Monday, November 24, 2008

Culture a growth industry...

I read with interest Martin Knelman's column in today's Toronto Star, Culture a Growth Industry in Hard Times.

"During its opening week, an astonishing 68,000 people walked through the new entrance of Frank Gehry's reinvented Art Gallery of Ontario".

That's a pretty good week anyway you look at it, but then this city has been waiting a long time for the AGO to re-open. I haven't been through yet, but all reports I've heard so far have been positive. I can say I think the facade is really handsome!

Of course, beyond the building, an art gallery is only about as good as it's programming. I'm hoping the refurbished building will kick-start a new era for the AGO. I'd like to see the gallery celebrate Ontario artists (and even Toronto artists!) with enthusiasm and a robust and varied series of exhibitions which will highlight our own creative talent to the world.

Mr. Knelman made me feel great when he wrote, "When you put all these pieces together, it becomes obvious that even as other industries crumble, creativity and knowledge are the engines that keep Toronto buzzing." That's quite a contrast to the statement our Prime Minister made in Saskatoon on September 23, during the federal election, when he said, "I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala of a bunch of people at a rich gala all subsidized by the taxpayers, claiming their subsidies have actually gone up, I don't think that's something that resonates with ordinary people."

I hope somebody mentions to Mr. Harper that the AGO had a good week.

1 comment:

Bridget Jones said...

Mr. A, even if they did he wouldn't get it. One would need to have a soul to get it!