Spadina Museum honchos made a wise programming decision in 2010 when they restored the house to the 1920s era. The re-restoration made Spadina a perfect venue for an exhibition of Downton Abbey costumes in 2014 and it’s made the museum’s Gatsby Garden Party a runaway success since launching in 2013.
This year’s Gatsby event June 25 and 26 sold-out 2,000 tickets in just three weeks making it one of the museum’s most popular annual events.
According to museum Program Officer Douglas Fyfe, the chance to play dress-up – there are prizes for the best jazz-age costumes – and to be immersed in the era with period music and food has really captured the city’s imagination.
“The first year,” recalls Fyfe, “about a third of the people got dressed to some extent. The following year that number was about 90 per cent. I think the audience is creating much of the excitement through their own participation. At the event people aren’t in a rush to go from one activity to another, they’re here for the afternoon enjoying the music, the clothing, the six-acre site that’s such an oasis in the city. The modern world disappears and the audience is free to travel to a different period in time.”
Adaptive reuse is the theme of this year’s Doors Open Toronto and while there are many great examples of creative and green building renewal, no venue better exemplifies the trend than the ground breaking structures at 362 Richmond Street West.
Developed by Allied Properties REIT, Queen Richmond Centre West utilized cutting-edge design to amalgamate two heritage properties under the umbrella of a brand new 10-storey tower-on-stilts that envelopes both. Designed by Sweeney & Co. Architects in conjunction with Stephenson Engineering, QRC West is a showcase for the developers whose 17th floor head office is included on this weekend’s tours.
Toronto’s Cultural Hotspot program gave North York a taste of what’s to come when it touched down at the magnificent Aga Khan Museum Wednesday afternoon. Each year since 2014, a different part of the city has been in the cultural spotlight beginning with Scarborough, followed by Etobicoke (2015) and this year it’s North York’s turn to shine.
Local City Councillors John Filion (Ward 23 Willowdale, second from left), Shelley Carroll (Ward 33 Don Valley East, centre) and Jon Burnside (Ward 26 Don Valley West, far right) joined organizers to welcome the Hotspot and cut a celebratory cake.
Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival kicked off its 20th anniversary season at the AGO this morning trumpeting an impressive line-up of Canadian and international artists including Thomas Ruff, Alec Soth, Vikky Alexander, Barbara Astman, Angela Grauerholz, Rodney Graham, Raymond Boisjoly, Mickalene Thomas, Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari, to name a few. In recognition of the milestone anniversary, this year’s CONTACT features 20 primary exhibitions, 20 free public installations and over 200 events throughout the city. Pictured above is CONTACT Artistic Director Bonnie Rubenstein.
On November 12-14, the 2015 Emergence Symposium touched down at the Evergreen Brick Works and Toronto Centre For the Arts. Organized by the Neighbourhood Arts Network, the three-day, facilitated conference brought together more than 200 community leaders, artists, cultural workers, academics, youth and policy makers to address important questions on equity, diversity and inclusiveness.
The symposium’s stated goad is to use community-engaged arts as a launch pad to create a place for critical dialogue, leadership development, mentorship and cross-sector collaborations. Participants left the three-day event with an improved understanding of how to deal with equity in their own practice and make positive changes in their communities.