Monday, October 01, 2012

An evening in support of the 

At the beginning of the year, I started organizing an event to celebrate the 
Toronto People With AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary. 
I was working directly with the foundation and consciously 
made the decision to perform at Toronto Pride in June 
so I could announce the event live during my set. 
A discussion after my performance lead my friends and I to believe that 
as a culture, we lost an educating and evolving "cutting edge, boundary push" 
that came along in the 1990's. 
The most accurate description of this year's Pride festivities 
was written on a wooden board covering a nude senior. 
It read; 
"Pride used to be about PROTESTS - Now it's about BEERFESTS." 
This year's Pride festival was also the first time I walked away 
without someone in the crowd handing me a condom, 
while promoting safe sex awareness and education. 
If they were there, my friends and I certainly didn't see them 
nor did we feel their presence. 
In fact, we had more people approach us 
asking if we wanted to buy cocaine. 

Born in 1983, 
I am now a 29 year old man who was attending high school at a point 
when safe sex education and HIV/AIDS awareness was at a high! 
Unfortunately, this no longer seems to be the case in our system. 
When speaking to those younger than myself, 
I find that they are promiscuous 
but also only partially aware of the risks, 
realities and facts of sexual health. 

My ultimate goal and concern as an artist and inhabitant on this planet
 is to help build better environments for our communities 
while maintaining health and safety within them. 
My work as an artist is motivated by the potential for growth 
and positive change among the youth within our communities. 
Last year, I had solely organized an event at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre 
in support of Free The Children and more recently, I've taken part 
in an event in support of SickKids Foundation
Earlier this month, I had scheduled a show with Winnipeg's Mahogany Frog 
in Peterborough to coincide with their Pride festivities and personally delivered 
the "pay what you can" donations to the PARN offices the following morning. 
Later in October, I will be performing at an event in support of 
To get a better idea as to who I am, further explore my blog.
These events are part of a personal mission for me. 
It is my intention to have a sell-out night with ALL proceeds 
from the ticket sales donated to the 

The name ONE WORLD reflects and unifies the human race as a "whole" 
- the mirror pool - the ripple effect - the connection we all have. 
It's also a slight reference to two new albums 
released by the performers for the evening; 
Reenie, who has recently released her debut album "The Real World
and to myself and the recent release of my album "Third World". 
The recordings serve as audio interpretations of our individual environments. 
The REAL world is a THIRD world and we are ONE WORLD.
Healing and rebuilding - together.

Robert Torbica makes a special announcement
live at Toronto Pride, June 2012.

I am not a major label artist nor am I funded by any major label or corporation. 
I'm renting out the theatre and taking care of the promotional materials 
(printing and distribution of the flyers/posters).
I also made sure to mention the event during an interview with Trent Radio 92.7FM
on the afternoon of September 19th and I've contacted various sources 
to help try and spread the word on PWA's 25th Anniversary.
I certainly wouldn't be in the position that I'm in if it were not for 
a small group of faithfully devoted supporters,
who essentially help in funding my projects.

In the middle of all of this work, it suddenly occurred to me to try 
and obtain sponsorship from various local businesses 
for financial assistance with the organization and promotion of this event. 
I made a list and contacted fifteen local businesses; 
twelve of which are located on Church Street. 
I sent out an email detailing the entire event. 
Out of the fifteen emails I sent out, I received replies from three 
and those were from businesses located outside of the village.

Two weeks after sending out the emails and receiving next to no response, 
I attached my business card to a print out of the email
and personally paid a visit to each of the businesses 
located on Church Street on the afternoon of August 23rd. 
I introduced myself and left an envelope with all the information about the event. 
The amount of sponsors generated would have determined 
the percentage of proceeds going towards the cause.
Since I am not funded by any major label or corporation, 
compensation for sponsorship wasn't extravagant 
but it was sincere and from the heart.

Donations of $25 received -
- THANK YOU mention with your business logo and link 
on the Official Facebook Event page
- THANK YOU mention with your business logo and link 
on a post for the event to be featured on 

Donations of $50 received - 
- SPECIAL THANK YOU mention with your business logo 
and link on the Official Facebook Event page
- SPECIAL THANK YOU mention with your business logo and link 
on a post for the event to be featured on 
- VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU announcement and mention 
to be made live at the event

Donations of $100 or more received - 
- VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU mention with your business logo 
and link on the Official Facebook Event page
- VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU mention with your business logo 
and link on a post for the event to be featured on 
- Your business name and brief description added 
to the LINKS section of RAZORMADE-TORBICA website
- Promotional mention on all upcoming RAZORMADE-RADIO podcasts 
between August-October 2012 (approx. 3 episodes)
- Additional option of one brief interview segment 
(approx. 1-3 minutes describing your business 
and why you've chosen to support this event) 
on an upcoming episode RAZORMADE-RADIO podcast 
to be aired mid-late September
- VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU announcement and mention 
to be made live at the event.

People Get Ready!
Left to right: Ashley Lockyer, Robert Torbica, 
Irena Perkovic, Jonathon Sebben 
photograph by SayaMedia ©

Sadly and especially in the gay community, 
I find myself to be a minority of a minority. 
Church Street has been the least successful area 
in securing sponsorship for PWA's 25th anniversary celebration. 
I've made it clear that this event isn't going to be an underwear party. 
The poster for the event doesn't feature me topless and oiled, 
flexing my abs in my briefs. 
The name of the event isn't "Hard", "Fully Loaded" or "Solid". 
I know sex sells, I'm not an idiot - but I'm not an idiot. 
Perpetuating stereotypes isn't doing anyone any good
The music selection for the evening will be music with more than a beat 
so there won't be any typical gay anthems heard in the "village".
You will leave the event thinking about something. 
This already puts me in the underground of gay-culture.
My inner circle speculates that if I presented an event 
to the would-be sponsors under different circumstances
I would have received enough of a response 
to host a monthly party.

Other than FAB Magazine, I directed all previous interview requests 
over to contact Kristen Lawrie, Philanthropy Officer at PWA
as the focus of this event is the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation 
and their 25th anniversary, not any individual/performer/etc. 
I accepted the opportunity to speak to FAB at the beginning of September,
as more exposure within the gay community was obviously needed.
I have also personally invited and requested the presence of 
several local organizations relevant to the subject and objective 
including HALCO and the Hassle Free Clinic,
who will both be providing information on their services at this event.
On that note, I find it ridiculous that the Hassle Free Clinic in Toronto 
currently only has 115 "Likes" on their Facebook page 
yet how many names would they have on file?
I'm pretty sure they've helped to treat over 115 cases of gonorrhea alone 
and every time I've walked into the clinic, it has always been full
so what's the sense and reasoning behind the perceived shame? 
It's my belief that if members of the community using these services 
don't step up to recognize and support them, 
they may eventually disappear before our eyes.
Those people filling up the clinic are the same people 
who help sustain those businesses on Church Street.

I have yet to receive a response from any of the remaining 
twelve businesses on Church Street.
Regardless, ALL of the proceeds from the ticket sales will be donated to the 
Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.
For a community that claims to support each other and embrace diversity, 
I was disheartened yet motivated by your lack of support, 
which ultimately made me that much more determined to succeed. 

As for those twelve businesses on Church Street 
- you know who you are - 
if you would like to help and contribute to this ONE WORLD of ours, 
I now publicly challenge you to contact the 
Toronto People With AIDS Foundation 
and directly donate the same amount of money 
that I have personally put towards organizing this event
See me for details.

Shame on you, Church Street. 

If you expect to host World Pride in 2014, 
you're going to have to step it up a bit.
Things are changing.

See you October 11th.


FAB Magazine -
Odyssey Books and Resource Centre -
Saya Media -
The Old Nick Pub -
Toronto People With AIDS Foundation -
HALCO HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario -
Hassle Free Clinic -
DJ Lynz -
Reenie -
Buddies In Bad Times Theatre -