A first for Toronto

Toronto’s first Audio / Video exposition was held from September 30th to October 2nd 2011. Born from collaboration between Canada Hi-Fi magazine, the SSI team (Salon Son et Image) from Montreal managed by Michel Plante and Sarah Tremblay as well as well-know Toronto Retailer AuDIYo inc., the TAVES (Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show) chose the King Edward Le Meridien hotel in the heart of downtown Toronto as the venue for its inaugural presentation. Considering that this was the first incarnation of this show, we can easily call it a success. Even though it was not as heavily visited as the very popular SSI in Montreal (which is a well established and renowned yearly event and has been for many years already), it WAS successful and the lighter traffic made for a more relaxed and friendly ambiance. We had plenty of time to wander the hallways, take a seat, listen to the diversity of equipment presented and comfortably chat with the various vendors. Many of importers and distributors who are staples of the Montreal show were here and we all recognized many of the faces who are regular visitors to the SSI whether they came from Quebec or all other places far and wide. All were pleased to find our regulars Montreal hosts of the SSI, Sarah and Michel.

This first show was mostly centred on stereophonic sound, but a few home theatre demonstrations were also well represented. In an interesting paradox, many vendors featured turntables, and these were in many instances sharing the spotlight with DACs (Digital to Analog Converters) and audio streamers (network and otherwise) in every price range. Refreshingly (especially for an audio show), we could be lulled by entry level Hi-Fi systems as well as the ever-present ultra high end systems. For Quebec audiophiles, the TAVE show is an excellent way to familiarize themselves with the many brands that have no distribution or are simply unavailable in stores here. Brands like Brinkman, Burmester, Electrocompaniet, Focus Audio, Jadis, Jeff Rowland, LFD, Monarchy Audio, Reference 3A, Trigon among many others come to mind here. For the DIY (Do It Yourself) community, we were impressed with the quality of the Audio Note kits that now have distribution based out of Canada.

Live seminars were also presented covering subjects such as buying and setting up a home theatre receiver, calibrating a high definition display device (as well as a buyers’ guide to these) and digital audio streaming. Cocktail hours were well organized and paired with musical presentations from jazz singer Anne Bisson and virtuoso bass player Dean Peer. Overall, it was a very nice weekend filled with discoveries. Next time, we’ll extend our stay to allow us to visit the city of Toronto itself.

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From left to rigth, the organizers: Suave Kajko, Simon Au, Sarah Tremblay and Michel Plante.