All eyes will be on London, Ontario for the World Figure Skating Championships this March, and Canada’s London is looking for bloggers to share our city with the world. Four themes are up for grabs: alive with innovation, alive with culture, alive with flavour, and alive with movement.
As the editor of London’s The Beat – Arts in London magazine, and a long-time London gal, I’ve got my share of opinions on the local cultural scene.
First, let’s state the obvious – Canada’s London doesn’t have anything approaching the international stature of Royal Albert Hall, the Tate Modern, or Drury Lane, and you’ll only find opera at our Covent Garden Market during Festa Italiana.
We’re best known for our good schools, good hospitals, good parks, and short commutes. But Londoners willing to look beyond their comfortable suburban existence will tell you that this is also a town teeming with creativity, almost in spite of its official self.
Here’s the truth as I see it: London’s culture is hiding in plain sight, too often overlooked by visitors and under-appreciated by locals.
Our ‘creative class’ is scattered throughout the city’s neighbourhoods, its members more preoccupied with the work of art than with the art of self-promotion.
Shining some light on our local talent is one of the main reasons I jumped at the opportunity to become part of The Beat back in 2009. And we’re in no danger of running out of stories to tell!
Whoever is chosen as London’s official culture blogger will run into the inevitable challenge of presenting a balanced vision of what makes the London art scene tick. With only 18 posts, some difficult decisions will have to be made.
My advice would be to focus on the people – past and present – behind the exciting and innovative visual art, theatre, music, dance and words percolating just below London’s respectable veneer.
What people, places or projects would be on your must-cover cultural list?