Attention, makers and aficionados of new music: the Music Gallery needs your help!
Toronto's de facto mecca since 1976 for the more marginalized and unconventional forms of musical composition is still reeling from cuts made to the organization's operational funding two years back. If the Music Gallery collapses, folks like Janice Jackson and Toca Voca , artists who explore sound for sound's sake, free of concerns for commercialism or accessibility, will be left without an outlet.
The Gallery's 10-year-old contract with the lovely St. George the Martyr Church expires at the end of 2005. Gallery PR guru and Pop Avant associate presenter Jonathan Bunce puts a positive spin on it. "It's time for the Music Gallery to run its own space again, as it did for the first two decades of its existence."
To help in the struggle to balance the budget, Bunce has organized the fab Courtly Love benefit this weekend in the Gallery's gorgeous open-air courtyard.
"The idea for the fundraiser actually came from Joel Gibb (of the Hidden Cameras ), who asked me if we'd ever staged a show in the courtyard."
The Cameras couldn't make the gig, as they're stuck dodging hacky-sacks at Guelph's Hillside fest, but Bunce assembled a great lineup of artists whose work suits the outdoor setting.
" Pony Da Look 's songs are like creepy fairy tales, while Nathan Lawr 's band is called the Minotaurs , and both seemed to fit playing on the grass in front of the 150-year-old bell tower."
They'll be joined on the grass by IDM whiz kid Animal Monster and local musical institution Bob Wiseman , while DJ David Dacks spins in the adjacent Fellowship Room and Darren Copeland (Deep Wireless/Sound Travels) will stage sound installations in the church sanctuary.
Bunce admits most of the Courtly artists are considerably more accessible than those generally presented by the Gallery.
"Still, Bob Wiseman is a Music Gallery veteran, proof that creative musicians can shift from obscure experimental spaces to stadiums with Blue Rodeo.
"We want to expand the definition of what the Music Gallery is known for - which is new music, something that can take many different forms - without becoming just another 'indie' venue."
Tickets range from $10 to $20, and the event, which starts at 6 pm, also features munchies and a raffle. Check www.musicgallery.org or 416-204-1080 for more info.