Note: I suggest you pre-order a copy if you'd like to make sure you get one. They're at a very good cost at the moment. It's possible they'll be priced higher once the campaign is over.
Toronto’s Galleria Mall has been in operation in the city's west end since 1972, offering space for shopping, socializing, and entertainment. Plus, it's a real time capsule. But we can only experience the '70s here for a limited time, as this mall is set to be demolished in the coming years. It's just one example of a mall in trouble in a world filled with others.
Currently, the mall is still open but the independent stores have started to close and the food kiosk is no longer in operation (see photos below). The arcade machines have disappeared and the candy dispensers vanished, too, including the ones in the Kickstarter video we made a few weeks ago. But, the mall isn't going anywhere right away. The chain stores will stick around as long as a wrecking crane doesn't break through the ceiling.
Although the mall has faced neglect, it has remained an important part of the community over the years. So, because we’ll be losing this gem, it’s best to pay tribute to the mall in a book filled with shopping-mall nostalgia and Galleria memories.
I took many photos of the mall in 2013 and 2014. The bulk of the book is comprised of 100+ photos, captioned to provide my own commentary to give the reader a unique take on all things Galleria.
The focus of the photos is on the mall itself—its architecture, design, and fun events. There are pictures of the exterior and interior, storefronts, and a no-longer-there giant store with furniture and boxes. Then there are holiday photos. There are Hallowe'en and Valentine's Day photos as well as carnival pictures. I don't know about you, but I think seeing a Christmastime snake show at Galleria Mall is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. That was a definite highlight for me, and I don't even celebrate Christmas.
Not Just Photographs
Are you a fan of shopping mall facts? I know I am. Did you know the inventor of the shopping mall regretted inventing the shopping mall? Did you know there's a mall called the Galleria in Dubai? The book contains these facts and more. The text includes local historical content and information on the Galleria's past and present. Also, there's info on the history of the shopping mall and current mall issues in this age of the retail apocalypse. Plus, there are memories of the Galleria from members of the community.
The book is close to complete. The edits are done. The designer will get busy with the layout. If all goes as planned, the book will be available in November. I've set the shipping date as December, just in case there's a delay.
What People Are Saying
Certain lucky people have had the chance to preview the content. Here's what they said:
- "I enjoyed reading your captions. They made me laugh out loud!" —J.R.K.
- "It's engaging, informative and funny-sad." —S.B.H.
- "It's really interesting and funny. A beautiful work of documentary history!" —M.M
- "A humourous and touching celebration of what's special about a relic of Toronto's ordinary past." —C.D.G.
Approx 7 x 9”, full colour
Approx 160 pages
Softcover, perfect bound
(Will make a hardcover book if I can get enough funding.)
In the Media
I've been living near the Galleria for a decade. I was instantly fascinated by the place so I took many pictures. First I had twenty pictures, then I had hundreds of pictures taken within the span of a year: July 2013 to 2014. Back then, I decided I'd make a Galleria book, but first, I made a postcard since it was an easier task to accomplish than making a book. Then I made a second postcard. Other things followed. I led Jane's Walks in and around the mall on three separate occasions and I developed the Galleria Colour-Identification System so we could identify the many shades of greens. browns, and golds at the mall. Using that colour concept, I made a photo-based installation consisting of twenty 16 x 20" photographs alongside forty posters for an arts event at the mall. Finally, the book will be published under the Salted Pepper Projects imprint. It will be the culmination of all the Galleria projects.
I'm a multidisciplinary artist and writer in Toronto, and I teach piano, too. I hoped to complete this book annually, ever since 2014. Instead, I made a book of short stories and some art projects, like a 350-foot photocollage around a construction site. I've also started working on a book of facts that stems from my Fact Box project where I exchanged books for facts—I hope to share this book with you once it's done. There's more about me on my website.
Costs and Funding
Printing is just one of the costs of making a book. Funds will also go towards editing, design, and crowdfunding costs, like the video and Kickstarter fees. It's quite expensive to print a book in full colour, so I can't guarantee it will be the current price in the future. That all depends on the success of this crowdfunding campaign. I would, however, like to offer the book to shopping mall fans and Galleria supporters for an affordable price in the future.
I wanted to buy you a sandwich from El Amigo but that whole food kiosk is gone. Then I thought I'd offer items from the candy/toy dispensers at the mall, but they've taken those away as well. I just managed to get a couple things before they disappeared. Here's what you can have:
- The book
- A limited-edition bookmark showing off the Galleria's spectacular brown floor tiles.
- Seven postcards, each with their own witty caption on the reverse side
- 16 x 20” posters: These were on display at a photo-based installation at the mall a couple of years ago. It was at that Long Winter event. Each of the posters is different. They're on 100-lb paper, matte finish. There are eleven posters to choose from:
- Dispenser surprises: I'd hoped to offer more dispenser surprises as rewards but only managed to get a couple before they removed them all from the mall. Only two available! The last of the mall's fun surprises! Note: these surprises aren't candy, they're surprises from the little toy machines, like the one in the video (but from different machines).
These rewards have been spoken for:
- 16 x 20" posters with issues: They don't have big issues, only little issues, like a crease here or there. These posters were hanging on the walls of the Galleria as part of the photo-based installation as well, but these ones didn't make it out unscathed. They're on 100-lb paper, matte finish. Here they are:
- Framed 16 x 20" posters. The frames are heavy and wooden. The pictures are from my photo-based installation that took place at Galleria Mall a couple years ago. Note: Paper-quality is high, but this is not a photographic print. It’s on 100-lb paper, matte finish. Although they were professionally framed a couple years ago, the paper has buckled a little under the glass, but you can only really tell from certain angles. First come, first served. There are two of these. Photos are below, first unframed, then framed.
[Video credit: Kevin Douglas McKee]
Risks and challenges
Printing a small run of full-colour books is pricey. Depending on the success of this campaign, I might have to charge more for the book in the future. It would be nice to make this book affordable and keep it at a lower price-point. But, I'd like to ensure that I don't lose money in making this book.
The book is set to come out this year. There is a tiny chance that plans don't go through as expected. As the book is so close to finished, I'm 97.3% certain it'll see the light of day before 2019.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)