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    Preserving Canadian Music Culture: The Case of the Silver Dollar Room and the Intangible Cultural Heritage Management of Urban Spaces of Culture



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        On January 13, 2015, one of Toronto, Canada’s, iconic live music venues, the Silver Dollar Room, officially received cultural heritage designation pursuant to the City of Toronto By-law 57-2015 under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act (“OHA”). What is significant about this designation, is that it was awarded, not on the basis of its physical or tangible heritage attributes but, instead, on the intangible cultural heritage value embodied within the space. Receiving cultural heritage designation is important for the future of the Silver Dollar Room as it has effectively led to the end of plans for its demolition and redevelopment that have been on the table since June 2013. By subjecting the redevelopment approval process to the greater scrutiny required due to cultural heritage designation, the interests of private developers have been better balanced with the artistic and cultural value of the Silver Dollar Room and the associated interests of the live music community culture linked to the space. This paper will examine these issues through the specific example of Toronto, but the implications of this study are applicable to the many rapidly developing cities around the world.

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