Eating the arts for breakfast

Two quick items for this week...

First, I'm looking forward to tonight's MEM3 performance, 8:30 pm at Trane Studio (964 Bathurst Street, north of Bloor). It's the first of four performances which has been the recipient of a marketing boost through our TDJ Special Projects program. But beyond that, it should be an excellent show - the trio of Michael Cabe (piano), Mark Lau (bass) and Ernesto Cervini (drums) sounds great, whether they're playing original tunes (which they do, primarily) or new arrangements of standards. Doors open at 8 pm, and they'll be testing our repertoire for a recording later this year...I hope you'll join me at the Trane for what should be a fun night of music.

Second, I'd like to bring to your attention (with thanks to Shannon Butcher for bringing it to my attention) the first in artsScene's 2011 Arts & Business Leaders Breakfast with Series. On Thursday, February 24, you can have the arts for breakfast and hear a presentation by Jeff Melanson, Executive Director and co-CEO of Canada's National Ballet School, and special adviser on arts and culture to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. I'm planning on being there, and I think you should too. Here's why:

Since the municipal election back in October, there has been a lot said - on all sides - about the importance of the arts to the city of Toronto, and a lot said about whether or not this new administration takes the arts seriously. The February 24th breakfast will provide us with a unique perspective on Mayor Ford's administration and their take on the arts - the view from the inside. Now - full disclosure: Jeff is a good friend of mine, and we've spent many hours over the years talking and debating about the arts in all kinds of contexts. My personal bias aside, his track record speaks for itself: through his work at The Royal Conservatory and then Canada's National Ballet School (as well as various side projects), he has proven himself a passionate advocate of the arts at all levels - from the biggest festival to the emerging independent artist. His appointment to the special adviser position is good news for the arts community in this city. But don't take my word for it - come out on February 24th and hear it for yourself. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Speaking of the arts and breakfast, I wonder if anyone else has seen the recent ad from Americans for the Arts. It's a bit silly, and I'm not sure that the message clearly gets across, but at least it's fun to have arts advocacy in the public eye. You can see the spot here; if you're interested, go to to find out more.


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