1 min

Art for Derek McCormack

Community comes together for gay novelist

Toronto writer Derek McCormack is suffering from a rare form of appendix cancer. Credit: Elizabeth Sullivan
Friends of beloved gay novelist and bookseller Derek McCormack have learned he has a rare form of appendix cancer and needs treatment.
So they’re responding in the most fabulous way possible: with a fundraising art sale and music party.
“It’s been extraordinarily heartwarming how many people love Derek and how many people wanted to help him out,” says Jason McBride, an organizer of the event, who’s been friends with McCormack since the two were roommates at the University of Toronto.
McCormack’s treatment will include an 18-hour surgery and a two- to three-week long hospital stay before he takes several months to recover with friends and family. “He won’t be able to work for six months, and possibly a year,” McBride says.
The money raised will support McCormack during his months of treatment and recovery and fund the second opinion he sought in the United States.
Art for Derek is an online art sale, not auction, which started April 1.     
“It is a race,” says art-sale organizer Micah Lexier. Pieces can be viewed and purchased online.
The sale features art from 29 contributors. Once people heard about the sale, Lexier says, a number of additional artists offered to contribute work. He points to the support McCormack’s given to Toronto’s creative communities as a reason for the many offers.
Selected works include a hand-drawn “fuck-off grid” by Ken Nicol, which is dedicated to McCormack’s cancer fight.
Then on Tuesday, April 10, musicians and performers such as Tony Burgess, Matthew Barber, Jason Collett and Claudia Dey will perform at Corm-a-rama, a party inspired by McCormack’s nickname, Corm. A prize raffle will include gifts from The Walrus, Coach House Books, Taddle Creek and The Beguiling.
“It’s a nice way to bring all three of those [art, music and writing] communities together,” McBride says. “There has been such a huge outpouring of love and support, and people wanted to help. We thought this would be a good way to do that.”
The Deets:
Tues, April 10 at 7:30pm
The Garrison
1197 Dundas St W