Casa London
Discovering hidden gems in London, ON and more

City & Culture: Books, Music, Festivals and Events

Influencers, bright individuals, local heroes, charity projects and everything that makes London, Ontario brighter.


Sarina Haggarty’s Story

Healing Through Music

By Temo Primrose Gare

One summer day in 2017, Sarina Haggarty was standing on stage in a small bar located in east London. There were about 30 people in the audience who watched her as she performed. She was in the middle of her four-song performance, and had just completed the third song and starting the last one. Then, she felt it. The feeling she called an aura. When she got it, she knew what will follow next. "So it's kind of a feeling going into a seizure. It's impossible to describe. It's not a pain. It's… like an uncomfortable feeling," she says.

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Green future or No Future

Zero Waste-28.jpg

Absolutely everyone of us wants to leave a trace on the Earth. Something for people to remember. That's our way into eternal life, actually. Our way to secure that "I was here". We are trying to find our purpose and be helpful, make a mark, and be remembered. But you know what? We already are. And not in the best way.

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Photo by  True Dope

Photo by True Dope

True Dope

Aiming High

Meet J. Peters, a 31 year old restauranteur, born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. He has been a recreational and medicinal user of marijuana for his entire adult life and is behind True Dope, a high end marijuana lifestyle brand. He is on a one man mission to dispel the myth that all cannabis users are just lazy “stoners”, and to legitimise marijuana in the eyes of the world.

My goal is to legitimize weed, both recreationally and medically. I want to debunk the idea that all marijuana users are lazy kids, smoking weed out of a Bob Marley pipe in a back alley somewhere. There are millions of hard-working and successful people like me who are recreational users, and it’s time that the stereotypical idea of the ‘stoner’ gets proven wrong.

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Ill at Will

Straight Outta London

Headspins. Airflares. Windmills. Swipes. All words associated with a style of hip hop dance called “Breaking,” which is also called breakdancing or bboying (bgirling), where dancers move to the “break” part of the music. It is influenced by various forms of dancing such as Tap, Salsa, Native American dances, Capoiera and more. Breaking originated from New York, but is alive and well in London, Ontario. A group of individuals, known as the Ill at Will Crew, is sharing the knowledge of hip hop and breaking locally. Ill at Will (IAW) was formed in 2008 with members from Windsor, Toronto and London. This Canadian breaking crew pride themselves with the work they have done towards community and youth empowerment, which include hosting breaking competitions or “jams”, inner city workshops, public speaking engagements and hip hop awareness campaigns.

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Photo by  Alieska Robles

Forest City Cookbook

Every day of our lives we spend time on our kitchens, cooking family dinners, meals for our kids, experimenting with our best recipes when we expect friends or family gatherings. We laugh, we drink wine, we pair cheeses with craft beer, and we tell stories. Let us tell you a story about unique and extraordinary project in London. The project of passion, a tribute to London and its risk-taking, innovative chefs who support our local farmers, build community around the table, and change lives one bite at a time. Meet Forest City Cookbook and its publisher and creator Alieska Robles.

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Studio 8

Escape The City Stress

Photo by  Studio 8

Photo by Studio 8

Cathy Manherz is the driving force behind Studio 8, a brand new community space for artists, lecturers, photographers, or anyone who wants to learn something new or pass on some knowledge. It is housed in a gorgeous little building on Glanworth Drive, London, complete with a small sundeck and array of colourful flowers. They describe their building as somewhere that “provides the challenge and inspiration you need to facilitate personal growth so you can become the person you want to be” and from the moment you step through the door you feel that welcoming spirit. The scented candles are fresh and inviting and the whole building is bathed in a warm, natural light.  

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These Books Are A Maze

City Lights Book Shop

Open the front door and inside you’ll find a labyrinth of bookshelves housing books on anything you could dream up or imagine, endless numbers of records and a vast CD collection that would put most radio stations to shame. It’s a cacophony of knowledge and art plastered with the personality of the staff from the past 40 years. A self-proclaimed “living collage crossed with a circus that was frightened by a Dadaist”. Step outside and up the stairs next door and you’ll find yourself in a whole other part of the store, housing the huge record collection, the film and TV books section, even a book of trading cards of stars from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Owners Jim and Teresa have been here since 1992, they bought the shop over from Marc Emery who had opened it in 1975. The store itself has barely changed since its conception over 40 years ago, they loved the loose fun feel of discovery that the store oozes and felt no need to change it.

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The Social Beehive

Mindful living

Meet Heather Cabral and Christine Stowe, two people who are passionate about personal change, conscious community and about enabling people to embrace a life guided by purpose and Intention. The Social Beehive hosts workshops, events and gatherings and is a community of people and businesses who are living their biggest, fullest life!

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But first, tacos...

On August 26, 2017 at Covent Garden Market from 3pm till 12am London will be celebrating its very first Taco Fest hosted by Stereo Caliente Entertainment. Taco Fest will feature 12 food vendors offering authentic tacos, quesadillas, churros, elotes desgranados and more. At the Beer Garden you will be able to buy tequila shots, Mexican cocktails such as Michelada and Margaritas, and, of course, craft beer from Anderson Craft Ales, Forked River Brewing, and Steam Whistle. Casa London met with Pablo Tovar, a vigorous music promoter and the owner of Stereo Caliente Entertainment, to chat about upcoming Taco Fest. 

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