My City's Still Breathing

Skywalks and Suburbia

Like many cities, the heart of the downtown of Winnipeg needs revitalization and re-imagining. This process requires new thinking, public and private investment, strategic planning and development. Key concerns are improved access and establishing strong links to the surrounding community. Skywalks disrupt these initiatives by closing off spaces and draining the street-level pedestrian experience. Suburbs have the same effect on downtown core by physically removing the citizens and also eliminating the convenient and happenstance engagement with commerce and cultural initiatives. However, the commuter experience that is embedded in skywalks and suburbia holds its own particular character, one that is challenging, changing, being reconsidered and has become the inspiration for making art.

Donald Clinton
Donald Clinton

Donald Clinton presents at My City's Still Breathing

Photo by Leif Norman

Donald Clinton Heart Surgery for Cincinnati
New York, NY
AIA, MRAIC; Partner, Cooper, Robertson & Partners - Architecture, Urban Design Biography

Donald Clinton

Donald Clinton, AIA, MRAIC, LEED AP, is a partner at Cooper, Robertson & Partners, a New York architectural and urban design firm. He led the firm’s work on the redesign of Fountain Square in Cincinnati. the Lincoln Center Master Plan, the Sony Imageworks headquarters in Los Angeles,  and master plans for the medical centers at Duke and Columbia Universities. Before joining CRP, Mr. Clinton worked in Toronto, London, and Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and a member of the Architectural League of New York, the Society for College and University Planning and the Regional Planning Association.

Heart Surgery for Cincinnati

Fountain Square has been the defining public space in downtown Cincinnati for over 100 years. A post-war plan with elevated skyways and poor planning hampered the Square’s place-making potential. The recently completed redesign of the Square has been a remarkable catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Cincinnati.


17.1 mB



Jon Paul Fiorentino
Jon Paul Fiorentino

Jon Paul Fiorentino presents at My City's Still Breathing

Photo by Leif Norman

Jon Paul Fiorentino Poet
Montreal, Canada

Jon Paul Fiorentino

Jon Paul Fiorentino is a writer and editor. His first novel is Stripmalling (ECW, 2009) which was shortlisted for the 2009 Hugh MacLennan Award for Fiction. His most recent book of poetry is Indexical Elegies (Coach House Books, 2010).  He is the author of the poetry books The Theory of the Loser Class (Coach House Books, 2006) which was shortlisted for the 2006 A.M. Klein Award for Poetry and Hello Serotonin (Coach House Books, 2004) and the humour book Asthmatica (Insomniac Press, 2005). His most recent editorial projects are the anthologies Career Suicide! Contemporary Literary Humour (DC Books, 2003) and Post-Prairie – a collaborative effort with Robert Kroetsch, (Talonbooks, 2005). He lives in Montreal where he is the Editor of Matrix magazine and Snare Books.


Don’t read me wrong —
I plan on dying in Winnipeg

In a strange way I
posit Winnipeg is where everything always dies:

Grandfathers, clock radios, Chevrolets
faith, journalists, fine-tip pens

Earle Nelson, hockey dads
your best friend from the old street…

I will let the rush-hour dust or the blowing
snow or the dance-hall fumes fill my lungs

I will simply wait, let my side-splitting body
fail under the flattering lights in the hallway

Of the underfunded Concordia Hospital
and don’t dream of visiting

But listen, there’s a show tonight
at the legion hall

And I have half a liver left and
a hatchback with a quarter tank

I’m not hard to be had

- Jon Paul Fiorentino, Indexical Elegies, Coach House Press, 2010

10.5 mB



Janine Marchessault
Janine Marchessault

Janine Marchessault presents at My City's Still Breathing

Photo by Leif Norman

Janine Marchessault Canada Research Chair in Art, Digital Media and Globalization at York University
Toronto, Canada
Mourning Suburbs: Art and Development Biography

Janine Marchessault

Janine Marchessault is a Canada Research Chair in Art, Digital Media and Globalization at York University. She is the author of Marshall McLuhan: Cosmic Media (Sage 2005) and is the (co)editor of several collections including Mirror Machine: Video and Identity (YYZ Books+CRCCI 1994); Gendering the Nation: Canadian Women’s Cinema (University of Toronto Press 1999); Wild Science: Reading Feminism, Medicine and the Media (Routledge 2000) and Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema (University of Toronto Press 2007). She is a founder of the Future Cinema Lab which is devoted to “new stories for new screens”; and she is the Director of the which is examining artists’ cultures in the context of globalization. She is a founding member of Public Access, a curatorial collective that seeks to experiment with the public places available for the display and experience of art works.

Mourning Suburbs: Art and Development

This talk will discuss The Leona Drive Project (2009)—a site specific exhibition and history project that took place in six 1940s bungalows slated for demolition in a North Toronto suburb. In much of the literature on the culture of cities, North American suburban spaces are generally left out of any discussion of urban culture. The popular cinema has done its part in reinforcing this absence, picturing suburbs as uniform and homogenous white enclaves, or/and surreal settings for horror films. The utopian and dystopian articulations of the suburb in post-war media culture have produced powerful cultural imaginaries that have conflated ‘Suburbia’ with generic corollaries like industrial parks, gated communities, shopping malls, car culture, sprawl and so on. Suburbs and urban sprawl are often used as a shorthand for the erosion of public urban culture and the civitas enabled by face to face encounters in the core city. The future of suburbs and the cultures that grow out of them will be addressed through a number of recent artists’ projects that have sought not only the demystification of suburbs but the re-imagining of public encounters.

Find out more about this project and the artists at


22.2 mB