The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), in partnership with the Friends of the Arts network will meet with 32 Toronto City Councillors on Thursday, November 23, 2017 to discuss the ongoing cultural importance and the continuing financial impact of arts and culture in Toronto. Teams of artists, administrators and youth will meet with City Councillors to make the case for continued and growing investment for culture in Toronto.
“For over a decade, Toronto’s entire arts and culture sector has advocated tirelessly to encourage Toronto City Council to increase investment on arts and culture to $25 per capita. To remain on track to meet the goal established in 2003, City Council must include the final instalment of $2 million in the upcoming 2018 City Budget,” said TAPA Executive Director Jacoba Knaapen.
The success and growth of the culture sector, supported by City Council’s investment, have been integral to building Toronto’s global brand and reputation as one of the most livable cities in the world. The culture sector generates $11.8 billion in GDP and employs over 174,000 people. Every $1 invested by the City in the non-profit arts sector generates $8.25 in earned revenues plus an additional $11.77 from other levels of government and the private sector.
The collaborative nature of the creative process leads to cross-sectoral partnerships that act as agents of social change. David Hein co-writer with Irene Sankoff of the multiple Dora and Tony award-winning musical Come from Away observes, “Art changes lives. We’ve seen this time and again with Come from Away. Our audiences have told us that it’s helped them heal from horrific trauma and move forward. And it can change the world.” Culture hubs throughout the city provide youth, seniors, new Canadians, people from diverse backgrounds, and people with disabilities the opportunity to engage with the arts and culture in meaningful ways in their own community. Increased investment in the sector will help these relationships flourish and have an even greater societal impact. A video from David Hein and Irene Sankoff may be found here.
In addition, the Friends of the Arts network continues to advocate for Toronto City Council to double its investment in the arts and culture sector to $50 per capita by 2025. This investment will go part of the way to address the disparity in municipal cultural support compared to other major Canadian cities. Increased municipal investment in arts and culture will help the City ensure that every Torontonian has access to cultural participation in their communities and the benefits that flow from being included in the cultural life of the City.
Arts Day at the City is an annual event led by TAPA, an arts service organization representing 201 professional theatre, dance, and opera companies operating across Toronto, including commercial and not-for-profit companies, and 64 performing arts venues. The Friends of the Arts network includes: Arts Vote Toronto, Arts Etobicoke, Business for the Arts, Canadian Dance Assembly, EastEnd Arts, Lakeshore Arts, North York Arts, Scarborough Arts, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Toronto Arts Foundation and Urban Arts; as well as thousands of artists, arts workers, audiences, and community members who believe that a strong arts and culture sector is a vital part of the City of Toronto.