With hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on modernizing and expanding the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum and other institutions, what are we to make of these dramatic changes to the way we understand Toronto’s public culture? Toronto’s cultural institutions are shaped by complex mandates driven by governance structures, commercial needs, educational outreach and their curatorial vision. Each institution is struggling to reach out to highly diverse publics and this attempt to strategically connect with Toronto’s multicultural communities has triggered a process to democratize their programming to an unprecedented degree.

The Robarts Centre has taken on an engagement to publish a series of reports on the best practices of Toronto’s cultural institutions such as the ROM and the Hockey Hall of Fame. Culture provides a unique lens about Torontonians’ ideas about accessibility and representation, identity and authenticity, citizenship and ways of seeing. As well it points to a second reality. In today’s globalized world modern culture is found as much outside on the street and in public places as on the walls of curated exhibitions and visiting artworks. In 2009, we plan to enter a second phase of mapping and tracking Toronto’s cultural scene through an exploration of the city’s many festivals and their major significance for Torontonians.


Courting Public Culture at the ROM (740K)
by Jessica Kelly

Check out these Alternative National Anthems, the entrants into a contest on CBC Radio One's GO.

Tiny Bill Cody with "O Nation Awakened By Sweet Adolescence" (4:18)

Amanda Martinez with "Springtime in Canada" (2:03)

Word Burglar with "Yo Canada" (2:48)