As the famous Canadian media theorist, Marshall McLuhan, suggests "the medium is the message". While we most often apply this quote to communications or technology, I like to think of its application to the design of everything from city streets to textiles. I often wonder about the assumptions buried within various systems we have designed to develop, educate, work and live.
Everything we interact with has been in the hands, the thoughts, the dreams of someone. Some person, some team, some group has thought sometimes for minutes, hours, days and maybe years. Their challenge. How to make this "thing" functional, durable, environmentally conscious, pleasing, interesting, and relevant? And hopefully thought inspiring?
We, as a society, are on a streak of consuming content based on totally imagined, impossible-to-relate-to worlds. Indeed, this is us, a human race that's fully accepting of bug-eyed, slimy aliens. And yet... a story that involves a different culture or a different skin colour is simply a little too..."out there?"
I speculate that Toronto Fashion Week was unable to secure a key sponsor, which significantly impacted its operating budget. It is a shame that it was unable to secure a new sponsor. Perhaps an alternative sponsor opportunity may come to fruition. Unfortunately, there is another type of funding that is not available.
The sixth annual Indian Summer Festival is fast approaching, and arts and culture lovers all over our city are gearing up for what promises to be the most intellectually stimulating ten days of the year. Taking place from July 7th to 16th, the festival combines a range of events featuring thinkers, artists, and leaders from Canada, South Asia, and beyond into a program that promises to be enlightening, entertaining, and inclusive.
I first meet Ryan North, creator of Dinosaur Comics, co-editor of the Machine of Death series, and author of To Be or Not To Be: That is the Adventure, at a recent Toronto reading. North was presenting the sequel to TBoNTB: TitA, a second choose-your-path Shakespeare novel titled Romeo and/or Juliet.
To be honest, I don't remember the specifics of what I learned about Mozart, Baryshnikov and Rembrandt. What I remember, though, is how it gave me the coping mechanisms to get through the worst parts of my childhood: poverty, severe bullying, an absent father, an abusive boyfriend with an addiction problem. Now that I'm a mother myself, I continue to pull from the lessons I learned through the arts, which gave me the strength to escape, to strive and to create a better life for myself and my daughter.
Alice in Wonderland continues its comeback streak with Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson's audio version of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland via Audible Studios, an Amazon company. Audible says, "It tells the story of the young and imaginative Alice, who grows weary of her storybook, one 'without pictures or conversations,' and follows a hasty hare underground -- to come face to face with a host of strange and fantastic characters."
Paul Gross and Martha Burns are a married couple that have made it look easy. Both successful in their long careers, they have shown the arts community and the world it can work. Now going on year 28 of marriage, they focus their efforts on making art, making their relationship work and raising two children.
In a world where a two-way exchange between government and citizen is the goal, it's encouraging when we see it actually happening. Since September, there have been a number of calls for insights from citizens. The end goal is to create the first ever comprehensive culture strategy for the province of Ontario.
Years of work, sacrifice and commitment came down to this. A truly one-of-a-kind program, Centre Stage shines a spotlight on Canada's future opera stars competing for cash prizes, as well as a coveted spot in the COC Ensemble Studio, Canada's premier development program for young opera professionals.
This election, its place in how we grow has a country has been very top of mind. The message is clear. A thriving arts and culture sector is good news for everyone. As you consider your vote on Oct. 19, we wanted to provide some insight on the key policy promises the federal parties have made, and how they will impact you.
In light of recent announcements that the current government plans to sell off the CBC buildings across this land -- the very art of cultural commentary might not be long for this nation. As Harper slowly dismantles every political and cultural institution intrinsic to the Canadian way of life I wonder -- will the future Joni Mitchells, Leonard Cohens and Neil Youngs be left to fend for themselves?
In Canada, arts and culture are at a crossroads. They can either move forward or backward, depending on the choices we make. For them to move forward, it will be more than ever necessary for the federal government to play a leading role. The Liberals, under Justin Trudeau's leadership, are determined to make Canada, more than ever, a place where cultural expression is created and enjoyed whatever its roots, foreign or domestic.
The NMC should enhance the musical landscape in Calgary by becoming a focal point for activity, and create a bridge to the music industry across the country. It will be a hub for community events and activities in Calgary's East Village, a key part of that area's redevelopment. It will spur cultural tourism and likely be a catalyst for employment in commercial music and related sectors.