Ben Bull shamelessly misappropriates Jason Leach's intrepid field work for another round-up of Hamilton happenings and Steeltown shenanigans.
By Ben Bull
Published September 15, 2005
This article has been updated.
(With files from Jason Leach, natch)
Last issue, some of you may well have been asking, "Hey man - where's the Word on The Street?"
It's true; Jason did indeed forget to write it. Even though I asked him several times and he assured me he would, he, well, he screwed up. But that's OK. It's not the first time and hey - he's a busy guy!
Jason spends a lot of time playing those ridiculous bongos and growing his beard, and it's not like he owes me anything - right? Well, except for that lunch back in June, and that bar tab last May, and all those Infusions coffees, and, well - who's counting?! (Approximately $43 so far Jase - show me the money!)
So, here we go again! Welcome back to Hamilton's favourite distraction - the Word on The Street!
Well it looks like Raise the Hammer were not the only ones kicking back and slacking off this August. This issue's WOTS is a scaled down affair, but not to worry; this is promising to be a busy season ahead - so off we go!
Let's start with an old friend and fellow media hound - Crazy Dave Kuruc. What's this old scallywag up to these days?
Dave's opening up a new shop in downtown Hamilton! Mixed Media, at 174 James Street North, will specialize in printmaking and art supplies. Mixed Media will also house gallery space dedicated to local and printmaking art, and a unique gift shop featuring one-of-a-kind handmade items and greeting cards.
Also, in true "any excuse for a party" fashion, Dave is extending us all an invitation to his grand opening on Saturday September 17, from 7 - 10 pm. According to Dave, "Food, drinks and inspiring art will all be provided." Check out www.mixedmediahamilton.com and pay Dave a visit today!
On the subject of James Street, this emerging artists' hub continues to come alive. Downtown bureau Chief Jason Leach was wandering along between LIUNA Station and St. Joes the other day and counted the following galleries:
Add a new gallery on James St. South (Jason forgot to write down the name!) called Parker Pearce Gallery, and that makes twelve. We can now add Mixed Media to that list too! Sounds like a good day out to me. Jason has promised to write up a "gallery crawl" article very soon, to get us in the mood (don't forget to add some pubs in there Jase).
Rumours are swirling around the old Sweetwater café on Dundurn South. First we heard it was going to be a funky Caribbean restaurant - we liked that - but now we hear it will be making way for, wait for it ... a dollar store. Say it ain't so!While we at RTH support business endeavours of all kinds, we are disappointed that this old neighbourhood get-together has gone astray. We now have a beer store, liquor store, and dollar store in the same stretch of pavement [hey, no complaining about the nighbourhood liquor store! - Ed.].
Tightly woven clusters of like-for-like shops and services can be a recipe for little ghettos, which in turn can become even bigger ghettos. Look at Hess - what was once a fun stretch of folksy taverns is slowly becoming a haven for underage drinking. Mixed use is the key, folks.
What we need here in Hamilton is not necessarily less discount stores, pubs and massage parlours - we just need to spread them around a little more carefully. We also need to invest a whole hell of a lot more in our little meeting places ... OK, rant over! Hopefully something new will pop up along here soon.
Suburban bureau chief Trevor Shaw was strolling around Jackson Square and noted that the Baroli Café is still under construction. "Help Wanted" signs are now up, so here's hoping this little spot will open soon (we were almost worried there for a minute) - we'll keep an eye on things.
A new restaurant is opening at James and Forest in the old Forest Gate Restaurant space. It will be called Moose Bar and Grill and it comes to us from the same folks who own Toby's Good Eats in Jackson Square.
More lofts? It seems so. Eager eyed downtown bureau chief Jason "I couldn't be bothered to write last month's Word On The Street" Leach noted that the entire corner complex at James and Forest is being gutted and renovated into a few dozen high end apartments. Work should be complete in less than nine months.
The Community Action Network - 'CAN' - has fine-tuned its manifesto and selected a short list of wards to target for the next election. Now the real work begins. Watch out for campaign briefings in upcoming issues of RTH, and look out for a snazzy CAN website and official group launch coming soon!
OK, What next? Ah yes, Hamilton has finally entered the twenty-first century! Well, OK, maybe not those folks down at the Hall, but at least the new City of Hamilton web site has finally arrived. This month saw the launch of the new City web portal: www.myhamilton.ca.
Trevor Shaw took an on-line tour and declared it to be "very well put together ... and easy to read." I concur. Lots of great art venues are listed and even RTH gets a mention [and here we thought City Hall hated us - Ed.] Get Browsing today!
On Saturday, September 17, head down to Loose Cannon Gallery (southeast corner, Cannon and James St. N.) for the opening of Kristin Trethewey's Virtual Junk exhibit, which revives the age-old tradition of finding value in discarded junk in an interactive media collage.
Kensington Gallery (235 Kensington Ave. N., west of Ottawa St. and north of Barton St.) is featuring Side by Side by Delio Delgado and Brigitte Huard with a reception on Friday, September 16 from 7-10 PM.
The Centre for Community Study has released its latest research Bulletin entitled, "Creative City: Hamilton's Culture Labour Force". Shades of Richard Florida, perhaps? Why not find out for yourself - the full document can be downloaded from their website for approximately no charge!
TWO + ONE + ONE (211 Locke St. S) is hosting a night of contemporary Cuban art ib Friday, September 23, 2005, featuring cuisine and wine (otherwise known as food and drink) and special guests Jayne Eastwood, Tom Wilson, and Bob Lanois. Tickets are $40 each or $20 without the "full drink experience" for art-loving teetotalers. For more information or tickets, contact Ryan Furlong at email@example.com.
If contemporary Cuban art isn't your thing but you're determined to go out on Friday, September 23, then head down to the Sky Dragon Centre (24 King St. E.) at 7:30 PM for their screening of "The Oil Factor: Beyond the War on Terror". Admission is $5.
OK, which of you still has not been to the AGH? Well - what the hell are you waiting for? Susie (the wifey) and me paid our inaugural visit last week and we were thoroughly impressed. We even managed to get a guided tour from one of the security guard/armed escorts.
The Tanenbaum collection on the second floor was particularly amazing, although we did have to walk past this weird dude who was squatting on a stool, staring at a sculpture ... what's with that? [He must have been a mime-in-training practicing his rendition of Rodin's Thinker - Ed.].
Anyway, word is that most of the main floor is being emptied to get ready for the upcoming Art you can Eat exhibition. Apparently, this will include a "Wall of jam" and a "giant gondola made from rice crispies," according to our anonymous source (who also told us that he might be temped to "eat the bloody thing" during one of his late shifts, but that's not to say that he's the security guard or anything, no, no .. we would never reveal our sauce, I mean source). But hey! Don't take it from me, get yourself down there today!
Still with the AGH, their popular Art Appreciation series now turns an eye to the AGH'S exquisite new collection of nineteenth-century art generously gifted to the AGH by Joey and Toby Tanenbaum. AGH's Curator of European Art, Dr. Patrick Shaw Cable, introduces the series with an in-Gallery talk profiling major nineteenth century art styles and periods of political intrigue that relate to these enticing artworks. Important regionally-based Museum Professionals and Art Historians succeed Dr. Cable in the following weeks with talks on styles and artists that are linked with the AGH exhibition Heaven and Earth Unveiled. All talks start at 5:30 pm and are held in the Community Lounge at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.
That's it for this issue, folks! Be sure to stay tuned to RTH as things heat up here in the Hammer. You can be sure that as they do - we'll be all over it!
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