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Advocacy Priorities

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

2022 Advocacy Priorities

  1. A new Culture Plan for Toronto that includes the creation of a Live Arts Officer 
  2. The creation and maintenance of art spaces for live and performing arts in Toronto
  3. Supporting the arts and culture sector through periods of unprecedented change, including, but not limited to, the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Current Campaigns

TAPA Stands With Ukraine

COVID-19 Resources

Arts Day at the City

11th Annual 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.

Key Messages:

  • 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

The Ask:

  1. 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.
  2. The continued championing of arts and culture by Toronto City Council, including support  for a Basic Income Guarantee.

Related Documents

DateTitleLink
Mar 4, 2021PASO/OPSA Response to the White PaperLink
Feb 22, 2021TAPA Letter of Appeal Restrictions RequestLink

10th Anniversary Arts Day at the City

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

Key Messages

  • 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.

The Ask:

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

Related Documents

DateTitleLink
Jan 17, 2023TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 24, 2022TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 12, 2022Letter of concern regarding evictions of tenant artists and organizations in the Distillery DistrictLink

9th Annual Arts Day at the City

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

Key Messages

  • 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?

The Ask:

  1. Continue to champion increased investments in the arts
  2. Increase arts investment by $2 million 
  3. Develop a new Culture Plan for Toronto

Related Documents

DateTitleLink
Jan 17, 2023TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 24, 2022TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 12, 2022Letter of concern regarding evictions of tenant artists and organizations in the Distillery DistrictLink

8th Annual Arts Day at the City

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.

Key Messages:

  • 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

The Ask:

  1. Include the final instalment of $2 million in the 2018 budget
  2. 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.

Related Documents

DateTitleLink
Jan 17, 2023TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 24, 2022TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 12, 2022Letter of concern regarding evictions of tenant artists and organizations in the Distillery DistrictLink

7th Annual Arts Day at the City

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.

Key Messages:

  • 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

The Ask:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Related Documents

DateTitleLink
Jan 17, 2023TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 24, 2022TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 12, 2022Letter of concern regarding evictions of tenant artists and organizations in the Distillery DistrictLink

Arts Day at the City Archive

Archive Gallery

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

Archived Documents

DateTitleLink
Jan 17, 2023TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 24, 2022TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 12, 2022Letter of concern regarding evictions of tenant artists and organizations in the Distillery DistrictLink

Government

Municipal

Municipal Advocacy

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.

Current documents

DateTitleLink
Jan 17, 2023TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 24, 2022TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 12, 2022Letter of concern regarding evictions of tenant artists and organizations in the Distillery DistrictLink

Provincial

Provincial Advocacy

Arts Build

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.

Current documents

DateTitleLink
Mar 4, 2021PASO/OPSA Response to the White PaperLink
Feb 22, 2021TAPA Letter of Appeal Restrictions RequestLink

Federal

Over the years, the TAPA Board of Directors, Advocacy Committee, and staff team members have diligently built a case regarding regional and cultural funding inequities at the Canada Council for the Arts. Our legitimate concerns are backed by policy, facts, and a transparent analysis of public data.

Declaration on the Essential Role of Artists and Creative Expression in Canada.

TAPA actively encourages support of The Honourable Senator Partica Bovey’s efforts to push forward Bill-208 Declaration on the Essential Role of Artists and Creative Expression in Canada.

Bill S-208 asserts key points, including:

  • That the arts, culture, and heritage play an essential role in the health, social, and economic wellbeing of everyone in Canada;
  • Everyone in Canada, including artists, has the right to freedom of expression and association;
  • People in Canada of all ages have the right to engage in artistic creativity and the expressive arts;
  • Artists have the right to the intellectual property and copyright for their work, to be free from cultural appropriation, to equity in employment and to economic
  • security, and to be accorded recognition for the value of their work, which is integral to our nation’s economic health;
  • Artists in all disciplines have the right to earn a prominent presence in public life through their art and to the incorporation of their voices and artistic visions in democratic debate;
  • Artists, arts organizations and production companies in Canada have the right — and should have the arm’s-length support and capacity — to take risks and invest in creative innovation while serving communities and the public interests.

Bill S-208 is currently in the committee stage and will return to the Senate for a third reading, then to the House of Commons where it will go through a similar process (first reading, second reading, committee reading, and third reading) before it hopefully passes and becomes law. This lengthy process will be

Advocacy Communications

TAPA Letters to the Canada Council for the Arts

Letters Received from the Canada Council for the Arts

Letters Between the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) and the Canada Council for the Arts

Communications with the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage

If you have any questions regarding our national advocacy please contact Jacoba Knaapen, Executive Director.

Social Impacts

COVID-19

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

#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.

Current documents

DateTitleLink
Jan 17, 2023TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 24, 2022TAPA Deputation at City of Toronto Budget ConsultationLink
Jan 12, 2022Letter of concern regarding evictions of tenant artists and organizations in the Distillery DistrictLink

Environmental

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:

  • integrating climate policy into arts policy recommendations for government
  • national campaign to mobilize arts organizations, with implementation guide

Current Resources

DateTitleLink
Mar 2, 2022TAPA Community Meeting #19 with CGA and SCALELink
Creative Green Tools Canada WebsiteLink

Contact

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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