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Schedule of events Toronto’s 175th Anniversary on March 6, 2009

by NationTalk on March 2, 20091080 Views

To mark Toronto’s 175th Anniversary on March 6, 2009, City Hall will open its doors and invite residents in to celebrate the heritage, unity and diversity of our city through music, literature and art.City Hall will be transformed into an exhibition hall featuring art installations, spoken word, dance and music. Special programming will also commemorate the City’s early history.


Friday, March 6, 12 to 9 p.m.

Visual Arts
The Rotunda, City Hall – 12 to 8 p.m.

Community organizations,Well and Good and Manifesto, will present an art exhibit showcasing street art in all its forms, and its impact on the city and its neighbourhoods.

“School without Borders” will present My City My Story (MCMS), a photo exhibit by Toronto-based youth. “My City My Story (MCMS),” is a 5-month professional photography initiative for young people from Toronto’s diverse communities structured around a narrative based on identity and community.

New media artist, Faisal Anwar, presents, “360-Extended” an art installation created for the “My City…” campaign inside City Hall. Torontonians will be invited to contribute to “360-Extended” by sending text messages, e-mails and photos on what “My City…” means to them.

Lit City Programs @ the City Hall Library

A City of Writers for 175 Years
City Hall Library – 12 to 2 p.m.
(two 45-minute sets: 12:10 to 12:55 p.m. and 1:10 to 1:55 p.m.)

Host: Cynthia Good
Diaspora Dialogues: Lillian Allen and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Glen Downie, Loyalty Management (poetry); winner of the 2008 Toronto Book Awards
Ward McBurney, & after this our exile, 2008 novel
Didier Leclair, Toronto je t’aime.
Robert Rotenberg, Old City Hall, 2009
Pier Giorgio di Cicco, Toronto’s Poet Laureate
Valerie Argue, daughter of Phyllis Brett Young, Psyche, 1959, re-published 2008 and The Torontonians, 1960, re-published 2007
Reading order to be announced.

The Bohemian Embassy Revival
City Hall Library – 7 to 8:30 p.m

Don Cullen (host)
John Robert Colombo
Sharon Hampson (song performer)
Greg Gatenby
(reading Raymond Souster)
Rosemary Sullivan
(reading Gwendolyn MacEwen)
George Miller (reading Milton Acorn)
Dennis Lee
Sylvia Tyson (song performer)

Book Launch –
Toronto’s Visual Legacy
The Rotunda, City Hall
Book launch – 5 to 6 p.m
Books on sale – noon to 9 p.m

Toronto Archives will launch the City’s commemorative book entitled, Toronto’s Visual Legacy: Official City Photography from 1856 to the Present. Based on the extensive photographic holdings of the City’s Archives, this book provides an impressive and visually rich history of 140 years of urban development, municipal initiatives and major civic events. The 11″x10″ coffee table book will be on sale in the Rotunda between noon and 9 p.m. Enlarged photos from the book and a related exhibit will be on display inside City Hall, highlighting Toronto’s many transformations over the years.

The First Toronto Debate of 1834: Tories & Reformers Wrestle the Challenges of the City’s First Council
Council Chambers, City Hall
12:30 p.m to 2:30 p.m.

The Aldermen and Councilmen will be played by students from Toronto’s schools. The debate will be chaired by William Lyon Mackenzie himself. Curated by R.H. Thomson, featuring Eric Peterson as William Lyon Mackenzie. Debate presented in partnership with the Dominion Institute.

A Unique Meeting – Past & Present
Mayor William Lyon Mackenzie Meets Mayor David Miller A Robust Dialogue/Debate on Politics 1834 – 2009
Council Chambers, City Hall
Two performances 6:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.
The Williams Lyon MacKenzie project, developed by R.H. Thomson, featuring Eric Peterson as Toronto’s fiery first Mayor!


Committee Room 1, City Hall
Two screenings – 12 noon and 2:30 p.m.
34 minutes
Toronto in Silent Cinema
Toronto 175 presents a film program which explores the historical life of Toronto. Hosted and narrated by Toronto Sun Columnist and author Mike Filey, we present a Planet in Focus silent film compilation entitled Toronto in Silent Cinema.

The film, which samples silent movies from the first half of the 20th century, highlights transformations Toronto has undergone, such as the impact of the automobile, the introduction of flight, as well as other details that have played a role in shaping the metropolis. Titles include The Great Toronto Fire, First Concrete Highway in Canada, Prohibition Parade to Parliament Building, Typical Learners Flight Over Toronto and Don Valley Toronto Viaduct Construction.

For more than 30 years Mike Filey has contributed a popular column titled The Way We Were, to the Toronto Sunday Sun newspaper. He has written numerous books about Toronto’s history, including The TTC Story, the First 75 Years. Mike is also featured on his own radio show on the New AM 740 at noon on Sundays.

Committee Room 1, City Hall
One screening – 1:30 p.m.
28 minutes
9 Months, 6 Blocks
(National Film Board of Canada)

Once an affluent suburb at the turn of the century, Toronto’s Parkdale represents Canada’s cultural and economic mosaic at its inner-city grittiest. In 9 Months, 6 Blocks, director/cinematographer Christopher Romeike captures a bittersweet, poetic portrait of the area by turning his camera on three of its citizens, each representative of this unique urban village.

Thanks to a supportive school program, 18 year old Jade’s spell of gangster life may be behind him now, but the impact of years lost to rebellion threatens his dreams for the future.

Peter, a Parkdale booster and something of a historian, lives in the same apartment he took as a young man, an orderly space now crammed with memorabilia. Tsering, left alone and bereft when her husband died shortly after their emigration from Nepal, finds consolation and assistance in Parkdale’s Tibetan community.

Committee Room 1, City Hall
One screening – 4 p.m.
105 minutes
Tkaronto (A Breath Film and Braincloud Film Production)
“delicate and revelatory. Feels at once so deeply personal and so universal.” – Now

Tkaronto is the original Mohawk word for Toronto, and the title of a film about two Aboriginal thirty-somethings caught in the urban crossroads. Ray Morin, a Métis writer, is in Tkaronto to pitch his TV series, ‘Indian Jones’. The only problem is Ray’s growing disdain for TV execs who are more motivated by ticking off the Aboriginal box and tapping into ‘hot’ Aboriginal funding than they are genuinely interested in the project itself.

Meanwhile, Jolene Peltier, an Anishnawbe painter, is conducting interviews for a series of portraits on prominent Aboriginal people. When Elder, Max Cardinal gives her an eagle feather, it confirms her deep-seated feeling that she should walk a spiritual path. For Ray and Jolene, home feels very far away. And having this chance meeting with each other only raises a difficult question; would their questions of identity be answered if they were together?

Committee Room 1, City Hall
One screening – 6 p.m.
15 minutes
Behind the Bohemian Embassy
Moose Creek Productions and Andraos Media present a short promotional trailer for their current project-in-development, Behind the Bohemian Embassy.

This documentary highlights the sometimes infamous, now legendary, 1960s avant-garde Toronto coffee house known as the Bohemian Embassy, including its later incarnations at Rochdale College (1970), Harbourfront (1974) and Queen Street (1991). A colourful cast of interviews include Margaret Atwood, Gordon Lightfoot, David French and many others. It is written and directed by Christopher Valley Ban.

Committee Room 1, City Hall
6:30 p.m.
Let’s All Hate Toronto is a hilarious tongue-in-cheek road doc. The film follows “Mr. Toronto” as he embarks on a coast-to-coast Toronto Appreciation, encountering “recovering Torontonians” and those who would be quite happy never to step foot in Toronto. Can the city that the United Nations cited as the world’s most culturally diverse really be that bad?

‘Fusion’ performances
Throughout City Hall – 6 to 8 p.m.

Experience a fusion of Indian classical and urban contemporary performance by percussionist, Tej Hunjan.

Experience a fusion of Spanish guitar and violin by classical musician, Chris Church.
Experience a fusion of classical sitar and digeridoo by Yoshi and Chie.

Opening and Closing performances

5 p.m.
Michelle St. John is a two-time Gemini Award winning actor with more than 25 years of experience in film, television, theatre, voice and music. As a vocalist Michelle has recorded dozens of radio and television jingles; theme songs and voice-overs and is currently writing songs for her first solo album.

7:50 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The Council Fire Youth Drum Group consists of different tribes of North America. The youth promote living healthy lifestyles and practice the original teachings of our ancestors. They are proud of their native heritage and will continue to sing, and drum so that future generations will have the same opportunity to voice their music and sound the drum. The Drum Group sings for the Creator, Nation, Community and Family.

Kids and Families
Permit Alley, City Hall – 6 to 9 p.m.
Everyone is invited to add colour to the scene and learn about the connection between humans, animals and land in the “Winterscapes” chalkboard mural for kids and families.

Art Starts Neighbourhood Cultural Centre presents My City…Buttons!
On a black circular template, participants will be asked to depict “What My City…means to you” using chalk or pastels and precut shapes. Once the drawing is complete, the creation will be transformed into a fully laminated button before your eyes.

Activities on Nathan Phillips Square
12 to 8 p.m.
On Nathan Phillips Square, we honour 175 years of municipal service to the city with vintage vehicles and more.

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