International Women's Day 2023: Women, Life, Freedom
Re: Sentencing of Colin Harnack in murder of Julie Berman
In Solidarity with Ontario's Drag Performers
City of Toronto, The 519, and Homes First Society announce Toronto’s first dedicated shelter for 2SLGBTQ+ adults
In Solidarity; A Community Vigil Honouring Colorado Victims and Survivors
Public Statement on Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) 2022
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
Status For All: Letter to PM Justin Trudeau and Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Sean Fraser
The 519 Board of Management Candidates 2022/23
Notice of The 519 Annual General Meeting 2022-23
[Press Release] 2SLGBTQ+ communities release Media Reference Guide as a tool for more inclusive journalism
Call for Nominations – The 519 Annual General Meeting 2022-23
World Refugee Day: Support LGBTQ+ Refugees Every Day
Green Space Festival 2022: Neighbourhood Information
Green Space Festival announces 2022 lineup: a Pride-weekend party in support of 2SLGBTQ+ communities
Pride 2022 at The 519: Upcoming Programs and Events
Lifting the Blood Ban: A Step in the Right Direction
Trans Day of Visibility: Affirmations and Calls to Action
International Women's Day: Our History, Our Reality, Out Future
The 519 Black Collective – Black History Month 2022: ‘Black Health & Wellness’
Public Statement on Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) 2021
PRESS RELEASE: The 519 Annual Gala 2021
“We’re so grateful to Salah Bachir, who has championed The 519 via his annual gala for the past 17 years. The 2021 virtual gala will raise critically-needed funds for our programs and services in a safe manner and enable us to welcome guests from across the city, province, and even country.”
– Stacy Kelly, Director – Philanthropy, The 519
Featuring performances by:
Alan Cumming • Ben Vereen • Buffy Sainte-Marie • Serena Ryder • Jackie Richardson • Theo Tams • and other surprise guest appearances.
Alan Cumming is beyond eclectic. He was an award-winning Hamlet, and he had his own talk show. He was a tour de force solo Macbeth and he voiced a Smurf, twice. He shot a video portrait with Robert Wilson, and recorded a duet with Liza Minnelli. He made back to back films with Stanley Kubrick and the Spice Girls. He appeared in a Jay Z video and he wrote a #1 New York Times best selling memoir. He had a photo exhibition named Alan Cumming Snaps! and an award-winning fragrance named Cumming. He has played Dionysus, the Devil, God, the Pope and was shot by Herb Ritts for Vanity Fair as Pan. He was on a stamp. He was a teleporting Superhero, a Lee Jeans model and hosted the Tony awards. He is a Tony and Olivier award winning theatre actor, and a multiple Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG award nominated television actor.
In 1998, Cabaret opened on Broadway and Alan was instantly embraced by New York City, and heralded for his stunning performance as the Master of Ceremonies. He won The Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics’ Circle, NY Press, Theater World, FANY and New York Public Advocate’s awards for his work, but for him the biggest prize was finding his new home.
He has continued to work on Broadway in Noel Coward's Design For Living, The Threepenny Opera opposite Cyndi Lauper, Off Broadway in Jean Genet’s Elle (which he also adapted) and The Seagull, opposite Dianne Wiest. He returned to the British stage in 2006 with the West End production of Martin Sherman’s Bent, closely followed by the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Euripides’ The Bacchae, which opened the 2007 Edinburgh International Festival and toured Scotland, before transferring to London and New York. His next collaboration with the NTS and director John Tiffany was a radical reimagining of Macbeth, which premiered at the Tramway in Glasgow in 2012 and the following year Alan's tour de force performance of all the play's roles stormed Broadway.
His many UK television appearances include The High Life (written and performed with his Victor and Barry cohort Forbes Masson), Bernard and the Genie (British Comedy Award), Mark Cousins' Heavenly and more recently the miniseries The Runaway, Queers, the series of monologues curated by Mark Gatiss to mark the decriminalization of homosexuality and a highly acclaimed turn as King James in Doctor Who. In the US he has appeared inSchmigadoon, Broad City, Sex In The City, Frasier, The L Word, Web Therapy and is also the host of PBS’ Masterpiece Mystery. He played Eli Gold in seven seasons of the CBS series The Good Wife, for which he has received multiple Golden Globe, Emmy, SAG, Critics' Circle and Satellite Awards nominations, and starred in the CBS series Instinct, which premiered in March 2018 and made history by being the first ever US network drama to have a gay leading character.
Few entertainers today are as accomplished or versatile as Ben Vereen. His legendary performances transcend time and have been woven into the fabric of this country’s artistic legacy. On Broadway, Ben Vereen has starred in Wicked, Fosse, I’m Not Rappaport, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Pippin, Grind, Jelly’s Last Jam and A Christmas Carol. His role in Pippin garnered him both the prestigious Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for “Best Actor in a Musical.”
Ben recently appeared in an episode of BULL, and new TV series MAGNUM P.I both for CBS. In December, Ben finished filming a recurring role on the FOX series STAR, created by Lee Daniels, and an episode of the BET series TALES. Ben also recurs as PORTER in the first and second season of the hit Amazon TV series SNEAKY PETE, produced by David Shore and Bryan Cranston. Prior to this, Ben starred in the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW for Twentieth Century Fox directed by Kenny Ortega and starring alongside Laverne Cox. Ben is also working on a new Broadway show, “Reflections” written by Joe Calarco, directed by Josh Bergasse, with music by Stephen Schwartz.
His memorable television roles that have stood the test of time include Chicken George in ROOTS and Louis Armstrong in Louis Armstrong – Chicago Style. Other television credits include How I Met Your Mother, Grey’s Anatomy (Prism Award), Hot in Cleveland, NCIS, House of Payne, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, OZ, Star Trek – The Next Generation, The Jamie Fox Show, And Accidental Friendship (NAACP IMAGE AWARD) Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Silk Stockings, Webster, and J.J. Starbuck and Booker, Anne Rice’s Feast of All Saints, Intruders They Are Among Us (Emmy nomination), Faerie Tale Theatre’s Puss N’ Boots with Gregory Hines, The Jesse Owens Story, Ellis Island (Golden Globe Nomination), Lost in London, Salute to Liberty Special. Tenspeed and Brownshoe, The Muppet Show, The Carol Burnett Show, Pippen: His Life and Times, The Love Boat, 21 and Wake Up, SCTV, The Magic of David Copperfield, Jenny's Song, The Nanny, Touched by an Angel, Lois and Clark, Promised Land, and You Write the Songs. His television special Ben Vereen: His Roots received Seven Emmy Awards. Not forgetting his younger audiences, Ben released a number of well-received children's Sing-Along musical video. He also provided voice-overs for the show Wonder Pets for Nickelodeon was featured in Faerie Tale Theatre's Puss and Boots, Mother Goose Rock "n" Rhyme, The Kid Who Loved Christmas and played Mayor Ben in Hallmark's Zoobilee Zoo.
For his humanitarian contributions, he has received a number of awards including Israel's Cultural and Humanitarian Awards, three NAACP Image Awards, an Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award, and a Victory Award. He has received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Arizona, Emerson College, St. Francis College, and Columbia College in Chicago
Buffy Sainte-Marie is touring constantly, and coming off her critically acclaimed, award-winning albums Medicine Songs and Power in the Blood, nobody could ever accuse the Academy Award-winning songwriter of taking it easy. Since her groundbreaking debut, 1964’s It’s My Way!, the Cree singer-songwriter has been a trailblazer and a tireless advocate, an innovative artist, and a disruptor of the status quo.
Sainte-Marie has spent her whole life creating, and her artistry, humanitarian efforts, and Indigenous leadership have made her a unique force in the music industry. In 1969, she made one of the world’s first electronic vocal albums; in 1982 she became the only Indigenous person to win an Oscar; she spent five years on Sesame Street where she became the first woman to breastfeed on national television. She’s been blacklisted and silenced. She’s written pop standards sung and recorded by the likes of Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Donovan, Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. She penned “Universal Soldier,” the definitive anti-war anthem of the 20th century. She is an icon who keeps one foot firmly planted on either side of the North American border, in the unsurrendered territories that comprise Canada and the USA.
On her latest studio recording, the JUNO Award-winning Medicine Songs, Sainte-Marie doesn’t sugarcoat the truth or shy away from hard realities. At the same time, she is also never overwhelming or oppressive on this collection of nineteen songs that shine light on urgent subject matter including environmental destruction, alternative conflict resolution, Indigenous realities, greed, and racketeering.
Rather than making us feel smaller, sadder or more cynical, Buffy Sainte-Marie makes us feel stronger and more capable of seeing the world around us clearly. Part rhythmic healing, part trumpeting wakeup call, Medicine Songs is the soundtrack for the resistance.
Toronto-based vocal powerhouse Serena Ryder is a platinum-selling artist adored by fans, peers and critics alike, in part due to her raw and earnest songwriting, and beautifully electric live performances. She has received numerous accolades, including six prestigious JUNO Awards, a MuchMusic Video Award for Best Rock Video for “Stompa.”, and a Canadian Screen Award for Achievement in Music–Original Song.
With her upcoming album, The Art of Falling Apart , Serena invites listeners to join her mental wellness journey and helps us understand the importance of sitting with the uncomfortable moments and the wisdom in their messages. Over a driving pop sound bursting with irresistible rhythms, pulsing bass lines, and the full range of her powerful and expressive voice, she pulls listeners through her own winding, transformational journey, detailing despair, toxic relationships, and breakdowns alongside hope, joy, and big, big love.
Jackie Richardson (vocalist) was born in 1947 near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., but made her home in Toronto from a very young age.
She grew up in Richmond Hill, Ontario. At the age of 16, she began performing professionally for the first time with ‘The Tiaras’ Quartet, later performing frequently at Canadian Armed Forces bases across Canada, throughout the South Pacific, and the Far East. She has since become one of Canada’s most highly regarded stars of gospel, jazz, and blues. She is also well known for her of stage, screen, and studio work.
Jackie possesses a powerful and supple voice that is a perfect match for her vibrant stage presence. The awards and nominations for Jackie’s four-decade-long body of work include JUNOs, Geminis, Jessie and Bessie’s, Maple Blues and a Canadian Black Achievement Award for the Arts. Her unforgettable roles have ranged from theatre performances in Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Dora), and Cookin’ At the Cookery as Alberta Hunter (Dora); film performances in Turning to Stone as Dunk (Gemini), and Sins of the Father (NAACP); as well as her role as Jazz on the popular children’s TV series Doodle Bops. She has starred opposite Christopher Reeve, Sidney Poitier, Jane Seymour and Keifer Sutherland. Jackie has also hosted radio, television, and stage shows.
Jackie has also performed or recorded with countless musicians and ensembles, including Salome Bey, Doug Riley, Ray Charles, Alannah Myles, Celine Dion, Anne Murray, Oliver Jones, Andrew Craig, Molly Johnson, Divine Brown, Debra Cox, Mavis Staples, Guido Basso, Maureen Forester, Shirley Eikhard, Albert Schultz, Brent Carver, Michelle Wright, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Faith Chorale, Toronto Symphony, Nova Scotia Symphony, and the NAC Symphony.
In 1996, she contributed to Joe Sealy’s recording “Africville Suite,” which received a JUNO nomination. The project continues to be performed live as “Africville Stories” throughout Canada. She released her first recording, “A Woman’s View Through a Child’s Eyes” in 2003.
Jackie made a guest appearance on the album "Norm Amadio and Friends," which was released in 2009. She also appeared on Peter Appleyard's 2012 recording "Sophisticated Ladies."
Ms. Richardson continues to perform on stage and screen throughout Canada and the United States.
Theo Tams is rediscovering his identity as an artist. With his upcoming EP, the Canadian singer/songwriter demonstrates a remarkable command of R&B-laced pop music, his silky tenor the unwavering guiding light.
Towards the end of the 2000s, Tams’ life changed, first through coming out to his parents and then by competing in Canadian Idol and winning that year’s competition. Having released his debut album in 2009, as well as several EPs in recent years, Tams struggled navigating a post-Idol image and harboured a desire to branch out in his work.
That’s where his EP comes into the picture. Songs such as “Therapy” and “Fixable” accentuate this cosmic personal shift. The music across this collection of songs drowns the senses, oozing with intimate lyrics and style.
With the slow burning production of standout track, “Jekyll Hyde Love,” Tams explores both the positive and negative intensities he brings to his relationship.
“Part of growing older has been accepting my weaknesses and learning how to coast,” he explains. The song was written about those aspects in a relationship, accepting the fact that those extremes can also be what keeps things fresh, new, and exciting. “I’d rather be on a roller coaster than a merry-go-round any day,” says Tams.
Tams’ new EP finds him unapologetically embracing his own identity, reflecting on his behaviour and accentuating his strengths as a musician. Through his evolution into the artist he is today, it would seem that Theo Tams has finally found his place in the world.