Monthly Archives: December, 2014

Big shiny panto fun with Panto Players’ Sleeping Beauty @ Red Sandcastle Theatre

Only a few more chances to see Sleepy Beauty at the big Red! 🙂

life with more cowbell

Sleepy-Beauty-Star-CorrectedSheets and coloured fabric, plus some artfully custom cut tape and green felt, become castle walls and turrets, and an enchanted forest. All part of the magic and imagination at Red Sandcastle Theatre – in this case, for the Panto Players’ production of Sleeping Beauty – The Tale of the Narcoleptic Princess and Her Cat.

Written by Jane A. Shields and Red Sandcastle A.D./impressaria Rosemary Doyle, and directed by Jackie English, this modern-day retelling of the beloved fairy tale features a sparkling, multi-talented ensemble cast and a head boppin’, toe tappin’ series of pop tunes tailored for the show.

Three fairies (Matthew Donovan, Victor Pokinko and Brenda Somers) attending a christening for Princess Suzie come up with a plan to thwart the evil machinations of bad fairy Malefolent (Taran Beaty), softening the curse set upon the infant, tasking a remarkable pink cat (English) with looking after her, then finding a…

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PEOPLE PROFILE: Marcus Walker!

Meet Marcus Walker: Musician!


Have you heard Marcus Walker strum and croon? Had him whisper a corny joke in your ear? You’ll smile every time. A skilled and solid multi-instrumentalist, Marcus fortifies the performance of others and glows in the beam of the spotlight. He takes gentle command of the audience with the rich rumble of a voice that grips ya similar to that of Neil Diamond, Shawn Mullins and Buju Banton. Marcus is like your favourite cartoon character; clever, charming and goofy in capricious combination.


Marcus faces the questions…

What is your career? Musician

Is it the same as your passion? Oh, yes indeed…

What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career? THE greatest challenge of being a working musician is finding & maintaining a business relationship with a venue owner that will consistently pay you for your services, willingly. Some other challenges are mostly the usual stuff like remembering lyrics & that kind of thing. Rewards..? The fact that I am making a living out of doing what I love – & what I believe I’m best at.

What is your advice to others embarking on similar career? Practice, ask questions, be & stay informed, practice, be vigilant, practice…

What does it mean to be an artist? To always be looking through the eyes of a child…

5 years ago, did you expect to be where you are today? NO but I figured I’d be somewhere nearby…

Where will you be in 5 years? Hopefully doing the same thing, only better…

What would you say to your 8-year-old self? “Stop picking your nose..!”

What would you say to your 80-year-old self? “Stop picking your nose..!”

How lucky are you and why? Very. My life is fairly idyllic & I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Also, spiritually, I feel better than I’ve ever felt…

What would people be surprised to know about you? Dunno, that’s a hard one. Perhaps that; aside from books, chocolate & sushi; I have no major addictions…

What makes you laugh? Honest, real life scenarios. The kind you can’t stage…

What is fun for you? Bumper cars & jamming with seasoned musicians…

What makes you question humanity? The overwhelming amount of atrocious behaviour some people display…

What is your favourite quote? Man, there’s tons o’ great quotes. Couldn’t possibly narrow it down to one. So, I’ll put down 3 of my faves. 1) “He was kind of charming, totally untrustworthy, conspiratorial, possessing mysterious juice with the ownership, able to operate completely outside the normal chain of command” – Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential 2) “We have eaten too much fat. Fresh baby pig is very griping to the bowels. There is an everlasting coming and going in the dug-out. Two, three men with their pants down are always sitting about outside and cursing. I have been out nine times myself. About four o’clock in the morning we reach a record: all eleven men, guards and visitors, are squatting outside” – Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet On The Western Front 3) “Look, look,’ cried the count, seizing the young man’s hands – “look, for on my soul it is curious. Here is a man who had resigned himself to his fate, who was going to the scaffold to die – like a coward, it is true, but he was about to die without resistance. Do you know what gave him strength? – do you know what consoled him? It was, that another partook of his punishment – that another partook of his anguish – that another was to die before him. Lead two sheep to the butcher’s, two oxen to the slaughterhouse, and make one of them understand that his companion will not die; the sheep will bleat for pleasure, the ox will bellow with joy. But man – man, who God created in his own image – man, upon whom God has laid his first, his sole commandment, to love his neighbour – man, to whom God has given a voice to express his thoughts – what is his first cry when he hears his fellowman is saved? A blasphemy. Honour to man, this masterpiece of nature, this king of the creation!” ― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

What is something originating from someone else that you find particularly inspiring?

arussell Have been playing with Russell for years. Good songwriter!


amarcussss Awesomely informative… “The best free cultural & educational media on the web.”



To see and hear more from Marcus Walker, click upon his links!  If you like what you see and hear, drop him a line! He may just tell you a corny joke. Yeah, that’s probably a definite there, matey!

Until next time… explore an artist… explore the artist in you!

Happy day, everybuddy!




Meet Kat Harlton:

Kat Portraits -3

Entrepreneur, storyteller,
community maker,
artist, dream catcher, genius,
positive force in the world at large.

Kat Portraits -6

 Photo credit: Patrick Hodgson Photography

Once you meet Kat Harlton, you want her to be part of your world forever because she makes everything better. She is wise and witty, silly and steadfast, innovative and brave, supportive and nurturing; just what is needed to create a formidable empire, which is what she is forming. From the source, The mission of The Harlton Empire is to promote creative works by independent artists in the arts/entertainment industry. 

And now an excerpt from this very interview that exemplifies to me the solid embrace that is knowing Kat Harlton. You’ll read it again down below so don’t get confused and think you’re deja tripping. I just think it bears repeating and I’m the boss of this blog, so enjoy. “My greatest sense of accomplishment always comes from being able to stand back and watch as others accomplish their goals and dreams because I supported them. I know how important that support is, so when I see how hard they’re working, and how much it means to them, it makes me want to work harder myself. It makes me proud  and I don’t take for granted that they’ve allowed me to be part of their journey.”  Right? I know now you just want to hear from Kat herself, so I’ll just shut up and let her answer…

What is your career?

My career is a mixture of all of my favourite things.

Monday to Friday I work at SoCast SRM doing Client Support.  SoCast is the leading digital marketing platform for radio and we work with many large clients including Corus Entertainment.

All the rest of my free time goes to The Harlton Empire, Lithium Magazine and Rebel Rebel Music Magazine (UK) all of which I use as platforms to promote music, film and art. I write reviews of albums and shows, cover live events and exhibitions, host events, do interviews with numerous kinds of artists and in general try to encourage and promote a positive, healthy, and vibrant community spirit within the arts scene.

What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career? What is your advice to others embarking on similar career?

Like all careers, when starting out my biggest challenges were knowledge and experience.  Both of which came with time and trial and error. I strive to do my best always, and if there’s something I  don’t know, I’ll take it upon myself to figure it out. I was taught from a young age to never be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help, it’s the only way to learn.

The greatest rewards of my career have been by far the relationships I’ve made. Most of what I’ve done and continue to do wouldn’t be possible without the help and support of numerous people. People who took a chance on me, and believed in me  when I said I wanted to do all these things I’d never done before and knew nothing about.

My greatest sense of accomplishment always comes from being able to stand back and watch as others accomplish their goals and dreams because I supported them. I know how important that support is, so when I see how hard they’re working, and how much it means to them, it makes me want to work harder myself. It makes me proud  and I don’t take for granted that they’ve allowed me to be part of their journey.

5 years ago, did you expect to be where you are today? Why, why not?

Well, 5 years ago is about when I created The Harlton Empire, and my only goals were to help as many independent artists as possible however I could and to give back to the community when I was able. For the most part this continues to be my goal, I’m not after a specific title or occupation, I like to just consider myself a goodwill ambassador of sorts.

That said, I’ve been given a lot of opportunities that I never expected to have, from interviewing celebrities to booking sold out shows and to going on tours. I wouldn’t have anticipated any of that 5 years ago.

Where will you be in 5 years?

To be honest I have no idea, and that thought makes me happy. So far, I plan on continuing what I’ve been doing, I really enjoy exploring new options and connecting with new people and you never know where that can lead you. I’ve done a lot in the past 5 years, so If I manage to do even half of that again in the next 5 I’ll be having one hell of a life. Haha.

What would you say to your 8-year-old self?

Keep on, keep’n on. Don’t change a thing. It’s not always going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it.  P.S: Your future 30 year old self is one happy woman.

What would you say to your 80-year-old self?

Jesus Christ! You’re still alive?!… haha kidding.

I guess this would depend a lot on what I do between now and being 80, but for the most part, I work hard to live without regrets, so it’d probably be somewhere along the lines of “You did good kid”.

How lucky are you and why?

I get conflicted every time I’m asked this question. In one sense I consider myself to be a very lucky woman. I’m blessed with a life that many others will never experience, and I don’t take any of it for granted, which I think has come from a combination of hard work and taking opportunities when they’ve been presented. On the other hand, I don’t believe in coincidence. There have been a few occasions in my life when I’m certain the universe has given me a hand. I believe some things are meant to happen, and that certain people are meant to come into our lives, whether it’s pre-destined or designed by ourselves.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

Hmmm, I guess it depends on who you ask. In general I consider myself a pretty open book. I actively work on being vulnerable and pushing my personal boundaries as I’ve found that reaps the biggest rewards.

Some people might be surprised to know I grew up in rural Southern Ontario, in between two small towns, surrounded by fields of crops and cattle for about the first 18 years of my life. My first job was working as a hired hand on my neighbours dairy farm. Probably not the first thing you’d expect when meeting me. Ha.

What makes you laugh? What is fun for you?

What makes me laugh? My boyfriend, Brandon. He’s always sending me funny memes from shows we watch, or jokes he makes up, or links to ridiculous stuff he found on the internet. He’s not afraid to be goofy or silly which is awesome.

As for what I can consider fun? Meeting new people, going to shows, collaborating, coming up with new ideas, experiencing new things, travelling. I’m an explorer at heart, and I’m always searching for something unique-something that fosters connection. That said, I’m also quite content to just chill in a park all day, or explore the city. I’m easy to please.

What is your favourite quote?

‘Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam’ it’s a Latin phrase, which roughly translates to ‘I will either find a way or make one’.  I consider this my personal mantra, so much so that I have it tattooed on my body. It’s how I govern my life, if I can’t find a way to do something, or I can’t do what I want through existing channels, then I’ll make my own way.

What inspires you?

It’s constantly changing. Though I frequently find myself drawn to the work of Patti Smith. There’s something about how raw and real she is in everything she does that inspires me to continue to search and create. I’ve read her autobiography ‘Just Kids’ numerous times and it’s something I find myself returning to over and over again.


For more and more, please enter the empire and connect with Kat in any forum below!
If you haven’t already, I hope you are lucky enough to meet her in person one day too! 🙂

Twitter: @harltonempire

As always, have a groovy day, everybuddy!



New Show Announced: She’s Listening!

You heard it here, folks! She’s Listening at the Beaver! Are yoooooou? 🙂 Hope to see you in the new year! Join Kristine St-Pierre, Heather Hill, Jessica Speziale and Angela Saini and me at The Flying Beaver Pubaret as we once again raise some funds for Ovarian Cancer Canada– this time flying high at the Flying Beaver in Toronto! Come have some amazing food and fun-loving fundraising entertainment all rolled into one evening extravaganza! Ya! 🙂
Ovarian Cancer Poster Jan 2015 copy-1

Sultry, soulful & rockin’ out – Jessica Speziale brings it all with Shine CD launch

What she said! 🙂

life with more cowbell

20141122_204227An amazing night at The Duke Live last night for Jessica Speziale’s launch of her new CD Shine – produced by MC2 Records – and what a night! Red carpet, photo ops and a packed house – this event was a happenin’ place.

Opening band Andreas kicked off the night’s festivities with a bluesy, kick-ass rock set, perfectly priming the crowd for the main event and impressing big time.

From the opening chords, stepping out into the light and stage mist, Speziale had us. Pulling out all the stops, the band included a three-piece string section near the beginning of the set and a three-piece horn section towards the end. Sultry, soulful and rocking out with her band, Speziale is a commanding, yet playful, presence onstage. Well before her final song – the title track from the CD – and the encore (“Brace Yourself”), Speziale had folks up on their…

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Jingle Bells Santa Smells – December Events!

I personally will have to buy my own stuff this year instead of pleading to Santa but I’ll be jingling bells at some of these events! Hope to see you all out ‘n’ about with your rosy snouts! 🙂 xo

Lizzie Violet

December is almost upon us and you know what that means.  Now the question is… have you been Naughty or Nice!

Nik Beat Tribute Show/Famous For Falling CD Release Party

Amersterdam Bicycle Club – 54 The Esplanade
December 6th

Wonderfest Poetry Series

Habits Gastropub
December 10th

Hosted by Lizzie Violet and feat. Brent Peers, Norman Cristofoli, Cynthia Gould

Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir and Fundraiser for The Street Store

The Central – 603 Markham Street
December 14th

feat. Teige Reid, Dottie Dangerfield, Rando Bando & North Star with Special Guest!


Winter Wonderland at Hirut – A night of music and poetry

Hirut Restaurant – 2050 Danforth Avenue
December 20th – 9 pm

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