Toronto jazz ambassador Oscar Peterson honoured by City of Toronto|
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Oscar Peterson was honoured today at a ceremony to rename the courtyard at the
Toronto-Dominion Centre as Oscar Peterson Place. In addition, Mayor David
Miller proclaimed June 22, 2004 as Oscar Peterson Day in Toronto. Mr. Peterson
was in attendance to receive both recognitions.
"For six decades, Oscar Peterson has entertained the world with his mastery and
passion for the piano and promoted the recognition of our multicultural
heritage," said Mayor David Miller. "As a resident of Toronto and the Greater
Toronto Area since 1958, he has been an asset to our city by being a musical
ambassador. It's my honour to proclaim today Oscar Peterson Day."
Today's event, produced by Toronto Culture, was the first in a series of Naming
Projects initiated by Toronto's Poet Laureate Dennis Lee. The purpose of the
Naming Project is to honour notable artists and thinkers who have enriched
Toronto by embedding their names in the fabric of the city. Dennis Lee adds,
"The Naming Project provides a living legacy of those who came before us and
achieved great things. It will enrich the city for generations to come. Oscar
Peterson Place is an homage to one of Toronto's foremost citizens."
Following the renaming ceremony, the lunchtime crowd was entertained by an
energetic performance by the Humber Studio Jazz Ensemble, directed by Denny
Christianson and organized by the Toronto Jazz Festival.
Albert Schultz, Artistic Director of the Soulpepper Theatre Company emceed the
afternoon's event that was attended by Councillor Pam McConnell (Ward 28
Toronto Centre-Rosedale) and Councillor David Soknacki (Ward 43 Scarborough
The City of Toronto thanks Cadillac Fairview, owners of the Toronto-Dominion
Centre, for embracing the concept of the Naming Project and allowing the
courtyard to be renamed Oscar Peterson Place. For many years, this greenspace
has become synonymous with excellent outdoor concerts and is the perfect
location to commemorate jazz legend Oscar Peterson.
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