There’s an old expression that goes, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” Sure, that’s true enough, but if you want something done and then you want to throw the biggest, sickest, oh-man-this-is-the-best-night-if-my-life after-party to celebrate whatever it was that needed doin’, Louis Calabro is the only man who can handle both jobs with the same je ne sais quoi. Not only is Calabro the Director of Awards & Special Events at the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and the guy behind the Prism Prize for best Canadian music video, he has also DJed some of the best nights of your life over the last decade. If you live in Toronto or Montreal and have been to Goin’ Steady, Chronologic, Homework and The End of the Internet then you know what we’re talking about. We caught up with Calabro to find out more about his life in the arts, his nights ruling the dance floor and his favourite spots to catch a break in Toronto.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
I have lived in Toronto since I was 6, went to Oakwood Collegiate, and studied Cinema at U of T. I am currently the Director of Awards & Special Events at the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, supervising and producing elements surrounding the Canadian Screen Awards (former Genie/Gemini Awards). Aside from the Academy, I run the Prism Prize for best Canadian music video, a juried prize based on artistic merit. I’ve also DJed for 10 years, throwing parties and events such as Goin’ Steady, Chronologic, Homework & The End of the Internet in Toronto and Montréal.
What have been some of your career highlights so far?
DJing Leslie Feist’s birthday party, the Rolling Stones’ Ron Wood attending a party we put on in university, meeting Drake on a plane, wrangling David Cronenberg, Xavier Dolan…
What are three things you can’t live without?
Soccer, music, love (not in that order).
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
The opportunity to create and develop good ideas into great, viable projects is always available here. I forget who said it, but Toronto is a city of “fans” – we get excited about interesting things, are artistically literate and intelligent, as well as being beautiful and talented.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
It’s a tie between La Palette on Queen St. West and Albert’s Real Jamaican Food on St. Clair West. La Palette because it’s dark, delicious and free of pretension. Albert’s because it’s authentic, the people who work there are characters, and ox tail sauce.
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with your busy life?
@goinsteady (Twitter for DJ events), @prismprize (Twitter for Prism Prize), @louiscalabro (Instagram), Facebook and LouisCalabro.com.