The first ever Scotiabank Photography Award — SPA for short — was presented yesterday evening with a swish reception on the 63rd floor of Scotia Plaza: Montreal’s Lynne Cohen, above right, is the winner of the $50,000 cash prize in addition to a book deal with art photography publisher Steidl and a curated photography exhibition at next year’s Contact festival. Pictured above with Cohen are, from left, Scotiabank Senior VP Duncan Hannay, Scotiabank Director Jane Nokes and renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, who chaired the jury panel.
Said Nokes: “For 30 years Lynne Cohen has invited us into a world of contemplation. Her profound, powerful and provocative work is astonishingly three dimensional, I like to think of it as the shock of the familiar.”
Also shortlisted for the prize were Toronto’s Robin Collyer and Vancouver’s Roy Arden, both of whom received $5,000 cash prizes. Lynne Cohen’s work is on display at Olga Korper Gallery as part of Contact until June 1.
Applause filled the City Hall Council Chamber yesterday afternoon as Councillors voted unanimously to approve a revamped culture plan. Councillor Michael Thompson, Chair of the City’s Economic Development Committee, above centre, rose to thank Robert Foster, Karen Kain and Jim Prentice who co-chaired an advisory council of arts and business experts who worked with City staff to draft the report in record time.
“We believe that the recommendations and action plan it contains can help strengthen Toronto’s economy and enhance our competitive advantage on the world stage,” said Councillor Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre). “Culture is an economic catalyst we can and must maximize for the benefit of all our communities.”
All Councillors present voted to approve the plan including Mayor Ford, who the report calls upon to take a leadership role in Toronto’s creative capital strategy. Shortly after the vote, the Mayor Tweeted his congratulations to those who pulled the plan together noting it was “something all #TO Council could agree on.”
Council has directed the General Manager of Economic Development and Culture, Michael H. Williams, to report back to the Economic Development Committee in fall 2011 with an implementation plan, including financial impacts, within the context of the core service review, currently underway at City Hall.
Williams was clearly buoyed by the successful vote: “It was a very proud moment for you, me, the Division and the City,” he said in a note to staff.
The Toronto Public Library, the Neighbourhood Arts Network and Culture Days have joined forces to provide free venues to Toronto-based artists and arts organizations interested in taking part in Culture Days, September 30 and October 1, 2011. Forty-five TPL branches spanning the city will provide a variety of venues at no cost.
This is exactly the kind of cooperative initiative called for in the recently released Creative Capital report. It’s the first time a partnership of this scale and scope has occurred between the Toronto Public Library and the Toronto arts community. The call for artists is posted now on the Neighbourhood Arts Network.
Toronto designer Rob Southcott, left, is in New York City this weekend taking part in Model Citizens, a group show running at the Chelsea Art Museum as an adjunct to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair. The show is to ICFF what Come Up To My Room and Radiant Dark are to Toronto’s IDS, arty offshoots where design talent is permitted to freestyle without too much regard for consumer considerations.
In fact, the Gladstone Hotel’s Come Up To My Room (CUTMR) helped put Southcott on the design map; his first contribution to the annual exhibition was his 2008 piece, United We Stand (affectionately known as the antler chair, click “more” to view). The bench garnered Southcott international attention and set him on his way.
The photo above was taken earlier this year at the 2011 edition of CUTMR where Southcott was showing Correlation and Jet Set (pictured), versions of which will be featured in NYC. But Correlation, which began life as a mammoth wall relief, has morphed into the Correlation Chandelier . . . READ MORE
Theatrical producer Rob Richardson isn’t shovelling coal when he says that Roundhouse Park is the best site in North America for the debut of British hit show, The Railway Children. With its turntable track changer and ample green space, Roundhouse Park has everything the play needed to permit the erection of a giant white tent into which an old-fashioned steam engine could be pulled and withdrawn at critical points during the show.
The train in question is a 200-plus year old locomotive nicknamed Vicky, which was shipped by sea from the U.K. to Montreal and then by truck to Toronto. Together with her coal tender, Vicky tips the scale at 86 tons, an incredible load for a site that stands directly above the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Sorting out the load-bearing capacity of the site was one of Richardson’s first orders of business when David Mirvish approached him last year about the possibility of bringing The Railway Children to Toronto. The show is part of the Mirvish subscription package but the company is not directly involved with the production of the show. Richardson’s company, Marquis Entertainment, was responsible for virtually all of the local logistics. READ MORE