Archive | June, 2012

May Winner: Dr. Cornelius von Martlehüp’s Fantacular Tent of Spectastic Oddities

6 Jun

Q&A with the winner, Joel Babcock:

1) Congratulations! What’s your project all about?

Dr. Cornelius von Martlehüp’s Fantacular Tent of Spectastic Oddities will travel around Toronto during the course of the summer eliciting responses of delight and arousal from anyone courageous enough to enter. One day there might be a puppet show going on inside, while the next there could be a reenactment of the 2nd Defenestration of Prague. No matter what you find though, it’s bound to be fun for the whole family! (Except for men over the age of 47.)

2) Where do you get your crazy ideas from?

While I was working in a Swedish opium den during the 1950s, a customer came up to me and said:

“Creativity is about perceiving the world differently. When you see something interesting, take a moment to twist it around in your mind – imagining an exaggerated version, its exact opposite, how you could add or subtract from it, unusual settings you could place it in, whatever. If you want to have crazy ideas, you can’t just pull them from thin air. Go out and experience everything with an open mind, allowing the connections you make to be loose and numerous. ”

So anyways, I guess my point is that if you see good-quality AA batteries on sale, you should probably buy them; even if you don’t need them right now, you’re bound to use them in the future.

3) Did we ask you this question as part of the Q&A?*

No, you didn’t.

4) If I’d like to volunteer or get involved, who should I contact? Do you have a website?

If you’d like to volunteer, you can send a message to

If you’d just like to check us out, our website is

And of course, you can still get in contact with us the old-fashioned way by slathering your naked body in raspberry jam, walking into the middle of the nearest street, and screaming out quotes from the Disney classic Bambi. We’ll be by to pick you up approximately 15 minutes after you start shrieking.

* EDITOR’S NOTE: We really didn’t include this question – he added it as part of his answers.**

**ADDENDUM TO EDITOR’S NOTE: We are also not responsible for writing this Editor’s Note.

The May Shortlist

5 Jun

The Kenwood Lane Art Initiative: Countering the graffiti & tagging with “urban art”, two neighbours offer to paint resident’s garages with art. 21 garages were painted in 21 days last year, with more to come this year. $1000 buys better paint and helps expand the effort to other nearby alleys.

Proud, the play: Proud is the third in a trilogy of award-winning plays about Canadian values by Michael Healey. Proud is about what we actually want out of our politics, and our politicians. One man devotes his entire life to moving the country several millimetres to the right on the political spectrum. Will he succeed? At what cost? A Pygmalion for a country that, until Stephen Harper came along, had no need for one.

Small Change For Big Change: We started Small Change for Big Change three years ago to help provide quality food to Toronto foodbanks. It evolved into a few things; we now provide fresh produce to Toronto’s only weekly youth foodbank/dinner as well as run the actual operation of the foodbank. Now that we have created relationships with these kids, and build trust, we will be launching a blog in the fall where we interview the youth who use the foodbank, how they came to need support, where they came from and how they feel they can get out of it. Knowledge is power and anonymity creates stereotypes. We feel that by having Toronto’s blog reading, and influential circles read these stories, it will spark ideas to create change.

Nomadesk: The Nomadesk Writer’s Residency is an inclusive publishing experiment that uses a nomadic desk/typewriter apparatus to bring the private act of writing into public space. This project has existed in past incarnations, but what I propose to the Awesome Foundation is: A Cycle-Driven, Toronto- Specific, Writer’s Residency Open to the Public!

Dr. CvM’s Spectastic Tent of Fantacular Novelties: You’re walking through Trinity-Bellwoods Park one day when you happen upon an unusual sight. Off in the distance sits a small, colourful tent with a man (dressed like a circus barker) standing out front, gesturing widely and speaking to a ramshackle gathering of bystanders. He introduces himself as Dr. Cornelius von Martleh and says that he has traveled to the 5 and 3/4th corners of the earth to find stupefying experiences for his novelty tent. Now that his voyage is complete, he has arrived in Toronto to share his discoveries free-of-charge. With no pressing plans for the afternoon, you decide to give in to your growing curiosity. So you step up to the tent’s entrance, go inside, and find…