Sunday, 24 February 2013

George Socka Mash-Up of King Street. 1927 and Now!

George Socka's historic 1927 King St. near the Royal Alexander Theatre, Toronto
Photographer George Socka on the streets of Toronto
A friend of mine, videographer / photographer George Socka, has developed a mash-up technique for historic and modern Toronto streetscape photographs. His works will soon be on display here in Toronto.
What George does is find old B&W archival pictures from the last century and then takes his camera  out onto the street to make history of his own.  He finds  where an old photograph was taken and then retakes the picture from the same spot and angle using modern digital photographic equipment. Back in his studio he does a mash-up of old and new, black and white, film and digital. Amazing results. His Toronto pictures are going to be part of a new free exhibition at Todmorden Mills here in the Big Smoke. 
Above is one of his streetscape mash-ups taken on King Street near the Royal Alex. 
What follows  is a listing I will soon be sending out about George's mash-ups and the Citscapes free exhibition.

Beach Photo Club presents Toronto Cityscapes

The Exhibition: 19 photographers from the Beach Photo Club will be taking over the Papermill gallery at Todmorden Mills on Pottery Road from February 27 to March with a collection 45 images of Toronto Cityscapes. This exhibition features works that explore all of the beauty that Toronto landscape has to offer.

Dates and Times: February 27 to March 10, 2013
Reception: Saturday March 2, 2013 2 pm to 4 pm
Gallery hours: Saturday, Sunday 12 - 4:30 pm
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 12 - 4 pm
Monday, Tuesday Closed

Photo artists include: Adam Tatarnic, Andrew Oliver, Anthony George, Catherine Mackinnon, Chris Borcsok, David Sweeney, Deborah Ryan, George Socka, Jennifer Vieira, Joanne Quinn, John Wallace, Jude Marion, Mark Kremblewski , Maureen Littlewood, Michael McAuley, Randy Rebolos, Robert Greatrix, Sarah Boutilier, and Selby Shanly. Images will be available for sale by the artists.

About the Beach Photo Club:
The Beach Photo Club's mandate is to promote members interest and knowledge of photography, to provide activities and services as agreed by the members and to promote the appreciation and participation in the photographic Arts website

About the Papermill Gallery: Set in the scenic Don Valley, Todmorden Mills Heritage Site is a complex of historic buildings which were once part of the small industrial community of Todmorden. Today the site consists of two historic millers' homes dating from the early
19th century, the Brewery building and the recently renovated Papermill Theatre and Gallery. Access is from Pottery Road off Bayview Extension, or south off Broadview Avenue


Contact Andre Oliver for more information

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Festival CEO Denise Herrera Jackson to MC Toronto Symposium

Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto Media Update

ROM Carnival Symposium - Exploring the Cultural Identity of Mas- this Saturday. Mas movie - Sunday
This Saturday, February 22nd, Denise Herrera Jackson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto festival will be the MC of the Royal Ontario Museum's Symposium which will examine the historical and creative facets of Carnival. Keynote speaker at the daylong event is Trinidad's Brian Mac Farlane, a Mas costume designer who has won the title, the Carnival King of the World.

Carnival originated in Trinidad, and is celebrated throughout the Caribbean, in North and South America,  Australia, Africa and England. Toronto's festival attracts over a million spectators a year, making it the largest such event in the world. In Toronto, as with all other Carnivals, participants wear elaborate costumes decorated with feathers and sequins. Carnival Masquerade (Mas) bands are organized groups made up of participants who wear costumes fashioned by a designer and assembled by teams of volunteers. The costumed participants dance through the streets to the sounds of Soca music - this is called "playing mas'".
Denise Herrera Jackson

The Royal Ontario Museum's daylong symposium about Carnival is free with admission to the gallery.  It runs from 10:30 to 4:30 on Saturday February 23rd and will look at how Carnival has become a cultural celebration of global proportions that takes up new relevance and meaning in the various contexts where it manifests itself.  There will be eight speakers at the conference, including: Carnival researcher Lyndon Phillip
, York University Caribbean Studies Professor, Gena Chang Campbell and Toronto Mas band leader (Carnival Revolution) Osei Brand. 

Mr. Mac Farlane will also be at the ROM on Sunday February 23rd  for the screening of The Insatiable Season a movie about Mr. Mac Farlane and the 2006 Trinidad carnival.  Mr. Mac Farlane will discuss the film following the 1 p.m screening.
55-year old Brian Mac Farlane has been designing carnival costumes and floats since he was 15. During the 1990s, Mac Farlane’s many accolades and awards as a carnival designer included: South King of Carnival for Prisma Man of Colour (1993), National King of Carnival and Best Designer for The Conquest (1994), the latter of which would go on to win Carnival King of the World, at the first ever International King and Queen of Carnival Competition. Mac Farlane’s creations beat out participants from 38 other countries.

Mac Farlane has won Trinidad's Large Band of the Year Downtown title for the past seven years and the Large Band of the Year Uptown title for the last six years. He has also designed for international carnivals, winning Band of the Year in Australia and Canada. In 2010, Mac Farlane was awarded Trinidad and Tobago’s prestigious National Chaconia Medal Gold for Carnival Arts and Culture.  For the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, Mac Farlane was commissioned to design costumes for one of their twelve cultural performances. Some 2500 performers paraded these costumes.

Both the symposium and the film screening will take place in the Royal Ontario Museum's Signy and Cléophée Eaton Theatre.  The ROM is located at the corner of Bloor Street  and Avenue Road in downtown Toronto.  The programmes are free with admission to the Museum, attendees are asked to RSVP at: 416.586.5797 or by emailing


Media wishing to cover the weekend events must contact the Royal Ontario Museum PR department at Media 416.586.5744 or by emailing

Friday, 15 February 2013

Charles Taylor Prize Authors on Stage at Harbourfront with Kenneth Whyte


Get to know the authors behind the books shortlisted for the prestigious Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction at an unforgettable evening hosted by Kenneth Whyte, president of Rogers Publishing and presented by Authors at Harbourfront Centre and Maclean’s magazine.

Moderator David Staines engages each author to reveal the stories behind their books and their writing process.

·      Carol Bishop-Gwyn talks about The Pursuit of Perfection: A Life of Celia Franca

·      Tim Cook talks about Warlords: Borden, Mackenzie King, and Canada’s World Wars

·      Sandra Djwa talks about Journey with No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page

·      Ross King talks about Leonardo and The Last Supper and

·      Andrew Preston talks about Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith: Religion in American War and Diplomacy

ONE EVENING – FIVE REMARKABLE AUTHORS – Wednesday, February 27th – 7:30 pm
Brigantine Room, York Quay Centre, 235 Queen’s Quay West

The Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction is presented by RBC Wealth Management and commemorates the life and work of the late Charles Taylor, one of Canada’s foremost essayists and a prominent member of the Canadian literary community. Charles Taylor was a foreign correspondent with The Globe and Mail and the author of four books: Radical Tories; Reporter in Red China; Six Journeys: A Canadian Pattern; and Snow Job.

The Charles Taylor Prize recognizes excellence in Canadian non-fiction writing and emphasizes the development of the careers of the authors it celebrates. It is awarded annually to the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception. For more information: and on Twitter @taylorprize. 
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Media contact: Stephen Weir  & Associates
Stephen Weir: Direct: 416.489.5868 | Cell: 416-801-3101 |

Monday, 4 February 2013

Wedneday is Bob Marley Day in Toronto

Toronto Humanitarians to be honoured at Bob Marley Day ceremony - City Hall
TORONTO: On Wednesday morning it will be One Love in the Toronto City Council chambers as the council proclaims February 6th, Bob Marley Day in Toronto. There will be live music in City Hall following the proclamation and the Bob Marley Committee will make Bob Marley humanitarian award presentations to eight well-known Torontonians
This marks the 22nd year that the  City of Toronto has official declared Bob Marley Day (which began with former Mayor Art Eggleton),” said Courtney Betty, Chairperson of the Bob Marley Day Committee. “  Bob Marley said One Love.  So, each year we take time to honour the best of the best, people - acting in the diversity spirit of Bob Marley’s One Love,- who have worked hard to make our City a better place for all.  As the diverse population continues its tremendous growth, it becomes even more critical that the doors of opportunities are open to all. “
The Bob Marley Award Ceremony will be held in Committee Room 1 at City Hall (100 Queen Street) beginning at 10am. There will be a reception from 11am to noon, with live music by Barrett Brackin and the Band. Spoken word poetry will be performed by Al St. Louis.
Scheduled to receive the Bob Marley Award this year are:
Ben Hum - President and Co-founder of the NAAAP Toronto ((North American Association of Asian Professionals); Director of Business Development, Investwise Team, Dundee Wealth
Manuel Rodriguez - CEO and Founder of Unikron (leading video production company)
Marlon Reid - Vice President of Treasury Credit, Investment Banking, TD Securities
Pamela Appelt - Retired Judge of Court of Canadian Citizenship
Pradeep Sood- CEO of Starling Corporation; Founder of XactScribe  (Canadian based provider of Medical, Legal and Business transcription services)
Rowan Barrett - Executive Vice President of Senior Men’s Team at Basketball Canada
Scott Crowley - Regional Managing Partner of Advisory Services at MNP, LLP
Aubrey Drake Graham - Recording Artist, Universal Motown; Founder of OVO Records
Bob Marley is a global icon, a musical prophet, whose words and vision forever changed the world. His image and music evoke a rich legacy and emotional connection that transcends generation, ethnicity, gender, and geography. In today's high paced, tech-driven world, Bob Marley's message of unity, freedom, peace, empowerment and love have never been more relevant.
The public is welcome to attend the event. Media and guests are asked to register with the Bob Marley Committee, by email (, phone 647-391-5272 or on Facebook at

For further information and to register:
Kara Lambie
Bob Marley Day Event Manager
Diversity Business Network
647-391-5272 (COMING SOON)
Issued by:
Stephen Weir
Stephen Weir & Associate
Toronto, ON
416-801-3101 cell