I have a really cool roommate. Her name is Vanessa Rieger. She is also one of my best friends. Vanessa is an exceptionally talented multi disciplinary artist, with a special gift for curation and facilitation of amazing shows and spaces of opportunity. Vanessa has vision. Vanessa also used to terrify me. We met five years ago when I joined my very first artist studio / collective, The White House, back when it was literally a white house tucked away down an alley at Landsdowne and College. When I first joined I was part of a group exhibition they curated at Gallery 1313. I have a memory of the day we began hanging our work, Vanessa immediately approached me to give me unsolicited advice about how I should display my stupid little drawings I had made. It was great advice, but being so new to Toronto, to showing my work, and to everyone involved in the art scene, I was so afraid she would find out I was a huge fraud, not a real artist, had no idea what I was doing, that I, for some reason, wasn’t supposed to be there.
That was a bunch of baloney and a few months later, after sitting uncomfortably silent through many meetings and White House shows, I finally began to open up and feel comfortable around Vanessa (and everyone else). It seems insane to me now that I ever felt intimidated by her, or felt as though she would see through what was actually a very earnest attempt on my part to become part of an artistic community and figure out what kind of work I wanted to make. And I realize now, even as I am typing this, that Vanessa was so integral to that process. By creating the board of directors that I later joined, by curating the annual halloween spectacular, ‘Ghost Hole,’ a show I of which I am now a curator/organizer, by giving me opportunities to design posters, without which I would not be considered a poster designer today… this list can probably go on and on and I have other things I need to do today. Vanessa is a gem, a visionary, a great friend and one of the funnest ladies I know. This mixtape is a compilation of recordings she made for a weeklong party/cafe/restaurant/store/show she curated with Henri Faberge. It’s crackly and wonderful and on side A you can hear Henri give me a little shout out at the beginning!! Here’s what Vanessa sent me, all the info you need to know. Links to Side A and Side B can be found below. OPPORTUNITY CAFE FOREVER.
"Haven for the Disenfranchised"
January 9th - 16th 2014
@ Oz Studios 134 Ossington Ave.
Intro - Henri Fabergé
APN Public Service Announcement
Halley “Halloway” Jones
Morris “Troll Kunst”
RANT NIGHT with Don Miller
Outro - Vanessa Rieger
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTED WHO ARE NOT HEARD ON TAPE!!!!
Bands Lido Pimenta, Fortuna and HUT. DJs Spawn & Monsoon, Julia Chickens, Alex Low and Adrienne Kammerer. Perfomers Bridget Moser, Ben Kamino and Max Kelly. Chefs Basil AlZeri and Christine Atkinson. Bartenders Juliann Wilding and Andi Clifford. Workshops by Jamie Shannon and Jonatham Edward Mayhew. Projections by Brandon A. Dalmer and Rea McNamara. SPECIAL THANKS to Joe Fuda for giving us the space and trusting us. Big hugs to everyone who contributed to the store, volunteered at the café, came out and took a hold of opportunity at our pop-up-shop-cafe-venue-nightclub-bordello.
Also thanks to Maylee Todd and Doc Dunn for helping digitatize the cassette.
Unemployed and eternally yours,
Vanessa Rieger and Henri Fabergé”