Thursday 20 October 2011

Re 40th party

With 11 days to go to the Toronto Sun's 40th anniversary, Quebecor's unconscionable cheapness could lead to segmented celebrations.

On the 20th anniversary in 1991, the lavish SkyDome party was free to all current and former Toronto Sun employees, a red carpet thank you from Doug, Peter and Don for a job well done.

News yesterday of an independent Nov. 1 party organized by former employees, involving $40 admission, cash bar and a sit-down dinner at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, had instant critics. 

Sound too elitist, just for the suits and not the laid back party people who contributed to the Toronto Sun's success as employees in the newsroom, composing, the press room, loading docks, circulation etc.? 

Says one Sun vet: "$40 a ticket, plus a cash bar in a hotel banquet room. On the other hand, we could just take over Betty's."

"Pretty sad when you have to pay for an anniversary party and a cash bar?," says a former staffer. "Probably PKP will be at the door collecting the money."

Another former employee says:"Why should I pay $40 x2 with my wife, parking or a taxi and a cash bar to boot? 

"Also, I know it has been 2 1/2 years since our ad production department was shut down . . . still have a bad taste and would not feel comfortable socializing with people that had a hand in me being terminated after 35 years of service.

"Yes management or Quebecor should be ashamed of themselves." 

Here's a TSF thought: Have the Toronto Sun contingent at the Nov. 4 Newzapalooza VII rock band competition at the Opera House wave 40th banners and invite the non-Westin crowd to party belatedly.

United in 1991, divided in 2011 - the difference between honourable give-and-take newspaper people and shameful take-and-take corporate greed and indifference.

The 40th is a Toronto Sun milestone, a milestone that could be the last for some of the pioneers. It is a shame corporate financing isn't available to throw a free party that all could enjoy.

Westin, or Betty's? What is your comfort zone for party wear and costs?

Have your say here
or post a comment.

Meanwhile, Bev Bester tells TSF the idea for an independent 40th anniversary reunion at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel was spawned at Andy Donato's recent art show opening. 

"A bunch of Toronto Sun Alumni thought we should organize a reunion and the 40th Anniversary is a great reason to get together," says Bev, now working at Postmedia.

Tom MacMillan will be Master of Ceremonies and is organizing the event. We have no plans to display books, photo's etc."

Bev says they have no idea how many will be attending, but "you must RSVP (by Oct. 26) as we need to give the restaurant a head count to order the food."

She says you can wear what you want, "however this is being held on a week night so most people will be in business attire and it is a classy restaurant so most people will make the effort to wear something classy."


  1. I will attend. The idea of seeing all the old faces and our past would be nice one more time.

  2. Keep in mind that this will be the last such anniversary party. After this, existing staffers won't care, ex-staffers will have long since moved on, and future staffers will have no knowledge of, and no connection to, Sun history. Quebecor will never do anything to revive it. It's proven time and again that it doesn't care for its employees or its readers.

    The 50th anniversary will just be another date on the calendar assuming the Toronto Sun newspaper still exists then.

    This is it folks. Last one to leave turn off the lights.

  3. The past is what it is and so is the future but it will be great to celebrate one more time even if it cost me to see all the great people who had created this fabulous tabloid called The Toronto Sun for one more time.

    Randy Miller