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Philip Cairns joins Queer West Board of Directors
Philip Cairns was Appointed to Queer West Board of Directors, on Friday
July 24, 2009. Cairns is an actor/writer/visual artist from Toronto Parkdale.
His work has been published in Xtra Newspaper, The Church-Wellesley Review,
and the former Body Politic. 2000-09 Volunteer mentor for Supporting
Our Youth, 1993-2009 On Board of Directors of Spencer Avenue Co-operative Homes,
1997 Artistic Director -- Green Hair Theatre, 1995-97 Member of Outsider Artists
Collective, 1994 Member of Playwrights Network, a writers' co-operative, On
Board of Directors -- Gallery Without Walls, 1988-92 Member of Collective --
Artefect Gallery, an artist-run co-op 1988-90, Member of Scarborough Arts Council
Philip has performed his poetry, performance pieces and plays at Buddies
in Bad Times Theatre, A Space, The Theatre Centre, Paddy’s Playhouse, Wildside
Studios, Augusta House, Yellow Door Café, New School of Drama, Poor Alex Cabaret,
Symptom Hall, Changing Places Theatre, Catch 22 and My Treehouse. As an actor,
Cairns has performed in scores of small theatre productions and numerous independent
films and short films.
He has exhibited his paintings and drawings in group and solo shows in Toronto
and Edmonton. In 2008 exhibited his work during Queer West Fest - Queer
Eyes and Ears art show at the Gladstone Hotel. Cairns will make a great addition
to the team. (Update Philip left the Board October 13, 2010)
Queer West Fest 2009 - Wrap-up
Outexpressions Sunday July 19, 2009 - Queer West Fest
is over for another year. "Forest Lightbody was Queer West Fest's
innovator and events manager this year. He did an stellar job, organizing the
entire 8 day festival, which ran Saturday June 13 to Saturday June 20, with
the help of Daniel John (DJ De Sod), as have all our past festival organizers."
said Paré, Queer West President
The Festival made some funds this year, not a lot, should cover most expenses.
Money to help run it, came out Queer West founder's piggy bank, close to $1,000
and friends of Forest gave $300 in cash loans. (100 % of the profits) went to
bands, performing artists, DJs, loans, tips for bartenders, and taxis for guests
and miscellaneous items. Excellent feedback from the venue managers, Augusta
House, Sneaky Dee's and Mitzi's Sister, say QWF organizers are welcome back
anytime. Performing artists and bands, raved how well, they were treated and
look forward to working with QWF again. All events were well attended, thanks
to good media coverage.
Biggest crowd packed Augusta House, 152 Augusta Avenue in Kensington Market,
probably because of the $300 worth of raffle prizes and dance then night away
to music from DJ De Sod, DJ
4est , DJ Peas and Carrots and DJ Snickers..Queer West Fest organizers appreciated
the support of their amazing sponsors, who made the Festival possible this year.
Barton Hill Hotel,
Side Stories Video,Xtra Gay
and Lesbian Newspaper, Alliance for
South Asian AIDS Prevention, Good
Catch General Store, Drake
OUTeXpressions said Paré, Queer West founder.
The Festival is produced by Queer West Community Network. This year it did
not receive provincial or federal government handouts or Arts Council including
LGBT Community One Grants. Organizers are proud to stand on their our own two
feet, with the help of local gay friendly business sponsorship, and the Network's
own fund raising initiatives. Many of the bands, musicians and artists put on
their shows, pro bono and QWF organizers really appreciated it. The small amount
of door money They received, at each event, paid a percentage to artists, djs
and equipment rentals, posters, flyer's, mailing cost and insurance. (100% of
the profits) Festival organizers receive no compensation. Much of the equipment
and space is donated. Every day organizers started from scratch. Visitors came
to the festival and were only asked to Pay-What-You-Can.
Plans are being made to hold 10th annual Queer
West Fest between Friday June 18 and Sunday June 27, 2010 (11 day Festival,
bigger than Pride). The G8 Summit will take place that week. If there is
any protest demonstration it will all happening in the Toronto downtown core,
not in the Queer West Village. It's likely there will be many radical queers
groups among the demonstrators, what better way to reach out to them. By invited
them to Queer West Fest, their kind of party. We will also be celebrating 40
years of queer history in Toronto.
Toronto's other gaybourhood shows its stripes with Queer West Fest
Originally published by news channel cp24.com
reporter Saira Peesker, Wednesday June 17, 2009
Naco Gallery and Cafe is one of many queer-friendly businesses flourishing
in the city's west end. (Photo by Thom Leigh for CP24.com)
Weeks before event organizers block off Church Street for this year's Pride
Festival, an esoteric celebration of queerness has already begun at the opposite
end of Toronto's downtown.
Beginning June 13 and running until this Saturday, the fourth
annual Queer West Arts Festival celebrates something many in the neighbourhood
have believed for years -- the west end is where the action is for a large segment
of the city's gay community.
This year's event includes concerts, public art events, a film festival and
a group bicycle ride.
Queer West Community Network President Michael F. Paré, 58, says the
west-end crowd is one that doesn't see the need to congregate in the section
of Church Street long held to be the city's Gay Village.
"For the most part, it's a younger generation," says Paré,
speaking to CP24.com from his post at the organization's office. "They
don't have that sort of ghetto mentality."
The neighbourhood at the centre of Queer West Fest includes Parkdale, Dundas
Street West and portions of Little Portugal, and is teeming with queer-run or
queer-friendly bars, restaurants and galleries.
"The owner of a cake store on Dundas was joking that it's the lesbian
capital of Canada," says Paré, who went on to list about a dozen
other queer-positive establishments in the area including West Side Video, Naco
Gallery and Café, Mitzi's Sister and Baby Huey's.
"And it's a mixed crowd. The younger generation doesn't seem to have qualms
about mixing with straight people."
The area's relaxed attitude of acceptance is exactly what appeals to 30-year-old
Monica Mitchell. She lives and goes out in the area, and says she's never been
partial to the scene Church Street has to offer.
"It seems like it's more of a boy's town vibe and I don't fit in,"
says Mitchell, who prefers Disgraceland and Hurricanes on Bloor Street West
as well as Henhouse, a Dundas Street bar popular with queer women.
"I don't feel compelled to identify myself by who I choose to sleep with.
That is a subset of my personality, but not the identifier of my personality,"
The desire for queer spaces that ditch obvious definitions is something that
interests Brock University researcher Catherine Nash.
An associate professor in the school's geography department, Nash wrote her
PhD thesis on the emergence of Toronto's Gay Village, and is now turning her
eye toward the scene developing west of Ossington Avenue.
Her team has begun a series of interviews with business owners, their patrons
and area residents in an effort to examine the difference between queer spaces
and those designated as gay or lesbian spaces, particularly regarding the possible
emergence of a new queer district.
"The basic set of responses we're getting (suggest the west end has) a
vibe that is distinctive," says Nash, noting her team is still in the very
early phases of the study, which is funded by a three-year grant.
"It generally tends to be described as a place with greater flexibility
and a greater need not to identify. Your gender and sense of self can be fluid."
Mitchell agrees with Nash's suspicions, reiterating her belief that there are
several aspects of her personality that are just as important as her sexual
"For me, there's less of that pull to tell people 'I'm here and I'm queer.'
It's more like 'I'm here and I'm having a beer.'"
The Queer West Arts Festival runs from June 13 to June 20 at venues throughout
west end Toronto.
Young Parkdale gays, Pride Toronto and Queer West Village.
By Tricky Watson, Toronto Parkdale - Queer cupcake enthusiast, self proclaimed
feminist and olympian napper.
Outexpressions, Thursday, June 11, 2009 Queer is the word -One definition
from a google search brings up queer as "...traditionally meant odd or
unusual, but is now also used to refer to anyone who is not heteronormative.
Spending more time in the Queer West Village, and among more people who are
labelled as Queer, has got me to thinking of the terms and conditions which
this word is used. I've been exposing myself to more and more of the Queer West
Village, and realizing that the people I socialize with are ones who label themselves
in this way. There are times when I even label my self-labelled 'straight' friends
as Queer, because they might not fit into the norm, in my eyes at least.
Out last week, a friend asked another friend if they were straight. I didn't
care what the response was, however I knew, somewhat, what the intent behind
it was. It might not have been to find out the specific sexual identity they
have, but rather to find out their place inside the idea of Queerness. But I
know it also had another meaning behind it. It struck me odd that this person
would ask such a question, given who they are, who we are, where we were at
the time, and the appropriateness of this. Is it ever appropriate to ask someone
flat out how they identify, or do you let that come naturally? I say it is the
later, but again, in this specific situation, I knew the direct intent behind
When you label yourself as Queer, it isn't as distinct and finite as saying
you are "gay' or '"lesbian". Queer has come to mean a lot of
things; gay, lesbian, bi, trans, asexual, pansexual, questioning and on and
on. The specific word you choose to label yourself almost doesn't matter as
much as being aware of your identity. I feel that knowing who you are is more
important than where you fit in. But is this even possible? I think in a sense
it is. I know that I exclusively sleep with men, however I label myself as Queer.
The meanings are much more than simply saying "I am gay". However,
being labeled as Queer is more important to me than other labels which could
be imposed. So at the same time, the label is important, but sometimes I wonder
where I fit in. Such a contradiction, it has different meanings at different
times. Perhaps depending who I am with or where I am.
In the past two weeks I have been to the village more times than in the past
year, a shame friends must live on that side of town, but it is where they have
chosen to live their lives for now. Luckily, a very strong group of Queers who
absolutely do not conform to any sort of social constructs, and are quite open
about it. I have also been spending a lot of time in my Queer West Village,
with friends who have the same attitudes about the village that I do.
When I think of the word gay, one image comes to mind. This is perhaps my problem
with Pride Toronto. It is a celebration of... wait, I'm not entirely
sure. However the image they portray is the widely accepted, white homosexual.
The image the gay community chooses to show the world is that their community
embraces men and women, as long as the men are attractive, hairless and muscled
and the women take their shirts off and ride on bikes.
So when I think about Queer West Fest, a totally different image is there
for me. It's the artists and political movers and shakers. The guys who
sleep with other guys but don't have the polished image the east side wishes
to maintain. It's the trans community who gets excluded, the Native community
which is ignored from Pride. The women who sleep with women but don't have children,
ride bikes or wear plaid. It's everyone who has ever been ignored, or put down,
or felt they didn't even belong in a gay community of a large city (which is
supposedly a community which embraces diversity? what). A community that embraces
those which embrace each other, no matter who you are, or who you happen to
go to bed with. Queer.
Funnily enough, Pride Toronto has been trying to host and run Pride events
in the Queer West Village, but QWF has no sort of official affiliation with
Toronto Queer West Fest arts, politics and culture festival 2009.
Press Release Wednesday June 3, 2009 Gay West Community Network Inc.
QueerWest.org | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Toronto Queer West Fest is an arts, politics and culture festival.
It's about exploring the queer art experience. A place to encounter contemporary
queer sensibility, A place to critically discuss and define queer aesthetics.
At the Queer West Fest you will find visual art, dance, theatre, a series of
literature and poetry readings with artists discussing their work, film and
video screenings, and a wide array of multi-disciplinary programs.
The week is comprised of 8 days of programming, from musical performances
and DJ dance parties, to Nights with No names and a community Pride Ride Many
known queer or queer-friendly establishments will participate in the roster
of events planned. Opening night, Saturday June 13th, has DJ 4est at the Cock
& Tail. Sunday is the hugely-popular annual noon Pride Ride from from the
Queer West Village through downtown streets over to the Church St. Village and
back to Parkdale's Cadillac Lounge patio for liquid libations and ruminations.
The week continues with a queer women folk song fest, is notable highlight
of the week. The Fest concludes with Reggae Ska band, the Johnnys rock 'n'rock
band, Kink in Kensington dance party and a Queer Women of Colour dance party
The Gay West Community Network Inc is proudly celebrated first its first anniversary
on April 28. The Network is now comprised of a full slate of Board Members and
several different committees for fund raising, programming, sponsorship, and
media relations. The organization is a not-for-profit centre that produces performing
arts festivals and outreach programming for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered,
transsexual, questioning and two-spirited (queer community). Many self-directed
events happen throughout the year including the Bike Club, Wilde Chats, and
the newly formed Queer Peers. This new program aims to match queer youth 18+
with older mentors for discussions on personal or career decisions.
Step out of the Village. Do it at Queer West Fest
Official Event Queer West Fest - Wednesday June 10 to Saturday June 13 -
What are you Searching For? A Multimedia Interactive Event @ Gallery 345 (Parkdale)
There will be painting, sculptures, interactive art work, dance, and staged
performances to indulge your creative pallet. It’s a one stop art show and nightlife.
One of the main events is a sitcom pilot about the journey of an insecure, gay
man as he comes to terms with his sexuality and his boring office job. A portion
of all proceeds will be donated to Arts for Children and Youth.
The Details: June 10-13 2009 Doors open: 7:30 - Show begins: 8:00. Gallery
345 345 Sorauren Avenue Advance Tickets (Recommended): $20 At the door: $30
A 19+ event (Valid ID Required) A portion of all proceeds will be donated to
Arts for Children and Youth. Come and see what Toronto artists have been creating
for you to discover.
Sunday June 14 - 5th Annual Pride Ride, put on by the Gay West Bicycle Club.
The largest LGBT cycling club in the Province of Ontario. A little different
route this year. We meet 12:30 pm at ZOOTS CAFE, one business west of Gladstone
north side of street at noon. Cycle up Gladstone Avenue to College St. W., along
to Ossington and North, to Harbord St.. Then East on Harbord through Queen's
Park to Wellesley St. W. and over to Church St. Village. cycling back along
Queen St. W. to the CADILLAC LOUNGE, 1300 Queen St W., in Parkdale, the heart
of the Queer West Village for jugs of libations and ruminations from 3 pm to
5 pm, for a Queer West Festival party. www.QueerWest.org/bikeclub.php
Monday June 15 - Random Order, the Johnnys and Heavy Filth @ Sneaky Dee's
Heavy Filth (9 pm) -- The shouts of Heavy Filth will start before the
rock band hits the stage, and immediately after they finished their last song.
Heavy metal frenzy is what HEAVY FILTH is all about. Animales Cortez's
(SHLONK, The Qweefs, Beatrix) crazy tight drumming, the intricate and cocksure
guitar riffs of Maija Martin (the Gay, I Mudder Accordion) and Stu
Marvel (Lindsay, the harmony mobilization project), and the dirty, distorted
bass lines of Miss Kitty Galore (subterranean rumbles) are guaranteed to make
your knees weak and your ears bleed.
Random Order (10 pm) - Toronto Canada's premiere reggae ska band who
pack floors quickly with politics you can dance to! Vocalist/guitarist S.
Lynn Phillips is the driving force behind Random Order whose vocal style
traverses the musical spectrum ranging from playful rap, to soulful reggae,
to blow-you-away punk/funk and rawk. http://www.randomorder.ca/
The Johnnys ( Headliners 11 pm) is a fast, furious and fun rock'n'roll
band rooted in the genre's origins; music of manic, rebellious energy. Add a
dash of classic punk sensibility and garage rock ethics and you get the picture.
Since relocating to Toronto from the Northwest Territories, in 2005, The JOHNNYS'
fiery brand of rock'n'roll is earning them a place in the hearts of audiences
wherever they play. Veronica Johnny - Vocals, Percussion, Guitar Dave
Johnny - Drums, Backup Vocals Tim Bones - Lead Guitar, Backup Vocals
Oriana Barbato - Bass, Backup Vocals http://www.thejohnnys.com/
Location: Sneaky Dee's, corner of College and Bathurst. (Kensington
Market) 416-504-7934. Doors at 8 pm, Show starts at 9 pm. minimum $5 PWYC. 431
College Street, Websites http://www.sneaky-dees.com/,
Queer West, Toronto Ontario
Tuesday June 16 - Queer Women Songfest @ Mitzi's Sister. Featuring
eMKeh, Dinah Thorpe, Shawnee Lynne Talbot and Anna Gutmanis.
Anna Gutmanis (headliner 11.30 pm to 12 am) was born in London, Ontario,
but now lives in Toronto. Anna’s tradition of social activism through her music.
Together with “Let It Slide”, her new CD single showcases a maturing artist
who still has something to say after more than a quarter-century of making music.
Indie Artist eMKeh (9.15 pm to 9.45 pm) Born and raised in Toronto,
eMKeh is a new and emerging folk-indie artist, having played numerous Toronto
venues since her solo debut in 2007. Deep, smoky vocals, reminiscent of a time
when women were breaking through the rock scene, eMKeh brings the same raw and
unique flare to her folk-indie songs. www.myspace.com/eMKeh
Indie Artist Dinah Thorpe (10 pm to 10.30 pm) Since graduating from
the University of Toronto last year, at 25, she has been rediscovering a passion
for music, latent since high school. The singer-songwriter, whose focus has
been acoustic folk, finds dance music to be a growing preoccupation. She burst
onto the Toronto music scene in May 2008 with the release of her self-titled
debut EP. Since then, she has been drawing crowds at local venues and festivals.
Her beats have induced fevers in dance clubs, while her silvery voice and sweet
melodies have brought tears to folk clubs. http://www.dinahthorpe.com/
Lastly 21 year old Aboriginal Indie Artist Shawnee Lynne 10.45 pm to 11.15
pm) has come a long way from a small town, near Welland Ontario, to a big
downtown life in Toronto. Shawnee Lynne began to climb her musical “Everest”
from an early age. Shawnee’s curiosity of musical instruments started to bloom
as she began to show interest in both guitar and piano- often recording her
musical creations alone in the basement for hours. This was a sign of things
to come. shawneemusic.com
The Details: Mitzi's
Sister , 1554 Queen Street West. (Parkdale) PWYC Doors 8 pm to 1 am
Tuesday June 16 Postponed to 23 - DJ 4est's
"Night with No Name" @ The Beaver DJ 4est loves Cunt rock...most
anything with a female singer. Especially if it's crunchy guitars, dirty electro
or screaming vocals. 10pm. Open 9 am to 2 am. DJ 4est's Night with No Name The
Beaver 1192 Queen St. W.www.thebeavertoronto.com
Wednesday June 17 - A 2 -spirit, queer Indigenous, Black and Peeps of Colour
Party @ The Gladstone Featuring Dj Nik Red www.myspace.com/djnikkiredThe
Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W. Party starts at 11 pm to 2 am. No Cover. This
will become a new weekly party. One and all welcome to attend
Thursday June 18 - Kink of Kensington Presents Under the Covers @ Augusta
House - The songs we love...covered. The Details: DJ De Sod, DJ
4est , DJ Peas and Carrots and DJ Snickers. The Legendary Queen Donnarama
performs. Donnarama was honored by NOW Magazine in 2006 as one of the "200
Reasons Toronto Rocks" as an accomplished drag queen and celebrity impersonator.
Author Lorette C. Luzajic, Launches her new book "Weird Monologues for a Rainy Life (Irreverent Ramblings)
From the end of the World." A fundraising raffle to Support Queer West
Fest, and a ton of door prizes to give away. 152 Augusta Ave (at Wales Ave.)
8 til late
Friday June 19 - SWAGGA LIKE US An "Urban" Queer Women of Colour
event. By Girls with Swagger for Girls with Swagger (& their allies)
@ Pacha Lounge. Featuring... DJs Lissa Monét and & Kalmplex www.myspace.com/kalmplex1
Playing hip-hop, house, dance and mashup into the wee hours. An all female line-up
including Kay-Ann Ward's dance troupe, Innovative, Sexy, Creative, Raw, Soulful
and Passionate are just a few words used to describe Kay-Ann Ward. www.kayannward.com
A true dancer at heart, she is known for her strong Dancehall background, her
ability to freestyle and pull from a place deep within when she performs. Other
happenings burlesque, musicians + surprise performances you don't want to miss.
PLUS specialty drinks, sexy women and tonnes of swagg donated by our generous
partners. ... & of course lots of swagger. from 9 pm-3 am. Pacha Lounge. 1305 Dundas Street W.
Saturday June 20 - Queer West Fest and BIG on Bloor Festival @ 147 Delaware
Avenue, Queer Bloorcourt Village. (Darcy, Tanya, Amanda and Lindsey's
place) Second annual Queer Pride on the Patio - this year, coinciding with the
close of the Queer West Fest, BIG on Bloor Come celebrate the community
spirit. Ote'a Tane will be dancing at the stage at Russett Avenue and Bloor
(near Dufferin) at 1pm and members are invited to the party - stop by earlier
in the aft if you can check us out, and enjoy Bloor St, car free from Lansdowne
to Christie! Bring your own drinks, plan transportation ahead - and feel free
to bring any veg snacks. Likely head out to parties afterwards. Near Ossington
station. RSVP email@example.com | bigonbloorfestival.com
Saturday June 20 - The 2nd Annual Queer West Film Festival @ Fixt Point
Studio. The Film Festival on Saturday June 20 will have films by New York
Filmmaker, photographer, artist and producer, Katrina del Mar; Iron DVDS.com;
ASAAP plus a few surprises. The selection commitee is now reviewing the videos.Saturday
June 20 at Fixt Point Theatre, 1550 Queen St W. beside Mitzi's Sister and Good
Catch General Store. (Parkdale) PWYC Doors: 8 pm to 10:30 pm film fest archives