Next Story in this issue
October 2004
News & Notices
News From:
Conference & Stage Expo
For the Record
July in Toronto

John S. Uthoff
USITT President

This past July, the Executive and Conference Committees met at The Fairmont Royal York, the headquarters hotel for the Toronto conference, to share progress for next March.

We had two and half days of meetings, tours, and good fellowship. Toronto is a wonderful theatre city as well as a major international center. In the brief time between meetings, I had time to walk to the waterfront. There I found Omiala: A Festival of New Black Culture at The Harbourfront Centre. Live performances and a great variety of food and artisans filled the docks.

The adjacent shopping center contained the Soulpepper Theatre Company, with productions of Waiting for Godot, The Zoo Story, The Dumb Waiter, and Translations scheduled for the current season. On the ground floor, along with the abundant clothing stores and food stands, was the Bounty Canadian Contemporary Craft Shop. It was filled with works in glass, metal, stone, ceramics, and textiles.

That night, when I went to dinner, I found that The Fish House, a staple last time I was in Toronto, had closed its doors. This forced me to try new delights. I found the Canyon Creek Chop House. Even though I grew up in Iowa, the restaurant had the largest double bone chops I had ever seen in my life. It was a delicious meal for about $30. Above, there was an exquisite native craft shop with wonderful carvings, paintings, and masks.

Well, even though all of this was fun, we did go to Toronto to work! In about two days of meetings we heard reports from World Stage Design, the OISTAT World Congress, Publications, Sections and Chapters, Programming, Stage Expo, and about future sites. We toured the Metro Toronto Conference Centre, the Fairmont Royal York, and the Intercontinental Hotel.

Thanks to many of you and designers from 42 countries, we now have over 500 designers and 900 designs entered in WSD. This is a terrific response to a new major international design exhibit.

Conference programming seems well in hand, with exciting Professional Development Workshops and sessions from all the Commissions. Our usual varied and unique programming will be available for your pleasure.

In addition to the World Stage Design Exhibit, you are welcome to come early to the conference, and join your international colleagues at the OISTAT World Congress sessions on Tuesday.

After all the meetings, I chose to stay an extra day and went to the Art Gallery of Ontario to see the Turner-Whistler-Monet Exhibit, as well as their outstanding permanent collection. The exhibits were magnificent. It would be easy to spend many extra days in Toronto attending theatre and events. I will need to save the rest for our conference. Hope to see you all there!


To Top

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre, with its dramatic facade on Front Street, will host many events for the 2005 Annual Conference & Stage Expo. Members of USITT's Executive and Conference committees were able to tour the facility in July.