Brilliant! – Sun Life’s passes for the masses

With the mere swipe of a library card, the Toronto Public Library is busting down barriers and paving the way to Toronto's cultural landmarks. Sponsored by Sun Life Financial, the Museum and Arts Pass (MAP) program has expanded to offer free passes to a multitude of Toronto's top cultural institutions. Launched March 7, families can borrow a MAP in much the same way one would borrow a book, and gain entry to the likes of the ROM or the AGO.

With the mere swipe of a library card, the Toronto Public Library is busting down barriers and paving the way to Toronto’s cultural landmarks. Sponsored by Sun Life Financial, the Museum and Arts Pass (MAP) program has expanded to offer free passes to a multitude of Toronto’s top cultural institutions. Launched March 7, families can borrow a MAP in much the same way one would borrow a book, and gain entry to the likes of the ROM or the AGO.

The MAP program originated in July 2007 with 24 branches, and last month passes were incorporated into all 99 library locations. New venues – Casa Loma and the Museum of Inuit Art – were added to the list of partners, which includes the Bata Shoe Museum and the Ontario Science Centre. The Sun Life partnership was extended to bolster community access to culture in a time when belts are buckled extra tight. And it’s a good fit with Sun Life’s continual advocacy for the arts, says Donald A. Stewart, CEO of Sun Life Financial.

‘We circulated over 21,000 passes in 2008,’ says Linda Hazzan, director of marketing and communications at the Toronto Public Library, explaining that expansion was necessary given the great demand, and the fact that the library is focused upon ‘free universal access to culture.’ MAP is promoted through announcements, in-branch posters, and postcard distribution through Toronto Community Housing and Parks and Recreation.