Wednesday, December 21, 2011


We are doing Pop-Up Carolling. Alex, Anna and I get dressed in our cutest vintage coats and sing songs of the season for unsuspecting streetcar passengers and strollers-by.

The difference between carolling and our regular Pop-Up Concerts is that we are keeping to the carolling tradition, and asking for donations (in a darling pink velvet chapeau set on a leopard-print stool, of course). All of our proceeds are going to Childhope Canada Foundation - their website is under construction, but you can still check out the info and principles of the foundation by clicking here:

Here is the schedule of our dates and times if you live in Toronto and would like to see us Deck The Sidewalks.

Thursday: Yonge/Bloor corner, in front of Hudson Bay Centre 12PM, Indigo Books in the Manulife Centre, 1PM
Friday: in front of Holt Renfrew, 5:30PM. Yorkville and Bellair, 7:30PM.
Saturday: St. Lawrence Market (south side) 10:30AM. Eaton Centre (Dundas/Yonge entrance) 12PM.

On either end of these pop-ups we will be singing on streetcars and subway cars.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Next Pop-Up!

October 16, in a decidedly huffy locale. Don't be surprised if we get booted out!

Pop-Up hint: may be this season's Yves St-Laurent boots that do the booting.

Email me: hello at lenni jabour (one word) dot cawm if you want the details and to attend our Pop-Up Concert.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pop-Up Concert Number Four

We are so excited about this Pop-Up Concert; we have no idea what will happen at this venue. There is quite a bit of security so it could be tricky!

In any case, we are performing on Sunday Sept 11 at 8PM. This is the first weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival, and we have made sure that our Pop-Up venue is smack dab in the center of all the excitement.

As always, our concert has no admission charge and everyone of all ages is welcome. Even dogs are welcome at this particular venue.

If you want the details and info, send me a message by going to my website and clicking "write".

(hint: it is old-school, was once grand and is now a bit of a dump. Totally my kind of place.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jack Layton. July 18, 1950 – August 22, 2011

Statement today from Jack Layton's wife and two children:

"We deeply regret to inform you that The Honourable Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, passed away at 4:45 am today, Monday August 22. He passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family and loved ones. Details of Mr. Layton’s funeral arrangements will be forthcoming."

This is such a sad day for Canadians. Jack Layton accomplished the seemingly impossible and also the historical: he led the NDP to victory as the official Opposition Party in the House of Commons. Entirely likeable (no matter what the politics, most people had to agree that Jack Layton was utterly charming and intelligent), his battle with cancer was handled elegantly with the media, never used in any way to gain support or sympathy - in fact, few people knew the extent of his second battle with cancer, including his adoring colleagues who worked in his office.

My husband was part of the advertising team that created all the television spots for Layton's winning NDP campaign. Working within a budget, it was decided that our humble kitchen would be used as a set for one of the ads for free, to save a few thousand dollars paying for a location. Even this small contribution on our behalf to Layton's legacy makes me proud.

Jack Layton was a true supporter of the arts, a study in tenacity and conviction, and a great Torontonian; I feel blessed and inspired to have witnessed firsthand his success and incredible accomplishments. Rest in peace.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pop-Up Concert Number Three

This Pop-Up Concert was an entirely different experience altogether! At Hazelton Lanes we got booted out. At Loblaws we could have been dancing around in gorilla suits for all they cared. But we found a delighted and appreciative audience at Indigo (the downtown Toronto location).

As usual, we asked beforehand that our invited supporters use utmost discretion at our Pop-Up location (not asking staff when/where the concert is, not hanging around the piano expectantly before we get there, etc). One of the nicest memories of this particular Pop-Up is seeing people emerge from the various rows of books, escalators and entrances as we started playing. It was so lovely.

We were even on Global News, la di da!

Below, the clip from our performance. It runs just over 5 minutes. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pop-Up Concert Number Three: August 14

Our next Pop-Up concert will be held downtown Toronto on Sunday August 14 at 2PM.

Hint: everyone in the place may be feeling a bit blue.

If you want to come, please send me a note to: "hello at lenni jabour (one word) dawt cawm." (spambots could well be my number one pet peeve).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Irvine Welsh's "Ecstacy"

My song "Side Streets + Parked Cars" has been chosen to appear in the film "Ecstasy", based on the book by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) and directed by Rob Heydon.

If you would like to be updated on the trailer and film release dates etc, please follow on Facebook:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pop-Up Number Two

So on a burning-hot Sunday afternoon, Alex, Anna and I bombarded the grand piano that sits in all its loneliness on the mezzanine level of Loblaws in Forest Hill.

I felt quite tongue-in-cheek about selecting Loblaws as one of our Pop-Up sites, even bringing along my eco-shopping bags so that I could simply get groceries after playing (provided we didn't get kicked out, which we did not).

Many seniors were there, some with their caregivers. The odd young family came and went, unsure about our antics but clapping nonetheless. Loblaws employees on break from the shopping chaos below gave us nary a sideways glance. A homeless man with a beat-up guitar case seemed to really listen closely to the lyrics. A real motley crew, the people who hang out on the mezzanine level of Loblaws. Us included, with our music stands and vintage summer dresses.

The girls and I had a good time, giggling that store announcements blared between the lines of our only quiet song, laughing our heads off at my little daughter and her buddy Stella dancing wildly and hopping around to the music, smiling at each others' pretty harmonies.

It was such a different experience from our Pop-Up at Hazelton Lanes. No one shutting us down, a real spacial distance between us and the audience - but also more strangers expressing appreciation. And interestingly enough, the sound was quite good up there. I was of course not amplified in any way, but my voice carried across the room really well.

The Toronto Star was there and wrote a very nice article about us in today's paper:
I will upload video soon.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pop-Up Concert Number Two tomorrow!

Sunday July 17 at 1PM. Send me a message at my full name, all one word, at gmail dot calm.

I will let you know the mid-town Toronto location, and if you are able to make it please do use utmost discretion when you arrive as our concert has of course not been previously arranged with the venue.

Hope to see you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Next Pop-Up Concert ...

... is July 17 at 2PM, free of course. If you are interested in coming out and would like to know the location, please email me at: lenni jabour (one word) at gmail dot you-know-the-rest.
For now I will give you a location hint: the President is not Barack Obama.
xxoo LJ

(ps: pop-up balloons by my darling friend Julia Guther:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Is It Me You're Looking...For?

I passed this today while walking home and burst out laughing:

To make it all the more wonderful, the lyrics are tear-pieces at the bottom of the poster where the contact info would normally be.

It reminds me of part of the purpose behind my Pop-Up Concerts. Made me so incredibly happy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Today I went to my friend Trish Ewanika's shop, to do a little photo shoot of summer 2011 ensembles for her lovely website.

There are many things that make me happy about this - first of all, Trish and I have been good friends since 1995. Secondly, I LOVE not only the clothing she designs but the details, the lovely whisper-details that make her work so amazing and personal, so quintessentially Trish - but also you. This is in my opinion a real artists' gift, to be able to express oneself in such a way that you feel it is your expression too.

I am wearing one of the summer '11 dresses to a tea party I'm going to next Sunday ... super-excited to bust it out with saddle shoes, skinny belt and drop necklace. for more photos, inspiration, and to learn about wonderful Trish.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pop-Up Concert Number One

We did our first Pop-Up Concert last Saturday, at Hazelton Lanes in Toronto ... where sits a lovely and largely abandoned shiny black piano in an atrium that was once a skating rink, and is now a space for cafe tables and chairs. I had scoped it out some time ago and decided it would be a perfect place for our first renegade performance.

The premise of the Pop Up Concert is that we (Alex McMaster on cello and Anna Atkinson on viola) get quite dressed up and overtake rarely-used (or forbidden-to-use) pianos that have been abandoned in an unexpected public space in the city's core, filling that space with music. This is not previously arranged with the venue, so discretion before our performance is key (ie, our invited friends were advised not to ask a security guard where the concert is, etc). The performance is, of course, free.

I had no expectations of what would happen here, except that there would be a general public beyond our friends who would be amused (or otherwise) at our intentions. The least amused of which were two young security guards, who are captured in this clip (just over 6 mins long) attempting to shut us down after we perform my song "Ruby". It was our fourth song, and I thought they were very polite about waiting until it was over.

If you listen to the ensuing conversation you will note that I ask the one security guard to sing along...

Next Pop-Up Concert is in June (date TBA) at the next unexpected public space we have chosen ... we will let you know where closer to the date if you are interested in coming out.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

First Pop-Up Concert is today

This afternoon my string players (Alex and Anna) and I are gathering at a downtown location in Toronto (email me if you want to know - lenni jabour [all one word] at gmail you know the rest) at 2pm, to play on the piano that has been largely abandoned in its wide open public space. This particular piano has a sign on it that says "DO NOT TOUCH".

This is the first in a series of what I am calling Pop-Up Concerts.

If you can't make it today, there will be others. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Merci Bookhou

One of my favorite design shops in Toronto is Bookhou. It is on Dundas Street West, a lovely and unassuming storefront that behind the glass door houses lovely, roughly-elegant handmade items for the home. The workroom is in the back and the owners' children are running around. So charming and welcoming.

Definitely the best place for a hostess or housewarming gift, a unique piece for a kid's room, or just a chat with the friendly and inspired owners. I especially love the felt chairs, tea towels and will definitely pick up the Anemone Tote as a fun summer bag. Woo hoo Bookhou!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Housing Stray Cats

In the dead of last night we heard the saddest cries coming from the front porch - looked out and saw a little black and white feral cat all by himself, clearly freezing. I tried to let him in a few times; he would perk up and check me out for a moment, but in the end he would be too afraid and run off, only to return again a short while later to resume crying on the porch.

I have never lived anywhere with so many stray cats around the neighbourhood, and so I have decided to build a little shelter for them. This site has excellent instructions on how to do that, basically cutting a hole in a lined rubbermaid bin and filling it with straw. We will put out dry kitten food as well, which I read was the best thing for ferals as it has so much protein - although none of the strays around our house seem particularly undernourished, I must admit. They are either solely responsible for keeping the mice population firmly under control...or perhaps neighbours are feeding them? There are about seven strays that linger around our house (keeping their distance of course) so I am hoping to keep at least one or two of them warm and happy... and everyone can have a good night's sleep.