ALLAN SHIFF, 83, first focused on environmental causes in 2006. In 2020 the Shiffs donated $1.5-million to The ROM, Canada’s largest museum. Their goal was to create an endowed climate-change division, and that’s what’s happening. Environmental programming is already on the calendar, making this probably a world’s first among major museums. <above photo by Melissa Tait>Allan Shiff to Kathryn Blaze Baum of The Globe and Mail – “I was not interested in seeing an exhibition where people come and say, ‘Wasn’t that fascinating?’and then go home and forget about it. The project must involve citizen engagement. To do nothing is a very dangerous thing.” ‘The Cloth That Changed The World: Art and Fashion of Indian Chintz’ is already on, until September/2021.This exhibition highlights the worldwide impact of India’s textiles and the finely tuned techniques used to create luxurious pieces. They revolutionized art, fashion and science wherever they went around the globe, connecting cultures, inspiring imitation and, quite literally, changing the world.
Why a new plaza? The ROM’s goal is to make its Bloor Street entrance a gathering spot – a place for music, dance, plantings, bubble blowing, and enjoying the passing parade at one of the busiest intersections downtown.
“We don’t necessarily have a lot of space between our building and the street,” said ROM Director and CEO Josh Basseches, “but let’s turn that space into something that really serves the city and beyond.”
A big plus for the Plaza – Philosopher’s Walk – a lengthy, green connection from Bloor Street West to the University of TORONTO. In the heart of the city, this is a walk in the country. The performance terrace was made possible by Helga and Mike Schmidt, and the Reed family gave their support to the Plaza. Designer – Siamak Hariri. <PHOTO ABOVE – Craig White>