We’ve finally got a special for the early birds among us (we know you’re out there)! We’re offering $2 Americanos before noon, Monday through Friday.
We use i deal coffee’s espresso blend, a medium-roasted mixture of African and Indonesian beans so our espresso has a creamy body without tasting overly heavy or smoky. All of i deal’s beans are locally roasted, fairly traded, and organically grown, so you can feel good about having a second cup.
So why don’t you wake up early for once and come in for one (or two)?
On Monday, February 3rd, we’ll be introducing a new monthly event series: Netflix Trivia Night! Finally, your weekends spent at home marathoning Buffy the Vampire Slayer have a purpose. We asked Chris Spavin, your trivia host and master, some questions about it.
Why a Netflix trivia night, specifically?
I watch an obscene amount of TV and film on Netflix, so it’s one of the things I know the best. I also think that entertainment trivia is the most fun. If you don’t have Netflix, you’ll still do well if you are into film and TV. There are only a few questions about Netflix originals like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
Do you go to a lot of trivia nights elsewhere? How do you think The Beaver’s will compare?
I’ve hosted my own private quiz night for friends but never tried any of the trivia nights in Toronto. I’ve only heard good things. I was a regular pub quizzer a few years back when I lived in London, UK. You’d find me at The Settle Inn in Archway almost every Tuesday!
How do you choose the categories?
I look for categories broad enough to give me enough material to work with, and diverse enough to give people with different interests an equal opportunity. Some of the categories are based on Netflix viewing features; for example, the genre/sub-genres it suggests, like “Action thrillers featuring a strong female lead.”
What kind of prizes will you be giving out?
We’ll hand out a 6-packs courtesy of Amsterdam to each category winning team, of which there will be four. There’ll be another prize for the team with the highest score overall, but that one’s a surprise.
What kind of questions can we expect?
I try to write questions in a way that lets everybody take a really good guess. Even if you don’t know the answer, I want you to have fun trying to work it out. I often base questions on fun facts about the content, too, to make the answers more interesting.
What do you watch on Netflix?
I watch everything on Netflix, from TV to film to documentaries to cartoons. I’m currently making my way through old episodes of Law & Order. And Justice League on weekends! The last documentary I watched was Black Fish. The last movie was Frances Ha. Actually that’s a lie, I re-watched Star Trek: First Contact the other day. Classic.
What category do you think you’d be best at, if you could play?
If there was a category dedicated to The Craft, I’d definitely win that.
Netflix Pub Quiz is happening on the first Monday of every month, starting at 7 pm. More info can be found at the event page, here. So get watching, come out, and show off your nerdiness.
We’ve just unveiled our new artwork by brothers Greg and Julian Goddard! We asked them a few questions about their art, read on…
A local boy who loves imagining worlds and people and filling them out as drawings or sculptures. Spent a spell studying art and worked on a short NFB produced stop motion animation with a couple of knuckleheads from Montreal. Now designs and builds puppets for funzies.
Toronto born artist. Drawing since the age of 2½ years. Two time dropout of the prestigious Ontario College of Art & Design (1999 & 2004, respectively). Recipient of an honours BA specializing in Philosophy and majoring in Semiotics from U of T during the hiatus from OCAD. Completed a 2½ year apprenticeship within the tattoo industry. Member of the 2013 POWERHAUS collective. Accepted as of December 2013 as a member of the Canadian Alternative Arts Collective. Specializing in painting, philosophy, semiotics and tattoos but with interests in mischief of all kinds.
What made you decide to show your work at the Beaver?
Greg: My ol’pal Joyce Lau was looking for possible candidates and asked if we’d be interested. She’s an awesome friend and a super talented artist in her own right and when someone like her gives you an opportunity like this your only answer is you betcha! As a venue the Beaver provides significant foot traffic outside the gallery system while being one of the best bars on the block. So who’d pass on that?
Julian: My brother, Greg Goddard, informed me that Joyce Lau approached him about doing a show of our work together. It offered me the opportunity to not only show my work alongside his, which I have wanted to do for some time, but also to show outside of the gallery environment, which I think is important for art.
Can you tell me about your process?
Greg: A lot of my work comes from doodles and an active (overactive?) imagination. Some sort of story will be kicking around my noggin while drawing and I’ll end up with a bunch of characters. I’ll play around with them a while until i like what i see. If I really like them they’ll get some story ideas writen out. And if I really really like them I’ll take a crack at sculpting them.
Julian: It begins with a theme or subject matter to which I want to make a contribution or inspires me. From there it is tireless research, ceaseless sketches and multiple versions until an initial line drawing has materialized. This had been my process for a long, long time prior to working in the tattoo industry. In the tattoo industry, all this work goes in ahead of time because you have one chance to get it right and it is on someone well after they are dead and in the ground. I feel this is equally important in art; my sketches are prolific but outside of trial techniques in art production, an artwork is displayed as an end and not process.
What artists have influenced you in your work?
Greg: Way too many to count, much less mention. Comics, old world masters, old-school Czech stop-motion animation… listing specific individuals would take forever and pinpointing a select few would be like trying to tell you about a painting over the phone but focusing on the green hues in the upper left corner. Julian: I am influenced by so many artists from so many different disciplines and with the immediacy of social media sharing there are some that I am only familiar with the works and not the names of the artists. I think mediums more than particular artists have an impact on my work; my early exposure to the world of graphic novels and comic books, childhood fairy tales, myths and legends, Japanese woodblock prints and my love for tattoos and tattoo culture. There is a running theme of illustration and design which can be seen in my work.
Are there any other Toronto artists you’re dying to work with? / Who you admire?
Greg: As I’ve always like collaborating with others, maybe even more than working on something alone, I would say I’m pretty open to the idea. Producing some illustrations or a comic with my brother has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while as I definitely admire his work. Also, Joyce Lau’s work is amazing and I’m pretty keen on Team Macho as a team and as individual artists.
Julian: I would like to do some collaborative works with my brother, I think the narratives he devises that give birth to his characters and images is something I wish came more naturally to myself. I would love to work in collaboration with Clint McDowell, who not only taught me how to tattoo but has been working on my body suit, as well as Luke Colavecchia, who tattooed a severed geisha head on my left foot. I have been working with them for about 4 years or so and the inspiration and camaraderie is abundant.
Do you and your brother show together often?
Greg: Nope, this is our first time showing together though I doubt it’ll be our last. Julian: This is our first time showing our work together. I hope to do so again soon and with a collaborative piece.
Both of you work with other, three-dimensional, mediums. How does your work in one medium affect your work in other mediums?
Greg: Most of my illustrative work ends up being used as preparation for sculpting. So in some ways the three-dimensional work takes precedence over the two-dimensional work – making finished images sort of far and between. Sculpting has definitely helped me to better understand shape and form which in turn has improved my illustration process. Nothing groundbreaking, but it is definitely beneficial to work in both mediums as they enrich and inform each other through their differences in approach. Julian: The medium of skin is like no other; equally as difficult as it is rewarding. The individual particularities of each client and each of their different body parts can never be predicted as every inch of skin can be different on the same client. The requirement of being absolutely present in the now, the level of focus for every line, shadow or colour, is akin to work as meditation. It is something I find I am bringing more and more to my work in more traditional art forms.
What differences do you find there are in showing your work at cafés and bars vs. gallery spaces?
Julian: It is important for art to not be confined solely to galleries and museums. There are issues surrounding the exposure art receives when it is behind the doors of a gallery or museum. There is a prevailing perception that art can be inaccessible or intimidating to the public and I think by showing in cafés and bars does work towards addressing this. There are a lot of preconceived ideas regarding art, what it is, who understands it, where it should be shown. I think that there should be as many venues as there are artists and styles.
Any final words?
Greg: … Julian: Thank you for the opportunity to show with my brother as well as in your establishment.
On the last Wednesday of each month (and the 18th of December because of Christmas) we are featuring an awesome night called Punk Rock Bingo hosted by Daddy-O and drag queen Jenna Syde. The proceeds go to charity and after the bingo (which begins at 9pm) there’s a punk party DJed by Triple-X. We talked to Daddy-O about how he managed to get punk and bingo in a room together.
So, punk rock, bingo… what do these two things have in common?
Both are still alive and kicking. Some may say punk rock is dead, or bingo is
for the dead, but that’s dead wrong. Our balls are dropping fast and furious,
just like the music you’ll be hearing.
How did you decide to make an event out of it?
I wanted do an event where people could head out earlier in the evening for a
fun night of socializing and listening to tunes they might not hear at other
bars. Also, we raise money for various charities each month, and have some
amazing prizes to give away, so it’s an all around feel good night. Then once
bingo ends we keep things going late with a punk infused dance party.
Do you think bingo is making a comeback at all or are you starting a new trend?
Bingo has never really gone away, however we are kicking the closet doors wide
open by appealing to a motley crew of dabbers!
Describe what the crowd is like at ‘Punk Rock Bingo’?
Intense! These folks are serious about bingo. Things can get nasty, and a lot of
curse words yelled out by the losers, which there are many of. Also, the winners
don’t make any qualm about rubbing their prizes in the face of the
losers…literally. Here’s an insider tip…don’t forget your lucky trinkets.
What kind of prizes do you give away?
We have a shit load of fun things to giveaway, including t-shirts, piercing and
tattoo certificates, books, CD’s, dinner vouchers, and some Spearhead and Kensington Breweries beer! All our great sponsors can be found on our Facebook Page.
How sober do you have to be to win at bingo?
Umm, I don’t know as most everyone who plays shows up hammered…and if they don’t
they usually end up that way with our cheap-ass drink specials ($3.50 domestic
bottles), and our O-69 whiskey shots available every time we call our favourite
I understand bingo is a big thing in the suburbs of Toronto. Do you think any confused Ford Nationers will stop by?
Never mind his Nationers, we’ve invited his whole dysfunctional family to come
play with our balls!
What is the best thing about ‘Punk Rock Bingo’ at the Beaver?
Besides the O-69 whiskey shots? I’d have to say the sporadic drunken stupors of
Toronto’s one and only punk rock drag queen, Jenna Syde.
Punk Rock Bingo happens the last Wednesday of every month, with the exception of
December where we’ll be throwing a holiday themed soiree for all our peeps and
freaks on the 18th of the month. Bingo is played 9pm to 11pm and there’s never
a cover, only donations for the cards. Hosted by Daddy-O and Jenna Syde, and
stick around after bingo for tunes you shouldn’t be listening to, courtesy of
Fall leaves fall; die, flowers, away! Lengthen Night and shorten day. Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.
Indeed, all things must pass, and it’s worth celebrating when a new artist comes in to ignite the the front room of the Beaver with brazen colour and shimmering darkness. Come by and check out Laura-Lynn Petrick‘s photography on display now at the Beav, it is a personal documentation of the dynamic aura of individuals and the sublime qualities of nature.
Petrick’s versatile work is shot on 35 mm colour film and involves no post-production; as Laura puts it herself: “This series “In the Skies“ is an intimate investigation of the powerful auras of our natural world, captured through the lens of an analogue 35 mm camera.
Mass.Queer.Aid is a special event happening at the Beaver on Friday Sept. 27th, it is a masquerade themed dance party with proceeds going towards queer charity Supporting Our Youth. We sat down with mysterious DJ The Generalist to ask about the upcoming party.
What inspired you to want to organize an event like this in the first place?
My pal Lobodotcom (Adam L) and I have DJ’d at several venues in different cities – from the basement of a soccer club to art battles to wine bars and pubs. But we’ve never played a queer positive bar before, and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while. Well.. to be honest, I’ve specifically wanted to play at the Beaver for a long time – the dance parties are top notch!
Why a masquerade theme?
Because it’s fun. It can be mysterious, or fun, or scary, or sexy – you can be whoever you want for the evening and really escape your day-to-day. I admit it was my pal Lisa’s idea, but I just ran with it.
Do you think queer homelessness is an issue we don’t talk about enough?
Absolutely. Like so many others, I grew up as a queer person in a conservative environment. I felt like I was constantly checking over my shoulder and watching how I acted at home and in public. I even decided to ‘run away’ to university in another country, just to be able to be myself, as a queer person, for the first time. And I have great parents. I can’t imagine what life must be like for any young member of the LGBT community, who feels they either have to leave home because of their sexuality, or are forced to. It was actually an article in the Toronto Star that I read a few years ago that really got me thinking about it. I was happy to learn that an agency like Supporting Our Youth (SOY) is out there specifically working to help queer homeless youth.
Has it affected your life personally or someone in your life?
Not directly, but there were times when I was younger that I really thought about it. Could I make it on my own if I came out to my parents as a teenager? Where would I go if I had to leave? These kinds of things crossed my mind a lot.
How and why did you choose the charity you settled on?
It was that article in the Toronto Star that alerted me to their existence, but it was a general feeling of being able to relate to the condition that helped me decide on it.
What makes a great dance party at the Beaver?
It needs a great theme. It needs a certain style of music to stick to. It needs a certain style of attire to stick to. And it needs to be sure of who it’s audience is. The bartenders have a lot of personality too which is always fun, ask Adam Cowan about his upbringing on a pagan grapefruit orchard in Texas for instance. It also helps that the Beaver has a great patio and bar, and the perfect size dance floor – large enough to have a great time, but small enough to never lose your friends.
We have a new art show up at the Beaver by our very own Nicole Brayshaw Bond; we sat down with her to ask a couple questions about the charming new paintings she created.
What made you decide to do a show at the Beaver?
I love the Beaver. I might be a tad bias because I work here but I really think it is an amazing and unique place in the city. I like the concept of showing your art outside of galleries and more in the community.
What is your process for creating these pieces?
The first thing I do is walk around my apartment. My place is FILLED with needlepoints, paint by numbers and portraits of the Queen Mum. It totally gets my crafting juices going. I then think about something I want to have. A tea towel design that I want or a piece of art that is missing on my walls. I then turn on Netflix, pick a show, usually It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and draw for hours. I draw the same thing over and over again until I get it how I like it, not perfect but kooky cute. After that I start building silkscreens and start the process of silkscreening which is my go to medium.
Can you name any other artists that have influenced the work in this new show?
Chris Anthon and Bry Simms; They are both amazing tattoos artists from my hometown, Galt, Ontario. They both pump out art constantly, stay up all night making things and they even have a drawing social club, awesome. They are classy guys who are supportive of other artists in their community and just positive, positive dudes. Our styles are completely different but their passion for creating influences me like wildfire.
Maud Lewis is an east coast folk artist who seriously pumped out art. It wasn’t the most technically made pieces you’ve ever seen but she really loved painting and did it a lot. I went to her exhibit at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and it blew my mind. She made art out of anything, a dust pan, lamps, anything. Makes you think, what can I do?
Ideally what would like people to take away from your work?
A lot of people have told me that my creations have inspired them to create. I teach silkscreening and every week when we get to the drawing section of the class, someone always says that they can’t draw and that they’re horrible at it. In the end their stuff is always the best. Not because it is perfect just because they did it. I really believe that the worse drawings are the best, the cutest and the most fun. The things I make aren’t high concept. I think they are cute and visually appealing but the important thing is it makes intensely happy to make them. I think people should sit back and not worry about being amazing and not worry about being the best at something and just do it.
As an emerging artist what do you think about restaurants and cafe’s stepping up and putting on exhibitions?
I think it’s great. Not only is it a great way to make connections within a community but it is fun for customers and an amazing way to see art. You get to sit down, relax, eat and drink and look at every changing work. Sometimes you aren’t in the mood to see work at a gallery and now with so many places exhibiting local artists, you don’t have to.
What’s your advice for other visual artist’s who want to get their work shown at the Beaver?
I don’t wanna sound like a Nike commercial but you should just do it. Apply and put yourself out there. That’s what life is about. There is an amazing book titled “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyways” by Susan Jeffers. That says it all.
Are you afraid people will start making hummus as they wait for their dinner at the Beaver now that you put a recipe for it on the wall?
Ha ha, no but I hope they disagree with certain ingredients and battle me on them.
Beaver Karaoke, which happens every Sunday at the Beaver at 11pm, has been going strong for nearly a year now. We sat down with dreamy bartender Adam Cowan and asked him about his Sunday night singin’ party.
What compelled you to start a karaoke night at the Beaver
Money AND there’s a lot of bar nights where it’s just a DJ around here and I wanted to do something with a bit more.
How did you collect the 31,000 song library you use every week?
Former henhouse owners Katie Ritchie and Venessa Dunn passed the songbook over to me and I can’t thank them enough. They brought a lot of energy to their karaoke nights and they showed me what a queer karaoke night could be if it’s done well.
What kind of crowd comes out every week?
All kinds, all enormously talented, except for fellow Beaver bartender Pat McKeegan, who does not sing due to his strict Morman upbringing.
Tell me about some of the hosts that you’ve brought in for the night
We have had living Toronto comic legend Robert Dayton, drag queen Igby Lizard (who has “the hungriest nose in all of Toronto”), we’ve even had a lady named Bronwyn host who found the Ikea monkey and started that international news story. It’s always a lot of fun to see what each weeks host can bring to the table.
I’ve heard that the Beaver barback sings on Sundays but you rarely do; why not?
I’m always working; customer service is number one to me. Unlike that jerk barback I would never abandon my post to sing….
Sure, sure… Tell me, what’s your favourite thing about spending your Sunday nights here?
It’s the community that comes together of Beaver staff and regulars, I really like that it’s become it’s own unique thing. One time the owner of the Beaver came in and said it’s like a piano bar in the village except everyone is singing Freddie Mercury.
What are the songs that you hear people singing again and again?
‘Take Me Home Country Roads’, ‘Underworld’ by Born Slippy, ‘Dragula’ by Rob Zombie, anything by the Spice Girls.
Why should people come out to sing on Sunday?
Because it’s Sunday, what are you going to do, sit at home and stream ‘Arrested Development’ again? You’ve already seen it so you might as well do something else x
As Cub Camp is expanding into New York City and getting some exciting buzz on the gay blog scene we thought we’d ask Scooter,the hunky creator and DJ of the event, a couple questions about Cub Camp and the queer party scene in general. Cub Camp is a monthly party that takes place tonight (June 14th) at the Beaver x
Tell me about how you first came up with the concept of ‘Cub Camp’?
I felt there was a void in the Toronto party scene. I wanted to create an event that catered to people whose taste in music went deeper than top 40 and pop music. I had been DJing party’s around the city but still found that I wasn’t able to really explore the type of music that I wanted to spin. I also wanted to start bringing in gay DJs that are making an impact on the underground scene. We’ve been lucky to have legendary DJs come through. DJ Sammy Joand DJ Nita from NYC, DJ Chipmintand DJ Guy Ruben from San Francisco. Sparber is coming up from NYC for our July party and Aaron Clark from Pittsburg in September. All these faggots are TURNING SHIT OUT in their cities and I wanted to bring more of it to Toronto.
I won’t lie and say there wasn’t some personal gain to gathering all these boys in one space. I wanted it to be a sexy party for furry boys so I could watch them dance. But it was always about the music.
Have you noticed the bear cub scene grow since you began the party?
It’s definitely become more mainstream. I do get more and more questions about how much Cub Camp is about cubs. But honestly, labels are so tired. Anyone hung up on that needs to get something more important to worry about.
What is your favourite memory from one of the parties at the Beaver?
The best thing ever to happen was at our 2 year anniversary party. Since they built condos across the street from The Beaver we can now see directly into the first few floors of the building. One night there was a straight couple who were fucking furiously right on the couch in front of their windows. She was sitting on his face, he would fuck her from behind. It was total shows! The entire bar stopped what they were doing to watch. I ran out of the DJ booth just so I could go and watch. I want to find out who she is so I can hire her regularly.
How do you organize the great posters and original artwork for Cub Camp?
The first poster that was ever done for the party was by Juliana Neufeld. I was starting the party with no budget and no cover at the door. Juliana totally offered to work on the poster for me. I used the basic template of her design and gave that as the starting point for all the artists to put their own spin on it. I want each flyer to be a work of art, and I want the artist’s personal style to come through. I curate them all myself, I have a list of artist that I am dying to work with, and I also ask other artists who they are fans of. So much talent in our community and I’m happy that so many of them are a part of it. Right now Scooter LaForge is working on a poster for an upcoming party and it’s been a dream of mine to collaborate with him. Not only cause he’s mega talented but cause we have the same name.
Tell me about when you decided to take the party on tour and your experiences in NYC?
The first time I took the party on the road was in Provincetown last summer. A fantastic friend of mine Mark Louque throws a legendary weekly party called Fag Bash there and he set me up with the support to make the party happen. Since then I was asked by my friend Jeff who works at Easternbloc in NYC if I ever wanted to do a party there. We’ve done it twice already and doing it again for Pride. The response in NYC has been mindblowing. People know how to party there and appreciate good music. I have so much love for the people and that city. Next up is Los Angeles and San Francisco. I’ve got some lovin’ to put on them too.
How did the ‘Cub Camp’ calendar come out and are you planning on putting it out again for 2014?
I had the idea to do a calendar for a while. The amount of beautiful men that were a part of Cub Camp, whether it be the bouncers, door boys, DJs, bartenders…really needed to be captured. We shot the first calendar in the summer and were able to donate to the Will Munro Fund through the project too. This year’s calendar has already been shot byBradley Roberge, an up and coming photographer, based in Los Angeles. Everyone cast in the calendar for 2014 are my American brothers. I can’t explain how much the boys in this years calendar mean to me. I am super grateful that they all wanted to be a part of it.
Do you think it’s important to create a space for gay men who don’t necessarily fit into other categories (like bears or twinks) in Toronto?
It’s important for us to take over everything. Take over every party. Take over every dance floor. Take over every DJ booth. Take it all. And this is for all queer people. Let’s start doing shit and taking over.
What is your favourite part about putting on the party every month?
We at The Beaver believe there are three tried, tested and true ways of beating Toronto’s muggy summer weather: a pint of locally crafted beer, a shady patio just off Queen W., and/or, most relevantly to this post, a cold brewed coffee.
“What is ‘cold brew’, exactly?” you may ask.
Well, according to the coffee connoisseurs of the inter-web, cold brew coffee is the process of brewing ground coffee beans in cold or room temperature water over a 12 to 24 hour period. The result is a naturally sweetened, less acidic and full-bodied cup of Joe.
For The Beaver’s recipe, we only use i deal coffee’s Prince of Darkness (POD) blend served black and on ice. The South and Central American beans used in POD give our iced coffee a medium body, mild acidity and definitive nutty-ness. And, although our cold brewed coffee is naturally sweeter than drip coffee, we have house-made plain and vanilla sweeteners on hand for our sweet toothed guests.
If you have any questions about our cold brewing method, stop by and ask any of our baristas for a little demo and a more in-depth explanation.