BY WALTER TAUTORAT
Taste Of Toronto, Garrison Commons, June 17. 2017
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The Taste Of Toronto Festival took over the Garrison Commons grounds at Fort York on the weekend.

This incredible food event meant to tempt, tease and offer a taste of some of the finer foods that make up the Toronto dining scene.

From venison and wild boar, to chocolate covered bacon, to all manner of rubs and sauces, no flavour profile left untouched.

Libations from some people that take mixology serious to a nice cold beer from the back of a beer truck there is something here for all tastes.

Many fine dining establishments represented as well, offering samples and meals to fill the belly and make one smile.

It is always a pleasure to watch someone like chef Grant van Gameren of Bar Isabel, Bar Raval and a growing list of Toronto hot spots. plying his skills in the most basic of ways. There is a wonderful synergy between burning charcoal, fresh meat and those wonderful secret spice rubs. And the things this man can do with an octopus!

All of that combined with another beautiful sunny Saturday made the entire experience a pleasurable one.

Time to head home for a nap! Thanks to all, look forward to next year~
BY GLENDA FORDHAM
HANGING PAINTINGS WITH JOHNY DELUNA
25+ large paintings were hung at the Art Square Gallery this month – Toronto contemporary artist JOHNY DELUNA is getting ready for his Thursday (June 8, 6-9pm) opening reception of his solo show “Spontaneous Levitation” so I spent some time with him as he measured and moved, then measured again all his spectacular works.

I snapped a few pics of close-up details from several of his paintings which illustrate the textural quality of his work with raised dots of paint with multiple colours – very hard to achieve and extremely time-consuming.

And I love some of the mythical creatures and people who dance across the canvases….

And who doesn’t love galloping giraffes in a windswept land and seascape?

As Johny was busy up the ladder, a young man came in obviously intrigued with what was going on…he was soon chatting with Johny about the paintings and the stories behind each one.

Hopefully you are also intrigued and will join Johny at Art Square Gallery, 334 Dundas St West, Toronto (opp. the Art Gallery of Ontario) this Thursday Jun.8th 6-9pm. Spontaneous Levitation runs until June 19th so if you can’t make it this week, you have another week to catch these wild and provocative paintings.    
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BY WALTER TAUTORAT
Rally For Our Day In Court, University Ave. Toronto June 12 2017
Monday June 12, 2017 the battle begins. In courtroom 804 at 393 University Ave. CUPE’S lawsuit against Kathleen Wynne and her government’s selling off of Hydro One shares had it’s first day in court.

Outside the court house a group of supporters gathered to give voice to the ever growing worry and fear that privatizing yet another public asset can’t be good.

The gathering included people from several communities on Ontario that are seeing their electrical services being sold out to the highest bidder.

In this province we already pay the highest charges in the country and as we were reminded by John Clarke, of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, an increasing number of people already have to make the decision to keep their electricity on or buy food. These utilities belong to all of us. Created and built up by generations of Ontarians for all Ontarians.

2018 will be an election year and if the Premiere really thinks that selling off these public utilities is such a great idea, how about running a platform on that in the next provincial election and see how that goes. Not a huge crowd but a boisterous one. It has just begun, the battle is young and there will be much more to come. The more people speak up, the more likely they might actually be heard. My favourite line of the day, “Power To The People!” and please, at a reasonable rate.
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Toronto Police Hold Pride Reception Tuesday Evening
BY KJ Mullins
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Toronto Police Hold Pride Reception Tuesday Evening


Toronto Police held their annual Pride Reception Tuesday evening at police headquarters. This year's event took place after a troubling year. During the 2016 Pride Parade members of Black Lives Matter halted the procession with a list of demands that included in effect, kicking uniformed police officers from taking part in the 2017 parade.

Despite the controvesity of offical Pride Toronto events Toronto Police Headquarters was in a party mood Tuesday night with Chief Mark Saunders and Toronto Police Services Board Chair Andy Pringle hosting.

Saunders said that the one message he would like to get out is, "The relationship between Toronto Police and LGBTQ is strong and our role is to make it even stronger and better than it has been ever."

For Constable Danielle Bottineau, LGBTQ Liaison Officer, the evening's event is an important one. Her one message for this year's Pride is "to be kind to each other and let's all come to the table and talk to move forward."

Headquarters was packed and rocking with a party atmosphere with many notable supporters including Rev. Brent Hawkins and activist Susan Gapka.

On Thursday last week Chief Saunders made history with the first Pride Flag rising at Toronto Police Headquarters.

“This is a historic day in our Service’s history,” said Superintendent Barb McLean, who sits on the LBGTQ Community Consultative Committee. “I have been to many Pride flag raisings, at City Hall for example, but to see the Pride flag here at police headquarters with my friends and my colleagues is incredibly special. When I joined the Service 28 years ago, I could not have imagined this day. Today is no small feat when you consider that the 1980s saw police officers and gay rights activists on opposite sides of the barricades."

In February Police Chief Mark Saunders announced that the Toronto Police Service would not be participating in this year's event. Police will provide security but will not have a float or their usual booth along Church Street. 
Muhtadi International Drumming Festival, Woodbine Park June 03 2017
BY WALTER TAUTORAT
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The 18th annual Muhtadi International Drumming Festival took place last weekend in Woodbine Park ,Toronto.

The festival was launched in 2000 by Trinidadian drummer Muhtadi as a way to unite Toronto’s many cultures in an expression of percussive unity.

The history of drumming is almost as old as the history of mankind on earth. A skin or membrane stretched over a cylinder or shell and struck with a hand or stick.

Every culture has a steep history of drums and this festival showcases the love and joy that we all share for rhythm and percussive expression.

From workshops to a stage of truly talented international artists to sitting under a tree banging a bongo this event sure to inspire the rhythm in all of us.

This year’s theme , “Our home on native land”, a tribute to the strong and vibrant history of drums in aboriginal history and lore.

During my visit I had the pleasure to hear rhythms from China, Korea, Ghana, Burkina Faso , Japan, the Canadian All-Stars steel band,which will be representing Canada in an upcoming competition in Australia and the wonderfully decked out Michel Bruyere who has been the touring drummer for Buffy Ste. Marie for the past 8 years.

The park was full of awesome sounds and a few dragons. A truly beautiful day for some truly inspiring and beautiful beats and even a drum made from a real canoe.

Looking forward to next year's event. Hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy it, the rhythms will stay with you long after you leave.

As always enjoy Toronto and just for fun, bang a drum.
Flashmob, Yonge-Dundas May 31 2017
BY WALTER TAUTORAT
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Early in May a person I met at a rally had informed me about this flashmob that was going to take place on the 31st at Yonge & Dundas.

A joint effort between the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape and an incredible group of young women called Grrrrl Justice. A way to mark the end of Sexual Assault Awareness Month with an exclamation point.

I waited patiently not knowing exactly where or how this would begin. My first clue was that bright pink hair followed by many women with signs, It had begun. This intersection is crazy busy, especially at the end of a work day. It was incredible to see so many people stop, listen and more importantly ask.

The event had been in planning since late March and couldn’t have been done any better. The drums and chanting were loud and yes for a moment in many peoples lives, the rat race stopped and the voices of the victims and survivors were heard and reminded us all of the reality of gender-based violence that sadly is still very prevalent in society.

Thanks to all those wonderful people that put this together and thanks for letting me share it. The march back to Ryerson was invigorating and I truly hope these kinds of empowering events continue and make a difference.

In this capitalist mecca of million dollar billboards and bright lights it was nice to see some real stars and some real signs that actually mean something.

Please keep up the good work! It is important!