When ZoomerMedia founder Moses Znaimer cut the ribbon at the official reopening of the MZTV Museum of Television and Archive on May 22, the action was the latest in a career dedicated to bringing television into the lives of the public, and the public into the world of TV.
The ceremony, marked by mingled excitement and nostalgia, was an opportunity to marvel at what television has meant to us culturally, historically, and what it will inevitably come to mean to us in the future. Housing over 10,000 objects charting the early history of the televised age, from its beginnings in the early 20th century, the museum is now open in its brand new locale to guests by appointment only from Noon to 4pm Tuesdays through Fridays. Admission is $10 per adult with a students and seniors rate of $5 and a family rate of $20. Call 416-599-7339 or email [email protected] to make a reservation.
The reopening came just in time for the start of Doors Open Toronto, on May 24 and 25. As part of the annual program’s goal to give visitors an all access look inside the city’s significant sites, Znaimer and VisionTV invite the public to explore the museum, see inside the adjacent Zoomerplex, and take in screenings of The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, the moving story of Alice Herz-Sommer, the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor and pianist. As part of the celebration of Jewish Music Week in Toronto, ZoomerMedia is proud to present two special showings of this Academy Award winning 2013 documentary at 11am and 1pm on Sunday, May 25 inside the Zoomerplex located at 64 Jefferson Avenue in the heart of Toronto’s vibrant and exciting Liberty Village.
With the doors to the museum open, history buffs and casual fans of the medium will be able to take in Aspects of the Global Village: The Television Era in Canada, 1950-2000, a major exhibition presented by Cinémathèque québécoise. A compelling look back on the evolution of an instrument that has in many ways defined the modern age, and a study in the ubiquity of an appliance that is at once a vehicle for (and in some cases, an example of) moving art, the exhibit is as thought-provoking as it is aesthetically engaging.
Although the collection highlights the physical presence and rapid development of the television across six decades, the real marvel is not only in the admittedly fine designs on display, but in the reminder of the impact of shifts in production methods that occurred over that period. Pioneering technology in the creation of television’s content, as well as its presentation, democratized the medium in a way that few might have predicted in its early days (and many would likely have feared).
In its retrospection to those early days of television, the exhibition inherently asks us to also look forward, and recognize that just like its initial creators and consumers, the only thing we can be certain of today is the change the medium is sure to undergo. Whether you’re looking to relive TV’s vibrant, formative years, or eager to take a glimpse into its past for the first time, the MZTV Museum is perhaps the richest place to start – one that, as Znaimer wrote, “reflects the appreciation that television is at once an Object, and a Miracle Relationship, one that has for too long been taken for granted.”