Artfest 2012 Toronto, Pikto Top Pick PhotoContest in the Distillery District

There were dozens of skilled artists here in Toronto at the Distillery District over the Sept long weekend in connection with Artfest 2012.  You can read about Mario Beaudoin, Carlo Allion, Scott Cameron, Kevin Joyce, Patrick Lajoie, Tiffany Horrocks, and Christian Aldo

Mario Beaudoin paints Balzacs coffee Mario Beaudoin drove in from rural Quebec, to paint the interpretation of Balzacs Coffee House at right.

The Distillery District’s red brick buildings and cobblestones make the Sept long weekend Artfest truly memorable for the artists and visitors that attend the annual festival. This really is a one of a kind art show in the oldest and most historic region of Toronto which is filled with sophisticated tenants, artisans, and patrons. The Distillery District and Artfest in particular is a great place to exhibit art and get feedback as well as healthy sales.

This is a place to network with busy interior decorators, buyers, and curators of all descriptions who saunter through the grounds over the course of the four day long weekend. Two more high rise condominiums are still unfinished behind the Victorian age slate tiles Toronto roof of the buildings that border the cobblestone courtyards.

Carlo Allion, 2012 Artfest, Distillery District

Carlo Allion paints fantasy, surreal dream images

Carlo Allion finds his best ideas for new paintings from dreams and half conscious reflections into murky pools of mental states. Allion is different from the rest of us because he has the ability and the great skill necessary to put his visions on canvas and shape moments he saw in his mind into great art that we can all behold.   He says he paints ‘…statues that have come to life.’

Carlo Allion art work is perfect for international bank headquarters, talent agencies and jitterbug dance halls .  Carlo’s brush strokes  seem to have devil-may-care mood and evoke Terry Gilliam’s nonsensical whimseys. Art into a sophisticated personal style. See more artwork at CarloAllion.com website. Mr. Allion’s fun loving paint brush molds outrageous proportions to give his art an amazing fresh perspective

Christian Aldo at Artfest 2012

Every year at Artfest, there’s a charismatic young painter named Christian Aldo who uses glue and denim and buckets of acyclic paint to make three dimensional figures crime alive inside the frame.

Korean Girls snapshots at Christian Aldo booth, fine arts painting

Korean girls travel to Artfest Ontario 2012 and share memories against Christian Aldo art work.

Here is Christian Aldo in front of his Piano Player reacting to the Korean girls snapping his picture

Chrustian Aldo art at Artfest 2012

Pikto Top Picks Photo Contest in Toronto

For almost a decade Pikto has been at the center of photography art in Canada. The store is filled with skilled professionals who have been helping artists prepare for fancy wine and cheese style art shows with professional photo printing and photography mounting and picture framing  and picture hanging services.  Pikto probably best known for its custom photo books which are easy to make and present artists with a very compelling presentation mediums.  Andre announced that Pikto is having a contest and the Distillery District Blog has a write up about the event.

If you win the contest, you will  get your own art show at Pikto, for two months.

Pikto Top Pick photo contest asks three judges to gauge at all submissions and decide whose work should hanging in the Pikto gallery in Toronto for the two months.

Artists who develop and enlarge film and photographic prints probably already know about Pikto darkroom services, ie and they are aware that the firm also does photo printing and picture framing etc The shop is located in Case Goods Lane of the Distillery District and has been popular in this location since early 2003. The store today

The Judges include,
Gina Martin – Photographer Rep, Nat Geographic Collection, Chris Buck – Commercial/Editorial Photographer, Johan Hallberg-Campbell who is the Chief Curator at the Pikto Gallery,

Pikto, art gallery, photography contest, photo booksThe Pikto Top Pick photo contest has no entry fee. The deadline to submit your work is November 1, 2012 at midnight.

Every submission should include fifteen examples of photography intended for exhibition.  And of course that material should be electronically prepared and viewable  The images should be  .jpg (1024×768 pixels maximum image size) and all applicants are advised to use a consistent naming system as well as number all images (e.g. 01Smith.jpg, 02Smith.jpg).

Here is the gallery where the winner’s artwork will be displayed.

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Making A Christmas Market in Toronto Distillery District

making the atomic clock, reed switch, solar in the distillery district of TorontoA lot work went into making the 2011 Toronto Christmas Market happen inside the historic Distillery District complex at 55 Mill St near Cherry St and Lakeshore, which is perhaps the oldest part of the old ‘Muddy York’.

Distillery District, red brick, cobble, Toronto mortgage broker, reed switchFirst the construction crew had to install and decorate a 45 ft White Spruce Christmas Tree that was donated by Trees Ontario. The tree is an absolute spectacle with over twelve thousand reed switch component light bulbs and ornaments and is topped with a shiny silver star.

Next they had to fix and reinstall the old fashioned clock tower. It disappeared from the site after it was knocked over by a box truck earlier in the year. This majestic chronometer really steals the scene and is the subject of countless photos taken here at the distillery. The fifteen foot tall clock  is always on time and doubles as a light source at night.

preparing the distillery district, reed switch, Christmas tree, cobblestonesIs that a suction truck at the base of the clock? Yes. The Distillery is built on marshy land and not much higher than Lake Ontario. Today the water table is so darn high in the Distillery District that this truck is required to come and suck the water from the spongy ground before cement can be poured and foundations can be secured, even for such small things as old fashion clocks.

Next the construction crew had to assemble over fifty wooden box vendor huts from materials that were donated by Loews.

Also present on the list of achievements is the world class audio sound system that pipes holiday cheer through speakers hung throughout the complex, and the food vendors that serve delicious meals made fresh with organic ingredients and cultural delicacies imported from all over the world.

eleves make the santa maze , Distillery Lane, Toronto mortgage broker

Oh yes the building of Santa’s maze in which you can see here was accomplished by an army of yellow safety jacketed elves.

The 2011 Toronto Christmas Market exists in the shadow of the  half completed forty four story Gooderham condominium building in the background, and the extension of the development upwards into the sky. Toronto mortgage broker says the measured strength of the cultural scene on the streets and below developments helps leverage the true value of the real estate market above.

The Gooderham inside The Distillery District in TorontoThe shopping mall below the two towers, some of which will be completed by spring 2012 is reputed to include a Toronto dentist beside a business center hair salons and a Japanese Sushi bar, oh and a Mexican restaurant with state-of-the-art web karaoke machines.
Now in its second year, the 2011 Toronto Christmas Market at the historic Distillery has more street vendors, buskers and costumed performers, more live stage shows and the entire compound is licensed for alcohol. The Toronto Christmas Market is a European market style attraction that’s slowly evolving by continuous improvement into its own uniquely Canadian festival.  There’s nothing else quite like it anywhere else in Canada.

Cafe Culture: Balzac’s in The Distillery District, Toronto

Espresso bars have become a very commBalzac's Coffee in the Distillery District Torontoon fixture in Toronto neighbourhoods, but a lot of them feel boring to me.

That’s not the case with Balzac’s Coffee Roasters, which has one location in Liberty Village and one in the Distillery District. Both are nice spaces that have been around for quite awhile, but it’s the Distillery spot I really dig. It’s in an old building with high ceilings and tons of character. Think exposed brick, a wooden bar with a marble top, wicker chairs, a giant antique looking chandelier, and a staircase to a more private upper seating area. The pastry case, crammed with croissants, scones and glass jars of various cookies, squares and biscotti, is easy to drool over.

And then there’s the coffee, which is rich, bold and always very fresh. Balzac’s uses their own beans, which can be bought for home use, and also offers the usual rundown of espresso-based drinks (cappuchino, latte, Americano, etc.) and a selection of tea from the prestigious Mariage Freres brand from Paris. I’ve never had a bad drink there. Another pro? The takeaway cups are 100% biodegradable and compostable. Plus, they look a lot nicer than Starbucks cups.

The cafes don’t have Wifi, which I assume is a deliberate choice since the space seems much better suited to reading books than reading iPads. It would be nice to be able to do work from there, but I guess it can’t be everything to everyone.