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