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2016 Year In Review

Welcome 2017, we are glad to have made it!

2016 was an interesting year for us. We found a beautiful venue to call home, we celebrated 4 years artiversary, we produced great events, and we learned many lessons.
Xaymaca Jamaican Restaurant welcomed us in for our Raw. Poetry. Soul: The Queens’ Edition 2015, and very quickly became home. Now we are blessed to host our events in their warm atmosphere. A hidden gem in Brampton, we are excited to be partnered with them to create spaces for art to have a voice.

On April 28, 2012 OLIR was founded, with the sole vision to create spaces for artists to perform where stages were lacking. Four Years later, on April 28 2016, we celebrated by shifting our focus with the creation of Mondays At The Mic, a monthly open mic and space for diverse arts to meet. Through Mondays At The Mic, we have connected with many talented artists, and created countless wonderful memories.

Among our regular shows, Raw. Poetry. Soul: The Queens’ Edition, and The Root Of It All: Poems on Black Love and Sexuality, we produced Raw. Poetry. Soul: The Kings’ Edition. This show was a direct complement to our very successful “Queens’ Edition” and featured 5 amazing male artists from Peel and Toronto. We have high hopes to see the budding show grow from its quiet beginning and manifest into the thriving art experience that we have come to expect.

Through it all, the biggest lesson we learned, echoed month after month was, “Do not despise small beginnings.” Producing a new event, and starting an open mic reminded us that every movement must begin somewhere. We found beauty in the journey. That’s not to say that the journey does not have its frustrations; it’s frustrating not to be able to pay artists on the night of the event, or to perform to 5 people when you were expecting 50. But we learned that 5 people are just as valid and worthy of our time and our art as 50 people. So we left 2016 extremely grateful for the 5 people, and the 60 people that gave us their time and energy during our new beginnings.

2017 is very bright, we have a new name and more defined focus. We are here for the artists. We want to develop artists to create; give them a stage to perform and help them with the tools to grow in artistic excellence.

While our love for art is still reckless, we are now focused on creating a collective community of artists that create recklessly and boldly for a better existence.

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