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Archive for the ‘Poland’ Category

After months of planning and collaborating, we’re excited to finally tell you about an exhibition we have put together along with the Polish Consulate in Toronto and the Film Museum in Łódź.

On September 1st, 2011 the cinematic world of Krzysztof Kieślowski (director of such masterpieces as Oscar nominated the Three Colours Trilogy, Decalogue and The Double Life of Véronique) is coming to Toronto.

Marking the 70th anniversary of his birth and the 15th anniversary of his death, the Film Museum in Łódź along with the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Toronto and YouNxt proudly present the North American premiere of Kieślowski in Posters: The Films of Krzysztof Kieślowski in World Film Posters.

The collection consists of film posters from countries such as: Spain, Italy, Israel, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Poland. Its travelled the world and in September will debut in Canada during the Toronto International Film Festival.

On loan from the Film Museum in Łódź for a limited engagement in the epicenter of Toronto’s film festival action, the exhibition will be on display at the Steam Whistle Gallery from September 1-10 and subsequently at the Metro Hall Rotunda from September 12-17. Admission is free.

Anyone with an appreciation for stunning classic and retro movie posters is invited to view the exhibition and attend the opening reception on Wednesday, August 31 from 7pm – 11pm at Steam Whistle Gallery.

Complete details are available on our EVENTS PAGE

Hope to see you all at the OPENING RECEPTION!!!

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Anja Rubik and Sasha Knezevic (not actual wedding photo)

Love is in the air!

This past weekend Polish bombshell/supermodel Anja Rubik married her model fiancé Sasha Knezevic.

Anja Rubik and Sasha Knezevic in Majorca PHOTO: Modelinia Blog

From the looks of it, it was a model wedding (too easy 🙂 ). The couple tied the knot on the Spanish island of Majorca.

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Sasha (a former professional basketball player for club Varese in Italy, was born in Serbia but raised in Vienna) and Anja (recently named the most in-demand model) fashion god Karl Lagerfeld’s go-to-girl, got engaged after seeing the opera Dance of the Vampires directed by Roman Polanski (I am guessing that they are big fans of True Blood).  

An emerging fashion power couple of sorts, the two are the creative brains behind the Austrian fashion and lifestyle mag 25 Magazine

Check out the two love birds in action on Polish morning show Dzien Dobry TVN ( Good Morning TVN. )

And here’s Sasha at a Quebec based fashion shoot for Canadian fashion house RW&CO. ft

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On July 1, Poland will assume the six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union.  

This is a VERY big deal for Poland which has come a long way since the gloomy days of life behind the iron curtain. It’s also a great testament to the ambitious nature of the Polish people.

To commemorate the occasion the country commissioned celebrated filmmaker Tomasz Bagiński and the Platige Image company to create a short animated film titled Europe in Dance.

The film which took nine months to complete is based on a waltz metaphor and the transformations to which Poland is inviting Europe. You can view the film here.

But perhaps a more vivid showcase of Poland’s aspirations exist in a video which was shot last week.

On June 21st, the residents of Poznan, released 8,000 Chinese lanterns into the sky to mark Midsummer Night. The event was accompanied by the soundtrack Chariots of Fire by Vangelis. The effort set a national record and organizers are already planning to beat the World Guinness Record next year.

Poland’s future seems to be a bright one. And a sky filled with flickering lanterns seems like the perfect metaphor.

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Photo: Jensen Gifford

There is popular music and unforgettable music. O&AL belong in the latter category.

An acronym for Olenka and the Autumn Lovers, O&AL is a London, Ontario band fronted by singer/songwriter Olenka Krakus and members Sara Froese, Evan Brodie, Christian Hegele, Simon Larochette,  Jeff Moon and Kelly Wallraff.

Influenced by her Polish roots and Canadian upbringing, Olenka delivers songs that resonate with passion. The songs don’t just play for you, they speak to you. And many of them relate specifically to her Polish heritage, especially her memories of Communist Poland and the country’s folklore.

Olenka Krakus Photo: Rob Nelson

Supported by a mix of instruments such as the cello, violin, accordion, trumpet, saxophone, lap steel, mandolin and glockenspiel the music resonates with an eclectic mix of traditional Eastern European ballads and North American country and folk tunes.

It’s a sound reminiscent of Arcade Fire, Cat Power, Tom Waits and Gogol Bordello but which manages to exist entirely on its own.

When Olenka and her band recently played at Toronto’s Gladstone hotel (as part of the NXNE festival) the crowd gave them a rousing ovation. And rightfully so.

Here is a taste…

It’s the sort of music that you can listen to over and over again and with every listen it creates a deeper impression.

The band’s newest album And Now We Sing is packed with memorable songs. It’s really worth checking out.

"And Now We Sing" album cover by Patrick Schmidt

"Motel Blues" lyrics

The band is also set to play a string of shows later this summer and fall so, if you get an opportunity, make sure to go. The truly great thing about small concert gigs is that they are so intimate and the bands always give it all they’ve got.

In the meantime you can listen to some of the tunes online on the CBC Radio 3 website.

And have a look at this interview that we conducted with Olenka during her NXNE show.

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Biking in Europe from Copenhagen Cycle Chic

By Izabela Stabinska

When I lived in Holland, I was impressed by how bike-friendly that country is. There are bike specific paths, bike parking lots as well as bike rentals and emergency repair bike shops. The variety of bikes is out of this world and they come in all colours, shapes and sizes

Although bikes were never strangers in Poland, there hasn’t been much infrastructure for them and they have never been top of mind. However, today many cities are including cycle paths in their development plans. And recently, one of the top national newspapers Gazeta Wyborcza initiated a campaign “Polska na rowery” (Get on bikes, Poland!) and organized a number of biking events to promote a bike-friendly lifestyle.

But that’s not all. Cycling is being promoted in style!

A few months ago the All For Planet Foundation came up with an idea to design bike racks that would reflect the spirit of the city that they would serve. Under the banner “Zaparkuj klimatycznie” (Eco parking) they selected five cities: Krakow, Wroclaw, Sopot, Rzeszow and Bytom and commissioned a team of designers to come up with ideas.

The designers returned with five concepts for each of the five cities and people all over country were encouraged to vote for their favourite design as well as for the prefered locations. Close to twenty thousand people (including me!) voted. Here are the 3 top designs that will be installed in each city:

Wroclaw

 

Krakow

Rzeszow

Bytom

Sopot

One of the designs in particular, sparked a lot of controversy. With lots of sunny beaches Sopot is one of the most famous Baltic Sea destinations but some were offended by the “naked” sun-bathing female figure. Then again, the design got the most votes.

Moreover, seeing all the buzz around the beach-lady, the organizers didn’t want to miss a good opportunity and so they announced a little surprise…

… a little beach companionship.

The first bike racks are being installed this month. So, if you travel to Poland this summer and see any of them, let me know how you like them. Until then, get on your bikes people!

Izabela Stabinska

Izabela is Toronto based fashion designer who studied fashion in California. After receiving the Best Graduation Collection award, she traveled all over Europe where she collaborated on art projects, fashion shows and photo shoots. In Toronto, she is freelancing in fashion design and production. Currently, she is working with a local enterpreneur on a specialized sportswear line and is developing her first Canadian collection.

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The official greeting ceremony of the President of the U.S. at Poland's Presidential Palace.

As noted recently in the New York Times, the United States might not have the same pizazz in the eyes of young Poles as compared to that of their parents, but when the “Leader of the Free World” pays you a visit you roll out the red carpet.

Over the weekend, President Barack Obama made a 24-hour visit to Poland as part of the final phase of his European tour.

He visited four countries over six days with his flying fortress, Air Force One, touching down in Warsaw on Friday evening.

He met with Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk. He discussed security and energy issues, met with leaders of Polish democracy, and, along with Poland’s President, co-hosted a dinner for leaders of Central and European states.

Obama called Poland a model for the world and praised the country for it’s peaceful and succesful transition to democracy after the fall of Communism in 1989.

He also confessed to a personal Polish link.

“If you come from Chicago and you haven’t become a little bit Polish, something’s wrong with you,” he joked.

President Obama greets young leaders at The Presidential Palace

President Barack Obama pays his respects while visiting the memorial to the victims of the Smolensk plane crash at Field Cathedral of the Polish Military in Warsaw, Poland, May 28, 2011

President Obama is greeted by Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski at the Presidential Palace.

President Barack Obama and President Bronislaw Komorowski review troops during the arrival ceremony in the courtyard of the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.

Pres. Obama meets with Polish politicians, activists & Solidarity leaders to learn about Poland's experiences in a peaceful democratic transition.

Presidents Obama & Komorowski co-hosted a dinner for leaders of Central & Eastern European States.


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Last night YouNxt along with Ekran hosted a reception in honour of the Polish films at this year’s Hot Docs (the Canadian International Documentary Festival)

The event took place at the posh Kultura restaurant in downtown Toronto.

On hand was Warsaw based Director Pawel Kloc of the much talked about Phnom Penh Lullaby as well as Toronto based filmmakers Natalia Kantor and Rafal Sokolowski.

A big thank you goes out to our sponsors:

Canada-Poland Chamber of Commerce

Fregata Restaurant

Ekran Toronto Polish Film Festival

And to Kultura for hosting us.

Here is a sneak peak at some of the photos. Thanks to Peter Calak from GravityBureau.com and Martin Terlecki for snapping these.

(FYI – both Polish feature docs still have showings so if you haven’t already make sure to check them out. Screening info is available here.)

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