Kat Leonard

The SPOOKTACULAR month of October!

Boo everyone!  Did I scare you?  No?  Then get ready to be scared.  October is chock full of creeptacular shows, some even featuring ME!

October 14th — PussyBasket~CoUNT FANGS~ Jenna Syde, Lynn Crosbie, Marcy Rogers, Lizzie Violet, and The Canadian Romantic


Event Invites:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/events/681176598648838/


October 19th — Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir feat. TOPoet.ca D S Campbell & Conflicting Plaid


Event Invites:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/events/913976675322656/
Bands in Town — https://www.bandsintown.com/event/10593945?affil_code=fb_145297655629084&artist=Lizzie+Violet%27s+Cabaret+Noir&came_from=74


October 25th — Cabaret Noir Presents Heather Babcock — also featuring Kat Leonard, Valentino Assenza & Neil Traynor


Event Invites:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/events/608851415884694/
Bands in Town — https://www.bandsintown.com/event/10648682?affil_code=fb_797498440303573&artist=Cabaret+Noir+Productions&came_from=74


October 31st — Autumnal Soiree at Hirut feat. Lizzie Violet, Joani Paige, Peter Eastmure and Joseph Kargi


Event Invites:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/events/1687221958157515
Bands in Town — https://www.bandsintown.com/event/10648776?affil_code=fb_797498440303573&artist=Cabaret+Noir+Productions&came_from=74

It’s my birthday month and things are about to heat up!

July is HOT HOT HOT and is about to sizzle even more!  This month’s Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir has some of Toronto’s hottest talent gracing the stage at The Central AND it’s my birthday month!


Marcy Rogers is a Dora nominated playwright and published writer. Her short story IMHO is included in the Foreward nominated anthology Friend. Follow. Text which she is excited to say can be borrowed from any Toronto library. She can be seen in Paul Bellini’s Liar Liar a monthly show at The Flying Beaver Pubaret or in her one woman show Lesbians Who Wear Lipstick: The Middle Ages.

Brandon Pitts Prolific novelist, poet, lyricist, and playwright, BRANDON PITTS is the author of the poetry collection, Pressure to Sing (IOWI), the novel, Puzzle of Murders (Bookland Press) and the play, Killcreek (IOWI – 2013 Toronto Fringe). He served as editor and contributor to the anthology The Courtney Park Connection (IOWI). In 2011, he was selected for inclusion in the prestigious Diaspora Dialogues as an Emerging Voice and has been widely anthologized.

For a complete list of publications and performed plays, please visit: http://brandonpitts.com/Publications.html 

Four Winds Collective is a songstorm of musical forces intertwined for the greater good. The diverse creative forces involved are: Arlene Paculan (ArlenePaculan.com) soulful jazzy pop; Heather Hill (HeatherHill.ca) piano pop rock; Kat Leonard (KatLeonard.com) feisty comedic pop; and Meghan Morrison (MeghanMorrison.com) Celtic groove music. The Winds travel together with their unique and charming shows aimed to illuminate life’s joy, heartbreak, inspiration and encouragement through their music and storytelling. They are available for booking traditional venues as well as house concerts and corporate events.

Upcoming for August

I will be featuring a few times in August, please come see me at Jennifer Hosein’s gallery show opening (August 15th/poster below), The Plasticine Poetry  Phanatics (August 17th) and The Beautiful & The Damned’s final show (August 28th).  More info to come…


Fantastico February

I’m a wee bit behind in getting this post up.  I’m still working through the aftermath of how busy January was.  I’m not complaining, just need to get all my ducks back in a row! Here is what is coming up!

Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir featuring Heather Babcock, Regina Denata & blueVenus!

https://www.facebook.com/events/203401849864508/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming lvcnfeb2014.indd

Amsterdam Bicycle Club presents: Lizzie Violet’s open mic featuring Philip Cairns (Feb 17th)

https://www.facebook.com/events/191147387763148/?previousaction=join&source=1 lizzievioletopenmicpwycsign2

The Beautiful & The Damned featuring Vanessa Smythe, DM Moore and the Four Winds! Hosted by Lizzie Violet.

https://www.facebook.com/events/521797327937203/?context=create&ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming# February 27th at 7 pm. (poster to be added soon)

Other amazing events to check out!

Circle of Jerks – February 13th – https://www.facebook.com/events/517038755081153/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming Arlene Paculan – February 13th –  https://www.facebook.com/events/469252466513376/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming I HATE TODD – February 15th – https://www.facebook.com/events/492444387531740/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming Racket the Rocket – February 21st – https://www.facebook.com/events/818441091515505/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming David Hustler and the Trustworthy’s final show – February 27th – Lee’s Palace Every Tuesday of the month at the Axis Bar and Grill is Derek Downham’s Jam (location https://www.facebook.com/pages/Axis-Gallery-Grill/133995006619131?fref=ts) I HATE TODD – residency on the last Sunday of every month at Amsterdam Bicycle Club.

Ho Ho Ho HOLY Crap Lizzie’s gonna be a busy, naughty elf!

The only way I know how to celebrate the holidays… be a naughty elf!   Here is what will be happening in Lizzie’s wild and wonderful world for the month of December!  Play your cards right and I might even have a few free evenings for a date or two 😉

Lizzie Logic:  If you aren’t getting coal in your stocking, you aren’t living life!

December 8 – Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir


December 16 – The Amsterdam Bicycle Club (54 The Esplanade) Presents Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic


Everyone loves an open mic and Poet’s LOVE poetry open mics even more!

Join me on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club for Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic. Everything starts at 7:30 pm.

7:30 – doors and open mic sign up (come early open mics fill up fast)
8:00 – open mics start

Along with open mic’s we will have one feature. This months feature is Brock Hessell!

This is a PWYC show.

Please stick around for for Open Mic Monday (music etc), which follows my open mic.

December 20 – Holiday Fundraiser for the Children’s Wish Foundation



Where – Habits Gastro Pub – 928 College Street
When: 8 pm

As part of what we hope will be an annual tradition, independent musicians and spoken word performers are once again gathering at Habits Gastropub in December (Fri 20) as part of the seasonal spirit.

Last year we raised funds for the Children’s Wish Foundation and we are once again helping out for the same.

Please join:
Mark Martyre
Jade Wan (La Vie de JolieJade)
Lizzie Violet
MJ Cyr
Javier Peña
Katie DuTemple
and myself (Ryan Ayukawa)

for this special event.

December 26 – The Beautiful and the Damned.

(Details to follow)

Happy Holidays to Everyone.


Rainbows and Carousels (The 1000 word challenge)

Kat Leonard asked us to join her in this 1000 word challenge.  Although I gave myself a deadline for Sunday, I was able to finish this short story today.  Also included in the challenge was Life With More Cowbell. I have posted both of their story links and the original challenge link at the bottom of my story.


Rainbows and Carousels


No se mueva. Mama estará de regreso en un minuto.

Cicada’s were singing, their voices drifting high up into the mango trees.  The fruit so ripe that the pungency of the pregnant yellow fruit, floated through the air like humming birds seeking out nectar.  Beneath the largest of the trees was a rusting carousel, a retired antique from the 1950‘s. The tree branches low enough to the ground that customers entering the bodega would often pick them. 

Leaning against the carousel, a five year old Marlena fidgets with a nervous twitch that annoys her already agitated mother.

“Why can you not sit still?  Be patient for your poor Mama.  I will only be a minute.”
“Mama, I don’t like to stay here.”
“Do as you are told, I will only be a minute.” Marlena knew this was not so.  Her mother was never just… a minute. Never even just an hour.  Today she would be forever.

Absent-minded, she brushes Marlena’s hair away from her face, fixing her pony-tail, kisses her on the forehead before walking toward the bus stop.  Marlena silently watches, as her mother boards the bus.

Even at 9 am, the heat was making vapour shadows on the pavement. Marlena had already drank half of her bottled water.  A bottle her mother filled and froze each night, in hope that the melting ice would slow Marlena from drinking the water too quickly.   The Cuban sun had other ideas, it’s scorching heat setting fire to the already humid air, the condensation evaporated from the one litre bottle, before the drops had run down the entire length of  it.  With each drink of water, the melting ice scraped against the inside of the plastic, a muted warning that she must save the water for the hottest parts of the day.

Rita was only fifteen when she had Marlena.  A child whose family came from generations of farmers, Rita refused to live the same life.  Hands calloused, sore muscles and sun hardened skin was not the picture she painted for herself.  She wasn’t going to spend a life looking at shanty walls, cooking for a labouring husband or wash stains from aged white shirts.  She saw her future as an entertainer in the resorts.  Dreaming that one day, a rich tourist would sweep her away to America. 

Three days after her fifteenth birthday, she found herself getting off a bus, smiling as she welcomed herself to Havana.  After several weeks in the city, her dreams weren’t panning out as she’d hoped.  There were no rich tourists and after being kicked out of a rooming house, found herself hiding in the streets, moving from one rat infested hovel to the next.  Her ‘rich tourist’ left her pregnant, stranded and scared. Her life now consisted of vomiting up morning sickness and stealing fruit from the orchards at night.  

Marlena’s father was a ‘tourist’, staying at one of the five star Playas.  All inclusive Cervezas, slow dancing in a dirty dancehall and promises that only a fifteen year old dreamer would believe. He convinced her that in only ten short days he would whisk her away to the big city, as long as she kept him ‘company’ for his stay.

Each morning before making their walk to the carousel, Rita would fill a knapsack with a one litre bottle of water, several mangos, rice cakes wrapped in banana leaves and four empanadas. Every day, instructions were repeated that the rice and one mango was for breakfast, one empanada and 2 mangos for lunch  and the final two empanadas and any remaining mangos were her dinner. Marlena wasn’t allowed to speak to anyone other than the lady that ran the bodega and if she needed to nap was to crawl into the small space between the back of the tree and the store wall.  Before they left the shanty, Rita pinned a note, written on paper with a rainbow on it, inside Marlena’s shirt.

The old carousel was placed outside of the badego as a tourist attraction. It’s bright colours matching the shingled walls of the building surrounding it. The carousel never worked, most of it’s parts rusted and it’s mechanics seized.  When it first arrived the neighbourhood children would try to make it work, but like the sword embedded in the rock that only King Arthur could release, it never budged. The only reward for trying being a tetanus shot, from the rust splinters that would end up in someones hand.

The woman who ran the bodega would check on Marlena several times through out the day, often bringing her candy or homemade treats.  As she was locking up for the day, she noticed a small shoe sticking out from behind the mango tree. A panic swept over her, Marlena shouldn’t still be there, it’s well past 8 pm and the night was wrapping itself around them.  As she moved closer she could hear Marlena softly crying.  After much coaxing Marlena finally emerged from behind the tree.

Brushing the dirt from Marlena, she notices the safety pin sticking out from Marlena’s t-shirt.  She unpined it and after gently unfolding it, stood up and read the note.

Dear Friend,

 If you are reading my note, I am on a boat to America.  I have gone to find     Marlena’s father and to start a better life for us.  Please take care of her. She is a     good daughter.  When I have      settled, I will send a letter to the lady in the bodega.


After reading the note, the lady motioned Marlena to come sit on a bench with her, “Marlena, this letter is from your Mama. She says I am to look after you.”
“I know. Are you my new Mama?”
“No, but I can be your abuela.”
Pointing at the rainbow at the top of the paper, Marlene tell’s her, “Mi abuela, rainbows are my favourite.”


Kat Leonard – http://katleonard.com/2013/08/21/resting-on-a-memory/
Life With More Cowbell – http://lifewithmorecowbell.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/writing-challenge-a-picture-paints-1000-words/
Original Challenge – https://lizzieviolet.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/weekly-writing-challenge-1000-words/

My last show for 2012 and upcoming features in 2013

Hello all!

2012 is winding down and 2013 is revving up and I already have 3 features lined up.  BUT!  2012 isn’t quite over just yet 🙂

My final show for 2012 is…… drum roll please!!!  On December 16th at the Plasticine Poetry Fanatics.  Please come check myself and 3 other features out.  All the deets are below as well as the shows I currently have booked for 2013.  Looking forward to a brand new year.  Not to mention 13 is my favourite number 🙂


Plasticine Poetry Fanatics
6 pm – 9 pm
Sunday, December 16, 2012
Paupers Pub
539 Bloor St. West, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1Y6


David Clink is the former Board President and Artistic Director of the Rowers Pub Reading Series, and former Artistic Director of the Art Bar Poetry Series. David co-organizes, along with Sandra Kasturi, a one-day poetry workshop, entitled “A Fistful of Poems” which has run 7 times. He has two collections of poetry published by Tightrope Books: Eating Fruit Out of Season (2008) and Monster (2010). He edited an anthology of environmental poetry called: A Verdant Green (The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, 2010). The same publisher has recently released David’s third collection, Crouching Yak, Hidden Emu, a book of humorous poems.

Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits has been a Canadian citizen since 2003. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the U.S.A., Australia and Britain.Her first novel, The Hungry Mirror, won the 2011 IPPY Awards Gold Medal for Women’s Issues Fiction and was long-listed for a ReLit Award. Her second novel, West of Wawa won the 2012 IPPY Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction and was one of Chatelaine’s four Editor’s Picks. West of Wawa is available in bookstores and online.

Her third novel, A Glittering Chaos, will be launched in Spring 2013. All books published by Inanna Publications. www.lisadenikolitswriter.com

Cathy Petch www.cathypetch.com is a playwrite, spoken word artist, performer, musician and lighting designer. She hosts the Plasticine Poetry Series, which turned 5 this year. Petch was recently published in Toronto Quarterly Magazine and Ascent Aspirations Magazine. Her book “Late Night Knife Fights” has just been published by Lyricalmyrical press. She is a member of both the 2011 and 2012 Toronto Poetry Slam Teams and of the Collaborative group PENTA. Petch is happiest onstage.

Writer, editor, poet, literary reviewer, horror know-it-all, Lizzie Violet is the dark little girl, with a crooked smile. A lover of all things creepy, including horror silent movies, she is also a well known Zombiephile. She is currently working on a novel, a poetry manuscript and the latest books she edited, Best New Werewolf Tales, Volume One from Books of the Dead Press and Fatty Goes to China by Royston Tester, can be found at Amazon.ca.

Since returning to the world of performance, she has featured at Tumultuous Tuesdays, The Beautiful & The Damned, Get Your Groove On and Wonder Women IV and V, Free Times Best of Open Stage, Pride and Nuit Blanche. Her poetry can be found various anthologies and magazines including the upcoming issue of Carousel.
For more information about Lizzie Violet, ironic anecdotes and upcoming listings please check out her blog, lizzieviolet.wordpress.com.

KickOffWonder Women Fundraiser
The Central
Markham Street, Toronto
January 12, 2013
doors open at 7:30 pm

Matt Gerber, Supertash, Candice Sand, Linda Inthahack, Asleep in the Machine, Lizzie Violet, Dread Eye, Miquelon Rodriquez and Ellie Anderson and hosting by Arlene Paculan and Kat Leonard.

Invite to come soon.

q_space_collegeGaddist Poetry Series at Q Space

Hosted by Nik Beat
Q Space
382 College Street
Toronto, Ontario
January 27, 2013
7 pm

Features information and invite information to come soon.


Secret Handshake Gallery
189 Mutual St
February 24, 2013
Features information and invite information to come soon.

The Next Big Thing Interview

I was asked by my friend and fellow scribe Heather Wood to participate in “The Next Big Thing” project. TNBT is a way for wordsmiths to promote upcoming work. Basically, a writer answers ten questions about a new work and then get other writers to do the same. However, I’ve added a bit of a twist to my list.  I think that playwrights, bloggers and songwriters should be part of this as well, so… here are my Next Big Thing Q & A’s:

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?  The Treadle

Where did the idea come from for the book? I was I was around 5 or 6 my Mom inherited her Grandma Brown’s Treadle sewing machine (made in 1889).  I became obsessed with it.  I would actually play games where I would open the drawers and pretend there were magical creatures hidden in them.  As I got older, my obsession turned to designing doll clothes, then eventually my own clothes.  I learned how to sew on it.  As I sat there running the petal with my foot I would come up with stories about the kinds of women who might have also used it.

What genre does your book fall under?  Literary Fiction.  Though there will be a bit of historical fiction in it as well, as it spans time from the early 1900’s to mid 1980’s.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? 
Though they aren’t Scottish (Elizabeth is Scottish), I picture a young Elizabeth played by Kate Winslet and older Elizabeth would be Helen Mirren.  The book itself has 3 female protagonists.  Elizabeth, Carrie and Lizzie. Grandmother, Mother, Daughter.  I’m not sure who I’d cast for the rest of the characters.  Knowing me, it would be a mix of quirky Canadian and British actors.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Three women, three generations, with one very powerful object that ties them all together.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Once the manuscript is done, I will be sending it off to a publisher.  I’ve already lived through the world of self-publishing and feel this novel deserves so much more.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? The story has been with me since I was a kid. I finally sat down and started working on it between other projects over the last 2 years.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  I don’t like comparing what I’m writing to other books, because they all stand on their own, although I am inspired by many writers.  Just too many to list here.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?  A few people inspired this book.  My Great Grandma Brown, whose Treadle sewing machine I inherited, my Grandma Betty, My Grandma Carrie and my mother.  All strong women who have had a lot of influence on the woman and writer I have become.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  Strong female characters.

And now check out The Next Big Things of these wonderful writers.
Kat Leonard
Cathy McKim
Monica S. Kuebler
Brandon Pitts
Marcy Rogers

Wonder Women V and Smashwords!

I’m performing at two events this week!  First up, tomorrow’s Wonder Women V.  This show is going to rock the socks off Mississauga!  Not only that, I get to perform along with Meghan Morrison, Iman Wain, Ellie Anderson, Heather Pirie, Kat Leonard, Arlene Paculan, Cindy Aston, Shannon Butcher, Sophia Radisch, Lily Cheng, Patrizia Dioguardi Pomeroy, Keesha Brownie, Joanna Chapman-Smith, Dorothy Weiss, Roveena, Heather Schiller and abecdarians.  Please come out and see amazing Wonder Women perform at Celebration Square Amphitheatre in Mississauga and it’s FREE!


Then on Sunday am performing at Toronto Queer Arts and Culture Festival – 2nd Annual Smash Words (at the Press Club) along with Kat Leonard, David Bateman, Philip Cairns, Kirk DeMatas, Brock Hessel, Frank Hull, DM Moore!


Wonder Women V begins today!

Today is the first part of some of the amazing events that are happening as part of Wonder Women V! I am posting a poster for all of the events. The details are below as well! Make sure you get out to one of the workshops and the FREE concert Wednesday night! And if I haven’t mentioned it before… I will be performing 🙂

Wonder Women – Artistic Self-Esteem Workshop
When: Friday, August 3rd, 5:00 to 7:00 pm
Where: Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre
3650 Dixie Road, Mississauga
Ticket Price: free event

Description: Conducted by the Mississauga Arts Council, the workshop is for young female artists to showcase their creations.

Wonder Women Unite! – Networking/Workshop Event
When: Wednesday August 8th at 3:00 to 4:30 pm
Where: Boston Pizza Square One
35 Square One Drive, Mississauga
Ticket Price: free event

Description: How to promote yourself as an artist.

Wonder Women in Concert
When: Wednesday August 8th at 7:30pm – 9:00pm
Where: Celebration Square – Amphitheatre
300 City Centre Drive Mississauga
Ticket Price: free event

Arlene Paculan
Executive Producer LMG Productions
(416) 458-9721~ imworthitinfo@yahoo.ca

Kat Leonard
Artistic Director LMG Productions

Lizzie Violet
Press Representative LMG Productions

My Great Big Pride Love In

I’m not even sure how to start this blog.  I have so much swimming around inside my head right now.  I have had one of the best weekends in a very long time, all starting Friday night with a last minute decision to go see some live music.  This entire weekend has been about being with people I love, adore and respect, about celebrating a community I’m so effing PROUD to be part of and about being on stage with some absolutely amazing talent. In 3 days I managed to see live music, The Dyke March, celebrate my dear friend Cate McKim’s birthday (she lost track of how my times she celebrated 😉 ), PRIDE, reading at PRIDE and see a lot of my favourite people and friends perform.  Yesterday actually felt like a great big party with all my friends and family, without the drunken uncle trying to start a fight.  It was about celebrating the freedom to express who you are without judgement, about showing your true colours without fear.  We live in a city where you can be Queer without fear!

Below are some photo’s from the weekend and a link to Cate McKim’s blog about the events.  http://lifewithmorecowbell.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/friends-words-music-toronto-pride-2012/.  So many amazing performances and friends in these pictures.  (Cate McKim, Kat Leonard, Arlene Paculan, Laurie Fredheim, Leah Walker, Duncan Armstrong, Philip Cairns, David Bateman, DM Moore, Harrsion Fine, Brandon Pitts, Janis Tipping, Iman Wain, Rex Baunsit, Dan McClean Jr., Meghan Morrison, Evan Le Blanc, Stuart Everitt, Myke Mazzei, Jaime Alexandra, Adrienne Smith, Alissa Vox Raw)

Dyke March and Pride

This slideshow requires JavaScript.