Michael Lee-Chin Crystal Opening Announced to International Media in New York

ROM Director William Thorsell, architect Daniel Libeskind and
lead donor Michael Lee-Chin present new ROM

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) presented Renaissance ROM, the Museum’s $250-million expansion and renovation project, and its centerpiece, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, at a press conference held at the Art Directors Club in New York City this morning. Over 50 of the city’s art, architecture, news and business journalists gathered to learn about the Museum’s nearly completed 175,000-square-foot addition and the celebrations planned for the Architectural Opening on June 2, 2007. ROM Director and CEO William Thorsell, architect Daniel Libeskind and international businessman Michael Lee-Chin, whose lead donation of $30 million launched the expansion project in May 2003, spoke to the 100-plus audience that included the ROM’s business partners and museum colleagues as well as journalists.

“The ROM’s expansion project is one of the most exciting architectural projects in North America,” said Mr. Thorsell, ROM Director and CEO. “We invite you to visit us in Toronto, at the heart of one of the world's most diverse cities, to witness the unveiling of our building to the city and the world.” The goal of the event was to create interest in the US and international media about this important new civic, cultural and tourist destination.

Unveiling new photography of the ROM’s aluminum-and-glass covered building, Mr. Thorsell described the Museum’s opening celebration plans, which include a gala dinner and party on June 1st and a free public outdoor concert on the ROM’s Bloor Street Plaza on June 2nd, after which the doors will open for this first time with free public admission (with timed tickets) through the night and next day, sponsored by CIBC, the Inaugural Season Sponsor of the Michael lee-Chin Crystal. Until June 10th, the public will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to enjoy ROM Exposed, a preview of the pure architectural design, before the installation begins in the permanent gallery spaces. The ROM’s Architectural Opening & Building Dedication is the first of many special opening events through the 2007/2008 season.

Lead architect Daniel Libeskind spoke of the inspiration behind the ROM design and revealed some of the unique features of the building. Mr. Lee-Chin, entrepreneur, Chairman of Portland Holdings Inc., is one of Canada's and the world's great success stories. He gave his impressions of the Libeskind architecture and what the ROM means to him and his family.

Restaurant Associates, who will be operating three fine restaurants at the ROM, including our new fine dining destination Crystal Five Restaurant Lounge, provided breakfast.