WHISKY & SPICE MUSTARDS HEAT UP MILTON WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET

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The folks at TERRA Greenhouses, 12800 Britannia Rd in Milton, are running a series of farmers’ markets throughout the winter (every Saturday until end of March), and Dan from Whisky & Spice is out there tickling the tastebuds of foodies in the western GTA and golden horseshoe region. Lots of sampling going on……

IMG_0507 IMG_0510 IMG_0512….so make sure you pop in this afternoon (up to 3pm) or every Saturday up to March 21st and pick up some W&S Porter beer, whisky & honey or Riesling & apple flavoured mustards.

http://www.whiskyandspice.ca

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Celebrity chef Lyndon Wiebe’s artist reception @ Urban Gallery, Toronto

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4:55pm yesterday…all the photos were framed and hung, food prepped and wine was chilling, and celebrity chef and photographer LYNDON WIEBE had changed out of his chef’s whites into a more relaxed shirt and sweater ready to greet friends and fans to the opening of his 1-man show “Lost in Travels: Solitary Confinement” at Urban Gallery, 400 Queen St East in Toronto.  And then…..

DSC_0284…in they came.

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The gallery was full of happy, appreciative art fans and friends, all commenting on the colourful striking images. And Lyndon’s artistic talents were reflected in the catered dishes served, too.

DSC_0272 DSC_0267 DSC_0278(above images #2 thru 9 courtesy of Jean-Marc Fontaine, UrbanSource Catering & Urban Gallery)

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IMG_5636 IMG_5662 IMG_5643 IMG_5681Lyndon finally relaxed once all his friends arrived and we all heard the ooo’s and aaaah’s as people viewed the photographs. And his big beautiful smile (below) says it all….Woohooo!

IMG_5666(above 6 images courtesy of Kaspara Albertsen, Urban Gallery)

ABOUT THE SHOW:  In 2009 the Winnipeg-born Wiebe and 2 chef friends filmed the travel-based web series Without Borders, commissioned as the series Chefs Run Wild on APTN and Travel+Escape Network in Canada and in 40 countries worldwide on National Geographic (pictured below, centre). On this two-year trip he discovered his love of photography. The photos in this exhibition were taken over several years of traveling around Asia, Africa, Canada and New Zealand.

Here are some of the photographs on show (photographed by me)….all large format and affordable for any collector.

20150115_165625 20150115_165637 20150115_165645 20150115_165706My personal favourites are… (below)

20150115_165453 20150115_165403 20150115_165421(0)I had fun attempting to take selfies with writer pal, Donna Lypchuk (below)  – thanks for the pics, Kaspara.

IMG_5690 IMG_5692…and in the end, Donna got a pretty good one (below) although we really should take these before enjoying several glass of wine, eh?

1620572_10152662242981156_5637709768831286484_nStrongly doubt any of our selfies would ever make it into a gallery show, but everyone else concentrated on Lyndon’s work and spent the evening enjoying the hospitality of Urban Gallery.

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20150115_184132 20150115_184159Urban Gallery’s Wayne  and Kaspara enjoyed all the photo opps, too.  (below)

20150115_181848Congratulations to Lyndon and Urban Gallery for a successful launch. Lyndon’s show runs through to the end of February so if you would like to check his work out in person, visit the gallery’s website for directions and hours:  http://www.urbangallery.ca

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ALLEN GARDENS OFFERS BEAUTIFUL HOT-HOUSE FLOWERS IN HEART OF TORONTO

20150111_145237I recently enjoyed a quick trip to paradise…or at least the closest thing we have here in Toronto’s grey, chilly downtown core.  Allen Gardens is a series of botanical greenhouses offering a variety of climates from tropical to desert and I always welcome the opportunity to wander through the pathways breathing in the fragrances or spotting the unique and beautiful blooms.  I managed to catch the tale end of their Christmas displays so there were tons of poinsettias in all shades of red, pink, yellow and event white (below) and there were even some “flower people”, too.

20150111_144322 20150111_144747 20150111_144020 20150111_144030I then took a stroll through the cactus & succulent collection (below) with all the prickly stems and hot dry atmosphere….

20150111_144354 20150111_144422 20150111_144505 20150111_144609…and on the way back, I took in the beautiful hibiscus and a few random plant decorations (below)

20150111_144249 20150111_144210 20150111_144305 20150111_144315Passing through the big palm house, I then went into the area with the ponds, statues and lots more flowers, including some stunning orchids.

20150111_144909 20150111_145053 20150111_145226 20150111_145337They have a charming pond that’s populated with koi as well as a few turtles who decided to make an appearance just as I passed by….

20150111_145319 20150111_145423Throughout the greenhouses, I found a number of festively decorated Christmas trees (below)

20150111_144901 20150111_145503After about 30 minutes of enjoying the floral beauty, I headed back outside, past a few more pretty flower beds…

20150111_145443 20150111_144102 20150111_144845…then back up Jarvis Street, passing by the beautiful old Victorian/Edwardian houses on my way home.

20150111_143202(0) 20150111_143237All in all, a lovely way to spend a grey old winter’s afternoon in Toronto.

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For information and hours, please visit: http://bit.ly/1u5PKc6

 

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VISITING GALLERY 36’s NEW LOCATION IN YORKVILLE

20150110_165843Dropped in yesterday to say happy new year to Gallery 36 owner Trevor Allen and his lovely gallery colleague Violetta yesterday. They recently moved from their original space in Hazelton Lanes (now under yet another renovation and reconstruction) over to 92 Avenue Road (opposite the west entrance to the Lanes). The gallery is chock-a-block full of colourful original paintings, Murano art glass and stunning bronze sculptures.

20150110_170218 20150110_165801 20150110_165746Gallery 36 now represents UK-born Canadian artist Gary Pilkington, whose unique work not only stopped me in my tracks, it’s got me saving up my pennies (and planning to return my forest of wine bottles for refund$!!) to possess one of his pieces. Check out Gary’s work below….

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20150110_165606 20150110_165718Here’s the artist’s statement: Every piece is extraordinary, and diverse in design, so it makes sense that Gary’s approach to painting is also uncommon: “Instead of applying a medium with my hands, paintbrush or pallet knife, I let gravity, chance, luck, and randomization take control over the painting.” Gary uses an unconventional technique called “pulling paint,” using different channels to pull it down. Here, he finds the exhilarating feeling of exploring colour, inspiring his creative presence and ingenuity. He also uses tiles, plexi-glass, and aluminum sheets, reinforcing his deviation from the norm. Pilkington’s influences include Jackson Pollock, Keith Tyson, Damien Hurst, and Jason Martin; these influences are revealed in Gary’s work – abstract and fluid.

You can find out more about Gary here: https://pilkingtonsart.wordpress.com/ 

The Murano glass (made in Italy) is stunning and a real favourite of mine. I have a number of handcrafted rings and some small art glass pieces but would love to add some of Trevor’s catalogue to my collection (many more wine bottle refunds are needed, tho! LOL)

20150110_165923 20150110_165928And look at these beautiful glass hummingbirds (below)….so delicate, yes?

20150110_165944 20150110_170005Thanks for the hospitality, Trevor, and I look fwd to attending your planned Gary Pilkington reception, hopefully in the spring.

20150110_170333http://www.Gallery36.ca

 

 

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WHISKY & SPICE HEATS UP “DAYTIME TORONTO” TV SHOW WITH DEE-LISH COOKING DEMO

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Toronto, Tues. January 6th: Dan Gordon, owner and chef of WHISKY & SPICE, shared some of his secrets to cooking with mustard with Rogers Daytime Toronto host, Val Cole who gave Dan a hand in the kitchen.  The show will air on channel 10 in Toronto on Wednesday Jan. 7th at 10am, 3pm, then again at midnight so you can catch it 3 times – Dan’s recipes are on the Rogers show website as well as on Dan’s site: http://www.whiskyandspice.ca

We got to the studios nice and early, giving Dan lots of time to set up (below)

20150106_114049 20150106_115551 20150106_115614 20150106_115622I got to hang out in the “green room” with the other guests including our guest coordinator, Sam, who met everyone at the door (below)

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First up on the show was awesome dentist, Dr. Jim Hyland (below) who has launched http://www.GumGuardians.com  Dr. Jim sat with me in the green room before he went on, and taught me how proper gum care and correct teeth brushing can not only prevent receding gums but can actually heal existing gum issues.  Brilliant! I recommend you check out his website.

20150106_124527Then Cliff the “Orkin Man(below) told us all about pest control, in particular rats and mice. Val was enthralled with the various new mouse/rat traps Cliff brought in to the studio.

20150106_130014Then it was time for Dan….for a first-time on TV, he did great. He talked about Whisky & Spice, what inspired him to launch the premium artisan mustard business, what goes into making the mustards and where viewers can find the complete line of products – online, at McEwan Fine Foods at the Shops at Don Mills (just 10 minutes from the Rogers studios in North York) as well as the upcoming Leslieville Flea on Sunday Jan. 18th at The Distillery District (see details at end of this story).

20150106_130545 20150106_130909 20150106_131139 20150106_131207 20150106_131216 20150106_122330We then had a couple more segments with other fun guests including the lovely Asil Teebi, owner of  http://www.ReclothModern.ca (below) who talked about updating funky (read: crap) old furniture and turning it into fabulous fashion-fwd furnishings. Recloth Modern is a client of my PR colleague, Peter Ashworth, who hung out with me in the green room.

20150106_132417Then musical artists Heather Hill and Kat Leonard joined Elizabeth Baugh, CEO of Ovarian Cancer Canada to promote this Thursday’s fundraising concert She’s Listening at the Flying Beaver Pubaret  – see details here:  http://katleonard.com/showtimes-2/

20150106_132724 20150106_133118 20150106_133043Heather was a cheeky monkey as she went in to sound check – she grabbed the mustard and ran!

20150106_114220(0)And finally, back to Dan for plating! Val joined Dan in the kitchen studio as he showed her how to serve up the beef tenderloin, encrusted with mustard, then the mashed potatoes also with mustard, then drizzled mustard vinaigrette dressing on the fresh garden salad….the studio smelled delicious and the crew were licking their lips in anticipation of the feast they were about to enjoy.  He served up a plate to the lovely make-up lady as well as fellow guest Elizabeth Baugh before the crew charged the counter-top!

20150106_133838 20150106_133846 20150106_134525 20150106_134414We can’t thank Val and the crew enough for making the whole experience such a blast for Dan.

20150106_114234Bravo to producer Liz Stembridge, too, for allowing Dan to promote Whisky & Spice sales events and recipes.

20150106_122538Rogers Daytime Toronto TV show:  http://bit.ly/1BFHeit

Leslieville Flea: http://leslievilleflea.com/

http://www.whiskyandspice.ca

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Cinema Appreciation Society of Toronto announces top films of 2014

James McNally, Founder of the Cinema Appreciation Soc. of Toronto, has released the list of the group’s top films for this past year and it is my honour to publish his media advisory and list of films here. James is a true cinephile and his passion for the moving image is reflected in his frequent online editorial contributions.

Please join me in congratulating the CAST 2014 award-winning films announced today:

boyhood_600Mon. January 5th, 2015 – Toronto: Living in a city that hosts more than a film festival per week throughout the calendar year, a “critical mass” of well respected and intelligent writers and contributors has developed who might not necessarily get the same level of exposure as some who write for the major and national outlets.  As Toronto continues to grow as a global hub for news and reviews in the world of cinema, it is becoming clearer by the day that when Torontonians go to the movies, the world is listening to their opinions.

Established in 2010, the Cinema Appreciation Society of Toronto (CAST) has been described as a ragtag group of semi-professional film bloggers, podcasters, tweeters and Lightbox lobby loiterers. What unites us all is a love for cinema and for the cinema culture in our city. Drawing from the massive pool of more than 500 theatrically released films, along with festival screenings, CAST members come together to name the best of the best of what was projected onto Toronto screens during any given calendar year.

grand_budapest_hotel_300 birdman_200 gone_girl_150After weeks of spreadsheet wrangling and at least 24 hours of counting out loud and on our fingers, we are pleased to announce the results of the 5th annual CAST Awards. This year’s Awards encompassed 142 different films as chosen by 38 voters. Here are the Top 10:

  1. Boyhood
  2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  3. Whiplash
  4. Nightcrawler
  5. Under the Skin
  6. Birdman
  7. Gone Girl
  8. Mommy
  9. Inherent Vice
  10. Force Majeure

We’d like to thank each of the 38 voters who contributed to this year’s results, and also to all the filmmakers who bring us their work each year. We look forward to another great year of cinema ahead, and can assure you that we have bigger plans in the works for CAST this year (including a web site which will soon reside at the URL included below). We hope you’ll come along for the ride.

James McNally
Founder, CAST
www.cas-toronto.com
Twitter: @CAST_TOR

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CHEF WHO RAN WILD PRESENTS INT’L PHOTOGRAPHIC ART SHOW & NOT-SO-TAME CATERING

I’m thrilled to announce the upcoming exhibition of LYNDON WIEBE‘s photographic art Lost In Travels: Solitary Confinement at URBAN GALLERY, 400 Queen St East, Toronto, which opens Thurs. January 15th with a special reception for media and art fans.  See: http://www.urbangallery.ca for details

Lyndo- HEAD SHOT6Along with two other chef friends, Lyndon (pictured above) starred in the CHEFS RUN WILD TV series which has been broadcast on APTN and Travel+Escape TV networks in Canada as well as 40 countries worldwide on the National Geographic Channel. On their featured two-year trip, he discovered his love of photography. The photos in this exhibition were taken over several years of travel in Asia, Africa, Canada and New Zealand. The show will run from Jan. 15th to February 28th.

I recently asked Lyndon a few questions about his photography, travel and culinary passions:

What prompted you to undertake your “chefs run wild” reality series & why did you choose to take 2 others with you?
Well, originally we wanted to create our own web-based food and travel series which became Without Borders. We had all been travelling for years and thought this might be our last big epic adventure so we decided to do something different. We were tired of simply travelling and drinking and doing the usual adventures, not that there is anything wrong with it as we did it for years but we wanted to take advantage of our knowledge of food and expand it and come home with a different experience. At the end of the day it would not hurt our resumes or our repertoire of food knowledge. After making over fifty YouTube videos and winning several awards in the U.S. for Best Food & Travel series on the web, we were starting to get noticed and our production value went up. Marcus Samuelsson (who is a well known celebrity chef) used to show our videos all the time on his own website and promote them for us because he loved them. Eventually our footage was bought from us and commissioned into a 15-episode series called Chefs Run Wild here in Canada on the Travel + Escape Network. (Lyndon is pictured below, right)

1380782_10151909619221014_1362482927_nWhat life-changing events did you experience while travelling around the world?
I spent seven years of my life abroad so it’s hard to pinpoint certain experiences. I think in general, all of those experiences helped me become a better person. Traveling taught me patience and understanding. If you have neither you will have a hard time in some countries. It taught me that slow is better and you don’t always need to rush. You appreciate things more when you can actually relax and take it all in. (Masai tribesman, Africa, pictured below)

Invitation Image Masai Tribesman TanzaniaYou’re originally from Winnipeg – what brought you to Toronto?
After travelling and undertaking the Without Borders adventure I decided to move back to Winnipeg. I knew after a few years I had to go to a bigger city, so was set to move to Vancouver to live with my brother on the coast when my producer suggested I move here to Toronto as the TV networks were all here as well as the production studio. So it made sense as we were doing a whole bunch of media interviews and spots to promote the show in Toronto. After moving here to give it a try, I fell in love with the city and have been here for three years now.

When/how did you come to work at UrbanSource Creative Catering?
I started at Urban Source in March of 2011. I had moved to Toronto six months prior to promote the TV show and had been slowly looking for work but no longer wished to work in restaurants – they no longer appealed to me with the long hours and dismal pay. I had done some catering in Calgary before and I liked it so I thought I would send out some resumes to different catering houses. Urban responded and when I went in for an interview, it turns out they were hiring a head chef and I felt up to the task.

How do you describe your cooking style?
Very loose and playful, I would say. I’m not rigid when it comes to following recipes unless it’s baking which  needs a little more attention. I like comfort foods, braised dishes and love smoking my own meats and making my own pickles. I prefer simple, well presented flavours that are evenly matched and not too bold unless they need to be.

ArtofFood14Do you have plans for expanding your culinary skills or do you plan on opening your own restaurant one day?
I try new recipes all the time when I’m at home and at work when the time allows and the ingredients are available in the kitchen. As for my personal ventures, I do love teaching people how to cook and do personal lessons from time to time in the comfort of their own home over a glass of wine. I used to volunteer at The Stop Community food centre teaching kids how to cook in an after-school program and I loved it. As for the immediate future, I will continue to offer lessons and small dinner parties whenever I get the chance.

Your travel photos are stunning and will be shown at Urban Gallery Jan.15 to Feb 28th – how did you select which photos are shown and why?
Going through all of my photos over the years, the ones that really made an impression on me were the ones that gave a sense of loneliness and isolation even in a busy environment, so I decided to choose the ones that put me in that sense of calmness and reflectiveness when I look at them.

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Apart from the large prints hung on the gallery walls, can people purchase other prints?
Absolutely – people can order a smaller print size, if they so choose. This is my first exhibition and if it goes well there will be more to follow.

Any exciting new travels planned for the near future?
My girlfriend and I are off to Cuba for a friend’s wedding in April and other than that, maybe a trip to the Bahamas or somewhere warm with my family this year. I no longer desire the six-month trips abroad. A month is more than enough for me now.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT:  Lost In Travels: Solitary Confinement looks at feelings of isolation in the world around us. Even in a group, we are still alone in our thoughts. Nature can make us feel isolated when it opens itself up to us – the more surreal and beautiful the moment, the more removed from our surroundings we become, lostin thoughts of awe and wonder.    Lyndon Wiebe 2014

Urban Gallery hours:
Monday-Saturday noon  to 5pm
Thursdays noon to 8pm
Closed Sundays & Holidays
400 Queen St East in the historic Corktown district of  downtown Toronto   http://www.urbangallery.ca

UrbanSource Creative Catering: http://www.urbancatering.com/

 

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CANADA’S ORIGINAL POP IDOL BOBBY CURTOLA GUESTS ON “DAYTIME TORONTO” TV SHOW

20141209_115313(0)What fun going back to my old stomping grounds up at Rogers TV studios on York Mills Road, Toronto. I previously worked there as station publicist and community relations coordinator, and it was nice to bump into many of my old colleagues. Today, I had the pleasure of taking Canadian music legend Bobby Curtola (pictured above) in to tape a guest spot on the Daytime Toronto TV show which will air tomorrow, Wed. December 10th @ 10am and 3pm on Channel 10 in Toronto (big thanks to producer Liz Stembridge for fitting us in to the tight pre-Christmas schedule).  Bobby is promoting his special Christmas single, St. Nicholas Christmas, which was just released and available online with net proceeds benefiting this year’s Christmas Wish campaign. http://www.bobbycurtola.com

Bobby Curtola Christmas Single CoverCurtola has always cherished Christmas and all the love and goodwill that come with it:  The Christmas Season has always been a time that is very special to me. It’s a time for family and friends and especially for cherishing those who live on in our book of memories. Be kind to one another and remember the greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

Bobby’s business manager, Sandy Graham, and I were thrilled to learn that Bobby still had fans at Rogers…in fact, Anne Jablonicky, one of the production crew, came bounding out to tell Bobby that her mum was also a HUGE fan and was looking fwd to watching tomorrow’s show. Bobby gave Anne a special gift for her mother and I took a nice photo of them together (below)

20141209_120643My old colleague Colin Baird (below right) who directs shows and handles all the studio volunteers and interns, came out to say hello to the music icon and I managed to snap the guys figuring out which way to the studio.

20141209_120247I also snapped Bobby with another legend – the late Ted Rogers (below), Founder of the TV network and cablesystems mega-corp.

20141209_115334Bobby was interviewed by the charming host of Daytime Toronto, Val Cole (below), and Bobby even got her up and singing along with him during his performance segment. Val was so good, she could actually tour with him!

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20141209_133030 20141209_133130For those too young to remember Canada’s golden era of rock’n’roll and popular music in the 60’s when Bobby ruled the radio airwaves along with Paul Anka, here are the cliff notes:

Fortune Teller, Three Rows Over, Don’t You Sweetheart Me, and Corinna, Corinna are just a few of the Top Ten singles the Canadian icon scored on the charts during the 1960’s… and he’s still going strong on the live corporate circuit. Bobby Curtola has been inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, The Coca Cola Hall of Fame (Las Vegas, NV), has been given the Queen’s Jubilee Award twice. He has also had the Order of Canada bestowed upon him. With 25 gold records, and numerous chart singles, it is a testimony to his talent that he is still actively performing and recording, drawing multi-generational fans from around the world.  Known for his innovation, wealth of talent and his immense humanitarianism, Bobby Curtola is truly Canada’s Greatest Rock n’ Roll Legend.

CurtolamaniaOTHER AWARDS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • One of the first Canadian artists to receive the RPM Gold Leaf Award in 1966 for Top Male Vocalist (now known as the Juno Award)
  • Inducted into The RPM Magazine Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame by Walt Grealis
  • Toronto made April 26, 1996 Bobby Curtola Day
  • Awarded the keys to the cities of Toronto, Hamilton, Calgary, Edmonton and Brandon
  • Honored with the naming of the street “Bobby Curtola Drive” in Thunder Bay, ON, September 27, 2003
  • Received the First Canadian Registered Gold Album
  • A pioneer, instrumental in the early stages of the Canadian Content ruling (the beginning of the CRTC)
  • One of the first artists to be a partner in his own publishing, recording and concert promotion companies
  • May 7, 1998 “The Gold Medal of Merit” and “The Order of Canada

So tune in tomorrow at 10am or 3pm on Toronto Rogers Channel 10 for Daytime Toronto, hosted by Val Cole and featuring a guest appearance by the one and only….Bobby Curtola!
http://www.bobbycurtola.com  Fcbk: Bobby-Curtola-Official
http://www.rogerstv.com    Twtr: @rogerstvtoronto    Fcbk: rogerstvtoronto

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URBAN GALLERY HOSTS ARTIST RECEPTION FOR ERIK CHONG

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On Saturday Dec. 6th,  Toronto artist ERIK CHONG launches his one-man show, SHIFTING BORDERS: SEEN AND UNSEEN, at URBAN GALLERY (400 Queen St East) with a special reception, greeting friends, family, art fans and local art media. His abstract paintings have hidden images, somewhat resembling architectural blueprints which experiment with geometric and chromatic patterns. The artist’s intention is to force the viewer to question perspective as well as the creative process itself.

20141206_150037(0)The ancient practice of Chinese calligraphy continues to inspire me to push the boundaries into new forms. I use a repetitive brushstroke technique that sometimes carries my paintings to the verge of abstraction. Unlike many of my contemporaries, my appropriation of calligraphy does not simply romanticize the past – rather my creative process explores past, present and future by addressing subject matter both old and new. The purpose of my work is to offer a unique take on the evolution of cultural histories, narratives and identities -and to question these ideas both in a private, personal way and on a public scale.     -Erik Chong, November 2014

20141206_141636 20141206_142225 20141206_142312 20141206_142334 20141206_142352Artist and poet, Brenda Clews, dropped in to wish Erik well (pictured below)

20141206_142250Gallery curator Allen Shugar and gallery coordinator Kaspara Albertsen worked hard on presenting Erik’s work and were very happy with the spectacular results (below)

20141206_142453Gallery manager Calvin Hambrook (below left) readies the camera for taking pics of Erik and his special guests

20141206_142538…and here are Erik’s family and close friends who were first thru the door to celebrate his show.

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20141206_142514 20141206_14235220141206_142324If you would like to enjoy Erik’s work in person, please drop by the gallery (http://www.urbangallery.ca) or view his work on his own website http://www.erikchongfineart.com.  The show runs thru January 10th, 2015.

Gallery hours:
Monday-Saturday 11 AM to 5 PM
Thursdays 11 AM to 8 PM
Closed Sundays & Holidays
Viewings outside gallery hours by appointment
*For Private Receptions & Venue Inquiries please call 647.460-1278*

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Local pop-up Christmas market features Toronto artisans

Dan Gordon from Whisky and Spicehttp://www.whiskyandspice.ca ) set up camp this weekend at the exciting pop-up local artisans market located at Yonge & Gould streets (just 1blk north of Dundas Square) so I dropped in to say hi and see how Christmas sales were going. If you’re still looking for unique and delicious gifts, I suggest visiting Dan tomorrow (Sunday) to say hello and taste the wicked condiments – W&S will be back at the market next week, too.

20141206_132629 20141206_132638 20141206_133715 20141206_133730The big heated tent was bustling with shoppers and I watched as several customers tasted the flavoured mustard samples. Several jars disappeared in front of my eyes…bravo, Dan. People love the Whisky/honey, Porter beer and Riesling/apple infused handcrafted premium mustards.

I wandered around the tent, visiting other vendors and found an old friend, jewellery designer Stephanie MacKay (http://www.mform.weebly.com ). I’m lucky to have one of her stunning druzy rings (see below) and was pleased to see others admiring her gorgeous designs….

20141206_134149 20141206_134241 20141206_134155As I made my way around the tent, here are some other wonderful vendors offering unique gifts that I’m sure you’ll love…starting with Rose and Iris Designs (below)…unfortunately their Fcbk page isn’t working as I write (am sure it’s just a temporary glitch) but their home accessories & wearable designs are terrific so do connect with them, if you can. http://www.Facebook.com/roseandirisdesign

20141206_134014Then I met the Just Feelings people (http://www.justfeelings.ca ) who create/customize the most adorable wacky pens for the littlest people on your gift shopping list. No two are the same…just like the kids who love them.

20141206_134312 20141206_134322One of my favourite displays was the HYM purses, totes and clutches, designed by the lovely and charming Christina Di Pede (http://www.hymonline.com ). She designs the bags using supple Italian leathers (feels like buttah!) and velvety soft calf hair. The oversized clutches are perfect for your iPad or Note – my favourite is the turquoise coloured one Christina’s holding below. Dear Santa, I’ve been a good girl and I wanna a HYM purse.

20141206_134546 20141206_134559 20141206_134549 20141206_134604Next to Christina was Toronto City Key, a “keys to the city” company that offers all sorts of discounts & perks – you show your “key” that has a special promo code imprinted on it to receive spa, restaurant, entertainment  perks. Better than those darn discount coupon books and …I like this…it’s multiple use at each participating venue, not a one-time-only use. Check them out here: http://www.torontocitykey.com 

20141206_134750 20141206_134809 20141206_134812Sex on a Stitch anyone? LOL Every girl should have a pair of pasties in her lingerie draw, even for her own entertainment. I happen to know several of the top burlesque performers in Toronto and I know they wear these sparkly crocheted tassels and twirly things. So if you’ve been naughty or nice, visit them here at the TO Local Market or at http://www.sexonastitch.etsy.com 

20141206_134443 20141206_134451Clothing and accessories designer Sarah Cresswell of Sci Feye Candy (below) http://www.SciFeyeCandy.com showed off her saucy lingerie for grown-up girls as well as tweens and teens. Wish I’d had such a selection waaaaay back when I was a little nipper!

20141206_134903 20141206_134906 20141206_134910Sarah was next to her friend, Sonia Kang of Coven jewellery designs which were displayed on cuddly sheepskin throws. Great edgy pieces affordably priced. http://www.covensk.com

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I totally recommend visiting the pop-up artisans’ tent between now and Christmas – your purchase will be a gift to these local artisans who really need our support. Wouldn’t you rather give money to an artist/designer than a big impersonal box store??  I know I would…and did. The artisans change on a weekly basis and many I’ve mentioned here are only there tomorrow (Sunday Dec.7) so visit http://www.adhocpopup.com/holidaymarket/ to see who’s peddling their wares and when.

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