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Saturday, August 30, 2014

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Koffler Centre to open new downtown home

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The Koffler Centre of the Arts will soon open its new downtown headquarters at Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw St., just north of Queen Street. The 4,600-square-foot space will be the new home of the Koffler’s administrative offices and the Koffler Gallery.

Koffler’s offices and gallery have endured a nomadic existence for nearly five years since they vacated the old Bathurst Jewish Community Centre (BJCC), which was demolished about 2009. Koffler’s off-site exhibitions have been shown in parking lots, bargain emporiums, abandoned houses, ferry docks, city sidewalks, hotels, clothing stores, synagogues and other locations.

The original plan was for the BJCC to be rebuilt on the same site within a short time, but the project has been delayed for the foreseeable future. “We’ve decided that it was to our advantage to have a permanent home, and that’s why we moved downtown,” said Tony Hewer, Koffler’s head of communications and marketing. (The Koffler Centre’s classes, however, still continue at the Prosserman JCC on Bathurst Street north of Sheppard Avenue.)

The Koffler Gallery will open its new space with the exhibition We’re In The Library, featuring new works by seven Toronto artists about the history and context of the new space, which was formerly the library of the Shaw Street Public School. Artscape Youngplace and the new exhibition open with a public reception, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 5 to 9 p.m. www.kofflerarts.org

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Royal Conservatory Highlights: Menahem Pressler, pianist and founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, celebrates his 90th birthday with a performance. Pressler is joined by the New Orford String Quartet in a program of Beethoven, Brahms and Murray Schafer (in celebration of the composer’s 80th birthday). The Royal Conservatory concert takes place at Koerner Hall, Sunday, Nov. 24, 3 p.m. $35 to $75. Also, Israeli conductor Lior Shambadal leads the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in a program of Beethoven and Hindemith, Koerner Hall, Nov. 22, 8 p.m. $25 to $55. www.performance.rcmusic.ca, 416-408-0208.

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Names in the News: Brother-and-sister writing team Jesse and Samantha Herman, who are both lawyers, drafted a screenplay that they then produced into the short film Let’s Rap. The 15-minute comedy follows a pair of hapless siblings who realize their only marketable skill is a gift for pop culture-infused banter, and embark on a quest to get their own talk show. The film, which stars Rachel Wilson and Jefferson Brown, was shown earlier this month at Innis Town Hall in Toronto. It was produced by Landed Entertainments, a 10-year-old Toronto-based film production company that is currently attempting to place Let’s Rap in film festivals.

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Arts in Brief

• Critic Kevin Courrier continues his series of talks with film clips on “The Enigmatic Genius of Robert Altman.” Miles Nadal JCC, Mondays 7 to 9 p.m. On Oct. 28, the topic is “The Western – McCabe and Mrs. Miller.” Drop-in $11.25, students and Toronto Jewish Film Society subscribers $6. 416-924-6211, ext. 606.

• The launch of David Goldstein’s new poetry collection Laws of Rest takes place at the Miles Nadal JCC, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 7:30 to 9 p.m. Free admission.

• Art Appreciation – Power and Symbolism in the Art of Georgia O’Keeffe and Matisse. Miles Nadal JCC, Tuesdays, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, 1:30 p.m. Series $20, $12 drop-in. Register at 416-924-6211, ext. 0.

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At the Galleries

The Posthumous Landscape – Jewish Sites of Memory in Poland Today is an exhibition of photographs by Toronto-based David Kaufman, of synagogues, former Jewish neighbourhoods, ghettos, cemeteries and other sites. “Rejecting a narrow view of post-Holocaust Poland, his work reveals the striking complexity of a place slowly embracing its Jewish past and present.” Guest curated by Evelyn Tauben, at the Beth Tzedec Reuben & Helene Dennis Museum, 1700 Bathurst St., Oct. 29 to Feb. 2, 2014. Opening reception, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 7 to 9 p.m.

• Rhythm Distributed, an exhibition of works by Bernice Eisenstein, is on view at the Miles Nadal JCC Gallery, Oct. 29 to Nov. 18.

• Working in bronze, Greek-Orthodox sculptor Anastasia Sarioglu has created life-sized figures that depict the life of the Jews in the Diaspora and during the Nazi persecution. Her exhibition, Sculptures of the Holocaust, features 23 pieces and is dedicated to the 75th remembrance of Kristallnacht. Co-sponsored by the Chenstochover Aid Society as part of Holocaust Education Week, the exhibition opens at Beth Torah Congregation, 47 Glenbrook Ave., on Nov. 7, 7 p.m. with the artist in attendance. Public viewing hours begin Nov. 3. School and group tours by appointment. 416-782-4495, ext. 27 or rsvp@bethtorah.ca

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Out of Town: Winnipeg’s Rady JCC presents the fourth annual Tarbut Festival of Jewish Culture, Nov. 16 to 24. The lineup includes a tribute concert to Barbra Streisand (Nov. 16), a screening of the Israeli spaghetti western The Ballad of the Weeping Spring (Nov. 17), a performance by Israeli jazz artists the Omer Avital Quintet (Nov. 19), a conversation with The Imposter Bride author Nancy Richler (Nov. 21) and more. Details at www.radyjcc.com.

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