Canzine 2011: Bigger and Bolder
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Canzine 2011: Bigger and Bolder

Toronto's most zinerific event returns with a to-the-death piracy challenge, trashy art rooms, and a mini Toronto Underground Market.

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918 Bathurst Centre (map)
Sunday October 23, 1–7 p.m.
$5 entry (includes the fall issue of Broken Pencil)

With an all-time high of 193 vendors, a brand new space, and even a mini Toronto Underground Market (TUM), this year’s Canzine—the popular zine fair and alternative culture fest, organized by Broken Pencil magazine—is promising to be the most robust yet.

Of the vendors, Broken Pencil editor Lindsay Gibb cited two that really stand out for her: City of Craft, an alliance of crafty types who make everything from buttons to tissue holders made of fabric (and that also hosts its own craft extravaganza in December), and Static Zine.

The latter, a zine about Toronto arts and culture, is launching its second issue. A mini magazine in its own right, Static Zine still cuts and pastes all of its contributions. The theme of the new issue is “First Times in Toronto” and includes stories, comics and more about such subjects as graffiting and being followed home at night. (There’s also a launch party at Dufferin Grove Park tonight.)

Lovingly created zines, comics, chapbooks, and other crafty items aside, five interactive events are scheduled for this year’s Canzine. The Punch Book Pitch will ask ballsy participants to pitch their book in two fraught minutes to a panel of industry insiders. For those who are more visual in nature, mrghosty (skot deeming) will introduce Canziners to the fine art of VJ’ing, including clip building, layering, and live mixing.

Participants can glean further inspiration from Canzine’s two art rooms. The first, Trash Palace, will feature old classroom videos (on such essentials as good manners), and the second will be a “typewriter orchestra room”—an installation that we, at least, hope will feature 100 monkeys attempting to reproduce Shakespeare’s genius.

Other programming includes the Piracy Zine challenge that will pit three zinesters in a race to rip off a famous movie (to be announced at the event) via their own on-the-spot creation. The Radical Reading Series is also back with three hungry young writers, including Jonah Campbell, he of the new “gonzo” food book Food & Trembling.

Topping it all off is the Mental Health Zine panel; Gibb recently wrote on the subject for Broken Pencil. During a trip to Guelph for the Kazoo Zine Fest, she realized that many of the non-comic or art zines dealt with mental health, including those produced by panellist Maranda Elizabeth of Telegram Ma’am. “I wanted to tie that article into Canzine and have people come and talk about why writing zines helps them get through their mental health issues,” said Gibb.

All this art and culture is likely to make the average person quite peckish. Thankfully a mini TUM will be on site this year, with such delish offerings as Po’Boy sliders from West Side Beef, smokey braised chicken nachos from Elle Cuisine, chorizo and potato stew from Rossy Earle, deep fried quail eggs from Bistro Filipino, and a selection of sweets from Sullivan & Bleeker. The thirsty will rejoice in offerings from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company and Big Smoke Coffee.

Get advance tickets or learn more at Broken Pencil.