Posts tagged ‘Rob Ford’

November 14, 2013

#morethanford

Two art directors at john st., Hannah Smit and Marie Richer, have created an online campaign called “More Than Ford” to spread a different message about the city than the one that has made the most headlines recently.

Click here for Globe and Mail article.

 

May 24, 2013

It’s Come to This, Has It?

CT  CT 070611-ENT ent-0706-texting MJWTitle doing double duty today – a couple of great (great’s an odd word for it) articles on how we seem to be getting ruder and ruder in public places. And we’re starting to react.

The Great Fight Way: Broadway Audiences Are Behaving Badly, and Someone Is Going to Get Hurt

In Mr. Zavelson’s opinion, it’s not just the technology audience members have in the palms of their hands that’s to blame. He suspects that on-demand and streaming media services have accustomed people to viewing “shows” in the casual atmosphere of their own homes, and now they are bringing those manners with them into the public space.”

I guess for me the part where I wasn’t in my pajamas and had paid money to be there would remind me I wasn’t at home, but there you go.

and last week

Theater Night: Vigilantes 1, Vulgarians 0
“The lady seated to my immediate right (very close quarters on bench seating) was fairly insistent about using her phone. I asked her to turn it off. She answered: “So don’t look.” I asked her whether I had missed something during the very pointed announcements to please turn off your phones, perhaps a special exemption granted for her. She suggested that I should mind my own business.”

I  was at a movie a couple of weeks, the couple sitting three seats over from me carried on a discussion about the movie the entire two hours. I am going to give them a small benefit as their stupidity seemed to be  – uh  – chemically induced. One of those couples who were talking during an exposition scene then when the exposition became reality, were full of questions because they’d missed the exposition.

I don’t even know any more. I don’t know about a lot of things. I do know I mentioned there might be another “Dear Rob” post this week and it didn’t happen. The story gets sadder and more ridiculous by the day. Instead, here’s a link to Ivor Tossell’s Dear Rob. The most upsetting paragraph holds the most truth for me –

“Bad as they are, things could keep getting worse. Irrespective of the allegations themselves, Ford has terminally damaged his credibility by leaving the city hanging when it needed to hear from him most. And with his credibility goes our credibility, in our own eyes and the eyes of the world on which we depend. Toronto cannot keep on until the end of 2014 with a mayor who won’t address the charges against him that have ground government to a halt, who’s turned his city into a global laughingstock, and who could well be self-destructing in the grips of an addiction. The status quo is not an option. Yet the courses that aren’t an option are the ones Ford has historically been most determined to pursue.”

Reminder to take a break every so often from the 24 hour newsfeed. Go outside for a bit, I know it’s cold but you know what I mean.

 

 

May 19, 2013

Sunday Roundup – May 19

What a – week. SO much going on in the theatre world with One Little Goat continuing to get amazing reviews for The Charge of the Expormidable Moose, The Dumbwaiter opening at Odyssey Studio, Sister Mary’s a Dyke gearing up to preview on the 25th of May, and Atrium Theatre bringing us Midlife Crisis, inspired by M.Frisch’s novel Gantenbein for three nights at the top of June.

No post tomorrow – it’s a holiday.  But I think Tuesday will bring the second post in what I feel like could be a sad, sad series entitled “Dear Rob.

A Play Reading and The Harold Awards!

What You’ve Got is What I Need

Infographics and an Article or Two. Maybe three.

To add to our content today, our intrepid Communications Coordinator Lisa has created the post below from a discussion we had on the Queen car westbound. I like the look of all these folks – they’ve been a pleasure to work with, and we’ll work together again.

When I arrived at 288 Queen Street for the Sister Mary production meeting, I didn’t expect to know anyone but Sue in the room. I left realizing just how small the Toronto theatre scene is. Here is a quick visual for some (this is in no way complete) of the connections we’ve had between shows at Sue Edworthy Arts Planning.

 It seems that every time I meet a new person in the theatre world I soon find that I know of their work, or have worked with someone they’ve worked with, or am friends with their friends. People often complain about this becoming claustrophobic or ‘incestuous’, but the reality is: people who do good work continue to work together.

 Reputations and relationships matter, and even in a city of 2.615 million people, amid competition and the feeling of anonymity, communities arise. Like-minded people come together to create. Talent is rewarded and shared and I think it’s important to keep this in mind… both as a warning and as a celebration.

Screen shot 2013-05-17 at 12.05.54 PM

April 30, 2013

Our Illustrious Mayor and – no, just that.

mayor_ford_180I said a few months back I was tired of writing about His Worship because I can only have this look on my face for so long before it starts to become aging, and I felt he was doing a fine job on his own of having his – antics – tracked. But Edward Keenan’s piece in the Grid last week is really quite excellent. This struck me.

But if you have essentially given up on doing the job the people of Toronto elected you to do, the job they pay you to do, then it’s all a fun game of seeing what might turn into a wedge issue in the next election campaign. Rob Ford, mayor of Toronto, thinks he gets to run again on the anti-government, these-guys-running-this-place-are-incompetent load of hooey he ran on before. Neat trick. Who knows, it could work. It worked for him last time. It’s the only political point he’s ever known how to make, and the only one he’s ever had to make.

But it’s not leadership. It is beneath his office, beneath this city, beneath the trust of the voters and taxpayers who elected him. Instead of doing his job, he’s playing a cynical, cowardly, political game. Let someone else make the difficult decisions so he can complain about them. Read the article

Why did that strike me?

Because it could happen again.

Not enough people took him seriously last time, I mean as a credible candidate. Or rather, not enough people took the people who took him seriously, seriously. Voters don’t seem to vote for candidates anymore – they vote against candidates.  Not him-not-her-dear-god-anyone-but-him-or-her.

I will say that I’ve never really seen a city so activated and involved in politics, and I think that’s a good thing.

May I humbly make a suggestion? Talk to someone you don’t agree with on politics. Find out why they feel the way they do. Find out who they want to lead, not who they’d want have a beer with. Always drove me nuts that question, there’s tons of people I’d like to have a beer with, not many of them who I’d want for mayor. More importantly, we already agree. We’re on the same page as to what we want for this city, be it culture funding or bike lanes or no casino. We’re already convinced, we don’t need to convince each other any more.

Find the people who you don’t agree with. Talk to them. Find out why, and what they’re thinking. What makes them tick, and what makes them tick off a candidate’s check box on a ballot. Last election was the classic pendulum swing, from Miller to Ford. Perhaps this time, we could find something in the middle.

And have a beer together.

January 11, 2013

Money for the Arts! and Got Five?

to quote a Facebook friend:

A red letter day for the arts!! First Moore’s announcement of $2 million for Business + the Arts’ wonderful ArtsVest program and then Rob Ford‘s astounding announcement of $22.5 million over 5 years for cultural programs and grants in Toronto, and Gary Crawford‘s motion of same passing at Executive this afternoon! BRAVO BeautifulCity, Toronto Arts Council, Culture Division and all the activists and advocates who made such cogent arguments for the billboard tax and the targets set in the Creative Capital Gains Report. Hooray and Congratulations!! I do have some questions and concerns (where is the rest of the billboard tax revenue going) but you can’t argue with that kind of dough. So for today let’s celebrate! Questions can wait til later.

and from beautifulcity.ca

“This budget includes $22.5 million, over the next few years, in new funding for the Arts. This money should be used to help make Toronto an even more attractive place to live — and to invest and create jobs. It should also help engage young people across the City who find art as exciting as many kids find sports.”
Mayor Rob Ford

“I am very pleased that Toronto’s Executive Committee passed my motion to support a plan to put real dollars into a sustainable, ongoing and accountable increase to arts funding without impacting the 2013 budget. I congratulate all the hard work by the passionate, dedicated people who have waited patiently for this increase in arts funding to reach $25 per capita.”
Councillor Gary Crawford

“These funds will enable Toronto to move forward toward our goal of a $25 per capita annual expenditure on the arts. The arts sector is a major generator of economic activity, and It is especially gratifying that we can now strengthen the sector without increasing property taxes. It’s a big win for all Toronto!”
Councillor Michael Thompson, Chair of the Economic Development and Culture Committee.

“This is a real victory for the arts community who, with great passion and endless tenacity, never let the issue of fair funding for the arts community escape the notice of city council. The increased funding will help put Toronto on the global map as a creative city where the work of artists is respected and adds to our quality of life.”
Councillor Joe Mihevc

“Certain truths about what makes a Great City can transcend petty politics and prevail. The Creative Community in our great City of Toronto has prevailed and Council will begin the move towards adequate funding for a vibrant and deserving community of artists, if ever there was one. We don’t need to focus on which administration enacted this move because the engaged artists and residents who made this happen held fast to their goal across decades and multiple administrations. Congrats to Devon, to Che and ever artist who stood with them along the way.”
Councillor Shelley Carroll

“The global success of our arts and cultural institutions is a testament to the talent and drive of our artists and the prescience of the private sector to recognize the benefits of investing in the arts. Imagine what Toronto will achieve once we fulfill the decade long pledges, utilize the billboard tax for its original purpose and increase per-capita arts funding to $25.”
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam

“Young artists of Toronto deserve a lot of credit for changing the way this City funds the arts. Now it’s only fair and right to invest the new resources in young artists and to continue Toronto’s role as a magnet for creative people from around the world to come to pursue a career in the arts.”
Councillor Adam Vaughan

An excellent way to end the week.

So the other day I randomly asked you “Hey,  how’s your website? All updated? Content fresh? Some sort of back and forth with readers capability? Because we’re at that point where – come on. Have a website. The days of “really expensive” and “only a pro can make you one” are long gone. Get your website in order for 2013.

internet-high-fiveFor 2013 I’m going to keep asking you questions like that. A five minute thought, or something you can do in five minutes. If you see this picture on a post, it means there’s a “got five” question or suggestion or a something quick to read in that post.  Today? Go to the contact page on your website. Is it up-to-date? Any changes? Should you add a google map or times of business?
Five minutes. Go.

November 30, 2012

It’s a Wonderful Toronto! NTOW

CaptureDon’t know if you’ve heard of National Theatre of the World but you should have by now. They’re an amazingly funny comedy/improv troupe and I’ve liked everything of theirs I’ve seen, from Carnegie Hall to Impromptu Splendor to Scriptease to you name it. Their holiday offering It’s a Wonderful Toronto asks a question I’ve been asking all along, “What if the Ross Petty Panto had more swearing?”

I’ve been seeing hints and posts all over Facebook and the interwebs, but I asked directly what was up. From the info sent to me by the fabulous Naomi : It’s the dress rehearsal for It’s a Wonderful Toronto: The Rob Ford Holiday Spectacular! and Mayor Ford is having second thoughts. The show is an attempt to improve his dismal approval ratings, but Rob thinks the Holiday-themed sketches and songs are showing him in a negative light. While the cast and crew squabble with the Mayor’s image consultant, Ford becomes convinced that the show will torpedo his political career and threatens to end it all by jumping from the balcony of the theatre.

I need to see this.

If you are like me and can’t handle one more Nutcracker or Messiah (as marvellous as they are) then you should go see this. Like I’m going to. Also got some amazing talent in there – Aurora Browne, Brandon Firla, Ashley Botting, Jenna Warriner  and Paul Bates as (former) Mayor Rob Bruce Ford.

See you there. It’s only playing December 11th – 16th, and NTOW always sells a lot in advance. And a reminder it`s in the TPM Backspace which holds 64 people. So don`t come crying to me when it`s all sold out and you have to go to a German expressionist version of the Nutcracker where the audience has to be the Dancing Bears. Don’t even.

September 11, 2012

Dear Rob

Dear Rob,

I’m going to pretend your job isn’t being Mayor of Toronto, so we’ll cut out all the politics from the get-go. I’m going to pretend you have a job in upper management at some private company for the sake of this letter. Okay? No politics, no right-left whatever. No snark.

I see that you skipped out on yet another very important meeting, one that’s your responsibility. And the reason this time was you had to go coach football, because the coach has to be at the game or the team doesn’t play.

Rob something is becoming clearer and clearer to me every time I hear about something like this. You are an Everyman in one aspect of your life – but you’re not a good ole boy, you’re not a folk hero, you’re not just one of the guys. You are not an Everyman that way.

But like millions of folks out there – you clearly don’t like your job. You might even hate it. And that is where I think you are Everyman.

Millions know how you feel –  the shuffling in at the last possible minute, cutting out early whenever you can, the frustration with your colleagues. A lot of people in this world don’t like their jobs.

They have to go to work anyway. Why? Because they don’t have another job lined up. Their options are limited. Until they line up something else, they’re essentially stuck. Terrible feeling.

Rob? You do have other options. You could work at your family company. That’s the most obvious one. The less obvious one?

Follow your passion. Turn your football foundation into a full-time thing for yourself, and those kids. Because honestly – that’s when you seem happiest. That’s when you work your hardest, I think. That’s when you seem at your best, most positively affected by something.That’s what it’s like to live your calling. Imagine feeling that way all the time? And people all over cheer you on about this initiative. They think it’s great. They think it’s great how much you care.

If you’re in politics because your Dad was – well, maybe it’s not for you. And we all want to please our parents, but you know? Ask any parent what they want for their kids and they’ll say, “I want them to be happy.” You’re in your forties, Rob. So am I. It’s time to be happy, and follow your dream.

Now I’m not saying write up a resignation letter today. But do some thinking. You’ve got a couple of years left in your contract. You’ve already got the – well, the foundation for a foundation. Maybe do some thinking on how to make that an even bigger reality.

And when your contract comes up? Don’t renew it. Don’t even throw your hat in. Concentrate on what would really make you happy. If it’s football and those kids – so be it.

Good luck.

 

September 20, 2011

Just for the Record

 

After another all night marathon with 300+ people signed up to depute, certain councillors obsessed with not allowing people to speak at two deputations at this oh-so democratic process, children singing songs, people dressed up as Santa and Roy Mitchell – where do we stand?

Recommended for cuts/sell-off

Deferred

  • Library closures
  • Community groups will be given time to save the Riverdale Farm
  • The phasing out of 2,000 subsidized daycare positions
  • community grants that makeup less than 5 per cent of a program budget
  • snow plow services / windrow clearing
  • grass cutting in parks
  • TTC Blue Night bus service

Sent back to City Manager

  • Reduction of library hours
  • Reduction of police force
  • Reduction of new affordable housing
  • Cuts to various environmental programs
  • Elimination of the the four free garbage tags
  • Elimination of the Hardship Fund

Live Blog bits from  torontoist:

Gord Perks: I get two seconds to speak to each of 89 recommendations.” [Pauses two seconds]. “That was daycare.” Goes on to say that the City is seriously lowballing revenue projections, and forcing a vote before actual revenue figures are available—the cuts may not be necessary at all. “This is not governance, this is the thing that governments do when they are not doing their job. This is wreckage.”

Adam Vaughan: “I’ve been around this place for 25 years worth of budgets. I have never seen a document that is so short of facts… I have never seen a budget process more corrupt. Not corrupt in a legal sense, but corrupt as a process… This is the most sinister piece of legislation that has ever been in front of this city council, and it needs to be stopped.”

Ana Bailão: What we’ve learned from these mtgs is that “Torontonians care about their city…. They want a moderate approach.” And another voice joining the chorus, Josh Matlow: “We are not well informed enough to make these decisions today.”He goes on to say that people want more than just the services the City is absolutely legally required to provide.

Mary-Margaret McMahon: “I will not blindly slash and burn and cut things that make our city great.” (Note: she doesn’t vote today, as she is not on the Executive Committee.)

“I don’t even know what these cuts mean”—Janet Davis. She lists all the pieces of information they don’t have.

Mihevc: “This is not a debate among Torontonians. Every single meeting has been a rally…to maintain a strong city.” And then: “What these three reports represent is the most massive change to city government in 14 years… This does not even come close to the information we require to make wise and intelligent choices.”

Some thoughtful tweets from @PraxisTheatre

Santa re Xmas bureau: “they’ve been doing this since 1956 & know what they’re doing. Don’t forget, I know what you’ve been doing.” #TOpoli

Rob Ford campaigned on the promise of no cuts. Is he a man of his word, or not?” #TOpoli

Another deputant reminds the mayor he campaigned on “no cuts, guaranteed”. “We expected more from you when we hired you.”

Lyn Adamson emotional as she shouts over Rob Ford cutting her off: “You can’t cut the vehicle registration tax and then raise TTC fares.”

Single mother now telling committee that subsidized daycare allowed her to finish high school and go to university.

 

And two I really liked and found somewhere:

“You have eliminated sources of revenue. You are the source of the problem.”

“I’m a member of a special-interest group called residents of Toronto.”

September 19, 2011

Another Day, Another Potential 24 Deputation Marathon

It’s been a heck of a week, with meetings and press conferences and newspaper columns and noise and this week begins with another possible record day and night of deputations.

Since I’m not a fan of wheel reinvention, I’m sending you over to the fine folks at torontoist who have much of the info you’ll ask about, including proposed cuts.  If you’re the type to have TV on in the background all day, you can watch the live stream of just what’s happening at City Council today. If you’re more of a check in every so often person, I’ll recommend you follow @PraxisTheatre on Twitter  – I do believe they will be live tweeting proceedings. Of course torontoist will be as well.

We’ll see what happens.  Meantime, here’s a quote I found last week: “@DonateSocial: “Anybody can die (nobly) for a cause… A sign of maturity is to live day by day for that cause” – anonymous

 

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