Literature Section Chooses New Writer-in-Residence

Karen Shenfeld, poet and filmmaker, has been appointed Heliconian writer-in-residence for the 2014-15 season.

Karen has published four books of poetry and is an accomplished reader.  She also has considerable experience in editing and has written many feature articles for major Canadian publications, including but not limited to, The Idler, Saturday Night, Toronto Life, The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star.

Karen is also the maker of several documentary films and is currently writing a screenplay for Canadian director Bruce McDonald.

Members of the Literature Section look forward to collaborating with Karen and with other Sections and are confident that she will make a valuable contribution to the section and to the entire Heliconian Club.

Heliconian Club Announces its 2014-2015 Concert Series

The Music Section is happy to launch the sixth annual Heliconian Club concert series. The 2014-2015 concert series will showcase diversity in its collaborations with actors and artists, some of whose work is featured below.  All concerts will be held at historic Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Avenue
Toronto, (Bay subway)

Concerts begin at 7:30 (doors open at 7:00)

Regular tickets: $25 or $90 for 4 concerts
Member/Senior/Student: $20 or $70 for 4 concerts
Buy online or call 416-922-3618

10% off “Early Bird” subscription before July 31, 2014

Click here for Tickets.

An Evening with Jane Austen
Friday, October 17, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Dorothy de Val, a specialist in music of the Regency era, invites you to join her and a côterie of musical collaborators to take us on a musical journey back to the times of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. The concert will feature music from Jane Austen’s collection and by her contemporary Jane Mary Guest.



Autumn Leaves
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:30pm

Music to warm the soul as the days get shorter and the air gets chillier. Janet Catherine Dea, soprano, and Maria Soulis, mezzo soprano, join their voices with an eclectic ensemble of musical collaborators in an evening of Classical, Broadway and Cabaret songs.


The Music in Our Lives
Friday, March 6, 2015 at 7:30pm

Author Ann Elizabeth Carson reads from her book We All Become Stories.  Peggy Mahon, vocalist, and panist Danny McErlain delight with Jazz selections.  They are joined by dancer and mime artist Noriko Yamamoto.


Schubert Abend
Friday, April 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm

An intimate evening of all Schubert music featuring pianists, Jane Blackstone and Louise Morley, soprano Barbara Fris with Rita Greer, clarinet the Encore String Quartet with violist Velma Ko, and the fine musicianship of other club members. Enjoy audience favourites for voice, piano and strings, including “The Shepherd on the Rock” for soprano, clarinet, and piano.


To download an e-brochure for easy printing please click here.


Application for 2014-2015 Writer-In-Residence deadline extended!

WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE APPLICATIONS INVITED The Literature Section of the Toronto Heliconian Club seeks to appoint a writer- in- residence for a one year period for the 2014- 2015 season. Desirable applicants are women at the beginning or mid-point of a career in writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry), editing, or journalism. A woman interested in applying for the post of non-paying writer-in-residence should submit a resume of her work experience with a complete list of published works (where and when) as well as some examples of her writing. Short excerpts of longer works, not to exceed 2000 words, are acceptable. As well, an applicant should explain why she is interested in the position, of what benefit the post would be to her and how she, in turn, could benefit the Toronto Heliconian Club and its members. A writer-in-residence is expected to attend several events over the year, and to present her work to an audience at one or more readings and/or workshops. She may have the opportunity to work on a project or workshop with other writers and with musicians and artists from the club. Details of the residency will be discussed on an individual basis upon acceptance. The Toronto Heliconian Club is the oldest association of its kind in Canada. Founded in 1909 to give women in the arts and letters an opportunity to meet socially and intellectually, the club holds to its original purpose while responding to the changes of contemporary life. The Club was founded by professional women in music, writing, painting and drama who later were joined by those in dance, sculpture, architecture, and other professions related to the humanities. The members range in age and experience from women who have earned great distinction to those in the early stages of their careers. The Club is currently composed of six sections: music, art, literature, dance, drama, and humanities. The latter section is composed of women who, while not professional practitioners in the above categories, have a keen interest in and knowledge of the arts. Each section meets monthly. As well, the Club holds events on a regular basis. Several times a year club members are invited to speak about their lives and careers. Guests are invited to talk about their work on a regular basis.  Members pay for lunch or dinner when they attend an event. Regular art exhibits, music concerts and literary events are held and trips are occasionally arranged. Should the appointee wish to stay on as a regular member, the Club initiation fee of $75 would be waived but the regular annual membership fee, currently $300, would be payable. Letters of application should be sent  to The Literature Section, Toronto Heliconian Club, 35 Hazelton Avenue, Toronto, M5R 2E3 or by email to  The deadline for applications is June 7, 2014. April 2014

June 8, 2014, 2-4 pm: Jazz for Social Change

Jazz for Social Change is a benefit concert with acclaimed jazz cellist Kye Marshall and Juno Award winning pianist Don Thompson. All proceeds go to the Match International Women’s Fund -a wonderful NGO that gives financial support directly to women activists worldwide.

To buy tickets or make a donation go to .

All donations will be ‘matched’ by an anonymous donor.


May 15, 2014, 7:00 pm: DNA- Do Not Assume

Please join Heliconian members Linda Briskin and Kye Marshall for the opening reception of DNA: Do Not Assume.  Part of the Contact 2014 Photography Festival, Kye and Linda will be exhibiting with a group of 15  photographers at Gallery 1313, 1313 Queen St W (near Brock) 416-536-6778. Exhibition runs from May 14-25, Wed-Sun 1-6 pm.

Photograph is a clip from Dance in Three Movements (i) by Linda Briskin.



April 11, 2014, 8:00 pm: “Spring At Last,” Heliconian Concert Series

After a too long Canadian winter, we celebrate the joys of springtime with a diverse program of chamber music featuring performances by fellow heliconians and guest artists, with special appearances by members of the Heliconian Choir and Orchestra.

Enjoy works including Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite for four hands plus quintets and trios by Schumann and Mendelssohn, accompanied by readings of works by Canadian poet Gwendolyn MacEwan. Feast on an evening of popular and classical music, delightfully paired with literary and visual arts, as we welcome the arrival of this long-awaited season.


Click here for Online Tickets.

May 1 – 22, 2014: “Encounters with Light” a photography show with a difference.

Seven photographic artists will join together with professional dancers, poets, and musicians to present an afternoon of visual art and performances in response to the photographs presented. The photographic artists whose works are being presented are: Linda Briskin, Simone Creed, Sue Ennis, Kye Marshall, Mary Perdue, Jana Skarecky, and Patricia Stamp. Performances by Jasmine D’Costa, Kye Marshall, Angela Blumberg, and Yui Ugai.

RECEPTION/OPENING:  May 3, 2014   1:00pm -4:30 pm. Performances begin at 2pm and 3:15 pm.