Friday, December 4, 2009
Click here , vote, vote, vote and spread the word! If you have a blog, email list, twitter, facebook... face... tell your friends to do it too! Tell the world! Then tell us so we can tell you how much we love you, give you the biggest high-fives we've got and do your solar-powered laundry for a week! Did we say we love you??
Friday, November 13, 2009
Recently, we had the opportunity to visit (and be inspired by) the Sky Dragon Centre in downtown Hamilton. Sky Dragon is a non-profit worker's co-operative that has been up and running since 2004.
Self-described as a "multi-use community centre in downtown Hamilton where people can explore their individual and collective power for change", they "providing environmentally and socially-conscious consumer and life-style alternatives, by strengthening the local economy, by raising awareness of social and ecological issues, and by facilitating direct democratic participation and community activism."
We were able to sit down with one of their members to discuss some of the challenges and successes they faced with creating this dynamic space.
From Kevin we learned about the differences between traditional non-profit organizations and non-profit workers co-operatives, something that we have been discussing in the past few months. It opened our eyes to the possibilities of how enriching and communal (although challenging!) a non-profit co-op model can be.
It was great to see another group of entrepreneurs achieve a similar dream to the one we are trying to create here in Toronto. Through their centre they are able to provide a cafe space, run workshops, host movie and music nights and be a fully engaged and integral part of their community. And although they aren't "off the grid" as we intend to be, they're doing what they can by using Bullfrog Power!
We heart you Sky Dragon! Thanks for your inspiration and paving the way for other great socially and environmentally innovative groups and businesses!
For more information on Sky Dragon and their services, visit www.skydragon.org !
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Check out the website for more info. We'll be sure to report back apres conferencing. Hopefully you'll be able to decipher our crazy talk after a weekend of filling our brains with as much sustainable energy info as possible and internet pushing our Aviva entry. It closes Sunday, so vote now here! xo
Friday, November 6, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Then, NOW magazine published an article about how China was sneakily getting around the law systems that would allow Ontario garlic growers to have a fair chance in the stores by shipping their garlic to India and elsewhere and then shipping it here. Local growers cannot compete with the low prices that cloves from China are priced at, and so Ontario growers are bumped out of the market and can only sell in local farmers markets most of the time.
To get the word out about local garlic, we produced this quick informational video,(courtesy of Neil Cavalier)!
Halloween themed, as NOW IS THE TIME TO PLANT YOUR OWN GARLIC FOR NEXT SEASON!
Enjoy and be informed!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
If you are a local artist looking for places to sell your stuff, or if you're looking for a cozy event space to host music or arts nights, I would highly recommend this little gem situated on Queen street west between shaw and ossington.
I heart you Heartbeat!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Of course you do! Otherwise, you probably wouldn't be reading our blog. Perhaps you even sometimes like knowing what day it is (often a challenge for us creative types). Well, here's the opportunity of a lifetime - or at least of the year. Get yourself organized AND have some great art to look at. Make yourself a New Year's resolution and get started with The Yardfolk Calendar from our green designing friends at Squab Studio. Okay, let's be honest you may just end up having some great art to look at, but what the heck; you're supporting Earthroots in the preservation of wilderness, watersheds and wildlife in Ontario. Each calendar features trim-able, frame-able animal portraits by a great lineup of Toronto artists including Tammy Yiu, Danielle Hession, Mahmood Popal and our own Lauren Pirie, all of whom you may have seen exhibiting at our recent Art & Eco Fashion show in the distillery. Look for it at local retailers (list coming soon) in November or get more info from Squab here .
However, in that enlightening chat Mike and I had a while back, we talked about how necessary it is for the arts world to meet the business world, because the arts world often contains all of the liberal, new exciting ideas, and the business world has the tools and skills to make those ideas reality. Wouldn't it be great if Universities would pair liberal arts kids and business kids together a little more often to collaborate on projects in and out of the classroom?
In this same realm of merging the arts and business world together, York's YSEC (York's Sustainable Enterprise Consultants) are hosting a workshop for people with non-business backgrounds to talk about their ideas and explore business models that might work for them. (click here for the event brite website)
Facilitated by John Baker (Partner and Chief Executive of Aperio and member of the Faculty of the Schulich School of Business, York University), this introductory workshop will:
* explore different social enterprise models and how the 'numbers' change depending on the model
* examine ways to evaluate which model makes the most financial sense for your organization
* offer hands-on practice working with raw financial data
* demonstrate how to format finances in a way that is easier for other members of your organization or business to understand
* help you to understand finances as a process that creates sustainable social enterprises
* provide you with the foundation for future workshops in the "Finance is Sexy Workshop Series", including those on creating budgets, dealing with taxes, and accounting.
The About Face Collective will be there, and we'd recommend this workshop to any other artistically-backgrounded entrepreneurs with a creative vision who need the practical skills to get them to the next level!
See you there!
--Natalie and The About Face Collective
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Oh water, water. In a country where we are so fortunate to have you flowing freely from our taps, isn’t it funny that we opt to pay more than we would for say… a cupcake to drink you out of a bottle? (Or if you prefer the square, flower-laden variety, opt to pay close to the equivalent of a modest sandwich) A plastic bottle, no less, which may be leaching potential carcinogens into you (and, well, therefore into you, yes you out there). A bottle made of non-renewable resources that once empty, will go on to litter our land and waterways, or be lovingly placed into my bicycle basket (there must be something about my “vintage” [read: broken] brown bike that says “this girl’s a willing hippie who will redeem your laziness and ensure that your recyclables make their way to the nearest receptacle”). Or in the best-case scenario, be shoved into the frequently overflowing Toronto recycle bins (perhaps this explains the apparent need to resort to the bicycle basket) and maybe go on to be recycled through a pollution creating, energy consumptive process. Silly, right?
Right. But, allow me to digress momentarily from the bottle banter while I acknowledge some contaminants that we Torontonians do face chances of encountering in our tap water. The ever-controversial fluoride is being thoroughly tackled by our friends over at Regenesis www.voteoutfluoride.com while the not-even-controversial-just-bad lead continues to infiltrate, especially in Toronto’s older neighbourhoods and buildings - the ones we at About Face are looking to inhabit (Visit Toronto's page on Lead in drinking water. We recommend following steps 4 & 5 whether or not you are pregnant or breastfeeding). It wasn’t sooo long ago that lead could be found in, well, pretty much everything; toys, household items, pipes… hmmm, kinda like plastic. You wouldn’t pay sandwich-equivalent prices to drink out of a lead cup, right? Just sayin.
But, we’ve all done it. Culprits of our love-affair with convenience. At least we’ve seen one good thing come of water bottles lately. Okay, I’m a little late reporting on this, but I’ve been busy (all that pouring of filtered water into reusable bottles takes time, you know). Chances are you either saw this first-hand last weekend at Nuit Blanche or in one of the many articles on Alexandra (Alita) González before and since anyhow. Her Trinity Bells installation made me happy with nostalgia for my 80s child affinity toward the glowing nubs (of plastic) that made for endless hours of entertainment with lite-brite creations.
And of course I offer a big high-five to Alexandra for the attempt to address the pollution and BPA issues with plastic bottles. How, though, does letting big kids move oversized rainbow coloured bottle-pegs around to create giant collaborative lite (sticking with the alternative spelling) images evoke health and environmental concerns? If you didn’t get it by playing, hopefully the visual and interactive success of González’s work inspired you to research further. And, well, I suppose you’re reading about it here.
More belated Nuit Blanche commentary tomorrow. Pour maintenant, bon nuit.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
If you know of any artist/activist/eco-conscious initiatives or groups happening in the San Francisco area, please give me a shout!
Thursday, October 1, 2009
As many of you know, (based on the turnout, odds are good that you were there) we had our first major fund-raising event with Regenesis last week. If you were amongst the crowd, you know how incredibly talented and gracious our friends and contributors are. The Regenesis Art & Eco Fashion Show for The About Face Collective was one all-around fantastic and, well... well-rounded party - a testament to what's in the works for our Ecovillage/ Art Space. Thanks to all of you for your overwhelming support for this project. Good things are happening in Toronto and you could sure feel it at Arta Gallery last Thursday. (And it wasn’t just those Davids Tea tea-tinis)
A piece from About Face Collective creative director
Lauren Pirie www.laurenpirie.com
TV host, producer, activist and our emcee,
Teenflare.com & CityTV's Laura Lanktree with
handsome & talented musician/ director Josh Raskin
Contributing artists Justyna & Joy
A piece from the lovely Joy Broadbent
Great time in front of an amazing piece from
Behind this handsome peaceful chap (we hear he's funny too);
a glimpse of some art by our friend Danielle Hession
Enoch Khuu, champion of everything
(namely functional event space design for the eve)
We love you Enoch.
Troy Jackson. What a gem.
Some food we liked.
Some boys we like.
One in particular.
The incredible Dr. Draw. Mind-blowing.
And now for the Fashion Show...
Hosted by the fantastic Laura Lanktree
The Deadly Nightshades
The man behind the camera: James Kachan