Category Archives: What's Good in the 'Hood?

What’s Happening?? OEV Listings to June, 2015

Get out and support the arts and entertainment scene in this incredible neighbourhood. There is so much good in this ‘hood!

If you have an event in the OEV that you don’t see listed here or an update for one of the events below, get it promoted by sending an email to


April 25th – Shakuntala – Palace Theatre, Main Stage
A dance drama based on the Indian epic, Mahabharta.

April 30th – May 9th  – One Actmanship – Procunier Hall, Palace Theatre
One Actmanship is comprised of two Foster One Acts: My Narrator and The Death of Me. Laughs abound as Foster pokes fun at human foibles.

May 22nd – 30th – Talley’s Folly – Palace Theatre, Main Stage
“A Victorian Folly becomes the setting for, what many call, the most beautiful love story seen on stage. Filled with comedy and wonderful dialogue, this Pulitzer Prize winning play is set during one of the most delicate times in American History; this is a production you will never forget.”



Musician Mondays – Open mic every Monday night at the St. Regis Tavern

Wednesdays at the  St. Regis Tavern, EV’s Thick Fat Sound Choir – Bar Choir meeting  $5

Saturdays, 11am – 2pm, live music at the Artisan Bakery, 864 Dundas Street.

Sundays, 11am -2pm, live music at The Starving Artist Cafe, Dundas at Elizabeth St.


18 – El Sistema Aeolian – 7pm, Aeolian Hall
19 – CCH Has Got Talent – 7pm, Aeolian Hall
20 – Genticorum – 7pm, Aeolian Hall
21 – Pyscho Daisies – Musical Chairs, 9pm, St. Regis Tavern
21 – Marty Kolls and Fraser Teeple – The Root Cellar Organic Cafe
22 – Remembering Stan Rogers – 6:30 pm, Aeolian Hall
23 – London Food Co-Op Sustainable Food Systems speaker series – 7pm, Aeolian Hall
26 – Hot Music for a Cold Night – 7pm, Aeolian Hall
27 – Heartaches Country String Band – 8pm, St. Regis Tavern
28 – Outcasts – 3pm – 7pm, St. Regis Tavern
28 – Sunfest performer to be announced ** – 7pm, Aeolian Hall


1 – London Concert Band – 2pm, Aeolian Hall
5 – Amelia Curran – 7pm, Aeolian Hall
8 – Alison & Laura – 12:30pm, Aeolian Hall
10 – The Kruger Brothers – 8pm, Aeolian Hall
12 – Marc Jordan Trio – 7pm, Aeolian Hall
14 – Aviva Chernick – 7pm, Aeolian Hall
19 – Valdy, 8pm, Aeolian Hall
20 – Andre Laplante, 8pm, Aeolian Hall
22 – Sara Davis Buechner – 7:30pm, Aeolian Hall
27 – Heartaches Country String Band – 8pm. St. Regis Tavern
28 – Outcasts – 3-7pm, St. Regis Tavern
28 – Tal National – 7pm, Aeolian Hall
28 – Spring Concert of Piano Concertos, 12:00pm,  Aeolian Hall
29 – Harry Manx – 6:30pm, Aeolian Hall


15 – Great Lake Swimmers, 8pm, Aeolian Hall
16 – Great Lake Swimmers, 8pm, Aeolian Hall
17 – Sylvia Tyson – 8pm, Aeolian Hall
19 – Men At Words – 7:30pm, Aeolian Hall
24 – Pierre Bensusan – 8pm, Aeolian Hall
25 – Laila Biali & The Radiance Project – 7pm, Aeolian Hall


1 – Lemon Bucket Orkestra – 7pm, Aeolian Hall
6 – Buffy Sainte-Marie – 8pm, Aeolian Hall
8 – Manteca – 8pm, Aeolian Hall
23 – Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, 8pm, Aeolian Hall

6 – Peter Katz – 8pm, Aeolian Hall

Events For Music Makers

  • Ruby Tuesday – “Song swap, drop-in for hummer, strummers, listeners.” 7-9:30 pm Tuesdays at Life*Spin.
  • Ukulettes – “Music that makes you smile 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  February 6th, Life*Spin
  • Musician Mondays – Mondays at 7pm, St. Regis Tavern
  • Roots & Soul Sundays at the Reeg – Sundays at 4pm, St. Regis Tavern
  • Bi-weekly open mic night at the Root Cellar starting September 11th, 9pm to midnight. All singers, musicians, poets, storytellers, performers welcome–sign up when you arrive.
  • SOUP – Southern Ontario Ukulele Players – 7:15 pm – 9pm at Aeolian Hall. $5
  • Community Jam – Wednesdays, East Village Coffeehouse. Contact the Coffeehouse to get on the performers list.
  • Starting Friday January 23rd – 7-9pm, EVAC Friday Night Music Jam Circles; jam circles at EVAC every other Friday evening. (They are looking for a ringleader to lead the circle this night.)
  • Open Mic Jam Night – Every Thursday, The Town & Country Saloon. 9 pm – 1:30 am Bring your instrument or your voice. Karaoke singing available. Everyone is welcome.



  • February 12th and April 8thIgnite London – The Aeolian’s Ignite London is a high-energy evening of 5-minute talks by people who have an idea – and the guts to get on stage and share it. Run by local volunteers, Ignite London is a force for raising the collective IQ and building connections in our city. Ignite is a style of presentation where participants are given five minutes to speak on a subject accompanied by 20 slides.
  • Beginning Friday January 30th 6-7:30pm – EVAC Lecture Series: Jane Jacobs & Urban Design. This is a five-part lecture series on urban design, focusing on the works of Jane Jacobs. The talks will be:
    Friday, January 30th: Streets
    Friday, February 6th: Neighbourhoods
    Friday, February13th: Preconditions for urban diversity
    Friday, February 20th: Landmarks & historic buildings
    Friday, February 27th: How cities change

The talks will be presented by Benjamin A. Vazquez, U.E. Cost will be $10 for EVAC members, $20 for non-members for all five talks. PWYC if need be. The proceeds will go directly to support EVAC.

  • January 25 – March 9th – The Aeolian Winter Art Exhibit – Open to the public from 10am – 3pm weekdays. Featuring the art of Wendy Reid and Don Earle with guest artists, Dawn Johnson and Tracy Root.
  • March 11th, Hopping Into History Art Show Opening Reception. 6:30 pm, Aeolian Hall.
    Hopping Into History, London’s Old East Village art show opening reception and book launch will be held Wednesday, March 11, 2015. We are pleased to welcome the artist Cheryl Radford and the author Kym Wolfe to our newest exhibition. The opening reception will be held between 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at The Aeolian Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event, light snacks and refreshments will be served, and a cash bar will be open. The book will be a selective glimpse into the history of Old East Village, from the Dundas Street commercial corridor and Heritage Conservation District to the factory district. It includes interesting facts/trivia about the area and a bit about the current culture, accompanied by Radford’s ink and watercolour illustrations.
  • April 17th – 19th – 2015 London Artists’ Studio Tour – Various locations around London. OEV locations include: Metal In Fusion, 630 1/2 Lorne Ave; Amanda Rowe, 630 1/2 Lorne Ave; Jayne Cornelis, 630 1/2 Lorne Ave; Chris Snedded, London Clay Art Centre, 664 Dundas St.

Artist Feature: Richard Sturgeon, Metal in Fusion

Out of an Autumn Fog
Out of an Autumn Fog

If you visit an historical site that offers live demonstrations, you will almost always notice the largest throng of spectators is around the blacksmith. Perhaps it’s the rhythmic, chiming sound of a hammer on metal that draws people in, or the warm colours of molten metal when it is being heated and forged. Who knows how the smith captivates the crowd, but that same fascination exists when you walk into a metal forger’s workshop.

to catch a fly… – 2013
19″w x 11″d x 14″h

Most of us can only be so lucky as to do something we truly love and make a living at it. Richard Sturgeon is one of those people. All it took to find his dream job ten years ago was getting laid off from his day job, fixing scratched CD’s for a local business. Finding himself suddenly unemployed afforded Richard the opportunity to take workshops on self-employment, and thus began his venture into the world of art and more specifically, metal sculpture.

A former resident of the Old East Village, Richard maintains his studio, Metal in Fusion, in a building tucked in the back lot of a residence at 630 ½ Lorne Ave. He has recently taken on an extra space which is being renovated into a permanent gallery to showcase his and the crations of other OEV artists, which he expects to have opened by early spring 2014.

‘an impending gasp for air’
7″ x 7″ x 14″

Walking into Richard’s studio could possibly help a person understand what it feels like to have ADHD. Shiny, pretty things abound and it’s near impossible to stay focused on one piece of art as the glint of metal from another catches your eye. Blending elements of wood and stone with sculpted metal, Richard’s art presents a unique fusion of natural and urban environments.

‘pulling forward…’
17.5″ x 5″ x 3″

You can examine a piece and draw some sort of conclusion or interpretation of what you are seeing in it, until Richard gives it a name and tells the story of its inspiration.

‘gimme back my ring!’
18″ x 18″ x 8″”

For example, when I looked at “Gimme back my ring”, I saw a snagged kite flying off a branch at the top of a tree. Richard tells me it was inspired by the Tim Burton movie Big Fish, and the fish they called “The Beast” that stole the narrator’s wedding ring after he used it as bait. Aha! I looked at the piece again and saw a big fish, a fishing line and what looked like a heart at the end, perhaps representing the storyteller’s wedding ring.

‘the old guy’ – 2013
48″ x 16 ” x 12″

“The Old Guy”, which I thought resembled a crane-like bird, was inspired by a Paul Quarrington novel, Fishing With My Old Guy.  Aha, again! I suddenly saw a tangle of lines, or maybe a big fishing net and the bent spine of an old fisherman tangled up in it all. And that right there is the beauty of art: No matter the title, perception or inspiration, it is always up for interpretation.

Georgian Winds Tree

Attracting a national and international audience, Richard’s art work can be found locally from London to Toronto and Tobermory, and as far away as Chicago. While browsing the Metal in Fusion Facebook page I was amazed to read that one of his Georgian Tree pieces made its way to a new home in Holland, the new owners purchasing it as a reminder of their holidays in the Georgian Bay area, and the beauty they saw in Canada. They mentioned in their post what I too recognized in the beautifully sculpted tree: an apparent (if not unwitting) hat tip to the incredible art of the Group of Seven.

Richard’s art has also found a place in the community. When you pass the Unity Project in Old East London, take a look at the new fence installed around the front of the property. That fence was designed and forged by Richard.

pillarIt can also be found in the hands of recipients of Pillar Community Innovation Awards which celebrates nonprofits and charities and the individuals who work with them to make the community better and brighter.

battleofthebladesAnd just last fall, Richard was commissioned to make gorgeous stainless steel replicas of the trophy awarded on the CBC television show Battle of the Blades, which were presented to the top fundraisers from the show, Scott Thornton and Amanda Evora.

If you would like to own your own original piece, Richard’s art can be found in London at Gift of Art,  575 Richmond Street, or at his studio 630 ½ Lorne Ave by appointment or commission. In Tobermory look for his metal sculptures at Circle Arts, or in Toronto at the Petroff Gallery. He will also be taking part in the London Artist Studio Tour for the 5th time, from May 2-4, 2014.






Cover photo of Richard Sturgeon © RS Cousins Photography

From the Gardeners: Native vs Non-Native Plants

Native Plants vs Non-Native Plants, What’s the Deal?

There has been a recent trend to choose native varieties of plants – especially flowers to use in the garden vs. exotic imports with showy blooms. But is there room for both native and non-native? What would our landscapes look like if we went out today and ripped out all of the ‘non-natives’? How do we even classify native plants if the first European settlers brought seeds for grain and medicine (mixed with weed seeds) with them on their travels? What if a plant is classified as ‘native to Canada’? There are several different ecosystems and micro-climates throughout this vast country, how useful is that label? If you are new to the topic and think what’s the big idea? Then let me explain…


– One (of several) definition of a native plant is: a species that occurs naturally in a particular geographic area

-Native varieties are great because they support the ecosystems flora and fauna – the birds and the bees.

– They have adapted to the regions climate, geography and average rain fall amounts. They can be labelled as low maintenance because of those factors.

But the most import factor for a plant to thrive is to provide it the right site conditions; including the right amount of sunlight, temperature and water requirements. Just because the Trillium is native to Ontario doesn’t mean it will be healthy in a suburban flower bed. Trilliums are found in densely shaded forest conditions, with deep humus layers that are covered in fallen leaves providing a very moist and rich environment. If the trillium is planted in full sun, in a barren flower bed, probably having no leaf layer, chances are it will not thrive and be ‘a low maintenance native plant’.

Importing plants from foreign countries does pose some great ecological risks. Like the Emerald Ash Borer; a native pest to China and Eastern Asia is believed to have killed over a million trees since its discovery here in Eastern North America in 2002. ( This is just one incident of an exotic pest wreaking havoc on native species. In 2013 CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) issued a threat to trees from the Asian Long-Horned Beetle in the Greater Toronto and Mississauga regions.

If everyone went out tomorrow and removed all plants not classified as native the insects and animals that have adapted to them would suffer.

And how good are those native plants that are purchased at the big box stores anyway? Most of them have been treated with neonicotinoids – a synthetic chemical insecticide – that is causing colony collapse in bees. The same bees that are responsible for 85% of the world’s flowering plant reproduction.

So what can we plant? With so many factors it can be overwhelming.

-Purchase plants from your trusted neighbourhood plant sale.

-Swap plants with your neighbouring garden guru.

-You could even save seeds and start your own. The library has a ton of resources on just that.

– Ask your favourite Garden Center if they use seed treatments or insecticides. Here is one that doesn’t.

– Check out the Mantis Arts and Eco Festival for some expert advice.

-Attend a ‘Bee the Change’ workshop this summer; hosted by Food Not Lawns London On

– find out more about native plants at Evergreen and the Carolinian Canada Coalition


Written by: Carina Moyer

From the Gardeners: Build a Pallet Garden

How to Create a Pallet Garden

Vertical gardening is great if you don’t have a lot of space for a garden. A pallet garden is a great and inexpensive way to have a vertical garden on your balcony if you live in an apartment, or even leaned up against a fence or wall in the yard. We created a pallet garden for the Aeolian Hall last week. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a pallet garden of your own.

You will need:

  • A pallet
  • Staple gun and staples (we used an electric upholstery stapler)
  • Landscape fabric
  • Burlap
  • Soil
  • Seedlings (or seeds)

Step one: Find a pallet. The great thing about pallets is that they are everywhere! Ask around at local businesses and see if they are looking to get rid of any. Some businesses have too many to get rid of while some keep them, so be sure to ask first. There is also the option of buying a pallet, but finding one for free is excellent to keep the costs low and to recycle.

Step two: Collect your materials. You’ll also need a growing medium, staples, an industrial staple gun, and something to cover the pallet. We used burlap in the front where the plants do, and landscape fabric in the back. That way, there is drainage available and it allows the plants and soil to breathe. We recommend using an electric upholstery stapler over an industrial staple gun if possible. It saves time and is easier on your hands.

Step three: Get stapling! Lay the pallet down so that the front of the pallet (where your plants will go) is resting on the ground. Or, rest it up against the wall like we did. Staple your burlap to pallet so that when you’re facing the front of it, you won’t see any spaces.


Once you have done the front, turn it over and staple the landscaping fabric to the back. Be sure to decide which end will be the top, and do not seal it up.


Step four: Fill the pallet with soil! The hard part is over. Take your soil and dump it through the top of the pallet. Lay the pallet down and even out the soil. Be sure to keep the top unsealed, though. We recommend that you fill the pallet and plant it close to where you would like to keep the pallet, as it gets heavy. Otherwise, we hope you have a few helping hands available.


Step five: Plant! We used herbs for this garden at the Aeolian Hall, but you can even try container variety tomatoes on the top, strawberries, or even ornamentals if that’s what you desire. Once all are planted, add more soil if needed, and seal up the top of the pallet with a staple gun.


Step six: Lift the pallet up so it’s upright, or leave it flat if you’d like. Either way, enough your new garden!


From the Gardeners: Beauty in the OEV!

It’s no doubt that there are some wonderful things growing right now in the Old East Village. From bike riding groups, to new businesses, and even flowers! While walking around the OEV, we get to appreciate some vibrant colours that this neighbourhood has to offer, like this clematis at the Aeolian Hall:


The Aeolian Hall has a beautiful garden and it is such a treat to maintain. Here is a pretty Shasta daisy after a nice rainfall:


And this plant at the Dundas/English bus stop. We found out that it’s a very toxic weed called Bittersweet Nightshade,  though we still think it looks neat to have a little colour along the fence. But please know that it is indeed toxic!


Keep an eye out for more flourishing in the Old East Village, and we’ll be sure to post some of our favourites here as well. Stay tuned for our blog on how to create a pallet garden! We hope you are all enjoying the time you get to spend in your gardens and get a chance to appreciate the beauty in the neighbourhood.