Rythmes de Femmes at Rialto Theatre

Last week, I received an invitation from Marilyn Berzan-Montblanch to take part in the closing festivities of the 2011 Images de femmes at the Rialto Theatre on March 20. Rythmes de femmes is the finale of the Images de femmes event, which pays tribute to Mile End women artists. This year Rialto owner Ezio Carosielli generously offered the Mile End landmark for the event, throwing  in a few extra surprises, such as a chocolate fountain fondue and homemade cannoli.

I arrived at the sumptuous theatre just as the best costume was being awarded. Participants had dressed in wearable art for the occasion. I recognized a lot of familiar faces in the crowd, including that of Mile End Councillor Richard Ryan. I also had a chance to snap a picture of Alice Cantine walking around in her ball gown made entirely from Loto 649 tickets.

My last visit to the Rialto was for a New Year's Eve Party in 1988. At the time, they still had the original theatre seats in place. In the 1920s, when the Rialto was built, it seated 1,000 (small) people and was known as a "movie palace." The seats on the bottom floor have since been removed and replaced with cabaret seating.

During the intermission, I had a chance to speak to Ezio Carosielli, who disclosed his renovation plans. A previous owner had redone the theatre, but had chosen red, blue and gold, which were not the original colours. Ezio and his partner were in the process of restoring the balcony to its original green and beige. Although that may sound dull in comparison, when I saw a part that had been restored, the muted colours definitely enhanced the beauty of the original features. Unfortunately, the balcony was closed, but catching a glimpse certainly piqued my curiosity.Carosielli also spoke of a beautiful a cappella performance that had taken place on the previous evening. As I quickly learned when the Images de Femmes musical performances started, the acoustics at the Rialto are indeed magnificent.

In short, Mile End women artists were honoured in the style they deserve, and I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day and the 18th annual Images de Femmes than a party at the Rialto Theatre. Special thanks to Ezio, the wait staff at the Rialto, Robin Gorn for all her help and Linda Morrison who came in spite of feeling under the weather.

Related posts:
Navarino's and Images de Femmes
Guerrilla in the Midst
Bagel Conundrum
Mile End's Ring of Fame
What it is by Lynda Barry
The True Gender
Almost a Visit to Gender
St-Viateur: the Polish Bazaar
The Mile End Buzz Around Beekeeping
For the Love of Vinyl
Airing Our Dirty Laundry



Jack Ruttan | March 27, 2011 at 2:38 PM

"Closing festivities?" What's happening to the Rialto Theatre?

Heather | March 27, 2011 at 5:15 PM

No closing festivities of the Images de femmes 2011. Better make sure that is clear. Thanks Jack!

Heather | March 27, 2011 at 5:16 PM
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Anonymous | March 30, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Thank you for the post. The pictures are lovely!
Two small notes: The dress is supposed to be a wedding dress, but I suppose one could wear it to a ball; and it has a variety of lottery tickets in it, not just 649. All however, were non-winning tickets, and all were purchased by me (though I am ashamed to admit it). I call it "Luck is what you make of it"
Thanks again, Alice

Anonymous | March 31, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Thanks Heather, for all your attention to Images de femmes and those who help to (re)create it each year - and for the photos too, wonderful memories...Marilyn

Heather | March 31, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Alice, either way it was one lucky dress! Thanks for giving us those other details and for taking the time to comments.

Marilyn, you are so welcome. I really enjoyed myself. H

Robin Gorn | July 13, 2011 at 12:24 AM

There was a foto of Alice and I on stage together. would love a copy of it.

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