Pam McConnell on Toronto's Libraries

Councillor McConnell’s message (in response to an email I sent her earlier) is clear and takes a stand against library cuts AND the whole direction of Mayor Ford. She does not believe that we should be “participating in a race to the bottom.“!

Way to go, Pam! You have my vote!


Thank you for your message on the library system and your concerns about its future because of the recent reports by KPMG.

The consultants’ reports have clearly demonstrated that the vast majority of City services are either essential or mandatory, and that there is very little waste that can be trimmed to balance the budget. As a result, KPMG only had a few non-legislated services and functions to be considered as frills. It is entirely unacceptable that our library system be considered as non-essential and an option for service cuts.

I am extremely critical of the options presented by the consultants, and I do not believe that we should be participating in a race to the bottom. Our library system is of vital importance to our community, whether it is the student doing school work, the new Canadian accessing learning tools and a social circle, or the family enjoying reading and learning. The success of our library system is testament to its importance in our community.

I consistently hear from residents that they want our city to maintain and improve our services. I heard this throughout the recent municipal election, at the meetings I have hosted and attended in the community, and in the calls and e-mails my office has received. I remain committed to defending the services and programs that make our city and our neighbourhoods desirable places to live, work, and play – from our libraries to the Riverdale Farm, our child care system to our long-term care homes, from our affordable housing program to our parks and recreation facilities.

Thank you, once again, for your message and your support for the libraries and city services. I hope that you will talk to your friends and neighbours about the city you want to live in and encourage them to make their voices heard.



Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers
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Pollinators Festival, Saturday June 25th

Calling all artists who love the birds and bees!

The Pollinators Festival is coming to Evergreen Brick Works on Saturday June 25th, 2011. The Festival is in honor of International Pollinator Week and seeks to raise awareness and appreciation for the birds, bees, flies and butterflies that pollinate our fruits, veggies and flowers.

We want to integrate the arts into the festival and will do so by hosting a community art exhibit. We are looking for any pollinator-inspired artwork (poetry, paintings, photographs, etc) to share with the public. If you have any existing work of anything pollinator related, send it to us. If you don’t have anything yet, go outside and make something! Please email a jpeg of your work to by June 15th, 2011. We will print a copy of your masterpiece and hang it up at Evergreen Brick Works during the Festival. With your permission, we will sell the work and donate all of the proceeds to Pollination Canada.

Help us spread the word and pass this on to your artist friends. The exhibit is open to all!

Here are the details about the festival (see attached flier for more):

Saturday June 25, 2011

9 am-2 pm

Evergreen Brick Works (map)

Join us on Facebook here.


Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers
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Odyssey — a Wind Ensemble Concert

Silverthorn Symphonic Winds Presents Odyssey — a Wind Ensemble Concert
Featuring Artist in Residence Peter Stoll

Silverthorn Symphonic Winds (SSW), under the direction of Andrew Chung, presents “Odyssey — a Wind Ensemble Concert” featuring 2010/2011 Artist in Residence Peter Stoll, who will perform as soloist on clarinet and saxophone. Join us for a musical journey from the banks of Newfoundland to the streets of Harlem, from the rhythms of the Middle East to the melodies of Russia, from Celtic simplicity to Parisian sophistication. Featured soloist Peter Stoll will perform Rossini’s “Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Band,” Hagen’s “Harlem Nocturne” for saxophone and band, and Morrissey’s “Interlude for Clarinet and Band.” Compositions by Copland, Hazo, Cable, Reed, and Ellerby will complete the programme.

The concert takes place on Sunday, December 5 at 2:00 p.m. at the Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts, 10268 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill, ON. Ticket prices are $25 for adults and $20 for students/seniors, and can be purchased online at or by phone at 905.787.8811.

The SSW Artist in Residence Program, established this year, offers an opportunity for ensemble members and the general public to benefit from the expertise of an established, professional musician. The 2010/2011 Artist in Residence, Peter Stoll, will be the featured soloist and host at the two Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts concerts, and will offer a free public masterclass (date to be announced) for adult and high school aged clarinetists. Throughout the season, he will attend six SSW rehearsals to provide coaching for woodwinds and to offer general feedback to the ensemble as a whole. In addition to enhancing the skills and musicality of ensemble members, Peter’s solo performances and engaging manner will be a delight for audiences.

Known for his virtuoso energy on stage, Peter Stoll was a prizewinner in the International Clarinet Society Competition, Solo Clarinetist with the World Orchestra of Jeunesses Musicales in Berlin and Vienna, and has been a guest clarinet soloist with orchestras in Canada, the U.S., and Russia. He has performed as a saxophone soloist with the Toronto Philharmonia, the Orillia Wind Ensemble, and with choirs in the Toronto and Ottawa area. A frequent performer of new music, Peter has traveled to Germany, New York City, Finland, and Lithuania with the ERGO ensemble. He is a core member of the Talisker Players, Principal Clarinetist of the Toronto Philharmonia, and a member of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. More information can be found on his website at:

Founded in September 2006, Silverthorn Symphonic Winds brings classical and contemporary repertoire for wind ensemble to audiences in Toronto and York Region. The all-volunteer ensemble is characterized by exceptional dedication and a commitment to the highest possible level of performance. The musicians, who are all chosen by audition, range from highly accomplished amateurs to semi-professional musicians. Silverthorn Symphonic Winds is supported by a generous grant from The Ontario Trillium Foundation. For more information, visit:

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers
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Great Garden Search Contest

Contest started Monday, March 1st, 2010 and will be ending Friday, May 14 at 5pm.

Show the world that Toronto is a Community Gardening leader by helping us unearth our hidden gems!

The Toronto Community Garden Network (TCGN) is pleased to announce The Great Garden Search of 2010, a contest to find community gardens across the City of Toronto. The contest includes Etobicoke, Toronto, City of York, East York, North York and Scarborough, and it will appeal to scavenger hunters, neighborhood buffs, garden enthusiasts, and anyone who likes a challenge, while at the same time helping TCGN to document all of these hidden gems.

Why this contest?

TCGN wants to put Toronto on the map as one of the world’s leaders in community gardening. In order to do that we need to show how many community gardens we have covering this entire city: Etobicoke, Toronto, City of York, East York, North York and Scarborough.

What are community gardens?

Community gardens are places where people come together to grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, families, and friendships. Community gardens are run by communities for communities, and can be organized in any way that the community decides.

Personal gardens are not eligible in this contest. Gardens must involve 3 or more households and cannot be in a residential backyard.

How to Participate:

To participate in the contest look at the Community Gardens Map listed on our TCGN website. Then, walk around, use Google maps, search high and low, to find community gardens that are NOT listed on the website.

When you find new gardens email your entries to Norma Dickinson: or phone (416) 363-6441 ext. 279

In your email or phone call please include:

  • Your Name:
  • Your email or phone number:
  • Name of Garden (if applicable):
  • Location of Garden (including address if possible):
  • Nearest Intersection
  • Garden Contact Information.

How to win:

The grand prize will go to the participant who finds the largest number of gardens that are not on the TCGN website.
Bonus points will be awarded for gardens with garden contact information. i.e. garden coordinator’s name, email address, website or phone number but you must have gardener’s permission to give contact information to TCGN.

Contest Rules:

  • Anyone and everyone are welcome to participate.
  • The contest runs from March 1 – May 14, 2010.
  • Gardens must be between Steeles Avenue and Lake Ontario, and between the Rouge River and Highway 27 to be eligible.
  • If garden contact information is being provided, it must be either publicly available or the contest participant must have permission to provide it.
  • Personal gardens are not eligible. Only community gardens are eligible. Gardens must involve 3 or more households and cannot be in residential backyards.


The contest winner, and the runners up, will be announced on Monday May 17, 2010.

  • The Grand Prize is $150
  • First Runner up: two Living Food Boxes
    And additional Runners up will also win fantastic prizes such as:
  • Fiskars garden shears-titanium blade coating
  • Books – Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces by Gayla Trail, autographed by the author – and – Real Food for a Change, by Wayne Roberts
  • A Garden Essentials Gift basket – and a Book – Real Food For a Change, by Wayne Roberts
  • Own Leafy Vegetables: Complete mini garden kit with seeds and peat pellets and planters
  • A bag with Herbed Vinegars – and a Book – The Family Kitchen Garden: How to Plant, Grow and Cook Together – by Karen Liebreich, Jutta Wagner and Annette WendlandAnd
  • More fabulous prizes to be announced!

Thank you to FoodShare, Live Green Toronto, Gayla Trail, Zora Ignjatovic, and Laura Berman for generously donating these prizes.

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers
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New Mind Space's Pillowfight May 8

Feathers fly and teddies soar as you converge for a giant urban pillow fight! Swing and whack as you evade pillow-wielding assailants. Bring a soft pillow at 3 PM and wait for the signal. Pillow fight!

Come say goodbye to Yonge-Eglinton Square – it is being bulldozed later this year so more stores can be built.

Costumes and funky pillows encouraged 🙂

Pillow Fight Toronto
Yonge-Eglinton Square @ 3:00 PM
Saturday, May 8th 2010
Rain or shine! Free and all ages!

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers
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Puppetry Exploratory Laboratory Deadline Extended to Monday Feb. 1, 2010

Are you an artist, performance artist, animator, filmaker, multimedia artist, dancer, or choreographer who would like to be able to integrate puppetry into their art work but need some hands on skills?

Bring your project ideas to the Puppetry Exploratory Laboratory!

The deadline for this almost free learning opportunity (materials fee required) has been extended until Monday. This is the last chance to apply this season!

The online application is available at:

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers
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New Mindspace Invitation to Make Snow Lanterns

ReinventWinter presents: Snow Lanterns

At Dufferin Grove park, an assembly of people will converge on the snowpile created by the skating rink for the purposes of sculpting/building lanterns for candle light. It should be a fun and creative time.

The act of snow lantern making takes advantage of the natural opportunities provided by a cold climate. Examples of this winter celebration can be seen in Northern regions of Finland, Japan and elsewhere.

Join us in establishing this fantastic tradition in Toronto by building your very own snow lanterns.

Dufferin Grove Park
Friday January 29th
7:00pm – 12:00am
Bring: gloves, sculpting tools (if desired), positive attitude.
Provided: Candles, Snow

See the beautiful potential on the Facebook event:

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers
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Arts Vote Toronto says, "I am an Artist and I Vote!"

If you are a Toronto artist, work for an arts organization or you directly or indirectly have business ties with artists & cultural attractions in Toronto (marketers, web designers, printers, hotels & restaurants etc.) then you’ll want to assure that you know which candidates in the upcoming Toronto elections understand the importance of the arts to the quality of life in Toronto and to the tourist economy.
Sign up at Arts Vote today to keep in the picture.

Arts Vote launch rally. 5 pm Tues. Nov. 17 @ the Urbanspace Art Gallery, 401 Richmond

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers
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Tafelmusik launches "Sing-a-long Messiah Contest" on YouTube

The folks at Tafelmusik succeed year after year not only with great music (they are among the best that Toronto has to offer) but also with the novel ways that they come up with to connect the music of the past with what is happening here and now in our world. They have achieved this through collaborations with new composers; placing their work in the context of festivals of art like the Metamorphosis festival that draws from new and old works; and now with a fun contest that is powered by the popularity of YouTube and karaoke. Great marketing ideas like this should be celebrated. What makes this one great is that it isn’t just about getting bums in the seats for Tafelmusik’s Messiah this season (not that selling tickets isn’t important) but we are all tired and burned out by clever marketing that is just about “buy, buy, consume, consume”. This campaign is qualitatively different: it is about getting people singing and involved in the arts. That’s important at so many different levels.

If you love to sing and aren’t shy check out Tafelmusik’s website for all the information on the contest.

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers
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Peter Stoll, clarinet, Nov. 5 @ noon, free lunchtime concert

If you are going to be anywhere near the University of Toronto, ‘s Faculty of Music building (just south of the Royal Ontario Museum, behind the old planetarium) you might like to catch what promises to be a lively concert with one of Toronto’s most versatile and active clarinetest.

Peter writes in his email of today, “A quick email just for those in the T.O. area who might be interested, this Thursday November 5, I’m playing a free recital at UofT’s Faculty of Music, the Edward Johnson Building, in Walter Hall, noon-1pm. Fun stuff, some classical, some jazz, some klezmer, 3 different sizes of clarinets, hope you can make it!”

By the way, Peter has a new website. If you are a music-lover in Toronto, you’ll want to bookmark it.

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers
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