Thursday, 11 January 2018


Good clean art on the wall - nods to Caribbean stars

by Stephen Weir - January 10, Caribbean Camera

Dwight Drummond, Patricia Jaggernauth, Drake, Master T and a wall full of other familiar faces, have been seen in a Keele Street laundromat.  Why, even a female model from Caribana is hanging out there, in all her Mas costume glory!
Rob De Luca, a well-known Toronto rock ‘n’roller, artist and of late, a co-owner of the Monte Carlo Laundromat is working on a huge mural that he says “captures life in the 6”.
“I'm the lead singer of a hard rock band named Rustik,” explained Rob De Luca.  
“We own the Monte Carlo. Nine months ago I decided to challenge myself to create something special. Toronto through my eyes.”
“Something devastation and unfortunate happened in my personal life and I needed something to make me forget about my pain. My therapy is this mural,” he continued.
One usually doesn’t go to a coin operated laundry to see funky Canadian art.  But, at the Monte Carlo on Keele Street (south of Lawrence) the wildly colourful images of buildings, Toronto stars and events, light up the inside of the place.  The mural runs overtop of a wall of dryers, snakes around the soap dispenser and frames the money change machine.
“I'm currently on my third stage of my mural. When done, it will be over 80 feet long. So far it's taken me 490 hours,” says the artist.

The artwork is so massive almost anyone whois anyone, living or dead, has made it on the wall, from Rob Ford to the late Honest Ed.  The number of people from the Caribbean community depicted in the artpiece is over 20, and rising, as the mural continues to grow.
“ I am not Caribbean. I am, in fact Italian,” said Deluca.  “My good friend (and inspiration) is Pam Houston from the Ontario Black History Society here in Toronto.”
CBC Dwight Drummond  over the change machine
“Caribana is major part of the 6. Some other Caribbean Canadians on my wall include the Weeknd, Maestro, k-os, Donavan Bailey, Master T, Lennox Lewis, Boxer/radio host Spider Jones, Much Music’s Michael Williams, Cabbie, Wrestler Sweet Daddy Siki, Ricky Johnson, and the lovely Patricia Jaggernauth (CP-24’s on-air weather expert). Other notable Caribbean mentions on my wall include the play Da Kink in My Hair, Rap City, and Soul in the City.”
The artist pointed out that are also a large number of African athletes who have moved to Toronto are now immortalized on his wall. People waiting for their clothes to dry are already having fun finding the sports stars including Kyle Lowry, Marcus Stroman, Joe Carter, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh.
Weather expert cp24 presenter Patricia Jaggernauth  top left
While laundry is the big reason that people go to the Monte Carlo, a story on the CBC has sparked the underground interest of art lovers too.  Spider Jones has already come by and signed the mural. Both the mayor and his rival Doug Ford have taken the tour and CBC announcer Dwight Drummond has said he would drop by with his kids.
Caribana Mas on the wall!

You don’t have to drive to the west-end of Toronto to enjoy the art.  There is a Facebook page dedicated to the art  The laundry masterpiece will be finished in time for a March 10th private rock and roll launch.(

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Canada's Most Prestigious Prize for Literary Non-Fiction gathers industry for important announcement

Jury will choose up to five books from its longlist

The trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation request the media to attend a conference to announce the finalists for the 2016 RBC Taylor Prize. The 30-minute press conference will take place Wednesday, January 10, 2018 10 a.m. sharp  in the Consort Bar (Main Level) of The Omni King Edward Hotel, 37 King Street East Toronto, ON M5C 1E9.
There will be up to five authors/books on this year's shortlist. There will be up to five authors/books on this year's shortlist, which the jury will select from the 10 longlisted books announced in early December 2017. 
Who: Noreen Taylor, chair of the Charles Taylor Foundation and Prize founder
Presenting Sponsor Vijay Parmar, president of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel, 
RBC Taylor Prize 2018 Jurors Christine Elliott, Anne Giardini, and James Polk

What: RBC Taylor Prize Shortlist Announcement Event
Why: To hear the names of the shortlist authors/books and celebrate all 10 books on the RBC Taylor Prize longlist
When: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 10:00 am sharp
Where: The Omni King Edward Hotel, Main Level Consort Bar, 37 King Street East, downtown Toronto

The longlist Books for the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize are:

  1. Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on Bering's Great Voyage to Alaska by Stephen R. Bown (Canmore, AB), published by Douglas & McIntyre
  2. How to Fall in Love with Anyone by Mandy Len Catron (Vancouver, BC), published by Simon & Schuster
  3. Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place by Daniel Coleman (Hamilton, ON), published by Wolsak and Wynn Publishers
  4. The Marriott Cell: An Epic Journey from Cairo's Scorpion Prison to Freedom by Mohamed Fahmy (Vancouver, BC) and Carol Shaben (Vancouver, BC), published by Random House Canada
  5. Solitude: A Singular Life in a Crowded World by Michael Harris (Vancouver, BC), published by Doubleday Canada
  6. Life on the Ground Floor: Letters From the Edge of Emergency Medicine by James Maskalyk (Toronto, ON), published by Doubleday Canada
  7. A History of Canada in Ten Maps: Epic Stories of Charting a Mysterious Land by Adam Shoalts (Hamilton, ON), published by Allen Lane Canada / Penguin Random House Canada
  8. Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, by Tanya Talaga (Toronto, ON), published by House of Anansi Press
  9. In the Name of Humanity by Max Wallace (Toronto, ON), published by Allen Lane Canada / Penguin Random House Canada
  10. Apron Strings: Navigating Food and Family in France, Italy, and China by Jan Wong (Fredericton, NB), published by Goose Lane Edition

 The RBC Taylor Prize recognizes excellence in Canadian non-fiction writing and emphasizes the development of the careers of the authors it celebrates. The RBC Taylor Prize Shortlist will be announced at a news conference on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, and the winner revealed at a gala luncheon on Monday February 26, 2018.