Staff Profiles



Michael Thomas

Hello, I’m Michael, the founder of Grayowl Point.

I really fell in love with the Canadian independent music scene when I began listening to CBC Radio 3 in February of 2009. Suddenly I was immersed in a world of bands I would never have heard of and I loved it. I have far too many favourite acts to name at this point, but some all-time favourites would be Chad VanGaalen, Owen Pallett, Ghostkeeper and Christian Hansen.

Aside from music I am part of the editorial staff at Digital Journal. I’m also the editor and producer of the Fed Podcast, based on the column by Corey Mintz of the Toronto Star. I enjoy crossword puzzles, collecting awesome TV shows on DVD, reading and trying to get lost in the city on a mountain bike.


Laura Stanley

Hey everybody, I’m Laura. When not quoting movies and tv shows, under a pile of books, or drinking tea, I’m here writing about the mellower side of Canadian music. I’m also working on my Master’s degree in Canadian & Indigenous Studies.

Long live physical media!

Elena Gritzan

By day, I am a third year student at the University of Toronto double-majoring in Chemistry and Psychology (I kind of like brains). But by night, I go to shows. My mother likes to joke that I am actually in Toronto to get a “bachelors of concert-going”. I have been writing obsessively since about age 10, but have traded in long amateurish fantasy novels for enthusing about my musical passions. My heart explodes for inventive genre-melding, baritone ukulele, and salt and vinegar chips.

You can find me here or at my other musical “day job”, editing U of T’s music magazine.



My name’s Jeff McAllister and I’m a lifestyle journalist, chemistry student and avid backpacker from Victoria, BC. As Grayowl Point’s west coast connection, I’m hyped to play ambassador to all the great bands coming out of BC.

Outside of Grayowl Point, I can be read regularly at

I also freelance regularly for a series of other independent Canadian publications.

Keep updated by following me on tumblr (

or twitter (mcallisterjeff)



Eleni Armenakis
After graduating from the University of Ottawa, I took off to the UK to get another degree in English Lit–staving off homesickness with the help of CBC Radio 3 and all the Canadian bands that filled up my iTunes. I hosted an all-new and mostly Canadian music show on CHUO in Ottawa, and I’m now studying radio at Humber College—doing time on air at our all-Canadian music station. I’ve edited an arts magazine and write arts and lifestyle pieces for blogs and papers.
You can find me on Twitter @EleniArmenakis.


Jack Derricourt

Jack Derricourt was born in the same London hospital as Sex Pistols guitar hero Steve Jones. Since moving to Canada, he has written for Feedback magazine, toured along the longest highway in the world, and become a literary music journalism obsessive. He currently lives in the fourth largest city in North America. He remains uncertain as to who would win in a deadly karaoke throwdown: Phil Spector or Brian Eno.


farah barakat

Farah Barakat

My name’s Farah.   I love writing album reviews and really dig being a freelance writer.  I’ve been doing it for 6+ years.  At the age of 18, I shed my nu-metal and pop punk ways when I discovered campus-community radio.  Thus began my love for Canadian music. I hosted a music radio show at Windsor, Ontario’s CJAM 99.1 FM for a long time before moving to Toronto, where I’ve been residing and writing for some time now.
I’m a record collector and a CD hoarder and in my spare time I like collecting toques.  I eat my emotions, especially (always) when hot sauce and/or cheese are involved and when the emotions are either happy and/or sad and/or anywhere in between.
You can’t find me on twitter because I’m ‘not there yet’.   I just learned about the smartphones and the google.

Michael Veenstra

My name is Michael Veenstra. I wouldn’t consider myself a folk music expert, but i did write a term paper on protest music once. I’m an English student at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. I also live in Hamilton. I also play folk music in and around Hamilton and jam out on the guitar, bass, piano, brass, and sometimes  I love a lot of music. The Canadian highlights would be The Good Hunters, Andy Shauf, Sam Roberts, Arcade Fire, and Hey Rosetta!, but I’m not particularly xenophobic when it comes to music. I like to write music reviews because i like to write. You can check out my music on Soundcloud (, and you can read my best work right here on Grayowl. See you on the internets!

Former/Status-Unknown writers



Hey there.

My name’s Allyssia. What’s yours?

I’m currently working towards my Bachelor of Journalism at Ryerson University, so you can imagine how thrilled I am to be honing by writing skills on a site as fabulous as Grayowl Point. I also maintain a blog called Ironic Smirk (, which, aside from being my watered-down journal, gives me an outlet through which to share news and opinions on fashion, music, and cinema among other things.

As a rapacious collector of CDS and fan of good music in general, I’m open to all genres of music, from art rock to yé-yé. I do, however, have a tender spot for talented independent musicians, especially those from our home and native land. My favourite Canadian indie acts currently include Arcade Fire, Julie Doiron, The Carps, Feist, and Moderngirls Modernboys.

When I’m not at the computer blogging or scouring the Internet for new music, I enjoy singing, writing fiction, exploring, and working away at daily crossword puzzles.



For starters, no, I will not reveal my actual identity. I’m quite happy with the way it is, therefore it shall stay this way. It’s fun to have people guessing :D

Anyway, I am currently responsible for Grayowl’s Concert Alerts for Toronto and am probably the staff member who is the newest to the Canadian independent scene, although well on my way in gaining ‘indie cred’. My favourite local indie artists are Metric, Tokyo Police Club, Arcade Fire, Mother Mother and Winhara. Also, I’m not going to Ryerson for journalism either :p

When not immersed in academics, my hobbies include playing guitar (I play a Squier Telecaster Custom II. It is possibly my most prized possession.), singing, trying to write songs, listening for good sounds that I don’t know of on Radio 3 and ranting about the English Premier League.


Erin D

Hi, my name is Erin and I’m an English major at UofT St. George. Because I go to school downtown, I’m literally surrounded by Toronto’s indie scene. There are more clubs, bars and venues that host indie shows almost nightly and are all within walking distance of campus than I can count on my fingers. Not to mention the fact that half of the people in my classes are in bands, so I’m constantly being asked to shows and stuff like that.

I first got into the indie scene because of my best friend. She’s a huge indie fan, and I mean HUGE. She used to be my only source of the latest buzz, but then I got really into the scene and have my OWN sources now. I just love being able to tell her something she doesn’t know.

When I’m not at school or working (which isn’t much of the time), I enjoy reading, going to shows (both music and comedy – I’m huge into Toronto’s comedy scene as well), going for walks, and playing Plants vs Zombies on my computer. My favourite Canadian indie bands are Hot Hot Heat, Spiral Beach, Woodhands, and Stop Drop (formerly known as Stop Drop N Skank).



Oh, hello.

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Daniel.

I started out by writing a few “guest writer” pieces for Grayowl, which in turn lit a fire in my belly to start writing more.  Soon enough I was asked to join the team, and I couldn’t be more enthused.

Some facts about me:

-I like music.

-I love music.

-My obsession with the Beatles is borderline creepy.

-I spent about 5 years of my life working in a now defunct record store.

-Some of my favourite Canadian indie-rock artists are Broken Social Scene, The Wooden Sky, The Handsome Furs and the Arcade Fire.

-I’m constantly inspired by my talented friends (everyone should check out Matt Henderson, Fitness Club Fiasco, The Elwins and The Cavaliers right now)

I look forward to communicating more with you, I’ll try not to be too much of a snob



Hey I’m Madeleine and I’m a McGill student but I grew up in Toronto. I play the piano, cello, and violin but I can’t see myself taking a stage anytime soon (or ever). I have more success in athletic pursuits, mainly as a distance runner on McGill’s Track and Cross Country teams, but I used to be big on field hockey too.

As for music, I’m a religious CBC Radio 2 and 3 listener with a huge iTunes collection and an iPod that can’t ever keep up. My current favourites are Hey Rosetta!, Great Bloomers, Two Hours Traffic, Bahamas, The Weakerthans, Rose Cousins, Dan Mangan, and the Sunparlour Players. I’m a sucker for great vocals and heartbreaking lyrics.
If I’m not running or writing… I’m probably feeling guilty about not running or writing. Injuries and writer’s block are my two biggest enemies.


Cory McCrindle

I am a huge fan of music, with a wide range of musical tastes and preferences. I tend to enjoy what Canadian musicians have to offer, although I by no means limit myself in terms of what I listen to. If it rocks, it rocks, and if it does, you can usually find me listening to it.  I was in a band called tHE mORE for a short period of time and that was one of the biggest thrills of my life.  I have been lucky enough to see quite a few bands live and still enjoy that.  Right now I am doing a number of things until I decide what I want to be when I grow up.  All the best!


Erin Red

Hello. My name is Erin, and I am addicted to live music.

Though a music lover in general, it’s Canadian Indie music that has my heart. I have a particular soft spot for bands with banjos, accordions, clapping, or whistling, but mostly just anything you can jump around to. I’m always on the search for new bands to love, and bounce between Ottawa, Montreal, Wakefield QC, and various summer festivals catching as many shows as possible. I also love seeing my favourite groups over and over and over and over again… especially Elliott BROOD, Sam Roberts and Library Voices. Other favourites include Said the Whale, Arcade Fire, Harlan Pepper, Coeur de Piarate, Northcote, Lake of Stew, Zeus, Karkwa, Dan Mangan, B.A. Johnson, Dry River Caravan, Old Man Luedecke, and way too many more to list…!

When I’m not working backstage, going to see shows, or listening to music, I write a music blog and am the resident Canadian music expert on The Road Less Traveled Radio. I also create art, design fabric, and generally just make lots of weird stuff.

I hope you enjoy my concert reviews, and if you know of any bands playing in Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec send them my way!


3 Responses to Staff Profiles

  1. Hi GrayOwl Point…we are Sister Gray (could we be a distant cousin to GrayOwl?)
    We would like you to review our EP Close The Night. We are currently working with Jo at Musebox. You can hear our EP on our myspace page. We look forward to your review!
    Diana Graling
    Sister Gray

  2. Mars Rover says:

    We are a Canadian group called Mars Rover. The album is called “The Landing”.

    Here is the link for your review:

    Thanks for your time
    Kobie Beharrysingh
    Mars Rover

  3. Pingback: Wavelength 12 Festival: Day One | Grayowl Point

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