Neighbourhood impacts

I was looking in the Canadian Opera Company’s latest publication, a shiny offering that arrived in the mail less than an hour ago, with the title “Audience Impact Report.”

Speaking of impacts the mailing included the obligatory return envelope & a request for a donation.

We’re considering it. No that’s not the royal ‘we’. One of us wants to help the COC more than the other. One of us needs deductions on her taxes more than the other. So we shall see.

It struck me as I was staring at the list of donors in the back of the book, that there are two primary pathways to impact a company such as the COC, and wow, my neighbourhood really impacted the arts.

#10 is where philanthropists Arthur & Susan Scace used to live, directly across from where I grew up. I saw with sadness that Arthur passed away just a little while ago, back in May of this year. He was always very kind when I saw him, across the street from us. Years later, I have seen his name mentioned in multiple places, as a donor to my alma mater University of Toronto Schools, the University of Toronto, as well as in support of companies such as the COC.

Arthur Scace, philanthropist, Rhodes Scholar & nice neighbour

Their next door neighbours @ # 8 have made their impacts another way. This is where Alex & David Fallis grew up.

Alex is a wonderful actor & director, and now a professor in Newfoundland.

Alex Fallis

David is a brilliant conductor, the Musical Director with Opera Atelier and prominent in several other organizations such as the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

I remember playing ball hockey with David & Alex. I recall David’s stirring eulogy for his father many years later at the same church where he could just as likely be seen & heard conducting the Toronto Consort. We rode the bus together en route to UTS when we were young.

On our side of the street (odd numbers directly across) I was a younger kid in the same house where COC baritone Peter Barcza (aka my brother) lived as a child.

We were next door to the house of Louise Morgan, the same Louise Morgan whose name is seen in several places around the Four Seasons Centre as a donor. I’d like to think Mrs Morgan (as we always called her) enjoyed hearing us, with me at the piano & Peter singing.

There were lots of other interesting people not far away in this part of town, such as Rod & Doug Beattie, or Dan Needles (of Wingfield fame), who if memory serves, rode the same Nortown westbound bus, getting off one stop before we did (at least when they were youngsters…). I wonder if the conversations that eventually came to fruition on CBC began on the bus.

Or Al Fleming, my favorite mathematics teacher and eventual UTS Principal, who would get off two stops before that (Roselawn I think).

Al Fleming

Small world.

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