A Blog By: Pauline Tong
As a board member of the Canadian Ethnic Media Association, I find the City of Toronto’s photographic project, Toronto TOgether, is a great opportunity for me to show my Toronto, or at least a slice of it. A photo exhibit and book by that name will depict Toronto during and after Covid-19 – empty churches and train stations, restaurants and shops, will all be brought back to life as Toronto’s busy masses slowly return to daily life.
For all of us who are involved in ethnic media serving a sizable population of Toronto, we connect with our respective communities on a regular basis. Sadly, because of Covid-19, a lot of ethnic media that provide their communities with important news and linkage to Toronto, are hit hard, and barely surviving, if at all.
We can all take part in something historic. Since March, so many of us have been trying our best to manage our lives in these unprecedented times. However, I feel that it is important to take time to share our hardship, to show how we, as Torontonians, are struggling with it, dealing with it, hopefully coming out of it a bit stronger, and a bit more TOgether.
Because Toronto belongs to all of us, a visual history of Toronto should include ethnic and cultural communities.
I look at my various involvements in the City and feel strongly about sharing a couple.
I am a member of the Upper Canada Choristers, a mixed voice community choir that celebrates the diversity of music and community with rich programming. The choir’s mandate is to nurture the love and appreciation of singing choral music in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, educating both choir members and audiences. The choir sings regularly in a variety of community venues – hospitals, nursing homes, seniors’ residences, schools and churches, and performs at special events and fundraising concerts. We are a diverse, welcoming membership joined by our love of singing and a commitment to excellence.
Even though we cannot rehearse together because of Covid-19, we have not given up practicing. We continue to do so, in a somewhat virtual way, which will be captured in a “before” photograph. Our Spring Concert, originally scheduled in May, has been postponed to October. We can look forward to a real performance at that time, and that occasion will serve as our “after” photograph.
I urge the members of CEMA to come forward to share an important part of your life and your community, so that we are represented properly in Toronto TOgether, a visual history of Toronto’s triumph over COVID-19. Life in our domain through this period will become a permanent part of Toronto’s history.
Check the overview Toronto TOgether article for details on how you can take part and how to submit your photos.