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Toronto designated a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts

Crowds gather by the 3D Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square to mark
Canada Day and the 150th Anniversary, July 1, 2017.
Crowds gather by the 3D Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square to mark Canada Day and the 150th Anniversary, July 1, 2017. Roberto Machado Noa/REX/Shutterstock (8901092f)

Toronto has been named a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts for its “leadership in film, music, digital media and forms of cultural expression using technology.”

Around $2 billion was invested in Toronto’s film, television and digital production industries in 2016, while investment in the animation and visual effects sectors has increased by 363 per cent since 2014, the City of Toronto said in a press release.

Toronto becomes the 10th city to be named a UNESCO Media Arts City, joining the likes of Austin, Texas, Israel’s Tel-Aviv, Senegalese capital Dakar and the northern Japanese city of Sapporo.

READ MORE: Canada now has 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites

“This designation affirms that we are an international hub for innovation and inspiration,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said. “It affirms that Toronto’s creative communities enhance our quality of life and economic vitality.”

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Media arts is one of seven categories under the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, with the others including crafts and folk art, music, film, literature, design and gastronomy.

The 116 cities in the Creative Cities Network work together towards “placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and co-operating actively at the international level,” according to the initiative’s website.