TORONTO.- The Royal Ontario Museum
celebrated its Centennial by announcing bold plans for four legacy projects that will transform how the ROM welcomes and interacts with its visitors. Leading todays announcements were plans for the Welcome Project that will enhance the ROMs interior lobby and create a new performance space which will function as the ROMs first outdoor gallery. The proposed design will transform the visitor experience to the Museum from the inside and outfrom the moment visitors arrive at the ROM on Bloor Street to how they discover and interact with its world-renowned collections and curators. The new outdoor space will be designed by acclaimed Toronto firm, Hariri Pontarini Architects and award-winning landscape architect Claude Cormier, and cover the area from Philosophers Walk east along Bloor Street West and around the corner of Queens Park. The proposed design will enhance the area with biodiversity gardens, community gathering areas and a performance space. Preliminary work on the new lobby experience to welcome and guide visitors through the ROM will begin shortly.
The four Centennial legacy projects announced today include plans to deliver the future Gallery of Early Life which will change the way visitors learn about the most ancient living things, a Directors Fund for investment in Museum innovations such as digitizing the ROMs collections for greater access, and a Programming Fund that will be used to animate the Museums eight Centres of Discovery. Janet Carding, Director and CEO of the ROM and Dianne Lister, President and CEO of the ROM Governors were joined at todays celebrations by The Honourable David Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, The Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Bonnie Brooks, Chair of the ROM Board of Trustees and Victor Dodig, Senior Executive Vice President of CIBC along with Museum donors, patrons and members.
For one hundred years the ROM has connected visitors to their world and each other, said Janet Carding. Inspiring curiosity, sharing discoveries, leading ground-breaking research and connecting communities has always been our goal. And, its as true today as it was when we opened in 1914. Whats exciting is that alongside our galleries we now share research and collections with mobile technology, digital animation, interactivity and more. Our Centennial legacy projects will create a dynamic museum for the future, revitalized green public space in the centre of Toronto and foster a greater sense of community around the ROM.
The ROMs year-long Centennial celebrations start today and this Spring include a spectacular look at Chinas Forbidden City, a new Michael Awad show The Entire City Project that captures every corner of the ROM in his distinct style, a look at art nouveau in the Around 1914 exhibition and ROM Revealed Weekend, a unique opportunity for the public to go behind the scenes at the Museum on May 3 and 4. The ROM has partnered with CIBC as its Centennial partner supporting its year-long programming.
For over a century, CIBC has been committed to the ROMs growth both as an important part of the community and as a client, says Victor Dodig, Senior Executive Vice-President, CIBC. Were proud to be the ROMs Centennial Partner and support its vision of building and enriching our communities, connecting people to their world and to each other.
The ROMs Centennial Projects will be supported by the new Love the ROM philanthropic campaign announced today by Dianne Lister along with lead donors Helga Schmidt and Hatch, a multidisciplinary professional services firm. Love the ROM is a $15M campaign created to celebrate the Museums Centennial and create lasting legacies for the next generation. The four campaign priorities are:
The Welcome Project which will enhance the ROMs interior lobby and create a new performance space to function as the ROMs first outdoor gallery;
A Gallery of Early Life for the 21st century;
A Programming Fund to animate the ROMs Centres of Discovery with more programming and events; and
A Directors Fund to enhance the ROM for future generations
Donors to the Love the ROM Campaign will play a personal role in shaping the future cultural landscape of Toronto and become partners in one of the most significant milestone projects in the ROMs history. We are creating the next century together with support from generous philanthropic leaders and the community, said Dianne Lister, President and CEO of the ROM Governors.
Philanthropy has been a cornerstone of the ROM since it first opened its doors to the public in 1914. As the ROM enters its next century, the strong tradition of philanthropic support for the Museum continues with a leadership gift of $3M from Helga and Mike Schmidt in support of the ROMs future outdoor performance space. My late husband would have been so proud to have witnessed our part in the transformation and beautification of this wonderful Museum, said Helga Schmidt. A lover of operetta and live performance, Helga is a benefactor of many cultural institutions in Europe and has been vital in galvanizing support for the Love the ROM campaign.
Hatch has also generously contributed a leadership gift in support of the Directors Fund, a Managing Director of ROM Earth & Space, a university graduate and post doctorate fund, and the acquisition of the Kirwin Collection, a celebrated collection of 22,000 ores and minerals. Hatch is proud to invest in the future of education and learning initiatives at the ROM, says John Bianchini, CEO and President of Hatch, and member of the ROM Board of Governors. Hatchs commitment to innovation and excellence begins with inspiring early learning in educational institutions such as the ROM.
The City of Toronto marked the ROMs birthday by declaring March 19, 2014 Royal Ontario Museum Centennial Day and the CN Tower will light-up this evening in the ROMs signature royal purple.