Project Seahorse: 20th Anniversary annual report

Project Seahorse consists of a small group of conservationists making a huge global impact. Doing work in over thirty countries they are celebrating a twenty year history of marine conservation including research, sustainable trade, education and outreach. Designed by Raymond Helkio this anniversary annual report combines a twenty year timeline, operations map plus gorgeous one-of-kind photos shot by their staff.

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New Design Streamlines TriAdventure and Nikibasika


WEB DESIGN NEWS: TriAdventure and Nikibasika merge designs to create a mobile friendly, single-site experience for athletes, crew and donors. Over the coming months we’ve got lots more improvements planned both online and off. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or register now.  This summer by training and fundraising for the annual TriAdventure; a 3 day event involving a 3km swim (or 15km run), 15km canoe, and 140km cycle. The money raised is the used for a home and long-term education for orphaned and vulnerable youth in Kasese, Uganda.

Our focus is to help these young adults become self-sustaining leaders in their communities. Each participant is supported with formal education beyond secondary school, and more important, with leadership development, career guidance, global and human rights awareness. Each young person also participates in a team where they create and lead a community-development project that helps people in need in their local area. Some of the kids are now adults and already working and giving back in their community. Registration for 2017 is now open, to help or to register as an athlete or crew, please click here. Registration will secure your spot and is limited as this is a small group.

Graphic design and website development support courtesy of Raymond Helkio.
Feature image: Kiiza and Blair Cox
Pictured above: Stephanie Stroka, Cate Creede, Yves Precourt 
and Lisa Hipgrave


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Hair of the Dog’s website gets a make-over

Kick-ass food, serious cocktails, cheeky staff and now a website to match! Hair of the Dog’s mobile friendly upgrade is designed around the food and their extensive beer collection, 50+ brands from around the globe. They have been a Church Street favourite since opening fifteen years ago and they’re still serving up a cheekier brand of sophistication than you might be used to from your garden variety pub.  Come, Sit, Stay.

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Come See Us At The AGO, Wednesday at 7pm

PLEASE to join us at the AGO this Wednesday at 7pm for a legendary performance by KEITH COLE, featuring gay porn star Ryan Russell, drag sensation Maria Delmonte with cinematic landscaping by queer filmmaker Raymond Helkio. This commissioned work is part of TORONTO: Tributes + Tributaries which explores the work of Canadian artists active between 1971-1989 through modern day performance art.

TWO SHOWS ONLY:
Wednesday, October 26, 7pm (FREE)
Saturday, October 29, 2 pm (Free with gallery admission)
#HashTagGallery Slut
Art Gallery of Ontario

Tributes + Tributaries featured artists also include Michael Snow, Barbara Astman, Andy Fabo, John Greyson, Johanna Householder, Robin Collyer, Robert Houle, Carol Conde, Carl Beveridge, June Clarke, Ato Seitu and Lillian Allen.


Keith Cole #HashTagGallery Slut
COLE
HELKIO
HELKIO
Maria Delmonte #HashTagGallery Slut
DELMONTE
RUSSELL
RUSSELL

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Closet Case: New Web Series Premiering on theBUZZ

From Toronto’s East End to New York’s East Village we take you on an uncensored journey into the closets and behind the alter egos of our communities most beloved queers. Welcome to Closet Case.

From Toronto’s East End to New York’s East Village join us as we go behind the alter egos and into the closets of our communities most beloved queers. Thursdays on theBuzz.

Episode 1: Inside D’yan Forest, an 81 year old internationally recognized cabaret singer, actress and stand-up comedian. This ‘bisexual Betty White’ has been dazzling audiences for more then seven decades with her one-woman extravaganza and slight-of-mouth comedy.

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Toronto: Less Bullies, More Ambassadors

While waiting for a bus in downtown Toronto, Enza Anderson looked up because two City of Toronto workers in an orange and blue truck were snickering and taunting her. When she didn’t respond they drove their large city-issued truck up along side of her and called out ”Look at the batty bwoy!”.  This is pretty terrible behaviour from what once was “Toronto the Good”. What happened to Enza is not an anomaly and since the majority of LGBT-related hate crimes go unreported we know it’s happening with greater frequency than Metro Hall is claiming to be aware of.

City Of Toronto employees

Photo: Enza Anderson

Enza wanted to make a formal complaint in person so last Wednesday we met with the Director of Transportation Services at Metro Hall to formally complaint about the harassment. Metro Hall is a big building that feels a bit like stepping onto the Star Trek enterprise where everything is beeping, humming and churning along inside while out in space a shit-storm is brewing.

We are met in the lobby and escorted up in the elevator to the seventeenth floor. The ride up was filled with over-cordial, enthusiastic conversation which did serve to distract us from the giant elephant that was squished in with us. In this polite country we call Canada it would be unheard of to direct our anger and frustration at him so instead we all make small talk as if we’re all aligned on next steps, which is doubtful. We are at this meeting because city employees think that it’s okay to drive up along someone and call out degrading and threatening comments. If you worked at a bank and did the same thing to someone while wearing your bank name tag – you shouldn’t be surprised if you’re harshly and swiftly penalized. Toronto cannot afford to celebrate diversity while supporting a culture based on fear, hate and intolerance. It doesn’t matter if a woman wears a short skirt or if a person’s gender isn’t apparent, none of it is relevant to doing their job.

Toronto Metro Hall signThese men only see themselves as employees, accountable to their boss, as opposed to ambassadors of our city, which is why after-the-fact tactics like sensitivity training are like scratching at an open wound because it suggests that the problem is lack of knowledge or ’sensitivity’ to a particular culture or ideology. We don’t need written policies to tell us that driving up along side anyone so you can tease them is way, way, way out-of-line.  These men were fully aware that what they were doing was wrong and it’s only going to inflict more pain onto the situation by forcing them to apologize or show compassion. It’s like forcing a bully to make an apology to his victim, sure it might feel good to watch him squirm and spit out an apology but in the end he’s not really going to be sorry. In most jobs it’s just understood that you are a representative of the company, so why do so many guys think they can act like complete assholes while at work? Partly, because they’ve been getting away with it for years.

Raymond Helkio

We get off the elevator, walk through the glass doors and into the office area to be greeted by one of his colleagues. As we enter the corner office with its impressive view of downtown, we’re offered sincere apologies for the situation, an assurance that they are taking this seriously and suggests that these situations are pretty rare. If you are trans, it’s not rare. A cis gender woman, it’s not rare. A visible gay or lesbian, not rare. Having the same rights as everyone doesn’t mean we have to be like everyone so it’s imperative that city workers reflect and respect that diversity.

Sitting around the table, it’s explained to us that the there are strict policies in place and employees are bound by. It’s all well and good to have a policy, but if your employees don’t see themselves as ambassadors for the city then it’s just another piece of paper. After Enza explained the tormenting and belittling behaviour from people who are getting paid to do a job. Right off the top our expectations were capped when they told us that the two men in question have already been pulled aside and spoken to and since the city is unionized the outcome of any disciplinary action will be kept confidential but could be a letter on file or up to ten days suspension. Or nothing at all.

This sounds like a slap on the wrist compared to the City of Toronto’s Human Rights and Anti-Harassment Policy which underscores the seriousness of their offence “All employees are responsible for respecting the dignity and rights of their co-workers and the public they serve. Discrimination and harassment are serious forms of employee misconduct which may result in disciplinary action up to and including discharge.”

In other jobs I don’t have to be told that it’s not okay to harass others so when it happens with regular occurrence perhaps the problem might be happening the moment the person is hired. The construction workers and city employees I personally know are highly functioning and intelligent people so this is not a capacity issue. Working in a public capacity carries the same, if not greater, responsibility for respecting the basic human rights of the people who also live in this city.


THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 10TH: We haven’t heard anything further from Metro Hall. Earlier today Enza placed a formal complain with the city’s Human Rights office.

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Not Just Another Brick In The Wall: Ledbury Park SAC Honours Helkio Design

IMG_1978The LPSAC logo mimics the complexity of Ledbury Park students while giving a nod to the building’s architecture. Ledbury Park School Advisory Council adopted a new before launching their hugely successful capitol campaign a little over two years ago.

Their Believe Campaign has raised over $28,000 and funds resources such as SMART Boards, athletic uniforms, literacy and numeracy resources plus the Brick by Brick fundraising campaign which bridged the gap between the TDSB’s commitment ($75K) and the full project budget for ($150K) Ledbury’s new Playscape. Graphic Design: Raymond Helkio

 

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KM Hunter Foundation Artist Awards

Every year the KM Hunter Foundation awards six grants of $8000.00 to artists in the areas of Visual Art, Dance, Theatre, Literature, Film and Video and Music. Recipients are recommended for this award by the Ontario Arts Council juries who put names forward from their own individual juries. Graphic Design: Raymond Helkio // KM Hunter Foundation Logo // 2015 Awards Invitation (below)

Hunter invite 2015

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Death Of A Bathhouse to screen at Queer City Cinema International Queer Film Festival

MAY 21-23, 2015
QUEER CITY CINEMA
12TH INTERNATIONAL QUEER FILM FESTIVAL
REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN

Directed by Raymond Helkio and Rolyn Chambers
Combining footage from the final days of St. Marc’s Spa with interviews from Toronto artists Sky Gilbert, Keith Cole, Brad Fraser, Drasko Bogdanovic & Shane MacKinnon, Death Of A Bathhouse explores the art culture and ultimate demise of one of Toronto’s longest running bathhouses. SCREENING DATES AND TICKETS

DOABH Poster

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Dignity Initiative: A Legacy of Love

The Dignity Initiative Wordmark

In June 2014, over 500 activists, academics, lawyers and policymakers from across Canada and around the world came together in Toronto, Ontario for the WorldPride Human Rights Conference which raised the level of awareness of global LGBTI issues in Toronto and Canada and provided a launch pad for the Dignity Initiative.

There is currently no framework or best practice guidelines for LGBTI and allied groups across Canada for working on global LGBTI issues. Our goal is to convene around the development of a set of policy pieces that would be practical tools for the Canadian government and Canadian civil society organizations. This project builds upon the 10-point plan of action on human rights for LGBTI people presented to the federal government in May 2014 by over 80 civil society organizations. Join us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the developments. Logo, graphic design and website: Raymond Helkio.


THURSDAY MAY 14, 2015
Reception & Discussion 
for International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia
The Dignity Initiative hosts a reception and interactive discussion on how Canadians are becoming more involved in supporting human rights for LGBTI people around the world. This reception is co-hosted by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and The Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto.

Agenda:
5:00pm-6:00pm Reception (light refreshments and cash bar)
6:00pm-7:30pm Panel Discussion and Conversation

Panelists:
Adedapo Fabunmi, APAA (Africans in Partnership Against AIDS), Initiative for Equal Rights, Nigeria
Maurice Tomlinson, LGBTI Aware Caribbean & Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network
Vijaya Chikermane, Alliance for South Asian Aids Prevention
Michelle Emson, KyivPride Canada

Moderator: Doug Kerr, Dignity Initiative

The panel will discuss ways that Canadians are working on human rights for LGBTI people in several regions and countries of the world, including the Caribbean, India, Nigeria, and Ukraine.

Join this Facebook event page for more information.

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