Please help us create a visual history of Toronto’s triumph over COVID-19

May 16, 2020

Dear CEMA Members,

This is our opportunity to add an authentic voice to the City of Toronto’s TOgether project.  Toronto is creating a photographic book and exhibition to capture how we, as a city, are coping with COVID-19 and what will be our ultimate triumph.

 Randy VanDerStarren, a member of CEMA, and last year’s Media Innovation Award winner, is the lead photographer for a project that will get you believing our city will emerge from this pandemic stronger, and hopefully more inclusive than ever before.  The City and Randy are asking all of us to suggest locations of buildings, venues and events throughout Toronto’s 25 Wards that are now closed to the public. Randy will photograph those buildings now in Phase 1 and return when people are allowed back in for Phase 2.  The photographs will appear side by side in the TOgether book and photographic exhibition.

BMO Field, shot last week for Phase 1, appears below.

photo by Randy VanDerStarren

This shot of Ukrainian Catholic Sobor of the Holy Protection was just taken on Mother’s Day.

photo by Randy VanDerStarren

In order to truly capture the ethnic diversity of our City,  Randy has come to us to ensure his photographs authentically reflect the cultural make up of Toronto.  If you have a book-worthy location that you feel best represents your community, please suggest it to Randy. Little Italy isn’t enough. He’s looking for the authentic Italian shot of Little Italy as an example.

The letter below from Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson shares the idea and the general approach.
Toronto letter

The second document is a brief intro beyond the letter.
TOGETHER book proposal

There’s no cost to any of the participants.  100% of the book’s proceeds will be donated to DonateTO, the City’s official charity.
We’re all in this TOgether.  Let’s make sure our communities share in that TOgetherness.



Madeline Ziniak
Chair, Canadian Ethnic Media Association

Randy’s contact information is:
[email protected]
416 580-1249


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