Entertainment Massey Hall reopens after massive modernization that preserves iconic music venue's magic
7 key questions with 100 days to go until the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics
The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing are now just 100 days away. Here's a look at some of the key questions and issues to monitor ahead of the Games.And these Games, like the Summer Olympics in Tokyo before them, promise to be memorable.
Jim Cuddy couldn't hide his enthusiasm when he got his first look at the newly renovated Massey Hall this week.
"It's so amazing. It's beautiful," he said as he walked out on stage.
The songwriter, singer and guitarist for Blue Rodeo was on a private tour of the iconic Toronto music venue with Massey Hall CEO Jesse Kumagai and the CBC's Eli Glasner. It was three days away from the Nov. 25 reopening, and construction workers and sound engineers were still installing seats and setting up equipment to get the hall ready for the first audience since it closed for renovations in June 2018.
OverActive Media plans for lakefront entertainment venue take a step forward
TORONTO — OverActive Media has moved a step closer to getting its plan for a new entertainment venue at Toronto's Exhibition Place off the ground. The esports and entertainment company got the green light from the Exhibition Place board of governors on Friday, with approval for the plan and lease. The project will now go to Toronto City Council for final approval. "We are hoping it will be this year," Chris Overholt, president and CEO of Overactive Media said of that hurdle. When the Library Collection of Hotels received permission to build the Hotel X at Exhibition Place, it also got the green light for a subsequent development/hotel complex there.
"I can't wait to play here," said Cuddy, whose band has performed at the legendary hall dozens of times. "I can't wait to see somebody here. It feels like it got an incredible shine, but it doesn't feel that different."
From the stage, the feel may be familiar to Cuddy — but much has changed.
The brand new floor seats are now retractable, allowing for general admission at some shows. Stained glass windows that had been covered up with plywood since the early 1900s have been carefully restored. And the plaster ceiling, once covered in dusty chicken wire to protect audiences from falling debris, has been precisely repaired.
The stage has also been completely rebuilt and the entire ground level has been raised, bringing the stage closer to the balcony and gallery seats. All this had to be done without affecting what many refer to as the magic of Massey Hall.
Christmas en Massey: Andy Kim books yearly star-studded fundraiser at Toronto venue
TORONTO — Andy Kim will be decking Massey Hall with familiar Canadian musicians next month as he plans the in-person return of his annual Christmas charity concert. The “Rock Me Gently” singer has marked Dec. 8 at the historic Toronto music venue for his 17th annual fundraiser event, which will feature no fewer than 16 mostly homegrown acts, including Billy Talent, the Sheepdogs, Rush’s Alex Lifeson and Jully Black. All proceeds from the tickets will go towards CAMH Gifts of Light, supporting patients at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
"We wanted to make sure we weren't doing anything that was going to change that for the audience," Kumagai said.
The goal of restoring a 127-year-old building, preserving its character while also updating it to suit today's needs, was a monumental task — one that was not only done under the scrutiny of heritage departments and building inspectors, but also many of Canada's top musicians and music historians.
Industrialist Hart Massey commissioned the hall in 1894, as a gift to the city of Toronto. The world-famous building is steeped in history and lore.
It was constructed primarily for musical performances and has held some great and varied ones, from Enrico Caruso to AC/DC to Tanya Tagaq.
It's also known for historically significant live recordings, including The Greatest Jazz Concert Ever, Neil Young: Live at Massey Hall and Rush's All the World's a Stage.
It was home to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for 60 years. Massey Hall also hosted political rallies, and even sporting events such as wrestling and boxing.
Tamron Hall Shares Why She Named Her Son Moses — and Not Bob: 'Could Not Imagine Any Other Name'
Tamron Hall reveals on PEOPLE's Me Becoming Mom podcast that she and husband Steven Greener thought about naming their son after Bob Marley On a new episode of PEOPLE's new podcast Me Becoming Mom, the author and television host, 51, explains how she and husband Steven Greener came to name their now 2-year-old son Moses and shares one of the other monikers they previously considered. Asked if she had her son's name picked out early in the pregnancy, Hall says, "I had. And I did send my husband back home to retrieve a custom hat that I had made from the hat shop where I get all of my hats.
There were periods when the hall was seen as outdated and narrowly escaped the chopping block.
However, Massey Hall was designated a National historic site in 1981, protecting its legacy.
The revitalization project's chief architect Marianne McKenna was keen to build on all this history.
"We began with clear instructions from the musicians who love this place: Fix everything. Change nothing," said McKenna.
"That quickly went by the wayside. We had to improve everything about the place."
Anyone who has ever been to Massey Hall knows that one of the worst parts of the experience was the limited number of bathrooms and their location in the basement. This was remedied by building a tower on the back of the original structure, made accessible by outdoor hallways known as passurels that now jutt from the side of the building.
Chris Daughtry and Wife Deanna Daughtry's Family Album: Photos
Chris Daughtry’s darlings! The American Idol alum isn’t just a talented singer but a doting dad as well. When the North Carolina native married Deanna Daughtry (née Gotreau) in 2000, the Tennessee native already had two children from a previous relationship — daughter Hannah, born in September 1996, and son Griffin, born in June 1998. The Daughtry frontman and Deanna went on to welcome twins Adalynn and Noah via surrogate in November 2010. The Grammy nominee announced that they were expecting a son and daughter in a blog post four months prior, writing, “Big news — Deanna and I are havin’ a boy and a girl. We’re very excited about that. We do have names picked out but we’re going to keep them to ourselves until further notice. … Deanna and I are overjoyed about this double blessing.” In a May 2010 statement on their website, the couple noted that Deanna’s “partial hysterectomy in 2006” led to their IVF and surrogacy journey. The “It’s Not Over” singer gushed to Rolling Stone about the little ones in November 2013, saying that he was “always going to fight for them … and pick them up when they fall down.” Chris added, “I think every dad probably feels this way about their kids: No matter how old they get or how young they are.” Eight years later, Deanna’s eldest daughter was tragically found dead in her Nashville home. “My first born. I love you endlessly Hannah,” the massage therapist wrote via Instagram in November 2021.
"It was something that was floated in the '60s," McKenna said. "I don't know where they thought they were going then because there was nowhere to go."
Now with the seven-storey tower attached to the South side of the building, the passurels lead to brand new bathrooms, a (nearly finished) bar, and elevators that make the hall accessible to many who were never previously able to sit in the balcony or gallery levels.
The tower also contains another yet-to-be-completed performance venue, rehearsal spaces and the Deane Cameron Recording Studio named after the previous Massey Hall CEO, who passed away suddenly in 2019.
The bar in the basement of the original structure has been completely refurbished, and will soon also be used as a small performance space.
The ongoing revitalization project has a price tag of $184 million. It is being funded by all three levels of government, as well as corporate and private donors.
When asked what the biggest personal challenge of Massey Hall's revitalization project was, McKenna essentially said all of it.
"I'm a contemporary architect," said McKenna. "You know, we do things in very contemporary ways, but to acknowledge and respect the history, to try not to change it but to augment the feeling of being here. To make it better. It's a big challenge for an architect."
Massey Hall will open its doors to the public on Thursday, Nov. 25, with veteran performer Gordon Lightfoot hitting the stage. Lightfoot has played the venue more than 165 times.
Over the coming months it will be up to audience members and musicians to decide whether the crew at Massey has achieved its goals. But for Cuddy, the verdict is already in.
"I was prepared to accept it as something new, and just bundle my memories of what it was," he said. "But I think this marries beautifully with what I loved about it."
Watch full episodes of The National on, the CBC's streaming service.
How Entertainment Law Firm Boyarski Fritz Rode Music’s Tech Boom To Success .
Founders Jason Boyarski and David Fritz talk about their first decade in business — and steering deals for the Prince estate, Joan Jett and Marc Anthony.Boyarski, who had worked at Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) and Warner Chappell Music, and Fritz, a veteran of entertainment law firm Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks, as well as Charles Koppelman’s CAK Entertainment, joined what the former describes as “a lot of really smart, entrepreneurial people inside of the record and publishing companies and at outside law firms trying to figure out [the future], searching for the right solution.