Wednesday, 17 September 2014

WHAT'S HAPPENING WEDNESDAYS

BY: CAMERON CRAWLEY

What’s happening everyone? As you may have realised, it is Wednesday, which can mean only one thing. I am here to tell you what is going on in the (museum and cultural institutions) world this week, and we are really throwing caution to the wind for this inaugural What’s Happening Wednesday of the school year.

It is very rare that one museum is opening its doors to the public in Toronto, let alone two museums. However, that is the situation we are currently facing, and I am very excited.

First up is the Aga Khan Museum at 76 Wynford Drive which opens to the public this Thursday, September 18th. This museum houses a stunning collection of Islamic art and architecture from every corner of the Muslim world. If you want to know more about the museum, you can read a review of the galleries at the VIP opening here.

View of a white marble museum from a garden with a large fountain.
The main entrance of the Aga Khan Museum from the Gardens.
Photo taken by Cameron Crawley.

Admission will cost you $15 if you are a student, or $20 for an adult. For that you get entry into both the permanent and temporary galleries. For the budget-conscious, it is worth noting that entry to the building and gardens is free, as is a small exhibition gallery in the building known as the Bellerive Room, which houses art objects from His Highness the Aga Khan’s personal collection.

Having been able to take a sneak peek of the galleries myself, it is well worth a visit. The attention to detail, throughout what is already an impressive building, is incredible. Moreover, you won’t find a collection of this calibre anywhere else save for the Met or the Louvre.


The second museum opening in Toronto this week is Fort York’s new visitor centre at Fort York Blvd. and Bathurst on September 20th and 21st between noon and 7pm. Entry is free both days, and includes admission to the rest of the site.

View of a long, low building beneath a highway that is made of large recycled steel panels.
A sneak preview of the new visitor centre at Fort York. It is meant to look like a bunker, don't worry.
http://torontoist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Fort-York.jpg

The opening happily coincides with Fort York’s annual On Common Ground festival, so activities include music from all over the world, guided tours of the site, and delicious food from the Forts’ historic kitchen. It is also worth noting that the new visitor centre, although decidedly modern, does not diminish the historic character of the rest of the site due to some clever architecture.

Now I know some pedants reading this right now are probably furiously mashing their ham sized fists into their keyboards, writing hate mail to my editors about how Fort York already existed as a museum, and that a new visitor centre doesn’t count. To the pedants I say this: let me, let us, have this one. It is exciting to see museums and cultural institutions get such love and attention in this city, so please don’t be a spoilsport.  

So, museum aficionados of the GTA, get out there and support these two great institutions! It isn’t often that you get to experience two museum openings in the same week in the same city, and I know firsthand how excited both of these institutions are to welcome all of you through their doors.

On a final, and shamelessly self-promoting note, this Friday September 19th are the Ignite sessions discussing all of the internships that Museum Studies students participated in over the past summer. The sessions take place in room 728 of the Bissell building from 9am-3:10pm. All of the second year students would love to see you there, and if you come to my session you get to hear how I learned that radiation is bad the hard way. 

6 comments:

  1. Cameron, good sir. You made me laugh out loud into my oatmeal. Job well done.

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    1. Thanks Meaghan! I wrote it with that specific goal in mind.

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  2. I had my breakfast before I read your post, so I was safe - so was the breakfast :) Thank you for promoting both small and large museums. Some of the first year EIC-ers will be heading to the Fort for their first assignment so I am very curious to read their findings and impressions.

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    1. I would love to hear what they think of the redesign at Fort York! It is certainly a drastic change.

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  3. Very well written and engaging for even the occasional museum goer! Looking forward to following along.

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  4. Great post cam! I can tell I'm going to deeply enjoy reading your sassy Wednesday musings. I also think you should take your fellow classmates *ahem* through these fascinating institutions you have worked at/volunteered at and give them an inside tour.....

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