By: Vanessa Polojac
Located in downtown Toronto, the Cameron House has been a famous cultural centre and venue for up-and-coming Canadian talent the past 30 years.
Back in 1981, a hotel on the edge of Queen Street West was turned into Toronto’s famed music and arts pub, the Cameron House by Paul Stannella, Herb Tookey and Anne Marie Ferraro.
Since then, the venue has received performances by the Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, The Golden Dogs and many other well-known Canadian bands, often still at the early years of their careers.
More recently, the Cameron house welcomed an act close to Anne Marie Ferraro: her own sons’ band, Ferraro.
Ferraro is a musical project composed of three brothers: Cosmo Ferraro (guitar/vocals), Gianni Ferraro (drums/vocals) and Tally Ferraro (bass/vocals). The group occasionally enlists the help of fellow Toronto performer and Jane’s Party guitarist, Tom Ionesco.
The Ferraro brothers grew up in a musical atmosphere and were destined to dabble in music from a young age.
Like his brothers Tally Ferraro balances the responsibilities of his academic career, managing the family business and the success of their band.
“We were always surrounded by talented musicians and growing up we just gained a bigger appreciation for music and musicians,” explained Ferraro.
Cosmo, the oldest of the three, was the first to pick up a guitar. Gianni followed with percussion and Tally with bass while they all contributed to the vocals.
They have been playing together covering their favourite bands for over 10 years but have just recently released their own music for the first time and began to play regularly under the band name Ferraro.
“I think that we are closer than many families and it mainly has to do with music. When you’re in a band with your brothers you can fully speak your mind and express your opinions without worrying about judgment. At the end of the day family will always be there for you,” said Ferraro.
This past year was revolutionary for Ferraro.
Their debut album Losing Sleep was released in April and gained wide coverage through the CBC. They secured an opening spot for the Strumbellas and the Sam Roberts Band just this past fall.
“The Strumbellas used to play at the Cameron House a lot. They played every Monday night for a few months when they were starting to get noticed internationally. That’s how we gained a relationship with them,” explained Ferraro.
“The Cameron House has given us a platform to meet and perform with a lot of Canadian bands.”
In addition to being a part of the band, all three of the brothers have attended university to pursue degrees in various fields. Cosmo has a business degree from the University of Guelph and now is the full-time owner of the Cameron House. Gianni has a B.A in music from Ryerson University and Tally is currently in school studying for a business degree at Ryerson.
“You’ll always find time to do what you love. Working at the Cameron House, going to school and being apart of the band can be tiring at times but is never a chore because I love doing it all,” said Ferraro.
In 2014, the Ferraros decided to create a record label to bridge the gap between performing and recording artists and to help fellow Canadian bands like themselves.
"The Cameron House has given us a platform to meet and perform with a lot of Canadian bands."
“There are a lot of artists at the Cameron [House] who are great songwriters and have a great sound but just don’t have the funds to print records or record their music. This was our way to help some of those struggling musicians,” explained Ferraro.
The Ferraro brothers have greatly contributed to the Canadian music scene in recent years, and 2017 will be another year of touring across Canadian university towns with their old-fashioned rocker attitude and sound.
“It’s all about the music. We hope to bring guitars back onto the mainstream media and just keep on creating more content along with fellow Canadian musicians to share with the world.”