From left to right: Toronto City Councillor Adam Vaughan, Toronto City Councillor Gary Crawford, Heather Kelly (Bloor Street Culture Corridor / The Royal Conservatory), Toronto City Councillor Michael Thompson, Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, Toronto City Councillor Kristin Wong-Tam, Sonja Bata (Founding Chairman, Bata Shoe Museum), Thierry Lasserre (Director, Alliance Francaise de Toronto)
Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 12:30 p.m.
L’Espresso Bar Mercurio
The Bloor Street Culture Corridor opened today to the public with inaugural speeches made by founder Heather Kelly, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, and a number of city councillors; all celebrating the district’s multicultural and multifaceted nature. Indeed the Corridor boasts of 12 different arts organisations, representing five different cultures and the multiple genres within the industry, including the Royal Ontario Museum, the Japan Foundation, Tafelmusik and the Miles Nadal Jewish Centre with its theatre and gallery space, to name a few.
City Councillor and Chair of the Economic Development and Culture Committee, Michael Thompson, was present and spoke about the importance of the culture industry in Toronto, both for the city’s tourism but also for its economic growth, citing that for every dollar invested into cultural programmes, the city received a return of $18. In addition, he foresaw only an incline in the employment rate of the arts and culture industry from its already impressive 93,000 strong population, relieving any if at all anxiety within the industry. City Councillor and former TV personality Adam Vaughn received many cheers for his reference to the shutting down of Book City as the end of an era, and his pursuit to ensure Bloor Street adequately represents different cultures, interests and ideas, and economic capabilities.
The audience consisted of media, art-enthusiasts, writers and representatives from the twelve arts organisations. Bidding adieu to the audience, Heather Kelly congratulated the representatives of the organisations, welcomed everyone to mingle while enjoying the delicious hors d’oeuvres provided generously by Bar Mercurio, and hoped to bump into us in and around the many cultural delights on Bloor in the weeks to come.
Text and photo: Aliya Bhatia