Media Releases

McLuhan 100: Toronto Celebrates 100 Years of Marshall McLuhan

January 20, 2011

TORONTO, ON — At the invi­ta­tion of Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Pres­i­dent David Nay­lor, a select group of artists, tech­nol­o­gy inno­va­tors and aca­d­e­mics were treat­ed to a pre­view of plans for the McLuhan 100 at gra­no Restau­rant on Thurs­day, Jan­u­ary 20.

This year marks the cen­te­nary of Mar­shall McLuhan’s birth on July 21, 1911. World­wide, a tremen­dous range of activ­i­ties are being planned to cel­e­brate and hon­our the man and his ideas.

With Toron­to under the focus of inter­na­tion­al gaze, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s McLuhan Pro­gram in Cul­ture & Tech­nol­o­gy, part of the Fac­ul­ty of Infor­ma­tion, along with the City of Toronto’s Eco­nom­ic Devel­op­ment & Cul­ture Divi­sion, and Mozil­la, have joined forces to cel­e­brate McLuhan, his the­o­ries and his role in the emer­gence of our great inter­na­tion­al metrop­o­lis.

McLuhan, who died on Decem­ber 31, 1980, was a Cana­di­an edu­ca­tor, philoso­pher, and schol­ar who worked at the inter­sec­tion of cul­ture and technology—the very foun­da­tion of Toronto’s mush­room­ing pow­er in dig­i­tal media. He did so in ways that only lat­er became main­stream.

Com­mit­tee Co-Chairs Paul Hof­fert, Dominique Schef­fel-Dunand, Mark Sur­man, and B.W. Powe, unveiled the logo and revealed high­lights from a pro­gram of activ­i­ty designed to make Toronto’s role in this anniver­sary year as potent and progressive—and as con­se­quen­tial for the city long-term—as the sem­i­nal work that McLuhan con­duct­ed more than 30 years ago in his mod­est Queen’s Park build­ing known as The Coach House, where he spent much of his 30 plus year career at U of T.

The McLuhan Pro­gram in Cul­ture & Tech­nol­o­gy has been a dis­tinct research and teach­ing unit with­in U of T’s Fac­ul­ty of Infor­ma­tion since 1994. Accord­ing to its Direc­tor Schef­fel-Dunand, “The Committee’s goal is to show­case and exploit the inno­v­a­tive pow­ers of Toronto’s cul­tur­al and dig­i­tal sec­tors to deliv­er both a year of activ­i­ties and an ongo­ing McLuhan lega­cy that, in form as well as con­tent, exem­pli­fies the edgy, endur­ing, and ulti­mate­ly world-defin­ing spir­it of McLuhan him­self.”

Dr. Sea­mus Ross, Dean of the Fac­ul­ty of Infor­ma­tion, says it is delight­ed to be coor­di­nat­ing the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s con­tri­bu­tion “to the cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tion of this world-renowned intel­lec­tu­al. We are thrilled that the City, Toronto’s uni­ver­si­ties, pri­vate sec­tor firms, and oth­er part­ners are work­ing through the McLuhan100 com­mit­tee to deliv­er such an excit­ing array of engag­ing and lega­cy-mak­ing activ­i­ties.”

McLuhan 100 Co-Chair and Mozil­la Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Mark Sur­man, called McLuhan “a prophet of the infor­ma­tion age” and chal­lenged oth­er Toron­to tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies to match Mozil­la’s $10,000 spon­sor­ship.

The McLuhan 100 web­site with full details will launch in Feb­ru­ary. A high res­o­lu­tion copy of the logo is avail­able for down­load (link takes you to web­site where you can scroll to bot­tom of page for copy of logo).

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For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Dominique Schef­fel-Dunand
Direc­tor, McLuhan Pro­gram in Cul­ture and Tech­nol­o­gy
Coach House Insti­tute
Fac­ul­ty of Infor­ma­tion
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to

Lilie Zen­del
Senior Cul­tur­al Affairs Offi­cer
City of Toron­to