Complaints Choir Toronto

TTC, Rob Ford inspire Toronto's first complaints choir

The people of Toronto have spoken - and we love to grumble, groan, and whine: people seem to hate the TTC (surprise, surprise!), are angry about the recent election (and at Rob Ford), hate how dang dirty Lake Ontario is, and are really, really upset about the G20.

Late last year, the Harbourfront Center announced they were forming our very own Complaints Choir and put out a call for complaints.

"Some of [the submitted complaints] were really funny, about, you know, your roommates having loud sex upstairs," said Tina Rasmussen, the Artistic Director of Harbourfront's World Stage, "but some of them were also really sad - about having trouble saving money and getting ahead, or feeling alone."

Over 1,000 complaints were received - and many of them had reoccurring trends. With the help of Rasmussen and composer/song writer Bryce Kulak, the 125-person choir narrowed the complaints down to the best 60-some-odd and put them to music.

The result?

Rasmussen says she wants to make people realize that participation in the arts doesn't have to be about "sitting in the dark and watching a play" - it can happen anytime, anywhere.

"When you take a complaint, or a whole bunch, and come together as a group and sing... it sort of transforms into joy. So there's this idea of building something together and having it transform into joy through the power of performance."

She also just wants to make people smile - and so far, so good, as Sunday's final rehearsal was filled with smiling faces and laughter.

"It's been a great experience and tremendous fun," said choir member Julia Morgan, "I love that the song both celebrates and shines a light onto complaining... how it can be both a positive and negative thing. I'm really excited to perform!"

Performances are scheduled throughout the week across the downtown core, and in most cases, more than one will occur at each location.

Tues. March 22 - St. Lawrence Market from 12 noon
Wed. March 23 - Walker Court at the AGO beginning at 6:30pm
Thurs. March 24 - Distillery District (Trinity Square/Tank House Lane) beginning at 6:30pm
Sat. March 26 - Harbourfront - 3:30pm


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