The decision to not seek a new corporate sponsor for a storied Toronto stage, which will be named instead after the late impresario Ed Mirvish, was announced with an uncommon comment from his son.
"They were good partners and I would work with them again in a minute," said David Mirvish upon news that the Canon signage would be coming down. "But I never felt that sponsorship should drive a theatre. It should be the icing on the cake."
The position is an increasingly radical one, particularly in a town where expenditures for public libraries and other attractions are under unprecedented scrutiny, and the idea of selling names of subway stations has entered the realm of reality. Do dramatic arts benefit from being seen as more sacred?
For the renamed Ed Mirvish Theatre, the shows booked for the 2,200-seat palace depend on the optimum level of commercial marketing clout, primarily achieved through mounting productions of musical movies like the current Mary Poppins. So, a Japanese camera company is just one additional branding layer.