What do you love about your city?

September 21, 2017
by Lindsay
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Writing The City: Writing workshops at Parkdale Library

Do you love Parkdale? Do you love to write?

Join me for a *free* 8-week writing workshop at Parkdale Library where we will find our creative voices, inspired by Parkdale.

Adult workshops:
Wednesdays: 6:30-8pm
(Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25 / Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22)

Youth workshops (age 13-19):
Thursdays: 4:30-6pm (drop-in spaces available each week)
(Oct 5, 12, 19, 26 / Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23) 

Please register for the free workshops in person or by calling Parkdale Library at 416-393-7686.

UPDATE: Adult workshops now have a waiting list, and there will be drop-in spaces available on Thursdays for interested youth).

More on the workshops:

Writing the City is a writing-based community engagement project based on The Love Lettering Project, the internationally acclaimed writing project founded in 2004 by Lindsay Zier-Vogel.

Writing the City will take place at the Toronto Public Library’s Parkdale branch, and be comprised of two registration-required eight-week writing workshops, one for youth and one for adults. In the workshops, participants will generate poetry and short fiction inspired by and/or situated in Parkdale and to conclude, a public display of their writing at the library.

Participants will uncover their own voices and Lindsay will work with the writers in providing community-focused inspiration and editing skills, transforming their work over the course of the 8-week workshop.

Lindsay is an active member of the community-based arts community and since 2004, she has been asking people to write love poems to their communities, slip them into airmail envelopes marked “love.” and distribute them anonymously throughout their communities. Through her Love Lettering Project, thousands of people have participated in over 50 events in Toronto and in two Canada Council-funded tours to the UK and Canada’s North. The project has the capacity to transform an individual’s relationship to public space and their communities through social and artistic engagement. Since its inception, Lindsay has developed a co-creative writing workshop program based on these principles, uniting creative writing and community engagement in workshops for children, youth and adults (through the TDSB, Pathways to Education, Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada’s DreamCatcher Mentoring, Sister Writes, among others).

Lindsay received an M.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Toronto under the advisorship of award winning novelist, Anne Michaels and has been published in many publications including The Toronto Star, The Lampeter Review, Taddle Creek, room of one’s own, Where The Nights Are Twice As Long: Love Letters of Canadian Poets, published by Goose Lane Editions and Watermarks: Writing by Lido Lovers and Wild Swimmers. More about Lindsay here.

September 19, 2017
by Lindsay
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What do you love about Parkdale?

What do you love about Parkdale?? Come on by Parkdale Library on Thursday and/or Saturday and write love letters to one of my very favourite neighbourhoods in Toronto (it’s free!!)

Parkdale Library: 1303 Queen Street W
Thursday, September 21: 4-5:30pm
Saturday, September 23: 2:30-4pm

And if you’re interested in an 8-week city-based creative writing workshop at the library (free, and led by me!) you can call the library and register: 416-393-7686

Adult writing workshops:
October 4-November 22
Wednesdays from 6:30-8

Teen writing workshops:
October 5-November 23
Thursdays from 4:30-6

More info about the workshops to come…!

Funded by the Ontario Arts Council’s Community Art program.

 

September 17, 2017
by Lindsay
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So much love for Mississauga, Brampton & Caledon

I was blown away by the love at the United Way of Peel Region campaign kick-off. I learned so much about Mississauga, Caledon and Brampton (mostly that the people are wonderful!) and about the incredible work United Way agencies are doing in Peel Region.

Check out some of these letters!

One highlight was meeting participants from the March of Dimes L.I.F.E program in Mississauga. They all wrote such thoughtful letters.

It was such a good reminder of the worlds beyond the downtown core. (And the event ended with some killer 90s jock jams, which is not-so-secretly my favourite genre of music….whoomp there it is!)

To donate to the United Way, click here!

September 11, 2017
by Lindsay
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Love lettering with United Way

I am thrilled to be working with United Way of Peel Region for their 2017 campaign kick off and am heading up to Brampton this Friday with my bag of love lettering supplies.

In Peel, over 226,000 residents are struggling to afford basic necessities including access to food, affordable housing and social services. United Way believes in championing and inspiring sustainable change that strengthens community and improves lives.

Join us!

Date: September 15, 2017

Location: Century Gardens Recreation Centre- 340 Vodden St E, Brampton, ON L6V 2N2

Breakfast and Networking: 9-9:30 am

Kick-off rally: 9:30-11 am


Join us as agents of change to Kick off our 2017 Campaign and learn more about the connection between poverty and mental health. People with mental illness often live in chronic poverty. At the same time, poverty can lead to poor physical and mental health. Together, we can break the cycle.

Together, we can end poverty in Peel.

#PeelKicksOff2017

September 10, 2017
by Lindsay
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What’s On: Writing The City at Parkdale Library

I am so thrilled to be kicking off this fall with two drop-in Love Lettering Project events at Parkdale Library, followed by two (registration-required) writing workshops, one for adults and one for youth.

Join me! Let’s write about Parkdale!

Drop-in events:
Thursday, September 21: 4-5:30pm
Saturday, September 23: 2:30-4pm

Adult writing workshops:
October 4-November 22
Wednesdays from 6:30-8

Teen writing workshops:
October 5-November 23
Thursdays from 4:30-6

September 6, 2017
by Lindsay
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The Letters Page, Vol. 2

It’s no surprise that I love letters—writing them, receiving them, opening up envelopes, licking envelopes closed, all of it. So imagine my delight when one of my favourite authors, Jon McGregor (who also happened to write the closest thing I’ve ever read to a letter writing manifesto) began a literary journal in letters, The Letters Page.

Then imagine my EXTREME delight when this online letter-filled literary journal started doing limited edition runs, printed by Book Ex Machina, an independent imprint based in Nicosia, Cyprus. The first one was a stunner and I’m happy to report the second one (that officially comes out this month, with a limited run of 1,000) is too.

Jon on the creation of the publication…I wanted it to be a literary journal that could find an underhand way of being literary; to take the self-consciousness out of being literary. I’ve always been interested in the kinds of writing people do when they don’t think they’re being asked To Write, and I’d been thinking about letters as a form; wondering about the differences between letters-on-paper and emails, reflecting on my own letter-writing history, noticing the democracy of correspondence as a literary practice. So the idea was born.

Letters (usually) exist as single documents, unlike emails. We rarely have any record of the letters we send, only of the letters we receive. It’s a rare type of exchange in a world that is filled with sent inboxes where words or ideas or names are easily searchable.

But the letters in this volume ARE copies, lifted from scrawling cursive and blocky printing (our hands so often out of practice) and typeset and bound and mailed. And not only are the copies themselves, they are also ABOUT copies. Each of the 12 letters focuses on the concept of influence and theft—using Georges Perec’s univocalism, the tradition of copying in hip-hop, kids “(plagiarizing) from whatever is available to them” including from adopted families, the inherent copying of genetics we all carry with us, parent-to-child.

And lucky you, books are currently available for pre-order!
The Letters Page, Vol. 2edited by Jon McGregor
With letters by Kit Caless, Darren Chetty, Sarah Dale, Joe Dunthorne, Jonathan Ellis, Nicole Flattery, Rowena Macdonald, Ioanna Mavrou, Andrew Mcmillan, Chimene Suleyman, Matthew Welton, and Jon McGregor.

 

 

August 17, 2017
by Lindsay
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DIY feature in The Simple Things magazine

Photo courtesy of Leanne Prain’s Strange Materials

Confession: I had never followed a sewing pattern before I wrote this one for the Love Your City tote bag. I’m a bit of a wing-it sewer (along with a wing-it baker, and wing-it just about everything. I’m in the “measure never, cut a million times” camp). BUT, this pattern works! And I’ve never had a conversation starter quite like this one. Holding it on my lap on the streetcar is gold and starts the most fascinating conversations. The thought of a small army of handmade city-loving tote bags parading all over Canada, the US and the UK fills me with delight.

The original design was included in Leanne Prain‘s brilliant book Strange Materials: Storytelling Through Textiles, and it’s now being featured in the August edition of The Simple Things, a lovely UK magazine (and on their blog!)

June 22, 2017
by Lindsay
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Farewell letters for Fixt Point

After 10 years at 1550 Queen Street West, FIXT POINT is saying farewell to its storefront studio.

At one time a rehearsal hall, a radio studio, a performance space, a living room, an all night party zone, a kids’ drama school, and most recently our office – it’s been the POINT where they have been FIXT for a decade now.

The FIXT POINT crew has gathered so many memories about so many other community spaces, but we barely have a record of our own and so, before we move out, we’re gathering a few tales about FIXT POINT’s own story here in Parkdale.

Join us in saying goodbye to FIXT POINT by writing a farewell letter. Share your favourite FIXT POINT moments, your FIXT POINT highlight reel, the most wonderful/inspiring/ridiculous moment you had at 1550 Queen St. W. We’ll post all the letters up on FIXT POINT’s storefront window as they come in.

Here’s how to get your letter to us:

Thanks for helping us to capture this decade of our history, and for being a part of it all.

xo


PS: We’re having one last party on Wednesday June 28th to raise a glass to the last ten years! FIXT POINT’s FINAL FAREWELL: 1550 Queen St. W from 9pm-late. Join us!

Farewell letters brought to you by FIXT POINT and The Love Lettering Project

 

 

May 15, 2017
by Lindsay
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The buildings that make up our cities (+ more postcards!)

L.A.’s Aero Movie Theatre: It opened before the WWII (showing continuous 24-hour movie theatre for aircraft workers!) and is still lighting up the neighbourhood with its pink and green fluorescent marquee. The vintage movies, make it the best spot for a date.

In 2010, Australian-born illustrator James Gulliver Hancock, began drawing all the buildings in New York, that’s right EVERY building in New York. Not just Grand Central Station, or the Chrysler Building, but every single one of the 900,000 buildings in NYC. Narrow five storey walk-ups, iconic brownstones, fancy hotels, imposing towers and everything in between. How amazing is that?

His website is filled with these illustrations and he’s since published a book called “Every Building In New York (That I’ve Drawn So Far)” that is an illustrated love letter to the architecture, both grand and overlooked in the city.

Toronto’s got its own documenters of buildings big and small, with Daniel Rotsztain’s project, All The Libraries project, where he drew every single one of Toronto’s 100 library branches, his current project, All The Historic Sites, where he’s drawing every single one of Toronto’s historic sites.

And Jake Tobin Garrett’s Every House on Palmerston project is drawing every single house on Palmerston Blvd – one of the grandest, most wonderful streets in the city (in my opinion…I used to live at 405!) You can follow his progress down the street on Instagram!

~

A few weeks ago, I put an all call out for city-based postcards (after these incredible ones from New York!) and check out these amazing L.A.-based postcards:

Meditation is the upside to traffic! I found my true self after, only after, living in L.A. traffic on the way to (and from!) work.

Pico Blvd Trader Joe’s: Yummy, affordable and with the nicest staff I’ve ever found – such a wacky, unique, and colorful spirit. Orchids and pineapples and an amazing chocolate aisle. Always a trip.