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Finalists for the Toronto Book Awards have been revealed and competition is stiff. Local author Margaret Atwood lends her famous name to the announcement as her 55th book joins four other works reflective of the spirit of Toronto. The 41st award will be presented at the Toronto Reference Library by Gill Deacon from CBC Radio on October 15th. Finalists will receive $1000 and the chosen author (or authors) $15,000 - in the past, the award has been split between multiple winners. […] Continue reading →

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For every question concerning the existence of another is a corresponding inner reflection, cast out like a shadow. Objective reality may be obtainable or it may be a figment of the collective imagination, and in the absence of an answer, real questions take root and sprout. Ones that accept that ultimate knowledge may never be obtained and concern themselves with smaller, more intimate details that are both minute and overarching. […] Continue reading →

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In the midst of festival season, paths are being laid towards fall. Introduced by Executive Director and Polaris Music Prize founder Steve Jordan, 2015 Gala host Fred Penner announced the 10 album short list this morning after speaking to why he chose to align himself with Polaris. He used the words integrity and responsible to describe the organization, which he feels celebrates diversity in Canadian music. […] Continue reading →

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In the corner of an otherwise white wall, a image of designer and GUESS founder Georges Marciano hangs among the quiet company of other socialites. Ironically, the space in which this portrait hangs was most recently a boutique selling the jeans that made Marciano famous – and this fame was what attracted Andy Warhol, the man who painted this portrait. Warhol was obsessed with glossy visions of fame and celebrity, and his work fits right into the polished high-fashion neighbourhood of […] Continue reading →

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June is Aboriginal History Month in Canada, and the theme this year is Giganawendamin Dibaajimowinan which means “We keep the stories”. In celebration, the Toronto Public Library has curated a full program of events at branches throughout the city to honour First Nation’s Heritage through indigenous stories, films, and music. Reaching its pinnacle this weekend on National Aboriginal Day, a three-part event at the library features a mix of culture, development, and discussion […] Continue reading →

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Girlpool’s “Cherry Picking” destroys itself from the inside out. It starts with a slow, plucking bass and notes as tentative as the lyrics spread thinly overtop – “You were hot and heavy, you were hesitant it seemed, when I’m cherry picking, I always know you’re going to leave”. With that deepest threat (abandonment) dripping off the tongue, a guitar picks up speed in the background. The words are blunt, delivering harsh reality with the force of an angry smile – […] Continue reading →

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Fans are whirring uselessly overhead, slowly flicking back and forth, throwing shadows upward across the yellow-stained ceiling. You’re sitting in a high school classroom and outside it’s a sunny afternoon. The temperature rests stagnant somewhere in between warm and hot, one of those days just past the dead end of spring when summer begins to emerge. It’s dark inside because the lights are turned off in an attempt to further cool the immobile air. Scented with the unique mixture that […] Continue reading →

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There is something to be said for the human ability to find comfort in the uncomfortable; the unnatural tendency to stretch ourselves, putting mind and body in troublesome situations for extended periods of time. While it may be manageable, it never feels quite right. Occasionally, something happens that causes a person to slow down – to stop, and reflect. To question their own motives and ask why they may be in the situation they are in, and if they are really happy. Every once in a […] Continue reading →

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Hazy summer days continue to tease us. Mac DeMarco’s “The Way You’d Love Her”, from the impending 8-song mini-LP Another One, brings with it the promise of burning off these grey spring days for good. Unravelling like an old sweater, notes that waver wash together to create a surfy vibe that rocks open the dusty doorway to summer. Stitching together dreamy sun-soaked words, Mac is a romantic, singing about a tenderness that is bigger than those involved and is only realized as a […] Continue reading →

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If ghosts are real, they can be heard, seen, and felt on the debut song from Roman à Clef, “Abandonware (Josh and Jer)”. Seeing through the cloudy glimmer of the past, a conversation between woman and man unfolds as we eavesdrop on the parallel musings of past lovers who still cross each other’s minds, but haven’t encountered each other in a while. At first, the direct approach catches you off guard with a casual, childlike freedom of naiveté. Sweet 80’s synth and shimmery […] Continue reading →

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© Kristin Lee Conrad