• Toronto, University of Toronto
  • April 20, 2010 - 18:30

Arts Journalism:
Staying Critical in the Digital Age
April 20, 2010, Toronto


Arts Journalism:

Staying Critical in the Digital Age


From the cultural giants of the past to the celebrity culture of today, how arts criticism and literary journalism have changed. Mainstream media cutbacks and the proliferation of blogging means everyone is a critic. Can the web save arts journalism? A CJF Forum moderated by Bronwyn Drainie, Editor of the Literary Review of Canada, and featuring Kamal Al-Solaylee, Assistant Professor at Ryerson and former theatre critic at the Globe and Mail, Seamus O'Regan, co-host of CTV's Canada AM and host of Arts & Minds and The O'Regan Files on Bravo!, and Globe and Mail columnist and feature writer Kate Taylor, currently on leave as the Atkinson Fellow for 2009-2010.

APRIL 9: A majority (53%) of Canadians say we should stop worrying about imposing Canadian Content rules, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF). The poll also found that four in ten (40%) Canadians would be swayed by a review that said a show or event was lousy or not worth going to see and would avoid it. The poll was commissioned by the CJF in conjunction with this event. An overview of the poll results is available at http://cjf-fjc.ca/ipsosreidartsjournalismpoll_factum.doc.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 20, Presentation 6:30 p.m., Reception 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave., Toronto


Kamal Al-SolayleeKamal Al-Solaylee is an assistant professor in the journalism school at Ryerson University. Previously, he was the national theatre critic at the Globe and Mail. He’s written extensively on film, TV and theatre for the Globe and covered American responses to the 2003 war in Iraq through assignments in Chicago and Detroit. Kamal has also worked as production editor of Report on Business magazine, was a theatre critic for Eye Weekly and freelanced as a feature writer for the National Post. Holding an English PhD from the University of Nottingham, Kamal has also taught Dramatic Literature in the Twentieth Century (1945-1999) and Theatre Criticism at the University of Waterloo as well as Criticism and Aesthetics at York University. He’s currently editing an anthology of plays from the Tarragon Theatre (Canadian Playwrights Press) and writing Intolerable, a family memoir, for HarperCollins Canada.

Seamus O'ReganSeamus O'Regan is the co-host of CTV’s Canada AM and host of Arts & Minds and The O’Regan Files on Bravo! He joined Canada AM as co-host in 2002. Throughout his career, Seamus has received numerous honours including Maclean's magazine’s 100 "Young Canadians to Watch" in the new century and Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 list. In May of 2008, Seamus traveled to Liberia as an Ambassador for the Spread the Net campaign, combating malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. In February 2009 Seamus went to Antarctica to study the effects of climate change with Students On Ice. Most recently he was an integral part of Olympic Morning’s broadcast team for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Seamus serves on the boards of the World Wildlife Fund-Canada, The Rooms - which houses the Provincial Art Gallery, Museum, Canada World Youth, and Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador - and The Company Theatre group in Toronto.

Kate TaylorKate Taylor is a columnist and feature writer in the Globe and Mail’s Review section, writing on cultural affairs. She was the Globe’s theatre critic from 1995 to 2003, winning two Nathan Cohen Awards and a National Newspaper Award nomination for her reviews. Her critically acclaimed 2003 novel Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen won the City of Toronto Book Award and was a regional winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize, taking the award for best first novel in Canada and the Caribbean. Last year she was awarded the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy and is currently on leave from the Globe, undertaking research about Canadian cultural sovereignty in the digital age. Her new novel, A Man in Uniform, will be published in August.


Bronwyn DrainieBronwyn Drainie is a journalist and broadcaster, and currently editor of the Literary Review of Canada. She has also been a columnist and book reviewer for the Globe and Mail, and was formerly a host of programming on CBC Radio including the flagship program Sunday Morning. She is the author of My Jerusalem: Secular Adventures In The Holy City, a personal account of her time spent in Jerusalem while her husband, Patrick Martin, was stationed there as the Globe and Mail’s first Middle East correspondent, as well as Living The Part: John Drainie And The Dilemma Of Canadian Stardom, a biography of her actor father John Drainie.