The Queen St. West BIA celebrates its rich history of artistic culture as it partners with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival for the first time ever.

Toronto – April 16, 2010

Known for its distinct art meets commerce scene, the vibrant Queen St. West Business Improvement Area (BIA), has partnered with the annual Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival for the first time ever. The Queen St. West BIA will be helping to showcase visually captivating and relevant works of photography in its unique and historic spaces. The festival will start with a kick-off bash which will be taking place on April 30th 2010 at Nocturne Club (550 Queen Street West at Bathurst), starting with a reception from 7 – 9 pm and entertainment continuing into the night.

Queen St. West BIA is an historic area that spearheaded the growth in Toronto’s cultural life in the 1980s and 1990s. Known then for its mixture of fashion boutiques, galleries and indie music bars, the eastern part of Queen West has become a major shopping district while the western half retains its eccentric roots.

Located just south of the Ontario College of Art and Design and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Queen Street West between Simcoe and Bathurst is the neighbourhood that nurtured young artists for decades. While many of the galleries and artist-run centres are just slightly south of Queen West, the specific area is still the home to bars that showcase independent music. Fashion is another traditional strength of the area and one can shop for unique clothes on Queen West.

This year, the Queen St. West BIA is excited to welcome some of the country’s most talented photographers at the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, including, Louis Helbig, who will be discussing the environmental and always controversial issues relating to the Alberta Tar Sands. Helbig flew an antique aircraft over Alberta to take aerial shots of the Tar Sands, which he has used to spark debate and conversation.

For the month of May, 11 venues along the Queen St. West BIA between Simcoe and Bathurst Streets will be displaying works from local and Canadian photographers as a part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. The Queen St. West BIA will be welcoming the following photographers:

Robert O’Hoski – The Rex- Portraits
The Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar (194 Queen St. West)

Tammy Stone – Sidelong – A Photography Exhibit by Tammy Stone
The Queen Mother Cafe (208 Queen St. West)

Bryant Thompson – Nothing To Say, Something To See, Something To Say, Nothing To See
BQM Diner (354 Queen St. West)

Louis Helbig – Beautiful Destruction – Alberta Tar Sands Aerial Photographs
The Rivoli Restaurant (334 Queen St. West)

Mircea Popescu – What do we really want?
Gafas (561 Queen St. West)

Tori Foster and Jesse Colin Jackson – Iterations
Arepa Cafe (490 Queen St. West)

L.E. Glazer – Ireland Suite Part II
Oh Boy! Burger Market (571 Queen St. West)

Don Michie – Bodyscapes
The Cabinet Salon (577 Queen St. West, second floor, entrance on Portland St.)

Esmond Lee – City of Faris
Tequila Bookworm (512 Queen St. West)

Stephanie Schranz and Tina Folmeg – Pandora
Shanghai Cowgirl (538 Queen St. West)

Carl William W. Heindl Eroder, Rob Gravel RPG, Nik Sutherland – Nocturnal Toronto
Nocturne Club (550 Queen St. West)

img-QueenStThe Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is an annual month long festival of photography with over 1000 local, national and international artists showcasing their work in the Greater Toronto Area. Founded as a not-for-profit organization 14 years ago, CONTACT is devoted to celebrating, and fostering an appreciation of the art and profession of photography and has since stimulated excitement among a diverse audience that has grown to over 1.5 million making it the world’s largest photography festival.

Formed in early 2009, the Queen St. West BIA has the distinction of being the first Commercial Heritage Conservation District in Toronto. Celebrating its one year anniversary, the BIA is an association of business owners and tenants along Queen Street West that work together to preserve the heritage and strong culture that the community has long been known for.


Available for interviews:
BIA Chair, Marc Glassman

For more information, please visit:

For media inquiries please contact:
Pennant Media Group
Kevin Pennant [email protected]
Toronto 416.596.2978
Los Angeles 818.748.7517