HOT Ticket Giveaway!: #HOTDOCS25 (April 26 – May 6, 2018)

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Hot Docs was founded in 1993 by the Documentary Organization of Canada (formerly the Canadian Independent Film Caucus), a national association of independent documentary filmmakers. In 1996, Hot Docs became a separately incorporated organization with a mandate to showcase and support the work of Canadian and international documentary filmmakers and to promote excellence in documentary production. With its lively mix of public and professional events, Hot Docs is the ideal North American market and meeting place for the documentary industry. The festival attracts over 2000 delegates, including documentary filmmakers, buyers, programmers, distributors and commissioning editors from around the world.

Thank you to the Hot Docs Team for gifting my readers with #HOTDOCS25 tickets!!! They are always so generous every year.

I have a stack of tickets to give away for the following doc’s:

Grit: Mon, Apr 30 8:30 PM Scotiabank Theatre 4

Yellow is Forbidden: Mon, Apr 30 6:15 PM Scotiabank Theatre 3

Faith Hope Love: Fri, Apr 27 3:15 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 1

The Beksinskis. A Sound and Picture Album: Wed, May 3 9:00:00 PM Hart House Theatre

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and #HOTDOCS25 Ticket Giveaway?

Simple! Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me what you are excited to see at the #HOTDOCS25.

Deadline for the Thirty Four Flavours and #HOTDOCS25 Ticket Giveaway is Friday April 27, 2018.

Good Luck!  🙂

https://hotdocscinema.ca/

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Canadian Opera Company presents ‘The Nightingale and Other Short Fables’ (performances April 13, 14, 22, May 1, 2, 10, 12, 13, 19, 2018)

 

Hailed as a masterpiece at its sold-out 2009 world premiere in Toronto and subsequent 2011 tour to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Canadian Opera Company presents the revival of Robert Lepage’s theatrically transcendent production of Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Other Short Fables. Nine performances take place on April 13, 14, 22, May 1, 2, 10, 12, 13, 19, 2018.

A co-production between the COC, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Dutch National Opera and Opéra de Lyon, in collaboration with Lepage’s own Ex Machina, The Nightingale and Other Short Fables bears the unmistakable signature of Canada’s theatrical visionary. It’s a visual feast that turns the operatic experience on its head, placing the orchestra on stage while singers perform and manipulate puppets in an orchestra pit flooded with water.

COC Music Director Johannes Debus conducts a program featuring the best of Stravinsky’s music. The production opens with the short vocal and instrumental pieces of the jazz-tinged Ragtime, Pribaoutki, Two Poems of Konstantin Balmont, Berceuses du chat, Four Russian Peasant Songs, and Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet; followed by the satirical one-act opera-ballet The Fox; and concluding with The Nightingale, a Russian conte lyrique based on the tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

Internationally acclaimed Canadian soprano Jane Archibald, the COC’s Artist-in-Residence, leads a cast of established and rising stars, and makes her role debut as the Nightingale. Also making role debuts are COC Ensemble Studio graduate tenor Owen McCausland as the Fisherman, who discovers the Nightingale; Moldovan bass Oleg Tsibulko as the Emperor, whose life is saved by the Nightingale; and Lindsay Ammann as Death, who threatens the Emperor.

The Nightingale and Other Short Fables is an international cultural showcase that draws costume and set inspiration from the Vietnamese water puppetry and bunraku (traditional Japanese puppet theatre) featured in the production. Puppets were designed by Tony and Emmy award-winning American puppet designer Michael Curry, whose work has appeared in The Lion King on Broadway, Cirque du Soleil, the Olympics, and the Super Bowl, among other credits.

All performances of the COC’s production of The Nightingale and Other Short Fables feature the COC Orchestra and Chorus. The opera is sung in Russian and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.

TICKET INFORMATION

Single tickets for The Nightingale and Other Short Fables range from $35 – $225 and box seats, when available, are $350. Tickets are now on sale, available online at coc.ca, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (145 Queen St. W.). For more information on specially priced tickets available to young people under the age of 15, standing room, Opera Under 30 presented by TD Bank Group, student groups and rush seating, visit coc.ca.

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Review:

Forget Beyoncé at Coachella this weekend, been there done that. The game changer in Toronto this weekend and beyond is catching the Canadian Opera Company’s ‘The Nightingale and Other Short Fables’.  Not only will you get a pop up experience of operatic juicy indulgence but you will encounter a form of theatre that you may never see again in your lifetime.

As per Robert Lepage, 2009 Director’s Notes, ‘Today there is no shortage of ways in which to use light when creating a performance, certainly no barrier to imagination, and inspiration can come in any form at any time. I was fascinated to see puppetry used in an opera several years ago, and realized that although they are not an obvious pairing, the two disciplines are actually quite suited to each other. Puppetry pulled the poetry out of the libretto and the poetic ideas out of the music in a way I hadn’t seen before.’

From the outset of ‘The Nightingale and Other Short Fables’ the audience is invited into the warmth of shadow play and the humour Stravinsky punctuates throughout his work. As the music saturates the space you may feel compelled to lean into reading the lyrics being performed from the likes of Jane Archibald, the COC’s Artist-in-Residence.  I encourage you to try something different and just listen to Archibald’s epic artistry as she sings to you a musical spell only best experienced through the eyes and wings of the bird on her finger tips.

As the opera continues and the puppets make their delicate appearances with support from COC Ensemble Studio graduate tenor Owen McCausland as the Fisherman, who discovers the Nightingale; Moldovan bass Oleg Tsibulko as the Emperor, whose life is saved by the Nightingale; and Lindsay Ammann – be ready to feel transformed and perhaps your mouth to slightly open aghast at the level of detail and curated goodness that continues grow throughout Stravinsky’s work.

We the audience observe divers in a water tank sat in the once orchestra pit prancing out dragons, ducks, tree stumps all found in a traditional garden. Your eyes will not believe what you are seeing – it is a sight to behold!  We view the orchestra sat on stage guiding us through numerous fables as black cloaked artisans pierce our attention with smiles, awe and warmth.

As per Robert Lepage, 2009 Director’s Notes, ‘we should go to theatre: with the open mind of a child.’ Indeed.  Not at all a thought that was in my mind when I entered the Four Seasons of Performing Arts that night, but yet what a wonderful way to leave my work week behind and be truly entertained and injected with a forgotten childhood innocence to inhaling story telling at its finest.

From the tale beginning with the Cock boasting of his prowess with his hens. The hungry Fox initially deceives the Cock, twice enticing him down from his perch but each time the Cock is rescued by his friends the Ram and the Cat. After the Cock’s second rescue, the Cat and the Ram strangle the Fox, and the three friends celebrate in dance and song.

To the Fisherman hears the song of the Nightingale, which causes him to forget his troubles. The fame of the bird’s song has reached the Emperor who sends his Chamberlain, the Cook and courtiers to the forest to invite her to sing at court. The Nightingale accepts the invitation, but says that her sweetest song is heard in the forest.

The Canadian Opera Company’s ‘The Nightingale and Other Short Fables’ will challenge your operatic emotional space and make you want to see this production more than once with friends and family. Not only is it a game changer in the blending of operatic artistry with the craftsmanship of shadow play, puppetry and storytelling – you will be given a glimpse into a new way of stitching in operatic thought into a purposeful well rounded theatrical experience that will leave you feeling energetic and at peace.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents ‘JAWS in Concert’

In a career spanning more than five decades, John Williams has become one of America’s most accomplished and successful composers for film and for the concert stage, and he remains one of North America’s most distinguished and contributive musical voices. He has composed the music for more than 100 films, including all eight Star Wars films, the first three Harry Potter films, Superman, Memoirs of a Geisha, Home Alone, and The Book Thief. His 45-year artistic partnership with director Steven Spielberg has resulted in many of Hollywood’s most acclaimed and successful films, including Schindler’s

List, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Indiana Jones films, Saving Private Ryan, Lincoln, The BFG, and The Post.

Mr. Williams has composed themes for four Olympic Games. He served as music director of the Boston Pops Orchestra for 14 seasons and remains their Laureate Conductor. He has composed numerous works for the concert stage including two symphonies, and concertos commissioned by many of America’s most prominent orchestras.

Mr. Williams has received five Academy Awards® and 51 Oscar® nominations (making him the second-most nominated person in the history of the Oscars), seven British Academy Awards, 24 GRAMMY® Awards, four Golden Globes, and five Emmys. In 2003, he received the Olympic Order (the IOC’s highest honour) for his contributions to the Olympic movement. In 2004, he received the Kennedy Center Honors, and in 2009 he received the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the US Government. In 2016, he received the 44th Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute—the first time a composer was honoured with this award.

After watching Jaws on Friday Night at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra we were reminded of Williams artistry. His Jaws score is indeed synonymous with a psychopathic Great White and also a wonderful snapshot into a far less complicated time.  Decades later we still squirm in our seats and think ‘Get off the boat!’ as we get lost in the haunting waves of the orchestral arrangements.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra drew the audience into the big screen while providing us with the best of giggles, terror and swooning moments as the musicians elevated Steven Spielberg’s iconic film. It was truly a wonderful night out – with cold drinks and hot popcorn in hand.

Keep your eyes peeled for more one of a kind performances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra this Spring 2018.

http://www.tso.ca

Canadian Opera Company presents Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio” (February 7, 10, 13, 16, 18, 22, and 24, 2018)

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Returning to the COC stage after an absence of nearly 40 years is Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) in a new COC production from Lebanese-Canadian Wajdi Mouawad, a playwright and director whose work is internationally recognized for its moral impulse. His reinterpretation of Mozart’s opera—a piece about relations between Enlightenment-era Europeans and Muslim Turks—was first presented in 2016 at Opéra de Lyon, where the New York Times suggested Mouawad’s artistic vision could be an example of opera becoming an agent of change. Seven performances take place at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on February 7, 10, 13, 16, 18, 22, and 24, 2018.

The Abduction from the Seraglio tells the story of Europeans taken captive by a Muslim pasha in the Ottoman Empire and the efforts of their beloveds to rescue them. The possibility of a violent culture clash seems inevitable but Mouawad’s direction avoids caricature and cultural stereotypes, while heightening the humanity of Mozart’s characters and maintaining the integrity of the original score. He has reworked and modernized some of the original text, introduced his own dialogue, and reframes the narrative with a new prologue. In making these changes, Mouawad was motivated by the desire to challenge the confrontational binary of East versus West.

Leading the cast is Canadian Jane Archibald, the COC’s inaugural artist-in-residence, in one of her most acclaimed and favourite roles. She brings her “commanding, compassionate soprano” (New York Times) to the character of Konstanze, which she performed in this production’s 2016 premiere in France. She is joined by rising star Swiss tenor Mauro Peter who makes his Canadian debut as Belmonte, Konstanze’s fiancé, and was praised as “a revelation” (Bachtrack) in a recent performance of the role at La Scala.

Two recent Ensemble Studio graduates return to the COC stage as Konstanze’s fellow captives: soprano Claire de Sévigné is Blonde, a role in which she seemed to “fully flourish” (Bachtrack) at Opernhaus Zürich, and Owen McCausland, with his “ringing tenor tones” (Vancouver Classical Music), sings Pedrillo, Belmonte’s servant and Blonde’s betrothed.

Croatian bass Goran Jurić is Osmin, the Pasha’s overseer who is given new depth and humanity through Mouawad’s staging details and revised dialogue, and was praised for a “sublime performance” (Toronto Star) as Sarastro in the COC’s 2017 production of The Magic Flute. In the spoken role of the Pasha, Bassa Selim, is Israeli actor Raphael Weinstock.

Last heard at the COC in 1980, The Abduction from the Seraglio is conducted by COC Music Director Johannes Debus. Musically, the opera is considered the first of Mozart’s great masterpieces. It’s characterized by the use of unusual instruments such as cymbals, Turkish drums, piccolo flutes and triangles and contains some of the composer’s most beautiful music.

This production of The Abduction from the Seraglio contrasts elegant, 18th-century period costumes by Emmanuelle Thomas with a minimalist, yet sophisticated, set design by Emmanuel Clolus. Lighting design is by Eric Champoux. Revival director Valérie Nègre, a frequent collaborator of Mouawad, stages its Toronto presentation.

All performances of the COC’s production of The Abduction from the Seraglio feature the COC Orchestra and Chorus. The opera is sung in German and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.

TICKET INFORMATION

Single tickets for The Abduction from the Seraglio range from $35 – $225 and box seats, when available, are $350. Tickets are now on sale, available online at coc.ca, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (145 Queen St. W.). For more information on specially priced tickets available to young people under the age of 15, standing room, Opera Under 30 presented by TD Bank Group, student groups and rush seating, visit coc.ca.

Review:

Wajdi Mouawad’s work on Mozart’s ‘The Abduction from the Seraglio’ is a beautifully ornate piece infused with dashes of political reality. A work that celebrates Mozart at his essence while also providing the audience with an education that far out stretches Mozart’s music score intent.

Wajdi Mouawad states ‘The challenge, then, is to enter an opera that was composed at a moment when European culture was held up as the ultimate source of truth, goodness, and beauty: Osmin is irredeemably appalling, on this view, because he is a Muslim. Bassa Selim is a “good Muslim,” not because there are positive qualities in Islam, but because he has been elevated by the principles of the Enlightenment and his contact with European education. Everything that makes him barbaric and malicious, on the other hand, remains exclusively the provenance of his Muslim identity.’

In a time where the look, age and demographic of opera audiences is changing, Wajdi Mouawad’s reworking of Mozart’s ‘The Abduction from the Seraglio’ is a wonderful way to dip your foot into the water of opera and leave with motifs that will leave you in deep thought for the rest of the evening. Like the audience in attendance all of the characters in this opera are capable of great love.

Questions like, What happens once Belmonte, Konstanze, Blonde, and Pedrillo return to their homeland? How will they resume their lives after a period of captivity and separation that has so completely transformed their relationships? is asked by Mouawad in closing.  Perhaps questions even the most esteemed opera audiences were never left to dwell upon after a piece in the past.  These gentle challenges suited the Mouawad’s work and elevated its introspectiveness.

Soprano, Canadian Jane Archibald, as Konstanze provides the audience with grounded emotion executed with ease of command. Claire de Sévigné, as Blonde has wonderful cheeky soprano one liners that lighten up the work, Owen McCausland is the tenor with the mostest as Pedrillo provides the audience with fun cat and mouse chases with his beloved Blonde.

Bass, Goran Jurić’s, Osmin will make your knees quake.  His emotional depth and wonderful bass range will leave you open mouthed throughout the production.

Mozart’s ‘The Abduction from the Seraglio’ is a must see this winter season. The warmth and good tidings exuded by the musical score, effervescent characters dialogue and humour will leave you toasty and looking forward to more COC productions in the spring.

www.coc.ca

The Canadian Opera Company presents Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’ (January 20, 27, February 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 17, 21, and 23, 2018)

Verdi’s Rigoletto, a searing exploration of patriarchy, power, and commerce, returns to the Canadian Opera Company this winter with a production from acclaimed American director Christopher Alden. A tragedy on a Shakespearean scale, the opera is brought to life by an all-star cast and conducted by pre-eminent American maestro Stephen Lord. Ten performances take place at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts on January 20, 27, February 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 17, 21, and 23, 2018.

One of the world’s most popular operas, Rigoletto’s subject matter was considered highly controversial at the time of its composition in 1851. Verdi and his librettist, Francesco Maria Piave, faced opposition from state censors for the opera’s depiction of an immoral and abusive nobleman. The COC’s production, set during the height of the Victorian era, unearths that culture of toxic masculinity and permissive patriarchy, in which men possess enormous wealth and influence while keeping women subservient and nearly powerless.

Internationally renowned Canadian designer Michael Levine illustrates the wealth, privilege and sensuality of the 19th-century court with luxurious and handsomely designed set and costumes, which earned bursts of applause when the production premiered in 2011. The darkly atmospheric lighting is by Duane Schuler.

The star-studded cast is led by commanding English baritone Roland Wood in the title role. He brings his “rich and authoritative sound, his jovial tone…hiding a stormier one that comes to the fore with volcanic intensity” (BroadwayWorld.com) back to the COC after an acclaimed debut in 2014’s A Masked Ball. He is joined by American soprano Anna Christy, “nimble of voice, body and spirit” (New York Times), as Rigoletto’s doomed daughter, Gilda.

Christy reunites with American tenor Stephen Costello, who “has the kind of voice that sets the audience—even at a dress rehearsal—atwitter” (Wall Street Journal), after their critically acclaimed performance as the doomed star-crossed lovers in the COC’s 2013 production of Lucia di Lammermoor. Costello shares the role of the Duke of Mantua with American tenor Joshua Guerrero in his Canadian debut. Praised for his “heroic, beautiful sound” (Washington Post), he sings the role on February 11, 17 and 23.

Georgian bass Goderdzi Janelidze makes his Canadian debut as the assassin Sparafucile; Canadian mezzo-soprano Carolyn Sproule makes her COC debut as Sparafucile’s sister Maddalena; Canadian bass Robert Pomakov is Count Monterone; Canadian mezzo-soprano Megan Latham is Gilda’s nurse, Giovanna; and Canadian tenor John Kriter reprises his role of Borsa from the COC’s 2011 presentation.

Recent graduates and current members of the COC Ensemble Studio round out the cast: bass-baritone Neil Craighead and soprano Lauren Eberwein are the Count and Countess Ceprano, respectively; baritone Samuel Chan is the Usher; and mezzo-soprano Simone McIntosh is the Page.

All performances of Rigoletto feature the COC Orchestra and Chorus. This is a co-production with English National Opera and was last performed in 2011. Verdi’s Rigoletto is sung in Italian and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.

TICKET INFORMATION

Single tickets for Rigoletto range from $35 – $225 and box seats, when available, are $350. Tickets are now on sale, available online at coc.ca, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (145 Queen St. W.). For more information on specially priced tickets available to young people under the age of 15, standing room, Opera Under 30 presented by TD Bank Group, student groups and rush seating, visit coc.ca.

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Review:

If you are needing a respite from the wintery chill this February, pick up tickets to the Canadian Opera Company’s ‘Rigoletto’ from Verdi (January 20, 27, February 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 17, 21, and 23, 2018). Not only will you be swooning along to the epic score but the artists and staging will provide you with next level aahhh’s.

Every note tells a story during ‘Rigoletto’. Set in the Renaissance, it deals with the inequalities of the social structure in Hugo’s and Verdi’s own time. Written in a heightened melodramatic mode, it is pointedly accusatory regarding the abuses of monarchy. It is a nightmare about an all-powerful and irresponsible ruler.

The detail echoing in the tragedy as extolled by English baritone Roland Wood will make your knees tremble in your seat. His emotional arch and painful moments alongside Anna Christy will prompt you to question and reflect on not only the happenings on stage but what is happening in the media today during the performance.

As Director, Christopher Alden states, “The title role of Rigoletto retains much of the bile and acid humour of the jester in Hugo’s play, somewhat humanized by Verdi. The anti-hero is dark and brooding, locked into his own obsessions and repressed fantasies. In public life, as part of the nasty and competitive little world of the Duke’s court, he has climbed to the top of the ladder of power by dint of his malicious wit. Mocked by others because of his physical deformity, he has achieved success as a brilliant mocker. In his private life, Rigoletto reveals a positively schizophrenic new personality, sweetly sentimental in his desire to keep his daughter pure and uncorrupted by the outside world.”

Who needs a mid week afternoon soap opera when melodrama meets formality in “Rigoletto”? Christy and tenor, Stephen Costello collide with so much force and unbridled drama – their exchange will satiate you far more than any online gossip blog.  Their sense of energy and resolution could perhaps inspire a spark in your own personal romantic love stories.

Alden says, “Rigoletto is a genius of denial. His obsession with Monterone’s curse as the source of his misfortune is an easy way out of facing up to his own responsibility as the master of his fate. He is a paradigm of the patriarchal 19th-century male whose power is built on the subjugation of women, disenfranchised and locked safely away at home, while he goes to work in the newly industrialized, dog-eat-dog Darwinian jungle. Gilda is an image of Rigoletto’s soul, kept pure and uncorrupted, far from the soulless marketplace. Rigoletto’s mistake is in thinking he can neatly divide himself into these two separate compartments. When the barriers between them come crashing down, Rigoletto unwittingly kills the thing he loves.”

The landscape of the production is rich and luxurious. Wooden panelling, gorgeous soft furnishings, dresses that are swung about like chandeliers and men’s smoking jackets that have never seen the outside of  a smoky home.  The sheer decadence could prompt you to have a hankering to sleep in one of the beautifully upholstered settees on stage within the first 5 minutes of the performance.

Watching the men in “the gaming room,” where they retire after dinner to smoke and drink, read their papers, and play games of power, control, and domination was wonderful mix of decadence and drole. The room represents both sides of Rigoletto’s life, the workplace and the home. The Duke, a personification of unbounded libido, rules there. The trump card he holds over the men of his court is that at any moment, in full view and fully within his feudal rights, he could seduce their women and humiliate them in the process.

“Rigoletto” is a wonderful operatic production to get lost in over the winter. I encourage you to feel out the performances by Canadian Opera Company artists that will allow you to warm up your extremities and perhaps reflect on 2018’s socio-economic climate with murmurs of wrongful misdoings with a gentle reminder that with new years, bring new beginnings.

https://www.coc.ca/

HOT Ticket Giveaway: #FNLROM Friday January 26, 2018: Contemporary Live

The Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) Friday Night Live (#FNLROM) series, presented by Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd., delivers Toronto’s best Friday night destination with the hottest DJs, live performances, food and drink, and an opportunity to experience the Museum like never before.

Friday January 26, 2018: Performances

#FNLROM: Contemporary Live on Friday, January 26, 2018. This special encore event celebrates the new ROM-original exhibition Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art, presented by TD Bank Group, with exclusive exhibition access, vibrant live performances, and conversations with the artists.

Entertainment

TiKA: An artist, DJ, cultural producer, and advocate for the empowerment of female creators, TiKA is a distinct performer and visual hypnotist. Having opened for major R&B heavyweights like John Legend and NAO, TiKA has released two EPs, with her debut full album Anywhere But Here and a short film on the way.

Blackburn: A band of brothers – literally – Blackburn is made up of Duane (lead vocals), Brooke (guitar), Cory (drums), and Robert (harmony vocals and songwriting on the newest release). The Blackburn name has ties to Toronto’s music history: their father Bobby Dean Blackburn is an R&B artist who performed the city circuit for over 30 years. Beyond the music, their family history is rooted in that of the Underground Railroad.

DJ K.I.: Known for his diverse mixing, DJ K.I. has been entertaining partygoers for two decades, spinning the hottest tracks in Reggae, Jazz, Soul, Funk, R&B, House, Soca, and Latin.

DJ Craig Dominic: This DJ’s signature jack-of-all-trades style blends top 40, urban, house, and more into one cohesive experience. Craig is a founding member of Blackness Yes!, a community-based committee that works year-round to celebrate Black queer and Trans history, creativity, and resistance.

Mel Boogie: Hailing from Toronto, DJ MelBoogie is one of the country’s best-known female DJs and radio hosts. She’s opened for legendary performers and entertainers such as Lauryn Hill, Busta Rhymes, Kevin Hart, and Major Lazer. Dedicated to developing independent artists and urban music in Canada, Mel is an advisory board member for the JUNOs’ Rap Category, and is the former Communications Director for UMAC, the Urban Music Association of Canada.

DJ L’Oqenz: A DJ, producer, music director, and Dora Award-winning sound designer, L’Oqenz’s passion for musical artistry has garnered the attention of local and international audiences. L’Oqenz has toured with Zaki Ibrahim, Motion, Tanika Charles, Jean Grae, Bahamadia, K’Naan, M1 (Dead Prez), Maseo (De La Soul), Kool Herc, and Saul Williams, and even ran DJ lessons with Prince Charles.

Feature Exhibition

Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art, presented by TD Bank Group, explores the deep rooted histories and enduring presence of Black culture in Canada. This ROM-original exhibition features the original work of nine Canadian contemporary artists: Sandra Brewster, Michèle Pearson Clarke Chantal Gibson, Sylvia D. Hamilton, Bushra Junaid, Charmaine Lurch, Esmaa Mohamoud, Dawit L. Petros, and Gordon Shadrach.

Exhibition Experience: Esmaa Mohamoud, Untitled (No Fields) 2017

Discover this featured artwork as a powerful performance piece at FNLROM: Contemporary Live. This wearable sculpture comments on the issues surrounding the gesture of taking a knee as a form of protest. While clearly referring to current events in the United States, the piece interrogates the longer history of exploitation and social control of specifically Black male bodies from the fields of slavery to the fields of athleticism.

ROM Connects: At this pre-FNLROM event, join the artists represented in Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art as they discuss their works in the broader context of Canadian identity. Free with RSVP, 6:00 to 7:00 pm. Click here for full details.

Food Fare

King Catering, Rachel’s Gourmet, Me.n.u., Delight Bite, Gushi, Mnandi Pies, and more.

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and Friday Night Live (#FNLROM) Ticket Giveaway?

Simple! Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me what you are excited to see at the #FNLROM Friday January 26, 2018: Contemporary Live edition of Friday Night Live (#FNLROM).

Deadline for the Thirty Four Flavours and Friday Night Live (#FNLROM) Ticket Giveaway is Wednesday January 24, 2018.

https://www.rom.on.ca/en/whats-on/fnlrom-contemporary-live

TORONTO TEA FESTIVAL (Feb 3-4, 2018) and Ticket Giveaway!

The Toronto Tea Festival debuts “The TEA EXPLORER NIGHT” on Friday, February 2nd from 6pm – 9:15pm at the Toronto Reference Library. A combination film screening and meet and greet with the makers and star of the feature-length documentary film, The Tea Explorer (CBC Documentary Channel and 90th Parallel co-production) will be upstairs at the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, in the Toronto Reference Library. Sharing stories and samples of the finest puerh and other teas, world-renowned Canadian adventurer and writer Jeff Fuchs is live and in person. Also present for this evening will be the filmmaker/director of the film, Andrew Gregg. Get the inside scoop on life in the Himalayas along the Ancient Tea Horse Road and its long history with tea. Tickets at the introductory price of $65.00! Advance ticket sales only.

The TORONTO TEA FESTIVAL – February 3rd and 4th from 10:00am – 5:00pm at the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon of the Toronto Reference Library, Canada’s largest tea festival returns with 50+ vendors plus traditional ceremonies, numerous tastings, and a full schedule of speakers.

Bigger and better than ever, vendors of tea, tea products, tea wares and health and related products are coming together to create the premiere tea event of 2018. If you’ve been before, you’ll know what a stimulating and enjoyable event this will be and if you’ve never been, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Rarely does a cultural and commercial enterprise have such an interactive and social aspect.  Presenters of Korean, Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies, and speakers from around the world of tea and tea samplings are all included in the price of admission.

RETURNING – The Toronto Tea Festival brings back the Tea Tasters Box, an exclusive collection of premier loose-leaf teas, sampled and scored by a panel of tea lovers. #teatastersboxTO

– 50+ exhibitors/vendors

– tea ceremonies and speakers

– website is live and updated year around

– blind tastings daily to test your knowledge and your palate for prizes

– shop for premium high quality teas, blends, snacks, steeping vessels, ceramics, glassware, tea publications and more

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and TORONTO TEA FESTIVAL Ticket Giveaway?

Simple! Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me what you are excited to see at the TORONTO TEA FESTIVAL.

Deadline for the Thirty Four Flavours and TORONTO TEA FESTIVAL Ticket Giveaway is Wednesday January 24, 2018.

For a complete listing of the Toronto Tea Festival events and to purchase tickets in advance, please visit – http://www.teafestivaltoronto.com

Tickets also available at Tao Tea Leaf – 934 Yonge Street (647) 728-3858

Ticket Prices: One Day – $15.00 or Two Day Pass – $25.00

VIP Ticket Prices: $65.00 (advance sales only) * above prices are before tax