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May-June 2011

Book Review: Roy Miki’s Mannequin Rising

Mark CallananWebsite

The poems in Mannequin Rising, Roy Miki’s fifth poetry collection, are interspersed with the author’s photomontages, many of which contain storefront mannequins superimposed with images of pedestrians in the street. The mannequins can be taken as metaphorical commentary on the human figures in the frames; static and passive, “standing there at / attention all day”—as […]

This45: RM Vaughan on the late art impresario Will Munro

RM VaughanWebsite

It is impossible to speak of Will Munro. It is easy to talk about Will Munro(s). Will Munro, the artist/activist/social wizard/impresario and all around wunderkind, passed away one lovely, clear-as-a-bell summer morning in 2010. He was 36. In that too-short time, Will produced an enormous amount of highly influential, DIY-infused art, reinvigorated the Toronto, and […]

This45: Luke Champion on music collective Tomboyfriend

Graham F. Scott

You’d be forgiven if Tomboyfriend slipped under your radar the past year. With only one album (2010’s Don’t Go to School) and virtually no touring, the band can still be considered undiscovered territory. Tomboyfriend is a collective of “nonmusicians” led by Ryan Kamstra who just happen to make some of the most emotionally relevant, lyrically […]

This45: Christina Palassio on book futurist Hugh McGuire

Christina PalassioWebsite

Imagine Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness read by a woman with a girlish, high-pitched voice. How would it affect your interpretation of the text? What elements of the story would be heightened, and which ones muted? What effect can a reader have on a text? These are a few of the questions that arise when […]

This45: Mel Watkins on Straight Goods founder Ish Thielheimer

Mel Watkins

Once upon a time, there was born in Brooklyn a boy named Fred Theilheimer. When he started high school, asked his name by some young women in the schoolyard—and fearing that “Fred” would not sufficiently impress—in an act of spontaneous imagination, and with Moby Dick in his American DNA, he said, “Call me Ish.” And […]

This45: Chandler Levack on musician Chris Cummings, AKA Mantler

Chandler LevackWebsite

Toronto’s Chris Cummings leads a double life. By day, he works at the Toronto International Film Festival as Assistant Manager, programming Norman McLaren shorts for the Bell Lightbox. By night, he slides into a white tuxedo to become Mantler, his broken-hearted soul-funk alter ego. Mantler has been a fixture of the Toronto music scene since […]

This45: Rachel Pulfer on Ghana correspondent Jenny Vaughan

Rachel PulferWebsite

Jenny Vaughan is no stranger to the hybrid role of journalist, leader, and advocate. She now occupies a unique position as the Accra, Ghana-based eyes and ears of Journalists for Human Rights, a media development organization with operations throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, her job ranges from ensuring the professional and personal well-being of a team […]

This45: Rachel Pulfer on Ivory Coast correspondent Jessica McDiarmid

Rachel PulferWebsite

Born and raised in British Columbia, Jessica McDiarmid knew from a young age that she wanted to write about tough subjects in difficult places. Around age 14, McDiarmid devoured Oakland Ross’s A Fire on the Mountains, a compilation of true-life stories about the extraordinary circumstances in which people live and thrive in 17 global hotspots, […]

This45: Doug Saunders on Maytree Foundation president Ratna Omidvar

Doug Saunders with Dylan C. Robertson

“This journey of learning how to become a Canadian has been one of the most exciting and one of the most frustrating journeys in my life,” says Ratna Omidvar. Born in India, Omidvar earned her bachelor of arts before going on scholarship to Germany, where she met her Iranian husband. The two moved to Tehran […]

This45: Ron Nurwisah on ultra-local food co-op Not Far From the Tree

Graham F. Scott

When it comes to eating locally, it’s tough to beat food that’s growing literally in your own backyard. Since 2008, Not Far From the Tree, a volunteer group in Toronto, has been helping people do just that. Founded by New Brunswicker-turned-Torontonian Laura Reinsborough, the group picked more than 19,000 pounds of fruit from some 200 […]

This45: Judith Parker on U.S. war-resister defence lawyer Alyssa Manning

Judith Parker with Kelli Korducki

Not every punk-rock high school dropout grows up to become a refugee lawyer, but Toronto-based attorney Alyssa Manning isn’t exactly ordinary. Barely into her 30s, Manning has made a professional niche for herself by working with U.S. war-resister files, defending such high-profile clients as Jeremy Hinzman, James Corey Glass, and The Deserter’s Tale co-author Joshua […]