Interview with Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF
Piers Handling PHOTO CREDIT: George Pimentel, WireImage/Getty for TIFF
What’s it like to be the head honcho of Toronto’s biggest, most glamorous, and most highly anticipated arts festival of the year? Holding this position for nearly twenty years now, Piers Handling oversees TIFF’s programming and multi-million-dollar operating budget. He travels far and wide to select films for both the festival and for the TIFF Bell Lightbox year-round. I was fortunate enough to speak with him about both his job and the fall festival—and he threw in an interesting little tidbit: he lives just off the Danforth, and he says it’s a wonderful neighbourhood!
How do the staff at TIFF spend the summer preparing for the Festival?
Most of TIFF’s departments start preparing for the Festival around March and are working in full swing throughout the summer. Marketing and Creative teams start rolling out promotional materials and ad campaigns, the Sales and Industry Office spearheads leading-edge industry initiatives, and the Press Office begins accrediting media from around the globe. Year-round, our programmers travel all over the world searching for the best films to showcase during the Festival.
How can audiences spend the summer preparing for the Festival?
A Closer Look at Mary Stanik and Her Novel Life Erupted
By Rebecca Taylor
Photo by Aaron Fahrmann
Life can often take unexpected turns. Jenn Bergquist, protagonist of Mary Stanik’s Life Erupted, is no exception—there are quite a few twists and turns along the way in her story. Her life is turned upside down when she meets Bianca Fiona, a new patient at the medical centre where Jenn works. Jenn embarks on a journey at Bianca’s request, but little does Jenn know that this adventure will change everything from her views on family to her outlook on life. I took the opportunity to talk with Mary Stanik about her book and about life’s many trials. Read more
Review of the Debut Novel by Mary Stanik
By Rebecca Taylor
Cover Image Copyright Mary Stanik 2012
I must admit I was skeptical at first about reading Life Erupted by Mary Stanik. I have read many self-published books before, and to be honest, it is often self-evident that they are self-published. However, this book was different. The idea for the book, the way it was written, and the way everything in the novel flowed together was like a book that was published by a major publishing house.
There were some line-editing errors, but there are grammatical oversights in novels that are printed by major publishers, if we are being perfectly honest. But despite the occasional error, Life Erupted was an excellent book that was well-written, engaging, and well-developed plot-wise, which is not always the case with self-published, debut authors these days.
Now before I discuss anything further, I must warn you that there will be plot details not discussed in any summaries online that I know of, and it WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. So be warned! Read more
Kate Nash Brings Her New Sound to Toronto
By Natasha Tsakiris
She’s sugar and spice, and not playing nice anymore!
No longer a hot and bothered redheaded mess, Kate Nash is electric fire, coming back full-throttle with her third album Girl Talk. The young British singer-songwriter played to a full house Friday night at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern, where she revealed a new look and a new sound.
Showing a darker version of her usual bubbly, 50s pinup-girl demeanor, Nash has dropped the piano and picked up the guitar along with a tough-girl attitude, releasing her inner punk-rock chick in the vein of Courtney Love.
On Girl Talk, Nash is a femme fatale with a sassy attitude, high energy, and grrrl power! Gone are the days where she was the girl-next-door singing bubblegum pop and diary-like tunes of love and broken hearts. No more ballads; it’s all girl rock this time around. Nash is not apologizing for who she is and what she’s feeling; this time she’s breaking the hearts and showing there’s no messing with Kate Nash!
Artisans at Work: New Gallery and Studio Space
By Amanada Kirsten Grant
With its floor-to-ceiling art displays, custom-made jewellery case, and welcoming atmosphere, you would never guess Artisans at Work only opened two months ago. Already Tara Shelton and Lorraine Cheng have gathered together unique, local artists to display their work in the gallery.
For more than ten years, Tara Shelton has been searching for a place on the Danforth to not only showcase her own jewellery but also bring together members of the community to share their arts and passions. When she finally found the place she had been looking for, Tara invited the Danforth community to join her in this project. “We knew what the community wanted and had been asking for, and so we created this space to provide that,” Tara says. Lorraine and Tara have labelled themselves a “community hub,” and looking around the gallery, you can see that this is true. Work is already hanging from the walls from artists across Canada, though 80% of the artists using the space are local. Read more
Author of Poison Shy
By Meghan Gribben
Photo By Jowita Bydlowska
Stacey Madden is a writer currently residing in The Beach. His stories, poems, reviews, and essays have been published in places such as The Globe and Mail, Open Book: Toronto, Encore Literary Magazine, Quill & Quire, and Broken Pencil. His first novel, Poison Shy, was published by ECW Press in Fall 2012. He owns a cat and is a bit of a hypochondriac. He enjoys beer, British comedy, and quiet reading time.
Stacey was born and raised in the east end of Toronto. Despite his father’s wish that he’d grow up to be a hockey star, Stacey nurtured a passion for reading and writing, which eventually led to an Honours B.A. in English Literature at the University of Toronto, followed by an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph.
When/why did you decide to write a novel?
“I’ve wanted to write novels for as long as I can remember,” says Madden. “As the oldest of four kids, I was often forced into the role of ‘entertainer,’ and would accomplish that by making up stories and telling them to my younger siblings. Then, as I got older, I started telling stories to myself—not out loud, don’t worry, I’m not that crazy!—and eventually started writing them down. Before long, I was being accepted into exclusive creative writing courses at University. I attempted to write two novels and failed before I finally finished one, and that third attempt was the manuscript that eventually become Poison Shy.”
April 5, Danforth Music Hall
By Clark Kingsbury
The first thing to remember about Canadian musician k-os: he’s not a rapper. I mean, he raps, and he has identified himself as a rapper in the past, but rapping is such a small part of his musical arsenal that it would be a disservice to cling to that label. And when he arrives at the Danforth Music Hall April 5th, patrons should expect far more than a typical rap show.
k-os, whose name plays on the acronym K.O.S. (Knowledge Of Self), has been floating around the Canadian music scene for well over a decade now. In the early-to-mid-nineties he released a pair of singles to modest acclaim. “Musical Essence” dropped in 1993; a lilting, sing-songy rap track with a boom-bap beat and a vaguely Souls of Mischief-type quality to it. Three years later, his follow-up single, “Rise Like The Sun,” carried on in the same mould. The sound was very much in sync with a number of high profile hip-hop acts of the day. Hieroglyphics, Pete Rock and CL Smooth, and the Pharcyde, to name a few, all combined introspective lyrics with sunny, jazzy production over crisp drum lines.
Animal Collective and Dan Deacon Live at the Danforth Music Hall
By Daniel Polowin
Fans of psychedelic, electronic, and gloriously weird pop music need to get themselves to the Danforth Music Hall, tomorrow March 9, to see Animal Collective and Dan Deacon.
***UPDATE: Unfortunately, due to a sudden sickness befalling Animal Collective’s lead singer Avey Tare, this show has been postponed to a date that will be announced here.***
Staycation Spring Break
By Natasha Tsakiris
Spring break is nearly here! No school and no work—for those lucky enough to get time off. It’s time for some fun and a little, very much deserved R and R time.
While many Canadians will be facing extremely long lines at airports for a chance of sun, surf, and sand, the rest of us will be looking for fun activities to do on a staycation.
“A vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer”, as the Urban Dictionary describes it, a “staycation” is a great way to be a tourist in one’s city and save the cash that would be spent on flights and hotels. Toronto is always bustling with activity all year round with many chances to explore, learn, and entertain. We previously wrote about some activities available at the Pape/Danforth library, but take advantage of this great list OTD has created for some fun ways to spend your staycation across the city, no matter what age you are. Read more
Category: Arts & Entertainment
, Ghost Hunt
, march break
, Movie Marathon
, Music Festival
, National Ballet
, Toronto FC
, Toronto Marlies
, Toronto Zoo
Season Three of The Walking Dead Shocks Viewers with Heart-Stopping Action and Gritty Drama
By Andrea Cascone
The Walking Dead, Sundays at 9pm on AMC
AMC’s hit zombie-apocalypse show The Walking Dead has returned with a darker, more sinister twist than ever before. After surviving a zombie ambush which forces the group out of their fortified camp, protagonist Rick Grimes and his dwindling group of family and friends are faced with very grim odds of survival. Starving, low on ammunition, and faced with the task of caring for a newborn child, the constant threat of flesh eating “walkers” has now become the least of their worries. The roaming corpses of the dead are now as natural to them as elemental disasters such as a thunderstorm or heat wave.