Tag Archives: Lunch

Arts & Crafts Record Label President Jeffrey Remedios

29 Sep

Lunch with Mary 062b

Date of lunch:
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The company:
Jeffrey Remedios is the co-founder and president of Arts & Crafts, a record label and production company. Its first album that really helped to launch the label was 2003’s Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot it in People, still one of my favourite albums of all time. And beyond the record label, Jeffrey is involved with music in all sorts of ways. He sits on the board of CARAS (Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), FACTOR (Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings) and others. And one of his most exciting upcoming projects is co-chairing Operanation, a fundraising GALA on October 18th for the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio that combines live performances by COC’s Ensemble Studio singers and contemporary music artists, such as past performers Broken Social Scene and Rufus Wainwright and this year’s just announced The Arkells and Nelly Furtado.

The food:
We ate at Jules Bistro on Spadina just south of Queen. It’s a pretty bustling lunch spot but we met for lunch at 1 p.m. so it calmed down quickly. Both Jeffrey and I had the nicoise salad. It was a pretty tasty, light lunch. Jeffrey also ordered frites but they never arrived, strange. We both drank water and both had an Americano after our meal. Total bill was $44 with tax.

The lunch lesson:
Music has really defined Jeffrey’s life and he has been able to parlay that into an awesome career, starting working the public relations side at a major label and now with his own label. But the most interesting aspect of his love of music is how it’s constantly evolving. A great example of this is Jeffrey’s involvement with Operanation. He admitted that he didn’t know much about opera a few years ago but was invited to attend a previous Operanation. And then Alexander Neef attended a Broken Social Scene concert on the Island a few years back and they became friends. His interest and appreciation for opera grew from there, adding Broken Social Scene to Operanation the next year. I really appreciated how Jeffrey has so many great indie rock acts on his label but is still open and excited to learn about other aspects of music. Made me realize that as we get older, we can get a little stuck in what we like and maybe stop looking around to experience new things, it’s great to see Jeffrey continuing to want to learn and experience more.

The lunch:
For anyone who is reading this and is totally jealous of Jeffrey’s job, he did offer some advice to anyone looking to start their own label. “Have Broken Social Scene be the first band you sign.” For the first three years of the label, they were able to work with Broken Social Scene, their friends and side projects of band members like Feist, Stars and Apostle of Hustle, who have all achieved great success including Feist winning the Polaris Music Prize just this week.

Overall it was just a really great conversation that flowed from start to finish. Maybe it was the discovery at the end of our mutual love for Ira Glass’ This American Life where Jeffrey pointed out the most amazing app I have ever seen… every This American Life podcast ever recorded. No more saving up the new ones for road trips!

We talked a lot about music, obviously. Jeffrey explained how music has really defined his whole life and even as he became interested in other things like politics, he still finds that music defines these other interests.

I recently attended Jian Ghomeshi’s new book launch as the +1 of RAA’s lovely Amy Cole and I think this event was the perfect combination of so many aspects of Canada, music and culture and sort of played out in real time what Jeffrey was talking about. It was a literary event, The Arkells were the “house band,” Jian Ghomeshi joined them on-stage and sang lead, he talked about growing up in 1982 as an Iranian-Canadian and politicians were even in attendance like Olivia Chow and Justin Trudeau. A real combination of so much that is Canada. I asked Jeffrey if he attended as Broken Social Scene members also took the stage. Well he wasn’t there BUT he did help organize it. Of course he did. He really has his hands in a lot of stuff in this city.

I was a little embarrassed when Jeffrey asked me what bands I listen to because I am 1. not the hippest and most up to date on my music and 2. I never remember bands’ names. But I was able to talk to those special songs that as soon as you hear them, you can totally be transported back to a moment in time. Like that first Broken Social Scene album that I listened to the whole way across Canada back on a crazy road trip in 2003 or Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication that transports me right back to the tenth grade.

Hanging out with Jeffrey not only makes you excited about music but also about Toronto, there is so much going on all the time, so much music and so many interesting collaborations. I really need to take better advantage of everything this city has to offer and so should all of you!

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Two years of lunching… and counting

5 Feb

Two years_2

Me – In between meals

A year ago, I looked back at my first 12 months of lunching and was mostly in shock that I was able to pull off this funny little idea that I had.

Now that I am two years into this lunching adventure, I continue to be so grateful to everyone who has agreed to have lunch with me and taught me so much along the way. I feel a bit like a kid doing a school project when I ask people out to lunch so I am always a bit surprised when anyone agrees. So a huge thank you to my lunch guests from the past 12 months:

· Ryan Taylor

· Corey Mintz

· Sunny Fong

· Amy Cole

· Ben Barry

· Inessa Frantowski

· Rahaf Harfoush

· Massimo Capra

· Daryl DSouza

· Jian Ghomeshi

As I enter year three, I haven’t figured out what I want to do next. As the site continues to grow with more lunches and more readers, I want to make this into more and I am struggling what that “more” is.

But there is one thing I want to accomplish in 2011. Since I am two years into this, I am just going to be up front. I want to have lunch with Paul Krugman. It’s why I started this blog and I think it would be a fascinating conversation. I outreached to him this year and did hear back (yay!) but the lunch still hasn’t happened. I am willing to travel and work around his schedule but I am going to you all, dear readers, and asking for help. Any ideas on how I can make this happen?

And finally, thanks for reading – I hope you all enjoy my blog just a fraction of as much as I enjoy doing it.

Me! (In other words my lunch guest didn’t show up)

12 Aug

Lunch with Mary 041

Date of lunch:
Thursday, August 12, 2010

The company:
I want to start this post by making sure to emphasize that I hold no animosity towards my intended lunch guest, I understand that stuff happens and we’re hoping to re-schedule. But I was planning to post today and I did have a blog lunch after all. So I thought I would just share what my lunch was all about. As for the company, I was joined by myself, a lovely blogger and avid fan of food. I was likely bad company to myself as I was constantly checking my Blackberry and looking out the window.

The food:
I ate at Milagro. I have always wanted to try this place ever since we almost had a staff party there a few years ago. I drank water and had the chicken burrito. The burrito was totally different than the type you get at Burrito Boyz, not quite as heavy and more fresh ingredients, raw veggies and such. On the down side, it was very greasy and had too many onions. But on the plus side, it was incredibly delicious and I would totally have another one right now – with a request for less onions. Total bill was $11 with tax.

The lunch lesson:
My lesson is to anyone out there who is planning on having lunch with someone but they end up not showing up. I have eaten lunch at restaurants alone plenty of times and it’s never been a problem. But when you’re sitting at table with a menu in front of yourself and another menu in front of an empty chair, people look at you with sympathy and it’s one of those things where you can try to explain that it’s really no big deal but then you’re protesting too much and it gets weirder and weirder. So my advice would be to simply get one menu when you arrive and the second menu when (and if, ha!) your guest arrives.

The lunch:
The lunch itself was uneventful but also kind of hilarious. I think the entire staff thought I got stood up on a date. The reservation I made for two didn’t help that assumption too much. At least three servers came to my table to make sure I was okay. At one point, I told one of the servers that I was likely just going to get take-out and he said don’t worry about ordering anything and that they understand. They were very nice.

My lunch gave me a great opportunity to get caught up on Twitter. I saw that Jake Tapper blogged about a billboard comparing Obama to Hitler – ya, you read that right. Ridiculous. I also read that J.Lo was having trouble deciding what to wear today from her overflowing baskets of jewels. And I thought having a no-show lunch guest was a problem – boy, was I off base.

I am a pretty easy-going person (unless I’m on an airplane) so I wasn’t too upset about my lunch today. I tried to find the humour in the whole thing. Next time I am going to just play into what everyone is thinking. Start crying. Throw the menu on the floor. Slam my head on the table. Wail. Whine. Whimper. Yell “Why? Why?” while looking up at the ceiling. Ask the waiter that if anyone calls asking for me, to tell them I left and got hit by a car… Maybe that would get me a free burrito.

Social Media Superstar Meghan Warby

19 Feb

Lunch with Mary 010

Date of lunch:
Monday, February 16th, 2009 (aka Family Day)

The company:
Meghan Warby and I work at the same company but very rarely ever actually work together. At work and also outside of work, Meghan is known as a social media genius (my words, not hers, but it’s true) and knows all the ins and outs of blogging and web 2.0. She even mentioned our lunch in her blog – I’m famous, my 17 year old dream is coming true! I thought a conversation with Meghan would help me to make my blog better and maybe even get some more people to read it. 

The food:
We ate at Sneaky Dee’s – I know, I know, all class. But neither Meghan nor I are ashamed to admit that yummy, cheap food is hard to turn down. I had the Eggs Benedict and Meghan had Black Bean Soup with nacho chips and a side of guacamole. We both drank water. Both of us have eaten these meals before and they tasted delicious as always – and we left VERY full. Total bill was $17 with tax.

The lunch lesson: 
My lunch lesson from Meghan is the creation of this section for every post!

The lunch:
I knew this lunch would be different than the others in that what I hope to learn from Meghan is not going to happen in just one lunch. I hope to continue to get tips from her about blogging and social media in general.

So a couple of Meghan’s suggestions that I will now do moving forward is adding tags to my posts to help with searching and also adding the “Lunch Lesson” section (as seen above) to each post where I will list the best/most significant/my favorite thing I learned.

Also Meghan gave me the links to some of her favorite blogs and I have been checking them out. I have even added some links to the bottom right side of my page so others can check them out too. As this is a learning process, I hope to continue to check out these sites and others, and make my blog the best it can be!

As Meghan continues to give me tips and advice, I will update this page with the changes. Meghan is my blog captain! I hope she doesn’t mind.

Oh and of course, being that it was a statutory holiday here in Ontario, we also took this opportunity and gabbed a lot about other stuff – girly gossipy stuff, which was sort of beyond the scope of this blog – but was definitely fun. And Meghan, being the awesome girl that she is, stuck a can of PC Spicy Black Bean soup in my mailbox at work on Tuesday, saying I shouldn’t have paid for lunch. Hilarious – what a gem!