Hotel CanZine 2005
Now Playing: Schenkerla Rauchbier, CBC
Topic: craft and zine fairs
My second year at Canzine
, and it still wipes me out and blows me away. . .
CanZine is held at the Gladstone Hotel, which is under reconstruction right now and the oldest still operational hotel in Toronto. Last year it was the sort of run-down and bedraggled old dame that I thought you only ran into in atmospheric movies; crumbling, with peeling paint on the antique mouldings and creaking floors. This year, the antique mouldings are still there, but they're cleaner, and they've redone the front room and apparently gotten designers in to redo all the houses in various Trading Spaces
-esque 'edgy' designs. But the back room is still full of exposed pipes and brick, giving it this strange industrial feel. The bar to the left of the door (where we finally found a spot) was clean, airy, and full of warm wood and brick colours. Then again, it was warm already - that many people in the room. . .
CanZine is hosted largely by Broken Pencil Magazine
. Last year it seemed a little better organized; the tables were assigned then, so we didn't wind up roaming the first floor trying to find a table and eventually being handed a table twice the size of my keyboard tray (Steve went off and found another table that we could drape our cloth over: it was partly that we paid the same as everyone else, so we ought to have had the same 4-foot table space, and also partly that we had brought stuff from rob mclennan, Bywords
, and Capital Slam, and sort of wanted to have room for them on the table.) And to be fair, when the tables were assigned last time we had less space.
But, despite the small table space, and the less-than-prime spot in the entry between the main room and the bar, we had a good time.
This is a massive event. The entire bottom floor of the Gladstone was taken up with the vendor tables - selling books, comix, zines, pins, shirts, CDs, art, you name it. Saw a couple of friends from Ottawa at some of the tables. They had "artist rooms" upstairs, where larger organizations like No Media Kings
were holding their events. Check out their sites - both these groups really caught my eye this weekend and their sites are amazing. Infiltration
, in particular, had put signs up all over the event stating "Do Not Go To Room ___" and had posted "Security Guards" outside their room, with a whole bunch of "Keep Out" and "No Trespassing" signs, so you had to go past them to get to their room. I thought it was wonderful. Infiltration
is a "zine about going where you're not supposed to go." Sounds like a really cool idea (I'm always into going where I shouldn't go... why do you think I walk down dark alleys at three a.m.?)
I got to sit in on one of the panel discussions No Media Kings was hosting, on collaboration; a few neat ideas bouced around. Besides, I got to talk to Jim Munroe, who I first encountered when I read his novel Angry Young Spaceman
, which I'm going to have to write something about soon. And he let me pay for my books partially in TTC tokens! (Always a sign you're dealing with a professional artist... when things like money... bus tokens... food... are valid currency. I like that way more than paying some huge distribution company!)
At some point during the afternoon a group of people paraded through the room carrying some sort of Green Man made of moss and sticks on a canvas bier. While I didn't really catch why they were doing it, I was automatically reminded of the Corn King and all the other year-end ritual sacrifices that happen all over the world. And I got a picture of them. It was a cool example of the energy that seemed to be just spilling all over. People trading their work, selling it, talking about their ideas, arguing for urban culture and subculture, creating art. In a really grreat space. They're talking about taking CanZine out of th Gladstone as it grows: I hope not. But, even if they move it, we'll be back...
Posted by Kathryn Hunt
at 10:34 PM EST