Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Canada's Counter Culture Carnie - Premiere Dec 15, 2006

The Carnie got off to a great start in Toronto by being snubbed by too cool for school scenester kids, dismisive queers and stuck up fashion designers. Instead we had fun with edgy scnester kids, fabulous queers and talented fashion designers.

Putting on the Carnie was hard, hard, hard. It was a true exercise in DIY and not giving up. Such an experience warrentls counting our little successess. We were able to get press on the CBC, Queer West Toronto, and other leading Toronto net blogs. We were also on radio stations at both the University of Toronto and York University. If I can find these links and podcasts I will put them up. In the meantime, please enjoy some pictures of the event.

The next stop of the Carnie is March 10 th, 2007 in Ottawa at Maverick's Bar. Don't just stay tuned, get involved. We are seeking musicians, indie fashion makers and audience members to get in on the fun. Please be in touch if you want to participate.

About the Carnie:

The Carnie has two main focuses. The first is music. This is a Carnie styled music concert. The bands on the play bill are from a collage of genres including opening acts that play indie rock and headliners that play disco rock and glam rock. Some people associate indie music with rough crowds and seedy joints. Here's a chance to catch a medley of quality local music in an uptown venue with your very own chair to sit in if you like. Some people may not be able to see themselves at a Carnie. But if so, where do they see themselves? At home on the sofa? Can you say, "364 days a year"? If you come to the show, then in two weeks you'll remember where you were on Dec. 15 th without having to write your "daily gratitudes" in a journal Oprah Winfrey hawked you. No need to be afraid. It's not communism. It's a Carnie.

The second focus is living with a, "Carnie Spirit." Meaning to, "do it" rather than give up on your dreams. You don't have to stay home just because your sponsor is not Cadillac. You don't have to quit just because some music editor is putting her friends on the cover of arts rags instead of you. Be determined. That's the Carnie way. To soldier on even when you're broken. Offer the world a toothless Carnie grin and fire up the Ferris wheel. Have a fun time along the journey. This "Carnie Spirit" of dancing even when you're missing a shoe inspires people. To keep trying. To grab back moments from your troubles and enjoy life a bit more than you had originally planned.

Proceeds this time around will go to Camp Ten Oaks, a charity that treats the children of queer parents to a week of camp where they can take pride in themselves. Last year the camp had a waiting list of ten children. Every child who wants to go to camp should get to go. So we thought we'd try to help them get there. ***What kind of fashion is it? Is it DIY stuff based on a theme, or products by established local designers?***

The actual event is Canada's only Counter Culture Carnie. The show the Carnie is putting on in this case is called, in extreme jest, "The High Fashion Show". The fashion component is meant to be an accent. There will be some DIY fashion for sale at tables. As well members of the bands will model some of the fashions when they are playing on stage. But anyone who expects to see garish gowns and matronly patterns needs to be ready for a make over! We tried to get designers who make fashions that make you wish you'd known about their merchandise before you went out and bought a mass produced piece of costume jewelry from Le Chateau. But it's no small task to find these obscure but talented little fashionistas. Hopefully, the world will spread that this show, and the show in April, 2007, aren't about going to a stuffy fashion show at the mall that's being MC'd by personalities from the local news! It's about being edgy.

Carnies know that everyone needs encouragement to keep going with their independent arts. The Carnie is a way to reach out to local people making fashions with their own hands, imaginations and passion. We wanted to showcase them so as to encourage them. We want them to keep on going with trying to provide us with an alternative to having to buy everything at Suzie Shier.

Thanks to big business and sweat shops trying to pass themselves off as haute couture at the mall, it's getting harder not to be one of the people at the office wearing the same shirt as the next cubicle soldier only in a different colour. Carnies hate moments like those. Almost as much as they hate cubicles. Obviously this event is meant to give props to people who are trying to, at least in part, employ themselves with their own talents rather than work exclusively for the Man for minimum wage.

The current website for the Carnie is www.highfashionshow.com but it will be moving soon.

Two pictures to get us started at a look back on the premiere. More pictures to follow.

Don't tell me about no givin' up, ya hear?!