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



    Sun Life Financial Museum and Arts Pass available to borrow at library
    branches in city-designated priority neighbourhoods

    TORONTO, June 27 /CNW/ - Mayor David Miller, Josephine Bryant, City
Librarian, Toronto Public Library, Matthew Teitelbaum, the Michael and Sonja
Koerner Director and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), and
representatives from some of Toronto's leading arts and cultural institutions
today announced a new partnership designed to significantly expand
Torontonians' access to some of the city's greatest arts and cultural
institutions.
    Beginning Tuesday July 3, the Sun Life Financial Museum and Arts Pass can
be borrowed from the Toronto Public Library using a valid library card, much
the way someone might borrow a book or a CD from the collection. The pass
provides full admission to a family of up to two adults and five children
(admission restrictions vary by venue) to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO),
the Bata Shoe Museum, the Gardiner Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and
the Textile Museum of Canada. The mayor also announced that the City of
Toronto's Historic Museums are slated to join the program over the summer.
    "I congratulate Toronto Public Library for initiating the Sun Life
Financial Museum and Arts Pass, and applaud the library and its partner
cultural institutions for this important and innovative program to broaden
Torontonian's access to the City's cultural life - and in particular, those
neighbourhoods and communities where access to arts and culture may be more
limited," said Mayor David Miller. "This is a program that our city can be
proud of, and I look forward to other arts and culture organizations and
attractions coming on board."
    Family museum passes are initially available for borrowing from each of
the 24 branches of the Library that serve Toronto's 13 priority neighbourhoods
as identified by the City. Families can choose from one of the museums and
galleries participating in the program for their visit.
    "One of the library's key strategic goals is to extend Torontonians'
access to the civic and cultural life of the city. So naturally we are
thrilled that, together with our partners, we are able to offer our users new
ways to discover the world of science, the arts, history, cultural, and so
much more. It's wonderful that, with their library card, Torontonians can
explore some of the best arts and culture that Toronto has to offer," said
Josephine Bryant, City Librarian, Toronto Public Library. "We thank the Art
Gallery of Ontario, Bata Shoe Museum, Gardiner Museum, the Royal Ontario
Museum, the Textile Museum of Canada and the City of Toronto for their
enthusiasm and commitment to this program."
    Speaking on behalf of all of the participating cultural institutions,
Matthew Teitelbaum, the Michael and Sonja Koerner Director and CEO of the Art
Gallery of Ontario, spoke highly of the initiative and its impact on the
residents of Toronto. ""Through this partnership, we are a powerful force for
change. Together we're seizing a terrific opportunity to break down barriers
to the arts. Together we're creating truly accessible public institutions,
engaging new audiences in meaningful ways and enhancing our own institutions
through their active involvement with us. It's a wonderful day."
    In addition to the museums' contribution, Sun Life Financial has
generously added its support through sponsorship of the program, continuing
its long-standing commitment to making the arts accessible to all.
    "Sun Life Financial is pleased to work with the Toronto Public Library
and some outstanding arts and cultural organizations in the city to help make
the rich experiences they offer available to a wider audience," said Donald A.
Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, Sun Life Financial. "The library's concept
of the Sun Life Financial Museum and Arts Pass is an excellent match with the
goals of our Making the Arts More Accessible Program."
    The City of Toronto Historical Museums, operated by Toronto Culture, that
have announced their involvement in the program are: Colborne Lodge in High
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 Mills Heritage Museum and Arts
Centre.
    The Toronto Public Library plans to include additional museums, galleries
and cultural venues, and also plans to expand borrowing availability of the
Sun Life Financial Museum and Arts Pass to all 99 branches locations in 2008.

    Toronto Public Library is North America's busiest public library system.
Every week more than 329,000 people visit our 99 branches and borrow more than
half a million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our
website at www.torontopubliclibrary.ca or call Answerline at 416-393-7131.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Edward Karek, Communications
Officer, (416) 397-5925, ekarek@torontopubliclibrary.ca


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