Category: Culture

act now support the arts


In today’s fast-paced world, where digital experiences dominate, it’s crucial to remember the importance of supporting the arts in your local community. The Intermunicipal Cultural Plan is a beacon of hope for artists and art enthusiasts alike, fostering creativity and cultural diversity. This comprehensive guide will not only shed light on the plan but also introduce you to an arts calendar that promises a year full of enriching experiences.

What is the Intermunicipal Cultural Plan?

The Intermunicipal Cultural Plan, often abbreviated as ICP, is a visionary initiative aimed at enhancing the cultural landscape of our community. It’s a testament to our commitment to supporting the arts, ensuring that creative expression thrives in our midst. Let’s delve into the core aspects of this plan:

1. Cultural Enrichment

Under the ICP, our community places a strong emphasis on cultural enrichment. It recognizes that art is not just a form of entertainment but also a reflection of our society’s values, ideas, and history. By promoting cultural enrichment, the plan aims to foster a deeper sense of identity and belonging among residents.

2. Artistic Collaboration

Art knows no boundaries, and the ICP embraces this philosophy wholeheartedly. It encourages collaboration among artists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. Through workshops, exhibitions, and networking events, the plan creates a fertile ground for artists to share their experiences and learn from one another.

3. Accessible Arts Education

Nurturing the next generation of artists is vital, and the ICP understands this well. It allocates resources to ensure that arts education is accessible to all, irrespective of age or socio-economic background. By doing so, it not only promotes creativity but also empowers individuals to explore their artistic potential.

4. Cultural Infrastructure

A thriving arts scene requires proper infrastructure. The ICP invests in the development and maintenance of cultural venues, ensuring that artists have the spaces they need to create, perform, and exhibit their work. This infrastructure not only benefits artists but also contributes to the overall vibrancy of our community.

The Arts Calendar: Your Gateway to Cultural Experiences

Now that you have an understanding of the ICP, let’s explore the heart of our cultural renaissance—the arts calendar. This meticulously curated calendar showcases a myriad of events and activities that promise to engage and captivate your senses throughout the year.

January: Artisan Fair Extravaganza

Kickstart the year by immersing yourself in the Artisan Fair Extravaganza. This event features local artisans and craftsmen displaying their handcrafted treasures. From intricate jewelry to beautifully woven textiles, you’ll find a diverse array of artistic expressions.

April: Jazz in the Park

As spring blooms, Jazz in the Park comes alive. Grab a picnic blanket and join fellow jazz enthusiasts for an evening of soulful tunes under the starry sky. It’s a perfect way to relax and unwind while appreciating the musical talents of our community.

June: Community Art Walk

The Community Art Walk transforms our streets into an open-air gallery. Local artists showcase their works on sidewalks, inviting you to stroll and admire their creations. It’s an excellent opportunity to interact with artists and gain insight into their creative processes.

September: Theater Under the Stars

As summer wanes, Theater Under the Stars takes center stage. This outdoor theater experience brings classic and contemporary plays to life in a magical setting. Enjoy a night of culture and storytelling under the canopy of twinkling stars.

December: Winter Wonderland Arts Festival

End the year with a burst of creativity at the Winter Wonderland Arts Festival. This festive event features holiday-themed art exhibits, craft workshops, and performances that capture the spirit of the season. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the arts and the holidays simultaneously.

Art Cetera: Nurturing Creativity

Art Cetera is the beating heart of our community’s artistic endeavors. This center serves as a hub for artists, providing resources, support, and a collaborative environment. Here’s why Art Cetera is a game-changer:

1. Creative Workspaces

Artists need space to create, and Art Cetera delivers. It offers well-equipped creative workspaces where artists can bring their visions to life. Whether you’re a painter, sculptor, or digital artist, you’ll find a haven here.

2. Workshops and Classes

Continuous learning is essential for artists, and Art Cetera hosts a range of workshops and classes. From mastering new techniques to exploring different mediums, these sessions nurture artistic growth.

3. Community Engagement

Art Cetera isn’t just for artists; it’s for the entire community. It hosts exhibitions, performances, and interactive events that invite residents to immerse themselves in the world of art. It’s a place where creativity knows no bounds.

4. Networking Opportunities

The power of collaboration is evident at Art Cetera. It fosters networking among artists, enabling them to form meaningful connections, share ideas, and collaborate on projects that push the boundaries of creativity.

In conclusion, supporting the arts in your community is not just an option; it’s a responsibility we all share. The Intermunicipal Cultural Plan, the arts calendar, and Art Cetera are all testament to our commitment to nurturing creativity and preserving our cultural heritage.

So, what can you do? Attend events, engage with local artists, and embrace the vibrant arts scene in your community. By doing so, you’re not only enriching your own life but also contributing to the cultural tapestry that defines us.

dmx512 controllers

DMX512: A Comprehensive Guide to the Standard for Dimmers and Controllers

In the world of entertainment technology, precision and control are paramount. Whether you’re lighting up a theater stage, orchestrating a concert, or creating a dazzling light show for an event, the ability to control and synchronize lighting elements is essential. This is where DMX512 comes into play, serving as the backbone for digital data transmission between controllers and dimmers.

Understanding DMX512/1990

DMX512/1990 is the keystone of lighting control in the entertainment industry. This standardized protocol facilitates the digital transmission of data between lighting controllers and dimmers. It covers crucial aspects such as electrical characteristics, data format, data protocol, connector type, and cable specifications. Originally developed in 1986, it underwent a significant revision in 1990, and it is currently undergoing yet another review. For those interested in obtaining a copy of this standard, it can be ordered from the USITT National Office or from PLASA in Europe.

The Ongoing Evolution of DMX512

In the ever-evolving field of entertainment technology, the DMX512 standard remains at the forefront. Let’s delve into the continuous evolution of this essential standard and the efforts to keep it up-to-date.

Updates in Progress: DMX512 Subcommittee

The evolution of DMX512 is an ongoing process, driven by the dedicated efforts of the USITT DMX512 Subcommittee, sponsored by the Engineering Commission. In response to the Call for Comments issued in March of 1998, the Subcommittee received a staggering 68 proposals. To ensure the highest standards of quality and reliability, the maintenance of DMX512 was transferred to the Technical Standards Program of ESTA (the Entertainment Services and Technology Association) and its Control Protocols Working Group.

Multiple Task Groups were established to address these proposals, and as a result, the drafting of a revised and updated DMX512 standard is well underway. This new version is currently undergoing a rigorous consensus-building process with the aim of becoming an American National Standard. For more detailed information on these ongoing updates, please refer to the DMX512 Update.

DMX512 Goes Global: The IEC Connection

The importance of DMX512 extends beyond national borders. The ongoing revision of the USITT DMX512 standard will eventually lead to the creation of an international edition of the DMX512 Standard. While DMX512 has been widely used since 1986, it’s worth noting that it is not formally recognized in the “official” standards world.

However, this is changing. A proposal to make DMX512 an International Standard was accepted by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee 34. The proposed standard was designated as “Entertainment Technology – USITT DMX512 (IEC Publication 62136).” More information on this development can be found in the section IEC DMX512.

Enhancing Lighting Control: DMX512 Usage and Hazards

Efficient and reliable lighting control is crucial for the success of any entertainment production. Let’s explore how DMX512 contributes to this goal and the potential hazards associated with it.

A Valuable Resource: Moving Light Fixture Usage Data

Professionals in the entertainment industry have access to a valuable resource known as the ESTA DMX Usage Data website. This platform provides comprehensive information on DMX channel usage for a wide range of moving light fixtures. To access this information, simply visit the ESTA Web Site, click on Technical Standards Program, and then select DMX Usage Data under the Public Service Info Provided by the TSP heading.

Hazards to Beware: Power on the Data Lines

While DMX512 has revolutionized lighting control, it is not without its challenges. Some manufacturers of DMX equipment deviate from the standards by placing voltage on Pins 4 and/or 5 of the 5 Pin XLR connector, which is in clear violation of the USITT DMX512 and DMX512/1990 Standards.

Connecting compliant DMX512 and DMX512/1990 equipment to non-compliant gear, especially equipment that uses the secondary data link (Pins 4 & 5), can lead to the disabling and/or damage of the compliant equipment. For a more detailed explanation and guidelines, please consult the DMX512 Hazard Alert.

Potential Confusion: DIN DMX and Labeling

The world of standards can sometimes be complex and confusing. DIN, a German standards organization, has developed a draft standard for “Stage Lighting Control Systems”. This standard heavily relies on the implementation of USITT DMX512/1990.

However, a potential issue arises when considering labeling. The draft manuscript from DIN states that devices conforming to this proposed DIN standard may be labeled as “DMX512/1990,” “DMX512/DIN,” or “USITT DMX512/1990.” This presents a challenge as it could lead to confusion among users who won’t be able to distinguish between products conforming to different standards, bearing the same identifier.

To address this concern, USITT has taken action by retaining counsel to engage with DIN. Together with ESTA, and with the support of PLASA and VPLT, they are working diligently to ensure clarity in the market regarding compliance with the existing DMX512/1990 standard, while simultaneously striving to minimize the proliferation of competing standards as they continue their work on a revised DMX512.

The Future of DMX512

In conclusion, DMX512/1990 has been a cornerstone of the entertainment technology industry, enabling precise control of lighting elements for over three decades. While it has evolved over the years and faces challenges, its importance remains steadfast.

harbourfront centre toronto

Harbourfront Centre: A Hub of Contemporary Culture in Toronto, Canada

Welcome to the vibrant world of Harbourfront Centre, located in the heart of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This cultural gem has established itself as the premier destination for contemporary arts and entertainment. Join us as we explore the diverse offerings of Harbourfront Centre and discover why it should be at the top of your cultural itinerary.

A Dynamic Canvas of Artistry

Harbourfront Centre is where the arts come alive in Toronto. From dance to theatre and music, this cultural hub offers a dynamic canvas of artistry that leaves audiences spellbound.

Dance, Theatre, and Music

Step into the captivating world of performing arts at Harbourfront Centre. From breathtaking dance performances to captivating theatre productions and mesmerizing musical concerts, this cultural hub offers a wide range of experiences to suit all tastes and ages. Whether you’re a seasoned theatre-goer or seeking an unforgettable night out, Harbourfront Centre delivers.

HarbourKids and Recreation

Families and children find a warm welcome at Harbourfront Centre’s HarbourKids program. This innovative initiative introduces young minds to the world of arts and culture through engaging workshops, performances, and interactive activities. It’s the perfect place for families to bond over creative experiences. Meanwhile, the recreation options provide a chance for visitors to enjoy the scenic waterfront and take part in various physical activities, blending fun and fitness in a picturesque setting.

harbourfront centre gallery

Visual Art and Craft

For art enthusiasts, Harbourfront Centre boasts a stunning visual art gallery featuring both local and international artists. The exhibitions change regularly, ensuring a fresh experience with each visit. Additionally, the Craft department promotes craftsmanship through workshops and exhibitions, celebrating the beauty of handcrafted objects. It’s a haven for those who appreciate the finer details of artistry and craftsmanship.

Readings and Marine Activities

Literature lovers can rejoice in the literary readings hosted at the center. Acclaimed authors share their works in an intimate setting, making for an enriching literary experience. On the other hand, marine enthusiasts can participate in various water-based activities that provide a unique perspective of Toronto’s waterfront. Whether you’re lost in the pages of a book or sailing the waters of Lake Ontario, Harbourfront Centre has something to offer.

Community Festivals

Harbourfront Centre is renowned for its vibrant community festivals. These events bring together diverse cultures and communities, celebrating the rich tapestry of Canada’s multicultural identity. From food festivals to cultural showcases, these gatherings offer a taste of the world right in the heart of Toronto. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the traditions and flavors of different cultures, all in one place.

What’s Happening This Week

Stay in the know about the latest events and happenings at Harbourfront Centre. With something exciting taking place almost every day, it’s essential to keep an eye on the calendar.

Calendar of Events

Stay up to date with Harbourfront Centre’s dynamic calendar of events. With something happening almost every day, you can plan your visit to catch the performances, workshops, and exhibitions that pique your interest. Whether you’re looking for a specific event or simply want to explore what’s available during your visit, the calendar is your go-to resource.

Feature Events

Explore the center’s featured events, where top-tier artists and performers take the stage. These events often showcase cutting-edge work and offer an immersive experience for the audience. If you’re seeking something extraordinary and want to be at the forefront of artistic innovation, the feature events are a must-see.

Discovering Harbourfront Centre

Find out everything you need to know about Harbourfront Centre’s location, accessibility, and how to make the most of your visit.

Who & Where We Are

Located on the stunning Toronto waterfront, Harbourfront Centre is easily accessible and offers breathtaking views of Lake Ontario. Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the city, this section provides valuable information about getting to the center and enjoying its offerings. It’s your guide to experiencing the best of Toronto’s cultural scene.

A Final Note

In conclusion, Harbourfront Centre is a dynamic hub of contemporary culture in Canada, offering a myriad of cultural experiences to enrich your life. From world-class performances to engaging community festivals, there’s something here for everyone. So, why wait? Plan your visit to Harbourfront Centre today and immerse yourself in the captivating world of contemporary arts and entertainment.

multilateral agreement on investment

MAI and Canada’s Cultural Sector: Navigating the Multilateral Agreement on Investment

The world of international trade agreements is vast and complex, with economic globalization at its core. Among the many agreements, the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) stands out as a significant player. In this comprehensive article, we delve into the MAI and explore its potential impact on Canada’s cultural sector.

Background: The Genesis of MAI

International trade agreements are pivotal in shaping the global economic landscape. The MAI, currently under negotiation through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), represents the latest milestone in this journey. The OECD, an agency based in Paris, collects and disseminates economic data for the world’s largest industrialized nations, comprising 29 member countries.

The origins of the MAI within the OECD can be traced back to the 1960s when it adopted two instruments on investment liberalization: the Code of Liberalisation of Capital Movements and the Code of Liberalisation of Current Invisible Operations. These Codes, though binding on member states, were narrower in scope than the MAI, relying on moral suasion and peer pressure for enforcement.

The MAI’s momentum gained traction during the Uruguay Round of talks, which led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The discussions on Trade Related Investment Measures (TRIMS) during this round aimed to liberalize rules governing foreign investment among GATT member countries. Dissatisfaction with the progress on TRIMS led to formal MAI discussions at the OECD in May 1995.

Negotiations have been ongoing since, involving various Negotiating Groups (NGs), Expert Groups (EGs), and a Drafting Group (DG). While a basic agreement was reached in January 1997, the final language of key elements remains unknown. These unresolved issues are of utmost importance to Canada’s cultural community.

Basic Provisions: What Does MAI Encompass?

The MAI’s core provisions are rooted in its preamble, which highlights its objectives:

  1. Efficient Resource Utilization: The agreement aims to promote efficient resource utilization, job creation, and improved living standards through the treatment of investors and their investments.
  2. Multilateral Investment Framework: It seeks to establish a multilateral framework with high standards for liberalizing investment regimes and investment protection, coupled with effective dispute settlement procedures.

The MAI’s overarching goal is to facilitate the movement of assets, including money, production facilities, and intellectual property rights, across international borders. It achieves this through commitments made by signatory nations:


The proposed definition of an investor encompasses individuals and businesses, regardless of incorporation status or profit motive. Investment is broadly defined to include “every kind of asset owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by an investor,” explicitly including intellectual property rights.

National Treatment/Most Favoured Nation Treatment

These provisions form the cornerstone of international trade agreements. National Treatment (NT) requires each signatory country to treat nationals of other signatory countries no less favorably than its own nationals, across laws, rules, regulations, and practices. Most Favoured Nation (MFN) provisions mandate equal treatment for all foreign countries. This prevents imposing discriminatory policies and grants foreign companies access to dispute settlement mechanisms.


Member countries are obligated to make all relevant laws, rulings, and regulations publicly available, ensuring transparency in the operation of the Agreement.

Movement of Personnel

MAI grants approval for temporary entry to work for investors and key personnel, including executives, managers, and specialists deemed “essential to the enterprise.”


  1. Performance Requirements: Nations cannot impose measures on investments that demand certain performance standards, such as export levels, domestic content percentages, or purchasing domestic supplies. This provision promotes equivalent treatment of investors from non-signatory nations.
  2. Uncompensated Expropriation: Expropriation is only allowed in the public interest, with due process of law, non-discrimination, and prompt, adequate, and effective compensation.
  3. Restrictions on Capital Movement and Profit Repatriation: Investors should be able to move capital and profits to and from nations freely and in a convertible currency, according to market exchange rates.


National Treatment and MFN treatment are upheld when a government privatizes public resources or assets. Canada, however, has reservations, asserting that these provisions are redundant given the basic NT and MFN obligations.

Dispute Settlement

MAI outlines dispute resolution mechanisms for both individual investors and states:

  1. Investor-to-State: Individual investors can file complaints against signatory nations, leading to arbitration panels. This provision extends enhanced rights to foreign companies.
  2. State-to-State: Disputes between nations are resolved through panels, involving experts as required.

Application to Sub-National Governments/Government Entities

MAI extends to all levels of government within a nation, including state, provincial, municipal, and local bodies. The Agreement aims to prevent circumvention of its rules.

Exceptions and Safeguards

The MAI includes limited exceptions, covering essential security interests, temporary measures during balance of payments crises, and prudential measures in financial services. Disagreements persist on taxation matters, particularly regarding investment incentives.

Country Specific Reservations

Signatory nations may maintain specific measures that would otherwise violate the Agreement by listing “reservations” upon signing. While the scope and nature of these reservations are still debated, some key points are:

  1. Non-Conforming Measures: These can be listed, continued, and amended if they increase conformity. However, agreement is pending on a provision (Part B) for reservations on new measures in specific economic sectors.
  2. Standstill: Listed non-conforming measures are subject to the Standstill principle, prohibiting new or more restrictive exceptions. Violating Standstill entails a breach of underlying MAI obligations.
  3. Rollback: The Agreement outlines methods for eliminating non-conforming measures over time, involving peer pressure, periodic reviews, and future negotiations.

The Cultural Sector in the MAI Text

In the January draft, the cultural sector received no direct mention, either as an exception or inclusion. However, France has proposed an exception clause for cultural industries, emphasizing the need to preserve and promote cultural and linguistic diversity. This proposal addresses challenges related to investment restrictions, linguistic requirements, and coproduction treaties in film and television.

Canada’s Role: A Stakeholder in the MAI

Canada plays a significant role in the MAI negotiations, with over 21 references to Canadian proposals in the text. Canada has a vested interest as both an investor abroad and a recipient of foreign investment. Sectors such as mining, high tech, and financial institutions have substantial foreign holdings.

Canadian Cultural Measures at Risk

Canada’s cultural policies, designed to support its artists and cultural industries, face potential challenges under the MAI:

Restrictions on Foreign Ownership

Canada limits foreign ownership in cultural industries, potentially violating NT, prohibitions on performance requirements, and capital movement restrictions. Policies at risk include:

  1. Broadcasting: No foreign company can own more than 1/3 of a Canadian broadcaster or distribution undertaking.
  2. Book Trade: Policies restrict foreign company sales and new business establishment.
  3. Film and Sound Recording: Restrictions on foreign ownership and mergers.

Funding Programs Limited to Canadian Individuals and Firms

Canada’s support programs exclusively benefit Canadians, potentially discriminating against foreign investors under the MAI.


The Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) represents a complex web of provisions with far-reaching implications. Canada’s cultural sector faces challenges in aligning its policies with the MAI’s stringent rules. As negotiations continue, it’s essential for Canada to balance its commitment to international trade with the preservation of its cultural diversity and identity.

In an increasingly interconnected world, navigating the MAI’s intricate framework while safeguarding cultural interests remains a formidable task for Canada’s policymakers. The fate of Canada’s cultural measures under the MAI hinges on careful negotiation, strategic policymaking, and a clear vision for the future of its cultural landscape.

In this dynamic landscape, only time will reveal the extent to which Canada can preserve its cultural heritage while participating in the global economic arena.