Left to right: Polkaroo, TVOntario chair Peter O’Brian, TVOntario CEO Lisa de Wilde, honoree William Davis, Premier Dalton McGuinty, Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne, emcee Steve Paikin
During a decade-long stint as Ontario’s Minister of Education (1962–71), William Davis led an extensive revamp of the province’s learning institutions that included extensive funding, the establishment of a community college system, and restructuring of school boards. One of his major legacies was the establishment of TVOntario, who honoured the former premier by naming its new digital production facility after him in a ceremony last night at the station’s Yonge and Eglinton studios.
Guests were given a tour of the upgraded high-definition television production facilities. The redesigned control rooms allow for greater flexibility in monitoring the action in the production studios, and are equipped to handle interactive elements with the public, such as web chats, Skype, and streaming video. Current Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne noted that “this is much more than an equipment upgrade that has happened. It’s really a transformation from a pure TV station to a unique, multi-platform educational content for Ontarians.” Exhibits included face-painting for children, a chance to pose with Gisèle and the Polkaroo, and displays of the station’s online content, including educational games from TVO Kids and the web-based Your Voice program for parents.
Davis adopted a light-hearted tone during his speech, occasionally delivering celebrity roast-style remarks towards other dignitaries. He thanked those who had been instrumental in the establishment of the station and told Premier Dalton McGuinty, “Don’t you ever think of selling it!” A plaque recognizing Davis as the founder of the station was unveiled.
After the photo-op, Polkaroo offered McGuinty three words of advice on how to handle the province’s economic woes: “Polkaroo, polkaroo, polkaroo!”
Photos by Jamie Bradburn