Stage Door News

Toronto: TO Live supports 100 independent local artists in its :living Rooms program

Monday, July 13, 2020

When TO Live’s performances were suspended in March at the start of the pandemic, the organization immediately focussed on finding ways to support local artists and created the digital series called Living Rooms as one way to achieve this goal. Living Rooms is a multi-disciplinary series that provides a platform for local Toronto artists performing from the comfort of their homes. The series has now concluded with its 100th artist.

“When COVID hit TO Live wanted to provide work for artists and a means to help them stay connected with their audiences,” said Clyde Wagner, President and CEO, TO Live. “In addition, we knew that independent artists would be particularly hard hit so we decided to focus on them. Living Rooms has highlighted the talent and diversity of the Toronto artistic community”

Living Rooms began with Okan, the Juno-award winning composers and multi-instrumentalists Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne, and has closed with playwright and actor Tawiah M’Carthy. Other features included a bold statement on anti-black racism and a dance performance from storyteller and community developer Sze-Yang Ade-Lam, a powerful vignette from actor Suzanne Roberts Smith, a spellbinding performance from tap super star Travis Knights, Classic Roots combining his unique brand of electronica and “pow wow techno”, and a soulful impersonation from Drag Entertainer Tynomi Banks.

"We would like thank all 100 of the artists who have shared their work and their thoughts in the series,” said Josephine Ridge, Vice President of Programming, TO Live. “Their contributions have given us a remarkable snapshot of this moment in history and together are a celebration of the power of the arts as a force for healing and inspiration.” 

As part of the series, TO Live partnered with Small World Music’s eMERGEnce initiative, a program dedicated to supporting refugee, newcomer, and marginalized emerging artists in Toronto. Through the partnership, TO Live spotlighted an eMERGEnce artist every week. 

To see the full Living Rooms lineup visit tolive.com/livingrooms, where all 100 videos and artist information are available.

TO Live would like to thank the City of Toronto, Mayor John Tory, and City Council along with our partner Meridian for their support and dedication to the arts.

ABOUT TO LIVE

TO Live is one of Canada’s largest multi-arts organizations, operating three iconic venues: Meridian Hall (formerly the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts), the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts and Meridian Arts Centre (formerly the Toronto Centre for the Arts). In addition, TO Live presents a full range of performing arts, theatrical and concert events at these venues in both downtown and uptown Toronto. With these two hubs of creativity and content creation, TO Live has a unique place and perspective to activate creative spaces by inspiring local and international artists, connect audiences and to be the nexus for new ideas, elevate artistic potential, and be the catalyst for creative expression that is reflective of Toronto’s diversity