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A Gobsmacked!alicious Gobsmacked!orama of abnormal arts & culture at
Gobsmacked! a revel of offbeat expression
[gob¹ smack¹: with ref. to clapping one's hand to one's mouth in astonishment]
August 27 through August 29 at Harbourfront Centre

TORONTO, August 9, 2004
A jaw-dropping, genre-defying showcase of  idiosyncratic arts and culture takes over Harbourfront Centre from August 27 to August 29 at Gobsmacked! a revel of offbeat expression. The second edition of the festival continues to cleverly pay tribute to the quiveringly quirky, the surreptitiously surprising, the wacky and the wild!

Gobsmacked! a revel of offbeat expression gathers the fringe into one place and celebrates the independents, the decidedly creative, the starving artists, and the left-of-centre. This is the same festival that ironically, in its inaugural year, was derailed by the Eastern North American blackout. Gobsmacked! is back on track with a 2004 line-up of marvelous music, experimental films, do-it-yourself zines, interactive art projects, eclectic collections and much more. All events are FREE admission!

MUSIC (full listings, times and dates below):
Toronto's thriving indie music scene is showcased all weekend long with a slew of free concerts on the CIBC Stage. Versatile lo-fi home-rocker Jim Guthrie opens the weekend on Friday evening (August 27) at 8 p.m. His recordings show an affinity for combining existing ambient noises such as broken dishes, sirens, and rain-soaked street noises with guitar, powerful string arrangements and thoughtful vocal lyrics. Guthrie makes way for Toronto based indie-rock collective Broken Social Scene's 9 p.m. set. The group is not only credited with spotlighting the virtues of indie artists across the country by winning the Best Alternative Album Award at the 2003 Juno Awards, but also for breaking down the traditional set band line-up by introducing an ever-in-flux line-up of their self-proclaimed friends and lovers. This two hour free show will be a unique live performance by the group developed especially for their first highly anticipated appearance at Harbourfront Centre.

New York's One Ring Zero make their Toronto debut on the CIBC Stage on Saturday (August 28) evening at 8 p.m. The genre-bending musical duo (borne of a basement idea to write to celebrated authors asking for lyrics because they didn't want to write the lyrics themselves) perform live using lyrics donated by Margaret Atwood, Rick Moody, Dave Eggers, Paul Auster and Jonathan Ames among others. Touted as a cabaret version of They Might Be Giants, their sound has been dubbed by critics as "lit-pop". Symphonic indie-pop band The Hidden Cameras bring their elaborate live show to Harbourfront Centre at 9:30 p.m. Their recently released album, Mississauga Goddam, combines strings, tambourines and exquisite vocals (from singer Joel Gibb) to produce an unexpected level of musical clarity while referencing homo-erotic imagery alongside straight-up sacred folk and gospel inspirations.

Sunday (August 28) at 3 p.m., local instrumental band Tricycle takes to the stage putting the oft-overlooked banjo front and center. Ushering in experimental jazz via banjo, guitars, drums, percussion and double bass, the band aims to blow open the boundaries of banjo music. Re-appropriating the Asian idea of perpetual motion in music, and aptly naming the ensemble Tricycle in tribute to this idea, the band's composer Jayme Stone has studied with Tony Trishka, Alan Mude and Bela Fleck.

Beat-heavy Guelph band King Cobb Steelie takes to to the CIBC Stage at 4:30 p.m. An injection of post-rock, funk, disco and more adds texture to King Cobb Steelie's music which has been featured on the HBO series Six Feet Under and the Clement Virgo film Love Come Down. Their 2004 release, Destroy All Codes, is an oeuvre of raw analog sounds.

Toronto's contemporary phenomena of do-it-yourself entertainment, Kickass Karaoke (hosted by Carson T. Foster), takes over the Toronto Star Stage for an entire Sunday afternnoon of outside karaoke with special guests beginning at 2 p.m.

DANCE (full listings, times and dates below):
INSTANdictable unpreTANEOUS, the performance collaboration from dancer Yvonne Ng, composer/percussionist Erin Donovan and sound engineer John Adams, appears at Gobsmacked! on the Toronto Star Stage on Saturday afternoon (August 28) at 1 p.m.  The dance is performed on a six-foot tall iron sound sculpture called Sagromides of Venus.

FILM (full listings, times and dates below):
Toronto's Shot-in-a-Day, Cut-in-a-Day, Screened-in-a-Day festival of digital filmmaking, On the Fly, presents a first-ever The Best Of! on August 27 and 29 in the Studio Theatre. Showcasing the best films from directing talents, established or undiscovered, that participated in the last 5 years of the festival. OTF aims to prove that almost anyone can make a movie! Highlight films include Win/Loss/Tie (OTF3 Mouche D’Or Winner) directed by Sudz Sutherland - also known for his full length film Love, Sex and Eating the Bones. Well-known video artist/activist Allyson Mitchell screens My Very Own Afterschool Special (OTF1) and talented actor/director Sarah Polley's The Best Day of My Life (OTF4) also is screened.

The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) presents a touring exhibition of 16 mm films titled No Excuses $99 Film Festival. Pushing artists to reconsider the idea that making a film needs to be expensive, this retrospective of films made throughout the festival's history screens in the Studio Theatre on August 28 and 29. LIFT also adds a filmic feeling to Harbourfront Centre's site, projecting images against tents, trees, and more throughout the festival.

KIDS (full listings, times and dates below):

leads all-ages drop-in workshop in the Kidzone Tent on Saturday and Sunday (August 28 & 29) on Cameraless Animation. Kids can draw, paint and scratch on film and then screen their own creation! The Lakeside Terrace tent features a Film Scrap Craft where kids make wearable art like hats, bracelets and more using old film stock throughout the weekend. Meanwhile, Second City leads all-ages improv demo workshops on Saturday and Sunday at the Lakeside Terrace.

LITERARY (full listings, times and dates below):
anec/notal: a musical-lit-riff soirée occupys the Brigantine Room on Friday August 27 at 11 p.m. for Late Night NOW presented by Blue Light. Local authors Andrew Kaufman (All My Friends are Superheroes), Brian Francis (Fruit: A Novel About A Boy and His Nipples) and Sheila Heti (The Middle Stories) gather for live readings from their novels with musical accompaniment provided by cabaret lit-band One Ring Zero.

Theatre/Cabaret (full listings, times and dates below):
Evalyn Parry's Cheeky Cabaret (August 28, 11 p.m. - Brigantine Room) brings in an evening of reckless, irreverent entertainment to Late Night NOW. Equally known in Toronto's indie theatre and music scenes, Ms. Parry, dubbed "a modern day Joni for the young, political queer" by Xtra Magazine, brings her songwriting talents, quirky sense of humour and wit as she hosts the evening with her band. Vancouver-based storyteller and writer Ivan Coyote (voted by Shift Magazine as one of the world's top 75 cultural movers and shakers) and local performance diva Jess Dobkins are featured as well as a taiko drumming performance by Three Strong Women from the Inner Truth Taiko Dojo.

VISUAL ARTS (full listings, times and dates below):
All weekend long in the Marilyn Brewer Community Space, two local collectives provide interactive art projects:

A Crafty Graffiti Project presented by The Church of Craft establishes a creative forum for anyone who has ever carved their initials in a tree or taken a magic marker to a bathroom wall.  A large soft fabric base erected on the gallery wall allows anyone with an ‘itch to stitch’ or other crafty urges to participate in this public crafting event. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own textile or paint to add to the wall. Onsite materials are also provided. Art parties on both Friday and Saturday (August 27 and 28, 8 to 11 p.m.) are guaranteed to up the creative ante.

The Toronto Comic Jam launches a weekend-long safe haven for the alternative comic community. This family-oriented version of the jam (which normally occurs monthly at the Cameron House on Queen Street) allows for an exchange of ideas with participants drawing panels of comics as a team. Finished comics are displayed on the walls and will be collected and made into a special-edition Gobsmacked! zine to be distributed to participants after the festival.  

Last year's Eclectic Collections was so popular that it is returning again this year. Now known as Eclectibles!, this year's collections should top last year's (which included Eva Gabor wigs, fortune cookie fortunes, oil cans, wet naps, lint balls and more). Rumored collections in this year’s exhibit include Romance novels with the word ‘love’ in the title, road-kill eye-glasses and Angus the dog’s found ball collection. Gobsmacked organizers are issuing a last call for collectors wishing to submit their odd collections to this year's grouping. Those interested are invited to write to For aspiring collectors - eBay Explained's workshop schools those collectors wanting to be in the know about this internet tool.

FOUND BALL PROJECT - The ball stops here! Harbourfront Centre and artists Michael Davey and Daniel O’Connor need the public's help in collecting found game balls of all sorts to create a new sculpture or to possibly put Toronto on the map as holding one of the largest ball collections ever assembled in North America. Currently exhibiting at Canada Quay, Davey and O'Connor's newest installation, Inter Species (a sculpture portraying Angus the cairn terrier) is made out of  2,832 balls that have been found on the beaches of Toronto Island and along Boston’s waterways and railway corridors. This is a unique opportunity for the public to participate in the making of an art piece by making their contribution to the FOUND BALL DROP OFF box at York Quay Centre by Canada Quay throughout the month of August. The final found ball collection tally will take place on the final day of Gobsmacked! a revel of off-beat expression.

PANEL (full listings, times and dates below):
(Sub)Cultures In The Global Mainstream
explores the tenuous and ambiguous relationships between subcultures and mainstream artistic and cultural practices in an age of globalized, technologized consumption. Moderated by Jowi Taylor (host of CBC Radio's Global Village).

Harbourfront Centre Summer 2004 events take place at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West in Toronto. All events are free admission. For further information the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit 

   Gobsmacked! a revel of offbeat expression
    Complete Event Listings - August 27 to August 29

August 24 to August 29
- Visual Arts (York Quay Centre) - Eclectibles!

Friday August 27
Visual Arts - A Crafty Graffiti Project with The Church of Craft (6 p.m.-11 p.m. - Marilyn Brewer Community Space)
Visual Arts/Comics - The Toronto Comic Jam (6 p.m.-11 p.m. - Marilyn Brewer Community Space)
Film -  The On the Fly Festival - The Best Of! (7:30 p.m.- Studio Theatre)
Programme 1 (some mature content): 6 Years & 364 1/2 Days Later… (Director: Christopher Behnisch); Stunned & Disoriented (Director: Nancy Grieveson); green (Director: Brett Shama); I’m the Man (Director: Randall Cole); Work (Director: Kika Thorne); Close Your Eyes (Director: Cherie Spencer); Those Who Wait (Director: Heather Braaten); Snacktime (Director: Scott McLaren); Subway Transfer (Director: Kate Lushington); Wading In (Director: Tim Burton); Win/Loss/Tie (Director: Sudz Sutherland)
Visual Arts - Art Party! (8 p.m.-11 p.m. - Marilyn Brewer Community Space)
Music - Jim Guthrie (8 p.m. - CIBC Stage)
Music- Broken Social Scene (9 p.m. – CIBC Stage)
Music/Literary -Late Night Now presents anec/notal: a musical-lit-riff soirée featuring...
One Ring Zero with local authors Andrew Kaufman, Brian Francis & Sheila Heti (11 p.m. - Brigantine Room)

Saturday August 28
Kids - Cameraless Animation (noon.- 6 p.m. - Kidzone Tent)
Kids - Film Scrap Craft (noon - 6 p.m. - Lakeside Terrace Tent)
Visual Arts - A Crafty Graffiti Project with The Church of Craft (noon- 6 p.m. - Marilyn Brewer Community Space)
Visual Arts/Comics - The Toronto Comic Jam (noon- 6 p.m. - Marilyn Brewer Community Space)
Workshop -  eBay Explained - a workshop for collectors (12:30 and 5:30 p.m. - Studio Theatre)
Dance - INSTANdictable unpreTANEOUS (1 p.m.- Toronto Star Stage)
Kids/Theatre - The Second City - demo and workshops (2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Lakeside Terrace)
Film- Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
No Excuses $99 Film Festival retrospective (3 p.m.-Studio Theatre) - 4 x 8 x 3 (Director: Chris Kennedy); Subterranea Gargantua (prelude) - (Director: Daniel Cockburn); In the Garden (Director: Larissa Fan); Last Still Life (Director: Michèle Stanley); Half Man 1/2 God (Director: Darryl Callender); the eye of the beholder (Director: Stefan Chiarantano); MisOrderDisOrder (Directors: Alexi Manis & Eyan Logan); Défi des étoiles (Director: Sara MacLean); She Was So Young Back Then (Director: Francisca Duran); Does This Mean We’re Going Together? (Director: Francisca Duran); locks part 2: dread execution! (Director: Juliana Saragosa); Body Scares (Director: Andréa Cohen)
Music - One Ring Zero (8 p.m. - CIBC Stage)
Music - The Hidden Cameras (9:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage)
Theatre - Late Night Now presents Evalyn Parry's Cheeky Cabaret with guests
Ivan Coyote, Jess Dobkins, Three Strong Women & more (11 p.m. - Brigantine Room)

Sunday August 29
Kids -  Cameraless Animation for all ages (noon - 6 p.m. - Kidzone Tent)
Kids - Film Scrap Craft for all ages (noon - 6 p.m. - Lakeside Terrace Tent)
Visual Arts - A Crafty Graffiti Project with The Church of Craft (noon - 6 p.m. - Marilyn Brewer Community Space)
Visual Arts/Comics - The Toronto Comic Jam (noon - 6 p.m. - Marilyn Brewer Community Space)
Kids/Theatre - The Second City - demo and workshops (2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. - Lakeside Terrace)
Music - Kickass Karaoke (begins at 2 p.m. - Toronto Star Stage)
Film-  Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
No Excuses $99 Film Festival
(2 p.m.-Studio Theatre - Note: Same program as August 28 at 3 p.m.)
Panel Discussion - (Sub)Cultures In The Global Mainstream (2:30 p.m. – Brigantine Room)
Music - Tricycle (3 p.m. - CIBC Stage)
Music -  King Cobb Steelie (4:30 p.m. - CIBC Stage)
Film - The On the Fly Festival - The Best Of! (4:30 p.m.-Studio Theatre)
Hinterland What’s What
(Directors: John Todd & Dan Peel); Playtime with Heracles (Director: Lise Brin); Trade (Directors: Rupert Lazerus, Sarah Peat & Rebecca Ruddle); Sweet Blue (Director: Daniel Slat); The Bunny Project (Director: Ingrid Veninger); My Very Own Afterschool Special (Director: Allyson Mitchell); Doctor Virtuous (Director: Daniel Cockburn); Teef (Director: Andrew Bee); The Best Day of My Life (Director: Sarah Polley)


Attention Media: Hi-res jpegs and event releases available at:

Media Contacts:
Rebecca Webster, 416-973-4397,
Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655,
Bill Bobek, 416-973-4428,  

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