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Toronto Public Library Partners with Leading Museums and Galleries to Increase Accessibility to Arts and Culture in Toronto

Date Posted: June, 27, 2007

Mayor David Miller, Josephine Bryant, City Librarian, TorontoPublic Library, Matthew Teitelbaum, the Michael and Sonja KoernerDirector and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), andrepresentatives from some of Toronto’s leading arts and culturalinstitutions today announced a new partnership designed tosignificantly expand Torontonians’ access to some of the city’sgreatest arts and cultural institutions.

Beginning Tuesday July 3, the Sun Life Financial Museum and ArtsPass can be borrowed from the Toronto Public Library using a validlibrary card, much the way someone might borrow a book or a CD from thecollection. The pass provides full admission to a family of up to twoadults and five children (admission restrictions vary by venue) to theArt Gallery of Ontario (AGO), the Bata Shoe Museum, the GardinerMuseum, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Textile Museum ofCanada. The mayor also announced that the City of Toronto’s HistoricMuseums are slated to join the program over the summer.

"Icongratulate Toronto Public Library for initiating the Sun LifeFinancial Museum and Arts Pass, and applaud the library and its partnercultural institutions for this important and innovative program tobroaden Torontonian’s access to the City’s cultural life – and inparticular, those neighbourhoods and communities where access to artsand culture may be more limited," said Mayor David Miller. "This is aprogram that our city can be proud of, and I look forward to other artsand culture organizations and attractions coming on board."

Familymuseum passes are initially available for borrowing from each of the 24branches of the Library that serve Toronto’s 13 priority neighbourhoodsas identified by the City. Families can choose from one of the museumsand galleries participating in the program for their visit.

"Oneof the library’s key strategic goals is to extend Torontonians’ accessto the civic and cultural life of the city. So naturally we arethrilled that, together with our partners, we are able to offer ourusers new ways to discover the world of science, the arts, history,cultural, and so much more. It’s wonderful that, with their librarycard, Torontonians can explore some of the best arts and culture thatToronto has to offer," said Josephine Bryant, City Librarian, TorontoPublic Library. "We thank the Art Gallery of Ontario, Bata Shoe Museum,Gardiner Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Textile Museum of Canadaand the City of Toronto for their enthusiasm and commitment to thisprogram."

Speaking on behalf of all of the participating culturalinstitutions, Matthew Teitelbaum, the Michael and Sonja KoernerDirector and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario, spoke highly of theinitiative and its impact on the residents of Toronto. ""Through thispartnership, we are a powerful force for change. Together we're seizinga terrific opportunity to break down barriers to the arts. Togetherwe're creating truly accessible public institutions, engaging newaudiences in meaningful ways and enhancing our own institutions throughtheir active involvement with us. It's a wonderful day."

Inaddition to the museums’ contribution, Sun Life Financial hasgenerously added its support through sponsorship of the program,continuing its long-standing commitment to making the arts accessibleto all.

"Sun Life Financial is pleased to work with the TorontoPublic Library and some outstanding arts and cultural organizations inthe city to help make the rich experiences they offer available to awider audience," said Donald A. Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, SunLife Financial. "The library’s concept of the Sun Life Financial Museumand Arts Pass is an excellent match with the goals of our Making the Arts More Accessible Program."

TheCity of Toronto Historical Museums, operated by Toronto Culture, thathave announced their involvement in the program are: Colborne Lodge inHigh Park, the Fort York National Historic Site, Gibson House Museum,Mackenzie House, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Historical Museum,Spadina Museum: Historic House & Gardens and the Todmorden MillsHeritage Museum and Arts Centre.

The Toronto Public Libraryplans to include additional museums, galleries and cultural venues, andalso plans to expand borrowing availability of the Sun Life FinancialMuseum and Arts Pass to all 99 branches locations in 2008.

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For media information or visuals, please call:
Antonietta Mirabelli, 416 979 6660, ext. 454, Antonietta_Mirabelli@ago.net

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Culture. Additional operating support is received from the Volunteers of the AGO, the City of Toronto, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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