Sony Canada invests in revitalizing an historic Toronto landmark

    - The Hummingbird Centre is renamed Sony Centre for the Performing Arts -

    TORONTO, Sept. 7 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of the Hummingbird Centre
and Sony Canada are pleased to announce a partnership agreement, commencing
September 7, 2007, for the revitalization of the Hummingbird Centre that
attracts over 400,000 patrons per year. This $10 million, 20-year title
sponsorship will re-energize the entertainment venue with aesthetic
improvements and technical upgrades, all while maintaining the heritage of the
Toronto landmark.
    Now renamed the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the facility will
undergo a complete interior renovation commencing June, 2008. When completed,
the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts will be transformed into a
state-of-the-art versatile, multimedia theatre and concert venue. The 47
year-old historic building will be outfitted with the most technically
advanced audio and video Sony products that offer the ultimate entertainment
    "Sony Canada's investment in our theatre signifies the importance of
Toronto as a major centre for arts and creativity," said Dan Brambilla, chief
executive officer of the Centre. "We strategically approached Sony as the
naming sponsor of our venue because of their commitment to continually provide
the very best entertainment experience. We see this partnership as a
collaboration between a leading entertainment company and a live entertainment
    "We are proud to be part of the revitalization of the Centre," said Doug
Wilson, president and chief operating officer of Sony Canada. "The Sony Centre
for the Performing Arts will offer the highest quality live entertainment,
performing arts and multi-cultural programming which will raise the profile of
this unique centre for the City of Toronto."

    About Sony of Canada Ltd.
    Established in 1955, Sony of Canada Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Sony Corporation, of Tokyo, Japan, a world leader in High Definition. Sony
provides end-to-end solutions through products that include the market-leading
Blu-ray player, BRAVIA televisions, Cyber-shot digital cameras, Handycam
Camcorders, VAIO computers, broadcast cameras, IPELA security cameras and
video conferencing, and many more products that deliver the true entertainment
    Sony is one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the
world with a portfolio that includes electronics, music, movies, games and
online businesses.
    With headquarters in Toronto, sales offices in Vancouver and Montreal and
distribution centres in Coquitlam, British Columbia, and Whitby, Ontario,
approximately 1,200 employees support a network of more than 500 authorized
dealers and 79 Sony stores across Canada.
    Sony Canada is proud to support the communities in which it operates
through corporate sponsorships of organizations that include the Make-a-Wish
Foundation Canada, the United Way and Earth Day Canada.

    About the Theatre:
    In 1954, philanthropist, horsebreeder, and developer E.P. Taylor, the
head of the O'Keefe Brewing Company and Argus Corporation, offered to build a
much-needed performing arts centre for the city. On October 1, 1960, the
complex, which became known as the O'Keefe Centre, opened with the
pre-Broadway premiere of Alexander H. Cohen's production of the Lerner and
Loewe musical Camelot with Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, and Robert Goulet.
    In 1967 the building and land were sold to the City of Toronto and in
1996 the facility was renamed the Hummingbird Centre after the naming rights
were purchased by the Canadian software company Hummingbird Ltd.
    The auditorium was designed to serve a wide range of performing arts, and
has seen such artists as Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Yul Brynner, Carol
Channing, Pearl Bailey, Petula Clark, Duke Ellington, Marlene Dietrich, Diana
Ross, Shirley MacLaine, Judy Garland, Sammy Davis Jr., Liza Minnelli,
Liberace, Placido Domingo, Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson,
Vivien Leigh, Christopher Plummer, Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, and Michael
    Renowned architect Daniel Libeskind will redesign the complex, which
includes two key concepts, the creation of a $75 million "Arts & Heritage
Awareness Centre" (the AHA! Centre) and above it the 47-storey residential
L Tower.

For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries, please contact: Rosie Shaw,
Manager, Public Relations & Corporate Communications, Sony Centre for the
Performing Arts, (416) 393-7466,; Michelle Lefler,
Counsellor, Silverhammer Public Relations, (416) 324-2024 ext 9,

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