My writing explores the intersection of music, art and film, with a focus on the work of marginalized cultural producers. I write reviews, profiles, short and long features and blog content. I've written for The Globe and Mail, CBC Arts, The FADER, NOW Magazine and Canadian Art as well as independent publications.
Casually perusing the Mixcloud archives of Montreal-based n10as radio is akin to stumbling on a hidden treasure trove. Scintillatingly alluring, you can get lost for hours listening to episodes devoted to niche genres like chopped and screwed hip-hop, future soul, and psych rock. Currently Canada’s longest running online radio station, a mighty crew has kept it going since February 2016.
The ubiquity of online radios stations like Dublab in Los Angeles, Berlin Community Radio, NTS in London, ...
Toronto’s culture is nothing without Black artists. But the predominantly white art world is part of the obstacle
I can’t imagine Toronto without the contributions of Black artists. It would be a city without a soul, without a beating heart, lifeless without the films of Charles Officer, the art of Michèle Pearson Clarke, the music of dvsn or the sculptures of Esmaa Mohamoud. But it isn’t easy for Black poets, musicians, filmmakers, artists and playwrights to stitch themselves permanently into the city’s cultural tapestry — systemic barriers work tirelessly to keep them marginalized.
Whiteness permeates ...
By: Kelsey Adams
Editor’s note: Chefs, restaurants and community food groups make up a big part of the Ontario Culture Days network. In light of COVID-19, we’ve seen food services rapidly adapt their approach. We asked writer Kelsey Adams to profile one such initiative: Family Meal TO. We’re tracking similar projects across the province. Want to share one from your region? Drop us a line here.
It was business as usual for Toronto’s food service industry when the Covid-19 pandemic hit hard and...
Online clubs like Club Quarantine are creating global communities and providing opportunities for DJs and drag performers to continue their work.
To say we’re living in unprecedented times may feel a tad hyperbolic but the Covid-19 Pandemic will likely change our lives in fundamental ways we have yet to foresee. Already, we’re seeing attempts by artists and creators of all kinds to move further into the virtual space of the Internet, where anything is possible—through a webcam.
The dance floor is one of the best community-building spaces we have. There’s a suspension of boundaries that draw us closer together, allow us to be free, support one another and experience joy without saying very much at all. But with the rise of social distancing and self-isolation following the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world, we won’t be dancing together for quite some time.
In Toronto, these safety measures have immediately impacted the livelihoods of DJs, musicians and perfor...
NOTE: This story was prepared prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. Some information may have since changed.
This month, Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLM-TO) launched Wildseed: Centre for Activism and Art, a new kind of co-working space that prioritizes the city’s Black community. The centre, meant for community organizing, meeting, art making and healing, has been a dream of the organization since BLM-TO’s inception in 2014.
“For us, imagining the possibility of a future without anti-Black racis...
What sounds like a dream to many teenage Torontonians is Benjamin Bwamiki's reality. He just returned home from a few days out on tour with Tory Lanez — a quick trip to Los Angeles, New York and then back home to Toronto. You might guess that he joined the dates as a performer, but the 16-year-old Scarborough teen is actually a graphic designer.
Bwamiki, a.k.a. Certified Benji on Instagram, has spent the past three years hustling to build up his brand and is now reaping his fruits, one co-sig...
NOW’s Senior Film Writer Norm Wilner and contributor Kelsey Adams jump on the finale in our Oscars podcast series.
We discuss the difference between great directing and stunt directing, as exemplified by the Oscar race’s major contenders Parasite and 1917, respectively. We parse what’s to love and hate about other contenders like The Irishman and Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood (the latter may take a swipe at Forrest Gump, which beat Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction at the Oscars 25 years ago)...
Inclusion, diversity, visibility, representation. They’ve all started to feel like empty buzzwords, slowly stripped of meaning with each comatose panel or forum purporting to establish real change. Usually well-intentioned but lacking in concrete action, such circular discussions feel futile. Whether about the disparity between white art professionals and everyone else or the gendered career plateaus women face, we’re often left wanting. A number of factors are at play here, namely the rise o...
A figure stands between tall hedges, their shadows engulfing him on all sides. He
approaches an opening and starts his Sisyphean task. He comes to the maze every day, but has
yet to reach its centre, where he hopes to find the answers he seeks. Some days he follows the
path dutifully, hitting dead ends and starting anew. On other days, his frustration overcomes him
and he hacks through the bush, deconstructing and recreating his own path to understanding. The
maze always rebuilds itself.
This is his ritual, a daily practice of searching for that which evades him.
An urban agriculturist, a poet, a planner, a curator and a fashion designer explain how they're breaking down barriers to Black liberation
From globe-trotting hip-hop to future dancehall, here are the artists to watch this year.
The sound: Dance music for rule-breakers
Bambii is part of the lifeblood of Toronto’s dance music scene. She’s a leader in the collective of cool, queer and diasporic DJs who are working to make the city’s dance music culture reflective of their realities.
Committed to Black women and queer folk from the very beginning, she’s turned her biannual party, JERK, into an institution. Known internationally for genre-defying sets, she’s left a string of sweaty dance floors from Berlin to Ho Chi Minh C
The Margin of Eras Gallery needs to raise $75,000 to keep running into 2020. The nonprofit gallery, run by radical arts initiative CUE, is facing closure due to financial pressures exacerbated by rising commercial lease costs in Toronto and administrative challenges accessing public funds.
There is quite a bit of urgency, according to creative directors Zanette Singh and Jason Samilski. “In order to keep the doors open for 2020, we would need the money by January, ideally,” said Singh.
It’s been quite an exhausting year, hasn’t it? After all the energy spent on election fatigue, climate strikes and ever-encroaching gentrification, how sweet would it be to forget all those woes, at least temporarily, for one last big night out? Beckoning in a new year can feel like a heavy weight – the pressure to find the perfect party is very real. Here’s my advice: as long as you’re with people you genuinely like, you’ll have an unforgettable night.
Whether you feel like testing your sals...
Inclusion, diversity, visibility, representation. They’ve all started to feel like empty buzzwords, slowly stripped of meaning with each comatose talk, panel or forum purporting to establish real change. Usually well-intentioned but lacking in concrete action, such circular discussions feel futile. Whether about the disparity between white art professionals and everyone else or the gendered career plateaus women face, we’re often left wanting. A number of factors are at play here, namely the ...