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A Close Reading of Joe Warmington’s 1994 Billy Ray Cyrus Biography

It’s fascinating to watch an artist’s familiar themes emerge in their early work. It’s rare—and exciting—to find an artist who was born fully formed. Buried at the Toronto Reference Library and available to anyone brave enough to ask, a forgotten 1994 tome called The Cyrus Virus: A Dreamer’s Meteoric Rise to Stardom: The Billy Ray […]

Historicist: Get Rid of Those Sideburns!

In March of 1969, the National Ballet of Canada premiered its production of Grant Strate‘s Cyclus. Howard Marcus, one of the company’s most promising young dancers, was conspicuously absent from the premiere, and the Toronto newspapers soon revealed the reason why: artistic director Celia Franca refused to allow Marcus to perform on the grounds that […]

The Sinking of Captain John’s

A version of this article was originally published July 3, 2012 by The Grid online ( It has been re-published to mark the departure of Captain John’s this morning, as the Jadran leaves her home in the harbour for a salvage yard. To waiter John Martin, “it was like a tornado hitting the Titanic.” The […]

Historicist: Sidney Furie and A Dangerous Age

“I wanted to start a Canadian film industry,” Sidney Furie told the Canadian Press in January 1962 from his self-imposed exile in England. “But nobody cared. There’s no pattern of distribution and nobody had any money to put up.” As an ambitious young man in 1957, Furie had written a screenplay and scrapped together a […]

Duly Quoted: Education Minister Liz Sandals, on Governance Issues at the TDSB

“The ongoing concerns at the TDSB are putting public confidence at risk—not just in Toronto but across the province. As minister, I have no choice but to act.” —Education Minister Liz Sandals, explaining in a statement why the provincial government will be bringing in education consultant Margaret Wilson to undertake an independent review of the […]

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West) May 14-18, 2014 SOLD OUT Whether the 2014 incarnation of the internationally touring Game of Thrones: The Exhibition will be your first opportunity to sit on the Iron Throne or mark yet another opportunity to visit artifacts you now view as old friends, […]

The Rob Ford Radio Recap: Doug Comes Alive!

Gather around the porch, have a beer, and turn on the radio, because it’s time for another installment of the Rob and Doug Ford radio extravaganza. This time, they’ll hate on streetcars, the provincial Liberals, and a whole lot of city councillors. So, it’s a normal week. Read on for the full recap.

Chris Spence Resigns from TDSB After Multiple Cases of Plagiarism Surface

Earlier this week Chris Spence, the Toronto District School Board’s director of education, confessed that he had plagiarized portions of an opinion piece he wrote for the Toronto Star. Since then several more worrisome instances of plagiarism in his writing have emerged. The TDSB trustees were scheduled to meet soon to discuss how to handle […]

Everyone’s Got a Story to Tell

Toronto Storytelling Festival March 29–April 1, various times and locations FREE to $50 for workshops, $50 festival pass For Dan Yashinsky, working at a boys’ summer camp in Bolton, Ontario in the 1970s, storytelling was a revelation. “What I noticed was that these kids, who were very wild little boys, when they sat around the […]