The juiciest arts divorce ever soldmain
Macleans Magazine has just gone online with as much smut as it can muster on the rampaging divorce case between heiress and singer Eleanor McCain and former Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) president Jeff Melanson.
We know you’re not interested in smut. Those who are may click this link for the full story.
As far as the musical impact is concerned, these two paragraphs sum it up rather well:
One arts insider is aghast: “It’s damaging to Jeff, it’s damaging to the TSO, it’s damaging to the Canadian arts community and it’s damaging to the McCain family. It’s a train wreck.” Lawyers are chattering: one shudders at “the abuse of the legal system to try to ruin someone’s career.”
But the combatants also represent the extremes of the insular Canadian art world—buyer and seller, donor and visionary—and at least some of what’s wrong with it. If McCain bought her way into the arts scene, “[losing] money on her ‘artistic’ endeavours,” as her estranged husband alleges in his claim that she “buys opportunities for herself and loses money on her ‘artistic’ endeavours’,” Melanson sold his way in: catapulting to celebrity status, particularly among the philanthropic elite, with a compelling, marketable vision of how the arts enrich communities, nations and economies. Such was Melanson’s charisma and celebrity that this is a world in which the hare, not the tortoise, gets the spotlight even if he doesn’t finish the race. It’s seldom acknowledged that his near-$1-billion plan for the Banff Centre was abandoned 2½ years in, and his epic $166.4-million plan for the money-losing TSO to build a recording studio and media lab went unquestioned publicly.