Jordan Abel wins $65K Griffin Poetry Prize

For Jordan Abel, winning Canada’s most lucrative literary prize isn’t just a personal triumph, but a win for “all the people who continue to fight against appropriation.”

The Nisga’a writer added to his accolades the $65,000 Griffin Poetry Prize for his third collection, Injun (Talonbooks), on June 8. The winning work is a long poem that weaves together pieces from 91 old pulp western novels — published between 1840 and 1950 — to explore racism, representations of indigenous peoples and mechanisms of colonialism, such as cultural appropriation.

“I think it’s absolutely an affirmation of voices that are in resistance,” Abel said on stage of his win, the Globe and Mail reported.

Back in 2010, Abel’s short story, Three Dudes, Some Drugs, and a Bear, was a runner-up in Broken Pencil’s Deathmatch writing competition. From its opening lines, the short story had a unmistakable Fear and Loathing vibe:

“By the time the acid took hold, we were halfway to Edmonton. Tommy rode shotgun, a cigarette dangling from his dry lips, and Bear scrunched in the back seat, shifting constantly. Johansson, our first year roommate, had called us on his cell a few hours ago, breathing heavily, saying that he needed to get out, that everything had gone wrong.”

“Deathmatch was a substantial influence on my writing,” he said in a 2012 interview, largely because of the “enormous amount of feedback—more feedback than I’ve ever received for anything” that he’d gotten through the process.

After the Deathmatch, the Vancouver writer went on to publish Un/inhabited (2015) and The Place of Scraps (2013), which was the winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. His work has since been anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry (Tightrope), The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation (Arbiter Ring), and The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century (Hayword).

At 32 years old, it’s likely Abel has quite the creative career ahead of him, but in the meantime he’s pursuing a PhD at Simon Fraser University where he’s researching the intersection between Digital Humanities and Indigenous Literary Studies. (Anisa Rawhani)

BP + Wavelength Present: Sex & Death

Broken Pencil + Wavelength present..


Thursday May 18 – 9:00pm
Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St.


Everything in life boils down to anxiety about one of two things, and tonight we honour sex and death for keeping us as much motivated/hopeful as miserable/afraid.

Wavelength Music Series and Broken Pencil Magazine are teaming up to bring together what they know best — indie music and indie words — for a night like no other.


º Joanne Pollock

º Michael Comeau

º Plasmalab

º Max Mohenu

° General Chaos Visuals – projection art all night long!

$10 cover gets you a 1-year subscription to Broken Pencil Magazine

Existing BP Subscribers get in for FREE

Advance tickets $7 + HST & S/C at Ticketfly:

Submissions open now for the Broken Pencil Zine Awards!

brokenpencil zine awards poster medium

Announcing the Broken Pencil Zine Awards! Celebrating international zine and self-publishing excellence

Broken Pencil Magazine is excited to announce that we will be rewarding the best of the best in zine culture with the Broken Pencil Zine Awards 2017!

For the first time ever, Canada’s magazine of zine culture and the independent arts will be accepting zine submissions from all over the world in search of the finest underground publications in a variety of genres.

Submissions are open until July 15th via our Submittable page.

Nominees will be announced by September 1st, and the winners will be awarded at Canzine 2017 in Toronto on Friday, October 20th.

May the best zines win!

Tonight! Broken Pencil Book Club discusses Pauls!


Tonight, tonight, tonight! The first ever meeting of the Broken Pencil Book Club will be meeting for a live chat on Facebook from 7pm-9pm to chat with writer Jess Taylor about her book Pauls and about writing.

The conversation will be split into two parts: the first hour will be focused on thematic, political and narrative analysis and conversation. The second hour will shift the focus from readers to writers — chatting with Jess about her process, writing short stories, technique and more!

Broken Pencil members can get a 20% discount off of the book on Bookthug’s website with the code ‘BPBC20’.

To join the BP Book Club Facebook chat room, click here.

More about Pauls:

Paul is not always the same Paul, but could very well be a similar Paul, another Paul in a long line of Pauls. Paul runs through forests, drinks in student housing, flirts with girls, at times is a girl, loves men, makes friends, jumps from buildings, hurts people, gets hurt, climbs up towards the sky, waits for a sunrise, and all those human things.

Pauls, the debut short-story collection by the exciting young writer Jess Taylor, is about people: the things that remain unseen to them; how they cope with their unforgettable pasts; the different roles they take in each other’s lives; how they hurt each other; how they try to heal each other; the things they want to learn; and the things they’ll never discover. At the same time, Pauls is a portrayal of the world as these people see it—they all exist in a universe that is strange and indifferent to those within it. Coincidences, relationships, conversations, and friendships all pose more questions than answers.

jess taylor- resizeMore about Jess Taylor:

Jess Taylor is a Toronto writer and poet. She founded The Emerging Writers Reading Series in 2012 and is the fiction editor of Little Brother Magazine. She’s released two chapbooks of poetry, And Then Everyone: Poems of the West End (Picture Window Press, 2014) and Never Stop (Anstruther Press, 2014). This October, her first collection of short stories, Pauls, was published by BookThug. The title story from the collection, “Paul,” received the 2013 Gold Fiction National Magazine Award. Jess is currently at work on a second collection, Just Pervs;  a novel, Where Everything Glows; and continuation of her life poem, Never Stop. 

LitBang!: Broken Pencil Magazine Zine Party!


The Feathertale Review and friends presents…

LitBang! Small Press Pop Up Shop

 982 Queen St W. at Ossington Av

LitBang! is an annual pop up shop in downtown Toronto that features amazing deals on your favourite small-press literary magazines, including The Feathertale Review, Taddle Creek, Broken Pencil, CAROUSEL and Poetry is Dead. Visit Tuesday through Sunday until April 30th!

  LitBang! Broken Pencil Zine Party!
Saturday, April 22 from 6pm – 12am

Drop by, make a zine, share a zine, just hang out and have a drink! Kids welcome. Supplies included or bring your own. Expert zine making advice available! 6PM-9PM Zine Making; 9-11PM Hangout and Party.

 For ongoing updates, visit the LitBang! Facebook page.

Announcing the first ever Broken Pencil Zine Awards!!

brokenpencil zine awards poster medium

Announcing the Broken Pencil Zine Awards! Celebrating international zine and self-publishing excellence

Broken Pencil Magazine is excited to announce that we will be rewarding the best of the best in zine culture with the Broken Pencil Zine Awards 2017!

For the first time ever, Canada’s magazine of zine culture and the independent arts will be accepting zine submissions from all over the world in search of the finest underground publications in a variety of genres.

Submissions are open until July 15th via our Submittable page.

Nominees will be announced by September 1st, and the winners will be awarded at Canzine 2017 in Toronto on Friday, October 20th.

May the best zines win!

Sex, Death and Hypocrisy: A Literary Afternoon in Hamilton!



An afternoon of sex, death and hypocrisy! Hal Niedzviecki reads from his new novel The Archaeologists. He is joined by amazing Hamilton luminaries: Sally Cooper reads from her new short story collection Smells Like Heaven! Christine Miscione reads a new story! And Joe Ollman presents his new graphic novel — The Abominable Mr. Seabrook. Amazing lineup!

Presented by the Hamilton Review of Books, Broken Pencil: Magazine of Zine Culture and the Independent Arts & the Hamilton Public Library.

Sally Cooper is a bold, powerful writer who lays bare the human heart. The author of acclaimed novels Love Object and Tell Everything, Sally Cooper has published short stories and essays in several magazines such as CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries, Event, Grain, Great Lakes Review and White Wall Review. Her latest book, Smells Like Heaven, a collection of linked stories, will be published in June, 2017, by ARP Books.

Christine Miscione is a Canadian fiction writer. Her work has appeared in various Canadian publications, such as Exile: The Literary Quarterly, This Magazine, and The Puritan. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Hamilton Arts Award for Best Emerging Writer. In 2012, Miscione’s story, Skin Just, won first place in the Gloria Vanderbilt/Exile Editions CVC Short Fiction Contest (emerging writer category). Her debut short story collection, Auxiliary Skins, was released in 2013, and debut novel, Carafola, in 2014. Recently, Auxiliary Skins won the 2014 ReLit Award.

Hal Niedzviecki is a writer, speaker and culture commentator whose work challenges preconceptions and confronts readers with the offenses of everyday life. He is the author of 11 works of fiction and nonfiction including the nonfiction book Trees on Mars: Our Obsession with the Future (Seven Stories Press, October 2015) and the novel The Archeologists (ARP, Sept 2016), shortlisted for the Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher. He is the founder/publisher of Broken Pencil, the magazine of zine culture and the independent arts ( Hal’s writing has appeared in newspapers, periodicals and journals across the world including the New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Playboy, the Utne Reader, Pacific Standard, LitHub, The New York Observer, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Walrus, and Geist. Niedzviecki is committed to exploring the human condition through provocative fiction and non-fiction that charts the media saturated terrain of ever shifting multiple identities at the heart of our fragmenting age.

Cartoonist and illustrator Joe Ollmann lives in Hamilton, the Riviera of Southern Ontario. He is the winner of the Doug Wright Award for Best Book in 2007 and loser of the same award another time.

5 zine fairs you should be tabling at this Spring and Summer

We’re in that horrible muddy March hangover moment of the year, and the assumption is that you’ve been spending all winter indoors writing, drawing, cutting and pasting — ya know, making zines and being brilliant.

But what are you gonna do with all those zines?! Well, we’ve got you covered — all of these Spring and Summer Zine Fairs around North America are still accepting registrations for tables. Get in there!


Kazoo! Print Expo (Guelph, April 8th, 2017)

Every year, Guelph lights up for music and art with Kazoo! Fest, and one of its most popular projects is the Kazoo! Print Expo, a zine, book and print fair running 11am-4pm. Ontario zinesters, go to this! You can find more info and register here!


Kahlon x Brown Paper Zine Fair (Baltimore, April  28-29 2017)

As we mentioned in our epic interview with Brown Paper Zine Fair organizer Devin N Morris, the next all-POC zine fair he’s throwing will be in Baltimore this April 28-29. The event will be a partnership with underground arts initiative Kahlon. You can contact Devin and get involved in the zine fair at


Scranton Zine Fest (Scranton, June 2-3 2017)

Even though it’s the gray, unexciting backdrop of The Office, small Pennsylvania cities like Allentown and Scranton actually have a pretty considerable and low-key awesome punk scene. And with punks, come zines! This year’s Scranton zine fair spans two days and two venues. Not far from New York, Philly, or even Toronto. Register here! 

Gluestick 2017 (Indianapolis/Irvington, July 8th 2017)

Indiana, like so many midwestern and southern states in the US, has it’s fair share of DIYers, many of whom converge yearly for Gluestick in Irvington (just outside of Indianapolis). Only an 8 hour drive from Toronto and close to kind of every midwestern city, what’s the worst that could happen? Deadline for applications is April 30, so get it together! More info on their site! 

Kentucky Fried Zine Fest (Lexington, September 2017)

Speaking of that weird zone between the midwest and the south, Kentucky has its own zine fair in Lexington as well! Although the date isn’t set yet, the venue will be the Lyric Theatre. You can check out the zine that was made at the last festival here. Register at their website here!

twin cities 2017-poster

Twin Cities Zine Fest (Minneapolis, September 30th, 2017)

The 13th annual Twin Cities Zine Fest will be held Saturday September 30th at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts!! This zine fair has gone through various iterations and organizers, some of whom have even come up to Winnipeg for Canzine Central! We love these guys! Registration in May, so keep your eyes out! 

Canzine 2016: Enter the 1-2 Punch Live Book Pitch and Win!


Have you got the novel to save the world? The manifesto that is sure to spark insurrection? Poems to echo through the generations?

Live on our main stage in front of a crowing crowd, you get two minutes to pitch your book to our panel of judges. They get one minute each to tell you why you’ll never get published in a million, billion years, or why they want to see your manuscript in their inbox ASAP.

Sign up in advance to participate in the 1-2 Punch Book Pitch at Canzine!

To sign up, email with your: 1. name 2. email address 3. phone number 4. two or three line description of the project you are going to pitch. Sign up now, we only have room for 8 participants and this will be first come first served.

The winner of the pitch gets bragging rights and a Broken Pencil prize pack worth $200.

Canzine Toronto
Jackman Hall at the Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas St. West)
Oct. 29, 2016,  1:30pm
Judges: Hazel Millar (BookThug), Andrew Hunter (AGO, Canadian Art), Hal Niedzviecki (The Archaeologists, Broken Pencil)

Canzine Winnipeg:
Buchwald Room at the Millenium Library, 251 Donald St.
Oct. 22, 2016, 4:30 pm
Judges: Rosanna Deerchild, Hope Nicholson, Hal Niedzviecki, Jen Sookfong Lee

Broken Pencil Zine Race at Word on the Street Toronto!

Hey Broken Pencil friends and fans! Come find us in the Magazines area at Word on the Street and get your $10 subscription! And while you’re at it, come check out our event, the Broken Pencil Zine Race from 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM at the  Canadian Magazines Stage

Presented by Broken Pencil Magazine, the 2016 Word on the Street Zine Race will see three of Toronto’s wildest and weirdest artists battle against each other to the death! Editor Alison Lang hosts as indie comix heavyweights Jenn Woodall, Trevor Henderson and Patrick Sparrow will each create a giant comic in 30 minutes or less based on suggestions from audience members.

While the zines are being made, the crowd will get hands-on playing a game we like to call Broken (Pencil) Telephone Zine Making. In the end, a randomly chosen panel of judges picked from the audience will decide the winner and award the third annual Word on the Street Zine Race trophy and a prize pack to the lucky winner.

Trevor Henderson

Trevor Henderson is an illustrator working in Toronto, Canada. He grew up on a steady diet of horror films, weird comics, video games, cartoons and monsters. You can contact him

Patrick Sparrow

Patrick Sparrow is a man – or a man-esque creature – from other worldly regions. He likes to draw gross out ghouls and monsters and goons, because that’s what he identifies with. He is the creator of wildly unpopular comic Dirtbaby and Bonecat as well as author of the book 100 Monsters and the curator ofSimpzine (yes, an all-Simpsons zine) and Squatch Watch.

Jenn Woodall

Jenn Woodall is an illustrator, designer and cartoonist who dwells in Toronto, Ontario. Jenn creates her own comics and curates zines. Her current ongoing series is titled, ‘Magical Beatdown.’ She is the creator and editor of FIGHT! zine, a project which invites illustrators to create their own original female fighting game characters.


Editor’s Pick: The Weird World of Interactive Cinema

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Everyone knows that moment: you’re sitting on your couch, watching a movie, and you find yourself marveling at the poor decisions made by the characters. Who hasn’t desperately wished they could control the outcome of a film?

There was a time when movie fans could do just that — by engaging in the now mostly-forgotten phenomenon of interactive cinema (also known as “Full Motion Video Games”). The game Dragon’s Lair (directed by Don Bluth) is commonly cited as one of the first examples of interactive film, appearing on Laserdisc in 1983. As computers and CD-ROM technology developed in the ‘90s, FMV games expanded to full narrative films where players could control the gameplay to reach a variety of outcomes. According to this excellent primer written for The Dissolve, some notable examples of ’90s interactive games include the Twin Peaks-inspired haunted-house hit The 7th Guest (1993), as well as the sexy thriller Tender Loving Care (1998.)

I realized that I also unwittingly dabbled in interactive film in the mid-’90s: I was obsessed with a supernatural murder-mystery game called Phantasmagoria. Released by Sierra Games, the game featured real actors exploring the nooks and crannies of a decaying estate, gradually uncovering a horrific murder involving an evil magician (yep, really).  The game was hugely popular and made millions of dollars, but also featured a controversial rape scene and grisly over-the-top violence. It was once named “the most sophisticated computer game to date” – a label that’s kind of funny in hindsight:

Although the interactive movie format eventually declined as the interactivity of video games rose, FMV games remain intriguing and cheesy relics that have indelibly influenced aspects of indie game-making and storytelling. (As one example, elements of interactive/FMV storytelling appear in last year’s indie game sensation Her Story, which features a series of VHS-quality police depositions featuring the wife of a murder victim, and tasks the player to patch together clues from each clip.

The Hand Eye Society is an organization that explores the creative possibilities of videogames in DIY culture. Torontonians can experience their celebration of ‘80s and ‘90s interactive cinema, FebMoVid, on Wednesday February 17 at the Royal Cinema in Toronto in conjunction with the Laser Blast Film Society, who will also be screening a rare feature version of the loosely-interactive Toronto-shot TV series Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future. You can check out a trailer for the Royal event below and buy tickets here.


Indie Events Round-Up: December 8 – 15



Visit Broken Pencil on Saturday at Milk Glass for the All the Words Small Press Fest

Tuesday, December 8


Brick 96 Launch, 7:30pm, Lucky Shrike, 850 Dundas W, free

The newest issue of Brick launches with Alex Pugsley, Jessica Moore, and Lynn Crosbie reading.

Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Pearl Pirie, Monica Kidd and Marsha Barber read.

Wednesday, December 9


Radicals, 7pm, Remington’s Men of Steel, 379 Yonge St, free

Readings form the sexual literary vanguard: Bruce LaBruce, Sasha van Bon Bon, Shawn Syms and more.

Pages UnBound presents Forbidden Love Launch, 7:30pm, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, f$10 or free with book

Arsenal Pulp launches the newest in its Queer Film Classic book series, Forbidden Love.

The Sophisticated Boom Boom, 10pm, The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave, free

It’s last boom boom of the year, featuring Susanna Fourneir. 

Read more: Indie Events Round-Up: December 8 – 15

Indie Events Roundup December 1 – 7



Primed 2.0 sexual health zine for transguys and their partners launches this Wednesday at the Gladstone. 


Tuesday, December 1


LIT BANG! Tuesday Talks Race and Poetry, 7:30pm, Milk Glass, 1247 Dundas St W, free

Poetry Is Dead presents Sachiko Murakami, Sonnet L’Abbé and Jacqueline Valencia discussing their experiences and thoughts on race and poetry.


Speaking Crow, 7pm, Millenium Library, 251 Donald St, free

Joanne Epp headlines this popular open mic and reading series.

Wednesday, December 2


Primed 2.0 Toronto Launch, 9pm, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, free

Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance launches the second edition of their sexual health guide for trans guys and the guys who dig them. DJ Nik Red spins.

Thursday, December 3


LooseLeaf Magazine Issue #1 Launch, 6:30pm, Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St, free

Project 40 launches their first issue of a new mag.

ECW Holiday Party, 8pm, Boxcar Social, 4 Boulton Ave, free

Holiday fun with ECW!

Taddle Creek Winter Launch, 8pm, The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave, free

Issue 64 of Taddle Creek is here, and it’s an all comic issue in Golden Age format! Sweet!

Friday, December 4


Poetry Is Dead 12 Launch, 6pm, Pulpfiction Books, 2422 Main St, free

The newest issue, “Working Class”, hits the streets at this launch full of wine, games, and book shopping!

Sunday, December 6


Better Days – A Mental Health Recovery Workshop, 2pm-5pm, Toronto Zine Library, 292 Brunswick Ave, free

Zinester, punk and author Craig Lewis hosts a workshop on wellness and mental health.

Indie Events Roundup: November 17 – 23


Queer Slam this Tuesday! Poster by Emmie Tsumura

Wednesday, November 18


Hot Damn It’s a Queer Slam, 7:30pm, Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave, free

Mahlika Awe:ri Enml’ga’t Saqama’sgw makes her queer slam debut! Get there early to sign up for the open mic.

Pivot Reading Series, 8pm, The Steady, 1051 Bloor St W, suggested $5

Faith Vanessa Arkorful, Matt Cahill, Maureen Hynes and Karen Solie read.

Thursday, November 19


Riffs Launch & Brick Books 40th Anniversary, 7:30pm, Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St, free

Dennis Lee launches his new book and cake is served to celebrate 40 years of Brick Books!

Saturday, November 21


The Elastic Effect Launch, 8pm, 49 McCaul St, free

The Elastic Effect collective launches, including visual arts, crafts, and design.

Monday, November 23


Mansfield Press Kingston Fall Launch, The Grad Club, 162 Barrie St, free

Lots of new books and readings from Tara Azzopardi, Salvatore Difalco and Nick Papaxanthos.

Indie Events Roundup: November 10 – 16



Three new books launch from Colour Code this Wednesday. [image via facebook]

Tuesday, November 10


Co-Creation and Anti-Poverty Media, 7pm, Eaton Lecture Hall, 80 Gould St, Room 204

The Means of Production Speakers’ Series presents an interactive lecture with Dr. Alex Abramovich and Cathy Crowe.

The EW Readings Series, 8pm, Duffy’s Tavern, 1238 Bloor St W, free

Bev Couse, Michael Griffin, Rudrapriya Rathore and Gavin Tomson read.

Wednesday, November 11


Colour Code Fall Launch, 7pm, Colour Code Printing, 251 Sorauren Ave, Unit 104, free

New editions from Juliana Neufled, Phil Woollam and Alicia Nauta.

The Sophisticated Boom Boom, 10pm, The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave, free

It’s poetry! Meghan Harrison is the featured reader at this monthly poetry reading and open mic. 

Read more: Indie Events Roundup: November 10 – 16

WordPlay 2015 This Saturday!


Are you a gamer who values episodic stories and play-throughs over random violence and explosions? Are you interested in games that explore issues like gentrification and growing up through woodland animals? Are you tickled by the idea of a Choose Your Own Adventure-styled series featuring….cats? Are you a writer curious about the world of indie interactive gaming (or vice/versa??)

If all of this sounds enticing, WordPlay 2015 is where you should be this Saturday in Toronto!

The third-annual festival hosted by the Hand Eye Society examines how writing and words are used in contemporary indie gaming. It’s taking place from 12pm-5pm at the Toronto Reference Library and is totally free!

WordPlay 2015  will feature talks from interactive fiction legend Emily Short, Sherwin Tija (author of the aforementioned You Are A Cat… series of game books) the legendary indie game designer Christine Love and many others. Plus there will be tons of games being demo’ed for free, including a version of Dungeons and Dragons hosted by images of Vin Diesel (um, amazing!) and intro workshops on interactive game-building software such as Twine, Ren’py and Inform.

We had the pleasure of trying out a game designed by Sam Barlow called Her Story. (Barlow will be interviewed at WordPlay 2015 by Toronto game genius Kaitlin Tremblay.) The game is set in a police computer on a fictional database called Cornerstone. You’re given a search engine dialog box  and a series of short clips comprising seven police interrogations of a beautiful young British woman. You quickly learn that the woman’s husband, Simon, has been murdered and you’ve been tasked to figure out the truth by searching through the clips and figuring out the clues. It’s haunting, chilling and incredibly addictive and forces the user to draw interesting conclusions about their own search term choices and the puzzle pieces that each clip yields.

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For more info about WordPlay 2015, including the schedule of events and participant bios, visit the event website or Facebook page.


Indie Events Roundup: November 3 – November 9


Ephemera used as bookmarks at The Monkey’s Paw’s “Here I Fell Asleep” exhibit.
[image via facebook]


Wednesday, November 4


Voyegeur Launch, 6pm, THe Victory Cafe, 581 Markham St, free

Nick Marinkovich, the guy behind KENK, has a new graphic novel. Celebrate!

Pivot, 8pm, The Steady, 10501 Bloor St W, PWYC (suggested $5)

Chad Campbell, Elena Johnson, Cara-Lyn Morgan, Catriona Wright read as a part of the festivities surrounding the newest edition of Best Canadian Poetry in English.

The 4 Poets Issue #3 Launch, 8pm, Holy Oak Café, 1241 Bloor St W, free

Ashley Opheim, Stephen Thomas, Lena Suksi and Amy Blaxland are featured in the newest issue of The 4 Poets. Each will read complete with their own custom musical dedication by LOOM. 

Read more: Indie Events Roundup: November 3 – November 9

Indie Events Roundup: October 27 – November 2



Tonight! Shab-e She’r Poetry Night at Beit Zatoun. 


Tuesday, October 27


Shabe-e She’r Poetry Night, 6:30pm, Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St, $5

Toronto’s most diverse poetry reading and open mic. Featured poets tonight are Irfan Ali and Margaret Christakos headline.

Boneshaker Reading Series, 7pm, 1748 St. Clair W, free

Lana Pesch and Heather Cadsby read.

Toronto Comic Jam, 7:30pm-1am, The Cameron House, 408 Queen St W, free

It’s the october comic jam! Bring some pens and maybe some dough for t-shirts and other comic book stuff.

IFOA Presents: In Celebration of BookThug, 8:30pm, 235 Queens Quay W, free

Our truly incredible friends at BookThug are the worthy subject of a toast at the International Festival of Authors.

Wednesday, October 28


Space Dumplins Signing, 5:45-8pm, Palmerston Library, 560 Palmerston Ave, free

Craig Thompson signs his new all ages graphic novel!


Pauls, Pillow and Debris Tour, 7pm, Novel Idea Bookstore, 156 Princess St, free

Readings from new books by Jess Taylor, Kevin Hardcastle and Andrew Battershill.

Friday, October 30

Best Canadian Poetry 2015 Launch, 7:30pm, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W, free

Lots of readings and merriment to celebrate the launch of this year’s Best Canadian Poetry.

Monday, November 2

decolonizEDU launch, 6pm, Multi-Faith Centre, 569 Spadina Ave, free

A new U of T initiative to start a discussion on anti oppressive pedagogy.

Indie Events Roundup: October 20 – 26



Canzine in Vancouver and Winnipeg this very Saturday! 

Tuesday, October 20


Aboriginal Community Media with Dr. Raven Sinclair, 7pm, George Vari Engineering Building, 245 Church St, Room 103, free

A workshop about community accountability and process in Dr. Sinclair’s filmmaking practice.

ECW Fall Lit Party, 7pm, Bar Italia, 582 College St, free

Laura Clarke, Helen Humphreys and George Murray

EW Reading Series, 8:30pm, Duffy’s Tavern, 1238 Bloor St W, PWYC

JC Bouchard, Hannah Brown, Tajja Isen and Magdalena Wolak read.

Wednesday, October 21


Grand Menteur Laungh, 7pm, Type Books, 883 Queen St W, free

The secret world of Mauritian street gangs is at the centre of Jean Marc Ah-Sen’s new book.

Pivot Reading Series, 8pm, The Steady, 1051 Bloor St W, $5

Méira Cook, Kevin Hardcastle, George Murray read.

ChiSeries Toronto, 8pm, ROUND, 152a Augusta Ave, free

Clifford Jackman, Bracken MacLeod and Kevin Sands read.

What We Talk About, 8pm, The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St W, $10 or free with new issue

Little Brother’s beloved reading series is curated by Peter Merriman this time around and takes up the theme of Animal Kingdoms.

Read more: Indie Events Roundup: October 20 – 26

Indie Events: Oct 13 – 19 • Zine Fairs For Everyone Edition •



Hell yes! Canzine Toronto is THIS SATURDAY at the AGO!

Tuesday, October 13


PussyBasket, 7pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Avenue, PWYC

Jenna Syde, Lynn Crosbie, Marcy Rogers, Lizzie Violet and The Canadian Romantic bring this awesome queer reading series to a close.

The River Launch, 7pm, Another Story Bookshop, 315 Roncesvalles Ave, free

Helen Humphreys’ new book from ECW launches.

Tell Me Something Good, 7:30pm, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W,$10

10-15 sexy storytellers slam in front of an esteemed panel of judges for prizes courtesy of Come As You Are.

Book Thug Fall Launch,, 7:30pm, The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St W, free

New books from Jess Taylor, John Massey, Liz Worth, Shannon Maguire, Marc Ah-Sen, Samuel Andreyev, Steven Ross Smith and more!

Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Cassidy McFadzean, Jessica Popeski and Maurice Mierau read at this popular East End reading series.


Artists’ Book Week: Ho Tam, 7pm, Contemporary Art Gallery, 555 Nelson St, free

Ho Tam discusses his recent publications as a part of Artists’ Book Week in Vancouver.

Wednesday, October 14


Little Brother No. 6 Launch Party, 7pm, June Records, 662 College St, free

Issue 6, the “snacks” issue, is here! Short, irreverent readings and beautiful people.

Raconteurs presents “The Internet”, 7:30pm, Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Ave, $10

The much beloved storytelling series is back with stories of the internet. Send pitches to

The Sophisticated Boom Boom, 10pm, The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave, free

Jack Bride headlines followed by the open mic.

Thursday, October 15


Flight and Freedom Launch, 6:30pm, Koffler Centre of the Arts, 180 Shaw St, free

Thirty astonishing reviews with refugees collected in one intense book.

Words(on)pages Fall Chabook Launch, 7pm, The Central, 603 Markham St, free

New books from JC Bouchard, philip miletic and Susie Pertersiel Berg.

Queer and Trans Artists of Color, 8pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

A pre-Naked Heart event celebrating Nia King’s awesome book including special guests Vivek Shraya, Trish Salah, Kiley May dn Nina Malaya.


Rom Com Launch, 7:30pm, Hot Art Wet City, 2206 Main St, free

Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli hit the hometown to launch their new book about feelings in films and all that and more!

Friday, October 16


Naked Heart LGBTQ+ Festival of Words, Various Locations, All weekend, prices vary (festival pass $39)

Glad Day Books is producing its first festival, with 120+ queer/trans writers and dozens of events. Something for everyone!

Return of Saturn: An Afternoon of Queer Zine Readings, 3pm, D-Beatstro, 1292 Bloor St W, free

Amrit Brar, Morgan Sea, Sara Mangle, Lynx Sainte-Marie, Maranda Elizabeth and Amber Dearest all read at this amazing event!

The Second Annual Shamie Awards, 7pm, OCADU, 100 McCaul St, $20

Shameless Magazine’s fun annual fundraiser and award series where they acknowledge the worst perpetrators of sexism, racism, and oppression in the media.

Saturday, October 17


Canzine Toronto, 1pm-7pm, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St W, free

It’s here, and it’s our biggest one yet! Toronto’s biggest zine fair features over 200 vendors, readings, art rooms, kids’ programming, a zine race, a panel on magick zines, and all of the coolest people you know.

Toronto Queer Zine Fair, 11am-7pm, Trinity St Paul’s, 427 Bloor St W, free

It’s Toronto’s other favorite zine fair! On the same day! With a focus on queer/trans* zine creators, this year includes more tablers than ever, kids programming, and lots of amazing queers.


Vancouver Art/Book Fair, 12-6pm, 750 Hornby St, Vancouver Art Gallery, free

Saturday and Sunday are the West Coast’s coolest art book fair, with special events all week and the main event at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Don’t sleep!

Sunday, October 18


Junior Sleuth Academy, 2:30 pm, Lillian H Smith Library, 239 College St, free

Evan Munday’s new book in the Dead Kid Detective Agency launches — Loyalist to a Fault

Well-Dressed Wound Launch, 7pm, Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St, free

The launch for Derek McCormack’s obscene, obscure, wacky new book from Semiotext(e).

Dirty River Launch, 7pm, Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St, free

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s memoir from Arsenal Pulp launches.

Metatron Fall 2015 Launch, 7pm, Type Books, 883 Queen St W, free

Sofia Banzhaf, Oscar D’Artois and Fawn Parker read and launch.


Radical Mental Health 1, 6pm, Spartacus Books, 3378 Findlay St, free

Three documentaries by Cindy Lou Griffith is the first in a series of workshops on radical mental health.

Monday, October 19


Liquid Voice Presents: Zine Making Workshop Series, 5:30pm, Parkdale Public Library, 1303 Queen St W, free

A zine workshop series for all ages hosted by the amazing Fiona Raye Clarke (also a Broken Pencil reviewer!).

Indie Events October 6 – 13


Celebrate the future because it doesn’t exist!
BP founder Hal and pal tell you why the world is ending in their new books, launching Thursday.

Tuesday, October 6


Shake-n-Make Collective: What’s Cookin?, 5pm-7pm, The Artists Nesstand, Chester Station, 22 Chester Avenue, free

A new show bringing a fresh baked reimagination of ‘70s crafts! Macaroni portraits, reverse applique aprons Betty Crocker and more.

No Ordinary Reading!, 6:30pm, 145 Annette St, free

Readings from Lisa de Nikolits, James Grainger, Lorrie Jorgensen, Evan Munday and Andrea Thompson.

Coach House Books vs. The Fall, 7pm, The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St W, free

A whack ton of new books launch from the inimitable laneway press!

Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Chad Norman, Gianna Patriarca and Rocco de Giacomo read, plus an open mic.


Speaking Crow, 7pm, Millenium Library, 251 Donald St, free

The first edition of the fall features the fantastic Luanna Hiebert. Open Mic sign-ups at 7. 

Read more: Indie Events October 6 – 13

Indie Events Roundup: September 29 – October 5



Sunday! Come celebrate the Satanic Panic by watching hilarious 80s Christian paranoia VHS tapes at KITCH!

Tuesday, September 29


Disability Media & Digital Stories: Eliza Chandler, 7pm, Eaton Lecture Hall, 80 Gould St, RCC 204, free

Dr. Eliza Chandler discusses the the development of disability arts in Canada and shares skills in the technique of digital storytelling.

Icehouse and Friends Fall Poetry Launch, 7pm, The Steady, 1051 Bloor St W

Ali Blythe and Daniel Scott launch new chapbooks and read alongside Helen Guri and Oubah Osman.

All Inclusive Launch, 7:30pm, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, PWYC

Farzana Doctor’s third novel launches at The Gladstone!

September Toronto Comic Jam, 7:30pm, The Cameron House, 408 Queen St W, free

It’s the last Tuesday of the month, so bring your drawing instruments and Jam out!

Wednesday, September 30


Membering Book Launch, 6:30pm, Harlem, 67 Richmond St E, free

A Different Booklist presents the new book of Memoirs from the grandfather of African-Canadian Literature, Austin Clarke.

The Art of the Possible Launch, 7pm, Another Story Bookshop, 315 Roncesvalles Ave, free

Join Owlkids Books for the launch of an everyday guide to politics for kids!

Thursday, October 1


Xenotext Launch, 7pm, Studio Bar, 824 Dundas St W, free

The world’s first “living poem” has some weird sciencey bacteria thing going on that I don’t quite understand — maybe go and find out what it’s all about?

National Treasure: Nicolas Cage Book Launch, 7pm, Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St, free

Celebrate the launch of former BP editor Lindsay Gibb’s new book about Nicolas Cage — the man, the meme, the legend! BP writer Jacqueline Valencia interviews Gibb on stage between choice Cage clips, Cage themed games and crowd sourced ideas for Gibb’s Cage themed tattoo. It’s gonna be a wacky night.

Ali Blythe and Tara-Michelle Ziniuk, 8pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

Blythe and Ziniuk’s Twoism tour stops in Toronto!

Sunday, October 4


Clothing Grab, 3pm-4:30pm, MAWA Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, 611 Main St, $10

A fundraiser for the Also As Well Too Artist Book Library, ten bux and you can walk away with as many clothes as you can carry.


Satanic Panic: Occult Offerings, 8pm, KITCH, 229 Geary Ave, free

The Black Museum and Rue Morgue Magazine team up to present a Satanic social for the new book Satanic Panic: Pop Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s, including a never-before-seen video compilation of Christian 80s VHS releases!

Monday, October 5

The Sweet Complaint: Four Queer Writers, 7pm, Videofag, Augusta Avenue, PWYC

Brian Dedora, Kate Cayley, Maureen Hynes and Vivek Shraya read.

Indie Events: September 22 – 28



Broken Pencil’s Word on Street Zine Race is back this Sunday at 2:30pm in the Vibrant Voices Tent!

Tuesday, September 22


Kate Beaton Launches Step Aside, Pops!, 6pm, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St, free

Page & Panel hosts the bestselling creator Kate Beaton.

Wednesday, September 23


Hair and Kittens Double Launch, 7pm, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, 211 Bernard Ouest, free

Matt Goldberg hosts the launch for the debuts of Long Red Hair by Meags Fitzgerald and the Pick-A-Plot series’ third instalment, You Are a Kitten! by Sherwin Tjia.


Pivot Reading Series, 8pm, The Steady Café & Bar, 1051 Bloor St W, free

Raoul Fernandes, James Grainger and Sabrina Ramnanan read.

Thursday, September 24


Family Ties with Vivek Shraya and Casey Mecija, 4pm, University of Toronto Art Centre, 15 King’s College Circle, free

Casey and Vivek share their two short films as a part of Queer Orientation.

Performances by Jessica Karuhanga, Mou Modhubontee and Robin Pacific, 6pm, The Artists Newsstand, 22 Chester Ave, free

Two performances at the newsstand kiosk, quickly becoming Toronto’s coolest art space. Runs through September 25.

Graphic! Sex! Education!, 7pm, DG Ivey Library, 20 Willcocks Street, free

A discussion of Sex is a Funny Word, the sequel to What Makes a Baby from Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth.

Coming Out As Deliciously Disabled, 7:30pm, Come As You Are, 493 Queen St W, $10

Exploring the realities of queer people with disabilities and how to navigate sex and disability.

Sick Sad World Skit Night/Daria Marathon, 7:30pm, D-Beatstro, 1292 Bloor St W, free

Share your best sick sad world improv with Daria episodes playing all night. I mean… this is amazing.

Desert Pets Launch, 8pm, Reunion Island Coffee, 285 Roncesvalles Ave, free

An evening of viral videos, bold readings and new fun chapbooks. Readings by E Martin Nolan, Daniel Scott Tysdal, Michelle Brown, Spencer Gordon and more.


Lorcation Launch, 7pm, Bombast, 27 East Pender St, free

BookThug invites you to join Brian Dedora for the launch of his newest book exploring the tragendies of Lorca’s life and his own.

Friday, September 25


Unpacking Queer Liberation, Screening of Pay It No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P Johnson, 7pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

OurSpace responds to whitewashing of queer liberation history by screening Pay It No Mind, telling the story of early trans revolutionary Marsha P Johnson.


Advance Reading: Sam Alden Premiers New Construction, 7pm, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, 211 Bernard Ouest, free

Sam Alden reads from his latest book, which is released in November and contains two stories, one about a brother and a sister remembering their father and another about an anarchist household.


The Factory Reading Series: Pratt, Prevost, Anstee, Reid, 7pm, Carleton Tavern, 223 Armstrong St, free

Fabulous Ottawa poets here! Get your fix.

Saturday, September 26

MADE by Feminists, 9:30am – 4pm, OCADU, 100 McCaul St, PWYC

The Feminist Art conference’s big debut makers’ market! Runs on Sunday September 27 as well.

Sex Is A Funny Word Launch, 3pm, Another Story Bookshop, 315 Roncesvalles Ave, free

Celebrate the Canadian release of Sex Is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth. Coloring! Buttons! Signings!

Norma Beecroft: Pioneers of Electronic Music Book Launch, 4pm, Canadian Music Centre, 20 St. Joseph St, free with RSVP

The Canadian Electronic Ensemble and the legendary Norma Beecroft in conversation with Kristel Aubrey Jax.

New Construction Launch, 7pm, The Central, 603 Markham St, free

Sam Alden’s newest graphic story collection launches along with Michael Deforge’s new release Lose #7.

Sunday, September 27

The Word on the Street Festival, 11am-6pm, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W, free

The giant one day literary festival moves to its new location at Harbourfront and includes our famous Broken Pencil Zine Race at 2:30pm in the Vibrant Voices tent. t

Junction Reads, 4pm-7pm, 3030, 3030 Dundas St W, free

The Fall Kickoff of this west end reading series includes Loren Edizel, Marissa Stapley, Marianne Miller and J.R. McConvey.



Indie Events September 15 – 21



The League of Lady Wrestlers presents their ISLAND RUMBLE II this Friday. Poster by Michael Comeau


Tuesday, September 15


Hummingbird Open Mic, 7pm, Paintbox, 555 Dundas St E, 7pm, free

An open mic with the live band Unbottoned on the third Tuesday of every month.

Debriefing Elsipogtog and Upping The Anti 17 Double Launch, 7pm, D-Beatstro, 1292 Bloor St W, PWYC

Miles Howe’s new book detailing the anti-shale gas actions in New Brunswick in 2013 launches alongside the newest issue of radical journal Upping the Anti.

Heyday Launch, 7pm, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, free

Thightrope Books presents the publication of Marnie Woodrow’s second novel including guest reader Ron Schafrick and Tarot readings. 

Read more: Indie Events September 15 – 21

Indie Events Roundup: September 8 – 14



Art zines and book scenes in Vancouver this Saturday!

Tuesday, September 8


Tell Me Something Good, 7:30pm, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, PWYC

The Best Sex Ever edition of Toronto’s sexy storytelling slam! Slip your name int he box and come through for sexy prizes.

The EW Reading Series, 8pm, Duffy’s Tavern, 1238 Bloor St W, PWYC

It’s Sopping September with the Emerging Writers series, featuring Marcus Creaghan, André Forget, Andy McGuire, and Star Spider.

Mouthquake Launch, 8pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

The launch for a new novel from Daniel Allen Cox, with special guests Derek McCormack and Tamara Faith Berger.

Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Joe Fiorito, Stuart Ross, and Nancy Bullis read.

Wednesday, September 9


Hot Damn It’s a Queer Slam, 7:30pm, Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave, $5-7

Season two is on and popping, featuring the beautiful Johnny Trinh.

Raconteurs presents Obsessions, 7:30pm, Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave, $10

It’s a night of stories of compulsions, fascinations and rituals.

Pivot Season Opener, 8pm, 1051 Bloor St W, PWYC

Pivot’s back with Lynn Crosbie headlining, flanked by Liz Howard and Catherine Kidd.

The Sophisticated Boom Boom, 9pm, The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave

Spencer Butt returns to lead the charge at this monthly open mic. If you want to read, get here on time!

Thursday, September 10


Project Slut: End the Dress Code, 4pm-7pm, The Artists Newsstand at Chester Station, 22 Chester Avenue, free

Project Slut is an organization founded by 3 Toronto teens who successfully changed their school’s dress codes.

Feminist Drink-N-Draw, 5pm-9:30pm, D-Beatstro, 1292 Bloor St W, free

Come draw with likeminded feminists and with Ad Astra Comix.

Friday, September 11


Words by the Water Literary Festival, various places, runs through Sunday September 13th

Etobicoke’s festival of words, a Spark Project of Cultural Hot Spot Etobicoke.

Shameless Back to School Launch, 7pm, Trinity St Paul’s, 427 Bloor St W, $5 includes issue

The new issue and it’s to the front of the class, or the stage for Hervana and Girls Rock Camp. Dance it up!

PALEBLUE: a spacey art show and zine/mixtape launch, 7pm, Milk Glass, 1247 Dundas St W, free

Weird sounds and zines and the milkyway — it’s all here.

Saturday, September 12


Fisher Small and Fine Press Fair, 10am-5pm, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, 120 St. George St, free

Lots of craft books and small presses will invade one of the most beautiful book spaces in the city.


Print Ready IV, 7pm, Dynamo Arts Association, Suite 103 – 30 East 6th Ave, free

New book and zine works by many local artists, as well as the Zine Club’s Summer Garden Reading Room.

Indie Events Roundup Sept 1-8


Ted Gudlat’s Funny-Hahas launches Thursday at Weird Things

Tuesday, September 1


Hoser Punx Vol 3 Zine Lunch, 8pm, Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave, free

An entire zine dedicated to all things Canadian punk! Zine is for sale for 5 bux all night.

Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Art bar above and beyond! Robert Priest, Kelly Pflug, Evan Whyte read.


Resonance Reading Series, 9pm, Resonance Café, 5175A Avenue du Parc, free

Readings by Danila Botha, Steven Mayoff, Richard Rosenbaum, Rachael Simpson and Neil Smith.

Wednesday, September 2


Forge: Grant Writing 101, 6:30-8:30pm, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St W, free with registration

The Ontario Arts Council hosts an information session on grant writing strategies.

Thursday, September 3


Barista Skills Workshop, 7pm, D-Beatsto, 1292 Bloor St W, PWYC

A DIY barista skills workshop! Anyone is welcome to apply but priority will go to marginalized youth seeking employment experience.

Funny Hahas Book Launch, 7:30pm, Weird Things, 998 Bathurst St, free

Weirdo comix kid Ted Gudlat launches his book about Slurpie and the gang!

Friday, September 4


Giving Birth To Yourself Chapbook Launch, 8pm, CEDA, 2520 Lionel-Groulx Acenue, PWYC

Performance by by Kim Ninkuru and Elena Stoodley flank the launch of Kai Cheng Thom (aka Lady Sin Trayda) and Emily Tee Clare.

Saturday, September 5


PLAY: A Series of Microtalks, 2pm, Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St George St, free

Microtalks from the likes of Jenny Sampirisi, Natalie Zina Walschots and more.

Batty Bwoy Book Launch, 6pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

Jamaican-born author Max-Arthut Mantle launches his new novel, Batty Bwoy.


Indie Events Roundup August 24 – 30



#BlackLivesMatterTO hosts a community teach-in at A Different Booklist on Wednesday

Monday, August 24


Videofag Season Launch, 7pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Ave, PWYC

Discover and party with the artists Videofag is programming this Fall and Winter!

Tuesday, August 25


Toronto Comic Jam, 7:30pm, The Cameron House, 408 Queen St W, PWYC

Come draw at the Cameron House for the last comic jam of the summer. Bring your pens and pencils.

Wednesday, August 26


#BlackLivesMatter Teach-In, 7pm, A Different Booklist, 746 Bathurst St, free

Jay Kay and LeRoi Newbold lead a teach-in on the current actions and prospects for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Thursday, August 27

Pump up the FAC, 7pm, Younger Than Beyonce Gallery, 563 Dundas St E, Suite 201, $15

A networking and inspiration party to support the 2015 Feminist Art Conference, with special musical guest LAL.

Friday, August 28


Community Closet All Gender Clothing Swap, 12pm – 8pm, Ryerson Student Centre, 55 Gould St, free, runs through Saturday August 29

An epic all-gender clothing swap including workshops on sewing, design, and more — plus dance breaks! Friday is for black folks and Saturday is for everybody.

Saturday, August 29


Calgary Zine Co Mingle #1 Let’s Do Picnic Lunch Edition, 12pm-4pm, CommunityWise Resource Centre, 223 12th Avenue SW, free

Meet fellow zinesters and share your works! Or work on your own, donate to the Zine Tree, and trade zines. Stay for games, vegan food, readings and show ’n’ tell, crafts, and more!


Myseum on the Move: LGBTQ+ Protests, The Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives, 34 Isabella St,, free with registration

Focusing on how Toronto has led the way for LGBTQ+ rights, people of all ages are asked to share their objects and stories to help build the Myseum’s digital collection.

Canzine Toronto & Toronto Queer Zine Fair


TQZF poster by Jenny Chan

Yes, you noticed it too! Canzine Toronto this year is on October 17th at the Art Gallery of Ontario, which is the same day as the Toronto Queer Zine Fair at Trinity St. Paul’s Church.

We are really excited to be partnering with Art Gallery of Ontario to make Canzine its most accessible yet, and to bring ziney goodness to more people than we thought possible. Part of this venue change also necessitated a date change, and now you’ve got two zine fairs on the same day in Toronto — which, if you think about it, is kind of amazing!

The Toronto Queer Zine Fair was created in 2013 to fill the need for a zine fair specifically for the LGBTQ2ISA* zine community. As an event and a community, it has grown in amazing ways since then. It’s a different vibe and experience than Canzine, and both are worth visiting.

We at Canzine have grown a lot in the last three years. When TQZF began in 2013, Canzine organizers began to do some real thinking about the ways we have not been a safe or accessible space for queer, trans, and disabled people. Many of us are queer ourselves, and seeing the amazing and very intentional work that TQZF has done around accessibility, anti-oppression, safe space and inclusivity has totally inspired us, and this is part of why we’ve moved venues and changed approaches.

Because we think both Canzine and TQZF are important and amazing — each with their own identities and showing different slices of the zine community — we encourage you to visit both on October 17th!

In the next few months, we’ll be sharing information about travelling between the two venues, a join scavenger hunt with special prizes, and so much more! Although we are two separate events, we’re happy to be working together on making sure visitors can get the most out of the biggest zine weekend ever in Toronto.

Any questions can be directed to and

Indie Events Roundup: August 17 – 23


Mammalian Diving Reflex’s Bureau of Life Complaints – Something like this, but probably better? Saturday and Sunday on Bloor and St Clarens! 

Tuesday, August 18


Still Not Over It: 70 Years of Queer Canadian Film @ Vancouver Queer Film Festival, 6pm, Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St, $8-$12

As a part of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, check out this program of 16 queer Canadian documentaries, experimental work, performance, animation, and fiction spanning 70 years of moving image art.

Wednesday, August 19


Fermenting Workshop, 7pm, D-Beatstro, 1292 Bloor St, PWYC

Learn to ferment some sauerkraut! Yum!

Safe Country, 8pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Ave, free

The premiere of the film Safe Country, following three queer refugees beginning new lives in Vancouver and discovering Canada isn’t the paradise they had hoped for.

Thursday, August 20


Drunk Feminist Films presents: Clueless and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, 8:30 and 11:15, The Revue, 400 Roncesvalles Ave, $11-$14

A feminist flavoured drinking game for a high school classic double feature!

Friday, August 21


Worst Case Ontario Kickoff, 8pm, The White House, 277.5 Augusta Ave, PWYC

Come see some of Ontario’s best and weirdest poets kick off their tour, including BP reviewer JM Francheteau!

Deep Impact of Reluctant Asteroids, 8pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, PWYC

Poets Elly Rasile, Nick Kostas Kratsas, Oliver Cusimano, Jordaan Mason, Emily Izsak, Sara June Woods and host Brock Hessel.

Double Dot Magazine Issue 7 Launch, Unit 320, 263 Adelaide St W, PWYC

Come get your NYC & Tokyo issue and get down to music we’ve never heard of and weird art. That sound shady but actually this party looks really fun!

Saturday August 22


The Bureau of Life Complaints, 12pm – 6pm, Bloor St W & St Clarens Ave, free

The Bureau of Life Complaints is led by a team of teen administrators interested in learning about your problems as a resident in the second saddest city in Canada, and how, if at all, these individual ailments are linked to larger issues that shape the world. After gathering your complaints, the administrators will sort, generalize, and connect them together to illustrate a system of complaints that the Bureau will present to the City of Toronto that may or may not help them understand the social core of our collective unhappiness. Part of the BIG on Bloor Festival. Runs through Sunday.

Sunday August 23


#NotMyPride Picnic and Park Show, 5pm – 1ppm, Dundonald Park, free

Anti-Capitalist Pride is holding a picnic in the park for the unrepresented and underrepresented members of the queer community. Free vegan-friendly supper and free acoustic set!

Indie Events August 10 – 16 : SummerWorks Edition!



all you can hold at SummerWorks this Wednesday. [image via]

Before getting into our day-by-day listings, we wanted to take a moment just to shout out to our picks for this years SummerWorks theatre/performance festival in Toronto, already underway and running until Sunday. Click through for more detailed information about dates and locations.

Tough Guy Mountain, Factory Theatre

In a new play by Iain Soder, Intern Lisa begins the first day of her unpaid internship at the extra-dimensional, hyper-capitalist corporation called Tough Guy Mountain. Slowly climbing the corporate ladder, Lisa learns not just about marketing, but also a sinister plot against the company. It’s a post-modern kafkaesque hyperreal semi-musical!

This Play Wins, The Theatre Centre

The audience takes the wheel at this “focus group” style happening, wherein Performance Experts execute scenes of Aristophanes’ “The Clouds” while audience members vote and interrogate.

Charisma Furs, Factory Theatre

One of our “10 to Watch in 2015”, the saucy and smart Katie Sly, performs an intense interrogation of her own past and a journey towards loving herself and others.

all you can hold, Pia Bouman School

The music of weirdo electronic set LAL combine with movement / dance by Ill NaNa and Victoria Mata plus wearable sculpture by Ange Loft to create a hallowed space. One night only on Wednesday, August 12!

Click through for our regular weekly listings!

Read more: Indie Events August 10 – 16 : SummerWorks Edition!

Indie Events Roundup : July 27 – Aug 2



Tuesday, July 28


July Comic Jam, 7pm, The Cameron House, 408 Queen St W, free

Bring your pencils and pens for the monthly comic jam!

This Magazine Summer Reading Issue Launch, 7pm, Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave, $5 includes issue

Come celebrate the launch of This’ Summer Reading Issue, curated by Dani Couture. Readings from Kate Sutherland, Sara Peters and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer.

Wednesday, July 29


untethered Issue 2.1 Launch Party, 7pm, Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave

It’s the third issue! Come support!

Torontaru July, 8pm, The Get Well, 1181 Dundas St W, free

Toronto’s favorite indie gamers and game makers meet up! This month, N++ from Metanet, next-gen screenshots of Pluto and shia_labeouf_do_it.gif So obvi…. DO IT! Thursday, July 30


Satanic Panic Launch, 7pm, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, free

Co-editors Kier-La Janisse and Paul Corupe launch a collection of essays and articles unpacking the bizarre cultural paranoia around satanism in the 80s, including a piece by BP Editor Alison Lang!

Saturday, August 1


Maker Festival 2015, Toronto Reference Library, 9am-5pm 789 Yonge St, free

A week of maker events culminates in this big maker fair at the reference library! Also runs Sunday 11-5pm.

Sunday, August 2


Midsummer Pop-Up Zine Market Fundraiser, 11am-6pm, D-Beatstro, 1292 Bloor St W, suggested $5

Help raise funds for the Toronto Queer Zine Fair! A day long event featuring queer/trans zinesters in full effect!


Indie Events Round-Up: July 20 – 26


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Seriously the only place to be on Thursday. More details below! 

Tuesday, July 21


hummingbird, Paintbox Catering and Bistro, 555 Dundas St E, free

A monthly open mic series with live band support, hosted by Unbuttoned. All ages! Sign up at 6pm, show starts at 7pm. Light refreshments served. Stage is not physically accessible.

Wednesday, July 22


A Night of Readings, 6pm, 8-11 Gallery, 233 Spadina Ave, free

New texts and works-in-progress from Nadia Belerique, Jessica Carroll, Georgia Dickie, Fiona Duncan, Sophia Katz, Laura A. Warman, and Fan Wu.

Thursday, July 23


Prisoner Correspondence Project – New Members Meeting, 6pm, Access Point Danforth, 3079 Danforth Ave, free

Are you interested in doing meaningful prisoner justice work? The Prisoner correspondence Project Toronto is seeking new members. Come share in food and coversation, and learn about how to get involved in letter writing for people in prison with trans and queer identities.

Broken Pencil 20th Anniversary Party, 8pm, The Gladstone Ballroom, 1214 Queen St W, $5 cover includes issue, $10 gets you a subscription

Come celebrate our 20th birthday with us! Reverse fortune-telling, advice from teens, embarrassing high school zines, giant zines, and crowd karaoke make up the meat of this fabulous affair — not to mention shmoozing and boozing with Toronto’s coolest?

Friday, July 24


LIVE MY LIEF, 8pm, Double Double Land, 209 Augusta Ave, $5 advance, $7 door

Poet and video artist Steve Roggenbuck performs, with opening performances and readings by Neil Lapierre and Aisha Sasha John.

Saturday, July 25


Dirtbag Party, 11pm, 128 St Joseph Ouest, PWYC fundraiser

DJs Cuteface, Fag Face, Bunny Buns, Haterade, and Like The Wolf (how many of these are real? Only one way to find out). Support queer and alternative pride festivities of Pervers/cité! And say goodbye to Mile End’s most epic punk house!


Self Care for Skeptics Zine Launch, 6pm-9pm, Trinity Square Video, 401 Richmond St W, Suite 376, PWYC

Self Care for Skeptics is a zine that takes issue with the [neoliberal] notion of “self care,” approaching self care through lenses of feminism(s) and queer theory. Featuring art and literature by twenty-two feminist, queer, genderqueer, and trans artists and writers. Get yours!

Well Hung Reception Party, 10pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

Content Factory, Queers In Space(s) and The Reading Salon present new works by old divas including Raymond Helkio, David Bateman, Brock Hessel, Brad Fraser, Amy J. Lester, Paul Bellini and S. MacDonald. Proceeds to benefit Hamlet In A Hot Tub production fund + Glad Day Bookshop.

Sunday, July 26


International Zine Month Celebration – Hangout, 6pm, Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Ave, free

Come play! Hang! Make zines! Read zines! Doodle! Celebrate zine month in style at the Toronto Zine Library’s home base.

Indie Events Roundup: July 13 – 19



Toronto’s Anarchist Bookfair is this weekend! Poster by Radical Design School
[image via facebook]

Tuesday, July 14


Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Jim Johnstone, Kateri Lanthier and dalton derkson read, plus an open mic.

Wednesday, July 15


Spacing Summer Issue Launch & Jane Jacobs Prize, 7pm, Royal Canadian Legion 344, 1395 Lakeshoure Blvd W, $10 (includes issue)

Enjoy the new issue of Spacing on a fabulous patio overlooking Lake Ontario. This celebration will double as the award ceremony for the Jane Jacobs Prize.

Saturday, July 18


DMG Arcade, 10am-6pm, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W, free

Come play the games made during Dames Making Games’ Gym Jam all week, leading up to a tournament on July 25th!

Toronto Anarchist Bookfair, 11am-5pm, United Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil St, PWYC

Curious about anarchism? Been a hardcore revolutionary for time? Or do you just like zines, books, and workshops? This is the weekend for you! Runs on Sunday as well.


JackPine Summer Chapbook Launch, 5pm, Moose Jaw Cultural Centre, 217 Main St N, free

Two new chapbooks from the inimitable JackPine press, including Shanda Stefanson’s Picking Apart the Stitches and Lost + Found by Laura Lamont and Jess Dixon. Plus, a new broadsheet from James Pepler.

Indie Events Roundup: July 6 – 12


This Saturday is the first ever Toronto Book Swap at The Central! 

Monday, July 6


Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids, 8pm, The Company House, 2202 Gottingen St, $12 advance only

It’s what it sounds like! Which is loads of fun!

Tuesday, July 7


Amber Dawn, Sassafras Lowrey and Alex Butler, 7:30pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

The launch for books by three queer heroes from across the land!

Mortar Volume 3 Launch, 7:30pm, Free Times Café, 320 College St, PWYC

Common Cause Toronto launches the third volume of their journal of anarchist theory.

Wednesday, July 8

Raconteurs Storytelling: Sports, 7:30pm, Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Ave, $10

Raconteurs celebrate the Pan Am Games by telling tales of sports and related doings.

The Sophisticated Boom Boom 21, 10pm, The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave, PWYC

Emma Healey headlines this fun monthly reading, which includes an open mic.

Friday, July 10


New Queer Tarot Launch, 7pm, Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives, 34 Isabella St, PWYC

The long awaited launch of She Is Sitting in the Night: Revisioning Thea’s Tarot. Oliver Pickle will be reading both book bits and tarot throughout the night.

Saturday, July 11

Toronto Book Swap, 1pm-6pm, The Central 603 Markham St, free

Leave a book, take a book! Or multiply that by 20! The ever-inventive Andrew Woodrow-Butcher (also a Broken Pencil reviewer) has created the much needed book swapping meet up of your dreams. Come leave some good condition, interesting books that you’re done with and find some new ones for your collection. A note: this is not an event to empty out your basement. People dumping large quantities of books will be turned away.

Indie Events Roundup: June 29 – July 5


Tom Buchanan’s newest zine launches at Plan B in Halifax Monday Night.
[image via facebook]

Monday, June 29


Fasting: A Journal of a Plague Year – Zine Launch and Community Discussion, 7pm, Anchor Archive Zine Library, Plan B Merchants Coop, 2180, Gottingen St, free

Tom Buchanan launches the product of his Anchor Archive zine residency, which intertwines historical research into the Keys starvation experiment with Tom’s personal experience of seeking treatment for disordered eating.

Tuesday, June 30


Latin American Speakers Series: Minerva Cuevas and Jota Castro, 6pm, OCADU, 100 McCaul St, Rm 190, free

Two internationally renowned artists reflect on their practice as an artist in relation to activism.

Toronto Comic Jam, 7:30pm, Cameron House, 408 Queen St W, free

Get together with other indie artists and colalborate on making comix! Bring your own supplies!

Saturday, July 4


The Princess & The Pony Launch, 12pm, Little Island Comics, 742 Bathurst St, free

Join Kate Beaton and Little Island for the launch of her new book. Ponies!

Indie Events Roundup: June 22-28

10984258_465833743576290_8445709104806879768_nEXTRA FUN INCLUDED! In Hamilton this Saturday. [image via facebook]

Tuesday, June 23


From Paris to Toronto: The Evolution of Toronto Ballroom (Voguing and House) Scene, 6:30pm, A Different Booklist, 746 Bathurst St, free

Members of the Toronto Kiki Ballroom Alliance and photographer Christopher Cushman to discuss ball culture in Toronto.

Naked Boys Reading our Favorite Queer Authors, 8pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

It’s exactly what it sounds like! With readings from Brendan Healy, Greg Wong, Elliot DeLine and more. Check out Glad Day’s facebook page for a full listing of their Pride literary events.

Wednesday, June 25


Butch Femme Salon – Show Your Pride, 9pm, Buddies, 12 Alexander St, free

Dj Recklezz plays this intersectional wonderland party and show.

Friday, June 26


Trans* Pride Community Fair, 2pm-7pm, Norman Jewison Park, 13 Isabella St

Lots of Trans* community groups sharing their work! By trans, for trans. Precedes the Trans march at 7pm.

Skanky Possom Presents: Benson and Christakos, 7pm, 1055 Logan Ave, free

Veggie Vietnamese food, poets, books, and more. Steve Benson and Margaret Christakos read.

Saturday, June 27


Hamilton Zineposium, 2pm-6pm, Artword Artbar, 15 Colborne St, Hamilton, ON

Zinesters! Booksters! DIYers! The Hamilton Zineposium is here and its gonna be amazing. The Hamilton zine scene is one of the most lively and lovely in the area.


Pink Market, 11am-6pm, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw St, free

So many wonderful vendors and queer artists coming together in one place! Runs Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday, June 28

The Underdog Poets Academy, 7:30pm, The Central, 603 Markham St, PWYC

This month’s readers are Jared Shapiro, Amanda Childs and Vanessa Smythe. And you! At the open mic portion.

Indie Events Roundup June 15 – 21



Antibody releases a new tape complete with queer sci-fi readings this Friday! [Image via facebook]

Tuesday, June 16

Tightrope Spring Fiction Launch, 7pm, Victory Café, 781 Markham St, free

Join Tightrope Books in launching Ken Murray’s novel, Eulogy and Elizabeth Ukrainetz’s novel, The Theory of Light at Midnight.  Readings by the authors plus guest reader Janette Platana, books for sale, door prizes and more!

Wednesday, June 17


Backspring Launch, 5pm, Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave, free

Join Judith McCormack and Biblioasis for the launch of her new book Backspring.

Asylum Squad: The Jung Ones Launch, 6pm, The Central, 603 Markham St, free

The newest edition of the Mad Pride adventure comic Asylum Squad is here! Come celebrate with the creators at The Central.

Raconteurs: Neighbourhoods, 7:30pm, The Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave, $10

This month, the Raconteurs pair up with Planners in Public Spaces to tell stories about neighbourhoods.

Who’s WHO, 8pm, Voodoo Child, 288 College St

Fan Wu hosts this edgy reading including Nick Hauck, Catherine Ribeiro, Lena Suksi and Carter West.

ChiSeries Toronto, 8pm, ROUND, 152a Augusta Ave, PWYC

Michel Basilières, Nick Cutter, Andrew Pyper & Rio Youers! Plus music from Kari Maareni!

Queer Creativity in Queer Academia and Beyond, 8pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

Five queer creators/intellectuals (including our assistant editor Jonathan Valelly) share their work for a discussion of artistic practice and academic study.


Where the words end and my body begins Launch, 7pm, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, 211 Bernard Ouest, free

Amber Dawn invites Morgan M Page and Mark Ambrose Harris to read with her at this launch for her new poetry collection.


Single Onion #124, Shelf Life Books, 100 – 1302 4th St SW, free

The Single Onion’s last event of the spring will feature Toronto poet Nico Rogers, as well as an open mic.

Friday, June 19


Antibody Tape Release + Queer Sci-Fi Reading, 7:30pm, D-Beatstro, 1292 Bloor St W, $6 PWYC

Queer doom/sludge/dope/space tunes from Vile Creature and Antibody, all kicking off with a queer sci-fi reading.

Bizarre Ball 3: A F*cked Up Fairy Tale, 10pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St, $10

Mother Tko Monroe and Mother Trouble Nuance present the third installation of the Bizarre Ball. Come pump the runway!

Saturday, June 20


Queering Space, 7pm, Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives, 34 Isabella St, free

The opening of a new exhibition about the transformation of queer spaces throughout history.

Sunday, June 21


Too Queer: A Bi Visibility Cabaret, 7:30pm, The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, $10 PWYC

An extensive visual art exhibition and live cabaret featuring the fiercest in local bi-identified artists and performers.

Indie Events Roundup: June 8 – 14



The Drake kicks off its pride celebration with a glamorous art-themed vogue ball. Get into it!

Monday, June 8


Brick 95 Launch, 7:30pm, Windup Bird Café, 382 College St, free

The launch of brick 95 includes delicious treats from chef Yumiko Kobyashi, wreetings from John Irving, Lisa More and Kyo Maclear.

Breathing Lessons Launch, 8pm, 120 Homewood Ave, Suite 3109, free with RSVP

Launching Andy Sinclair’s smart new novel of gay thirtysomething ennui. Wine and cheese! RSVP on facebook.

Tuesday, June 9


What We Talk About When We Talk About Selling Out, 7:30pm, Drake Underground, 1150 Queen St W

This sold out (hahaha) event is the third edition on Little Brother magazine’s lecture series and includs speakers Naomi Skwarna, John Semley, and Julia Cooper on the topic of selling out.

Emerging Writers Series June, 8pm, Duffy’s, 1238 Bloor St W, PWYC

Readings from Eric Bennett, Peter Gibbon, Tanya Decarie, Netta Kornberg, and Paige Keleher.

The HMS Lady Infinitum Launch, 8pm, ROUND, 152a Augusta Ave

ChiZine is launching a new graphic novel imprint called ChiGraphic! Infinitum, The HMS Bad Idea and The Lady Paranorma all launc tonight. Costumes encouraged!

Wednesday, June 10


BookThug Summer Chapbook Launch, 7pm, 187 Augusta Ave, free

Five new chapbooks! Holy cow!

The Sophisticated Boom Boom, 9:30pm, The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave, free

Readings! Open mic! Celebrating 20 SBBs!


The Bookmobile Book Launch, 7pm, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, 211 Bernard Ouest

The Montreal homecoming of the Bookmobile Book! The event will feature a conversation between The Bookmobile Book editors Leila Pourtavaf and Onya Hogan-Finlay, along with contributors Anna Leventhal and Isabelle St. Amand.

Thursday, June 11


Spectatorial Launch, 7:30pm, No One Writes to the Colonel, 460 College St, free

The Spectatorial, U of T’s speculative fiction journal, is launching this year’s journal.

Friday, June 12


Taddle Creek Summer Launch, 8:30pm, Jet Fuel Coffee Shop, free

The new issue of Taddle Creek, complete with readings by Stevie Howell, JonArno Lawson, Lana Pesch and free food, free beer, and free egg creams!

Saturday, June 13


Ottawa Small Press Book Fair: Spring 2015 Edition, 12pm-5pm Jack Purcell Community Centre, Room 203, 320 Jack Purcell Lane, free

It’s that time of year again! Poetry, chapbooks, novels, shirts, graphica, mags, paper, all form your favorite small press and micro-presses. Always an excellent time and as staple of Ottawa’s literary scene.


Reading Listening, 1pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Ave, free

eading Listening is a collective public reading of French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy’s book “Listening”. Over the course of the afternoon performers and members of the public are invited to utter the entire book together as a collective vocal act. This sounds really cool, guys.

Junction Reads, 4pm, 3030, 3030 Dundas W, free

Readings from Addam Abbas, Chad Campbell, Jane Woods, C. Fong Hsiung and Catherine Bush.

“A Night at the Vernissage” Ball, 8pm-1am, Drake Underground, 1150 Queen St W, $8 advance, $10 door, $3 if you’re walking

Dutch Lanvin and Jazmyn Monroe present The Drake’s official Pride Kick-Off, an art-themed vogue ball full of prizes and surprises. If you’ve always wanted to pump the runway, land a dramatic dip, wow the judges with your style or sell your unshakeable realness, now is the time!

Indie Events Roundup: June 1 – 7


Still from: Magnetic Reconnection by Kyle Armstrong
See it at Radiant Bodies this Thursday night at CineCycle
[image via facebook]

Tuesday, June 2


Cinema Politica: Preempting Dissent and Til The Cows Come Home, 6pm, The Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor St W

The Toronto premiere of two social justice documentaries. Preempting Dissent interrogates the “Miami-Model” of protest policing used to preempt forms of mass protest, while Til The Cows Come Home follows brave activists fighting against the closure of the Kingston prison farm. The directors will be in attendance.

Wednesday, June 3


Pivot Season Finale: David McGimpsey, Sachiko Murakami and Shannon Webber, 8pm, The Steady Cafe, 1051 Bloor St W, free

The end of Pivot for the season, going out with a bang!

Thursday, June 4


Neon Zine Launch, 7pm, Bodega Thirteen, 1446 Dundas St W, free

A new photo zine from Yo Sick, plus a video installation and more.

Coming Out Queer, 7pm, Buddies, 12 Alexander St, $15

A night of uncensored performance in defiance of community standards with Raymond Helkio, Reg Hartt, Keith Cole, Rolyn Chambers. It’s gonna be a doozy.

Pleasure Dome: Radiant Bodies, 7:30pm, CineCycle, 129 Spadina Ave, $8 ($5 student/member)

Radiant Bodies is a collection of moving image works that explores the intersections between the human body and the radiant properties of cinema.

Friday, June 5


For Your Own Good Launch, 7pm, McNally Robinson Booksellers, 3130-8th St E, free

Join us to celebrate the launch of lesbian feminist poet Leah Horlick’s new book in her hometown — and former workplace!

Saturday, June 6


Bedtime Stories, 7pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

Peter Kingstone is launching a book of very short stories. Also, his birthday! 

Sunday, June 7


Lesbians Making History, 4pm, Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives, 34 Isabella St, suggested donation $5

Using oral history, this collection features stories of eight women who identified as gay women or lesbians in the 1940s through to the 1970s. The interviews record how lesbians survived prior to and since the 60s wave of feminism and explore their private and public struggles. Speakers include: Maureen FitzGerald, Amy Gottlieb, Didi Khayatt, Elise Chenier, and Elspeth Brown.


Indie Events Roundup: May 25 – 31


Lady Sin Trayda performs at the Yellow Noise launch in Montreal this Friday!
[image via facebook]

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Popcorn Party Fundraiser: Send Fat Girl Food Squad to AMC, 6:30pm, Toronto Popcorn Company, 147 Baldwin St, $20 for entry and goodie bag

Help FGFS go to the Allied Media Conference! Come eat yummy popcorn!

Wednesday, May 27


Book Launch for The Book of New Canadian Noir, 7:30pm, McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Ave, free

Winnipeg authors Keith Cadieux and Chadwick Ginther, along with former winnipeger Corey Redekop, read at the launch for this new anthology.


Torontaru May, 8pm, Get Well, 1181 Dundas St W, free

Join other indie gamers and fans for a low-key, low stakes hang!

Thursday, May 28


A Night of Readings at 8-11, 6pm, 8-Eleven, 2-33 Spadina Ave, free

Readings from Stephen Thomas, Emma Healey, Arielle Gavin, Sebastian Frye, Aisha Sasha John, Nadia Belerique, Lili Huston-Herterich, Laurie Kang, Zeesy Powers.

The Spectatorial Journal Launch, 6:30pm, No One Writes to the Colonel, 460 College St, free

The Spectatorial is launching it’s third journal of speculative fiction, poetry, visual art, graphic fiction and not fiction from the U of T community. You’re invited!


make all good things fall apart: zine launch and community discussion on addiction, intoxication culture and sober spaces, 8:30pm, Plan B Merchants Coop, 2180 Gottigen St, free

The newest collaborative zine from two of our 10 artists to watch in 2015, geoff and Clementine Morrigan launches complete with readings and a discussion out in Halifax, where the two are doing a residency at the Anchor Archive Zine Library.

Friday, May 29


Yellow Noise Magazine Launch, 5pm-10pm, Les Verriers St-Denis Espace multidisciplinaire, 4326 rue St-Denis, Montreal, PWYC

The launch of the newest Canadian rad mag for Asian-identified people includes performances by Lady Sin Trayda, Huei Lin and Tina-Hanae. Support support support!


Sit Up Regina, 7:30pm, Knox Metropolitan United Church, 2340 Victoria Ave, suggested donation $20

Join Buddhist teacher and social activist Michael Stone for a lecture on transforming stress, anxiety and turbulent emotions into positive forms of social change, titled “Embodying our Values: Mindfulness & Social Change”.

Saturday, May 30

GUTS Launch Party, 9pm, Bike Pirates, 1416 queen St W, PWYC

Come celebrate the fourth issue of GUTS by hangin out at the Queen St Bike Pirates. Lots of swag and fun stuff.

Indie Events Roundup May 18 – 24


Sisters Make Noise! this Thursday at Daniels Spectrum. [Image credit: Elevated Moments]

Tuesday, May 19


Hummingbird, 7pm, Paintbox Catering and Bistro, 555 Dundas St E, free

A monthly all-ages open mic hosted by Unbuttoned. Sign ups begin at 6pm.

Charisma Furs, 8pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Avenue, free

Katie Sly, who made our list of 10 indie artists to watch in 2015, is workshopping a piece about her personal history of infatuation, abandonment, desperation, and ecstasy, before its iteration at the SummerWorks festival.  Runs through Wednesday May 20.

Wednesday, May 20


This is Our Community: Bisexual Anti-Stigma Video Launch Party, 7pm, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, free

Join Rainbow Health Ontario in celebrating the conclusion of the Bi Mental Health REsearch Study and the launch of their bisexual anti-stigma videos.

Thursday, May 21


Volume – Sisters Make Noise!, 6pm, Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St E, PWYC

Join SMN! in imagining Muslimah futures through poetry, spoken word, song and music. This will also be the launch for their third poetry anthology, Homebound III.

Undefined 2, 7pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Ave

A night with unfixed limits in art: language, music, visual, aural arts revel in hybridity. Artists Cheryl Duvall, Gary Barwin, Rik Maclean, Jennifer Chin, Andie Wolf and Helen Melbourne bring it. Curated by Broken Pencil writer Jacqueline Valencia.


Single Onion #123, 7pm, Shelf Life Books, 110 – 1302 4th St SW, PWYC

This edition of Single Onion will feature poet Jenna Butler a well as several local youth poets: Jasmine Blackett, Taylor Guidotti, Mary Innes, Eden Middleton, and Caitlin Young.

Saturday, May 23


Toronto Rumble Ball #4, 11pm – 4am, The Cage 292, 292 College St, $10 advance $15 door

Twysted Miyake-Mugler hosts this night of team vogue throwdowns, runway, realness, and late night partying. Always wanted a taste of the ballroom scene? This is your opportunity!

Sunday, May 24

In Your Pocket: After Midnight, 7pm, Buddies, 12 Alexander St, PWYC

A curated video program featuring works shot entirely on smartphones.

This Saturday in Hamilton – Broken Pencil at TH&B!



We are happy to announce that this Saturday, May 17th, Broken Pencil will be bringing a killer line up of of our favorite writers and performers to show out at the closing reception for the massive contemporary art installation TH&B United at the Cotton Factory in Hamilton, located 270 Sherman Avenue North.

Featuring large-scale works of art from a bunch of artists from Hamilton, Toronto and Buffalo (TH&B, get it?), the whole project is installed in and around a 20,000+ square foot mill.

On the night of the closing event, we are thrilled to present poet Aisha Sasha John, comix artist Aaron Manczyk, weird comedian Brand Neil (Neil LaPierre), writer/performer Brock Hessel and Broken Pencil’s founder and publisher, Hal Niedzviecki. We’ll also be giving away 75 free copies of Broken Pencil Issue 67 along with special secret promotions!

Read the performers bios below, and join us in Hamilton on May 16th! There will be a shuttle bus with a limited number of seats leaving the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto (1214 Queen St W). Reserve seats here. See you there.

Many thanks to the generous support of the Hamilton Public Library and TH&B for making our participation possible!

Read more: This Saturday in Hamilton – Broken Pencil at TH&B!

Indie Events Roundup May 11 – 17



Broken Pencil helps bring the massive
TH&B United Exhibition in Hamilton to a close this Saturday!

Monday, May 11


LGBT Rights & The War in Ukraine, 7pm, Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Avenue, free

A sneak preview of the documentary “This is Gay Propaganda” and a forum with Anna Dovgopol, Ukraine human rights activist, and Toronto filmmaker Marusya Bociurkiw.

BOO Launch, 7pm, Type Books, 883 Queen St W, free

Neil Smith’s coming of age novel launches in Toronto.

Abject Youtube and Xtube Screening, 7:30pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Ave, PWYC

Social Abjects Unite hosts an evening of demented online videos. Feel free to submit “anything that will make us all cringe, cathartically vomit, and make out.” Brock Hessel hosts.

Tuesday, May 12


Glad Day Book Club: Parable of the Sower, 7pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

A reading and discussion of Octavia Butler’s visionary queer sci fi novel.

Emerging Writers Reading Series, 8pm, Duffy’s Tavern, 1238 Bloor St W, PWYC

Readings form Sarah Bachinski, Oliver Cusimano, Naben Ruthnum, Sara Jane Strickland.

Wednesday, May 13


Artists Newsstand Grand Opening, 5pm-8pm, Chester Station, 22 Chester Avenue, free

Toronto’s getting its own artists newsstand thanks to a small but mighty collective of artists revitalizing dead commercial space as an alternative newsstand and exhibition space.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better Launch and Comedy Party, 7pm, The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St W

Monica Heisey launches her new funny big with a bunch of funny people, including The Sufferettes, Evany Rosen, and Catherine McCormick.

Bright Eyed Launch Party, 7pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Avenue, free

RM Vaughan’s new book about insomnia launches, complete with a performance by Keith Cole.


Letters from Montreal: A Lecture Series Presented by Maisonneuve , 8pm, Café L’Artère, 7000 avenue du Parc, $5

Fariha Roisin, Rollie Pemberton, Meags Fitzgerald and Jacob Wren talk about the theme of doing it right.

Thursday, May 14


Sara Benincasa at Glad Day, 7:30pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

Author and comedian Sara Benincasa reads from her book Great, a queer take on The Great Gatsby.

Friday, May 15


Otter Launch Party, 7:30pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

Ben Ladouceur’s new book launches with special guest Bardia Sinaee.

The Thought House of Philippa Launch, 7:30pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Avenue, PWYC

Join BookThug for the Toronto launch of The Thought House of Philippa by Suzanne Leblanc, Translated by Oana Avasilichioaei and Ingrid Pam Dick.

Saturday May 16


TH&B United Closing Party, 8pm, The Cotton Factory at 270 Sherman Avenue North, free

The spectacular warehouse show at The Cotton Factory in Hamilton comes to a close, and you’ve been invited because we’ve been invited! Broken Pencil is putting on a slew of readings and performances from Aisha Sasha John, Neil LaPierre, Niedzviecki, Aaron Manczyk, and Brock Hessel, on top of a bunch of other awesome artists, performances, and happenings that night.

Sunday, May 17

Static Zine Issue 11 Release – Picnic in Christie Pits, 2pm-6pm, Christie Pits, free

Sunshine, parks, picnics, and of course zines! Static Zine launches its issue about bodies. There will be songs and treats.

Indie Events Roundup May 4 – 10



One of many incredible TCAF Events happening this week! []

Monday, May 4


Where Did You Sleep Last Night Launch, 7pm, Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen St W, free

Lynn Crosbie launches her new novel about a teenage girl who embarks on a relationship with Kurt Cobain.

Wednesday, May 6

The Graphic Life Narrative of Marta Chudolinska – Opening Reception, 6pm-8pm, Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre, 111 Gerrard St E, free

Polish comics artist Marta Chudolinska exhibits at the MLCRC as a part of Ryerson’s Advancing Comics Studies Series.

Dames Making Games Speakers Social + Fight! Launch Party, 6:30pm-11pm, Bento Miso, 862 Richmond St W, free with registration

In preparation for TCAF and Bit Bazaar, this month’s DMG speakers social includes the launch of Jenn Woodall’s new feminist fighting game themed zine, Fight! as well as words from Nicole Burton from Ad Astra Comix.

Brockton Writers Series, 6:30pm, Full of Beans Coffee House, 1248 DUndas St W, PWYC

Emily Keeler speaks on Getting Started in Book Reviewing followed by readings from Zainab Amadahy, Ghadeer Malek, Mark Silverberg and Jane Woods.

FATshionraiser: FAT Is a Feminist Issue, 7pm, The 519 Community Centre, 519 Church St, free (clothing donations encouraged)

An evening of conversations about fat politics, clothing donations and swaps, a fun community curvy catwalk, tunes, films, and more. The 519 will be accepting size 14+ donations of clothing at the event to help newcomers and refugees.

Thursday, May 7


Pope Hats #4 Launch, 6:30pm-9:30pm, The Central, 603 Markham St, free

Author Ethan Rilly launches issue four and talks with John Porcellino about their weird ways of working.

We Are Going to Bremen to Be Musicians Launch, 7pm – 10pm, The Pilot, 22 Cumberland St, free

Come celebrate the TCAF book launch with creators Tin Can Forest and Geoff Burner, interviewed by Nina Bunjevac.

Wolsak & Wynn / Buckrider Books Spring Launch, 730pm, Monarch Tavern 12 Clinton St, free

New books from Lex Von Konigslow, Chris Chambers and Amber McMillan.

Confetti Book Launch, 7:30pm, Weird Things, 998 Bathurst, free

Comix genius Ginette Lapalme launches her new book, Confetti.

Hot Damn! It’s a Queer Slam Finals, 8pm, Buddies, 12 Alexander St

d’bi.young is the featured poet at the five city throwdown culminating this season of queer slamming.

Friday, May 8

TCAF Kick-Off Event: Drawn & Quarterly Turns 25!, 6pm-9pm, the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St, free

A total D&Q Extravaganza to kick off the most highly anticipated comics festival of the year. Lynda Barry, Jason Lutes, Seth, Jillian Tamaki and Adrian Tomine are inthe house with moderator Sean Rogers. If you didn’t reserve a ticket…. I feel bad for you son.

TCAF Welcome Party with Pow Pow Press, 8pm-11pm, The Pilot, 22 Cumberland St, Free

4 new translated titles from Pow Pow Press, a Francophone, Montreal-based comics publisher, launch tonight! A bilingual event.

TCAF!! All weekend, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St, and all over, free

This is the big weekend! The legendary Toronto Comic Arts Festival brings the freshest blend of art comics legends and new exciting work to the Toronto Reference library and all over the city this weekend. Go to to see all of the programming and guests.

Indie Events Roundup April 27 – May 3


Puddles of Sky Press is putting on a little reunion tour kicking off in Peterborough this Saturday!

Monday, April 27


Coach House Book Club #3 with Margaret Christakos, 6:30pm, Coach House Books, 80 bpNichol Lane, PWYC

Margaret Christakos and Rachel Zolf host the third edition of the Coach House Book Club, talkin’ poetry and other fun things.

Tuesday, April 28


Goose Lane Presents: A Taste of Frye, 7pm, King Street Ale House, free

Journey from 1600s New England to Regency London and explore historical fiction at its best with authors Ian Weir and Beth Powning.


Community Discussion on Accountability, 6:30pm, D-Beatstro, 1292 Bloor St W, free

Let’s take a few hours to discuss how we can take accountability for ourselves and within our community using a restorative justice framework.

SuperMutant Magic Academy Launch, 6:30pm, Revival Bar, 783 College St, free

The Beguiling presents this special event launching Jillian Tamaki’s newest work, SuperMutant Magic Academy. She will be reading, giving a talk, and signing.

Talonbooks Spring Poetry Launch, 7pm, The Victory Café, 581 Markham St, free

Four new spring titles! Get Me Out of Here by Sachiko Murakami, The Hatch by Colin Browne, I, Bartleby by Meredith Quartermain and Limbinal by Oana Avasilichioaei read from their new books.

Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Readings from Patrick Friesen, Stan Rogal and Al Moritz.

Coach House Books 2015 Spring Launch, 7pm, The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St W, free

Oh man! We know that Coach House Books knows that we know that they know how to throw a great launch party, and this Spring soirée should be no different. A whack of new books and their authors will be in the house.

Thursday, April 30


There Was All This Tungsten: Readings by Sara June Woods, Sybil Lamb and Jordaan Mason, 8pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Avenue, PWYC

BP assistant editor Jonathan Valelly hosts this little reading shindig welcoming Portland’s Sara Woods and Toronto faves Sybil Lamb and Jordaan Mason.


One Hundred Days of Rain Launch, 7pm, Pulpfiction Books, 2422 Main St, free

Join Carrelin Brooks or the Vancouver launch of her novel of heartbreak and unchanging rain. Friday, May 1


Rue Launch, 7pm, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, 211 Bernard Ouest, free

Join Anvil Press for the launch of Rue by Melissa Bull with guest readings by Alexandra Leggat and Jennifer LoveGrove.

Friday, May 1


My Body is Yours Launch, 7pm and 9pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Ave

Michael V Smith launches his memoir with a night of hijinks and stunnery hosted by Miss Cookie LaWhore.

Joyful Rebellion Blocko Fundraiser, 9pm, The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, $5-10 PWYC

A stunning lineup of Toronto’s best DJs at this yearly fundraiser for the biggest party at Pride, Blockorama. Also a part of the CESA conference.

Saturday, May 2


Puddles of Sky Poetry Party, 3pm, Curated, 5-203 Simcoe St, Peterborough

One stop on a little tour of Southwestern Ontario poets, join Michael Casteels, Andrew Nurse, Christine Miscione, Justin Million and Rudie Jimenez at their Peterborough stop and celebrate Andrew’s launch of his new book, The Hopeful Barnacle.


Contemporary Poetry Research Group, 7:30pm, May 2, PWYC

Rachel Zolf and Divya Victor read.

Indie Events Roundup April 20-26


Toronto Wordsmiths launches the new zine This Art Is Real on Friday at Blackbird! [image via facebook]

Monday, April 20


Gender Splendour, 8pm, The Central, 603 Markham St, #10

A storytelling show about gender in all of its forms.

Tuesday, April 21


Confidence Launch Party, 7pm, The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St W, free

Russell Smith launches his newest book with Biblioasis. Besides launching Confidence, the world premiere of BOYS UNDERWEAR GIRLS and big tunes from DJs Deadline and Shawn Benjamin make this a promising opportunity to get the Garrison going up on a Tuesday.

Hummingbird, 7pm, Paintbox Catering and Bistro, 555 Dundas St E, free

An east end open mic encouraging writers and performers of all ages and experiences to take to the stage! Hosted by Unbuttoned.

The Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Rob Colman, Ian French & Tracy Hamon read.

National Poetry Month Book Launch, 6:30pm, Dora Keogh Irish Pub, 141 Danforth Ave, free

Biblioasis and Ben McNally Books celebrate NPM with a triple whammy book launch, with texts from Robyn Sarah, Robert Melançon and Zachariah Wells.

Wednesday, April 22


Theatre of the Unimpressed Launch, 7pm, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, free

Coach House Books launches a personal and pedagogical new book from Toronto’s indie theatre sensation, Jordan Tannahill.

Pivot Reading Series, 8pm, The Steady, 10501 Bloor St W, free

Pivot moves to the popular queer west bar The Steady with three visiting westerners: kevin mcpherson eckhoff, Jake Kennedy and Matt Rader.

Thursday, April 23


BookThug Spring 2015 Book Launch, 7pm, The Garrison, free

TEN NEW BOOKS this season from one of the coolest presses ever, eight of which launch tonight. Don’t miss out!


Anvil Press Spring Poetry Launch, 7pm, The Railway Club, 579 Dunsmuir St, free

Poets Jeff Streudel, Melissa Bull and Kevin Spenst launch books. Hosted by Jen Currin.

Friday, April 24

Toronto WordSmiths Zine Launch and Open Mic, 7pm, Blackbird Bistro, 993 Bloor St W, PWYC/free with $5 zine

Community writers group Toronto WordSmiths ins launching its new zine, This Art Is Real! Zeinab Aidid hosts a night complete with readings by Renée Ashanta Henry, Whitney French, Leaf Jerlefia and more.

Event Recap: Drunk Feminist Films Presents Fifty Shades of Grey



by Carissa Ainslie

“Fifty Shades of fucked up” is not just one way to describe the film Fifty Shades of Grey — it’s actually a line from the movie, which made it so easy for a bunch of feminists to destroy it on Wednesday night at the Revue Cinema in Toronto.

Drunk Feminist Films began as a web series that recorded its founders — Shaunna, Gillian, Amy and Steph — playing feminist themed drinking games that critiqued big Hollywood films. This time, they went public with a live screening of Fifty Shades of Grey that sold out the 200+ seat Revue in less than 24 hours.

The screening kicked off with an intro from the collective, who announced that they are officially partnering with Revue Theatre to make Drunk Feminist Films a bi-monthly occurrence.

They were followed by a “resident BDSM expert” — game designer/artist/writer/badass Soha Kareem (who also wrote our Issue 67 cover story on Twine, read it here!). Kareem gave the audience the low down on what a healthy BDSM relationship looks like (communication, checking in, aftercare!) and explained that this is a far cry from the relationship depicted in the film we were all about to watch. “I want to stress that the tactics in this film are downright abusive,” she said, to cheers from the audience. “If you meet someone like Christian Grey, run the fuck away!”

With that, the film began, and the hooting, hollering and tampon-swinging commenced. The behaviour encouraged by the hosts was the exact opposite of what is expected in the traditional theatre going experience – audience members talked back, groaned at the movie’s most cringe-worthy lines (and there are many, including the utterly excerable “Laters, baby”) and cheered (and swung tampons like lassos) when the film’s female protagonist Anastasia Steele showed agency.

The event program also contained a list of prompts for the audience to shout during certain moments of the film – for example, we yelled “Broformance” every time a man in the film committed a feat of strength to demonstrate his manliness, “My Hero” every time a male character “saved” Anastasia, and “Lip Slip” – denoting every time Anastasia bit her lip, touched her lip or chewed on a pencil.

Most importantly, we really appreciated the literature that accompanied the program, including a glossary that defined “BDSM” and “consent”, and the obvious care that was taken by Kareem and the organizers to stress: BDSM isn’t bad, or evil, or unhealthy. It’s the emotional abuse that surrounds Christian Grey’s interactions with Anastasia – the mind games, the lack of checking in, the lack of aftercare and support – that makes this movie an inaccurate – and harmful – depiction of a BDSM relationship.

The audience was told to live tweet their comments and communicate their disgust at what can only be described as the worst movie ever, and the event ended up trending third in Canada. The format of deconstructing films by a room full of feminists works, especially if a bit of booze is thrown in to loosen the tongue. Catch the next event when Drunk Feminist Films screens Bridesmaids on June 17th.

Indie Events Roundup April 13 – 19

BSPBF Poster 2015 copy III


This weekend, zinesters, bookmakers, authors, and everyone cool flock to Buffalo for two days of BSPBF! Don’t sleep!

Monday, April 13


Rowers April Reading, 6:30pm, The Central, 603 Markham St, free

Readings from Elizabeth Bachinsky, M.A.C. Farrant, Bruce Meyer and Marc di Saverio.

This is What a Feminist Slut Looks Like Launch, 6:30pm, Supermarket,268 Augusta Ave, free

A compilation book of perspectives on the Slutwalk movement launches through Demeter Press.

Tuesday, April 14


The Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Readings from Elizabeth Bachinsky, Gill Cott and Anna Veprinska.

The Emerging Writers Reading Series: Aching April, 8pm, Duffy’s, 1238 Bloor St W, PWYC

Featuring Ashley-Elizabeth Best, Vincent Colistro, Domenica Martinello and Vincent Page

Wednesday, April 15


Best Sex Writing of the Year Signing, 5:30pm, Good For Her, 175 Harbord St, free

Join contributors Jiz Lee, Jason Armstrong and editor Jon Pressick at a special book signing for Best Sex Writing of the Year!

Erika Lust & Xconfessions: A Night of Indie Erotica, 7pm, The Royal Cinema, 608 College St, $12

Real films with real sex and a discussion with Feminist Porn Awards guest director Erika Lust.

Anansi Poetry Bash Toronto, 7pm, The Tranzac, 292 Brunswick, free

Launching a bunch of sexy new Anansi poetry books, including readings by Shane Book, A.F. Moritz, Karen Solie, Erin Moure and David O’Meara on behalf of Elise Partridge.


ChiSeries Winnipeg, 7pm, McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, free

Readings by Ariel Gordon, Jonathan Ball and Adam Petrash plus GMB Chomichuk ’s live paint and poetry reading.

Thursday, April 16


Anansi Poetry Bash Ottawa, 8pm, Black Sheep Inn, 753 Riverside Drive, Wakefield, QC, free
Launching a bunch of sexy new Anansi poetry books, including readings by Shane Book, A.F. Moritz, Karen Solie and David O’Meara on behalf of Elise Partridge, with Musical guest Mike Dobue.


words(on)pages Spring Chapbook Launch, 6:45pm, The Central, 603 Markham St, free

Four new chapbooks from an array of Canadian poets launch. New works by Simina Banu, philip gordon, Domenica Martinello and Daniel Scott Tysdal.

Confetti, 7:30pm, Weird Things, 998 Bathurst St, free

New and older works by Ginette Lapalme including paintings and drawings featured in her new book Confetti. Bring a buck for trinkets and stickers from the mystery capsule machine.


Single Onion #122, 7pm, Shelf Life Books, 100 – 1302 4th Street SW, free

Readings from Ian Williams, Madelaine Caritas Longman and Rachel Shabalin.

Saturday, April 18


Buffalo Small Press Book Fair, 12pm-6pm, Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums, 220 North St and 453 Porter Ave

An amazing two-day event featuring the best of booksellers, authors, bookmakers, zinesters, small presses, artists, poets, and other cultural workers (and enthusiasts) from the region. Free and open to the public, this is a highlight of the year for many of us around these parts and is not to be missed!


Hello Toronto! Issue 05 Launch Party, 12pm, The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St W, free

Beautiful gay magazine Hello Mr. is having their first launch party in Toronto, and it’s an afternoon jam! Advance copies of the new issues and cuties galore guaranteed.

Dames Making Games April Speakers Social, 6:30pm, Bento Miso, 862 Richmond St W, free with registration

Arielle Grimes, Kara Stone, and Suzanne Sutherland share projects, thoughts, and notes on process.


Small, Gutsy & Gorgeous: Pedlar Press Reading, 7pm, Librairie Drawn & Quarterly, 211 Bernard Ouest, free

Authors Kate Caley, Sonja Greckol, Emily McGiffin and Robert Mellin read from new works.

Sunday, April 19


HIJ House Reading Series, 2pm, 260 Ryding Avenue, free

Pie, readings from smart authors, and a cozy home. What more do you want on a Sunday afternoon? Readings by Brecken Hancock, Grace O’Connell and Jacob Wren, including the launch of three tiny new chapbooks.

General Eclectic Launch, 2pm, Lillian H. Smith Public Library, free

Oral Histories from Kensington Market launch in this online exhibition. The Human Library, Toronto Public Library and the Kensington Market Historical Society team up for this awesome launch!

Learnt Wisdom #5, 2pm, York Street Off Ramp Park, York and Queens Quay, free

Explore the theme of getting off int he strangest of downtown green spaces, encircled by the York Street Off Ramp. Meet inside the East Entrance of the Union Station great hall for a guided walk over and under the city to the lecture space.

Indie Events Round-Up April 6-12



Kazoo! Fest’s Print Expo is this Saturday in Guelph! (image via facebook)

Tuesday, April 7


Rashaad Newsome Artist Talk, 7pm, The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St W, free

Rushed Newsome discusses his recent work in the AGYU exhibition “Silence Please, the Show is About to Begin” and presents “The Conductor”, a six part video installation that focuses on the performative gestural languages associated with hip-hop culture remixed over Carl Orff’s cantata “Carmina Burana”.

Wednesday, April 8


Pivot Reading Series, 8pm, The Press Club, 850 Dundas St W, Free

It’s the Poetry Month Edition of Pivot, with Christine Fischer Guy, Aaron Kreuter, Kate Sutherland and Nikki Reimer.

The Sophisticated Boom Boom, 9:30pm, The Ossington, 61 Ossington Ave, free

This night features writer and artist Kate Miller, plus an open mic!

Thursday, April 9


Toronto New School of Writing Presents: An Evening with Erina Harris and Julie Joosten, 7pm, The Central, 603 Markham St, free

An evening of readings and discussions with Erina Harris and Julie Joosten as a part of the Occasional Reading Series.

The 4 Poets Issue #2 Release, 7pm, Likely General, 389 Roncesvalles Avenue

A biannual poetry magazine presenting four writers, this issue includes Andi Clifford, Sebastian Frye, Jordan Mason and Bill Bissett.

Marked Exhibition Opening, 7:30pm, Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives, 34 Isabella St, free

The opening reception for Marked: Tattoos and Queer Identity, a photography and story exhibition at the CLGA.

TOMBOY: A Feminist Film Night, 8pm, Whippersnapper Gallery, 594B Dundas St W, PWYC

The French movie Tomboy is screened in conjunction with Sarah D’Angelo’s solo show XXY. Tiny space, so arrive early!

Read more: Indie Events Round-Up April 6-12

Indie Events March 30- April 5


Kapusta’s cabbage-like layers launch on Tuesday in Vancouver.


Monday, March 30


“This is a Terrible Cover.” “I did it.”, The Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St, $5 students/interns, $10 non-students.

The Canadian Book Professionals’ Association kicks off their year’s events with a panel about covers! David Gee, Michel Vrana, Natalie Olson, Emily Keeler and Nathan Maharaj make up book covers with crowd-sourced ideas. Hosted by Steven Beattie from Quill & Quire.

Tuesday, March 31


Monitor 11: South Asian Experimental Film + Video, 7:30pm, OCADU, 100 McCaul St, free

The well-loved and always groundbreaking annual video show by SAVAC takes up the theme of trauma, fiction as a way of speaking to hard realities, and fantasy.

The Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, 154 Danforth Ave, free

The popular Danforth poetry series welcomes Carmelo Militano, William Kemp and Rob Welch.


Kapusta Launch, 5:30pm, Green College, UBC, 6201 Cecil Green Park Rd, free ($20 for advance dinner reservation)

Erin Moure launches a new book of poems in the form of an impossible play or cabaret, “layered like a cabbage”. Reading begins at 6pm.

Wednesday, April 1

Fifteen Dogs Launch, 7pm, Type Books, 883 Queen St W, free

André Alexis launches his new novel at this dog-themed launch!

Thursday, April 2

Queer Confessions, 8pm, The 519, 519 Church St, PWYC

Toronto’s favorite (only?) queer confessional reading event includes film critic and bright guy Peter Knegt on the line-up, treating the theme of “Brave New World”


Indie Events Roundup: March 23-29



Radical Queer Semaine is going on in Montréal, including Post Porn Night this Wednesday!

Monday, March 22


Skanky Possum, 7pm, 1055 Logan Ave, free

It’s a little party at the home of local poet Hoa Nguyen! Featuring readings from Michael Autrey, Maureen Hynes, Peter O’Leary and John Tipton.

Mansfield Press Toronto Spring Launch, 7:30pm, Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St, free

Launching books by Marie-Ève Comtois (trans Stuart Toss & Michelle Winters), Eva H.S., Kathryn Mockler, Aaron Tucker, Priscila Uppal

Blue Coffee Reading Series #11, 8pm, Magpie Taproom, 831 Dundas St W, free

Readings by Kevin Hardcastle, William Kemp and Domenica Martinello. Hosted by Leigh Beadon.

Tuesday, March 23


Best of True Stories Told Live, 6:45pm, The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St W, free

Part of the Toronto storytelling festival, it’s what it sounds like! An all-star line up of the cream of the crop of the last two years of TSTL.

Dear Leader Launch, 7pm, The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St W, free

Poetry party alert! Damian Rogers’s new book has the coolest launch around, including being interviewed by Vanessa Dunn of Vag Halen and having his poems read by a bunch of other cool poets. Oh, also dancing!

Pop Classics Launch: Elvis is King and Wrapped in Plastic, 7pm, The Rivoli, 334 Queen St W, free

New books by Richard Crouse and Andy Burns from ECW Press!

The Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, The Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Readings by Benjamin Hackman, Max Layton and Stedmond Pardy.

Wednesday, March 24


THIS Magazine Launch, 6:30pm, Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave, $5 (includes issue)

It’s the Feminist Issue! Featuring talks by Jill Andrew, Aisha Fairclough, Christin Milloy, Sheila Sampath and a video from Project Slut.

Descant Farewell Celebration, 7pm, Revival, 783 College St, free

Everyone who has ever loved or known Descant is invited to this big goodbye bash.

Readings: Jocelyn Saidenberg and Brandon Brown, 7:30pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Ave, free

It’s what it sounds like — which is fab!

Torontaru, 8pm, Get Well, 1181 Dundas St W, free

A little get together for game-inclined ladies and gents to have nice beers and talk about games and things.

Pivot Reading Series, 8pm, The Press Club, 850 Dundas St W, free

Jessica Bebenek, E. Martin Nolan and Gillian Wigmore read.


Post Porn Night, 7pm, AIDS Community Care Montreal, 2075 Plessis, Basement, PWYC

Talks on porn documenting the subaltern and post-queer zombie hotness, plus screenings of work by Vincent Chevalier and Skyler Breaden Fox. A part of Radical Queer Semaine which has like, tons more fun stuff to check out.

Thursday, March 26


Launch Party: Cauchemar and Boring Girls, 7pm, Monarch Tavern, free

Alexandra Grigorescu and Sara Taylor’s new books launch with ECW Press.

Last Chance Hot Damn It’s a Queer Slam!, 7:30pm, Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave, free

LGTBQ open mic and slam featuring Catherine Hernandez.

Saturday, March 28

Sophia Katz Book Launch, 7pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Ave, free

The Title of This Book Is An Inside Joke is Sophia Katz’ debut collection — you’d have to be in on it to understand. Maybe you can be? Readings by Katz, Stacie Ant and Ashley Opheim.

Indie Events Roundup: March 16 – 22



Bodymap launches in Toronto this Thursday! [art by texta queen image via facebook]

Tuesday, March 17


The Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, The Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

The Art Bar presents Michael Farrell, Paulina O’Kieffe and Ephraim Hylton.

Wednesday, March 18


Monstrosity 2 Launch, 5pm, Page & Panel: The TCAF Shop at The Toronto Reference Library, 7809 Yonge St, Toronto, free

The TCAF Shop is hosting the launch and signing for the second edition of the monster comix compilation Monstrosity, including many creators in attendance.

Alice in Plunderland Launch, 7:30pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Avenue, PWYC

BookThug presents the launch of Steve McCaffery’s radical reimagining of the classic story from Lewis Carroll. Accompanying the book are Clelia Scala’s translated collages.

The Black Museum Presents… Who You Gonna Call?, 9:15pm, The Royal Cinema, 608 College St, $12

Brian Baker lectures on the paranormal investigators in spiritual horror.

Thursday, March 19


Bodymap Launch, 7:30pm, The Tranzac, 292 Brunswick, free

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha launches a new book, in which she sings a queer disabled femme of colour love song filled with hard femme poetics.

Saturday, March 21


Interim Reading Series, 3pm, 99 York St, PWYC

Interim hosts Wanda Praamsma and Katherina Romba.

Sunday, March 22


HIJ House Reading Series, 2pm, 260 Ryding Avenue, free

Did you know that the amazing Jay MillAr and Hazel Millar host readings and chapbook launches at their house on many Sunday afternoons, and that they make pie? Yeah, that’s right. HIJ House #12 features Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer and Paul Vermeersch.

From the Root Zine One Year Anniversary and launch, 4pm, Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St, free

From the Root, the amazing compilation zine edited by Whitney French, is celebrating one year of publishing by throwing a party, complete with the launch of their second issue, the Body issue! Featuring performances by Bänoo Zan, Kanwal RAhim, LaMoi Simmonds, Casandra London and more. Wahoo! Congratulations!

Indie Events Roundup March 9 -15


Monday, March 9


THRIVE presents Stuart Ross, 8pm, The Grad Club, 162 Barrie St, free

Thrive Reading Series presents Stuart Ross, welcoming back a former Queen’s writer in residence on a Monday night.

Tuesday, March 10


Family Ties, featuring Vivek Shraya and Casey Mecija, 6pm, Innis College Events Room, 111 St George St, free

U of T welcomes Toronto’s own Vivek Shraya and Casey Mecija to share two short films about the complex relationship between queer diasporic children and their parents.

Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Angela Rawlings, Kevin Halligan and Laboni Islam read at this popular Danforth reading series.

The EW Reading Series Three Year Anniversary, 8pm, Duffy’s Tavern, 1238 Bloor St W, PWYC

Three years of Emerging Writers! Come celebrate with readings by dalton derkson, James Lindsay, Brook Lockyer and Joseph Thomas.

Thursday, March 12


OCADU Zine Fair, 11am-6pm, OCAD University, 100 McCaul St, free

The seventh year of the OCADU Zine Fair! Come buy zines, crafts, and other DIY stuff! 

Friday, March 13


ChiSeries Winnipeg Presents: A special evening with David Nickle and Madeline Ashby, 7:30pm, McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Ave, PWYC

ChiZine author David Nickle and Tor audhot Madeline Ashby fly west for thrills and chills, accompanied by Winnipeg authors Chadwick Ginther and S. M. Beiko.

Saturday, March 14


Out To Sea: Queer Zine Fair and Art Showcase, 12pm-5pm, 19 Regina St N, 3rd floor.

The Rainbow Reels Queer and Trans Film Festival Presents a queer zine and craft show in Waterloo! Come check out makers from Ontario and elsewhere.


Let’s Have A Snoopy Kiki Ball, 8pm, The 519 Community Centre, 518 Church St, PWYC

Come celebrate the Legendary Snoopy’s birthday! You might not be able to vogue better than him, but why not try? Or walk any of the other ballroom categories: realness, runway, body, face, and more. Come support Toronto’s queer youth of colour!

Sunday, March 15


Plasticine Poetry Series, 6:30pm, Pauper Pub, free

David Clink, Bänoo Zan and Lisa de Nikolits read.


Indie Events Roundup: March 2 – March 8


THE FUTURE is the theme of this week’s Unhealthy, Badly.

Tuesday, March 3


Art Bar Reading Series, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Liz Howard, Ralph Kolewe, and Melanie Lefebvre read.

Wednesday, March 4


Brockton Writers Series, 6:30pm, Full of Beans, 1348 Dundas St W, PWYC ($3-5)

One of our favorite emerging writers series in the world is back! Zoe DiNovi speaks about Wattpad and online influence, followed by readings by Waubgeshig Rice, Hoa Nguyen, Joyce Wane and Karen Connelly.

WordSpell Spoken Word Showcase, 7pm, Free Times Cafe, 320 College St, $6+

An evening of spoken word featuring Sheri-D Wilson, Eyeda Sophia, and an open mic!


Cross Stitch at the Intersections of Queerness, Feminism & DIY, 6:30pm, AIDS Committee of Ottawa, 19 Main St, free

A DIY craft night and facilitated discussion. Zine making, button making, string art, and more! All in the name of queer feminism.

Friday, March 6


Unhealthy, Badly #3, 7:30pm, 58 Stewart St, $5

The Future is the theme of this edition of DIY art party Unhealthy, Badly. Lots of new work plus a dance party!

Sunday, March 8th


When Women Rule the Night, 6pm, Beit Zatoun, 612 Markham St, $10 advance, $15 door

An evening of powerful performances,music, and art showcasing young women in honor of International Women’s Day. Music by DJ Afroditee.

Indie Events Roundup February 23 – March 1



Get a taste of the ballroom and vogue scene at OCADU this weekend! 

Tuesday, February 24


Paris is Burning 25th Anniversary Screening and Panel, 6:30pm, Northrop Frye Building Room NF0003, 73 Queen’s Park Crescent, free

Celebrate the ballroom and vogue scene and its evolution at this screening and panel including members of the local ball scene.

Boneshaker Reading Series, 7pm, 1748 St. Clair Ave, free

Mark Truscott and Kate Sutherland read.

Toronto Poetry Slam at the Art Bar, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Matt Miler, Andre Prefontaine, Estefania throw down.


ChiSeries Ottawa presents The Dark Side II, 7pm, Maxwell’s Bistro and Nightclub, 340 Elgin St

Three of the darkest authors ever to grace the ChiSeries stage! Nick Cutter (Craig Davidson), Rob Pobi and Andrew Pyper.

Wednesday, February 25


Food Justice, Fat Activism, and Body Politics, 7pm, New College Wilson Hall Lounge, 40 Willcocks St, free

Kate Lebosco speaks alongside young respondents to share stories regarding food, fat, and body politics.

Little Brother Magazine presents What We Talk About When We Talk About Putting Out, 8pm, The Drake Underground, 1150 Queen St W, $7-$15

Anupa Mistry, Michael Cobb, Adam Nayman speak about putting out. Sold out, though limited tickets may be available at the door.

Walter Scott: Habitual Present, 7pm, 8-11, 233 Spadina, free

The opening of Wendy creator and fabulous creature Walter Scott’s show at 8-11, which runs through March 16. Habitual present is “another chapter in a continuing, untitled narrative that has taken the form of comics, sculpture, performance, and watching Paramore videos from a mattress on the floor.”

Torontaru, 8pm, Get Well, 1181 Dundas St W, free

Torontaru is a monthly meet-up with the simple aspirations of providing a place for friendly, game-inclined ladies and gents to chat and have a pint.

Pivot Reading Series, 8pm, The Press Club, 850 Dundas St W, free

Pivot brings in derek beaulieu, Dionne Brand, Edward Nixon and Elisabeth de Mariaffi. Hella serious line up!

4 Day Pop Up Market, 12pm-8pm, D-Beatstro, 1292 Bloor St W, runs thru March 1

Lots of cool indie vendors post up at D-Beatstro for a few days!

Thursday, February 26


Writing While Black, 6pm, Harlem Restaurant, 67 Richmond St E, free

Writing While Black is a community dialogue series and writing workshop series meant to create a safe space for black writers and develop this community in Toronto. From the Root Zine creator Whitney French leads this 4-part series.

After School Party Showcase Concert, 7pm, the Tranzac, 7pm, 292 Brunswick Ave, PWYC

Girls Rock Camp Toronto’s first after school program shows off what it’s been getting into! Crossing Teas, Hex, and Going 4 Gold play.

Friday, February 27


Queering Black History Month, 5pm-9pm, Ryerson Student Centre, 55 Gould St, Room 115, free

The extremely popular and important event centring the lives and achievements of queer and trans African, Black, and Caribbean people. Speakers and performers include S’Bi young Anitafrika, Tiq Milan, David-Lewis Peart, and Chiedza Pasipanodya.

Rap N Roll: Afro Alternative Music Series, 9pm, The Rivoli, 334 Queen St W, $10

Toronto “urban alternative” concert experience with the theme of Young, Gifted & Black including performacnes from Young Paris, Bonjay, Bakers Club, Junia T & Juice Money Collective, and more.

Saturday, February 28


Knots Disability Studies Journal Launch and Panel, 3:45pm, Ryerson Student Centre, 55 Gould St, free

Knots is the University of Toronto’s first issue of an undergraduate journal in disabilities studies. As a part of the Intermingling Disability Communities conference, join in on the launch party and a panel presenting papers.

Felix Nuance Presents: The Crystal Winter Unicorn’s Ball

Anything is possible in the unicorn kingdom! Come see the local ballroom girls pump the runway and vogue for their lives! Or, if you’re brave, see if you can serve the judges what they need.

Sunday, March 1


Dr. Sketchy’s – Adventures in Gender, 7pm, Wallflower Diner, 2420 Main St, $12

Gender Fluid drawings and librations! Dr. Sketchy’s Anti Art School throws down in Van.

Indie Events Roundup February 16-22



Discussing art and existential anxiety at Theory and Beer in Winnipeg this Thursday!

Tuesday, February 17


Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, The Black Swan, 154 Danforth Ave, PWYC

It’s Black Excellence Night! Hosted by Josh Smith with readings by dub poet Clifton Joseph, Buffalo wrier Brandon Williamson, and British-Canadian poet Robert Lyn.

Wednesday, February 18


Ocean Carving: A Performance in Water, 7pm, Oasis Aqualounge, 7pm, PWYC

Gein Wong directs this work-in-progress in one of Toronto’s only mixed bathhouses, telling the story of a woman who jumps into the ocean. Runs through Friday, February 20. A part of the Rhubarb festival, the show will be following Oasis’ house policies, meaning that unaccompanied men can attend on Wednesday, but must come with a woman on Thursday or Friday.

Vector Game Art & New Media Festival, multiple venues February 18-22

Don’t miss the third edition of this multi-venue festival for geeks, gamers, circuit benders and new media folks. There’s really nothing else like it! Workshops, parties, shows, and more!

Read more: Indie Events Roundup February 16-22

Indie Events Roundup: February 9-15

Support HERE, a new journal of feminist letters
by dressing up as a witch this Friday the 13th at Voodoo Child! [image via facebook]

Monday, February 9


Toronto Poetry Slam, 7pm, The Drake Underground, 1150 Queen St W, $5

Sabrina is the special guest for this special Monday edition of Toronto’s Poetry Slam. Bring 3 poems to slam! 7:30 sign ups.

QueerSpirits! Film Festival 2015, 7pm each night through February 12, Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Avenue

A new three day festival highlighting queer documentaries including The New Black, Laxmi, Project Bolo, Zero DEgrees of Separation and Solo.

Tuesday, February 10


Glad Day Book Club, 7pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St, free

The kick off for Glad Day’s book club has chosen Staceyann Chin’s memoir The Other Side of Paradise for its first meeting. Light refreshments included!

The EW Reading Series: Frisky February, 8pm, Duffy’s Tavern, 1238 Bloor St W, free

This month’s readers include Faith Arkorful, Michalle Brown, F. A. Meier and Noor Naga.

Valentine’s Poetry Night at the Art Bar, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave

Cynthia Gould hosts this special Valentine’s edition, presenting Clara Blackwood, DAve Silverberg, Josh Smith, Nicole Brewer and Rahul Gupta. And of course, the open mic!

Wednesday, February 11


These Words of Mine: Performance & Art Showcase, 6pm, SCC115 Student Centre, 55 Gould St, free

A Black History Month reading and showcase including poetry, dance, and art and a selection of vendors.

The Joy of Missing Out Launch, 6-8pm, CBC Toronto, 25 John St – Context TV entrance, free

Coping and thriving in this crazy, interconnected, busy, wacky world is the topic of Christina Crook’s new book. Launch includes a pop-up post office! What!

OkStupid: Live Readings of the Best Worst Online Dating Conversations, 7pm, Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave, PWYC

We’ve all been there. Online dating is kind of the best worst. Bring your conversations and pass them off to a couple of actors to play the parts. Bound to be hilarious and very very crowded.

Pivot Reading Series, 8pm, the Press Club, 850 Dundas St W, PWYC ($5 suggested)

Ken Babstock headlines with help from David B. Goldstein and Sheniz Janmohamed.


QTPOC Drop the Mic, 7pm, The Handsome Daughter, 61 Sherbrook St, PWYC

Trish salah, Rosanna Deerchild, Chimwemwe Undi and so many more amazing readers and performers at this open mic night dedicated to hearing from queer and trans people of colour.

Thursday, February 12


Why Should our Bodies End at the Skin? Technologies, Boundaries, and Embodiment, 7:30pm, Catharine Parr Traill College,Scott House, Room 105

Are you a cyborg? What are the boundaries of our embodied humanities? A conversation on disability, feminist theory, and bioethics led by Dr. Margrit Shildrick. 

Friday, February 13


Friday the 13th Witch Party, 9pm, Voodoo Child, 388 College St, suggested $5

HERE is a new feminist letter writing society/journal at U of T. Come support them by dressing up as a witch on everyone’s favorite unluckly day!

Saturday, February 14


An Intimate Evening with Eekum Seekum: Pink Triangle Day, 8pm, Plan B, 2180 Gottingen St

Celebrating Pink Triangle Day! Eekum Seekum plays an all lounge cover set of their own songs. Queer Slow Dance to follow with dance cards, games, a kissing booth and more!


Queer Slowdance – Valentine’s Edition, 10pm, Dovercourt House, 805 Dovercourt Rd, $10 admission includes dancecard-booklet

It’s Valentines! Get your slowdance on with the help of dancecards, designated dancers, and groovy DJs!

Sunday, February 15


Plasticine Poetry Series, 6:30pm, Paupers Pub, 539 Bloor St W, free

It’s Black history Month! Come celebrate with readers Rudy Fearon, Olive Senior, Cathy Petch and Marcia Johnson.

Indie Events Roundup! February 2 – 8


The brilliant Suzanne Sutherland launches her new YA novel this Thursday! [image via facebook]

Monday, February 2

Trampoline Hall, 7:40pm, The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St W, $7

In this latest edition of Trampoline Hall, curator Amy Langstaff presents lectures from Wanda Ely, Frank Griggs, 
and Andi Larocca. Come listen to smart people talk about random topics. Some tickets go on sale at 6:30pm.

Tuesday, Feb 3


Art Bar Discovery Night, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

The 16th Annual Art Bar Discovery Night hosted by Nancy Bullis! 20 poets present work and are judged by audience ballots. Think you can hang? Wednesday, February 4


Pitiful Human-Lizard Issue #3 Launch, 7pm, Silver Snail Comics, 329 Yonge St, free

Jason Loo launches and signs the third issue of his comedic, local legend the Pitiful Human-Lizard.

Through Generations: A Black History Month Celebration, 7pm, Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St E, free

An exhibition with an inspiring lineup of local artists, a collaborative selection of Zimbabwean sculpture and an interactive Basquiat installation at Regent Park’s cultural hub.

Read more: Indie Events Roundup! February 2 – 8

Indie Events Round-Up! January 26 – February 1

Genderfest Winnipeg 2015 launches this weekend! [image via]

Monday, January 26


Art Spiegelman: What the %@&*! Happened to Comics?, 7pm, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor St W, Students $29, General $39, Sold Out

Comix legend Art Spiegelman, in conjunction with the AGO’s retrospective, , talks about the medium and its place in today’s culture.

Tuesday, January 27


Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, The Black Swan, 154 Danforth Ave, free

This week features poets Georgia Wilder, Jane Munro and Kath Jonathan.


The TREE Reading Series, 8pm, Black Squirrel Books & Tea, 1073 Bank St

rob mclennan and Dilys Leman read.

Wednesday, January 28


First Year Healthy Launch, 7pm, Type Books, 883 Queen St W, free

The brilliant Toronto cartoonist weirdo Michael DeForge launghes his new book with Drawn + Quarterly.

Pivot Reading Series Year Opener, 8pm, The Press Club, 850 Dundas St W, free

The first of the year promises to be poppin’! Mia Grace, Michael Prior and Guy Gavriel Kay.

Thursday, January 29


Meet Miranda July, 7pm, The Appel Salon, 789 Yonge St, free with reservation

Sheila Heti and Miranda July yak it up about the indie darling’s debut novel, The First Bad Man. Reserve your free ticket at

Friday, January 30


Opening Reception: Border Cultures Part 3

The final instalmant of a three-part exhibition interrogating borders and boundaries, security and surveillance are the topic.


ottawater #11 launch, 7pm, carleton Tavern, 223 Armstrong St, free

Ottawa’s annual pdf poetry journal, edited by rob mclennan, launches its eleventh issue with a slew of local poets great and small.

Saturday, January 31


Genderfest Winnipeg 2015 Opening Party: Bounce With Me, 9:30pm, The Pyramid Cabaret, $15 adv $20 door

The opening party for Genderfest brings New Orleans bounce beauty Sissy Nobby to play. Clearly the place to be this Saturday in Winnipeg! Genderfest runs through February 14th.

Indie Events Roundup: January 19 – 25



GUTS launches its new issue on Saturday at 3030. [image via facebook]

Tuesday, January 20


Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, Black Swan Taveen, 154 Danforth Ave, free

Johnny Trinh, Susan Glickman, Esther Griffin read.

Wednesday January 21


She Pwns: Girls Gone Gaming, 6pm-12am, The Sister, 1554 Queen St W, $5

A ladies night for women to find like-minded friends, all while playing games! The games for the night are Kittens in a Blender and Tsuro, but there will be plenty others available.

Thursday, January 22


Wavelength Pop-Up Gallery Opening Party, 8pm, Huntclub Studios, 709 College St, free

The Wavelength: Past, Present and Future exhibition will feature archival posters, concert photos and illustrations, as well as a talk series on Sunday afternoons and a pop-up record store, with plenty of shows to boot! Runs through February 15.

Saturday, January 24


Celebrating Young Bisexual Women, 1pm, The 519, 519 Church St, free

A community launch party showcasing the findings of Planned Parenthood’s Young Bisexual Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Study, featuring research results! Performances! Crafts! Photo booth! And so much more.

Dames Making Games January Speakers Social, 6:30pm, Bento Miso Collaborative Workspace, 862 Richmond St W, free

The first monthly speakers social of 2015 features Susan Blight, Dr. Elizabeth LaPensée and Soha Kareem — plus lots of fab lady game-makers!

The #artlive Ball, 8pm, Harbourfont Centre, 235 Queens Quay W, $10

The House of Nuance and the House of Monroe present a giant fabulous function for World Stage 2015. Vogue, runway, bizarre, and all the fabulosity you can imagine. Think you got what it takes? Cash prizes on deck.

GUTS Launch Party: SEX, 8:30pm, The Magpie, 831 Dundas St W, PWYC

Digital feminist magazine GUTS launches its third issue, SEX, complete with Techno Tarot and a dance party.

Sunday, January 25


Junction Reads January, 4pm, 3030, 3030 Dundas W, PWYC

A new year of Junction reads with Alicia Elliot, Ruth Walker, and Ben Stephenson reading.

Indie Events Roundup: January 12-18

Unicorn costume party. Winnipeg gay bar. This weekend. Get creative!

Monday, January 12


Trampoline Hall, 7:40pm, The Garrison, 1197 Dundas St W, $6

Kelly Jenkins curates, bringing in lectures from Barri Cohen, Stephanie Fielding, and Julia Mensink. Day-of tickets available at 6:30 — get there early!

Tuesday, January 13


Let’s Put Breast Cancer Out of Work: Public Forum, 7pm, United Steelworkers Hal, 25 Cecil St, free

Special guest speaksers Charlotte Brody, RN, James Brophy, PhD and MArgaret Keith, PhD discuss how to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Fundraising Dinner & Zine Launch, 7pm, Harvest Noon, 16 Bancroft Ave (third floor), suggested donation $15

Broken Pencil’s own Melissa Luk and her compatriot Andrea Manica have been awarded a residency for a mural painting project in Buenos Aires! Which is amazing! But also expensive. Come eat some yummy vegan treats and support their fundraising efforts. Also, it’s a zine launch! Get your copy of Fears and Relationships.

Read more: Indie Events Roundup: January 12-18

Indie Events Roundup: January 5 – 11


The home of The Thing About Objects, Wednesday at 7pm!
[image via]


Tuesday, January 6


The Art Bar Poetry Series, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave

The first Art Bar of the year kicks off with readings from the series’ producers Alana P. Cook, Cynthia Gould, Francine P. Lewis and Josh Smith. Open stage reserved for people reading for the first time ever!

Wednesday, January 7


Chozin Drinks a Beer, 6:30pm, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St W, free

Tenzin Chozin, the teenage wonder of Mammalian Diving Reflex, is finally of age to drink beer— come watch him do it! And celebrate! Part of MDR’s residency at the AGO.

Brockton Writers Series, 6:30pm, Full of Beans Coffee House, 1348 Dundas St W, PWYC

The popular west end reading series for emerging and established writers is back with readings by Andrew J Borkowski, Andrea Thompson, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer and Lee Maracle.

Read more: Indie Events Roundup: January 5 – 11

Indie Events Round Up: December 15 – 21


Gein Wong reads at the Plasticine Poetry Series this Sunday [image via]

Tuesday, December 16


12th Annual Dead Poets Night at the Art Bar, 8pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth, free

15 readers come together for the end of Art Bar’s year, which features readings exclusively from the catalog of deceased writers.

Wednesday, December 17


Fight Back: Sex Workers Respond to C36, 6:30pm, queen West Community Health Centre, 168 Bathurst St, free

On December 6, Harper’s Bill C-36 became law. This year, on the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, a coalition of sex workers and sex worker organizations come together to share information and support each other with a panel and gathering. /

Season’s Crafting, 8pm, Shoppe and Tailor, 428 Ossington Avenue, $20 (includes snacks, supplies)

Crafting, music, drinks, and food at a new shop and studio space. BYO booze.

Read more: Indie Events Round Up: December 15 – 21

Five Years of Papirmass!



Five years ago, Kirsten McCrea sensed something was amiss in the world of art. It seemed as though there were few options for art lovers to actually purchase/own their favourite pieces – unless they were rich, or willing to purchase boring reproductions in the gift shops. It seemed antithetical to the idea that art can – and should – be a transformative experience for everyone, regardless of access or income.

The Toronto-based artist decided to take matters into her own hands, and Papirmass was born. For $69/year ($99/year internationally) subscribers will receive an original art print each month that also features contemporary writing on the other side in the mail. Individually, this breaks down to only $5.75 for an original work of art (including postage). The subscription includes 12 art prints (ranging from 4 x 6 inches to 18 x 24 inches and other mediums) and 12 original stories in 12 beautiful illustrated envelopes. Papirmass has found an audience and has mailed 45,000 prints around the world since its inception.

This week, Papirmass celebrates five years of affordable and fun mail art with a showing of all 60 artworks sent out to date, a pop-up shop, a birthday party and a card-making session.

The Pop-Up shop/showing (December 12/13, noon-6pm, Hermann & Audrey, 1506 Dundas West) will feature the latest issue of Papirmass, featuring an until-now secret comic by Sook-Yin Lee ten years in the making, along with literary offerings from Coach House, BookThug, Little Brother, and others, plus titles by some of Papirmass’s past and upcoming authors, including Mathew Henderson, Jacob Wren, Jenny Sampirisi, our own A.G. Pasquella  and his book Why Not a Spider Monkey Jesus? and Gary Barwin. There will also be artist multiples, affordable originals and handcrafted original work. 

The space will also host a birthday bash from 7pm-11pm on Friday Dec 12, and a collage/card-making party on Sat Dec 13 (5pm-10pm).

Subscriptions will also be for sale at all events this weekend, with holiday specials and deals!

For more info, visit the Papirmass website!

Join Papirmass this weekend and celebrate McCrea’s success and invaluable contributions to the world of affordable independent art and brightening up mail culture.



Indie Events Dec 8-14


Crooked 4 launches at Le Stud in Montreal this Thursday! [image via Facebook]

Monday, December 8


Brick 94 Launch, 7:30pm, Windup Bird Café, 382 College St, free

Celebrate the launch of a new issue of Brick with delicious food and great company. The evening ish osted by Michael Redhill with readings by Mårni Jåacksøn and editors Laurie D Graham and Linda Spalding, and the Brick players reading Patrick Leigh Fermor

Wednesday, December 10


Hot-Sauced Words Annual Anti-Pageant Show, 8:10pm, Black Swan Tavern, 154 Danforth Ave, free

The office party for poets! In support of the Daily Bread Foodbank. Acapella masters Kirsten Sandwich lead the party, with seasonal readings by Sandra Kasturi, Nicki Ward, Dale R. Long, Myna Wallin and Don Bassingthwaite, plus the Seasonal Open Mic.

Read more: Indie Events Dec 8-14

Indie Events December 1-7



Just The Tips Launches this Wednesday at The new TCAF Pop-Up Shop Opening!
Learn what a “Dutch microwave” is – hint: butt stuff.
[image via]

Monday, December 1


World AIDS Day HIV/HCV Co-infection Lunch, 11am-3pm, Central Toronto Community Health Centres, 168 Bathurst St, free

A workshop on living with HIV and Hep C con-infection, lunch, and a panel about lived realities of coinfection at Queen West Community Health.

Mansfield Press Launch, 7:30pm, The Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St, free

Mansfield Press launches new books form Nelson Ball, Frank Davey, Laura Farina, Christine Miscione and Corrado Paina. Readings, videos, and tunes!

Read more: Indie Events December 1-7

Indie Events: Hanging Out In Deephaven


video still alison s.m. kobayashi

A video still from “Do Good” by Alison S.M. Kobayashi, screening as part of the Vtape show Hanging Out In Deephaven.

by Alison Lang

This past weekend, we had the privilege of checking out a reception of a very cool new video art show at Vtape  called Hanging Out In Deephaven.

Vtape is an amazing non-profit, artist run distributor of video art, with a collection of over 5,000 titles by 1,000 artists. They also run exhibitions that you can go and check out for free during their visiting hours at their Toronto office (401 Richmond, Suite 452, Mon-Friday, 10am-5pm).

The show’s curator, artist/grad student/curator/librarian Amber Christensen, has brought together eight artists (seven of them female) whose works explore youth culture through a framework that is often associated with the Internet –  in their daily work they use Youtube, GIFS, animation, Tumblr and more. In Christensen’s own words, the show was directly inspired by the works of artist Ann Hirsch (who also has a piece in the show) and 19th-century author Sarah Orne Jewett’s book Deephaven (which chronicles the ownership of freedom and self-discovery of two 24-year-old girls.)

Two of the works are animated, and one of them looks at growing up through spliced, slowed-down VHS footage and sound. It is a fascinating and sometimes delirious program that examines youth and identity in ways that are hilarious, absurd, and a little heartbreaking. Learn more about individual segments below, and please go visit Vtape and experience Hanging Out In Deephaven for yourself! It runs to December 19.

Read more: Indie Events: Hanging Out In Deephaven

Indie Events: November 24 – 30


Theory Boner Zine release party, this Saturday at Henhouse! [image via facebook]

Monday, November 24


Purdy Drinks, 7pm, Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton St, free

A free eevning of poetry an dmusic with all proceeds going to the Al Purdy A-Frame Association. Featuring readings from George Bowering, David McFadden, Ian Kamau and Katherine Leyton. Al Purdy items will be available as well!


Feminist Voices: A Long Table Discussion about Activism in Winnipeg, 6:45pm, Room 4C60, University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Ave, free

A slew of amazing people talking about feminist activism in Winnipeg.

Tuesday, November 25


Zine Workshop, 2pm, Community Action Centre, 200 King St E, free

A trans/queer themed zine workshop at George Brown’s Community Action Centre facilitated by mel g campbell.

Wednesday, November 26


Shut up and Write, 6pm, Centre of Social Innovation (Annex), 720 Bathurst St, free

We gather with our devices or notebooks and write for 25 minutes at a time, with social breaks in between.

Read more: Indie Events: November 24 – 30

Indie Events November 17-23


Saturday at the Tranzac, visit fab local presses and mags! [image via facebook]


Tuesday November 18


John Klassen Talk and Signing, 5pm, Little Island Comics, 742 Bathurst St, free

Come meet renowned children’s illustrator John Klassen, who will give a short presentation and sign books.

Think Twice Launch, 7pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St, free

AIDS Action Now! presents the debut of 44 new videos of community members addressing HIV criminalization and the launch of the Think Twice website.

Wednesday, November 19


Little Brother Presents “What We Talk About When We Talk About” : A Lecture Series, 8pm, The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St, $7 Advance, $10 Door

The theme is witchy women! Kiva Reardon, Derek McCormack, Elio Iannaci each apply their own unique angle to the topic.

ChiSeries Toronto, 8pm, ROUND, 152a Augusta

David Clink, the mighty A.G. Pasquella, Robert Priest, Kari Maaren and Peter Chiykowski read it up!

Thursday November 20


ECW Fall Lit Party, 7pm, Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen St W

Tons of ECW readers lettin’ em have it! What more do you need?

Trans Day of Remembrance, 7pm, The 519, 519 Church St, free

A vigil and gathering to remember those who have been lost to or suffered under transphobia and other forms of oppression and violence.

Saturday, November 22


Meet the Presses Indie Literary Market/bpNichol Chapbook Award Announcement, 11:30am-5pm, The Trancaz, 292 Brunswick Ave

So many amazing literary presses and mags, tiny, small, and medium! Come say hi and pick up some nice things and oh! The Market will also feature the announcement of the winner of the 2014 bpNivhol Chapbook Award.

Bread and Puppet Presents: The Lubberland National Dance Company, 8pm, Clay & Paper Theatre, 35 Strachan Avenue, $10 PWYC

The LNDC was formed 10 years ago with the hep of local volunteers as an urgent dance revolt.A call to arms! Your finger pointing dance skills are required. No experience needed! The open rehearsal is 1-5pm.

WORN Fashion Journal presents: The Black Cat Ball, 9pm, Dovercourt House, 805 Dovercourt Road, $15 

WORN launch Issue 19/20 at the LAST WORN PARTY EVER, celebrating ten years of independent fashion publishing. And yeah, it’s cat-themed!

Sunday, November 23


Trans Day of Remembrance, 2014, 5pm, 27 King William St

A night of collective mural making in remembrance of those lost too soon due to transphobic violence and systematic oppression. Speakers, performances, togetherness.

Indie Events November 10-17



The first ever Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair is this Saturday! [image via Facebook]

Wednesday, November 12


The Black Museum presents They Won’t Stay Dead: Best Horror Sequel Debate, 9:15pm, The Royal Cinema, 608 College St, $12 advance, $15 door

It’s The Black Museum Debate Club! For the second meeting, four teams have returned to square off on the question: what is the greatest horror sequel ever made? Including our Editor Alison Lang, who will argue for The Exorcist III.

Thursday, November 13


BDSM, Consent, and The Law, 3pm, The Mark S Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversit Studies, University College, 15 King’s College Circle, free

A panel with Brenda Cossman, Hamish Stewart, Andrea Zanin and Kyle Kirkup.

Les Enfants Terribles, 8pm, Junior Common Room, University College, 15 King’s College Circle, $10 student $15 adult

An adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s surrealist novel and film complete with projections and puppetry.  Runs through November 15.

Friday, November 14


Shameless Magazine’s 10th Anniversary Gala and Inaugural Shamies Awards, 6pm, 401 Richmond St W, $20

Shameless is one of our favorite magazines ever, and this year, not only do they celebrate a decade, but they host their first ever Shamies! The ceremony is to recognize the worst perpetrators of problematic media — and tear them the fuck apart.

Insatiable Sisters, 6pm (exhibition), 8pm (show), Buddies In Bad Times, 12 Alexander St, $20

The awe inspiring, one-of-a-kind queer women’s cabaret is back! Curate by Gein Wong and Kim Katrin Milan featuring work by Olive-or-Oliver, Ayo Leilani, Maan-i-fest (nisha ahuja & Melissa Moore), FLY LADY DI and Katie Sly, Red Mango, Lishai, Body Waves, Sage Willow, Beany John, and more, it’s something you really just can’t miss. Check your assumptions at the door and be prepared to be wowed and sent forth into the world with many important questions.

Saturday, November 15


Hamilton Feminist Zine Fair, YWCA, 75 MacNab St S, free

Hamilton’s first Feminist Zine Fair! Lots of locals and nearby-ers hocking their wares and having a generally fab rad time.


Writers Read: Roland Provost and Pearl Pirie, 2pm, Noth Grenville Public Library, free

Wonderful Ottawa poets come to Kemptville!


Grace: Notes on Survival Launch, 6:30pm, The Watah School, 9 Trinity St #317, free

Reverend Chiedza Pasipanodya launches her collection of poems about devastation and creation, loss and recovery, change and uplift.

Sunday, November 16


Plasticine Poetry Series, 6:30pm, Paupers Pub, 539 Bloor St W, free

Readings from Rebecca Rosenblum, Mark Sampson, Philip Arima and Yvonne Blomer.

Canzine West Vendor Info!


Important Stuff You Need to Know About Selling Your Wares At Canzine!

Dear Canzine Vendor!
Thank you for registering for Canzine! Please read the following carefully:

*In Vancouver, we will be using two floors of the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts (149 Hastings) – the B2 level and the ground floor level. They are connected by a staircase and elevator and are open to each other through an atrium.
*You can arrive to load in your supplies and start setting up at 11 AM for Canzine West (Sat November 1, Sat November 8). You’ll be able to load in through the main front doors of the venue. There are two entrances – ushers will direct you to the correct place to sign in upon entry. You MAY NOT load in after 12:30.
*If you have not arrived by 12:30 your spot will be given to a vendor on our waiting list. Your table fee will not be refunded.
*There will be volunteers at the entrance with clipboards and magazines; please be sure to check in with these volunteers before loading in or looking for your table. We appreciate your patience, as it will be busy at this time!
*After our volunteers have checked you in you will be able to set up your table. You will be told what number your table is. Tables are assigned at random. There is very limited wall space behind tables at all three venues. We cannot accommodate any special requests for wall space. Please do not move any of the tables or labels; if you have any concerns, please speak to a volunteer. On your table you will find your copy of Broken Pencil as well as information from Canzine sponsors.
*All Canzines go to 7pm. Paying customers will continue to arrive at Canzine as late as 6pm. So please do not begin unloading your table until after 7pm.
*If you are no longer able to attend Canzine for any reason, please email us at as soon as possible as we have a waiting list of people hoping to get a table.

Other Notes to Keep In Mind

•Vendors will have a maximum 3 feet of space at a 6’ by 2’ table. There will be two vendors per table.

•Vendors are responsible for their own table dressings. Please bring your own tablecloth (A bed sheet can stand in for a tablecloth; cheap tablecloths are also available at dollar stores).
•Vendors must bring their own cash float if they plan to make sales; a price list is also a good idea.
•Vendors are encouraged to bring a banner or sign to identify their publication or group.

•Vendors are responsible for maintaining a clean space. We will provide you with garbage bags and it is your responsibility to use them! Note: vendors must clean up their garbage and leave their space as they found it – clean and free of debris.
•Members of Broken Pencil will be asking vendors if they would like to submit their zines and comics to be reviewed in upcoming issues of the magazine. If you would like to be reviewed, please bring an extra copy of your publication and make sure that the contact information, ordering information and price are clearly marked.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Have a great Canzine!

Help us Promote YOUR Canzine!

Go to the Promote Canzine Resource Page.

 On the page you will find Facebook event links, hashtags, downloadable posters/fliers and more. If you need something that isn’t there, just ask us by sending an email to and we will help you out.

Here’s how you can help fill the room for Canzine and ensure lots of sales and exposure for everyone:

  • Blog, Tweet (hashtag #canzine), Facebook, and Tumblr about Canzine! Let people know you are going to have a table at Canzine and they should come by!
  • Invite your Facebook friends to come to Canzine.

  • Send an email to everyone in your address book telling them about Canzine.
  • Run a Canzine banner ad on your blog, website or ezine. 
  • Download posters and fliers, print them off and put them up in your library, coffee shop, bar or school.
  • Finally, tell everyone you see that you are going to be at Canzine and encourage them to come by!



Canzine West Vendors: Emily McGratten



wiTHIN is the autobiographical story of Karen as she grows up dealing with bullying, family, spirituality, and learning to live with mental illness. The story is meant to help give a glimpse into what it is like to struggle with an eating disorder as well as what it was like for her family and friends during it all.

Karen is a psychotherapist in Guelph, Ontario and specializes in treating eating disorders. She has a passion for for educating and supporting those struggling directly and indirectly with mental health issues. Emily is Karen’s sister in law and a freelance illustrator, comic artist and printmaker from Peachland, BC. Emily will be vending at this year’s Canzine West! Come see her and check out wiTHIN and other works she has for sale. wiTHIN is also excerpted in the fall edition of Broken Pencil, given to all Canzine West vendors and attendees!
Check out and to learn more!

Book Review: Aisha Franz’s Earthling



Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Drawn & Quarterly and The Goethe-Institut Toronto have brought Aisha Franz to Toronto to launch her debut book Earthling at The Central, 603 Markham St, at 7pm tomorrow.

Franz will do a presentation and have a conversation with amazing local illustrator Ginette Lapalme. Earthling details a few short days in the life of two sisters and their single mother. In anticipation of the event, Broken Pencil reviewer Chloe Stelmanis has a short review to get you excite, so you know what to expect!

Earthling, Aisha Franz, 208 pgs, Drawn and Quarterly,, $19.95

Berlin-based Aisha Franz’s debut graphic novel could easily be classified as young adult fiction, but this would undermine Franz’s ability to speak to readers of all ages. While Earthling aptly conveys female teenagerdom (and the thresholds preceding it), Franz intertwines these storylines with complex issues surrounding womanhood and the choices – or lack thereof – that characterize us as adults. The title itself, Earthling, serves to remind us of the possibility that there is something else out there, conceding that our human existence is fleeting and trivial. As Earthling suggests, it is when we are confronted with such triviality that, even as adults, we are at our most vulnerable, desperate to belong to something meaningful and exciting but unaware of how to do so.

Earthling follows the lives of three women all living under one roof: Mädchen, who is on the cusp of her teenaged years, her older sister, and mother, as they each await the arrival of Mädchen’s father. As his arrival date comes closer, each woman begins to experience surreal, fantastical events that illuminate an otherwise claustrophobic existence in a bleak suburb. Unappealing, blurry, black and white landscapes and boxy, suburban row houses are increasingly punctuated with cartoon realms, humans walking through television screens, and sexy aliens. So while Franz’s work remains colourless and minimalist, she perfectly conveys the dreariness of a suburban hometown while skillfully holding her reader’s attention.

While Earthling is a quick read, its foremost narrative is often side-tracked with storylines left unfinished or open ended, making for a more interactive reading experience. For this reason, Earthling should be read multiple times to fully grasp the possibilities that Franz has so artfully laid out for us. (Chloe Stelmanis)

Indie Events Oct 28-Nov 2 feat CANZINE


Tuesday October 28th


Troubling Pain and Prejudice Launch, 6:30pm, Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave, free

Everyone’s invited to the launch of two interesting reserach books: Pain and Prejudice: What Science Can Learn about Work from the People that Do It by Karen Messing (BTL), and Troubling Care: Critical Perspectives on Research and Practices edited by Pat Armstrong, Susan Braedley (CSPI).

Free Workshop: Improving Facilitated Discussions, 7pm, OCAD U Student Gallery, 52 McCaul St, free

This is a free workshop for folks working in the non-profit sector that will focus on improving two advanced group facilitation scills: strategies to increase participation, and facilitation strategies for controversial topics and purposefully disruptive participants. Presented by BAD SUBJECT, a grassroots initiative dealing with rape culture.

more indie events after the jump!

Read more: Indie Events Oct 28-Nov 2 feat CANZINE

Indie Events October 20-26




The (FU) Drag Musical, one night only! [image via facebook]

Tuesday, October 21


Ghost Stories Zine Making Day, 1pm, Learning Zone, 113 McCaul, main floor, free

The OCAD Ghost Stories Zine is coming! And the deadline to submit is October 27. The learning zone is hosting an event for people to get ready— drop by and contribute to the zine!

Tightrope Books October Launch, 7pm, Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave, free

Tightope Books launches its fall lineup with readings, door prizes, and other surprises. New books include releases from Roxanna Bennett and Rosario Lloret, with guest readers including Tara-Michelle Ziniuk and Charlene Challenger

Wednesday, October 22


Curationism Launch, The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St W, free

David Balzer launches his new Coach House Books release, Curationism: How Curating Took over the Art World and Everything Else. The fun starts at 5:30pm.

Eat Pray Love the (FU) Drag Musical, doors 7pm, show 7:30pm, The Sanctuary, Bloor St United Church, 300 Bloor St W, PWYC

Awesome partners the 519 and Asian Arts Freedom School’s present the fruits of their drag mentorship program for first time LGBTQ youth of colour performers. It looks downright awesome.

Suffer-gette City! A Municipal Politics Cabaret, 8:30pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta, $15

Laughs, sex, and debate in cabaret form! 2-Man No-Show, Stevie Thunder Rubie Magnitude and more celebrate and critique this silly city of ours.

Thursday, October 23


Chilly Tales Launch, 7pm, The Central, 603 Markham St, free

The Beguiling and 11th Dimension Press presentthe anthology Chilly Tales: Comics from the Canadian Undertundra, featuring work by Cory McCallum, Matt Daley, Mark Connery, Wm Brian MacLean, Marta Chudolinska, Fiona Smyth, Keith Mclean, Noam Sussman, Dakota McFadzean, Robb Mirsky, Shira Haberman, and Marc Bell!

Sunday, October 26

Draft Reading series, 2:30pm, Paint Box Bistro, 555 Dundas St E, PWYC
The first reading of Draft Season Ten! With readings by Judy Fong Bates, Caitlin Galway, Michael Fraser, Ellen S. Jaffe, and Grace O’Connell.

Indie Events October 13-19



YOW! launches Sunday night. [image via facebook]

Tuesday, October 14


Live Nude Writers!, 7pm, Stock Bar, 1171 Rue Ste Catherine E, free, 18+

Four Canadian writers take to the stage of Stock, a strip club in Montreal’s gay village, to reveal some of their most audacious texts. John Barton, Peter Dubé, Jordan Coulombe and Christopher DiRaddo bare it all!


Little Brother No. 5 Launch Party, 7pm, June Records, 662 College St

Awesome weirdos make a pretty magazine. Get into it.

Wednesday, October 15


Bringing the Noise Launch, 7pm, Milk Coffee Bar, 68 University Ave W, free

CJAM presents Bringing the Noise’, a publication for musicians and music lovers, featuring tips on promotion, getting airplay, booking shows, and running your own radio campaign. Plus, tons of interviews with bands and industry advice from the pros! Free issue for attendees!


Coach House Books Fall Launch, 8pm, The Carrison, 1197 Dundas St W, free

A super heavy hitting line up from hometown hero small press Coach House Books. New titles from Ken Babstock, Jeramy Dodds, Sarah Dowling, Lisa Robetson and Rachel Zolf.

Read more: Indie Events October 13-19

Indie Events Oct 6-12


Aaron Manczyk’s Panthor launches October 9.

Monday, October 6


Arsenal Author Showcase, 7pm, Glad Day Bookshop, 598a Yonge St (3rd floor), free

Join Raziel Ried, Vivek Shraya and Shawn Syms, all of Arsenal Pulp press, for readings from their new books.

Tuesday, October 7


Fall Fiction Showcase, 7:30pm, Pressed, 750 Gladstone, free

A solid evening of short and long fiction. Marguerite Pigeon shares from her story collection, Some Extremely Boring Drives, while Ottawa writers Christian McPherson and rob mclennan assist.

Read more: Indie Events Oct 6-12

Indie Events Sept 29 – Oct 6

The amazing TQZF is back at the United Steelworkers Hall— not to be missed!
[image via]

Tuesday, September 30


Sad Peninsula Launch, 6pm, Ben McNally Books, 366 Bay St, free

Join Dundurn Press and author Mark Sampson for the launch of Mark’s second novel, Sad Peninsula, following the intersecting lives of a traumatized former Korean “comfort woman” and a torubled young Canadian arriving in Korea to teach ESL.

Wednesday, October 1


Beyond 101: A Conversation Around Party Culture, Sex Positivity, Safer Spaces and Sobriety, 3pm OISE Room 5150, 252 Bloor St, free 

Join the U of T Sex Ed Centre and OPIRG Toronto for a panel discussion about sex positive spaces, party culture, accessibility and safety. Definitely relevant to social justice zinesters and organizers who work to create accessible and safe spaces!

The Sleepworker Launch, 7pm, Type Books, 883 Queen St W, free

Coach House Books hosts a Warhol-inspired launch party to celebrate the release of the English Debut of Cyrille Martinez’s The Sleepworker, translated by Joseph Patrick Stancil. Including the usual reading and signing fare, there will also be a re-creation of Warhol’s film Sleep.

Spacing Election Issue Release Party, 7:30pm, Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave, $10 includes magazine

Spacing’s launches are always a blast. This issue focuses on “How City Hall thinks” and the upcoming election.

Read more: Indie Events Sept 29 – Oct 6

Indie Events: Sept 22-28 SUPER MEGA EDITION


Paul Vermeersch’s New Book launches on Thursday at The Steady in Toronto

Monday, September 22


Burning Daylight Launch, 7pm, Type Books, 883 Queen St W, free

Christine Fellows launches her new book Burning Daylight, a poetry collection and song cycle drawing together the Yukon Gold Rush and Arctic mining practices of today.


Biblioasis turns 10, 7pm, Atwater Library and Computer Centre, 1200 Atwater Avenue, free

Biblioasis kicks off their their big 10th anniversary tour in Montreal, with readings by Robyn SArah, Alice Petersen, Norm Sibum, Joshua Trotter, Catherine Chandler, and MAuricio Segura. Biblioasis’ party is on the road, so make sure ot check out the Windsor, Waterloo and Toronto editions as well!

Tuesday, September 23


Socialist Cowboy Book Launch, 7pm, Another Story Bookshop, 315 Roncesvalles Ave, free

Larry Savage’s Socialist Cowboy: The Politics of Peter Kormos launches at Another Story. Larry is the director of the Centre for Labour Studies at Brock University. Socialist Cowboy is a political biograpgy detailing the life and activism of the NDP’s Peter Kormos.

Read more: Indie Events: Sept 22-28 SUPER MEGA EDITION

Indie Events: Sept 15-21


She Of the Mountains launches at the Gladstone on Wednesday

Monday, September 15

Haiku Head-to-Head Battle, 8pm Supermarket, 268 Augusta Ave, $5 all ages

Think you got the 17 syllables it takes to win? Small poems, big power.

Tuesday, September 16


Domestic Chaos: Launch for Between, 7pm, Type Books, 883 Queen St W, free

Angie Abdou launches Between, a new novel that satirizes love marriage, and parenthood through portraits of an upper middle class mother and her nanny. Brecken Hancock will also read from her debut poetry Broom Broom.

Wednesday, September 17


Madonna, What the Hell: A Worst Hit Musical,  doors 7:30pm, The Theatre on King,  159 King St, $5

Amazing zine pal Dave Cave is presenting his one man show using only Madonna’s own words to render Madonna’s worst songs. Part of Peterborough Pride. It’s gonna be the best.


She of the Mountain Book Launch, 7:30pm, The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, $10 or entrance with book purchase

Vivke Shraya launches his illustrated novel weaving a love story with Hindu mythology. Featuring a special performance by Dainty Box.

Read more: Indie Events: Sept 15-21

Indie Events Sept 8 – 14


10515199_292374157614195_6082692537418790821_oUndocumented launches at Art Metropole this Thursday (image via Art Metropole)

Monday, September 8


Trampoline Hall, 6:30pm, The Garrison, 1197 Dundas W, $5

The ultra-alt amateur lecture series is back TODAY. Get to the Garrison super early to get your tix if you haven’t already. Anna Fitzpatrick lectures on pinball, Nicholas Hune-Brown talks imposters, and Monica Hjeisey shouts out The Dead Parents’ Society. Tuesday, September 9

Book Launch: Shawn Syms’s Nothing Looks Familiar, 7pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St, free

Local author Shawn Syms launches his debut short-story collection. Including performances by Syms, Alec Butler, Marcy Rogers, and Vivek Shraya.

More fun after the jump!

Read more: Indie Events Sept 8 – 14

Indie Events Sept 1-7


Dainty Smith will be the guest artist at Stars Drop-In this week, leading a workshop on short stories about the monstrous

Wednesday, Sept 3


STARS Drop-In for LGBTTI2SAQQ Youth: Creative Writing with Dainty Smith, 4:30pm, The Studio, 40 Orchard View Blvd

This week’s Stars drop-in for LGBTTI2SAQQ youth ages 13-21 features local actor, writer, burlesque performer and activist Dainty Smith. The focus will be on short stories and making room for more queer/trans writing, focusing on the theme of what is left out, what is considered ugly and monstrous. The space is accessible, ASL interpretation available, and TTC tokens available.

Shoplifter Book Launch, 7pm, The Central, 603 Markham St, free

The Beguiling and Random House Canada launch Michael Cho’s new graphic novel. Michael will be there to read and take questions.

Thursday, September 4


Homer’s Odyssey: A Simpsons Art Show, 7pm, Videofag, 187 Augusta Ave, PWYC

Twenty three artists explore the iconic animated phenomenon through a whole whack of different media. Opening reception on September 4th, runs through September 7.

Friday, September 5


Sex Worker Media Training with Jane Doe. 1:30pm-4pm, South Riverdale Community Health Centre, 955 Queen St E, Room AB, free (rsvp required to

Sex worker ally and sexual assault Activist Jane Doe teaches about how to speak back to government and media while not selling out. Tokens and snacks provided.

Saturday, September 6


Super Red Riding Hood Book Launch, 12pm, Little Island Comics, 742 Bathurst St, free

Little Island Comics hosts Claudia Dávila for readings, crafts, and activities around her new book.

Mammalian Diving Refliex presents: Socialist* Games, 1pm, TIFF, 350 King Street W, free

Socialist* Games hits the red carpet at TIFF! Snag some celebs in round after round of a game of I-love-you-tag.

Socialist* Games is an evening of shifting our asses into gear and engaging in some aggressive merriment. And we don’t mean sitting around a table sipping cappuccinos and playing some pussy-ass boardgames. Socialist* Games calls on strangers to play with strangers in wave after wave of summer-camp style activities – minus the summer camp, plus the awkwardness, and double the hotness.

Toronto Queer Slowdance. 10pm, Dovercourt House, 805 Docvercourt Road, $10

With a lending library of designated dancers for wallflowers, dancecards, and lots of cuties and friends, the Queer Slowdance is the ultimate way to reclaim high school awkwardness with flying fabulosity.

Indie Events August 25 – 31

Tonight! It’s Riot Grrrl Tuesdays in Windsor!
(image via Riot Grrrl Tuesdays Facebook)

Tuesday, August 26


Zine Night – August Riot Grrrl Tuesday, 9pm, Phog Lounge, 157 University Ave W, free, 19+

Monthly feminist gathering Riot Grrrl Tuesday is given you some scissors, cuttables and paste— you do the rest!

Wednesday, August 27


Artscape Street Party: Circus, 5pm-9pm, Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie St, free 

A free, family-friendly circus at Wychwood Barns including acrobatics, fire dancing, stilt walking, carnival games, cotton candy and more!

Wayward #1 Launch Party, 6pm, Guu, 559 Bloor St W, free to attend (pay to eat and drink)

The Beguiling stages the launch of Jim Zub’s new comic at Guu izakaya bar— cover artists Kalman Andrasofszky, Alina Urusov, Adam Warrena nd Chip Zdarsky also in attendance. Wayward is a series focusing on a young woman new to Tokyo, trying to reconnect with her mother and beating back demons and monsters and all that. Buy some Japanese snacks and comics while you’re there!

Thursday, August 28


Aanmitaagzi presents Dances of Resistance, 7pm, Nbisiing Secondary School, 469 Couchie Memorial Dr, free

Dances of Resistance is the culmination of three years of multi-arts workshops and creative development with artists and community members across ages and abilities from Nipissing First Nation and North Bay. It tells the story of cultural destruction and resurgence through dance and performance.

Friday, August 29


MABELLEarts End of Summer, 7pm, Mabelle Park, 49 Mabelle Avenue, free

Celebrate Etobicoke’s community arts group MABELLEarts’ summer achivements with food, fire, music and a special apperance from the Mabelle Park Mobile Think-Tank.

Saturday, August 30


Toronto Poetry Slam, 7pm, The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen St W, $5

Come ready to slam. Special guest Mark Berube in the mix! Reggae after-party. What!

Sunday, August 31


Family of the Heart Launch, 2-5pm, North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge St, free

Two new books from FOTH, one in English and one in Urdu: Zia-ud-Din’s “Ghalib” and Safya Maryam’s “Mousam e Hijr”. Presentations by Muinir Sami, Farzana Hassan, Rubina Faisal, Rafi Raza, plus translations of the book by Zia-ud-Din.

Indie Events: August 18-24


Progressives and others will gather to discuss alternative media and more at the Peoples Social Forum this weekend in Ottawa

Tuesday, August 19


The Book of Life Launch, 7pm, McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, free

Deborah Harnkess signs and discusses her new book, The Book of Life.

Wednesday, August 20


Best Canadian Poetry Reading Series #5: Cormorant Books, 7pm, Windup Bird Café, 382 College St, free

A smattering of the Cormorant poetry lineup including Richard Scarsbrook, Jull Jorgenson, Daniel Karasik and Hamish Guthrie. Reservation only, but it includes the option of a prix fixe menu and drinks! To book a spot, call 647 349 6373.

Thursday, August 21


Peoples Social Forum, through August 24, University of Ottawa

A grassroots, historical gathering of progressives from Québec, Canada and First Nations. Includes an alternative media movement assembly on Saturday August 23 and much more.

Saturday, August 23


Ladies Night, The Comic Book Lounge & Gallery, 587A College St, free

Exclusively female fandom takes the focus here. The guys stay home and the ladies nerd out!


As a Thief in the Night Book Signing, 8pm, the Green Bean Cafe, 300 Ouellette Ave, 3rd floor, free

Chuck Crabbe speaks to his novel and signs copies in his hometown of Windsor.

Indie Events: August 11-17



Celebrate the decadent, the depraved, the Divine at the John Waters Trash Bash

Tuesday, August 12


Art on the Ballot: A Reverse Mayoral Debate, 2pm, Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St W, free

ArtsVote and SummerWorks are presenting the clever idea of posing arts-related questions from mayoral debates to artists and other leaders in the arts community. With the municipal election around the corner, these issues are too real.

Classic Simpsons Trivia 4 Year Anniversary, 7:30pm, Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen St W

Seeing as how we are very cool and trendsetting with our Dystopic Diorama Contest, it’s no surprise the Simpsons Trivia folks are doing it too. Choosing a favourite Simpsons scene, participants ought to make a shoe box size diorama to win the audience’s cheer at the event.

Wednesday, August 13


Hot Damn It’s a Queer Slam, 7:30pm, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St, $5

A two round slam for LGBTQ+ poets/performers. Hosted by Cathy Petch with a performance by J Mase III.

The Black Museum presents… School of Shock: Pain and Pleasure in the Classroom Safety Film with Kier-La Janisse

Sometimes an obsession with the grotesque is born in unlikely places. Kier-La Janisse of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies presents some of the most notorious educational films and public service announcements to show how danger and gore in the classroom might have spawned a generation of horror lovers.
Thursday, August 14

The Crush Project presents John Waters Trash Bash, 8pm, The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, $10

An epic celebration of the the Pope of Trash including performances by a slew of Toronto queerlebrities and a 3D viewing presented in ODORAMA vision (supposedly) and tunes by DJ Stacie Ant.

Saturday, August 15


Indian Diaspora Festival, 7pm, Palmerston Library Theatre, 560 Palmerston Avenue, $20

The Indian Diaspora Festival premieres this year, launched by Toronto Tabla Ensemble. It is a unique festival in that it embraces artists of Indian traditions who have been educated in the West, particularly in Canada. Performances of tabla music and kathak dance will be the main events.

Sappyfest Zine Fair: A Recap


by Jonathan Rotsztain It’s an overcast morning Saturday, August 2 on the Tantramar Marsh as the sleepy zinesters of Sappyfest 9 hit Sackville, New Brunswick’s local legion for the annual Zine Fair. I’m feeling a bit out of it after a rocking night of Ketamines and Kappa Chow at the after-show Shed, but happy out of it. I feel good.


I feel even better upon connecting with the talents here hawking their wares. Andrew Thorne of Moncton is just getting into making zines, having produced his first compilation zine Teenage Trash with friends in December. They’re doing well with issue five being released at the fair. Andrew says he likes collaborating and that there’s not a lot of zine culture happening in his corner of New Brunswick. Teenage Trash is a classic zine: photocopied collages, punk poetry, band interviews, illustrations and comics. I like the raw youth vibe and especially Andrew’s comics.


Nicole McReynolds and Jonathan Fraser are here by way of Toronto and Montreal, respectively. They first worked together through their Sheridan College/York University design program, realizing they could contribute a comic to York’s moribund student newspaper. Jon writes and storyboards and Nicole draws Barbara DeBarbara a definitely sophomoric and slightly confusing, though rather charming, strip about the madcap adventures of the titular character. Compensation seems to have come in the form of a one-time Best Buy gift certificate. The pair also created Adventures of Wall, a thrilling tribute to York’s desolate campus. More promising is Nicole’s collaboration with writer Brent Wells on the Knobtown Community Reader, the newsletter of the Toronto’s fictional Knobtown neighbourhood and it’s hard-up residences. City politics meets satire in a big way and the layout’s lovely too.

Halifax, Nova Scotia’s Paul Hammond was reppin’ two volumes of his Hey You Guys comics as well as various Yo Rodeo merchandise. Paul’s been making art stuff for about 15 years but aside from some high school shenanigans he never really made comics until his strip started in The Coast. Luckily, as half of Yo Rodeo, Paul is one of the best screen-printers around, an excellent illustrator and totally hilarious. He cites Ray Fenwick and his Hall of Best Knowledge as a direct influence, except in Paul’s version you can see who’s yelling at you. Look at for a third Hey You Guys collection at this month’s DCAF. Go read his stuff. Do it. Paul is also in Cold Warps, which I think is really cool.

Louise Reimer is a Toronto pal and great artist. She doesn’t mean to trash talk, but correctly acknowledges that there’s little profit in making zines so she does well selling cards and prints instead. Her first show was in Montreal last year and since then she’s tabled six or seven times and she’s learning what her audience connects with. She says the Sappy audience is very receptive. Louise’s work is inspired by her time in the Yukon and she says that Sackville reminds her of Dawson City. Louise is a great artist and you can check out her bright, styling and almost psychedelic work on her official website.


Chris Lockerbie is from Halifax via Pictou County and Cape Breton and he’s probably my favourite cartoonist in the Maritimes. He started putting out Lucky Comix with Pete Diamond, Rob Jabbaz and Jesse Jacobs in 2002 and Culprit Comix with his brothers and friends in 2008 (which includes some contributions from me). The gang is now on to Moon Hat 1400, which I think is at issue ten. Chris is a master draftsman and totally twisted so it’s always exciting to flip through the latest intentionally incoherent post-modern collage that is Moon Hat. He likes making zines because they’re fun, goofy and immediate. And he’s encouraging too. “Anyone can make comics,” Chris says. I agree. He promises issue six of Culprit is done, they’re just waiting to assemble it.


Christine Ollier is tabling for Halifax’s now legendary Anchor Archive zine library. She moved to Halifax from Ontario in September and happily fell into the local zine community at last year’s 24-Hour Zine Challenge. She got into zines via the Ottawa poetry community. Anchor Archive is now at the Plan B Merchant’s Co-op and Christine says the new spot is great for helping people stumble upon this amazing DIY resource.


My close, personal friend and table-mate Rebecca Roher has been making art her whole life and slinging comic zines for the last three years. She explores themes of celebration and wonder with her gorgeous and highly expressive watercolour, ink and pencil work. She also does the print and card thing and many of her comics have a screen printed, die-cut or hand sewn elements. Rebecca’s comics balance a childlike naiveté with a sharp wit and her visual style is really irresistible. It was a sincere pleasure to witness her sell almost three times as much as me.


The highlight of the show was meeting fair organizer and fellow zinester Patrick Allaby. Raised in Fredericton and studying in Sackville, Patrick has been making zines for three years, ever since a cool professor exposed him to them at Mt. Allison University. Patrick has been into comics his whole life and recently completed Frank Santoro’s awesome Comics Workbookcorrespondence course, which he cites as a really good influence for creating work ethic and forcing him to make things. Patrick’s comics are deceptively simple, revealing a maturity beyond his years. His Adolescent Comics is a box of five screen-printed accordion book mines, à la Chris Ware’s Building Stories. This shit is so fucking good, I really can’t get over it. I love Patrick’s line, his understated style and all that’s implied but unsaid. Thanks for organizing the fair, Patrick. It was a blast.

Jonathan Rotsztain makes comics and hustles zines too. You can check out most of his work on his website and follow his blog.


Indie Events: Aug 4-10


Zine Dream 7 is this weekend! 

Wednesday, August 6


The Trouble With Brunch Launch, 6pm, Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave, free

Shawn Micallef’s highly anticipated The Trouble with Brunch launches with a pro-breakfast launch– get your copy and some Froot Loops!

Toronto Childcare Collective Working Group

A new initiative to create a social justice based Childcare Collective in Toronto. Please email your information to with the Subject Working Group for more information, and visit the facebook event to get involved.

Tell Me Something Good Sexy Storytelling Slam, 8pm, The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, free

This month’s sexy storytelling event is kink themed. Sign up for your 5 minute slot and let ‘em have it! Remember, all forms of kink are beautiful whether or not you like ‘em, so don’t yuck someone else’s yum.

More events after the jump!

Read more: Indie Events: Aug 4-10

Indie Events July 28 – Aug 4


Author of the insanely popular Scott Pilgrim launches his new graphic novel this Wednesday at The Bloor!

Monday, July 28


Conversation with Diaspora Dialogue: Cynthia Holz and Sheila Murray, 6pm, Maria A Shchuka Library, 1745 Eglinton w, free

Co-authors Holz and Murray discus writing a novel together about an immigrant’s arrival in Toronto.

Tuesday, July 29


Super-Diviner: A Psychic Performance by RM Vaughan, 6:40ish, Videofag, 187 Augusta Avenue, PWYC runs through July 31

Canadian author/performer/queer legend RM Vaughan will perform occult-based readings for audience members by employing a new divinatory system. Keith Cole hosts with soundscapes by Tomas Hemstad. This might be the coolest ever, so get there early.

Wednesday, July 30


Trues Stories Told Live, 7:15pm, The Garrison, Dundas St W, free

True stories told live— the name says it all. Stories start promptly at 8.

Seconds Book Launch, 8:30pm, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor St W, $10 at the door or FREE with advance purchase of Seconds at The Beguiling

Join Bryan Lee O’Malley to celebrate the release of his new graphic novel Seconds! The Beguiling Books & Art and Random House Canada team up to bring O’Malley on stage to discuss Scott Pilgrim Seconds, and more.

Thursday, July 31


The Beautiful & The Damned: Damn, You’re Beautiful

The last edition of The Beautiful & The Damned, an LGBTQ poetry series. hosted by Brenda Clews, JP Laroqcque and Amoeba Starfish will read followed by weird trivia by John Oughton.

Saturday, August 2


Pink: The New Black – Pink Lady House Ball, 6:30pm, The 519 Community Centre, 519 Church St, Free

Come watch the girls vogue, sashay, and out-real each other on the runway at this competitive ballroom event for queer youth of colour just in time for Caribana weekend.

Sunday, August 3


Blockobana, 3pm, Cawthra Park, 519 Church St, free

Blockorama and Blackness YES present the second Blockobana, an outdoor celebration of Toronto’s vibrant. Caribbean and black LGBTQ community. DJs Blackcat, Lady Supa, Craig Dominic, TNT and Nik Red turn it up!

Zines on Display – Sovereign Nation: Paths of Resistance and Decolonization

sovreign nation image taken from the Sovereign Nation Facebook launch page   This article has been republished with permission by the original author and The Coast alternative weekly in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We strongly encourage Haligonians and visitors to check out the exhibit this month or stop by the Anchor Archive Zine Library in their space at B Side Gallery/Plan B on Gottingen Street!

by Stephanie Johns

The Anchor Archive Zine Library is a pillar of the Halifax DIY and politically active community. An wellspring of inspiring, healing and challenging material, it’s a resource that Haligonians are lucky to have free access to.

Laura Grier, summer communications and events coordinator for the Anchor Archive, is an Indigenous artist and activist from Alberta. Laura Baker-Roberts is an artist, arts organizer and environmental activist living in Halifax. Both Grier and Baker-Roberts are student leaders on the Student Union of NSCAD University.

Together, the artists have reframed the library’s collection with fresh eyes to put together this month’s exhibit, Sovereign Nation: Paths of Resistance and Decolonization, running to Sunday, July 27 at the Anchor Archive Zine Library and B Side Gallery (2180 Gottingen Street). Curating zines on the theme of sovereignty and decolonization, Grier and Baker-Roberts have put together an exhibit that hopes to enlighten and inspire.

Read more: Zines on Display – Sovereign Nation: Paths of Resistance and Decolonization

Indie Events July 21-27


Small Talk #3 will include weird people, weird ideas, awkward timing

Monday July 21


Readings at the Common: July Edition, 8pm, The Common 1071 College St, free

Readings by Jill Margo, Leesa Dean and Sarah Henstra.

Wednesday July 23


Small Talk #3, 7pm, Harvest Noon, 16 Bancroft Ave, free

The amateur lecture series continues with “The Art of the Terrible” from Alex Nursall, “Soup and the System” by Kat Rendek, and “Exchange” by Jane Frances Dunlop. Bound to be fun and mildly confusing.

Write in the Night, 9pm, Tequila Bookworm, 512 Queen W, free

An unofficial writing group for busy people who need writing to be happening all around them in order to actually write themselves. Sort of a private affair so RSVP first. Or just crash, whatevs.

Tears for Fears Poetry Remix, 10pm, Bar Radio, 615 College St, free

Five performers remix Tears for Fears lyrics into original poetry. This could be the start of something big, gys. REaders include Neal Arbic, Valentino Assenza, Ronnie Blake, Spencer Gordon and Sarah Pinder.

Sunday July 27


Word Sound Power, 7pm, Harlem, 67 Richmond St East, free

This open mic and community networking forum from DJ Black Lotus and special guests is a positive community event for writers, performers, creators and others.

Indie Events: July 13-20

through the woods

Attention kids, comix people, woodland Canadians— Through The Woods launches in Toronto on Tuesday! 

Tuesday, July 15


Rudy Comix and Fun, 7pm, Weird Things, 998 Bathurst, free

Come get your copy of Mark Connery’s Rudy, edited and designed by Marc Bell, and enjoy readings, books, weird things, you know!

Through The Woods book Launch & Discussion with Emily Carroll, 7pm, The Lillian H. Smith Library Auditorium, 239 College St, free

The Beguiling and Simon & Schuster Canada team up to present an awesome launch hosted by journalist and writer Sam Maggs! Join author Emily Carroll to celebrate the release of her new comics collection Through The Woods, including a presentation and discussion with Carroll.

Wednesday, July 16


Broken Pencil, OCAD Zine Library and TZL present an International Zine Month Celebration, 5pm, OCAD Learning Zone, 113 McCaul, free

Everybody say yeahhhh! We’re teaming up with the Toronto Zine Library and the OCAD Zine Library to bring you a celebration of zines, in honor of International Zine Month! Wahoo! We’ll be making zines, buttons, writing letters, collaging, and being our proudest DIY selves starting at 5pm, followed by zine readings from Whitney French, Eric Levitt and Jordaan Mason at 7pm. Don’t miss out! More info on our blog post.

This Magazine Summer Reading Issue Launch, 7:30pm, The Supermarket, 268 Augusta Avenue, $5 (includes issue)

A special literary edition of This Magazine brings you poetry and fiction selected by the fabulous Dani Couture, with readings from Aisha Sasha John, David Seymour, and Tony Burgess. Not to mention raffle prizes and drinks!

MDFF presents Ali Aydin’s Küf, 9pm, Double Double Land, 209 Augusta Avenue, PWYC

The Canadian premiere of Ali Aydin’s film Küf, Winner of the Lion of the Future Award at the Venice Film Festival: A railroad inspector spends his days in the gorgeous Anatolian outback looking for cracks on the line and his evenings writing letters to the government looking for news about his son who disappeared 18 years ago. Basri fights bureaucracy and secrecy in the person of police inspector Murat and the spellbinding character study, with shades of Raskolnikov, is completed by a third man, Cemil, whose anti-social behaviour begs confrontation. Presented by Medium Density Fibreboard Films.

Thursday, July 17


The Tiny Wife Launch, 6pm, Ben McNally Books, 366 Bay St, free

Andrew Kaufman’s new novel The Tiny Wife is coming to a bookstore near you! Come celebrate the launch with a Q&A hosted by Globe Books Editor Jared Bland.

Puzzling Overgrowth, 7;30pm, Weird Things, 998 Bathurst St, free

New works by Aaron Rossner and Sylvia Munson.

Saturday July 19


Little Red Fundraiser, 7:30pm, Emmanuel Howard Park United Church, 214 Wright Avenue, donations encouraged

Little Red Theatr’es Little Red Van was stolen off the street on June 20th, only to be discovered 2 days later heavily damaged and stripped of its valuable equipment and sets. Please think of contributing to this fundraiser to raise money to replace the lost equipment. The cabaret event will feature performances by a host of performers and Little Red Alumnae and is hosted by Nicky Nasrallah. If you can’t make it out, think about donating to the GoFundMe page!

Sunday, July 20


A Midsummer Night’s Zine: A Fundraiser for Shameless Magazine, 7pm, Site Bee, 1550 Queen St W, $10 (includes free copy of Shameless)

Shameless is turning 10! The independent Canadian magazine for smart, strong, sassy young women and trans youth is celebrating with a zine-raising party at the Site Bee Popup Shop. All proceeds go to Shameless! This is an all ages event.

International Zine Month Celebration – July 16


We’re celebrating International Zine Month all of July here at Broken Pencil, but we’re teaming up with OCAD Zine Library and the Toronto Zine Library in a convergence of zine love on July 16, here in Toronto!

Starting at 5pm, we’ll have button making, zine making, letter writing and other DIY hangouts at the OCADU Learning Zone, 113 McCaul St. Then, at 7pm, local zinesters and readers will take the mic and share some of their recent work. We’ll have Whitney French reading from her serial anthology From The Root, Jordaan Mason reading from his recent chapbook Swimming Alone in the Backyard, and Eric Levitt of Gay 4 Pay press reading from his brand spankin’ new zine, The acronym VGL is body fascism.

Stop by and pay your respects to the zine gods and DIY pals! Oh yeah, and it’s free!

Broken Pencil Zine Workshop in Parkdale!

zine fair cover photo

It’s summer time, meaning wastrel adolescents are out wasting their time socializing and eating ice cream. Solution? Send them to our teen zine workshop on Wednesday at the Parkdale Public Library at 6:30pm! Join our publisher Hal Niedzviecki and outreach genius Annie Wong for an interactive workshop about zine culture and creation.

More information on the Toronto Public Library website!



Indie Events: July 7 – 13 feat Fringe Toronto and Mad Pride!


Before getting into our weekly listings, a friendly reminder that  two amazing festivals are happening in Toronto right now. First— the Toronto Fringe is on like donkey kong! This is when local and global artists get to experiment with their most daring ideas. Don’t miss out! Check out the schedule here.

Secondly, it’s Mad Pride Toronto! The world renowned arts, culture, and heritage festival created by psychiatric survivors, consumers, mad people, and people whom the world has labeled “mentally ill.” All events are free or pay what you can, and they include a Mad Hatter tea party, dance parties, a symposium and lots of arts and performance events. Check out the full listings here.

Monday, July 7


Wild Foragers Society: Frolic #15, 6pm, Monarch Park Collegiate institute, 1 Hanson St, Free

Ever wondered what earthly goodies you can find in the park? Hey, get your head out of the gutter! We’re talkin’ plant and herb identification, DIY style. Toronto’s Wild Foragers Society are inviting you to check your field guides, practice your latin names, and pick up some local edible plants. More at the facebook event!

Patricia Wilson’s 60th Birthday, 8pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St

The legendary Buddies bartender is turning 60, and so a special gift and a Diamond Jubilee are in order. Performances, raffle, gift fun, cake! What! Come show love!

Wednesday, July 9


Here’s My Card: a Networking Mixer for Creative People, 7pm, Site Bee Popup Shop, 1550 Queen St W, free

Creative space and gallery Site 3’s little pop-up sister Site Bee is playing host for makers of all makes to come together and decorate business cards to exchange with new friends. Check it out!

The Black Museum Presents… Fright Night, 9pm, The Royal, 608 College St, $10, $8 student/senior

A screening of Tom Holland’s original 1985 vampire classic with an introduction from the curators.


ChiSeries Winnipeg: Graphic Novel Panel, 7pm, McNalley Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, free

The Chiaroscuro Reading Series July edition invites local artists to talk graphic novels, comics, illustration and industry. Guests include Scott Henderson, Scott A. Ford, GMB Chomichuk and Lovern Kindzierski.

Saturday, July 12


March Against Police Sexual Violence, 2pm, Hamilton City Hall

A march responding to the ongoing abuse by Hamilton Sergeant Derek Mellor. Tons more details and information on the event page.

Sunday, July 13


Open Studios of the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency, 12:30pm-8pm, Artscape Gibraltar Point

As the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency comes to a close, the artists will open their doors to share works in progress, ideas, and beach fun! The artists are Alec Butler, Micha Cardenas, Derek Dunlop, Joshua Vettivelu and Syrus Marcus Ware. More info at the facebook event.


Int’l Zine Month Zine-a-Day Kick-off! feat. All That’s Left

Guys, it’s July! You know what that means— it’s International Zine Month! We hope you’ll all make it out to our celebration in collaboration with the OCADU Zine Library and the Toronto Zine Library— but in the meantime, we’re going to be posting zine reviews from our print issues everyday. Here’s your first, written by the very same Eric Levitt who will be reading at our event!


All That’s Left: Zero Packet.
Queer and Sci-fi Zine, Maggie Eighteen, Issue 1, , $4.00

When my roommate recommended I pick up All That’s Left, they told me that it combines everything they love: queer and dystopian sci-fi.  I was instantly drawn to it.  The sci-fi zine genre has a long tradition but a sci-fi zine that was explicitly queer was something that was new to me.  In fact, a sci-fi zine alone is usually not something I would pick up, but that was before I knew there was a queer subgenre.

The zine is beautiful and hand bound with an interesting triangle-tinged cover and a line on the back that reads, “Not everyone is good at their body.”  I didn’t know what I was in for but I was excited with anticipation.

The zine starts with a personal greeting from the author Maggie Eighteen explaining the use of both gendered pronouns and the non-binary “they” pronoun, as well as a list of characters found in the first issue. There are four chapters in here. The first is a brief description of the dystopian world the characters inhabit; the second — entitled “Ghost Town” — introduces two characters “Suli” and “Braga” on a patrol of an outlying district of the last remaining city known as “the dome.”  I like this chapter a lot; it is just two men on patrol making small talk about sex.  They are not explicitly gay or straight, and it doesn’t matter.  Clearly in this world gender is not a central aspect of their core identity.

The juxtaposition of dystopian setting and such mundane conversation about desire and sex is something this zine does incredibly well — a blending of queerness, human conversation and the dystopian world they occupy.  In the end, nothing is really resolved as there is no inherent conflict.  It is just a snippet of a day in the life of these characters.  If all sci-fi zines were this entertaining, I would be a diehard collector by now.  (Eric Levitt)

Indie Events: June 30 – July 6


Two queer youth arts initiatives pair up for a show this Wednesday at Buddies!

Wednesday, July 2


Pink Ink hosts Queer Cab// Infinate Mythology Zine Launch, 7:30pm, Buddies, 12 Alexander St

Queer Cab and Pink Ink team up to launch Pink Ink’s zine, complete with readers and an open mic. ASL Confirmed! Accessible space.

Thursday, July 3

Sab Meynert at The Spoke Club, 6pm, The Spoke Club, 600 King St W, RSVP Only

New work from illustrator Sab Meynert in conjunction with Gloria Vanderbilt’s show. This is the only night of public viewing!

UGLY Opening Reception, 7pm, Graven Feather, 906 Queen St W, free

Drawings by our own designer Ian Sullivan Cant will show throughout July. It’s gonna be fab!

Montreal Lit Night in Toronto, 8pm, The Ossington, 61 Ossington, Ave, free

Broken Pencil presents an evening of Montreal Lit, with writers representing Metatron, Anvil Press, Invisible Publishing and Véhicule Press. Bunches of books launching! Reams of readers reading! See more deets at the facebook event.

Friday, July 4


MAKE: a showcase (no.3), 8pm, Jimmy’s Coffee, 191 Baldwin St, free with RSVP

The third opening of the multidisciplinary MAKE show launches in Kensington. Work from Cressida Frey, Erick Kostiuk Williams, Vivian Rosas, Yigi Chang and so many more.

Guest Post: Ottawa Fringe!


In excitement for the Ottawa Fringe Festival, which is running RIGHT NOW in Canada’s capital, we have a special guest post from global Fringe darling Chase Padgett. There are 60 shows in this years festival, which runs until June 29— don’t miss out! The Fringe is one of those amazing petri dishes for creative experiments of all varities. Oh, and all of the box office revenue goes directly to the artists— so your support goes directly to those making the magic happen. And it’s not just in Ottawa! Toronto Fringe runs July 2-13, Edmonton Fringe is August 14-24, and Vancouver Fringe is September 4-14. Actually, wherever you are, there’s probably a Fringe Festival. We’ll leave it to Chase to give you the low-down in more detail.

Chase Padgett is a performer who for four years now has made his living touring the North American Fringe festival circuit. His solo show, 6 Guitars, holds a record as one of the highest-grossing shows in the history of the Winnipeg Fringe Festival–selling nearly 3000 tickets in 12 days.

It’s summertime, which means people escape the confines of their stuffy homes to enjoy the live shows the sunshine has to offer. It’s prime-time for big name pop stars down to the the underground acts just finding their footing, cultivating dedicated fans in mid-sized venues. But while all that happens for bands and the like, there is a quiet revolution of sorts happening in live theatre. Every summer, an amalgam of actors, writers, dancers, magicians, musicians, and whatever kind of performer you can think of roll westward across Canada from Montreal to Vancouver plying their trade in houses big and small. It’s an independent theatrical railroad and it’s called the Fringe…

Read more: Guest Post: Ottawa Fringe!

Indie Events June 23-29: High Tide for Pride!

citys in flame

Queer film and video with TPL— just one of about a million arts events this week!

Well guys, it’s PRIDE WEEK! So even though we’re a bit toast from NXNE, we’re turning our queer blasters up to 11 and feelin’ real all week. If you’re looking for the party— and you probably are— there are great listings at blogTO organized by each day. However, we’ve compiled some of the more DIY and possibly less booze-and-drugs oriented events that might get overlooked in the frenzy. Certainly we didn’t hit all of them, and it’s worth looking into what’s going on at places like The 519, Glad Day Bookshop, and other community landmarks. And of course, not all of our events this week are Pride-related. You’ll just have to figure out which ones those are. In any case, they’re all after the jump!


Read more: Indie Events June 23-29: High Tide for Pride!

Broken Pencil x NXNE: It’s goin’ down!

zine fair cover photo


Don’t forget, loyal BPers, it’s NXNE here in Toronto and Broken Pencil has two more events this week that you’ll regret missing.

Tomorrow, we have Sex & Death at 7:30pm at The Conversation Room at The Great Hall, featuring showgirls, bad erotica, six foot ladders and so much more! More details at the facebook event. Oh! And we’re happy to announce that musicians Terrisio Del Toro (formerly Terry Clement) and Dan Guiry will be providing sounds between laughs!


Next up we’ve got our fabulous mini zine fair! We’ll have more than 20 zine and small press vendors next to the Ryerson rink this Sunday afternoon from 2:30pm-6pm. Come say hi! More information on the facebook event page.

Fun With Crowdfunding: Found Festival

found fest

Edmonton’s Found Festival is a one-of-a-kind festival focusing on site-specific and experimental performance and theatre work, but including all variety of media to be found in unexpected places. It’s curated by the Common Ground Arts Society and is in it’s third year. Here’s a bit from their indiegogo.


Our aim is to produce an event that is affordable, accessible, interactive, and empowering, encouraging artists to contribute to the cultural landscape of the city. 

Past venues have included a funeral home, residential garage, and a 1997 Dodge Grand Caravan. We’ve had live music played off rooftops, movies projected onto buildings, and a play performed— in the middle of June— on a giant pile of snow. Some pieces are designed for as few as 5 people at a time, with others accommodating as many as 200. We are committed to presenting innovative, entertaining, and provocative new works which push the boundaries of audience interaction, allowing both spectators and performers to engage in a more stimulating brand of risk-taking and play.

The festival runs June 26th – 29th and they’ve still got a ways to go with their funding, so go ahead and donate now!