Economic Diversification? We’ve got your diversity right here!

You can hardly open a newspaper, turn on the TV, or listen to the radio without hearing more bad news about the recession, and why should the Toronto Diary be any different? What with Premier McGuinty going from ‘Oooh boy, this is going to be ugly and I have no idea what to do!’ to ‘Hey, look over there!’ in his press schedule, it can be hard to really understand what’s going on.

But “Gay Index” scholar Richard Florida, whom Xtra has spoken to before, says that all will be well if we let the manufacturing industry die and invest in creative industries.

Creative thinking must certainly be behind Tourism London’s (our London, not fancy London) decision to pitch itself as a hot new gay destination to siphon off the lucrative gay Toronto Tourism market. London, Ontario: It’s like Toronto, but without the smog, crime, or fun! No, we’re just kidding. There’s plenty of smog and crime in London.

But creative thinking certainly can’t be used to describe the idea to revive Happy Days as a lavish musical, now playing at the Elgin Theatre to Feb 15. According to this article, another creative industry needing help: the gay Fonzy impersonator industry.

Of course, trade will inevitably be an important part of any economic recovery, so I’ll let this creative import slide: Kevin Smith is hosting a number of events this week, including yet another two installments of his “An Evening With Kevin Smith” series at Roy Thomson Hall Fri-Sat, and the first Kevin Smith Film Festival at the Bloor Cinema from Sun-Tues. Chasing Amy, which is my second favourite film about Ben Affleck’s incredible powers of temporary lesbian conversion, screens on Monday with Mallrats, and Smith will be doing a 30-minute talk-back after each film.

Rob Salerno is a playwright and journalist whose writing has appeared in such publications as Vice, Advocate, NOW and OutTraveler.

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