ArtsVote Toronto Mayoral Debate Monday 29th

The Toronto municipal election is happening next month and this coming Monday there will be a debate between mayoral candidates regarding support for arts and culture. Hosted by ArtsVote at the TIFF Lightbox, the candidates will answer questions from culture leaders in the city. Each candidate will be able to discuss their plan for the future of culture in the city.

The best part is that the moderator is Damian Abraham from the band Fucked Up!

Date: Monday, September 29
Time: 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Location: Cinema One, TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West (map)
Tickets: free general admission seating. Box office opens at 10:00 AM. Doors at 11:30 AM.

Progress is easy when we’re all working together toward something we all believe in. The ArtsVote community cares about mobilizing our collective talents, ideas, and passions for the benefit of Torontonians – and it’s not hard to see how much energy and enthusiasm the people of Toronto have for arts and culture. You can see, hear, taste, touch, smell, and feel it in parks, schools, churches, community centres, alleyways, markets, sidewalks, and all kinds of other spaces around our city. So where do our municipal candidates fit into this picture? Do they believe they have a role to play in growing audiences for the arts, and encouraging cultural participation?

Check out ArtsVote!

Disclosure: I’m an ArtsVote committee member.

Bank: Toronto’s Trees Worth $7 Billion

One of Canada’s largest banks has announced that their economic research has concluded that in Toronto alone the tree canopy is worth $7 Billion (CAD). The non-monetary value of trees is obvious to most people and usually that’s enough to justify keeping trees around. However, there are people who only think in monetary terms and to those people we can now use the results of economic research to prove the greatness of trees.

If Toronto’s trees are worth $7 Billion, just imagine what the total value of trees are around the world!

It’s also well known that trees help manage temperature, both by blocking cold winds in winter, but also keeping the city cool in summer. Alexander said the net cooling effect on the city of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-sized air conditioners, running 20 hours a day.

“On their own, these effects might seem small, but over the long term, these benefits make a significant contribution to environmental well-being,” Alexander said.

Beyond mitigating the need to belch out any more air pollution to cool the city, trees also provide an important role in storing pollutants already out there. The total amount of carbon currently stored in Toronto’s urban forest is estimated at 1.1 million tonnes — roughly the amount emitted by 700,000 cars a year.

Read more here.

Toronto: Bring Back the War on Cars

This year Toronto is witnessing a mayoral race between the worst mayor the city has ever seen and a few people who want his job. Not one candidate has come out to support bicycle based transportation (instead they debate how to better get cars through the city and not people). This isn’t a good thing. Last year in Toronto roughly 40 people were killed by car drivers, more than murdered by non-car homicides.

Local online press, Torontoist, has reacted to this by calling for people in the city to bring back “the war on the car”. People in Toronto ought to join this growing chorus of people demanding an end to car-dominiated culture and crack-smoking mayors.

Toronto should learn from every other major city in the world and build for people-not cars. Just look at all this good news about bicycles and all this good news related to reducing car use.

The hard lesson from New York and dozens of progressive European cities is that you can’t make gains for cyclists, pedestrians, and the life of the city as a whole without restricting car use—removing lanes, widening sidewalks, lowering speed limits, and redesigning intersections. And as JSK and others have proven, that is not a politics for wimps: we need warriors.

Read more at Torontoist.

TradeCity: A Game That Shows You Your Own City

TradeCity

TradeCity: Toronto is a new expeirmental art game made by Golboo Amani that begins April 1st (no fooling’) and runs to the 12th. The game is set in Toronto and you need to physically traverse the city to play the game. TradeCity will expose players to really cool organizations in the city that they may have previously been unaware of.

I’ve had the chance to help Golboo on this project as an advisor so it’s really exciting to see the game about to start. You should sign up soon as space is limited and it looks like it’s going to be a some bizarre fun!

TradeCity: Toronto beta is a live reality game that takes place from April 1st to 12th 2014, throughout Metro Toronto. TradeCity is an experimental art project by Toronto-based artist Golboo Amani. Amani has partnered up with various co-operative communities to design an exciting game that is both fun and challenging!

TradeCity:Toronto is an adventure based game that explores Toronto by asking Players to compete in site-specific as well as virtual challenges. There are dozens of chances to win prizes by demonstrating your gaming skills!

To play you must register in person on April 1, 2014 from 7pm to 9pm at TradeCity: Toronto beta Headquarters, University of Toronto Art Centre, 15 King’s College Circle. Players can register as a team or as individual players. You must be 18 years or older to play.

Registration is FREE! For more information visit tradecitygame.com.

Originally posted on Reality is a Game.

Focus on Sustainability Film Festival

York University in Toronto will be hosting their third annual film festival all about sustainability. This year they are running films about oil. If you’re in Toronto next weekend or nearby you should check out what’s playing and take the bus to the festival.

Planet in Focus with York University Present: Focus on Sustainability Film Festival – the annual event with this years theme on oil! This entertaining and educating experience features domestic and foreign documentaries, a panel discussion with filmmakers and academics, an interactive film display, prizes, sustainably sourced food and beverages, and an e-waste disposal program. Please join us on Friday, January 31st, 2014 in the Nat Taylor Cinema (North Ross 102 at York University) from Noon to 9:00pm.

Facebook event page.