Toronto Budget 2021

Information on the 2021 Toronto City Operating Budget, links, public hearings and calls to action are all here.

On February 18, Toronto City Council passed its 2021 Operating and Capital Budgets.

Toronto Arts Council's 2021 funding remains unchanged from 2020 at a total allocation of just under $23 million.  For more information on the City Budget.

As we approach the one year mark of COVID-19, with its impact affecting every item in the City’s budget, maintenance of historic funding levels is an important endorsement of the value the arts bring to the City.  anged in 2021.

While municipal support for arts grants is always important, in 2021 there are more reasons than ever for City Council support arts funding:

  • The arts, entertainment and recreation sector was the hardest hit in 2020, in terms of number of jobs as well as total number of hours worked – see CAPACOA’s most recent compilation of COVID statistics
  • The arts, entertainment and recreation sector is expected to be the last to return to pre-COVID economic conditions
  • Throughout 2020 Toronto Arts Council has responded quickly and effectively to the pandemic, offering artists new funding opportunities (COVID Response Fund) while expediting support to the city’s arts organizations.
  • In 2021, TAC will launch a one-time recovery grants program offering additional support for pandemic related costs to arts organizations reopening in the coming months
  • In 2021 TAC will roll out a new TAC Black / African-diasporic arts grant program of at least $500,000 annually
  • 2021 is Toronto's Year of Public Art – TAC funding will support participation by local artists, leading to lasting impact on both our artists and our city. 
  • Even before COVID, artists have struggled to live and work in Toronto. See the Toronto Arts Foundation 2019 booklet: Arts Stats 2019 - Going Without: Artists and Arts Workers in Our Creative City, making it clear that Toronto's artists face disproportionately high costs to live in Toronto (paying for both work space and essential training) while experiencing disproportionately low incomes.
  • Finally – the city is depending on Toronto’s artists and arts organizations to re-engage the public in the life of our city when it is safe to do so – our artists will be key to bringing back the excitement and the vitality associated with Toronto which in turn will attract visitors once again.

The City of Toronto Budget Committee heard directly from the public at virtual meetings on January 25 and 26. Claire Hopkinson, Director & CEO of TAC and Celia Smith, CEO of Luminato and Board member of TAC both spoke before the committee. Please see copies of their deputations here

It is important that the Budget Committee and City Council hear from artists and organizations about the impact of funding on their activities. Please call or email your City Councillor thanking them for Council’s support of arts funding and letting them know how important it is to you.

For additional information, please contact susan@torontoarts.org; 416-392-6802 x211.


2021 Budget Deputations