Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum Announces 20th Anniversary with Global Mapping Project

TORONTO, April 8, 2015 /CNW/ - The Bata Shoe Museum is excited to announce its upcoming 20th anniversary on May 6th, 2015.  To commemorate this momentous milestone, the Museum is launching an exciting digital initiative, The World At Your Feet:  A Global Mapping Project by the BSM.  Offering a central hub for the world to share shoe stories during the Museum's anniversary year which runs from May 6, 2015 to May 6, 2016, The World at Your Feet expands on the Museum's own storytelling and extends the virtual shoe story platform to capture narratives from around the world.

For twenty years, the Museum has strived to showcase the incredible diversity of what people choose to wear on their feet, revealing the most interesting aspects of culture, history and society. Through its extraordinary exhibitions, the Bata Shoe Museum has shared these compelling stories by using footwear as the point of entry into the cultures of the world. 

Beginning today and on each day leading up to the anniversary, the Museum will pin a fascinating story or video from its own collection of tens of thousands on the interactive global map.  On May 6th, the Museum will turn the lens onto the world to share their stories.  What corners of the world have they visited in their shoes?  What does footwear mean in their culture?  What have they accomplished wearing their favourite footwear?

"We are very excited about the Bata Shoe Museum's 20th anniversary and wanted to mark this significant accomplishment with a noteworthy endeavour that captures the multicultural importance of the Museum's world-renowned collection," said Emanuele Lepri, Director. "The Museum's focus over the past 2 decades has been about sharing our stories.   As the centre of footwear research, we felt it was only apropos to open this up to the world and hear their stories as well." 

The World At Your Feet:  A Global Mapping Project By The BSM can be found by visiting www.map.batashoemuseum.ca.

The Bata Shoe Museum is pleased to announce a roster of exciting events during the celebratory anniversary year.  Highlights include:

Thursday, April 7, 2015; 9:30 am
VIP Preview and Press Launch of anniversary year and kickoff exhibition
Along with Founder Sonja Bata, Director Emanuele Lepri will speak on the Museum's exciting schedule of events and activities to mark its 20th anniversary.  Senior Curator Elizabeth Semmelhack will take media and guests through the newest exhibition Standing Tall:  The Curious History of Men in Heels and will introduce the second exhibition for the anniversary year scheduled to open February 2016.

Thursday, April 7; 8 pm
20th Anniversary Gala
Co-chaired by Alexandra Weston, Christine Bata Schmidt and Peter Schmidt, the gala celebration will offer guests an 'unexpected' evening of discovery and surprise where exhibitions come alive, shoes defy gravity and men wear heels. A memorable affair for a memorable museum, tickets can be purchased by visiting www.batashoemuseum.ca/tickets

Saturday, May 9; 10 am4 pm
We're Twenty! The BSM Community Birthday Bash
This free family oriented birthday party officially launches the Museum's milestone anniversary to the community and thanks Torontonians for their support over the past 20 years.  As the official unveiling of the Museum's window installation by Ryerson University students and atrium art installation by artist Jim Hake, the  community day is also the official public opening of the Museum's newest exhibition Standing Tall:  The Curious History of Men in Heels.  Other activities include arts and crafts, tattoos and henna art, face painting, live performances, stilt-walkers, a giant birthday card and more!  Official remarks begin at noon followed by birthday cupcakes sponsored by Loblaws®.  For those that can't make the Saturday celebration, free admission and arts and crafts continue on Sunday, May 10.

The anniversary year will also showcase several contemporary and bold art installations, avant-garde performances, inspiring lectures, entertaining and educational family programming, and exciting community partnerships.  A full list of 20th anniversary events and activities will be available in May.

SOURCE Bata Shoe Museum

For further information: Rosmarie Gadzovski, Head of Communications, Bata Shoe Museum, rosmarie@batashoemuseum.ca or 416.979.7799 x225

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