Brampton Indie Arts Festival Medicine Wheel

North-South-East-West at Brampton Indie Arts Festival, Toronto Canada, February 2004.


North-South-East-West was exhibited at Brampton Indie Arts Festival 2004, February 2004.


The Brampton Indie Arts Festival

The Brampton Indie Arts Festival was created by local musician Richard Marsella in 2000-2007, and restarting in 2011. It was conceived as an annual event to promote underground artists such as musicians, filmmakers, dancers and visual artists. Although focusing on experimental and underground artists, the festival enjoyed sponsorship and support from a number of organizations including the City of Brampton. Mayor Susan Fennell has been on hand for opening nights to give her blessing to the festival.


The original location of the Brampton Indie Arts Festival was the historic Heritage Theatre in downtown Brampton; with the construction of the new Rose Theatre and subsequent closing of the Heritage, the BIAF was moved to the Rose in 2006. 2007 was the first year without Marsalla at the helm, and the last year of the festival. Insiders have speculated that the new location was simply too big to fill, and the festival was doomed when it lost the intimate feel of the Heritage.


Graham Thompson and Josh “Dikki III” Lima of the Shaved Asians

The annual event attracted artists both native to the Brampton area and remote, such as Nash the Slash, The Nihilist Spasm Band, Ron Sexsmith, Cuff the Duke, Bob Wiseman, John Oswald, Moneen, Scott Thompson, and Hayden. It also featured experimental arts and short films. A typical night at the festival could include bands, spoken word, art projects, prank calls, puppetry, film and special events such as the Börje Salming Hockey Cup or the Fifty Greatest Beards. All festivals from 2001 have been hosted by Curtains, the puppet MC, with guest host Scott Thompson making occasional appearances.


Brampton Indie Arts Festival 2004 Musicians

Bob Wiseman, Girl + the Machine, Child at Zoo, Escalate, Kevin Brow Quartet, Hayden, The Quadriplegic twelve, Jeff Straker, sitar player Anwar Khurshid, Maso Trio, Friendly Rich, The Vulcan Dub Squad, Paddington, The Shaved Asians, Five Blank Pages, Matthew Boughner, Nihilist Spasm Band

Brampton Indie Arts Festival 2004 Visual and Multimedia Artists

Graham Thompson, Sonia Birk, Mary Rocque, Graham Pavey, Claudine Perrott, Hannah Jickling, Ryan Hughes, Beatrice EkwaEkoko, €Simon Mohos, Jason Reeves, Matthew Daley, Debbie O-Rourke, Tracy Terry, The Art of the Shaved Asians, Melissa Marr, Katherine McKellar, Adam Earle and Dave Anastasio, Lois Siegel, Michael Brown, Christine Douville, Darren Fernando, Laura Vegys, Ben Pinkney, The Brampton Comic Jam

The Lollipop People @ Lula Lounge - Toronto - Feb 16 2006

Richard Marsella

Friendly Rich, born Richard Marsella, is a Canadian vanguard music composer/musician from Brampton, Ontario. His music has been featured on CBC and The Tom Green Show.

Rich has composed background music for three seasons of MTV’s The Tom Green Show. Since 1994, he has recorded exclusively for his own eclectic record label, The Pumpkin Pie Corporation. Rich has a Masters degree in music at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr. Lee Bartel and composer R. Murray Schafer. His main areas of study include musical instrument construction and parade pedagogy.


Friendly Rich has produced and composed nine full-length CDs, which have been featured on CBC Radio One (five documentaries for Outfront), CBC Radio 2 (continuous airplay on Brave New Waves), TFO (VOLT) and Muchmusic (Muchnews, BradTV).

Friendly Rich is the founder and director of the Brampton Indie Arts Festival, an annual event which promotes underground artists, held in February at the Rose Theatre in downtown Brampton. Since 2000, this event has attracted such artists as Nash the Slash, The Nihilist Spasm Band, Ron Sexsmith, Cuff the Duke, Bob Wiseman, John Oswald, Moneen, Scott Thompson, and Hayden.

Friendly Rich and his live ensemble The Lollipop People signed a deal with Hazelwood Records (Germany) to release two albums in Europe. They have since toured Europe 3 times in the last three years, and have released three records in Europe to date (We Need a New F-Word, Dinosaur Power and Sacred Prune of Remembrance).

Film and television credits

  • 1994 to 1996 – Composer for children’s TV series “The King Stanlislav Show” (Russia)
  • 1998 to 2001- Background music for MTV’s “The Tom Green Show”
  • 2005 – 3 pieces used in Thom Fitzgerald’s 3 Needles (director’s cut) starring Lucy Liu.
  • 2006 – Old Trout Puppet Workshop short film (featuring The Lollipop People).

External links