New moniker won’t fix Civic Theatres Toronto’s problem

“It’s a new era for Civic Theatres Toronto and it’s time for a name that captures the excitement and scope of what we will be offering in our future programming,”

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Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, seen in 2010, is a 3,191-seat behemoth of a theatre that has lacked a defining purpose since the National Ballet and the Canadian Opera Company decamped for their own home in 2006. - PHOTO BY SARAH DEA/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Help me if you can, dear readers: What’s the collective noun for white elephants?

boondoggle? A deficit? A delusion of white elephants?

I ask because, on Monday, Civic Theatres Toronto announced a “national public naming competition” − with a “great prize package valued at up to $2,500.00” awarded to whoever comes up with a better name than Civic Theatres Toronto for Civic Theatres Toronto.

CTT, for short (for now), is the bland bureaucratic name given to a trio of oversized, underused city-owned theatrical complexes − the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts; the Toronto Centre for the Arts; and the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts − when city council voted to merge their operations back in 2015.

Clyde Wagner, the former Luminato Festival producer appointed to the position of president and chief executive of the CTT in January of 2017, is now looking to Canadians from Victoria to St. John’s to help come up with a spicier moniker.

“It’s a new era for Civic Theatres Toronto and it’s time for a name that captures the excitement and scope of what we will be offering in our future programming,” Mr. Wagner says in a news release.

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