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Toronto designated a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts

Last Updated Nov 1, 2017 at 8:17 am EST

David Oyelowo poses for photos as he arrives for "Queen of Katwe" at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Toronto is receiving accolades for its leadership in film, music, digital media and forms of cultural expression using technology.

The city has become the first in Canada to be designated a “UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts.”

“Media Arts is such a powerful tool that can be used to create a sense of belonging as well as to help foster more inclusive cities,” Christina Cameron, president of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, said in a statement.

“We extend our congratulations to the City of Toronto for its leadership and are looking forward to working together in advancing creative solutions to today’s urban challenges.”

Mayor John Tory said this will help the city broaden its global connections.

“This designation affirms that we are an international hub for innovation and inspiration. It affirms that Toronto’s creative communities enhance our quality of life and economic vitality,” Tory said.

“We are pleased to be able to broaden our global connections through UNESCO’s initiatives.”

Other cities to receive this distinction include Austin, Tel-Aviv and Dakar, Senegal.

Last year, $2 billion was invested in Toronto’s domestic and foreign film, television and digital productions.