Posts Tagged ‘Canadian culture’

PHOTO: Gladstone Hotel

On Tuesday, July 26 (that would be today) Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel will host a fundraiser for an art instillation called THE HAPPINESS PROJECT: IN THE HOUSE.

The instillation is an extension of the music album The Happiness Project by Charles Spearin who plays for the famed indie collective Broken Social Scene.

Interested in learning about people’s definition of ‘happiness’ Charles interviewed his neighbours and then took their spoken words and wrote music to accompany their responses. The resulting compositions are moving, insightful, inspirational and they eared a Juno music award.

For The Happiness Project: In the House local artists are enlisted to interpret songs from the album and are challenged to weave their own experience of the songs, as well as their own definition of happiness, into the works.

Each artists’ installation becomes a unique expression which also includes an interactive element.

The exhibit has already been hosted in Montreal and Kingston to critical acclaim.

The Happiness Project : In the House presented by Artist Bloc and Apple Crisp Festival in Kingston, Canada in March of 2010.

The Happiness Project at POP Montreal

It will make its Toronto debut on October 1st, 2011 as part of Scotiabank‘s Nuit Blanche.

The project is curated by Artist Bloc, a Toronto artists collective which was co-founded by Agi Gutkowska.

With their Gladstone Hotel fundraiser, Artist Bloc is aiming to raise funds for the Toronto exhibition and promises that the night will be filled with live music by bands and DJs.

More information is available on the Artist Bloc website.


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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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Pustki Live in Toronto @ Bellwood Photo By Peter Calak / GravityBureau.com

They came. They played. And now they’re enjoying the Austin bedlam.

From March 13 to 19 over 350 bands from across the planet played in all kinds of concert venues across the city as part of Canadian Music Week (CMW) festivities.

CMW which is labeled as “Canada’s International Music Convention and Film Festival” is a showcase of all things music and every year it attracts a multitude of aspiring domestic and international acts looking to make waves on the music scene.

Among all the artists were two Polish bands L.Stadt and Pustki.

Both played a series of official CMW gigs in venues such as famed eatery Czehostki’s and Hard Luck but also added a small surprise to the mix.

L.Sadt Live in Toronto @ Hard Luck Photo By Peter Calak / GravityBureau.com

On Friday, March 11 L.Stadt and Pustki with the help of former Polish-Canadian music exec Stephen Klus organized a last minute free concert at the Bellwood Bar & Grill.

The venue, although not ideal for a concert, provided a fitting background for the gritty rock n’ roll vibe resonating in the rest of the city.

Pustki Live in Toronto @ Bellwood Photo By Peter Calak / GravityBureau.com

Both bands sounded really great live and proved to be just as interesting and engaging in person. Part of making it out to small shows like this is that you really get a great opportunity to connect with the artists. And it was a pleasure to meet all of them.

One point of interest – among the audience was Basia Bulat who was recently nominated for a New Artist of the Year Juno and will perform during the March 21-29 Juno Week festivities.

Juno Nominated Basia Bulat with Radek Łukasiewicz of Pustki Photo By Peter Calak / GravityBureau.com

And as for L.Stadt and Pustki – after their gigs in Toronto both bands packed up and headed down to the famed SXSW (South by SouthWest) music and interactive conference and festival taking place in Austin, Texas.

Check out these great photos courtesy of Peter Calak from GravityBureau.com from the performances at Bellwood and Hard Luck.

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And have a look at these videos – hope they give you a bit of a taste of the energy that these two great bands deliver. ft


Pustki Live in Toronto @ Bellwood

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We are beyond thrilled to announce that YouNxt has teamed up with Na Luzie (Laid Back) – Polish-Canadian television program airing on OMNI TV – to bring you some of the most interesting and entertaining segments, from the past, produced by Host and Reporter Anna Piszczkiewicz.

So, without further ado, here is the first segment.


Moment on the Floor by Gosia


By Anna Piszczkiewicz

In March, the streets of Toronto are grey and drab, so I thought that for the first look into my archives, we should visit the magical world of elves, fairies and haunted forests. This fairy tale world is created by painter, illustrator and sculptor Gosia.
Gosia arrived in Canada at the age of 12. And it was then, growing up in this strange, new place that she started drawing. Fast forward a few years; she’s a graduate of the Interpretive Illustration program at Sheridan College and a professional artist, who has showcased her work at a myriad of exhibitions and festivals including the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition and the One of a Kind Show.

Cyrk by Gosia

Enter Gosia’s world below (brought to you in Polish). If you keep your eyes open, you’ll see Little Red Riding Hood somewhere in the story. I took the girl in the red cape home with me.

Gosia will be showing at the Artist Project Toronto from March 3-6, 2011. For more information visit her website at www.gosia.ca

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