New Literary and Cultural Commons Comes to Life at the Heart of the City

    The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library opens with
    stellar premiere season line-up

TORONTO, Sept. 14 /CNW/ - Toronto Public Library is pleased to announce the opening of The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon on the second floor of the Toronto Reference Library on September 23, 2009. For over 30 years, the Toronto Reference Library has been a destination for the curious and culturally aware. Now, this new addition creates a unique public space for cultural programming, civic discourse and community engagement at the heart of the city.

The library is animating this beautiful space with both original and partnered literary and cultural programs that will give Torontonians the opportunity to meet, see and engage with top local, national and international writers, thinkers and newsmakers.

"Public libraries have always been about learning and discovery, and this can happen in a powerful way at the Appel Salon through the exchange of ideas, conversation and debate," said Jane Pyper, Toronto Public Library City Librarian. "What makes the Appel Salon unique is that it's accessible, not just because it's free, but because it's a place where everyone can feel comfortable."

The Appel Salon kicks off its inaugural season on September 23 at 7:00 p.m. with The Writer's Room with Ian Brown - a six-part series that has author and Globe and Mail journalist Ian Brown interviewing prominent writers about their bodies of work. Ian's first guest is Douglas Coupland, award-winning author, screenwriter and visual artist. Attendees are invited to come early and celebrate the opening with a drink and light refreshments. Cash bar opens at 6pm.

Other notable guests appearing at the Salon this fall include singer Measha Brueggergosman, retired Chief of the Defense Staff Rick Hillier, journalists Peter Mansbridge and Rex Murphy, and authors Tim Flannery (The Weather Makers), Antony Beevor (Stalingrad) and Francine Prose (Blue Angel).

Premiere Season - The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon

A preview of the fall line-up is below. For the full programming line-up, visit

The Writer's Room with Ian Brown

Award-winning author and journalist Ian Brown hosts The Writer's Room with Ian Brown, a series of interviews with some of the world's greatest literary talent. The series explores the bodies of work of great Canadian and international authors and encourages the audience to join in the discussion. Ian's first guest is Douglas Coupland (Generation X, jPod), on September 23 at 7pm.

Joining Ian on October 22 is renowned British military historian Antony Beevor (Stalingrad, The Battle for Spain), and on November 18, American novelist and literary critic Francine Prose (Blue Angel, Reading Like a Writer).

The eh List

Toronto Public Library's eh List showcases Canada's best authors and their newest works. Some of our top eh List authors visit the Appel Salon this fall and read from their latest works, including CBC veterans Rex Murphy and Peter Mansbridge on November 10 at 12:30 pm.

Star Talks

Modelled on the New York Times' popular Times Talks series, Star Talks features Toronto Star journalists in conversation with today's newsmakers.

Music critic John Terauds interviews Measha Brueggergosman on opera, cabaret and life after open heart surgery, November 9 at 7 p.m.

Star business writer David Olive in conversation with Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts architect Jack Diamond, October 20 at 7 p.m.

National affairs columnist Jim Travers sits down with former Chief of the Defence Staff General Rick Hillier, November 19 at 7 p.m.

The City Series

Toronto Star columnists and journalists moderate panels made up of prominent Torontonians who explore issues important to the creative, economic and social health of our city. Royson James moderates the first panel, What Kind of Toronto?, on October 6 at 7 p.m., which will explore what is to be done about the city's growing income gap, and the kind of city we want to fashion for the future.


On the international front, environmental activist and best-selling Australian writer Tim Flannery discusses his new call to action, Now or Never. CBC Radio's Anna Maria Tremonti will interview Flannery on October 13 at 7 p.m.

And Globe and Mail Editor-in-Chief John Stackhouse interviews Jeff Rubin, author of Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization, on Tuesday, December 1 at 7 p.m.

About The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon

This new versatile 16,800 square foot event space is comprised of three magnificent natural light-filled spaces. When not in use for library programs, the venue is available for weddings, corporate functions and social events. Features of the space include:

    -   Capacity: 460 auditorium, 550 standing, 430 dining
    -   Two outdoor terraces and full catering kitchens
    -   State-of-the-art audio-visual technology to accommodate a wide range
        of uses

About Bram & Bluma Appel

The Appel Salon is named in honour of Bram & Bluma Appel, who were passionate about preserving and improving cultural spaces in the city. A lead gift of $3 million to the re:vitalize - Toronto Reference Library Campaign was contributed by the Bluma Appel Community Trust. This unprecedented gift represents the largest private donation ever made to the Toronto Public Library Foundation.

About the Toronto Reference Library

The Toronto Reference Library is part of the 99-branch Toronto Public Library system, the world's busiest urban public library system. Designed by Moriyama & Teshima Architects, the Toronto Reference Library opened to the public on November 2, 1977. It is the only public reference library in Canada and attracts over 1 million visitors each year who are drawn to the library's extensive resources and comprehensive collections.

The Toronto Reference Library is in the midst of a 5-year revitalization project. When completed in 2012, the Toronto Reference Library will better support the ways people study, seek and share information through innovative upgrades that include a new glass entrance cube, an expanded exhibition gallery, a new 2-storey rotunda that will bring together and showcase the library's special collections, expanded space for research and 140 additional high-speed internet workstations.

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library system. Every year, more than 16 million people visit our 99 branches and borrow almost 30 million items.

To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131.

SOURCE Toronto Public Library

For further information: For further information: Media Contact: Ana-Maria Critchley,, (416) 393-7212

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