In news that will depress but not surprise sessional instructors everywhere, Centennial College has decided it will now be paying its part-time instructors by the hour, rather than by the day or week. And by “by the hour,” we mean “for only the hours they are actually on campus and standing in front of a class.” Anyone who has been a sessional or a student—or has a basic working knowledge of teaching—knows that before teachers teach something, they have to prepare material, and that once pupils have learned something, they are generally expected to demonstrate their knowledge of that something by completing assignments or sitting exams: the new system will not remunerate instructors for their hours (and hours) of prep work or their hours (times infinity) of marking.
Rick Miller and Carly Street star in Canadian Stage’s encore presentation of Venus in Fur at the Berkeley Street Theatre. Photo by David Hou.
Would you prefer to spend the holidays with the Sugar Plum Fairy or a flame-haired dominatrix in kinky boots? Whatever your tastes, naughty or nice, Toronto’s stages have something to make you merry this season. Family shows are ubiquitous, from old faves like A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker, to another of Ross Petty’s fractured fairy-tale musicals. If you prefer adults-only entertainment, there are wicked laughs to be had at the Second City, and BDSM hijinks to be seen at Canadian Stage—the latter courtesy of the company’s hit production of Venus in Fur. Here’s a guide to some festive fare in Toronto that’s as diverse as the city itself.
It’s possible that some lucky souls will find a Rob Ford bobblehead doll under their Christmas tree this year. Whether hoarded by Ford Nation loyalists or re-gifted as a joke, these novelty items join the long line of political memorabilia that’s been available to Torontonians over the years.
Had the Ford administration been in office during the heyday of the party press, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, newspapers backing Ford would have offered supporters many mementos. Portraits and busts allowed readers to make known their political allegiances, and at election time were akin to modern-day lawn signs.