Outside Durand Coffee. Photo by Heather Peter

I Heart Hamilton’s Best Of 2017

By Kristin Archer

Cheers to the end of another year. We did it! 2017 marked the 6th year of I Heart Hamilton – something I’m forever grateful for. These past few years I’ve compiled a Best Of list of memories to look back at the year. As I get older, I’ve gotten a lot better at being in the moment and not having to document every little thing, but it’s nice to have the blog and social media to look back on.

Here we go! In no particular order…

Outside Durand Coffee. Photo by Heather Peter
Outside Durand Coffee. Photo by Heather Peter

Arkells
Our hometown fellas just keep reaching greater heights. Last year a major highlight was seeing Arkells play sold out shows at Massey Hall. In 2017, they hit another milestone by headlining FirstOntario Centre (always Copps to the band, and to me!) in February. The energy in the stands full of 10,000 Arkells fans was unreal. I was also lucky to catch them again in July for another sold out show, co-headlining with July Talk at Budweiser Stage in Toronto.

Mom and I at the Arkells show
Mom and I at the Arkells show

93.3 CFMU
This year I celebrated four years of my show and 200 episodes on 93.3 CFMU. I’m really proud of how the show has evolved and am grateful for more opportunities to share more local stories and local music. I was also honoured to join the wall by being immortalized in one of their show sketches (keep scrolling for that photo).

It was a big year for CFMU with the launch of new branding and new website. I was happy to be the subject of an episode of their series Frequency with fellow host Alysha Main of “Put A Record On.”


Then I threw out a Facebook status asking who wanted to recreate Haim’s “Want You Back” video (a favourite album of the year and fave band) and CFMU’s Rachel Connell, Kayla Da Silva, and Aaron De Jesus (Aaron Daniel Films) came through. We had a blast making this at 6am on the streets of Westdale! Seriously made all my Haim dreams come true.

*We do not claim the rights to this song  – we’re just big fans!

Highlights from the I Heart Hamilton radio show this year:

Photo by Toni Shelton/Collective Arts
Rachel Connell and Kristin Archer in Gore Park
Rachel Connell and Kristin Archer during Live-To-Air in Gore Park
Dan Edmonds and Kristin Archer. Photo courtesy of 93.3 CFMU
Dan Edmonds and Kristin Archer at Supercrawl. Photo courtesy of 93.3 CFMU

The Baltimore House
This year we said goodbye to my favourite place (and for countless others) in the city, The Baltimore House. This one still makes my heart ache. The post I wrote to send it off (Goodnight Baltimore) is the most viewed post I’ve ever written for I Heart Hamilton, and it received the most reaction. Which means a lot, because it was so emotional to write. This place will forever be missed and will forever live on in our hearts. The impact of this space can’t be overstated. I’m so grateful for every moment there and that I could chronicle so many moments there on the blog. Thank you again to everyone who made this place what it was.

I’m also grateful that Trish pushed us to go on the very last night, when I didn’t think I could. That night meant a lot.

Jimmy Skembaris, Kristin Archer, Grant Winestock at Discography. Photo by Sean William O'Neill
Jimmy Skembaris, Kristin Archer, Grant Winestock at Discography. Photo by Sean William O’Neill
The last two nights at The Baltimore House
The last two nights at The Baltimore House

DJing
I’m grateful for lots of fun DJ gigs this year. While I’ve still got a long way to go in terms of really digging into it, I have fun putting sets together and my vinyl collection really expanded this year! The closing of Baltimore House led to the creation of Diamond DJ Collective, a network of local female DJs. Knowing the venue was closing, I wanted to throw one last bash. Together with DJ Rosé, Fazooli, and Donna Lovejoy, we threw a killer party on the second-to-last night of the bar ever. We also got a feature in View Magazine about the gig!

From there we got to play Sous Bas, Because Beer, and Seven Sundays in Gage Park. Donna Lovejoy and I were also part of The Quilt Of Belonging lineup at Cotton Factory in celebration of Canada 150.

I also had some really fun gigs with DJ Seema! We collaborated with Ward IV on Mom Jean Jam at Gladstone Tavern, Little Brewers Club at Collective Arts, Pop Up Hamilton’s 80s themed event, and the Downtown BIA’s Halloween Spooktacular.

On my own, I had some fun gigs opening for Saya, Basement Revolver, SC Mira, Ascot Royals, Illitry, and a solo set at The Mule.

Behind the scenes at our photo shoot
Behind the scenes at our Diamond DJ Collective photo shoot
Diamond DJ Collective. Photo by Aaron Duarte
Donna Lovejoy, Fazooli, Kristin, Rosé. Photo by Aaron Duarte
Fazooli, Kristin, Donna Lovejoy, Rosé. Photo by Aaron Duarte
Fazooli, Kristin, Donna Lovejoy, Rosé. Photo by Aaron Duarte
Kristin Archer DJing at Baltimore House. Photo by Julie Fazooli
DJing Baltimore House on their second-to-last night. Photo by Julie Fazooli
Kristin DJing Gage Park. Photo by Cyprian Estrada
DJing Gage Park. Photo by Cyprian Estrada
Kristin and Seema DJing Mom Jean Jam
Kristin and Seema DJing Mom Jean Jam

Hub of the Hammer
My friend Matthew Surina hosts awesome events with his business Hub of the Hammer. General trivia nights at Lou Dawg’s with friends is always a fun time. And, not to brag, but every team I was part of for the themed trivia nights – The Office, Gilmore Girls, Friends, Veronica Mars – we won or placed in the top 3. Just sayin’ 🏆

Winning Hub of the Hammer's The Office trivia
Winning Hub of the Hammer’s The Office trivia

Hamilton Magazine
Having written online for years, it was a milestone for me to write my first ever article in print. I’m so happy it was for Hamilton Magazine! Thanks to this awesome mag for having I Heart Hamilton present the annual gift guide and thanks to my friend James Miike for helping with some of the photography.

Hamilton Magazine Holiday Gift Guide 2017
Hamilton Magazine Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Festival Of Friends
This classic Hamilton festival made its triumphant return to Gage Park this year. The lineup blew me away – July Talk, Stars, Hollerado!? That was a dream. Favourite festival lineup of the year. And it was free, and practically in my own backyard. The festival was sprawled out wonderfully with a huge stage over toward the fountain. Each night I staked out a spot under a full moon and thoroughly enjoyed the performances.

July Talk at Festival of Friends 2017
July Talk at Festival of Friends 2017
Stars at Festival of Friends 2017
Stars at Festival of Friends 2017

#KApril
You know I love to celebrate my birthday with a bang! For my fourth annual Birthday Tour, it was a chilly but sunny day with a bright blue sky. This girl gang hit up brunch, the Waterfront, Locke Street, the Devil’s Punchbowl, and I ended by DJing at Mills Hardware.

Devil's PunchbowlThe Inlet
It was in the works for about a year, but in May 2017 I helped launch new arts & culture online publication The Inlet, along with my friends and fellow bloggers Seema (This Must Be The Place), Biljana Njegovan (Cut From Steel), Jessica Rose (Not My Typewriter), Thomas Allen (Rebuild Hamilton), and Heather Peter (Hamilton Small Fries) – shout to Chanry (The Hungry Gnome) who was also a founder before relocating.

In November, we were floored to win Best Media Outlet at the 4th annual Hamilton Independent Media Awards. I was also pleased to be nominated for a 4th time for Best Journalist: Arts & Culture. The response to The Inlet has been very kind, inspiring, and motivating.

The Inlet (not pictured: Seema Narula) at the 2017 Hamilton Independent Media Awards
The Inlet (not pictured: Seema Narula) at the 2017 Hamilton Independent Media Awards. Photo by Marty Edwards
Accepting The Inlet's award at the 2017 Hamilton Independent Media Awards
Accepting The Inlet’s award at the 2017 Hamilton Independent Media Awards. Photo by Marty Edwards

I Heart Hamilton has been my online home for almost 7 years and I’m honoured and thankful for anyone who reads and who has found this to be a fun and valuable resource for all things Hamilton. It really means the world and was never expected. Now you’ll find the bulk of my writing on The Inlet (and I’ll share them here too). But I’ll still be kicking it here too!

As always, you can connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and weekly on 93.3 CFMU. I can’t thank you enough for supporting, liking, listening, commenting, and saying hi when you spot me about town. This little project to “Be at tourist in your own city” has grown into something much bigger than myself.

Wishing you all love, light, peace & happiness heading into 2018 ❤️ Kristin

Kristin Archer. Photo by L.A. West
Photo by L.A. West for Phantom Lovers
kristin
ihearthamiltontour@gmail.com
Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing an influential social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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