33: Forgotten Teachers

“There was one guy that came by—he was an old guy—he said, “You know,” he says, “if you get tired of the people, just close your eyes, and remember that this here is the Grandfathers!” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “A long time ago, we used to bury ourselves in...

32: Life Purpose and Genius Are Unconditional

Sometimes, it’s poignant, inspiring, and irreverent messages of hope—like from Prudence Mabhena, a 21-year-old Zimbabwean singer-songwriter who was born severely disabled and has struggled to overcome poverty and discrimination, and Talli Osbourne a.k.a. Nubs, a...

31: Life, Animated

Life, Animated is an exceptional documentary from Academy Award–winning director Roger Ross Williams, based on Ron Suskind’s best-selling book, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism. It is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind (the son of Ron...

30: She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

http://www.shesbeautifulwhenshesangry.com This documentary, now available on Netflix, is an inspiring look at the brilliant, outrageous women who spearheaded the 1960s women’s movement. It’s celebratory in tone, capturing the exhilaration felt by a generation of women...

29: This Body Project

This body project reveals the relationship between body and self. This body project is an artistic engagement that seeks to discover and transform the relationship between self and body.  Via the mediums of photography, audio recordings, and the written word,...

28: Amma in Toronto, July 11 to 14

And, in case you don’t know yet, there’s a new documentary!   Location: International Plaza Hotel – Toronto Airport 655 Dixon Road Hotel: 416.244.1711   Programs: Monday, July 11 (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.-ish):        Free day program Monday, July 11 (7 p.m. to 3...

26: Just another Saturday — NOT!

Stripe and Daisy got off the bike in early January a mere week before I left for Africa. As the weather shifts into summer, I am reminded of last year’s odyssey on that crazy-ass tandem bike with the huge eyeball. I fail to fully understand what that journey was truly...

25: Bad Girls Drive?!?

“Bad Girls,” M.I.A. official video M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls” video is a cheeky and ass-kicking reminder that Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that prohibits women from driving, and it brings me right back to one of the most poignant conversations Stripe and...

24: Running

Initially, I ran to English school to escape my French perpetrators. I ran in figure skates and ballet slippers to be away on weekends too. I ran so the monsters under my bed would not bite me. I ran and hid in snow forts, the pool, and the neighbour’s yard. I ran in...

23: Energy Salon News

Energy Salon is cancelled on Victoria Day, Monday, May 23, 2016. Sound Healer Barb McIntosh will play her CHINESE FENG (WIND) GONGS for us on Summer Solstice eve, Monday, June 20. If our energy is not focused enough by then, that’ll do it for sure! The Energy Salon’s...

22: Energy Salons, Version 2.0

One of the first changes I introduced into my schedule post-Africa is a weekly healing circle. So often clients ask me where they can find like-minded community. And I’ve always known that if my clients met one another, many among them would find refreshing and...

21: Islam?

“So what’s a nice white girl like you doing here?” asks El-Farouk Khaki while we’re on break before a gender-equal Sufi Zikr ceremony on Roncesvalles Avenue in Toronto. “I’m going out for a breath of fresh air in the parking lot. Wanna come?” Like, yeah … “What’s a...

20: Africa: White Woman Toronto?

To say that I came back to Toronto utterly STUNNED by my seven, very full-on, weeks in sub-Saharan West Africa is an understatement. I am still actively grasping, digesting, and absorbing the sage African abundance I have been gifted. Even though I recognize, more...

19: Africa: Opposites Attract

I can’t believe that I have been back from Africa for five weeks. The journey that started in Accra, Ghana, on January 15, 2016, and ended on March 9, 2016, is by far the most haunting yet joyful, complex yet ever so foundational, soulful yet overrun with basic...

18: The Manifesto

I get a call from Jess Dobkin, founder of the Artists’ Newsstand at Chester Station. She would like me to read my manifesto at the Take Back the Nuit event she is organizing. Her plan is to create an alternative to Nuit Blanche on October 3. Wait a sec, let’s back up...

17: Who’s Making Waves

The next big item on the agenda was to make sense of my experience on the art-bike. The plot very gradually came into focus. And I mean gradually. The more we rode the streets of downtown Toronto under our glittery eyeball, the more elusive the framework became. Every...

16: Catching Up!

  Whoa, man, it’s been ages since I updated my blog. I feel like a dog learning to juggle and failing miserably at keeping all the balls in the air. My track record so far this summer and fall is more akin to a quarterback catching a football and running in the...

15: High Hopes in Low Light

Okay … no rest for the wicked … I come home, shower, eat, answer a few emails, paint myself white, done my wig and costume again, and head right back out. Katherine Dynes and I are joining Toronto’s Bike Rave. I only now understand the vision I witnessed from my...

14: The One and Only Kensington Market

If one site in Toronto can be called my neighbourhood, it’s Kensington Market. This unique collision of Toronto history is the vibrant, distinctive, tasty, and delightfully diverse backdrop for all my eras in this metropolis. Whether it’s as an art student in the...

13: The Taste of Yonge-Dundas Square

It’s day one with Michelle Polak. I’m immediately reminded that she is a trained actor when she lays on her makeup in a few deftly directed strokes. She is less streaky in the first two minutes on the job than I have managed to perfect in my five weeks in the street....

12: The 47th Annual Caribana Toronto Festival

Katherine Dynes and I valiantly venture forth to the Canadian National Exhibition grounds to meet the most uproarious explosion of feathers, sequins, and Black Pride that Toronto has to offer. Thankfully, the dark grey clouds blow over—it looked pretty dicey...

11: The Plot Unfurls

I get an email from Katja mentioning that she can only ride the bike sometimes. You’d think she’d had the run-in with Sleaze Balls. I get another email from Katja stating that she can only ride the bike on big occasions, like Nuit Blanche or Halloween. Wow, she’s...

10: The Plot Thickens

Katja and I head to Kensington Market on the art-bike and, of course, b-line to I Deal Coffee on Nassau street (so YUM). No sooner are we parked—our machine undoubtedly raises parallel parking to an art-form—a man wearing an old, rumpled, vaguely patterned white shirt...

9: ART ALL THE WAY

White-tandem-bicycling home from the Canadian National Exhibition grounds on July 12th, huffing north up Strachan Avenue with a borderline case of “Should we get off and push?” we are assailed by an assertive yet imploring “WAIT—wait for US!” The cry pierces the...

8: Community

Wherever we are heading, we always end up on College Street, either coming out of or going into my garage. Boy, did we confuse the guys at the Merit Decorating Centre on July 11th! Katherine Dynes, our mascot for the evening, had to actually go in to the store to let...

7: Our Passport to ACTION

By 6 pm on July 10th, Front Street is blocked due to the PAN AM Games opening Ceremony at the Rogers Centre —of course—but not for us. Three cops wave us in: two bewigged-costumed dames, on a tandem bicycle with a huge eyeball, loaded with four large black Tupperware...

6: Happy Birthday Canada

We head out in the late-afternoon sun on July first to meet up with Cylla von Tiedemann, a wonderful photographer who has photographed many of my theatre designs at the Stratford Festival and other theatres. Though the weather is perfect for a shoot, it’s more than a...

5: Pride

It’s  June 26 I’m beyond exhausted at this point and I’m not even on the bike yet! Katherine Dynes is still sewing on CDs, and I’m fussing with our costumes. In fact, just yesterday, I bought a dress that is now at the dry cleaners becoming a tank top, and we ended up...

4: Somewhere and everywhere in the blur of productivity

Geez fucking Louise—who had these ideas, anyway? I am texting and emailing everyone on the team many times a day. I am painfully reminded of how much work it is to assemble costumes. I studied and dedicated my life to costume design for twenty-four years (twenty-five,...

3: Confab at the 519 West

Katja picked up the bike in Ajax last night so we push off to test-drive the skeleton on which we will build our art-bike creation. Holy mother of god—riding a tandem bicycle is not for the faint of heart! Katja has her own worries up front, it’s more like steering a...

2: Inspiration Strikes

Sometime around three a.m. on June 1st, I wake up, like back in my designer days, full of beans and images. You have to understand, just in the past week I have been guided in ceremonies to heal my relationships with my ancestors, celebrate my connection to defunct...

1: Okay… Let’s do it!

I just got back from a Malidoma Patrice Somé intensive workshop in North Carolina in late May. It’s a huge honour to dog-paddle in the wake of an African elder from the Dagara tribe in Burkina Faso who also happens to have three master’s degrees and two PhDs. I was...

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