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June 30, 2010
York Woods Library becomes centre stage for brand new Arts Hub
Mayor David Miller, City Librarian Jane Pyper and Councillor Anthony Perruzza (Ward 8 York West), a member of the Toronto Public Library board, joined members of the Jane and Finch arts community and local residents last night to celebrate the grand opening of the Arts Hub, located at the York Woods Branch of Toronto Public Library. The vibrant opening ceremony featured performances of several well known artists from the Jane-Finch neighbourhood.

The new Arts Hub features shared office and storage spaces, a community information board, a lounge area, and rehearsal and production space equipped with sprung wood flooring, specialty lighting, and mirrors that can accommodate theatre and dance. The new space perfectly complements the York Woods branch’s existing theatre space.

“The Arts Hub is an investment in both the neighbourhood and in the lives of artists in the Jane and Finch community and will nurture talent, encourage creativity and grow skills,” said Mayor David Miller. “Today the Jane-Finch arts community moves into a facility that is befitting the wealth of artistic talent in the neighbourhood. No more practising in hallways, parking lots and facilities far outside the area."

“This day has become a reality after three years of hard work by a small group of grassroots artists and art groups, many of whom are performing today,” said City Librarian Jane Pyper. “Through our collections, programs, partnerships and public spaces, the library serves as both a catalyst for and a gateway to all kinds of cultural and creative experiences. The Arts Hub will provide the library an opportunity to engage and partner with residents and art groups in the Jane-Finch community to nurture a wide range of cultural and artistic initiatives. The library is very excited to be able to provide the community with this wonderful new space."

Many local artists and arts groups were actively involved from concept to completion to ensure the space meets the needs of the community; including Rated Inc, a local dance group. “Space in the local neighbourhood where Rated Inc. was founded is vital to our organization and other youth-led grassroots arts groups,” said Andrea Zammit, manager of Rated Inc. “The Arts Hub provides important opportunities to build on the assets of the community, and help address the lack of affordable, local and accessible space.”

Funding for the Arts Hub was made possible through the City of Toronto’s Partnership Opportunities Legacy (POL) fund and Toronto Public Library. The POL Fund was created to build community infrastructure and enhance space for community programming and service needs. The fund gives priority to youth-focused initiatives at the neighbourhood level. For every dollar the City invests approximately $1.90 has been leveraged in partnership funding. At program completion, it is anticipated that $37.7 million will have been invested in Toronto’s 13 priority neighbourhoods, of which $13 million is a direct City investment.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contacts:
Cher Jones, Senior Coordinator, Promotions and Communications 416-392-5349,
Anne Marie Aikins, Manager, Corporate Communications, Toronto Public Library, 416-393-7212,



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