The Sony Centre in Toronto has just been renamed after a credit union
Another iconic Toronto entertainment venue is changing its name to satisfy the requirements of a new "strategic partnership" with a major financial institution.
As of September 15, 2019, the The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts will officially be known as Meridian Hall.
Meridian, which is Ontario's largest credit union, has purchased the naming rights for both the Sony Centre in downtown Toronto and for North York's Toronto Centre for the Arts (soon to be the "Meridian Arts Centre").
Mayor Tory was on hand for changes in Toronto’s live theatre community. @MeridianCU is the new long term partner for #TOlive. The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts will become Meridian Hall. @CityNews pic.twitter.com/f2wpS1CH8g— Tony Fera (@tonyfera1) January 21, 2019
The deal includes not just naming rights, but fully integrated Meridian branding and content at both venues as well as their digital and promotional platforms.
"This has been a project long in the works and I believe it is the right and logical next step forward for our theatres," said Mayor John Tory in a press release issued Monday morning.
"This new partnership will help build our community and ensure our theatres are strong, vibrant, creative places in our city."
During a press conference at the Sony Centre on Monday morning, Tory also announced the creation of something called the TO Live Foundation, which will support cultural properties within the community.
The Sony Centre is set to become Meridian Centre, marking the venue's 187th name change since I was born. #Toronto— Dave™ (@d_phrase) January 21, 2019
This deal is one of "the largest agreements of its kind in the arts and culture community in Canada," according to Civic Theatres Toronto, and symbolizes "Meridian's ongoing commitment to supporting culturally rich and diverse communities."
Torontonians aren't Skydome or ACC bent about this one, though many are pointing out today how many names it seems like the iconic venue at 1 Front Street East has had since it was built in 1960.
What opened as the O'Keefe Centre became the Hummingbird Centre in 1996, only to become the Sony Centre in 2007. It will turn into Meridian Hall this September and, if all goes as planned, stay that way for at least 15 years.
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