B Musique Productions / Studio
Save The Studio Battle - 2017/18
Bryant vs TCHC
April 18, 2018
It's been a while, so here's an update...
First, on a personal note, my mother is in her last days, and she and family have been, and will be my priority for the next while.
Mom is 89, and is ready to go, and this process has been profound and healing, so please don't feel sad for me. Be good to all the mothers, fathers, sons and daughters who could use some love and kindness. That's what my mom would want.
Regarding the ongoing Studio Eviction Battle...
I'm still holding strong, and now officially 'Occupying' my studio – As of Feb.1, 2018.
I'm sticking to my guns and not allowing my landlord to get away with this malicious and unnecessary eviction.
And as I prepare for next steps, I am discovering errors, lies and mistakes by the TCHC, that cause me to be more certain than ever that they will lose this battle and I (we) will win.
My landlord has ordered me out, and not to pay rent.
But I'm still there. And I'm not moving out until I'm ready!
I'm working, taking on new clients, and completing projects.
My landlord cannot force me out without a court order.
And I'm still paying rent.
My landlord cannot force me out and confiscate my gear without a court order. And for that they need a judge to approve this eviction.
And so I wait for a court date, where I will contest this baseless eviction and then move on to more important things, like making more music and getting compensated.
The fact is, the TCHC have made mistakes. They have also lied, manipulated me, and they quite probably broke the law.
The sad fact is, that this crazy, wasteful eviction has cost me precious time and money, and it has stymied a lot of really important projects. But I continue to work towards making Toronto a Better Music City. And I'm very excited about the future.
So much still depends on my landlord's willingness to communicate and collaborate, which they have not to date.
The TCHC, my landlord (and Canada's largest landlord) could and should be setting an example for good stewardship and sensitivity to the realities of 21st Century life in Toronto. Yet they refuse.
I have decided to wait until a court date is announced before printing and delivering the Save The Studio Petition, which has garnered over 2, 900 signatures to date.
It would be a powerful statement to have over 3,000 signatures, so please sign it if you haven't yet. And please share it.
When a court date is announced, I will put out a press release, deliver the Petition to the TCHC, the Mayor, my Councillor and the Press. I think it will have a serious impact, and look forward to the TCHC reaction.
So... Thank You All! With all my heart… for; Signing my Petition, Donating to my Go Fund Me Campaign, Spreading the Word, Making Videos and Music, and Supporting me in this crazy battle.
March 26, 2018
Today my Petition to Save my Studio has garnered over 2,800 Signatures!
Thank you to all who have signed, and written passionately and intelligently about this issue.
I truly appreciate your efforts and expressions on my behalf.
And I hope that the Powers that (should not) be will finally listen and change their tact towards actually serving the community and supporting The Arts and Culture.
If I were them, this would battle would have have been over long ago.
I truly do not understand what the motivation is behind the TCHC's persistence in trying to evict me. They have refused to communicate directly with me, and refused all offers of mediation. They have most certainly spent thousands of Our TaxPayer Dollars in this battle, and their end game seems to have no other goal than to inflict punishment on myself and my family, and leave to a space that is not suitable for an apartment vacant and derelict.
So now, as I prepare for the next court date, I continue to work on music and to build my dream of a Better Music City!
March 19, 2018.
Recently, I was reminded of something that happened 20 years ago.
Time flies… and I had forgotten about a fact that makes this whole eviction action even more ironic, more unfair and far more despicable.
20 years ago, my neighbour Frank Perna, a splendid visual artist and Norma Dickinson (the neighbour whose incessant complaints and racist harassments initiated the TCHC Legal Department's Vendetta against me) were being evicted from their studios on Sorauren Ave.
Myself and the other original tenants offered them units in this building, where they have been safely housed ever since. Over the years I have supported Norma getting kilns to do her pottery, turning the front parking lot into a garden (which she loves) and moving into a unit where she is secure and has ample space and privacy.
Her unit is the furthest from my studio in the basement, yet she is the only tenant who regularly complains about me.
Now, years after I and the other original tenants provided safe housing for her, she is hell bent on making my life miserable. In fact, when I told her that her actions could cause my children and I to be rendered homeless, her reaction was "Good!..."
This is the situation I find myself in. One in which I have built up a business that has survived through serious upheavals in the music industry. I have provided for my children. I have created and developed culturally significant works for 3 decades. And I have cared for this building more than any other over the past 30 years.
And now I am being punished due to the actions of an uncaring, racist person who has contributed nothing but misery and angst.
This is what the TCHC is supporting and defending.
They say they support entrepreneurs, single parents, culture and community.
Their actions speak to the opposite.
I will continue to defend myself, and my right to continue my work. It is not pride. It is what is right! I have done nothing wrong here.
And so, I thank all of you who have supported me in this battle. I believe there is a very good chance I will win. And I believe that if we work together towards a better future, we cant thrive!
In the meantime, I am just glad to still be in my little studio, doing what I love, doing what I a good at.
And I look forward to the evolution of B. Musique Productions / Studio when this battle is over. Onward and upward!
There is plenty to do for us to make Toronto a True Music City. And once I'm over this fight I plan on getting busy on Evolutionary Music CoOperative and ArtsCity - Podcast and LiveStream. Details to come.
I hope many of you will be a part of these projects, as they are in order to help us all Thrive and Prosper as Professional Artists. We have so much to offer to the world! Toronto is full of possibilities, and we are poised to make significant gains in the world of music. It's already happening. Let's make it broader and prove that many can benefit if we work together.
Thanks for reading.
Always Looking Forward!
March 9, 2018
I'm still embroiled in the battle with the TCHC, to save my recording studio of almost 30 years. I'm not in arrears and I am the longest standing tenant in the building.
My studio may be the longest running Black Owned Studio in Toronto.
Myself and the original tenants convinced the City to buy this building in which I work (and used to live in, until just after my second child was born), in order to save it from becoming a Condominium back in 1992.
My studio has been my main income source, and a way for me to stay in town for my family (I'm a single father of 2 teenage boys).
The landlord's reasoning for this eviction is suspect. And it is inspired by, and founded on spurious complaints from a particularly troubled and racist tenant.
Long story short, I've been at this battle since 2015.
I have searched, and the fact is, in this era of almost total gentrification, it's almost impossible to find an appropriate / affordable downtown location for a recording studio in Toronto.
Now it has gotten to the point of my having to challenge the TCHC in Superior Court (Civil division) in order to stop them from getting a court order and writ to shut me down and seize my equipment. So I've been busy…
When I can, I'm also working on a number of music / business projects, including a Toronto based Music CoOp (EvMc - Evolutionary Music CoOp), a PodCast to discuss solutions to the Live Music Problems in Toronto - ArtsCity - TALK, as a Performance Series - ArtsCity - LIVE STREAM.
As well, I'm working on various recording projects.
One is with my old friend John T Davis, a legendary B3 player, with a prolific history. He is a wonderful, unique songwriter. I describe his music as: Gospel / Jazz / Beat Soul Music.
You can check John T Davis out at:
I'm also working on a CD with singer Nadia High.
I'm Co-Producing it with one of Canada's greatest violinists / Multi-Instrumentalists - Dr. Tom G Hamilton. Links below.
You can see us live in the Performances Video
I'm also remixing a great track I co-wrote with Brent Haynes.
It's timely, and titled 'Love Is The Answer'
Featuring Rosita Stone and the late Dennis (Dee Phifer from All The Rage).
I've recently started a series of R&B / SOUL - Saturday Night Performances at MIRTO - 25 Toronto St. with my old friend, Kimio Oki.
10PM o 2AM. Through March 2018.
The next 2 weeks we will feature Juno Award winner, Carlos Morgan and keyboard wizard Stacy McGregor.
Also, next Friday, March 16 at The Duke, I'll be playing with Ricochet - All 80's Fun Band!
You can also find updates here:
Peace and Love…
Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2018
So the battle continues... in a quiet manner. Still waiting to hear about a court date.
Lots of mind-numbing paperwork in the meantime...
TCHC are set to try to get a court order to lock me out, and a writ of possession against my studio equipment.
I have enlisted legal advise and am preparing my defence and offence.
In the meantime, I had a great interview on iLIVE Internet Radio.
Patrick O Morris had me on for an hour Sunday, March 4.
You can check it out on my FaceBook page.
If you haven't already, please sign and share my petition.
And please contribute to my GoFundMe Campaign if you can.
Tuesday, Febuary 27, 2018
Petition is over 1,600... Thank You!!!
On Friday I discovered that the TCHC had filed a case against me at Superior Court.
Their intent was to not inform me, and proceed with a hearing before a judge in order to get their court order to shut me down and lock me out.
Yesterday afternoon I faxed their lawyer letting her know that I intend to appear, and I have informed the court.
I believe that TCHC do not have a case, and that they wish to sway the judge with misinformation and half-truths. The fact is, my studio is, and always was a live work unit.
The court of public opinion is in my/our favour. Now I am preparing to beat them in court. i am gathering the necessary legal support to navigate the rules and procedures.
At the core of this is the fact that if the TCHC get away with this, they and other landlords can do it to anybody who does creative work from a residential unit.
We must protect artists studios from landlords who do not respect or support culture.
I am grateful for your continued support.
I will be presenting the petition in person sometime soon.
Friday, February 15, 2018
So far the petition has almost 700 signatures!
We Will Win!!!
Thursday, Feb.14, 2018
It's my Birthday!
I started a petition to Save The Studio
Please sign it
Love you all!
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2018.
TCHC Studio Eviction Battle Update
The last few days have been quite frustrating.
A mediator offered their services to the TCHC and myself. I was most willing to participate, but the TCHC declined their offer. They have declined offers of mediation previously, and they have repeated their intention to evict me, this time with a court order they vow to make me pay for.
They are also threatening to confiscate my equipment and or make claims against it.
In a nutshell, the TCHC are determined to shut down what may be the longest running 'Black Owned' Recording Studio in Toronto, and the works of many young and older black musicians (and many others) during Black History Month!
Talk about bad press! And bad karma!
I am starting a petition tonight. I hope you will sign it and share it. I remain hopeful that the will of the masses can sway the hardliners within TCHC.
Life is Hope!
In the meantime, I'm continuing to work on tracks with various clients (Big Up Corey Jones and John T Davis!).
Thanks again for all your support.
Monday, Feb. 5, 2018
CITY TV REPORT ON LAST WEEKEND'S SESSION PARTY
Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018
Studio owner and Artists Plan to Defend Studio from unfair eviction by TCHC.
Monday morning - Feb. 5 - at 8am, Bryant Didier, supporters and friends will be at his boutique recording studio at B3 - 331 Bartlett Ave.
They will be there to prevent the TCHC from fulfilling its promise to seize his equipment and lock him out, despite not having a court order to do so.
Bryant, who is the longest standing tenant in the building, and its only occupant of colour on lease, helped prevent the building from becoming a condominium in the 90s, thus paving the way for the TCHC to become its manager.
Bryant saved this building from gentrification and hoped that he had security of tenure, even after his 2nd child was born (in 331 Bartlett) in 2004 and he had to move out, keeping his studio space.
Bryant is not in arrears, and has the support of his fellow tenants (minus 1). And because he is a single father who also rents his home from TCHC, he fears that without income from his studio he may lose his home.
The TCHC know this, yet they are relentless. They have refused all communication and mediation. They have also refused his offers of partnership in community building programs going back over 5 years.
The TCHC have also refused to rent Bryant a space at the rear of the building. This space has been empty for 10 years, and was previously used as a recording studio by its last tenant (who was relocated after the discovery and subsequent removal of asbestos). Yet the TCHC say it is inappropriate. They are using the same reason for evicting him.
Bryant has had to resort to submitting a Human Rights Tribunal application against TCHC charging them with racism, threats and harassment.
Bryant has spoken to the police who have agreed to protect him if the TCHC attempt to remove him or his property without a court order.
Press are welcome to cover this event.
Bryant does not know exactly what day or time TCHC will arrive, but the TCHC document ordering him to remove his belongings gave him 5 days from Feb. 1.
Therefore he will be ready tomorrow at 8am.
This case is precedent setting and wanders into previously uncharted legal territory. For this reason, Bryant has had great difficulty finding legal representation.
5:00PM Friday, Feb. 2018.
I just filed an application against the TCHC with the Human Rights Tribunal.
I'm charging them with Threats, Harassment and Racism.
And I'm asking for damages.
I also made them an offer.
I'll drop it if they do (not our pants; -0
They are poised to lock my door and take possession of my gear on Monday, Feb.5.
I haven't been able to find a lawyer to file a stop order Monday.
Suggestions are welcome.
The problem is, it's complex, mixing commercial with residential, zoning, blah, blah...
I hope this charge makes them back off, but I'll be there, holding it down.
Anyone who wants to come down is welcome.
Feb. 1, 2018
A representative from the TCHC came and posted a letter on the studio door giving me 5 days to vacate.
At the same time, a reporter (Mark Streeter) from NOW Magazine walked in!
We had a great interview.
It'll be interesting to hear what the TCHC has to say.
I have 5 days to vacate (according to them).
January 29, 2018
I'm still recovering from this weekend's Grand / Last Stand Session Party.
What a great event. I'll definitely do that again (but not for the same reason : - )
Thank all of you who made it out!
Thanks for playing, hanging, sharing and caring!
I'll update you asap as things progress.
It ain't over yet!
January 25, 2018
This morning's Board Meeting synopsis.
Thank you, my friends and fellow artists who showed up on this cold morning.
The TCHC uses lies to cover up the fact that they have no valid reason to proceed with this eviction.
And they repeat those lies to obfuscate the fact that they are acting out of malice.
After 2 impassioned speeches by myself and Josephine Mackie, detailing the lies and misinformation used to justify the eviction, and providing solutions and alternatives, they proceeded to repeat the same lies and invalid statements used in the past to avoid moving forward in a more conciliatory fashion.
The phrases 'storage room', 'apartment building' and 'not appropriate' rang through the conference room like a mantra.
They seem to be robots. Not all, but most. No care or concern. Just a blind mission. They seem bent on destroying my livelihood.
Although they seem determined to follow through with the eviction, I am also determined.
I still have a couple of options. And CITY TV were there to cover it, so the public will be made aware and perhaps sway the TCHC brass with a shame campaign.
After our deputations my dear friend Eryn Rene and the group of us sang, and we marched out to her song 'Save The Studio'.
It was beautiful!
The security guards even loved it, and apologized while guiding us out.
Thanks David Hines, Nadia High, John T Davis, Kimio Oki, Ion Tynes, and Fred Middleton for being there and supporting me.
And thanks to all who couldn't make it and sent your support. I love you all!
You are all such honourable people. And I am blessed to have such fine friends.
And regardless of what happens next week, I know things will work out, even if I have to chain myself to the studio at the end of the month!
January 24, 2018
CITY TV NEWS Piece
Call Out To Friends, Family and Lovers of Music, Art and Culture.
Protest Unfair Studio Eviction:
Thursday, January 25, 2018.
Conference Room, Ground Floor.
931 Yonge St. Just S of Rosedale Station.
If you would like to make a deputation, please sign in with the Board Secretary.
Hope to see you there!
On Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 I sent a letter to TCHC's legal department indicating that I have not found an alternate, affordable location, and I am not prepared to move my studio out of 331 Bartlett Ave by their eviction date of Jan. 31, 2018. I asked for an extension of time.
In a previous conversation with the legal department, I mentioned that this may be the case, and their lawyer said that they would consider it when the time came.
Their response was heartless, brief and hardly considered (but not surprising).
The have ordered me to be out by Jan. 31/18!
The agreement that they forced me to sign, which binds me to vacate by Jan. 31/18, was signed under duress, which I expressed clearly to the TCHC legal representative at the time of signing.
I am now exploring various means to once again stop this unfair and unnecessary eviction.
I have a few options...
One is to appeal to government representatives, and ask them to squash this action. I'm starting with City Hall. TCHC is ruled by The City and have to answer to and obey them. I will visit City Hall and appeal to the appropriate departments. This is my first choice. I know that they have helped others succeed in reversing evictions and providing compensation to tenants.
I will also approach various councillors.
Another is to file a lawsuit arguing the merits of this eviction and requesting damages. I'm exploring a challenge to the legal and moral right for TCHC to evict me, based on such baseless reasoning. As well, I could charge them with harassment. The problem is that this process could be expensive and time consuming.
Another is to stay and challenge them after they try to lock me out. Risky!
There are, no doubt, other tactics that I haven't mentioned or thought of.
I appreciate any sound advice and/or insights on this matter. If you hold knowledge that could be helpful or have a brilliant idea, feel free to call or email me.
I may need to call upon you to join me in attending and protesting the eviction at the next Board of Directors meeting.
I will let you know by the coming weekend.
I am trying to avoid this route, and find a faster, better solution.
I'll keep you posted.
Thanks for all your support!
Peace and Love!
Public TCHC Board Meeting
931 Yonge Street, Conference Room, Ground Floor
Thursday, January 25, 2018.
Start 9:30 am
End 11:30 am
December 11, 2017
TCHC Public Board Of Directors Meeting
A number of you made it to the protest.
Josephine Grey, Sandra Whitely, Tom Hamilton, Nadia High, Jaffa (Dieufaite) Charles, Sharrae Lyon, Lizwie Mahashe, Zoe Ackah, Paul Dakota, Kevin Nelson, Eryn Rene, Johnny Blue, Alana Edwards, Derick Lindo, Carrie Chesnutt, John T Davis, Rivka Kletski, Et al...
Thank You for getting up on a cold Monday morning and helping me make a point to the Board!!!
It was compelling, and I am certain that the Board members will now address this issue.
I will let you know what transpires.
November 23, 2017
The legal department at the TCHC have pulled a move, stopping me from communicating with the Board of Directors, who are holding a public meeting on December 11, 2017.
I encourage you to contact the Board members and question them about this issue.
You can also ask to make a deputation yourself!
The link to the Board members is below.
October 20, 2017
Yesterday, in Divisional Court (Osgoode Hall), I lost my case.
I was asking the judge to allow me to Appeal the Landlord Tenant Board ruling (Jan.2016) that determined the studio was commercial
'therefore I could not receive the protections of the LTB'
After the hearing, I had in interview with CBC News (Philip Lee-Shanook) at the studio.
They did a great piece, that's on TV this weekend, and available online.
Also, I received an email from TCHC's legal department, giving me until Jan.31/18.
They also remove the requirement that I pay court costs.
This has been a powerful and highly educational experience!
Last night I did a lot of soul searching. I sailed over to on Wards Island (cell-free), and discussed possibilities with Jo and my buddy Gebby.
It was quite inspirational.
I have a lot of ideas I'll be sharing, and I'll appreciate your input on some of them.
There are so many things that have to change for artists in our City.
We need each other now, more than ever!
I'm excited about the future!
"CBC INTERVIEW LINK"
I've held them off until Oct.19/17
I have arranged for a hearing in Divisional Court on Oct.19 - 10AM
There, I will plead with the judge for the right to have the LTB Ruling about my Studio being Commercial -
(thus sending me to the jackals)
- Overturned and ReHeard, based on a variety of factual reasons.
So... It's not over yet, but I feel like things are starting to get better already!
Thanks for the well-wishes, the prayers and your love!
And a very heartfelt "Thank You To The Stars and Back..." Josephine Grey / Mackie.
My friend, my love, my heart.
At this juncture, I am challenging my landlord (TCHC) who have decided (for some nefarious reason) that I am operating a commercial business in a residential building.
They have given me until September 30, 2017 to move out!
How absurd! They manage this building because i (and the original tenants) convinced the City of Toronto to purchase it, so it would not be converted into yet another condominium!
I am constantly learning that the path to fulfilling ones career and life dreams,
as well as maintaining a healthy and happy life
is rather simple…
"Do what you love,
do it with passion and dedication.
Do it to the very best of your abilities
(and always with love).
Respect the craft and your audience.
Give back when you can.
And be grateful!
And I should also add this:
Fight for your rights!!!
That's basically just about it, in broad strokes…
So, dear visitor,
And Welcome To:
B. Musique Productions / Studio
… my small - but mighty - recording studio
in west-downtown Toronto.
I have been running this little laboratory since 1989!
This studio has been described as:
Cool / intimate / Boutique
My skills and services include;
Composition / Recording / Production / Mixing and Mastering
The studio is located in an over 110 year old former school-house...
I love working on great recordings
with creative, expressive artists - like you.
My name is Bryant Didier (also known as 'B. Valentine'
To my friends, I'm just 'B'
You're welcome to call me B!
I've been making music of almost every style here and elsewhere for a long time...
I've worked with artists from all over the world. And I've played almost every instrument invented (some badly, others very well)....
I love music with a deep and constant passion!
And I strive to create tracks that stand the test of time, in quality, production value, originality and vibe.
Welcome to my music lair...
Please come on in, and let me help you make great recordings!
Hope to see you soon!