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Jimmy, his brother John and longtime friend Seb founded Longslice Brewery in 2014. The award-winning brewery has gone on to win the hearts of local beer lovers near and far and can be found in watering holes across the West End (including ours!).
To kick off the launch of Tall Can Tuesdays in the Melody Bar on Nov 8, Jimmy will be in the house handing out free samples and chatting about the brew from 5-7pm. In an effort to get to know our local producers a little better, we sat down with Jimmy to find out what it’s really like to start a brewery in Toronto.
Longslice at 12 Beers of Summer in 2016. They’ll be back for 12 Beers of Xmas on Dec 9!
Legend has it, you started brewing in your basement with your brother and dad in high school. How has Longslice evolved over the years into a bonafide brewery?
Yeah, we started making home brew in high school. Our old man had a bunch of old bottle trees and fermenting buckets in the basement so we had some hand-me-down equipment to get started. We’d just buy those tins of liquid malt to make beer. Basically you’d just add water, sprinkle yeast on the top, and a couple weeks later you’d have beer. It wasn’t very good beer, but it did the trick.
We definitely got a bit more serious about things in our mid-twenties. I think part of that was that the internet was a thing now, and so all these home brewers could post their recipes online, or make videos on how to build a mash tun out of stuff you can buy at the hardware store. Information was a lot easier to get. And craft beer was really starting to pick up steam.
Right now we’re contract brewing out of a couple of spots here in Ontario (essentially renting tank space). We’re definitely taking active steps these days to procure some property and get a facility up and running. It’ll be somewhere here in the city and if all things go to plan it’ll be up and running sometime next year. When we have that, then I’ll say we’re bona fide.
For our second beer Loose Lips, we decided to brew a Vienna Lager. Vienna malt is one of his favourite malts to use while brewing beer. The maltsters (people who make malt) kiln the barley slightly longer, which gives it this distinctive toasted breadiness and a beautiful copper hue. Jon did small home brews and threw them on our mini kegerator here at Longslice HQ. Seb and I would drink them and tell him what we liked and didn’t like about each batch. He probably brewed ten different versions of the lager and Seb and I would keep sending him back to the drawing board to tweak it slightly (I think secretly, we were just happy to have a lager on tap all the time, which was a nice change from only drinking IPA’s).
(Home brewing experiments is the early days)
Do you have a beer philosophy?
It’s tough to build a brewery anywhere. Period. They are very capital intensive up front, and you need a big building to put one in. Being in the city it’s a bit harder since big warehouses aren’t always easy to come by, and property value is a lot higher. Not to mention that unlike more rural areas, building a brewery here may result in being close to residential neighbourhoods and you may run into zoning issues.
Our goal for the next few years is to have a cool neighbourhood spot where people can come hang out and have a couple pints, then take a few beers home with them. Like I said before, we love Toronto. And this is where we want our home to be.
Groenland’s sound could be described in any number of words: embracing, ebullient, eclectic. This orchestral indie pop sextet has returned with a new album to keep us all warm this winter.
We’re thrilled to announce that Groenland is coming to play at the Gladstone on November 24th as part of the tour for their new album, A Wider Space!
Sabrina Halde and Jean-Vivier Lévesque are the masterminds behind the band, hailing from Montreal. After breaking the charts in 2013 with their first album, The Chase, which sold more than 32000 units in Canada (a feat in an age of internet downloads), and touring all over North America and Europe, they’ve taken their time producing their sophomore album, A Wider Space, which they released this past September. This new album is produced by Marcus Paquin, who also produced Local Natives, Arcade Fire, the National, and Hey Rosetta!
When the band first started, Halde and Lévesque wanted to be an electro duet. But they quickly realized that in order to create a truly unique sound, they needed to bring variety, an unusual assortment of instruments, and blend genres. And so, they recruited a bunch of friends and colleagues: Jonathan Charette (drums), Simon Gosselin (bass), Gabrielle Girard-Charest (cello) and Fanny C. Laurin (violin), to cap the band at 6 members. The resulting sound is more akin to Arcade Fire and the Stars, a style that audiences have embraced wholeheartedly. A Wider Space builds on the style established in The Chase, combining the band’s signature orchestral arrangements, with risk-taking combinations of jazzy riffs and catchy synth-pop melodies. Check out the music video “The Things I’ve Done” off Groenland’s album, The Chase.
The band has explained that the name of the group, the French word for Greenland, was chosen because the band didn’t know anything about Greenland, so the name evoked an imaginary and dreamy world, which they hope to, in turn, conjure for listeners.
What is the new album about? Halde has explained that A Wider Space is more personal than the last, dealing with feelings of anxiety, vulnerability, and resilience. Halde said, “In the lyrics, I talk a lot about our evolution as a band […]. Personally, I’m trying to make sense of everything. When you’re so tired, it’s like you can’t step back from it all. It’s like we’ve been in this band for five years and that’s all we’ve been doing for that time. You feel a bit of vertigo and you wonder why you’re doing all this. It’s also about how I can do better myself. If I do think I’m moving forward, I become anxious.”
Check our “Cabin,” which Halde has said is her most personal song on the album, because it deals with a romantic relationship.
This album confronts how the band and its members have changed since they achieved such widespread and unexpected acclaim, after The Chase. It grapples with the very question of how to move forward after a huge success; how to meet expectations and find inspiration. Halde’s soulful voice, and the accompanying patchwork of electronic and acoustic sounds provide the framework of a beautiful arc for the album.
The lead single, “Healing Suns” sounds bright and sundrenched, but the band has explained that it’s origins are darker. It’s “a song that represents the rediscovery of our own light after a long period of doubt”
About the Band
Groenland has performed in numerous festivals and has played alongside renowned artists such as St. Vincent, Local Natives, Mac DeMarco and Half Moon Run, and at festivals including Osheaga, M for Montreal, as well as the Festival Off-Courts in Trouville-sur-mer (France). This past year, the band was invited to perform at several events such as the Showcase and Celebration of Canadian Musical Excellence (Canadian Grammy Night in LA), the Reeperbahn Festival in Germany and at the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Recently, Apple has chosen their song “Our Hearts Like Gold” for an iPad ad narrated by none other than Martin Scorsese, which premiered during the Academy Awards. Their music has also been used in such TV shows as The Good Wife (CBS), Les beaux malaises (TVA), as well as a Canadian iPhone/Bell ad.
Artist Michael Comeau works on the wall, the print sheet and the page and has created posters for the streets of Toronto since 1999–including many of the Gladstone’s beloved past parties.
Michael is our second artists to transform the windows of the Art Hut with generations of his gig and party poster ephemera. Viewable from the street and lit from behind, Curbside Mosaics will create a cultural mosaic that will read differently depending on where you stand. Step back. Stand on the sidewalk. Cross the street. Look up close. What do you see?
We sat down with the artist to learn more about “Curbside Mosaics” and the power of posters to bring communities together. See the installation on display from Oct 28-Nov 14.
You’ve been a longtime friend of the Gladstone’s and have illustrated and printed posters for many of our parties including Hump Day Bump. How do you think posters help to bring communities together?
The effect of posters is ever changing. It helps to serialize a party as if each chapter is to be written each night. Culture exists simultaneously for each of the senses and posters will give a graphic representation to what is an ethereal event. First it promotes and then it archives a movement through culture. Someone once pointed out one of my Hump Day Bump posters and could locate the one where she met her partner. A marker in time for the space (the Gladstone) inhabited by the people (partiers).
Will you be highlighting any Parkdale/Gladstone/Toronto specific posters? If so, what do you think they say about our city? (One of the goals of the Art Hut will be to imagine how we can build community in a post-gentrified Parkdale).
I created a large series of posters for Hump Day Bump, a Gladstone Hotel weekly Wednesday queer dance party as well as for Vazaleen a party thrown by Will Munro who was involved with the Beaver next door that are woven through out the installation. They and others were printed at the collective Puchclock on Dovercourt when I also lived in Parkdale before having to leave both because of gentrifying forces. It speaks more to an earlier time when party posters were feasible and necessary. They used to hang on the streets and change colours like seasons of leaves. I used to be able to print into the night and trade a fresh poster for a drink at most of the bars in the area.
What inspires your unique style and concepts and what are some of your favourite screen printing techniques?
There is no end to inspiration. Playing music, the wallpaper in the movie Only God Forgives, reading comics in languages I can’t read, old paper back book covers, dank memes, hood lit dances, my beloved Frederico Fellini… I could go on. As for screen printing, I am pretty into large colour bleeds.
The Art Hut is on a mission to facilitate new ideas, creative expression, collaboration, and new ways of experiencing art, culture and community. How will your project contribute to this ongoing conversation?
When I paste up a large print collage I imagine street scapes where the public could paste up layers of their posters, their culture. Barcelona and Sao Paulo are know as graffiti cities because of their liberal policies toward public art and because of this novel expressions native to those areas emerge. Toronto could allow its citizenry a more direct unlegislated access to it’s spaces.
Aside from your upcoming project for the Art Hut, what else are you working on right now?
I am in the midst of a sci-fi romance comic book for Koyama press called Winters Cosmos. I play in the band New Horizzzons. I’ve been piecing together 20 years of sketchbooks and smaller strips into a one man anthology series call Slomeau for Colour Code to publish. I created a sketchbook workshop I sometimes teach.
For two glorious months this past summer, Baroness Von Sketch used the corner suite in our second floor gallery as their writer’s room. With the Gladstone’s annual Pride exhibition just outside their door, the show’s cast and writers worked their magic creating, arguably, the funniest show on the CBC since Kids in the Hall. The feminist comedy sketch series is breaking ground with skits that will make you laugh until you cry and break into applause with recognition.
We love the Baroness and it turns out, they love us too. Check out our video to catch a glimpse of what it’s like to write at the Gladstone.
Jennifer Whalen told us, “We had a wonderful time working at the Gladstone and everyone has been amazing. I just love that we’re part of this really awesome rock and roll tradition of creating great stuff in the hotel.” Carolyn Taylor added, “I can’t even imagine what this writing experience would have been like if we weren’t here.”
No part of the hotel was off limits for the Baroness crew. Along with writing around the shared table in their office (with the door often kept wide open, to our delight), they got right at home utilizing every floor. Our staff, a mash of comedians, performers and artists, couldn’t get enough. They’d find them working in the Melody Bar, starting their day over breakfast and coffee, grabbing lunch in the Cafe or meeting on the couches in the gallery common area. They even had their season launch party in the Ballroom. Meredith MacNeill jokes, “I’m surprised I didn’t walk into someone’s hotel room and be like “Hey! What are you up to!”
The best feedback we got? Meredith told us, “You made me look really cool. It’s so badass to work here. My daughter came to visit. She’s 5. And she was like “This is your office!?”
P.S. They want you to know that when everyone is clamouring to write at the Gladstone, they get first dibs. If you want to book a space for your creative meetings and events, visit our events page for more details.
Have you noticed? Things are happening at the former Gladstone Cafe…
First, the old sign was taken down.
Then, the Gladstone’s Suanne McGregor intervened, wrapping gels around the tubes that were already there to bring vibrancy and colour to the corner.
Shortly after, projection artist Roxanne Luchak was invited to do a one-night installation for Nuit Blanche.
We’re so glad you asked…
The Gladstone has been given the keys to the currently empty property directly across the street from our hotel.
In only six months, the empty storefront will become a condo sales centre, and eventually a multi-story condominium will go up. Until then, we’re transforming it into an art gallery and incubator for up-and-coming Toronto artists. It’s currently being cleared out to become a raw canvas for exhibitions, installations, artist residencies and mini art markets (more details coming soon!)
The space is raw and exciting. A couple weeks ago it looked like this:
(Art Hut Before it was an Art Hut with artist Roxanne Luchak)
We’ll be announcing our first artist activation soon but until then, visit our website to learn more about how we plan to activate the space with experimental art that facilitates new ideas, creative expression, collaboration, and new ways of experiencing culture and community.
Helena Vallée Dallaire is a painter, world traveller, deep thinker, and currently, a graduate student at the New York Academy of Art. Her striking portrait Two-Spirit, is currently featured in our painting show, Why the @#&! Do You Paint?
We caught up with Helena to talk about her practice, philosophy, and the responsibility of the portraitist.
Can you tell me a bit about your painting Two-Spirit? Who does it depict? What was it like for both you and the subject, making this portrait?
Two-Spirit is a portrait of Max, a friend of mine who recently completed a process of gender-transition. I had only just met Max when I had the idea for the portrait, and Max amazed me with how transparent he was about his reality, how open he was about sharing his experience with others despite the risk of their close-mindedness. He interacts with the world by saying, “Hi. This is who I am. I have nothing to hide and I’d like to know you like that too.” My portrait is an attempt to convey that welcoming, beautiful way of interacting with others. It’s a portrait about his courage and beauty, a classical portrait of an inspiring individual. Painting Max was a great experience: he was so helpful and enthusiastic. He seemed very happy with the result as he would like to cultivate awareness for transgender experiences, and the painting was a good way of doing that.
How has your painting technique changed over the course of your career?
I used to focus on creating a variety of textures and effects in my paintings by experimenting with materials (watercolour, collage, ink or even pieces of fabric, glue, tea and coffee); now I seek to capture a life-like feeling of human connection, using traditional mediums and methods, while searching for contemporary messages.
Why do you think you gravitated towards a representational style?
I first became interested in art through abstract paintings, but quickly realized that even the greatest abstract masters understood how to draw in a classical style, so I started atelier-style drawing classes in Montreal when I was 13. I immediately fell in love with representational art, and sought to create images that would resuscitate the living subject as accurately as possible, in both likeness and essence. My exposure to diverse methods and philosophies made the act of drawing or painting from the model an increasingly spiritual and fascinating experience, and one that allowed my understanding of the interaction between light and the human form to evolve enormously.
How do you push your work into new territory?
An idea for a piece will hit me in moments when I least expect it; usually any new idea differs a lot from the preceding one. I like to just grab on to new directions and discourses that I feel passionate about: I’ve done works relating to my thoughts on feminism, alienation, love, social economics, consumerism etc…
Do you find people or scenes that you’re attracted to first, or do you think of concepts or stories you want to convey first, and then look for models.
A mix of both. If I really love something that I see, I’ll paint it and then reflect on what made it special for me. But when staring at a blank canvas, I’ll look for models who can recreate my vision as closely as possible. But of course, the models always add their own energy and ideas to the concept that I have in mind.
What responsibility do you feel towards the subjects that you paint?
I want to celebrate them, to make them feel like something of them is alive on the canvas. It’s an ambitious wish, so the pressure is on! I feel obliged to them for being so generous and open, so I do my very best to make it worth their while!
How do you make portraiture continually interesting for yourself?
Portraiture from life is always interesting to me, even in its simplest form. The idea that a person would sit for me, offering their time and letting me draw their likeness, is quite extraordinary in itself. It is always a moment of connection and intimacy where I feel hearts and minds are open: moments when it feels good to be human. As a great portrait, I believe, is always a story.
As you know, are show is called Why the ! Do You Paint? In one sentence, can you answer this question?
Because painting the world makes me love it more.
Why the @#&! Do You Paint?: Go Figure, the Gladstone Hotel’s annual group painting show, is up now on the 2nd floor of the hotel, and will be having it’s opening party on October 20th from 7-10pm. Come check out Helena’s work and much more! Facebook event here.
Hope to see you there!
We draw a creative crowd to the Gladstone 365 nights out of the year, but nowhere is this more apparent than at our massive Halloween parties. We bring in artists, designers, photo booths, costume contests and cues to get those creative juices going and then you run with it. Need proof? Here are some costume highlights from our Grand(stone) Budapest Hotel party last year, inspired by the wacky world of Wes Anderson.
The Grand Budapest Hotel in the Grand(stone) Hotel. So meta.
Now that you’ve seen our throwback costume contest, we trust you’ll bring out more superb costumes for our Tim Burton Halloween Extravaganza. Need inspiration? Check out our Pinterest board with ideas and don’t forget to get your tickets early before Halloween sells out!
♫ This is Halloween, everybody make a scene! ♫
It’s that time of the year again and to get you in the spooky spirit, we’ve put together the best costumes inspired by the king of creep. Here are our Top 10 Tim Burton themed costumes.
Show your love for the desperately dark and freakishly fun by hopping down the rabbit hole to the Gladstone Hotel on October 29. Be immersed in an amazingly animated inside-out, upside-down wonderland where the terrifyingly terrific worlds of the Corpse Bride, The Nightmare before Christmas and more will be brought to life. What will you be for our Nightmare Before Halloween Party?
Tickets are now sold out! Still want to come? Book a room—we’ve saved a ticket for all hotel guests!
We’ve had an incredible Harvest Wednesdays season so far! From local food fairs in the gallery to Harvest Table dinners, we’ve wined, dined and connected further with Ontario’s growing season.
And behind the success of each and every Harvest Wednesdays event is the Gladstone’s very own chef de cuisine: Katie Venables Lloyd. Leading the Gladstone’s kitchen for the past three years, Katie has invigorated our menu with local and organic ingredients long before we decided to bring the beloved Harvest Wednesdays series back. Katie’s motto is that simple food doesn’t have to be overly complicated to be delicious: “Quality ingredients will always shine through.” She’s championed the Harvest Wednesdays series, bringing Sherry’s veggies from farm to table and crafting fresh and delicious dishes that celebrate Ontario produce.
We sat down with Katie to hear more about her passion for local food, cooking with Sherry’s veggies from Chick-a-biddy acres C.S.A. and what it’s been like to collaborate with guest chefs over the season’s harvest. Don’t forget to snag your tickets to the Friendsgiving Harvest Table to taste Katie’s spin on a local, thanksgiving feast with chocolates from CXBO, cocktails from Collingwood Whiskey and wine from Château des Charmes. Tickets are available here.
What’s your fave seasonal ingredient to work with right now?
Definitely tomatoes. With seasonal tomatoes, you can instantly taste the quality and freshness. The flavour is so intense and it’s easy to savour the difference between the varieties–from a hothouse tomato to a field tomato. Sherry’s are definitely the sweetest I’ve ever had!
When did you realize you loved cooking?
As a child, I was obsessed with my Anne of Green Gables cookbook. Instead of fake tea parties, I would make the real deal: sandwiches, cookies and tea. The kitchen was never off limits growing up and my parents are great cooks so I enjoyed food and loved cooking from a young age. It was a big change for me when I realized that what I loved doing at home could be done professionally. After graduating from the Institut de Tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec, I worked at some really amazing, classic French restaurants in Montreal, which formed a great base for cooking in any style. Then I worked as the sous chef at Down the Street restaurant in Stratford before coming to the Gladstone Hotel three years ago.
(Along with food for the Cafe, Melody Bar and Harvest Wednesdays events, Chef Katie makes impressive spreads for weddings, parties and special events. This was a tapas feast for the LCBO Sherry Shakeup. (Photo credit)
Why is cooking with local food important to you?
I think it’s important to cook with local food so we can stay connected to what we have around us. We need to eat what’s produced nearby and strengthen our relationships with local farmers to really understand the beauty of the produce in our backyard. Plus, it tastes so much better! No matter the quality originally, if food travels thousands of miles to get to you, it will not taste the same when it arrives.
Cooking local has always been part of my mandate. There’s a huge focus on it in Stratford where local food is right on your doorstep, literally in your backyard. Even though it’s less accessible in Toronto, staying connected to the harvest is something I’ll always bring to my kitchen.
What do you love about cooking with Sherry’s ingredients?
Sherry’s produce is special. It’s incredibly fresh and there’s a huge variety. You can tell that a ton of care has gone into how it’s planted, picked and delivered. By eating her food, you really get the farm to table experience. I love seeing what veggies we have to work with from our C.S.A. box each week.
What are some ways you’ve incorporated Sherry’s produce into your main menu?
In addition to making the veggies that are the highlight of our Harvest Table dinners and Sip and Savour events, we love to incorporate Sherry’s harvest across our entire seasonally focused menu. We’ve enjoyed using Chick-a-biddy’s kale this summer in our popular kale caesar salad dish. We also have a fabulous BLT with fresh baked bread, bacon, really fresh ingredients–Sherry’s tomatoes bring it to the next level.
Through the Harvest Wednesdays series, your kitchen has become a very collaborative place. So far you’ve opened your kitchen to Newcomer Kitchen, Suzanne Barr of Saturday Dinette and Food Network host Bob Blumer and soon Jamie Kennedy. What has this experience been like?
It’s been an amazing experience having different chefs come into our kitchen. We love seeing different techniques and being able to show guest chefs what we do here. A highlight so far was our day with the cooks from Newcomer Kitchen. These are women who have a passion and love for cooking and it was inspiring to make a meal where the joy of food was really at the heart of it.
(Chef Katie with the Garab from Tibet Kitchen right before our Taste of Parkdale Food Fair)
What do you hope guests will experience when they come to a Harvest Wednesdays event or enjoy local food on your menu?
Just like I’m always surprised by what’s in the C.S.A. box that gets delivered to my kitchen each week, I hope guests will be surprised by what the seasons have to offer, feel a connection to the harvest and enjoy incredible local food.
Taste Katie’s passion for local food at the next Harvest Table Friendsgiving dinner on Oct 5! Your $70 ticket includes 4 courses of Thanksgiving-inspired cuisine, 2 glasses of wine, 1 cocktail, and dessert from Chocolates by Brandon Olsen. Tickets are available here.