Visionaries: David and Ed Mirvish

David and Ed Mirvish, co-producers, Mirvish Productions (co-inductees)

David and Ed Mirvish, co-producers, Mirvish Productions (co-inductees)

‘Honest Ed,’ a born salesman, built a retail landmark in the 1940s on the corner of Toronto’s Bloor and Bathurst streets and revitalized live theatre in Toronto in the 1950s and ’60s, just as television was bringing theatricality into people’s homes. By the 1990s, with help of his son David, Ed Mirvish had helped spearhead a transformation of the city from ‘Toronto the Good’ (and sleepy) to a top-calibre entertainment centre.

‘[The Mirvishes] saw the potential of creating an entertainment destination that included theatre, and brought in shows that people very much wanted to see. [They] built up a thriving business that included…probably between 40,000 and 50,000 regular subscribers, which by North American standards is an absolutely enormous number.

[Before they rejuvenated the district] St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church was the most fun you could have within blocks of that area.’

David Abel, executive producer, CanStage

‘Any marketer worth his salt should observe Honest Ed’s. I don’t care what the sophistication level is, there you will see an operation that understands who its target market is and really markets to it aggressively. [The Mirvishes] are just natural marketers.’

Alan Middleton, assistant professor, marketing/executive director of the Schulich School of Business’ executive development division