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June 18, 2002
Al Waxman bronze statue to be installed in Kensington Market
Culture Division - The Al Waxman Kensington Memorial Committee has been working
very hard to bring Al Waxman, their beloved King of Kensington, back to
Kensington Market.

On Sunday, June 23, at 3 p.m. their work will pay off when a life-size, cast
bronze statue of Al Waxman standing between two park benches will be unveiled
at Bellevue Square Park (at Dennison Square and Augusta Avenue). Mayor Mel
Lastman, the Honourable Mike Colle, MPP (Eglinton-Lawrence), sculptor Ruth
Abernethy, Tom Mihalik, Chair of the Al Waxman Memorial Committee, and members
of the Waxman family will participate in the unveiling ceremony.

The Al Waxman Kensington Memorial Committee, with support from the Honourable
Mike Colle and the volunteer committee headed by Tom Mihalik, Mayor Mel Lastman
and Toronto City Councillor Olivia Chow, commissioned the work after Al
Waxman's death on January 18, 2001. Well-known Canadian sculptor Ruth Abernethy
received the commission. Abernethy has created other bronze portraits,
including the famous portrait of Glenn Gould in front of the CBC building in

In answer to a question as to why she chose to portray Al Waxman in his later
years, Abernethy said, "It wouldn't do him justice to freeze-frame him as the
King of Kensington. I wanted to salute the entire body of his work. He had a
full career."

The Al Waxman Memorial honours the life of Al Waxman, stage, film and
television actor and director and one of Toronto's best known, most devoted
ambassadors. He was an Adjunct Professor at York University, a recipient of the
Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal, a member of the Order of Ontario and a member of
the Order of Canada. Al Waxman joined the board of the Toronto Arts Council in

The Al Waxman Kensington Memorial Committee would like to give special thanks
to David Pinkus and the Kiever Shul congregation, Stephen Porter and the Perger
family, and all those who have generously donated to this project.

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