20 years anniversary of Spacing magazine

Celebrating 20 years anniversary of Spacing magazine with an exhibition & launch of Issue 65

Some twenty years ago in the spring an artist told me she and her friends were working on a new magazine about urban issues. I was excited about the prospect but somewhat familiar with the fragile nature of publishing, so I felt somewhat cautionary. Now twenty years later cofounder, publisher and creative director Matthew Blackett stood giving a big thank to all the supporters of the magazine and the many editors and contributors that kept it going, like Senior editors Shawn Micallef, John Lorine, Dale Duncan, Todd Harrison and Dylan Reid; who were there in attendance to celebrate the anniversary. Blackett thanked journalist John Lorinc for his writing and bringing Spacing into the journalistic sphere. He also gave a big shout to the Spacing Store which helped save the magazine when it had some financial troubles.

The launch was well attended by urban thinkers, the curious and of course the many readers and contributors over the last twenty years.

Blackett also told me about the work of photographer and blogger Sam Javanrouh who had contributed work on several covers of Spacing.

Co founder, publisher and creative director, Matthew Blackett (left) with photographer Sam Javanrouh (right)

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow came to address the crowd and remind us how important a magazine like Spacing is to the city and to express her personal joy in opening each issue. Mayor Chow, who is also an artist, spoke with passion about the city, its culture and the role the magazine had in covering the urban issues important to us all.

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow is addressing the guests at the exhibition opening

As well as the launch of the 65th issue of Spacing and the Big Book of Spacing there is an exhibition spread throughout in the Urban Space Gallery, at 401 Richmond, of art works and images that were published in different issues of Spacing Magazine.

Mathew Borrett’s print, A Future Toronto? was a highlight for me.

Mathew Borrett’s print, A Future Toronto?, 30 x 60 inches

I enjoyed other works such as Robert Chandlers, Implied, among others.

Robert Chandlers, Implied, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

Indeed, visitors can wander through the Urban Space Gallery and see many other works till January 27, 2024.

A big congratulations to all the contributors and artists that helped make Spacing such an important “space to talk about issues” of importance to Toronto and we can look forward to many more issues of Spacing that will help us know more about our city.

Text and photo: Phil Anderson

*Exhibition information: December 2, 2023 – January 27, 2024, Urban Space Gallery, 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto. Gallery hours: Tue -Sat 10 am – 6 pm.

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