What is it?
Salon West is a forum for much-needed dialogue on the arts and public policy in Toronto. Through Salon West, we can create positive change through the arts. Guests can participate in the conversations that matter while enjoying good eats and good company. Artists will have an opportunity to discuss their work and share their thoughts on how we build our city. Together we can inspire actionable solutions to the issues facing our great city.
A few details about Salon West
Why does Toronto need Salon West?
Although Toronto has a vibrant cultural sector it's genuinely difficult for many people to find company to enjoy it with and to engage with the arts at a more meaningful level. There are barriers to meeting people from different sectors, barriers to entry in certain spaces, and barriers to participating in the conversations that matter.
There are plenty of exclusive events for industry professionals and the elite to meet each other and to discuss the latest developments in Canadian arts and policy, but what about the rest of Toronto? As our city evolves and tough questions need to be asked, more diverse audiences need to have a voice in these conversations.
We all have a stake in Toronto being a liveable city with a vibrant culture sector, so why not have a forum to exchange ideas, to make friends, and to build it together?
Salon West aims to bring together a group of thoughtful individuals from different sectors to talk about arts in the context of public policy. Salon West will break down barriers and facilitate stimulating conversations. Speakers and guests can expect to learn something new, share their thoughts, and have some good eats too.
Nuts and bolts
Dress code: bow tie optional.
(Translation: business casual)
Feel free to take notes or photos or even video, but if a session is held in camera then a strict non-attribution and no recording rule applies.
Be passionate but respectful. Even though you may hear something you disagree with or run into a controversial figure, cordiality is key.
Lifting the curtain on venues
Theme: The challenge of staging productions in different spaces
November 2014 Speakers:
Lawrence Cherney Artistic Director of Soundstreams
Joel Ivany Director Against the Grain Theatre
Rory McLeod Violist and Co-Director Pocket Concerts
Chamber performance by Bryan Holt (cello) Rory McLeod (viola) Emily Rho (piano)
Behind the scenes with richard rose
Themes: the economics of theatre, diversity on stage, theatre outside the downtown core
December 2014 speaker: Richard Rose Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre
Salon followed by performance of Sextet, a play by Morris Panych
Empowering women through the arts
February 2015 Speaker: Lindsey Fischer Ballet Master of the National Ballet of Canada
Themes: Strong female leads, role models, sex and love behind the curtain
Your city, your symphony
April 2015 speaker:
Jeff Melanson then President and CEO of Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Themes: city-building, accessibility, the decision not to have Valentina Lisitsa perform, multiculturalism
Toronto music city
May 2015 Speakers:
Joel Ivany Director of Against the Grain Theatre
Topher Mokrzewski Maestro Calgary Opera
Themes: Toronto Music City Plan, Austin-Toronto Music City Alliance, indie opera
From medici madness to vanderbilt vanity: the ultimate opera tour
June 2015 Speakers:
Professor Linda Hutcheon PhD, O.C.
Professor Michael Hutcheon M.D.
Themes: opera throughout history, scandal, death and desire
An intimate chat and performance with Aline morales
July 2015 speaker and performer Aline Morales
Themes: cultural exchange, Pan Am Games, motherhood's impact on her music
De-colonizing the arts co-hosted with Toronto arts foundation
October 2015 Speakers:
Historian Victoria Freeman
Jennifer Jimenez and Stephen Sillett co-founders and co-executive directors of “Aiding Dramatic Change ~ in development”
Themes: colonialism and the arts, identity, First Nations history and symbolism, peacebuilding
Who's running the show? governance in the arts
December 2015 speakers:
Jeff Melanson then President and CEO of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Robert Foster President and CEO of Capital Canada
Themes: board governance, composition, engagement, and dysfunction
is classical a problem? re-defining the c-word
March 2016 speaker: Tafelmusik Managing Director William Norris
Baroque violin demonstration and performance by Julia Wedman
East Meets west: a conversation with choral composer hussein Janmohamed
July 2016 speaker Hussein Janmohamed Choral Composer
Themes: Islam and the arts, Islamophobia, cultural exchange
The next salon:
Join us for an evening with choral artist and composer Hussein Janmohamed. We'll chat over hors d'oeuvres, enjoy the sunshine with popsicles on a private patio, and maybe even get a musical surprise. Hussein's work aims to realize the pluralist spirit of Islam through choral music (choir), collaborative creation and composition. Hussein's choral programs and workshops help people in all communities to sound out their identities, bridge difference and work cooperatively towards a common musical and social goal. In societies where new comers and immigrant peoples from the Muslim World have significant presence Hussein's work extends to build cultural understanding, activate positive relations amongst peoples and broaden the role of choral music to include new and indigenous voices.
July 12, 2016
6:00pm Doors open
7pm Social (popsicles on the patio?!)
502 Queen Street West
Just hop on the Queen streetcar! (or streetcar south from Bathurst Station and walk east)
Spring 2017 Season
Create your own personalized salon series with a trio of tickets. Pick up a trio and attend any 3 salons you wish. Even better, subscribe for a full year of exclusive access to senior arts leaders, fun artists, and a motley crew of politicos too. We'll be hosting salons in the private gallery at the Spoke Club, Lula Lounge, and the Dignam Gallery in the Women's Art Association of Canada mansion too.
Past Salon Image Gallery
A look inside Salon West:
Salon West operates without reliance on grants. Ticket sales and volunteer work are the only contributions that keep the lights on. If you are able please consider donating so we can continue our mission of making Toronto a better place to live through inclusive dialogue.
Curious what happened at the last salon? Listen to the podcast! Nothing beats being there in person though.
Participating organizations and confirmed speakers
We are over the moon to have such wonderful organizations, artists, and academics participating in Salon West.
Against the Grain Theatre
Against the Grain Theatre is a collective of artists who perform classic works in unconventional ways and in unconventional spaces.
Canadian Opera Company
The Canadian Opera Company is Canada's largest opera company and one of the largest in North America.
Professor Linda Hutcheon O.C. and Professor Michael Hutcheon M.D.
Linda Hutcheon is a University Professor in the Department of English and the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. In 2005 she won the Canada Council’s Killam Prize for the Humanities for scholarly achievement and in 2010, the Molson Prize of the Canada Council. In 2011, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Michael Hutcheon is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and Deputy Physician-in-Chief Education for the University Health Network/Mount Sinai Hospital. His research has been supported by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
They're not siblings, they're hitched.
Mural Routes is the only member-based not-for-profit arts service organization in Canada dedicated to the creation, development and promotion of public wall art.
Tafelmusik is an award-winning period instrument orchestra founded in 1979. They perform works from the baroque and classical eras (and more) at the Trinity-St. Paul's Centre and tour extensively.
Art Gallery of Ontario
The Art Gallery of Ontario is one of North America's largest art museums. It also offers a range of art classes for the public.
A world leader in period opera and ballet, particularly works from the Baroque era. They are housed in the wonderful Elgin Theatre and tour extensively.
Led by Artistic Director Lawrence Cherney and Executive Director Susan Worthington, Soundstreams is a Toronto-based music presenter that commissions, develops, and showcases the work of contemporary Canadian composers and their international counterparts.
Tarragon Theatre’s mission is to create, develop and produce new plays and to provide the conditions for new work to thrive. As a complement to the new work created here, Tarragon presents new plays from all parts of the country, revives significant Canadian plays and produces international work, contemporary and classical.
Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada's most important cultural institutions.
See you at the salon!
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Corporate Sponsors, Donors, and Volunteers
Thank you to our corporate sponsors, donors, and volunteers. Without their help it wouldn't be possible to continue producing high quality programming.
Burgundy Asset Management
Burgundy Asset Management was our presenting sponsor for the Canadian Opera Company edition of Salon West featuring Alexander Neef on October 23, 2015.