Serving as a collective voice for the performing arts in Toronto, TAPA believes in being responsive to the dynamics of a changing cultural environment and in so doing, also being responsive to the evolving needs of the membership. TAPA works to lobby and influence cultural policy on a municipal level, although the scope of our work can include provincial and federal advocacy. On all levels, cross-sector thinking and collaboration enables us to discover new solutions toward sustainability for our membership. TAPA embraces community and partnership to build collaborative networks, and working together towards positive change.
TAPA is committed to:
- Providing the membership with strategic resources
- Being responsive to the shifting environment
- Lobbying for positive change
2023 Advocacy Priorities
- A new Culture Plan for Toronto that includes the creation of a Live Arts Officer
- The creation and maintenance of art spaces for live and performing arts in Toronto
- Supporting the arts and culture sector through periods of unprecedented change, including, but not limited to, the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Arts Day at the City
11th Annual Arts Day at the City
The 11th Annual Arts Day at the City took place on November 1, 2021 and was hosted virtually on Zoom and Kumospace.
- The arts and culture sector is committed to being integral to and supportive of the City’s pandemic recovery
- The arts and culture sector are a crucial part of the well-being of all Torontonians as they contribute to economic growth, create vibrant communities, and are key to the post-pandemic recovery of the City
- The arts and culture sector contributes $6.3 billion towards Toronto’s GDP
- Arts and culture bring health and well-being to neighbourhoods throughout Toronto, and advance the City’s equity, access and inclusion goals including reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
- 89% of Torontonians believe that the arts make Toronto a better place to live, work, visit and create
- A new Culture Plan that includes meaningful consultation with the community and that clearly established targets for core initiatives, such as; removing barriers to access, annual funding increases, the creation and preservation of arts space, enhanced outreach and grassroots engagement across the entire city, as well as the creation of a new Live Arts Development Officer position to champion the sector.
- The continued championing of arts and culture by Toronto City Council, including support for a Basic Income Guarantee.
10th Anniversary Arts Day at the City
The 10th Anniversary Arts Day at the City took place on November 4th, 2019 at Toronto City Hall
- The arts matter in Toronto, with 174,000 Torontonians employed by the Arts and Culture Sector, which contributed $11.3 Billion to Ontario’s GDP
- However, 62% of Toronto’s artists and art workers make less than Toronto’s living wage ($45,000 annually) and 73% of artists and arts workers have thought about leaving Toronto due to cost of housing and lack of affordable art spaces.
Approval of $2 million investment in the 2020/21 budget and to drect city staff to work with our community to set future investment targets and an implementation plan to achieve:
- Culture for all Torontonians, no matter where they live in the city,
- To maintain and create new accessible, sustainable spaces for Toronto’s creative sector
- Develop creative talent to strengthen Toronto’s cultural workforce and increase diversity and representation in the sector
9th Annual Arts Day at the City
The 9th Annual Arts Day at the City took place on February 8th, 2019 at Toronto City Hall
- The arts a a jobs magnet for Toronto
- Toronto’s arts sector has a strong and land-standing commitments to equity and inclusion City funded arts grants attract additional investments to Toronto
- Can Toronto match Calgary City Council’s doubling of its funding to Calgary Arts Development?
- Continue to champion increased investments in the arts
- Increase arts investment by $2 million
- Develop a new Culture Plan for Toronto
8th Annual Arts Day at the City
The 8th Annual Arts Day at the City took place on November 23, 2018 at Toronto City Hall.
- After 14 years of working together, in 2018 we look forward to City Council achieving its target of $25 per capita, with the induction of the final $2 million in arts funding
- Access to the arts for all Torontonians is a central focus for artists and organizations living and creating in every ward across the city
- The success and growth of the culture sector has been integral to building Toronto’s global brand and reputation as one of the most livable cities in the world
- Toronto’s artists and organizations are leaders in collaboration and cross-sectoral partnerships that act as agents of social change
- Include the final instalment of $2 million in the 2018 budget
- Commit to instating annual increases of $2 million to account for population growth, inflation, and to ensure the momentum and growth of the sector is maintained.
7th Annual Arts Day at the City
The 7th Annual Arts Day at the City took place on December 9, 2016 at Toronto City Hall.
- Arts and culture help to strengthen Toronto communities
- Municipal investments in the arts and culture helps the community leverage more revenue
- The investments in the arts and culture received to date are already paying dividends
- As a result of population growth and inflation, meeting the equivalent of 2003’s $25 per capita goal would require an additional $25 million investment.
- New investment in the arts and culture will help Toronto achieve its strategic priorities, including ensuring that every Torontonian has access to cultural participation in the City, support the development of new creative clusters and cultural hubs that can foster job creation and economic growth, support organizations as they expand their programming to welcome even more residents and tourists to Toronto’s vibrant cultural scene, as well as solidify Toronto’s Growing international reputation as a creative capital.
A Timeline of Arts Day at the City
12th Annual Arts Day at the City – TBD 2023
2022 – Election Year, no Arts Day
11th Annual Arts Day at the City – November 1, 2021 – First fully virtual Arts Day
10th Anniversary Arts Day at the City – November 4th, 2019
9th Annual Arts Day at the City – February 8, 2019
2018 – Election Year, no Arts Day
8th Annual Arts Day at the City – November 23, 2017 – Achieved $25 per capita by 2018
7th Annual Arts Day at the City – December 9th, 2016
6th Annual Arts Day at the City – November 9th, 2015
5th Annual Arts Day at the City – February 12, 2015
2014 – Election Year, no Arts Day
4th Annual Arts Day at the City – November 8th, 2013
3rd Annual Arts Day at the City – November 13, 2012 – First time meeting with a majority of City Councillors
2nd Annual Arts Day at the City – November 14, 2011
1st Annual Arts Day at the City – January 7th, 2010
Arts Day at the City
TAPA is the founder of the annual Arts Day at the City. For over a decade TAPA has been committed to working together with the city of Toronto and Toronto City Councillors to build sustainable support for arts & culture; with a particular focus on theatre, dance and opera that reflects the TAPA membership. Our efforts and hard work have gleaned positive results, and we continue to be motivated in the ongoing process to educate and shape an equitable and healthy future that supports and nurtures the cultural sector.
Toronto Arts Council
Originally named the Toronto Arts Council / Toronto Arts Foundation Advocacy Committee was formed in 2009. Jacoba Knaapen has represented TAPA since the inception of the Committee. The Network was later reconstituted as the Toronto Arts Council and Foundation Advocacy Network in 2018. Toronto Arts Council and Foundation’s Advocacy Network is a hub for members to share insights, promote existing advocacy campaigns and come together as a sector to form new and consistent messaging about issues that affect the arts at large. It is non-partisan and focused on national, provincial and municipal arts awareness and advocacy initiatives.
ArtsBuild was formed in 2000 and TAPA has been engaged with ArtsBuild since the beginning. TAPA Executive Director Jacoba Knaapen sits on the ArtsBuild Advisory Committee who were instrumental in creating ArtsBuild and continue to provide the grassroots support and motivation for ArtsBuild Ontario. It is through their wealth of expertise and their front-line understanding of their member’s needs that ArtsBuild works on behalf of arts organizations across Ontario.
Are you passionate about advocating for the arts and culture sector? Do you want to get involved in TAPA’s advocacy initiatives? Would your advocacy work benefit from TAPA’s resources? Fill out the contact form and a member of our team will get in touch with you.
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Supporting Art Organizations and Artists throughout the Pandemic
Since the first lockdown came into effect in March 2020, TAPA has worked tirelessly to support its members as theatres and offices were forced to close their doors to patrons and arts workers alike.
Learn more about TAPA’s COVID-19 Resources for its members here.
Other COVID-19 Advocacy Campaigns
#iMissLiveTheatreTO was a week-long advocacy campaign that took place from September 21-27, 2020 in response to performing arts closures due to COVID-19 pandemic. This campaign consisted of a video that highlighted Empty and Dark Toronto Theatre Venues, a sub campaign called #LightUpLive, where participating companies lit their venues in red, as well as a #MyFavouriteTorontoTheatreMoment, another sub campaign that invited the community to share their favourite memories.
Learn more about the campaign here.
All The City’s A Stage
All The City’s A Stage (ATCAS) played an important role in helping to remind audiences and the general public about live in-person performances. Delivering free and attractive programming was a key ingredient that helped ATCAS attract a diverse audience in different locations around the city. In partnership with Ontario Culture Days and the Toronto Public Library, TAPA delivered Pop-Up Performances and workshops that showcased work from a range of TAPA organizations including Kashe Dance, The Musical Stage Company, The Parahumans, Animacy Theatre/Theatre Direct. All of the Pop-Up Performances took place outdoors and attracted audiences that reflected a wide demographic with ages ranging from 2 – 75 years old.
Supporting Artists and Arts Organizations Envisioning a Better Future
TAPA has proudly partnered with and amplified the efforts of Canadian Green Alliance (CGA), Creative Green Tools Canada, and Sectoral Climate Arts Leadership for the Emergency (SCALE), organizations committed to empowering arts organizations to pursue climate justice.
TAPA is actively engaged in climate-crisis activism into a new partnership with SCALE-LeSAUT. SCALE-LeSAUT is a national group dedicated to creating climate crisis awareness in the culture sector. TAPA staff sits on the organizing Roundtable and Artist Mobilization Committee of SCALE.
Sectoral Climate Arts Leadership for the Emergency (SCALE) is a ‘network of networks’ developing strategy, aligning activities, and activating leadership of Canada’s arts and culture sector for the climate emergency. Developing initiatives include: