For the first time in many years we are seeing how wealth can translate into a future for the Art and Culture benefit off our city. Two galleries were announced over the weekend, the first is the Ryerson Photo Gallery that will house well over 300,000 photos from Black Star, generously donated by an anonymous person. The rumor is that the donor was Jim Pattison from Vancouver. The second offering is most interesting as David Mirvish will join up with Frank Geary to take up one block along King street where his Father had his first restaurant and then we will see the Prince of Wales Theater be raised.

David Mirvish gave me my first job which was to shoot a cover for The Royal Alex and then subsequently a story on Pantomime . The art Director was Inara Guilless. I had a brief association with the magazine and was honored to be in London where I photographed Ingrid Bergman. The play was The Waters of the Moon and I spent time with Ms. Bergman walking through the streets of London as she told me off her illness. Ms Bergman was to preform at the Alex and she dies before getting the opportunity to across the pond to do the play. She was an extraordinary presence whose father was a photographer. She did confide in me that she was not fond off having her photo taken as her father never stopped taking her photo.

I found a suitable place to photograph Ms. Bergman as I was given ticket for the play and as it turned out my photo was from a part in the play which the theater photographer had also snapped her in the same place. I was not experienced and nervous but it went well. I had read that Ms Berman liked bubble gum and had given her a box as a bribe sort off. When my photo arrived in Toronto, it almost was exactly as the PR material. I was asked about it and I was very surprised to see the other photo.

I never forgot the hospitality of Mr. Mirvish who had given me my first job.In my history when I was selling clothing I had sold his Father 1.98 blouses from a company called Irving Nadler. Off course the family is highly regarded.

We will  now we have local artists wondering how will these two special galleries  impact on our city. The answer is simple. It requires leaders ship and money to build edifices that house special art. So be prepared to see many famous artists like for example, Frank Stella. Blackstar/magnum has many famous photographers who I am anxious to see as they were the best of Europe and Frank Capra was a member of that elite group.

The future of Toronto  that depends on venues that are world class venues which bring forward the fact we are a world glass city. We can say look at the rich they are spending money on themselves. Partially true, but investment is what this paradigm is about. There are also some secrets which need to be reveled as in photography other archival venues and they will eventually join the community in a more public forum.

These two additions are a huge step for our city to be on the global map off photography.

Jim Allen


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About admin

I am Canadian Professional photographer who hs worked in HK, Paris, New York, and Italy. and I will place the url here for people to see. I am a critcally acclaimed portrai specialist. I also do architectural, corporate photography


  1. Looking forward to our company involvement with the Mirvish – Gehry project that will transform the art scene downtown.

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