Posts tagged ‘Toronto Public Library’

March 29, 2012

these books are overdue

In potentially good news:

Toronto library strike: Union and board reach tentative deal to end strike.

Which is really good news as I miss Parkdale Branch, and the compulsion to return the seven books I have  is getting stronger. I have the library twitches.

While we’re on the subject of libraries, a great essay in the WalrusStacked, by Michael Harris.



March 26, 2012

Sunday/Monday Roundup – March 25/26

Travels to my hometown and taxes and weather related migraines left me without an update yesterday – so here it is, with my apologies – enjoy reading while I decide whether or not I needed to know quite that much about Megan and Don’s relationship on the Season 5 opener of MadMen last night. Zoo bi zoo bi zoo bi zooo, indeed…

Vancouver Friends Talk about the Playhouse   – I asked a few of my colleagues in Vancouver what they thought, given that they live there and  don’t. Some interesting answers.

What Support for Canadian Theatre Looks Like – the premiere reading of Michael Healey’s Proud was at Passe Muraille on March 19. Pictures are apparently worth thousands of words and I am inclined to agree.

PSA #10 – The Rusticle Gym  – because this is far too cool and comes with a video.

More on Pinterest and a Rusticle PSA – people like Pinterest. People like infographics. Here are both in one. And a link to the Rusticle PSA.

Some have asked why I haven’t mentioned politics lately. Really – what is there to say? I can’t go to the library and our fearless leader has reverted to his “lone wolf” status vowing to fight transit recommendations and – just – really? I have no idea what to do right now except shake my head.

It’s an admin kind of week, April 1 looms ahead and with it ensuing deadlines, both government imposed, client requested and self-inflicted. Talk soon!

March 2, 2012

Art Is Too Expensive and There’s Nothing to Do Anyway

it also takes too long and is hard to get to.

Don’t count on it. I have proved that statement wrong.

Wednesday, February 29th was the 12 hour Arts Marathon #12hAM. I left the house at 10:50 am, and returned to it just under 12 hours later at 10:37 pm, having spent my day in search of all the genres of art in one day, in one section of our city.

My rules were easy – transportation by TTC, and no comps or deals that an average person couldn’t find.

Here we go.

LiteratureToronto Public Library, Parkdale Branch – a book came in that I had on hold. Am almost finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and I recommend.

Cost: FREE. We`re at $0.

Visual Art – Off to MOCCA, somewhere I pass every day and had never been in. Three exhibitions: Tasman Richardson, Necropolis; Spectral Landscape Peter Doig, Tim Gardner, Sarah Anne Johnson; Daisuke Takeya .GOD Loves Japan. Loved Necropolis as it’s interactive and you walk through the art and it makes you face a primal fear – the dark. Admission is by donation.  I looked to see what most people had put in the box.

Cost: $5. We’re at $5 total for a work of literature and three art exhibits.

Dance: Down to the St. Lawrence Centre for a Canadian Stage Matinee of Crystal Pite/Kidd Pivot’s Dark Matters. Get a ticket now. It was incredible. Full house, BTW.

Cost: $39. We’re up to $44. Note: I expected this ticket to be a bit more, it’s a full-fledged production. I did find a deal on Canadian Stage’s website or Facebook page, so my $39 ticket was about a 30% discount. I was also sixth row centre. If you think $39 is still too much, I also could have gotten a ticket from the TAPA ticket wiki – Arts Worker price of $22.

Film – over to the Bell Lightbox for a screening of Monsieur Lazhar. Great movie. See it.

Cost: $12. We’re at $56.

Theatre – Factory Studio for The Big Smoke. The actor – she has a helluva set of pipes.

Cost: $25. We’re at $81.

Music – long day means heading home – or rather your second home. To the Cameron House – live music seven days a week.

Cost: $5. We’re up to $86.

Factor in service charges: add $8.50.


For less than one hundred dollars, in less than 12 hours I experienced a sampler of every major genre of art. On a WEDNESDAY. Mid week, mid day.

If I had a bucket list, I’d put this on it so I could cross it off. I had an amazing day of art and experience and talking to people who were also there to experience art. Totally worth it. You should try it sometime.

Behold my usual selection of blackberry pix of my journey. You may notice some production stills filling things out – I will credit them asap.

Thanks to everyone who helped! An excellent end to February, the month of Amazing Twicks. This was the most amazing yet.

January 16, 2012

Library Day!

It’s a library day today – we haven’t talked reading much lately so here we go.

Holiday reading included The Night Circus (read and already loaned to a friend); The Sisters Brothers (which I feel is going to be good) Just My Type: A Book About Fonts (which was amazing and you should read it right now) and The Memory Palace (which I liked, but wanted to be a bit more, given that I already knew about the idea of a memory palace and use it to remember things. It’s good for your brain).

The Table Comes First  – oh my lord, you need to read this book if you cook, read recipes, go to dinner you name it. I’ve already quoted it twice in this blog because it feels like it applies to everything. And made food from it – there are no recipes of the half a teaspoon variety, only the basics food, do something to the food, do one last thing to the food and there you go.

What kind of holiday reading did you get done?

Am off to the library today – I have five overdue books and to quote the  website, this  User has FINES (owing and/or accruing) so I’d best go straighten out my library reputation. BTW fines have gone up as of January 3rd:

Adult materials $0.40 per item, per day

Teen & child materials $0.20 per item, per day

Best Bets $1.00 per item, per day

Adult DVDs $1.00 per item, per day

Teen & child DVDs $0.50 per item, per day

Fines will be charged based on the type of material you borrow – adult, teen or child – not on cardholder’s age category. No getting your six year old toborrow Valley of the Dolls for you.

Something else they’re doing (from the National Post):

Library aims to attract the hip, bookish under-40 set.

Last Monday, the city’s budget committee voted to slash $7-million from the Toronto Public Library’s budget. Although the decision must first be approved by council, there was immediate concern that the largest library system in Canada, with over 19 million visitors in 2011, will have to shorten hours of operations at certain branches, cancel programs, and cut the number of new books added to its collection.
Next Thursday, they’ll try and get some of that money back. Read more…


All right – moving forward into the day – I also need to stop by the Parkdale Village BIA which is beautifully located across the street from my library. I’m doing a social media workshop in February  for their members as part of Social Media Week 2012. If you are a member of the BIA, contact them for the deets, or follow them on FB or Twitter.

Happy Monday! Go read something!


PS Next Stage sales went up a whopping 22.5% this year, bringing in $78,552.40 at the box office – congratulations to all the amazing artists, staff, volunteers and audiences involved! 132% increase overall since Year One sure ain’t bad for a 5th anniversary celebration! – via Adam Kirkham. Well done people – now THAT’S how you do a festival!



December 30, 2011

Top Ten Posts of 2011 and Ones I Really Liked

Something I really enjoy about the end of the calendar year are the lists. Actually, anyone who knows me knows I like a good list any time of year but the end of December marks lists in everything. It’s a sum-up of the year, what worked, what didn’t, what to do more or less of and a chance to reflect on these things.

I hit go on my website in April 2011, and so for the end of the year, I give you the most read and shared blog posts of the year.

Now then! What did you read??

10.  Data, Audiences, and my Thoughts on Margie – the most read part of this post was about Margie. I quote the last line of the post: Something interesting to note – my blog posts create automatic links to items that it has ‘heard of’. I’d like to point out  – it’s heard of Margie Gillis, Laureate of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. It’s never heard of Krista Erikson.
I repeat – Krista WHO?

9.   it’s the Dora Nominees Press Conference Today! – self-explanatory – here are the 2011 nominations.

8.  Today’s PSA: Facebook Pages and Helping Each Other Like Things – groups and pages and will it ever end? We start by liking each other.

7.   Sunday Roundup – June 5 EXTRA: TO Services Review Roundtable – I think of most importance in this post was my experience at the Toronto City Services Review Roundtable. I spent a lot of time at City Hall this year, come to think of it.

6.   The Ten Best Theatre Production Companies in Toronto – blog post on a blog post, courtesy BlogTO.

5.  The Magi Were Right – a fantastic exhibition at Pentimento Gallery – G Elliot Simpson’s Brotherhood – art and technology combined in a fantastic way.

4.  Once Upon a TIme… – a story about the Toronto Public Library, and why it matters to me. An edited version of this blog post won me a spot in the top 50 entries in the Why My Library Matters to Me contest, sponsored by the Toronto Public Library Workers Union. I get to have lunch with Michael Ondaantje at some point.

3.  OMG Why Did He Un-friend Me? – a great infographic and articles on the reasons people unfriend each other on Facebook.

2.  Sunday Roundup – July 17 – a not necessarily textbook lesson on Fringeconomics.

and the number one most read, tweeted, shared and discussed post of 2011…

1.  Fringe Plays I Apparently Should Not Have Bothered Seeing – a list of ways to avoid seeing a dud at the Toronto Fringe – a little research seemed to indicate these rules are made to be broken.

BONUS:  The Revolution will be Photographed Two friends and excellent photographers took to the street the first day of Occupy Toronto and came back with some wonderful shots of humanity.

BONUS:  Lest We Forget – A Slideshow of Loved Ones Many of you took to your memories and photo albums and shared stories and pictures with me.

Also for the end of the year list I have many companies to thank – Theatre 20, Expect Theatre, Ninja Funk Orchestra, Mighty Brave Productions, Arts Etobicoke, PACT, Creative Trust, Stratical Theatre, Magic and Mud, Little Revolutions, Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Parkdale Village BIA, Art is Hard, Control Over Destiny, P. Marco Veltri. You’ve all been fantastic to work with and a big part of this year, and for this I thank you.

Thanks to everyone who reads, comments, likes, follows and shares. Am so glad you’re here. I’ll be back Tuesday, January 3rd with the answer to a frequently asked question: How much does a basic website cost?

Happy New Year. Eat well, drink well, be merry, have fun, laugh, be safe.

If you asked me for my New Year Resolution, it would be to find out who I am.
Cyril Cusack

November 25, 2011

Theatre, Books, Dance and Interactive Stuff That Makes me Happy

It’s Black Friday and I’m not interested in $4.00 wafflemakers or camping out to get a $20.00 TV or being trampled by people who are interested in such things,  so instead:

Happy Birthday Next Stage!

The Next Stage Theatre Festival, turning 5 this year,  is on sale, and the brochures are in! Great looking shows this year (as always) and I will be attending them all.  The 2012 Next Stage Theatre Festival runs January 4-15 at Factory Theatre (Mainspace and Studio Theatre) and of course do NOT forget the heated beer tent in the courtyard!

I highly recommend getting your tickets, buying a pass for someone for a present, or asking for a pass yourself as a present – this way you can keep your New Year’s Resolutions of “seeing more theatre” and “spending less money” all in one fell swoop!


The 35 Most Amazing Libraries in the World – Sigh. Drool. Sigh.


Two more chances to catch Dance In Vancouver at Scotiabank Dance Centre, curated by Toronto’s very own Michael Trent, Artistic Director of Dancemakers.


good stuff, Canadian Stage.  Love this latest take on online marketing of a show.

PS  – I am on the Advisory Board of Social Media Week 2012 – held at different locations throughout Toronto over five consecutive days, it features thought-provoking sessions with industry leaders, free of charge to registrants. Am  already very excited about some of the sessions, including an event by Praxis and an event by the AGO. Stay tuned for more info.

November 2, 2011

Libraries and Bikes and Theatres

Quick and dirty post today – my goodness, things are busy:

In my inbox today from my City Councillor Gord Perks

Dear Friends and Residents of Ward 14,
The Toronto Library Board has received a list of proposed reductions, put forward by the Chief Librarian in response to Mayor Ford’s demand for a 10% reduction from the Library budget. These reductions will have an adverse effect on our Public Library system – a system that has seen growing demand and must be protected. The suggested service reductions that would affect Ward 14 residents include:
fewer new titles and copies of books, audiobooks, DVDs and magazines;  13 hour reduction each week from Parkdale Public Library, and 6 hour reduction each week from High Park Public Library.
I have asked the Toronto Public Library Board to provide an opportunity for friends and residents of Ward 14 to share their concerns and comments. Please come share your story about how the library enriches you, your family and your community.

Monday, November 7, 2011          7 PM
Parkdale Library Branch 1303 Queen Street West
Due to time constraints, this will be the only meeting for Ward 14. If you are unable to attend, please contact the Toronto Public Library Board nmarshall(a)torontopubliclibrary(dot)ca and/or complete the on-line survey.


From the Cyclists Union: their survey on bike theft in the city, prior to the launch of their new theft awareness and reporting campaign . Had your bike stolen? Off you go to the survey.


And there will be two public consultations next Wednesday the 9th on the city owned theatres.  More info available on the Live With Culture website.

September 6, 2011

RoundUp, More reasons to love Arts and Culture (with a friend)

It’s back to school and if the weather is any indication, fall is on it’s way. I had a fantastic long weekend myself, with a fabulous birthday surprise a week early in the form of an oldest and dearest friend from BC showing up as a surprise on my doorstep. I’m still smiling.

So here we are and in brief:

Sorry I Can’t Quite Hear You  – excellent article about just what your social media voice is, and how to use it

Good Heavens It’s Time for LabCab! – the LabCab Festival happened this weekend and was as usual, fabulous from all reports.

PSA #5 – learning, donating, being part of something.

A few things I found this weekend – every so often you come across an article about the value of arts and culture and for some reason I got three in three days.

From the Telegraph-JournalThe Arts Save Lives. Here’s a brilliant paragraph:

Art revives slums, art gives hope, art can rehabilitate, art shakes awake brain cells, art raises test scores, art creates a living, art fosters success over failure, art gets kids off the couch, art motivates, art empowers and art can change a life… In other words, art saves lives.

From TEDxMichiganAve – Adam Thurman on Power and the Arts

From the National Post  – Art for life’s sake: The health benefits of culture  with another good paragraph:

It found a relationship between longevity and the people who most visited the cinema, concerts, museums or art exhibitions — although interestingly, no link existed between longevity and those who attended sporting events. More recently, listening to music was found to be beneficial in treating depression when it complemented standard therapies, and researchers have found music to have similar benefits for everything from cancer to Parkinson’s.

Something cool I found on Mooney on Theatre – Thumbs Up Theatre  Toronto – a Meetup group to find folks to attend the theatre with. read the full article here.

On another note, some of you have been asking, and yes,  Artsvote is back from summer hiatus and we had our first meeting on Friday. I’ll be keeping you up to date here, as well as on the official website, Twitter feed and Facebook pages (both group and community for the moment).

On those same lines, for those of you wondering just when things are scheduled to be done and dealt with at City Hall, and find that a day-of Facebook event invite isn’t enough notice, here’s the website for Meetings, Minutes and Agendas for City Council and Committees. Never again will you have to click “not attending” because you had to work. At the job you have. At your real job. In the arts.

And finally – as far as I’m concerned the New Year begins today. Something for everyone going back to school, back to work, and just plain back to it.

August 28, 2011

Sunday Roundup – August 28

What a big and busy week it has been – lots going on, lots to ponder, hmmm…

Smartphome Viewing, a Contest and Some good Art News – good article from a colleague about folks viewing your website and newsletter posts on their phones. More and more people are using only their smartphones to look at this stuff – get yourself optimized. From personal experience – everything I get via email is automatically vetted upon receipt through my phone. If I can’t read it – it’s trash. “delete on handheld and inbox”? Yes.

Facebook Promos – bit of riffing on an article in the Grid about Facebook invite overload.  And here’s a bit of bonus reading on the subject  via Rebecca Coleman.

I’m A Little Distracted – Wednesday is general known as hump day, but was more of a lumps-and-bumps day this week. So I reminded you about one thing only – the My Library Matters contest – it’s open til September 9th, so go and enter!

Summer Friday – IDEAcity video on the fusion of science and art – I personally love this topic.  Here’s another favourite of mine – I was there for the shoot and it was a HILARIOUS time.

I think that’s all for today – talk tomorrow, have a great Sunday, and do your Sunday-ing to the fullest.

August 26, 2011

Summer Friday August 26

Fantastic video from IDEACity – Charles Lindsay on the fusion of science and art. “Photographic artist Charles Lindsay explains his thought processes as the SETI Institute’s first ever Artist in Residence, illustrating his talk with the large-scale, cameraless photographs that blur the line between terrestrial and otherworldly.”

I am sorry it’s only a static image with link – either wordpress or ideacity is being difficult today and embedding is not in the cards. Still – gather round the wireless and have a listen.

Also a photo I found online today – this is a library. It didn’t say where it’s  located but I think I have a new quest – to find it and move in.

Have a good weekend – we’ll chat Sunday.







%d bloggers like this: