, humid, and muggy. I guess it worked in my favour. Thirdly, I can’t say I’m proud of my time because I knew I could have finished a solid 10 minutes before my clock time. I was stuck in a sea of runners for a chunk of the race path and found it difficult to maneuver and get in my groove but I guess that comes with it! Next time I know, use them elbows (kidding but not kidding)! Nonetheless, I’m very proud to have successfully completed my first race ever! I felt good by the end of it; I wasn’t overly tired and I was in complete control of my breathing the entire time. It was definitely a proud and memorable moment for myself. Now I’m addicted to running and motivated more than ever to try new challenging marathons!
Marlen Esparza is a professional female boxer and olympian who finished 14th alongside Joan Benoit Samuelson, an American Olympian Marathon Runner in a time of 1:01:44. Paula Findlay, Canadian triathlete finished first in a time of 53:40. It was inspiring to have personally met and shared my first 15K race with such motivating and supportive athletes, let alone 10,000 other amazing women! It was such an honour. I was emotional by the end of my race, I shed a few tears because I was overwhelmed by the entire race weekend. It was such a blessing and an all-time adrenaline high to have experienced it all. I physically and mentally challenged myself and I am #BETTERFORIT.
Currently, I’m in preparation to train for my first half-marathon race in October for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon!
Posted by Christina Cheng
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1. Cosmopolis TO saw huge success and like Interlove, deals with the idea of connections and awareness. How did the idea of Interlove come to you?
Spending a year photographing someone from every country of the world for Cosmopolis Toronto, made me think a lot about ‘diversity’. One area of diversity that I thought needed further exploring is the diversity of relationships – specifically in regards to beliefs. Like Toronto is the perfect place to try and find someone from every country of the world, I thought Ontario would be the perfect place to tell interfaith love stories. In many places around the world, this project would be much more controversial, much harder to do, and possibly unsafe for the participants.
2. Why were these stories important ones to tell?
Many photographers have used portraiture to tell stories of interracial / interethnic love, but I like to believe that today, here in Ontario, these types of relationships are accepted. However, I don’t know any photographers who has told interfaith love stories and I also think it is still a topic that many people know little about. These stories are not overtly visual, BUT they are important. It is important to note that project not only includes people who believe in the supernatural, but also those who doubt (freethinkers, atheists, agnostics etc.). In a world full of stories of hate, often times with that hate being drawn along religious lines, I think it is essential to tell real stories of love. These couples’ love stories can teach us all something.
3. Some of the couples featured describe some sort of conflict in their life by being in an “interlove” relationship. What do you think propelled those conflicts and why do they (the conflicts) exist even today?
To be honest I think if you ask any couple anywhere about their relationship they will have faced many challenges. That is life. There is no consistent experience across all of the couples I have met. Clearly some of them have families that make things difficult, but also many of them have families that make things easy. Many of them explain how surprised they were by how their families accepted their partner. Ultimately belief is an important part of one’s existence, but if both partners are willing to communicate with respect and find compromise then things seem to work.
Here is a quote from Jameel (Muslim) and Lauren (Jewish)’s story:
“Considering the divisive state of mainstream social politics between Jews and Muslims, some are surprised that we do not embody those same political divisions and that our relationship has not faced any unique challenges that other married couples do not also encounter.”
4. What surprised you the most after interviewing interlove participants? What did you learn?
I am learning a lot about healthy relationships. All of the couples I have met are exemplary. It is rare to find stories of lasting love anywhere and to be able to explore these is a special experience. This project is about interfaith couples, but really I am just telling awesome love stories. One love story that definitely inspired me was Najwa and Samir who met almost half a century ago in Lebanon. http://interloveproject.com/post/109984101221/najwa-samir-newmarket-on-najwa-describes-her. They had to risk so much to be together, and today their love is as strong as ever.
5. Why do you think participants reached out to be a part of this project?
For many of the couples’ this is an opportunity to tell their story with confidence – the way they want it to be told. Many of these couples have faced obstacles, and in a way this is an opportunity to be proud of their love and also share some advice with anyone who may be charting a similar path. I have received messages from many people who are following the project from outside of Canada emphasizing how these stories give them hope. That is a great feeling.
6. What do you say to people who say they do not approve of “interlove” because it destroys the traditions/cultures which they’d like to preserve?
I think if anything it strengthens traditions and culture. When someone is in a relationship with someone of a different belief, they themselves actually have to think deeply about what they believe and why they do the rituals they do. This requires a lot of introspection, and ultimately it leads to increased confidence in one’s culture. There is no reason why the children of an interfaith family can’t explore both beliefs. Susan Katz Miller’s book, Being Both, is a great read for anyone interested in this topic. I have also seen many of the couples create their own beautiful hybrid traditions within their new interfaith family.
Here is a great quote from Annie (Catholic) and Sunder (Hindu): Our children learn and celebrate both religions and will have freedom to choose one of our religions, none or another religion of their choice.”
7. After talking to so many couples, what would you say are the keys to a successful relationship?
I guess I would call it the 4 Cs Communication, Compromise, Compassion and Common Values. Ultimately relationships are a lot of work, but totally worth it – and these couples demonstrate that well. It has become clear to me that regardless of belief, it is the values the couple shares that matter.
One of the partners mentioned to me how he thought in the beginning of breaking up with his partner because she was not of his religion. However the more he thought about it he came to recognize that he had way more in common with her than he does with anyone at his church.
8. The idea of interlove suggests two different worlds coming together in love. How do you think it is possible for interlove relationships seem to make it work despite their differences in major aspects of their lives?
Once again I must emphasize common values. Here is a great quote from Sahar who is Muslim and is marrying Alvaro who is a Catholic: “I never thought of being in a relationship with someone who was not Muslim. The more I got to know Alvaro, I realized we grew up similarly, thought the same way and had the same expectations for the future. That is when I started to think of the possibility of marrying someone who was not Muslim. I think the ‘AHA’ moment was his relationship with my sister and cousin sister. He was so good, kind and generous with them.”
9. What do you think it is going to take to make interlove relationships lose its negative perceptions and stigmas?
First of all I think that is happening naturally. In a diverse society like Toronto, people are exposed to other beliefs and this exposure leads to understanding. A project like this demonstrates how powerful of a force love can be, and how differing beliefs in the face of communication, compassion, compromise and common values can’t top love.
I am still looking for more couples to photograph for the project: interloveproject.com/apply
Posted by Samira Zia Rehman
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We’re very honoured to announce our very own @1LOVETO contributing photographer @SoTeeOh is hosting his first solo exhibition at Project Gallery as part of this years CONTACT Photography Festival. The exhibition entitled ‘6: STREET’ runs from May 1-13, 2015, with an opening reception on Friday May 1st from 7-11pm at the gallery (1109 Queen St East).
This contemporary exhibition explores a current digital street photography movement from a uniquely Toronto perspective. A blend of design, architecture, urban grit, cityscapes, and street fashion – SoTeeOh employs an urban guerrilla approach to photography to create staged compositions in dynamic environments. Significant post digital processing is also a component of this style and aesthetic, producing images that are rooted in the urban scape but also feel slightly surreal.
We got the chance to ask @SoTeeOh a few key questions, please read below.
What makes this show different?
This is my first solo exhibition, so it’s way more comprehensive than anything I’ve done before. So many people are talking about how Toronto is on the rise, how there is a different energy in the city right now and I really aimed to capture that visually. I wanted to create a cohesive collection of imagery that would really speak to what is happening in Toronto right at the moment. All the artwork is also hand mounted and finished by me. I used wood panels and reclaimed window frames. It’s really organic; from Toronto, by Toronto, for Toronto.
If you could only shoot one type of photo, what would it be? Landscape, Street, Portraits? And why?
Street is definitely my favourite. I never get bored of what happens on the street. The streets are so eclectic too, you can incorporate anything into a street photograph; fashion, portraits, cars, architecture. As long as it’s spontaneous, it’s street and that’s what I love.
Toronto photography has exploded over the past few years with instagram playing a major role. How has it affected your career?
I think the trend is actually global. Toronto photography has exploded, but the same style has blown up in lots of other cities all over the world and it is a style that is kind of unique to instagram. I was fortunate to get into it early, so I’ve kind of found myself in a position where a lot of people look to me as one of the main representatives of this style for Toronto. It’s definitely opened up a lot of doors for me and connected me to a lot of other amazing artists. But I really want to see this scene continue to grow because there are so many amazing photographers in this city and I think collectively it’s having a positive impact on the perception of this city.
Looking forward, what else do you want to accomplish as a photographer?
I’m always learning, so that’s number one on my list, just to continue to grow as an artist. I think the next phase for me will be about finding a natural connection to some of my other interests. So far my work has centred entirely on the city. I think my next move will be to expand and find a way to remain true to the city, but to speak to other ideas and deliver other messages that extend beyond.
Any advice you’d give to new shooters?
Shoot every day and shoot every day and… oh yeah, shoot every day. If you’re an artist and you practice your art form every day, growth is inevitable and growth is what creativity is all about.
For additional event info CLICK HERE.