By Liivi Sandy
Oz Jenab, one of Function’s managing editors, is selling silkscreen T-shirts at the El Mocambo.
Profits for the shirts-all designed by her-will go towards the magazine. Tonight is Function’s third fundraiser towards its $25,000 goal, but the numbers don’t seem to intimidate Jenab or other organizers.
“I think our fundraising philosophy is for everyone to have fun,” she says. Jenab’s merchandise is suggestive of a trend among the guests filing in. Most here have something to promote, whether it be film, photography or the clothes on their back. And though Image Arts students are here to raise money, they’re obviously not sacrificing a good time-even if it does involve a little schmoozing.
“If we weren’t doing it for Function, we’d do it ourselves,” says co-managing editor Che Kothari. He’s excited about the event, but says it’s natural for him to be in this setting: Amongst other students who want to show off their art and mingle with like-minded people.
By midnight the venue fills up and people are dancing. Most are dressed in flashy clothing, making it more unique than the average frat party, and a place to display Ryerson students’ tastes in fashion and music, as well as their egos and business cards.
Film student Luke Correia-Damude has just opened a gallery on Front Street and he is handing out cards that read “Young Artists Wanted.” He assures people that this card is merely a “rough copy” meant to encourage people to come to the gallery’s opening on Jan. 23. “I’ve been to livelier events,” Correia-Damude says. “But it should pick up.”
It takes a while, as the first band isn’t on until after midnight. Before mashed-up funk five-piece Matisse and the Playground take the stage, a circle of breakdancers clears a space on the floor to show off their technique. Some are better than others, though most seem a little shy. Their audience is pleased regardless.
One well-dressed young woman, combining cowboy boots with a short skirt and funky jewelry, sings along and nods her head as they dance. Later on she’s dancing eagerly herself amongst a crowd that is getting larger and more intoxicated. Kristiann Boos, a 22-year-old fashion student, is having a great time by 1:30 a.m. “It’s a big party with all your friends. You know everyone here basically.” Once Matisse and the Playground are finished, the party breaks into DJ sets that run into the early morning.
Kothari estimates about 400 people attended. He says although many were Ryerson students, the event was promoted to a general Toronto audience, some of whom came just for the musical acts.
The event raised $1,200 after expenses, $250 of which exclusively from merchandise sales. Jenab’s T-shirts brought in most of that money. She says the night was a success. “I didn’t get home until 4 a.m.”