Toronto’s screen-based industries were in the spotlight at City Hall yesterday where leaders of three prominent organizations made presentations to Toronto’s Economic Development Committee. Wesley Lui, above left, with Toronto Film Commissioner Peter Finestone, noted that business is booming in the animation sector where Toronto is “the global leader in children’s television production. We produce more children’s content than anywhere else in the world, our revenue has climbed from $37 million in 2008 to almost $60 million in 2010.”
Lui is President of Computer Animation Studios of Ontario (CASO) and Co-Founder of House of Cool, a visual/special effects and animation house. He noted that his business partner, Ricardo Curtis, “was in LA for 12 years working for Pixar and Dreamworks but he didn’t want to raise his family there so he moved back to Toronto. That happens a lot.”
Members of the arts community were out in force at City Hall today to cheer as Mayor Rob Ford proclaimed this National Ballet Week in Toronto, a recognition of the launch of the company’s 60th anniversary season. Artistic Director Karen Kain graciously accepted the proclamation and noted that about 300 National Ballet of Canada alumni will be at the Four Season Centre for the Performing Arts on Wednesday when the curtain rises on the premier of the company’s new Romeo and Juliet, created by internationally celebrated choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. Kain presented the Mayor with a copy of Passion to Dance, James Neufeld’s lavish new chronicle of the history of the National Ballet. READ MORE
Mi Young Kim begins our interview by apologizing; the Korean dancer, choreographer and educator has been in Canada for 32 years “but still my English not so good,” she says.
And while it’s true that her syntax is less than perfect, Kim has no trouble conveying the passion for dance that has been the hallmark of her 60 years on the stage and in the classroom.
That legacy is being celebrated Tuesday (November 15) with a gala celebration at the Toronto Centre for the Arts featuring Kim herself, plus guest performers Sampradaya Dance Creations, York Dance Ensemble, Keiko Kitano and Daniel Schnee, Kozakura Sensui and Samulnori Canada.
The evening is likely to be Kim’s swan song as a dancer: “Sometimes I’m ashamed because of my age. I’m not young anymore,” she acknowledges. “My family say this is my last chance to perform on stage, and then just teach.”
If you’ve never visited The Memory Project, Remembrance Day provides a great excuse to dip into the wealth of stories and digital artifacts assembled by this noble web initiative. The project is a nationwide bilingual initiative documenting Canada’s participation in the Second World War and Korean War via first-hand remembrances from hundreds of veterans. The website provides audio files and transcriptions of veteran accounts, plus digitized memorabilia.
Now in its 13th year, the annual CANstruction exhibition is currently on show until Friday (November 11) in the lobbies of the various TD Centre buildings along King Street West (west of Bay). CANstruction is one of the city’s most inventive charity drives in which design teams build monolithic and whimsical structures out of canned goods, all in a single night. The entries are then judged in a range of categories from jurors’ favorite (Angry Birds DefEAT Hunger, above, by Dialog) to structural ingenuity and best use of labels. At week’s end the structures are disassembled and all the cans are donated to Daily Bread Food Bank. A few of my favorite entries are included below . . . READ MORE