Questionnaire with Broken Arts: Small Press of Toronto Spring Fair 2011 Edition

In anticipation of Small Press of Toronto Spring Fair this weekend, Broken Pencil has put together some previews for you of who you’ll be seeing there and what they are all about.

I like to call these sorts of things Questionnaires. However, my boss has told me time and time again that a Questionnaire sounds too much like a survey, with stats, which scare people in the arts. I told him that 66% of Canadians pass their stats classes.

Welcome to your morning Questionnaire, Broken Arts.

Based in Oshawa, Ontario, Broken Arts is an arts collective whose events include all ages concerts, craft fairs, public games, and for the first time, a Zine Distro. Harley R. Pageot is the zinester and writer who founded Broken Arts in July of 2009.

BP: What’s most exciting for you about SPoT 2011?

Harley: This is the first time we’ve done it, and the fact that it appears to have more of a literary-focus than the standard zine fair definitely appeals to me. It’s also sure to be an interesting contrast to the Oshawa farmer’s market where we’ll be tabling this Friday.

BP: I hear you have Broken Arts Fest coming up July 16, what will that be like? What is the Fest all about?

Harley: Broken Arts Fest is the centerpiece of our two-year anniversary celebration and our first festival, so everyone at Broken Arts is tremendously nervous and excited. We’ve got 15 musical guests coming to play from around Ontario, along with yoga sessions and scavenger hunts, face painting and other activities. We’ll also be running our third Broken Arts Fair at a public library in Oshawa the day before. There will be zines, comics, art, crafts, fashion, and other DIY projects for sale and on display.

BP: Broken Pencil has written a lot about small town indie underground. What’s the zine scene like in Oshawa?

Harley: The Oshawa zine scene is probably similar to your average suburban city, meaning that it’s practically non-existent. There are four of us making zines on a regular basis, but I always hope there are more and I’d love to know about them! Broken Arts has run half a dozen different zine workshops over the past two years at various locations around town. The response was great at the time but I’m not sure how many of the participants went on to make anything of their own. Everyone’s passionate about something, so when I meet someone who’s really into politics or baking or writing or cheesy horror movies, I try to motivate them into making that passion into a zine. I do feel like we’ve helped to expose the medium and creativity of zines to Oshawa, which is important.

BP: The next day, Broken Arts is holding a Dodgeball Tournament?!

Harley: Broken Arts’ First-Ever-Open-Invitation Dodgeball Tournament is the wrap-up to our anniversary weekend. We ran kickball games last fall in much the same way, and we’re hoping to get a lot of bands and small businesses and other groups coming. It’ll be like Worlds Collide Comics & Games vs. Avery Island, for example. All people really have to do is find three other people and drop us a line through the website. Broken Arts vs. Broken Pencil? That just writes itself.

BP: I already have short shorts for just such an occasion. Thanks Harley, see you at SPoT.