Tag Archive | canada

everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything – Douglas Coupland exhibits Toronto

Toronto’s currently hosting Douglas Coupland‘s exhibition, shown already to great response in Vancouver, at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)* and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA). From the exhibition website: Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything includes over 100 works. The exhibition is divided into six themes, four of which are on display at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), and two at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA).

Everything about the work on display at both venues is so wonderfully vibrant, engaging and visually rich! That is something I just can’t get over, and I’m reminded by browsing the photos I took. Coupland’s quirky way of interacting with and understanding the world is really at the forefront of all of the pieces, and there’s quite a bit of variety. Here’s a few general shots (you can see all my #couplandTO exhibition photos here):

General shot of the main entrance space

“The World”

Japanese cleaning products

Although there’s much more, I think my favourite pieces at the ROM are the couple following. The slogans are so eye-catching and equal parts ridiculous and insightful. “I miss my pre-internet brain” for sure. And the largest installation piece (at a guess) is the Brain. It’s a carefully constructed mass of objects that Coupland’s been collecting over the years. As the concept and action of collecting is fascinating to me, as well as the idea of ephemera and object history, this is delightful!

Slogans for the 21st Century

The Brain

Over at MOCCA there’s a little more of a Canadiana feel to the pieces on display. What I especially loved was the idea of representation of regional ‘personalities’ with all the cabinets, the idea of suburbia/conformity vs future structures/collaboration, and also the mixing of introduced cultures into Canadian society. And as I absolutely love the Group of 7 art styles, I was really interested in Coupland’s take on that toward the end of the exhibit, especially Harris’ pieces. A truly eclectic gathering of art and objects that all works incredibly well together, and as a companion to the exhibition at the ROM.

Cabinet

Canadiana

Lego towers – built collaboratively with Coupland and the public in Vancouver

Coupland does Harris

I highly recommend checking out both of the exhibitions, because they truly complement each other. The ROM piece runs until April 26th, and the MOCCA piece until April 19th. Enjoy!

* Full disclosure: I work at the ROM but I am in no way associated with the exhibition beyond that, and I would’ve come to see it anyhow because I’m a super nerd.

Halifax (and other bits of Nova Scotia) – the places! [photo heavy]

Not long after I got back from our mid-September trip to Halifax I posted a bit about the food/drink we enjoyed, and then promptly lost steam to post about the rest of the trip. So let’s think back to those lovey autumn days, shall we?

Halifax itself

The waterfront boardwalk in Halifax is a wonderful stroll, and I highly recommend if you’re there in nice weather. There’s lots of activity on the water, and plenty of stores, cafes, art etc to see along the way.

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Across the water in Dartmouth, there’s also the peace pavilion. An interesting structure, with all sorts of things (rocks, bricks, pottery) on display from cities around the world (like some of the Berlin Wall from Germany).

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A little tucked away (luckily we had a friend to drive us and see it) is this memorial to the Halifax Explosion.

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I took some time to walk up from the Board Room Game Cafe and see the Halifax Public Gardens one sunny morning, and it was such a relaxing and rejuvenating visit. It’s beautiful and the landscaping makes it very tranquil, despite it being surrounded by main roads.

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We also walked a little around Point Pleasant Park in the south end of Halifax, which is a little like Toronto’s High Park. We saw critters like a blue jay and a red squirrel! It was awesome.

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Some museumy things

Look, you all know that of course I’ll try and visit museums/historic sites wherever I go. I quite liked the Maritime Museum (the parts on the Halifax Explosion were very moving and interesting, and upstairs they had visible storage!

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We also went to Fort George/Citadel Hill with our friends Liz and James! We saw a cannon go off, and lots of gents in uniform, and also Adam signed himself up to serve by drawing Trogdor. Legit.

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Other places in Nova Scotia! The South coast.

We drove out along the south coast of Nova Scotia a couple of times to see the landscape, small towns and lighthouses. It’s very pretty out there. We saw Mahone Bay, and Lunenberg. Lovely seaside towns! And we took the scenic coastal route back into Halifax. Can I say how much I love the tailored signs off the main road to towns, too? So cool.

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We also visited Peggy’s Cove on a pretty dull grey day with Liz and James, but it was still amazing! Such a gorgeous glacial landscape. Plus, that famous lighthouse.

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I encourage folks to head out to Nova Scotia and see Halifax and the surrounds! I would love to see more of the internal Nova Scotian sights too.

Canadaversary! 5 whole years in the great white North.

On May 20th, 2009, I hopped on a plane from Heathrow in London and got off here in Toronto at Pearson International Airport. I went through immigration for my 2 year working holiday visa, cleared customs & picked up my bags. Here I was! Expecting to spent two years in Toronto, hanging out in Canada. Haha, two years. Yep.

Harbourfront & the CN Tower

It’s been really terrific here, obviously. This is getting close to the longest I’ve lived in one place since I was back in Brisbane, too. (Brisbane was 7 years, so we’re getting there.) I can’t claim to have experienced much more of Canada than Toronto, but this city has been wonderful to me. All of its fun, character, quirks and charm. Plus, the coffee and vegan treats don’t hurt. It’s amazing thinking back to a time when I could count the people I knew here on one hand, with a couple of fingers left for scratching. Now there’s just a bounty of wonderful friends in my life, plus my wonderful family of Adam & Jake. It’s nice to call here home.

Sports Moose

The nightmare cuckoo clock @ Toronto institution Honest Ed’s Department Store

It’s kinda strange to think 5 whole years have gone by! It’s nice to celebrate this milestone as a permanent resident. I left Australia way back in 2007, and I haven’t yet been back for a visit. I’m well overdue. Until then, I’ll keep on enjoying Toronto and getting out to see as much Canada as I can. I’ve been mostly to cities (Vancouver, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa – in addition to Toronto) and I’ve seen a little of southern Ontario here and there (it’s lovely!) – but I want to really get out and see more. The Maritimes is next on my list! Until then, you can find me in Toronto, waiting for the time I can apply to become a citizen (exciting because  new passport, and also being able to finally vote!).

Toronto City Hall / Nathan Philips Square

 

Things I Love Thursday!

Hey, Thursday. You look nice today.

  • Although it’s not ’til next Wednesday, I love the activity planned for my work’s holiday/staff appreciation day next week. Indian for lunch, then off to the Gardiner Museum for some pottery making fun! I am super excited. I need to brainstorm what I might make. Maybe a dog treat jar 🙂 I’m so pleased I get to take part.

 

  • I love the Toronto Public Library! They hold so many great events for free (like the Chris Hadfield thing I went to, and the Toronto Comic & Art Festival just to name a couple), and have an amazing array of materials for access and loan. Not to mention the computer access and free Wifi in every branch. I’ve also just recently started to take advantage of their e-borrowing system for books on my tablet using Overdrive. Maybe it’ll help me read more in the new year.

 

  • Living somewhere that same-sex marriage is legal, and has been for many years is amazing. A no-brainer human right made legal! Who would’ve imagined. Not Australia, unfortunately – the same-sex marriage ruling that came into affect has been overturned by the High Court of Australia as being unconstitutional, as any laws ruling on same-sex marriage should be federal apparently. And when you look at the current federal government.. well, hope shrivels. Thank you, Canada, for not being shitty like that.

 

  • While I’m sure it’ll help them as a bit of advertising, this holiday video from Westjet is truly lovely. Giving for the sake of giving is always nice, no matter what time of year! The lady who got the camera made me tear up, she was so grateful. N’aw.

 

  • Yes, I love my dog. He’s always giving me new reasons to share it with you all though. Like, how adorable he is when he sits at the table with us, or snuggles up to my PJs on the bed once I’ve gone in the morning, and Adam sends me pictures that make my heart melt. Oh gosh.

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Things I love this rainy Thursday

There are few punk (/post-punk) bands I love more than Fugazi. I’ve been lucky enough to see some of my holy grail bands live – I saw the Saints not long before moving away from Brisbane, and a few years earlier had gotten to see Joe Strummer play (I knew it was never going to be the Clash, but it was still amazing). Fugazi are my #1 holy grail band that I would FLIP the fuck out and probably travel to see multiple shows for. One day..

I love being able to make a cup of tea right here in my office, because for some reason there’s a kettle in here. Proximity to caffeine = higher than ever.

Really love finally having my permanent residency card. Makes me feel like it’s properly real, now! And now it’s just a month or so til my provincial health insurance kicks in. Woo!

Finally got my official card! I can flash my permanent residency all over the place, now.

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Horror movies! So good. Well, the good ones are really good (there’s a lot of bad ones). I love the genre, though. But before I was old enough to be allowed to go and rent all the 15+ rated horror movies, this was my go-to. I still love this movie to this day, don’t even try to tell me it doesn’t hold up.

And more than ever I really flippin’ love my mister. He’s a good ‘un.