This cocktail bar strives to fuse psychedelic jazz and traditional Armenian music into one unique experience. Where else can you hear nightly DJs and regular live music while munching on cultural foods and drinking Armenian-inspired cocktails? The Oud & The Fuzz brings together music, food and drinks into an incredible sensory experience.
LES is one of the very few Inclusive Gender Neutral Hair Studios in Toronto. Inspired by the Lower East Side in New York City, we are now up and running at 392 College St, Toronto. At our very core, we are a queer, women & immigrant-owned hair studio. Our hair artists range in specialties from barbering, hairstyling to coloring, therefore providing the best all-round hair experience for you in one place. We believe hair has no gender, only personality!
Lula Lounge is ground zero to the exploding world music scene in Toronto! The venue is rooted in supporting local artists and giving them a stage to showcase their talent. It boasts a wide range of music including latin, salsa, jazz, reggae, and indie. This space is a home for lovers of music and dance.
Jorge Betancourt was born in the Province of Camaguey, Cuba on January 22, 1974. He studied music atThe Vocational School of Art Luis Casas Romero in Camaguey, Cuba from 1981 to 1988 where heaccomplished his studies as a piano interpreter. Later on, he graduated from the Professional School ofMusic Jose White. Betancuort begins his life as a professional musician in 1995 playing in cuban bandssuch as Valentin y su orquesta, Tinima band of Camaguey, TradiSon and the band Pedro Plabo y suSalsometro. He has tour internationally including Canada and Germany at Jazz Festivals. Currently,Betancourt lives in Toronto and plays with local bands of different music backgrounds.
Cuban percussionist as a 3 years old little boy. He went to the Guillermo Tomas Music School and subsequently had the great opportunity of performing with the great Cuban Conga master “Tata Güines” when he was only 11. Since then, “Mr. Papiosco” has been very fortunate to perform with such great musicians and bands from Cuba and around the world, like Giraldo Piloto and Klimax. With this band, Jorge Luis recorded 3 Albums and toured extensively through Europe between 1995-2000. In 2002-2006, Papiosco joined the prestigious band “Cubanismo” directed by trumpeter Jesus Alemañy and started touring extensible through USA (20 states), UK, Western Europe, Asia and Canada (including performances at all the major Music Festivals and venues). He is now based in Toronto.
Born in Bahrain and raised in Canada, Justin is a multi-disciplinary designer that now specializes in production design. Starting his career with illustration and graphic design, his endless curiosity led him into many different mediums of art and design including video, fashion, industrial & experiential design. Justin eventually specialized in production design as it requires knowledge of many different mediums and processes in art and design, combined into a final project presentation.
Carl is the Executive Director of the Latin Sparks Festival. For the past 10 years he has produced and managed music and dance festivals that have attracted thousands of cultural enthusiasts around Canada. Carl has lived and worked all over Latin American and the Caribbean, and is passionate about education, entrepreneurship, and culture.
Sunfest in London Ontario - this is where it all started for me! The music, dance and culture quickly propelled me into taking Latin dance classes, joining a performance dance team, and traveling to Havana Cuba to deepen my knowledge on the culture. After running a marketing and production agency for 7 years, I was thrilled to get back to my creative roots by supporting the Latin Sparks team in the production of such a beautiful project - one that has personally brought me so much joy and depth after a year-long pandemic.
Yosvanii is a Singer, violinist, songwriter that breathes and lives through and for music since picking up his violin at the tender age of 7. Now living in Toronto, Yosvanii has stablished himself as a fresh and dynamic force that represents the musical embodiment of the city's diversity.
Born in Cuba into a family of musicians and artists, trumpeter, composer, arranger, and musical director Alexander Brown showed an early and avid interest in music.performing with the who is who in the city of Toronto. With his solid classical training, Alexander Brown is always ready to cross the boundaries of any musical genre; he can fuse the Cuban and Latin American genres. Likewise, Brown plays with the various stylistic experiences without abandoning his African and Cuban identities.
Yordan grew up in the rich dance culture and community in Havana, Cuba. He has been trained in formal instruction at Casa de Cultura in Plaza de la Revolucion and dance courses at Teatro Nacional de Cuba and Ballet Folklorico Nacional focusing on popular and folkloric dances. He competed in the first Salsanama competition in Canada in 2019 at the Toronto Salsa and Bachata Festival - With 1st place in Toronto and 2nd in the Finals. Yordan has a strong ability to move with ease and fluidity. He alternates and combines complex turn patterns, Cuban Salsa (Casino), Cuban Rumba, Son, Afro-Cuban, and Reggaeton creating exciting styling and high energy performance.
Co-founder & Co-director of Salchata Dance Academy. 2008 Venezuela Pro-Am Salsa Champion. Oriana started teaching Salsa & Bachata in her native Caracas, Venezuela in 2010. She has attended and performed at numerous Salsa congresses in Latin America, North America, and Europe under different troupes. With a strong base in Wellness & Yoga, Oriana nurtures a sense of growth, caring and patience in all her classes. Oriana’s training has been in Salsa On2, On1, Casino (Cuban Style), Cuban Rumba, and Traditional Bachata.
Claudia has been dancing for years in Salsa On1, On2, Casino (Cuban Style), Cuban Rumba, Son, and Modern Bachata. She has a voracious appetite for learning and is constantly looking for ways to diversify her dance repertoire. She has performed & competed in Toronto and has studied Rumba & Son in Cuba to further her dance training & development. With a background in consulting and training clients to better their business, her teaching approach is very student centered reflecting her drive to deliver results for her learners.
Co-founder & Co-director of Salchata Dance Academy. A teacher by profession, Sam shares his teacher training and knowledge in his classes with a strong emphasis on the roots of the music and dance. The former director of Korea International Salsa Site, Sam has collaborated with dozens of public and private organizations in the propagation of Salsa & Bachata during his dance journey in Canada, Japan, South Korea, China, and Cuba. Since 2001, Sam’s Salsa & Bachata dancing have been primarily focused on Salsa On2, On1, as well as Traditional and Modern Bachata. Later, he spent 2 months in Havana learning Rumba & Son, which he continues to develop and incorporate in all his dancing.
A Toronto based choreographer, educator,and founder of Dance Migration. She has trained in Brazil for the past 15 years and has been accredited to teach internationally by Master teachers in Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Adrianna's work is known globally to cultivate connection to spirit and uplift and inspire communities through the art of dance and music.
seasoned spoken word artist with national, provincial and local slam poetry championships under his belt. He is a long time youth advocate, arts educator, former refugee and proprietor of the One Mic Educators arts enterprise. Though his art and enterprise SPIN has donated thousands of crowdsourced dollars to grassroots causes. He has also paid out thousands of dollars to racialized artists across Turtle Island through his LA3 Raza Open Mic series. His words have been published and digitized by the League of Canadian Poets, The Forgiveness Project, Toronto Poetry Slam and the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam.
Tara Lord is a Hip Hop artist / songwriter from Toronto who's on her way to creating her own lane in the music industry. Her sound can be described as refreshing, consisting of rhythmic bold rap styles and soft soothing melodic flows. Her recent single "Praying" remix featuring Dub j and Roney went number one on Itunes Canada and she is ready for her takeover.
A docuseries illustrating the struggle and perseverance of Latin American artists and small businesses.
Lucha (pronounced lo͞o′cha). Noun. Spanish for fight; perseverance; struggle; resistance; often associated with a cause. Commonly used in Latin American slang in the context of working hard or “grinding” through a difficult or challenging situation.
The Latin Sparks Festival is among Canada’s largest celebrations of Latin American music, dance, food, and culture. From the very first day, we have always strived to do one thing: bring our community together to celebrate everything Latin - the sounds, the tastes, the moves, and most of all - the people. These past 18 months have been extremely devastating and life-changing for our people in the arts & culture sector - our musicians, dancers, artists, staff, small businesses, families, and friends. Each one of us has a unique story of the struggle that we face to continue pursuing our livelihoods and passions.
In commemoration of the difficult times that many of our community members continue to face, we present to you a docuseries illustrating the struggle and perseverance of Latin American artists and businesses in our community. These are their stories.
We’d never be where we are today without the support and collaboration of our partners.