April 29, 2010
Watch and Learn
This past Monday we were invited to visit with Craig Morrison and the students at the Oasis Skateboard Factory. Craig is an enthusiastically positive teacher and is responsible for creating an “alternative” program with the Toronto District School Board. This unique program offers “all subjects with a skateboard design and street art focus” and “community focused entrepreneurship“. We hung out for the morning and met some of the students participating in the program. It’s incredible see the students totally engaged with their work and what their learning. The result speaks for itself. These students have created some amazing work and most of all we’re honored that some of them will be participating in the disposable show this year with a custom design for auction.
I purchased this slo_skate zine for 2 bucks. Its a collection of essays and personal stories from the students and is a great introduction to the program.
I remember high school and it fucking sucked and I don’t recall the slightest bit of progression from the Peel Board of Education. This made us think about the relevance of alternative schooling and the real connection that’s possible between student and substance. We’re looking forward to a long association with Oasis in the future and I’m sure that they will be a beneficiary in some way with our efforts.
April 18, 2010
–noun, plural -er·a
1.anything short-lived or ephemeral.
April 5, 2010
your looking at the list for the 2010 disposable show.
Nicholas Di Genova
The Bait Shop
Karyn (The Workroom)
Tami Noa Levy
Abe Lincoln Jr
Doesn’t get much better than that
March 23, 2010
today we’ll discuss a Free Skates experience maneuvering through the bureaucratic channels of the ministry of government and consumer services site. I know that we’re in no way the first organization to have difficulty negotiating their way through red tape, I mean, there’s an entire culture of comedy mocking bureaucratic government agencies. Our misunderstandings, of course, took place in 2010 navigating the ministry’s site. I found myself repeatedly clicking on the same link with nothing accomplished. Perhaps that’s the 2010 version of filling out the incorrect form and being told to re-Que in the correct line . Well the solution?………. we decided to go and speak to a human at city hall and after returning for a second time on different days the very pleasant gentlemen (no sarcasm) who was going to process our paper work informed us that it would be forty dollars cheaper to register on-line so take note young entrepreneurs.
Free Skates has made the gigantic leap in registering as a non-profit in Toronto. The experience, which I have to admit really wasn’t that unpleasant, made me think about the botany of government services that exist in Ontario (maybe because of all the jokes I feel obligated to croon the lament of labour practices of government employees and just generally dealing with civilian services). Decentralize all power and dismantle all of these agencies you ask? I don’t know what the answer is friends. I will say this (perfect Segway), my book club just finished Mark Anderson’s “All the Power” (avail through dischord.com). This is not an anarchist manifesto but is, however, for the activist that finds themselves reanalyzing their analysis and caught between a McWorld and a Global Jihad.
here’s the description from the dischord site
Dance of Days co-author and longtime inner-city organizer Mark Andersen challenges popular concepts of radical activism. A whirlwind tour across decades, through punk and student activism, identity and lifestyle politics, armed struggle, globalization, All the Power suggests how the seemingly most idealistic of enterprises-revolution-might be practically accomplished.
March 2, 2010
This past Saturday I made a visit to 52 McCaul. After dropping off skateboards to artists I got the opportunity to introduce myself to Steve Ferrara, one half of the Well and Good organization and co-curator of the gallery. Unfortunately Steve’s partner, Lisa Martin, was not around so I didn’t get the chance to meet her. Soon enough I’m sure. Steve is an articulate and enthusiastic person with a solid analysis of the Toronto arts community and he was a pleasure to speak to. I’m sure 52 McCaul and Well and Good will flourish for many years.
before leaving I asked Steve about some of the t’s, prints, buttons, and tapes for sale in a display case.
I left the gallery with this J.Horwood, Monopolka 7″ from bennifer editions. Its fucking incredible and if you get a chance check out some of their releases. Perhaps Free Skates will get a chance to work with them on a future fund-raising project.
February 25, 2010
Last fall saw the tragic demise of Outline in Kensington market. Just a few months before that Bombshelter at Queen and Spadina disappeared. At about that same time I ventured to Outline to buy some paint and tragically they were in the middle of taking things down. Well the silver lining of this fruitless venture happened when one of the former proprietors of Outline mentioned that Bombshelter recently reopened. I was worried they had closed their doors permanently this past summer but I’m guessing it was for renovations. I’m glad Bombshelter is back in operation and can’t wait to pass by tomorrow.
I always worry about external pressure like officer friendly and the law enforcement communities zealous nature for assisting in dismantling counter cultural establishments.
February 25, 2010
FF skateboards and Free Skates will be looking for volunteers to help out this year. If you have some spare time and are interested we would be honored to have you. In the same vernacular Free Skates may be looking for folks in the fall of this year to help in creating a diverse board of directors in helping with our evolving mandate. If your interested and have experience please get in touch.
February 21, 2010
A BIG update regarding FreeSkates first official fund-raising event. We are happy to tell you that this year the Disposable Art Show will be held at 52 McCaul on May 8th with the folks at Well and Good. I couldn’t be happier with the choice of venue and I would also like to thank them very much for considering us.