Honouring a Beloved Local Theatre Writer at the Dora Awards

"I doubt there's a person here whose life wasn't changed by Jon Kaplan."


Now Magazine’s Glenn Sumi walked on stage with Jon Kaplan’s husband of 44 years, Don Cole, to co-present the audience choice award, newly christened Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award. Photo by Aislinn Rose.

The 38th annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards on Monday night began with a projected image of an empty audience chair on the stage, with a sign affixed: “reserved for Jon Kaplan.” (The simple memorial sign has been appearing in most Toronto theatres since the beloved local theatre writer’s cancer-related death in April.) Nora McLellan was the first to mention Kaplan on stage, accepting her award for Outstanding Performance (Female) in the Independent Theatre Division for her turn as a blind storyteller in Company Theatre’s John: “I miss Jon so, so much.” Anita Majumdar, who won Outstanding New Play and individual performance in the young audiences division for her solo show Boys With Cars, soon followed, noting his review of her show was one of the last he wrote. And Come From Away‘s Astrid Van Wieren, who accepted the newly christened Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award on the hit show’s behalf, recalled: “I first felt I landed in this community after I met Jon.”

The sentiment that Toronto’s theatre industry is a community that Kaplan was a vital member of was echoed several more times, including by his friend and long-time NOW Magazine colleague Glenn Sumi, who co-presented the audience choice award with Kaplan’s husband of 44 years, Don Cole. “I doubt there’s a person here whose life wasn’t changed by Jon Kaplan,” Sumi said, reinforcing what so many artists had said. Sumi also spoke to Kaplan’s passion for seeing emerging work, above and beyond the requirements of his reviewing duties, recalling that Kaplan had often said to him, of their writing that exposed readers to diverse theatre artists, “What we do is so important.” Keep reading: Honouring a Beloved Local Theatre Writer at the Dora Awards



In Praise of Stockholm’s Stunning Transit System

Three key takeaways for Toronto after riding the metro in Sweden's capital city.


The cave-inspired Solna metro station in Stockholm is a favourite among the expansive network that has been regarded as the world’s longest art gallery with countless works throughout its 90 stations. Photo via Kochi Metro blog.

A recent trip to Stockholm introduced me to a pretty fantastic transit system. I’m not going to jump on the Swedes-do-everything-right bandwagon—partly because I stayed with Swedish friends, who burst that bubble on several issues, and partly because my train to the airport was so delayed, I almost missed my flight home. Nevertheless, there is no question that Stockholm has a transit network Toronto could learn from. Keep reading: In Praise of Stockholm’s Stunning Transit System



The Sun’s Sue-Ann and Scrawler Vs Toronto Pride

But the real question is why didn't the Dyke Marchers make the homophobic pastor feel more included and welcomed?

sue ann wounded

For someone who has so much hard-wired contempt for the city’s annual Pride Parade, Toronto Sun columnist Sue-Ann Levy certainly spent a lot of time thinking about it over the weekend, knocking out Hot Take after Hot Take, changing tactics every few hours, even if that meant taking positions that cancelled out the arguments she put forth in previous columns, hoping one of them would stick. Keep reading: The Sun’s Sue-Ann and Scrawler Vs Toronto Pride