Posts Tagged: "Old East Village"

The Social Contract of Posters

Adam Corrigan Holowitz - - Theatre & Film
The London Yodeller

“It harkens back to the time when traveling bands of actors arrived in town. One of the first things to happen was the appearance of posters announcing the upcoming mystery play, or revenge tragedy.”ADAM Poster Article -Image

“Do you mind if I put up a poster?” It is a phrase I have spoken many times. Depending upon which local establishment I am standing in and depending on whom I am speaking to, I may or may not feel confident in my play. Is it a worthwhile project? Their enthusiasm and willingness to put up a poster greatly affects my feelings at that moment. Sometimes I feel like I am wasting their time, taking them away from other costumers. Am I interfering by asking for an 11 by 17 inch space on their bulletin board?

Putting up posters is one of the oldest forms of advertising in the theatre world. It is also facing the prospect of extinction. I have noticed this in and around London Ontario and I assume it also applies elsewhere. In recent years with the high turnover of businesses on Richmond Row, where you used to be able to put up nearly twenty posters you now can find around seven establishments willing and enthusiastic to put up a poster for your show. The same goes for other parts of the city. The current attitude seems to be that someone coming by to put up a poster is taking up space otherwise intended for paying customers.

Perhaps I should not be too general though. Of course there are the steadfast places that are always willing and excited to get another poster: record stores, book stores, museums and non-profits. The new hotspot for putting up posters is quickly becoming the Old East Village, with so many great new restaurants and businesses opening up. Continue Reading

Happy Sweet Sixteen, London Fringe

Deanne Kondrat - - Theatre & Film
The London Yodeller

When Kathy and her team began London Fringe sixteen years ago, they sold 3,500 tickets in total. Last year that number has skyrocketed to 18,000.DEANNE Tire Caper Clothesline

“We are in the middle of puberty here,” laughs Kathy Navackas, Executive Producer and Co-founder of The London Fringe Festival. “It’s a transitional year, we are growing.”

The London Fringe Festival is part of a world-wide tradition that began with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and celebrates experimental and small-scale theatre productions. These are un-juried theatre festivals in which acts are chosen by lottery. “We literally draw names from a hat,” explains Navackas. The same process carries over to other Fringe events like Visual Fringe, where artists are accepted until the roster is full. “If you are a new artist, an emerging artist, or an artist wanting to experiment and try something new, the Fringe is a great place to do that.”

Because of the un-juried process, Navackas explains there is something for everyone. She isn’t exaggerating; with 45 Companies, 320 performance times, the Visual Fringe component, plus three festivals – Dundas Street Festival, Old East Village Street Festival and Nuit Blanche – there is something for everyone’s tastes and interests. Continue Reading

Cindy Hartman: a passion for sharing Old East London’s cultural history

Barry Wells - - Everything Else
The London Yodeller

BARRY 34 Supertest Wellington HortonWhen I’m researching one thing I often get sidetracked when I find something else that interests me.”

Local history enthusiast and facebook friend Cindy Hartman recently sent me a 90-year-old business advertorial from the November 21, 1925 edition of The London Free Press, about the long-gone Davis Taxi Service opening its new cab headquarters at 742 Richmond Street, south of Oxford Street (the building is still there, north of the Campus Hi-Fi Restaurant).

Cindy’s aware I’d written an unpublished, 103-page history about London’s vehicle-for-hire industry from 1855 to 2005, a decade ago (Murder, Madness and Mayhem, London’s Cab Industry Has It All) and rightly figured I’d be interested in the article.

Cindy is co-administrator, along with Londoner Colin Duck, of the Vintage London facebook group page, which, in my opinion, has the best collection of historical London photos on the Internet. Her photographs of former gas stations and repair garages in London recall an often-ignored part of London’s business and cultural history.

For example, the Imperial Oil Company was founded in London in 1880, as was Supertest Petroleum in 1923 by John Gordon Thompson (1894-1982) and the Red Star gas station chain, Sterling Fuels and Arrow Petroleum, founded by Joe McManus (1907-1976).

Cindy and her husband, Jim (who’s an automotive “hot rodder”), have operated Hartman’s Auto Repair since 1988 at 1120 Dundas Street East, across from the former Kellogg’s factory, with the help of their sons.

“My husband’s father and grandfather had a Supertest station in Mount Carmel, Ontario, since 1931, before moving to London in the 1950s. Where we’re at now [1120 Dundas], my husband Jim started pumping gas after school and on weekends. It opened as a Supertest gas station in 1928 and later became a Petro-Canada. It’s been a repair garage since 1988. Our three sons are licensed auto mechanics, although one is now a teacher,” Hartman says. Continue Reading

Bursting the Bubble- The Unsavory Task of Marketing Art

Jay Menard - - Theatre & Film
The London Yodeller

JAY MENARD london-youth-theatre-education-summer-camps-hiring“I’ve been to more than one show where the number of people acting on stage outnumbers those in the seats.”

London has a dedicated and supportive arts community. For theatre productions, that’s both a blessing and a curse. If you’ve been around the theatre scene at all, you’ll likely recognize many familiar faces. There’s a group of passionate arts aficionados that support productions large and small, attend various functions, and – oftentimes – befriend the actors and behind-the-scenes players.

London – one big happy, sometimes dysfunctional, family. But it’s not extended enough. Continue Reading

The Creative Frenzy of Melissa Parrott

Vince Cherniak - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller

VINCE Melissa Parrott 3(1)“I guess you can see that I have a bit of a theme about preservation”

It’s hard to know where to start describing the artistic practices of Melissa Parrott, aka msmediafrenzy, aka dj mediafrenzy. And what a frenzy: she’s got a hand in painting, photography, tapestry, filmmaking, book illustration, graphic design, zine production, video of dawn breaking on a northern Ontario lake . . . And then there’s her musical side, spinning and mashing vinyl tracks, and hosting the CHRW mediafrenzy Fridays show, where she tackles social justice issues in between playing righteous tunes. Trying to put a handle on her creative force and métier would be like trying to nutshell how the fundamental forces of physics, the elementary particles of matter, come together in a Unified Field Theory (it ain’t happened yet.) Thankfully, Parrot, in a quick tour, does somehow manage to communicate just how her protean energies are expressed and relate in her show Unified Fields, at East Village Art Cooperative (EVAC) until the end of October. Continue Reading

Jesse Helmer Plays Dodgeball

Vanessa Brown - - Everything Else
The London Yodeller

Jesse Helmer

Ward 4 is one of the most interesting council races in the upcoming municipal election. Incumbent Stephen Orser has been a rather, ahem, controversial member of our local government, often making it into the press for issues that most politicians would try to avoid—like Nazis and sexual harassment. There are several candidates running against him, but none as promising as Jesse Helmer. A small business owner, Helmer is married to a hometown London gal and brings youthful promise and a new perspective to the challenges faced by our city. I chatted with him about his favourite weird sport, his campaign and what he would bring to the job. Continue Reading

London’s New Political Messiah, The Great Confused Paul Cheng™

Barry Wells - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller

politics-for-dummies-imgQUESTION: What’s the difference between Ivan Kasiurak and mayoral candidate Paul Cheng?

ANSWER: Paul Cheng has money but Ivan looks better in a tuxedo.

CHENG’S LAW: When you don’t know what you’re talking about, just say you’re going to “run it like a business.”

A defining moment for wannabe-mayor Paul Cheng, 57, occurred during a mayoral debate on local radio station AM980 last month when Cheng said, “I’ve worked in 18 countries and signed cheques for more money than all the other candidates combined.”

In other words, The Great Confused Cheng™ thinks his purported globetrotting work as an oil-and-gas industry consultant more than qualifies him as London’s next mayor, despite zero city hall or community organizing experience (it’s a different group dynamic altogether than private business) and that his front-running mayoral race competitors Coun. Matt Brown, Roger Caranci and Coun. Joe Swan (with a combined total of 34 years on London city council) are mere pipsqueaks compared to him. Continue Reading

The Revolution and Revitalization of OEV

Claudia Kishi - - Everything Else
The London Yodeller
Photos Courtesy of Jo-Anne Bishop

Photos Courtesy of Jo-Anne Bishop

When a lot of people think Old East Village the first thought that comes to mind is East of Adelaide. Which leads to visions of boarded up houses and pan handlers. But Jo-Anne Bishop is on a mission for people to think of music, arts and community when conjuring an image of Old East Village, or OEV, as those in the know call it.

Continue Reading

It’s Alive, Green and Growing ~ There’s Fungus Among Us

Barry Wells - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller

Barry WellsO come sweet June, my lovely June
The month when first the roses bloom,
A wondrous, colourful display
By sunlight kissed throughout the day,
So chasing all my cares away.
~ 1st stanza from My Lovely June by Valerie Dohren

After seven months of crappy bone-chilling weather, we’ve finally segued into the glorious month of June, my favourite since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. June is invariably teeming with organic life, the sweetness of Spring personified. June 2014 promises to be vibrant and unusual; a unique constellation of events unfolding smack-dab in the middle of the Dreaded Great Lakes Triangle™.

Continue Reading

Yodelling in the Canyon: Building Up a Neighbourhood with Ice

Barry Wells - - Everything Else
The London Yodeller

ChuckwebWhile it’s the second year of operation for the outdoor skating rink at Boyle Park in London’s Old East Village, the ice pad has recently grabbed local attention as a grassroots community-building jewel.

Built and maintained by numerous volunteer residents in the east end – men, women and youth alike – it’s brought neighbours together in an enjoyable common cause; folks who didn’t necessarily know each other before the project began two winters ago.

Located in Ward 4 at 530 Charlotte Avenue (southeast corner of Princess Avenue and Charlotte), the 50-feet-wide by 100-foot-long rink has been attracting east-enders for public skating and pick-up hockey games since the official season opener on Dec. 14. The way things are going this winter – with ongoing polar vortexes and Alberta clippers – this could mean another three weeks or more of outdoor skating.

Continue Reading