Two interesting and very different news items about the Toronto arts world appeared yesterday. The first is essentially good news. Loose Tea Music Theatre announced the hiring of a General Manager (Tim Crouch), a Director of Marketing (Rochelle Smith) and a Director of Development (Francesco Corsaro). This is a pretty big move for what has been, for as long as I can remember, pretty much a one woman band. Loose Tea is pretty much the only company in town that’s focussed on politically committed music theatre so this could presage some interesting developments. More on this here.
The much less happy news is that Artscape appear to be closing down their operations in the Distillery District. This leaves a number of Artscape tenants, including Tapestry Opera, potentially homeless. It also continues the transformation of the Distillery District into a rather soulless, tourist oriented collection of shops selling expensive tat and over priced eating establishments. And, of course, it means the loss of the Ernest Balmer Studio as a performance venue. I confess to being a little puzzled about what is really going on here as the Daniels organisation, through Artscape, has played an important role in providing both working space for arts organisations and performance spaces. In any event there’s more information in Tapestry’s statement on the subject.