Oh, Canada Part 2. We continue our list of Canadian arts mavens you should know. Our source? Some more make it happen Canadians who are plugged in to what is current and relevant. Here we go.
Entrepreneur & online publisher Joanna Track, founder of eLUXE & the former "go to" Sweetspot.ca, is someone that has been revered over the years for the successful lifestyle brands she has created. She has always been an advocate for curated content that celebrates those brands and services that are worthy of attention. On her list now? A one of a kind online designer shoe shopping destination for women. They call it The September. It's all coming soon it seems. Ladies (and gents), follow these guys to know "the when." And let's also start defining fashion as an art and fund it accordingly.
Arts supporter & "make magic patron of the moment" Robert Foster has his hands on many great things happening in Toronto and on a national scale. He has always been a driver for multicultural representation in the arts, so it is no surprise that his one to watch is Che Kothari (who we also mentioned in Part One). Kothari is his own magic man and it's so astounding how much he as accomplished in a short amount of time. Some key milestones are celebrating 7 years of The Manifesto Festival this year taking place on September 19th-22nd, 2013. If in Toronto, it is a must attend. Leading up to this, Manifesto Festival is embarking on their first major partnership with TIFF and will be co-presenting a number of films together during their festival. As an artist, Kothari just returned from India co-producing a music video for director Nabil Elderkin for a track with Bauuer, Just Blaze and Jay-Z. Up next? He is releasing a new website, a photo book and a major exhibition for his 30th birthday this fall. No end in sight as to where this maven will go and how he will contribute to the Canadian culture landscape in years to come. One to know now.
Next up, the cultural architect dynamic duo in Amanda Blakley and Ashleigh Dempster. The founders of The Society Global always have shared new and relevant before it was, well, new and relevant. Recently a hit at their always sold out SMUT Soiree in Toronto, their shout out goes to up and coming Canadian indie band Elsa. Though not there, you can understand why Blakely and Dempster describe the band's vibe as having "...a unique and catchy sound that makes you want to tap your toes while you sit back with a cold brew on a dock somewhere. They sound like summer!" Seems like an obvious play list add going into these last weeks of sun and lake worship. Check.
Make it happen filmmaker Ingrid Veninger (who's film The Animal Project will be premiering at TIFF in a few weeks) is all about collaboration and celebrating artists who have unique voices. Hence, she wants everyone to know Peter Mettler , who is developing a new documentary series and a live cinema show in residency with Christie Projectors and is prepping for a retrospective at the Lincoln Center in NYC November 8-12. Let's go. Veninger, who has worked with Mettler on three feature films including THE END OF TIME, GAMBLING, GODS AND LSD, and PICTURE OF LIGHT describes his work as, "bridging the gap between experimental, narrative, personal essay, and documentary." Mettler has other fans as well, including Piers Handling (TIFF, CEO) who says, "...Mettler is an incomparable talent in Canadian cinema." Seems he is definitely a national treasure which more Canadians should be aware of.
Smartee pants film gal Victoria Gormley who's dream job is Director, Publicity & Promotions, Theatrical Marketing at Warner Bros. Pictures Canada wants our country (and the world) to know and love the jewelry and fashion of Ellie Mae Waters. Gormley tells us that Waters is a, "beautiful person who is always creating (resulting) in a very unique and personalized approach to jewelry and fashion that comes through brilliantly in all her pieces." Her site looks great, and Gormley is all about discerning style with integrity, so we will take her recommendation on this one. Future brand placement in a future WB film? Who knows.
Banff Centre visionary Jeff Melanson (gosh, Toronto misses him) has many things capturing his attention, including 440 premieres in his very backyard. Music maven and producer Kevin Drew (who we all know and love from Broken Social Scene) will lead a one of a kind Indie Music Residency, which is a new program at the Centre. The location? They call it the Leighton Artist Colony and it's open to artists of all types. This little known gem of isolated studios on Sleeping Buffalo Mountain has been designed by a different architect and host artists in seclusion to create new works. So your homework? Share this place with artists you know, or heck, maybe this is your chance to be an artist.
The it gal of the entertainment news magazine shows over the years has been the incomparable Thea Andrews (who just happens to be from Toronto). She finds herself as co-host of the show OMG Insider daily and also does regular guest appearances now on The Talk. All in all, she makes Canada proud. Her humour has always been a quality that is revered, so it's no surprise she shouts the loudest and funniest Canadian you may not know. Ladies and Gentleman, meet Cameron Hughes. Sports Entertainer, Speaker, Author, Creative Genius, Juggler, Big Red Dancer. Yes, he is that guy you have seen on highlight reels, being...well...that guy. His ability to get any and everyone excited about anything should be a pre-requisite to be our Prime Minister. Whether if it's The Grey Cup, World Junior Hockey Championships, Stanley Cup, Cameron is usually there leading the hoopla. Let's book him for TO 2015 Pan Am and Canada's 150th now. He is all Canadian and all booster in all that he does. We salute you Cameron!
With the summer theatre festival season in full swing, Mr. Theatre himself Derrick Chua knows everything when it comes to the show, the performer, and the breakout performance you want to know about. His one to watch? Her name is Bethany Jillard and she is clearly in the midst of a banner year. After beginning 2013 playing Scarlett O'Hara in the World Premiere of the stage adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's classic novel Gone with The Wind at Manitoba Theatre Centre, she now finds herself on the stage at the Stratford Festival playing two pivotal roles in two epic productions. Always in awe how actors do this. She is currently playing Desdemona in Othellodirected by the much talked about Chris Abraham as well as Constance in The Three Musketeers. So if you are considering a Statford trip (it could not be more exciting and now easier than ever to get to these days), you can hear Jillard in conversation on August 21. So young, one gets a sense this will be a "we knew her when" type of year for her. Female star power in Canada. More of it please.
So there you go. Feel like this exercise should culminate into something. We are thinking. Now, what can you do? Familiarize yourself with above and feel free to reach out to me and suggest others we can shout out in the months to come. We all see and hear the beginning of something daily. Key thing is to share this and celebrate those who are "bringing it."
We are a nation of many underdeveloped golden nuggets of talent. Let's move forward and tell everyone about our finds. Promise, it won't hurt and might actually feel good.
Go Canada Go.