Martin Knelman’s front-page Toronto Star story about Rita Davies’ plan to create a City of Toronto museum at the Canada Malting site was more than a disappointing surprise.
Metronome’s current campaign for provincial and federal funding is doomed without the visible support of the City of Toronto. With the city’s Executive Director for culture announcing plans to use the site, we would not get to first base. After competing unsuccessfully for Millennium and SuperBuild funding and being lost in Olympic/Expo bids and Robert Fung/Dennis Mills waterfront plans, we were optimistic that the time had finally come for the three levels of government to support “Canada’s Music City” on Toronto’s waterfront.
When we made our first request for an extension in Metronome’s lease, Rita Davies recommended to city council that it not be granted. Seven days after we announced Panasonic’s unprecedented $5 million Lead Sponsorship, she and other city staff instructed us to immediately vacate the presentation centre we had created at the Canada Malting site. Ms. Davies never supported Metronome. That she has put a stake in its heart should have been no surprise.
With an official close to the Prime Minister asking in Robert Benzie’s April 4th Star story if Mel Lastman’s Bad Boy outfits would be exhibited at a City of Toronto museum, Ms. Davies may be in for a challenge.
I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the over 6,000 companies and individuals who helped for all the right reasons. It has been an honour to get to know so many extraordinary Canadians who selflessly contributed.
Thank you Bruce Kuwabara and Shirley Blumberg for the award-winning design and for your help over many years. Thank you Ian Kilvert and Eddie Esaki for the leap of faith when Panasonic became Metronome’s Lead Sponsor and, Ian, for your steadfast support. Thank you Rod Seyffert and Gowlings LLP; your legal work and advice were invaluable.
Thank you to the 26 construction companies who committed $4.3 million to the project, with special thanks to Ed Hansen and Smith and Long who sponsored Metronome’s Pavilion at the CNE, the fundraiser with Bryan Adams at the Molson Amphitheatre and the Metronome virtual tour at the Toronto Board of Trade dinner, and to Jeff Meirovici (Circon Construction), Pat Corapi (Novel Mechanical) and Ron Houle for coordinating the campaign.
Thank you David Miller for your encouragement and thank you Toronto City Council for voting on three occasions to overwhelmingly support Metronome (including overturning staff recommendations). Special thanks to Pam McConnell, Kyle Rae, Brian Ashton and former councillors Chris Korwin-Kuczynski and Jane Pitfield.
Thank you to the 245 media patrons from across Canada who donated $5.7 million in print, TV, radio and billboard advertising. I wouldn’t have believed in the beginning that that was possible.
Thank you to an extraordinary creative team who donated some of their best work: KPMB Architects, Design Workshop 2, Pilchner Schoustal International, Imagenius 3D Studios, Cystane, Joseph Gault, House of Kevin, Roots Canada and Rocket Power. Special thanks to Metronome’s most recent creative team member, Istvan Fujkin. His exceptional talent will be broadly recognized.
Thank you to the 24 current and past volunteer Board Members for their diligence and input and to the thousands of artists from across Canada for their support, with special thanks to Loreena McKennitt, the late Domenic Troiano, Oscar Peterson, Maureen Forrester, Jann Arden, Jane Bunnett, Michael Burgess, Michelle Wright and The Diamonds.
Thank you to all the music industry associations who helped lobby and contributed funding. No thanks to the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), who after multiple requests to successive regimes to get involved, chose to announce their own exhibit at Yonge and Dundas to open in June 2007. The Toronto Star should follow up on its front-page stories.
Thank you to Metronome’s dedicated office staff, Jodie Lewis and Joanne Ovitsland, and to the 300-plus volunteers whose enthusiasm at trade shows, special events, stuffing envelopes, etc. was unbounded. Special thanks to Clinton Somerton, who was a full-time volunteer during Metronome’s formative years and became its longstanding media and community relations director.
Thank you to an incredibly generous project team, with special thanks to Geoffrey Johnson (en Ville Event Design and Catering), Tim Bristow (Colliers International), Rowan Faludi (urbanMetrics), Howard Zerker (EvansMartin), Jim Norris (Norris-Whitney Communications), PricewaterhouseCoopers, Michael Greenspoon, John Thompson (Wright Display), Howard Ungerleider (Production Design International), Joanne Smale and Jane Harbury (Planet3 Communications) and Metronome’s 62 Founding Patrons.
It has been an enchanted adventure to share a dream with so many. Supporters should be proud; we made our best effort to do something special for Canada.John HarrisPresident, Metronome Canada Foundationwww.metronomecanada.com