Programm Release debut EP ‘Like The Sun’


When I first listened to Programm’s single Like The Sun, I was instantly hooked to the enthralling vocals, the simplistic beat of the drums and the cool electric guitar. The Toronto based band is definitely on Novella’s radar for the Canadian music scene. The quartet band is comprised of Jacob Soma (Guitar, Vocals), Jackie Game (Bass, Vocals) Mark Game (Keys, Synth), and Andrew Reesor (Drums).


Today, Programm released their anticipated EP, Like The Sun, through the Canadian record label The Hand Recordings. Their debut EP was co-produced by Alexandre Bonenfant (METZ, Diamond Rings) and mixed by Gragam Lessard (Timber Timbre, Kevin Drew, Broken Social Scene). Programm’s impressive debut mixes electronic with the shoegaze subgenre that styles the tracks with a futuristic vibe.

Support local music and purchase the EP on iTunesCheck out their music video for Like The Sun below:

Film Review: Wet Bum


What makes Wet Bum incredibly moving is the way it resonates to a various audience. Whether you’re a young teenager trying to fit in or an elderly person who can’t seem to find their place in a world they once knew, the film sincerely touches upon matters that hit close to home. MacKay captures the changes people go through whether it’s growing up or dealing with losing a part of yourself.

This charming coming-of-age drama directed by Canadian filmmaker Lindsay MacKay follows the life of Sam (played by Julia Sarah Stone), a fourteen-year-old girl living through the brutal and awkward teenage years. She starts working at a retirement home cleaning the rooms of the residences after getting into trouble with her mother. Her time at the retirement home has Sam befriending two of the elderly residents finding out their world is more intriguing than her peers.

When she’s not working, Sam takes lessons for her lifeguarding certification. Throughout these scenes, Sam is uncomfortable in her own skin. Just like many of us in those crucial years, Sam’s insecurities stem from the other girls who constantly tease her. From the way Sam tiptoes her way into the pool, to her constant weighed down shoulders and head facing down whenever she walks, it’s apparent she lacks the confidence when around others.


Sam then develops a kind friendship with one resident in particular. Even though this friendship sets off to a rocky start, Sam and Ed grow quite fond of each other. Both characters understand the feeling of being disconnected with the people around them. Ed feels disconnected ever since his wife passed away. He can’t seem to get along with the staff and he doesn’t even keep in touch with his son, who’s left him several voicemails. While Sam feels isolated from her peers even feeling disconnected with her mother who doesn’t seem to quite understand her. Although the age gap should separate the two characters, both Sam and Ed share that bond of feeling like total outcasts from their two complex worlds.


Throughout the film, Sam starts developing feelings for her lifeguard instructor who’s a high school senior. You notice that throughout the film, she likes him yet goes through moments where she feels awkward and uncomfortable being around him. It’s the tug of war scenario where she desperately tries to be like her peers but still isn’t ready to be in these situations since she’s still not comfortable in her own skin. She yearns to be like everyone else but she’s simply just not ready yet, which she later realizes is okay.  A factor young teenagers constantly face when trying desperately to be just like everyone else.


Vintage Month: 69 Vintage

Across from Trinity Bellwoods Park on Queen Street West, a shop named 69 Vintage immediately grabs your attention – unique clothing pieces surrounding the storefront and big, white letters reads “69 Vintage… 10 Years Later”. Owner Kealan Sullivan opened her third store in August, and with a lifetime experience in fashion and vintage, she looks forward to the first full year in the Bellwoods strip.


Novella: Why did you choose this area and this name?

Kealan Sullivan: The name I had purchased when I had partners eleven years ago. I thought it was quite strong, and a little bit bold. It also had a nostalgic feel, but it had an innuendo feel as well. I just thought it was appropriate, and especially for what we were doing then, I thought it was really suitable to our aesthetic and for our personalities. So when I bought my partners out, I kept the name. That was a very conscious decision. And this particular location is a location I had my eyes on, always, even before we opened at Dovercourt. Obviously being close to the park, I felt most comfortable here. This neighbourhood, this corridor, attracts everybody, all kinds, and it’s developed really beautifully, with the French pastries shop and the French boutique, then I am here and that offers something else. Queen West, ten years ago when we chose the Dovercourt location, it was just so cutting edge and it was still affordable. It was really cool to be part of something super new, as it was developing. Settling here is right between the original 69, then I did a very specialized boutique called “V” a few blocks east of here. This one is in the middle in terms of what I was doing at both shops and also physically in the middle, so it has worked out well. It very much feels like home here.


Novella: You’ve been around for eleven years, so how did you get into this line of work?

KS: We got the lease in 2003 and opened in 2004. This was a very natural progression of my personality. I very much was overly consumed with collecting vintage as a younger person. I lived in Kensington Market for a few years and I was active in all the shops, always going and negotiating and digging through the back rooms. I became very good friends with all the storeowners there, eventually working in one of them. I was very committed at the age of probably eighteen, I would say, to doing this, but I didn’t know how. I wanted to partner with that shop I was working at, but my boss at the time wasn’t prepared to for something like that. It was intimidating, as it is to start any business, so I just slowly trucked my way down all the channels until I finally had the confidence – I started at the right age, around twenty-seven.

Novella: What inspires you?

KS: What inspires me the most is people’s style. When I see that one in one hundred person who just has an authentic take on their own style, that’s the most inspiring thing for me. And obviously, there are icons throughout time, often times that was the vision of a stylist or someone behind the scenes, but the way they projected their character through clothing is exciting to see. In terms of style, that’s what inspires me. The potential, also, like seeing things that have been forgotten about or left out of style for a while, I get really inspired by that, because I think how can you wear this in a new way, how can this be something revisited? That definitely inspires me.


Novella: How would you describe your brand of 69 Vintage?

KS: It’s funny, because right now, I feel like it is in transition, but I also think that’s kind of my brand. Somebody asked me once to describe my personal style, and I said it was always in the flow, because I’ve never settled, I will never settle on a personal style or a personal aesthetic. And same with my business; there has been a lot of transitions and experimentation, so I think now it really is about being adaptable and being unpredictable and being kind of playful and a little bit erotic, but also classic. I think that’s what that is, so it’s hard to define. But when I define it, and I can encapsulate all of that, I think I will be very satisfied. Even for spring, I’m changing the whole store again, into a whole beach vibe, and a little bit whimsical and hippie. It’s ever changing.

Novella: Where do you pick your pieces from?

KS: Everywhere I go really. I can’t go even into a different neighbourhood in Toronto without scouting something. I can’t go on vacation without scouting something. I can’t even visit a friend’s closet. I also have a huge inventory. As long as I’ve been selling, I’ve been collecting. Sometimes there come a point where I am ready to bring out a specific collection, because I feel like celebrating it or the timing is right in fashion. Or even if I open my storage unit to find a collection of dresses that needs hemming and beading, but then I can unleash fifteen gorgeous pastel dresses at once. It’s really fun, and my eyes are constantly roving.


Novella: What are you particularly excited for this year for your shop?

KS: I have freed up a lot of time, coming from three shops down to one and downsizing, so I’ve committed spending time to being creative. I have started doing a lot of customized pieces, which I’m really excited about, because that’s really what I wanted to do eleven years ago, and I got caught up running a business instead. So now I can just put my own spin on individual pieces, whether it’s restyling it, adorning it, cropping it, whatever the case may be. I’ve done it for many years, but I’ve never put my name on it, because I wasn’t prepared to devote enough time to back it up. But now I have new amounts of time and new resources to do that.

Novella: Do you participate in Vintage Crawl?

KS: Yes, we had a great one here in fall and I am looking forward to the spring one. We are going to have much later hours, maybe 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. to offer a variety mix in the summer. I’m not getting too ahead of myself, but whether it’s treats for the park or what have you, just celebrating the area.


Novella: Who or what influences you most right now in the fashion world?

KS: What’s influencing me now is my experience at Burning Man. I went last year and that kind of has changed a lot in terms of how I view my own personal style now at this age, as I am forty now. What I saw at Burning Man and what I permitted myself to wear again, I pulled out pieces from my raving days. It’s the perfect mix of a hippie raver futuristic rocker. I was very inspired by this entire culture and the freedom that people feel and experience. There’s definitely a little bit of the memory of everything that I’m doing, mostly for spring and summer, with a lot more skin and colour. Winter here is more refined for me, I’m a lot more classic in the winter. I love army wool and long, structured wool pieces.


Join Club Novella to receive 15% off at 69 Vintage until February 22nd. Follow @69_vintage to keep up with all that Kealan is up to, post your best vintage look and hashtag #NovellaVM.

Photos by Celia Fernandez

Artist Profile: Gloria Green

By day, Gloria Green works as a Clinical Dietician in the Pediatric Oncology Unit at the Hospital for SickKids. By night and weekends, she is an abstract artist. She paints anywhere there is space even covering her house all over with tarp when she’s about to create her beautiful artwork.

“Whatever transpires during the day, it comes out on the canvas, subconsciously or consciously, I’m not even sure,” she states. “It’s like going away, but I’m here. I’m in my own little world.”

Just over ten years ago she moved into her home, which she turned into her very own studio. The beautiful space was completely bare and had sixteen feet ceilings. At the time, she was not collecting art yet and thought to herself that instead of buying she could attempt painting. After that, she bought a canvas, some paint, and entered the abstract world by dabbing her paintbrush and taking her first strokes onto the canvas.

Dot Calm Magnified Red

After her first few pieces, she decided to take art classes at Avenue Road Arts School. The instructor, Lydia along with the other fellow artists, inspired Green. The community created at Avenue Road Arts School encouraged her passion for the arts. They urged her to pursue this dream after they came to see some of Gloria’s work in show.

“Ever since then, I’ve been hooked,” Green confesses. “And I can’t imagine that I never did paint. I love it.”

Green’s collection that will be exhibited at the Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair include pieces that are done with circle work. The evolution of the idea is not linear, admitting she is mildly obsessed with doing them lately because the shape, design, and colour combinations have no limit to where she can go with the idea.

gloria green-13

“The circle can mean many things,” says Green. “It doesn’t end; the circle of life. I can be small or I can be big. I can be minimal; I can be bright and bold. I recall sitting in rounds at the hospital, and they were showing stained slides of cells. I saw the colours and the design and maybe from that, subconsciously, I decided to repeat that pattern. But not meaning to be that, more meaning to fun and playful and uplifting, which I am hoping they are.”

Besides the circle work, she always tries to dabble in new techniques. Though she doesn’t necessarily seek out new techniques, she feels they evolve organically through her life experiences, even with outside factors such as fashion, music, design, the time of year, weather and relationships.

Green has been in a number of venues including nontraditional spaces such as Seven Grams Espresso Bar and Sorrel Restaurant, as well as classic venues like Leonardo Gallery, Wellington Street Art Gallery, and Studio Vogue Gallery. Green has donated two pieces of her work from the “Fluid Series collection” to SickKids. One of the pieces, “Waves of Hope”, is in the Oncology Day Unit while the other piece is in the Peter Gilgan Research Centre for Learning, called “Limitless”.

“Limitless resonated for the space,” she smiles. “Limitless in what we can do in terms of research, helping, and science. Limitless in what we can find and do.”

Balloon Bouquet 1000

Green’s upcoming projects include the ARTP Art Exhibit February 26th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Peter Gilgin Centre for Research and Learning at SickKids. The next project will be presented at the Havdallah Jazz and Art Event at the Beth Torah Synagogue on March 7th, and finally the SickKids Resident Charity Formal on April 11th. Her piece “Charmed” (acrylic on canvas) will be on exhibit at the Constituency office of Chrystia Freeland, MP, at Yonge and Rosedale as well.

Gloria Green will be at the Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair February 19th-22nd, at booth 615. Hashtag #gloriagreen #artistproject #novellamag so we can keep track of your art viewing at the Art Fair.

Tinder Dating: The good, the bad & the ugly

Article by Stephanie Small


I personally find it hard to meet people. Like anyone who works in Marketing & Advertising or any other industry with irregular hours, I’m not approachable on public transit. When I’m riding the subway, ear buds are in and I’m going over the list of things I have to do once I’m in the office or how fast I can get ready for bed without missing the first few minutes of Scandal. That’s during the week. Weekends, I’m a homebody. I’m not ashamed to say that. I prefer the comfort of my own bed and Netflix to loud music, strangers and spending money I’m trying desperately to save. Now, you may say, I’m negating my search by being unapproachable when I am out or staying home on the weekends but do I have to be a constant social butterfly to find love? Do I?

That being said, I recently joined Tinder as a new avenue of dating for a couple of reasons. 1) Novella asked me to and 2) What I’ve been doing hasn’t worked. I was hesitant since I heard a few things about Tinder from different people. “It’s only for hookups”, “The guys are disgusting” but personal opinion rarely influences my own so I downloaded the app, created a profile and began my search.

I matched with a brilliantly blue eyed, Air Canada employee who initiated conversation. I always say if you can make me laugh, you’re off to a good start. He had me laughing non-stop. We spoke throughout the day and I was eager to meet him but realized that I had triple booked myself for that night. Yes, TRIPLE booked myself. I need a Personal Assistant but that’s another story. As the day wore on, I explained that I had a Going Away Party at No One Writes to the Colonel but I wasn’t sure how long I would be there. He also had plans to be at his friend’s bar, Bathurst Local. They’re maybe a couple blocks from each other. Well played Cupid.

I recruited a friend to come out with me that evening and took a deep breath as I realized there’s no rest for the wicked. I arrived at the party to an overly hot and packed bar with nowhere to sit, stand, or even hang your coat. I decided we were out of there immediately. I said “Hi” and “Bye” to my friend, pulled out my phone and sent the message, “I’m on my way”.

My friend and I walked to our next destination and he was outside waiting for us with a friend when we arrived. He gave me a big hug, introduced his friend and we all went in to grab a table and get some drinks. The conversation didn’t lack for one moment. Even his friend and my friend had some one-on-one conversation (she’s a great wing woman) so he and I had our own one-on-one time. The night went by quickly and now not a day goes by where we don’t speak. We’ve spent a decent amount of time together since that first night and I must say, I thoroughly enjoy his company.

Most recently, I exchanged text messages with a man who just didn’t want to take “I’m not interested” as an answer. I should’ve known something was up since he didn’t have a profile picture because of where he worked. I immediately thought, “Stripper” but swiped right out of curiosity and we matched. After exchanging a few messages I agreed to exchange numbers so he could at least send me a picture of what he looked like. I’m not shallow but let’s be honest, you’re attracted to someone by how they initially look, and everything else comes second. He sent his pictures and I explained to him that I’m more of a long hair, beard and tattoos kind of gal. He was bald with a goatee and there were no signs of tattoos. Thanks, but no thanks! I replied that I wasn’t interested and this is when it got really weird. His immediate response was and I quote: “Can I have one chance to taste you…simply oral. Nothing for me needed”. Wait, WHAT?! I couldn’t fathom why he thought I’d let him at my goodies after I told him repeatedly I’m not interested.  He continued to send three more explicit messages before I repeated politely that as flattered as I am, I’m still not interested. What has this world come to? Is this dating in Toronto in 2015? If so, I’m not ready. At all.

Tinder matches to be continued…

Follow me on Twitter – @MzUptownUptown and Tumblr for more commentary and updates. I’m sure I’ll have no shortage of material.