Greetings from Kelly Langgard, Director and CEO
March 23, 2023
I am delighted to share this letter with you as Toronto Arts Council (TAC) and Toronto Arts Foundation’s new Director & CEO.
A lot has happened since I stepped into my role in January this year. The City confirmed that work will begin on a new Culture Plan for Toronto, TAC’s budget was passed, and we learned that a mayoral by-election will take place in June. In a busy period of granting and programming activities we also launched a new and exciting partnership with Toronto Metropolitan University for the TAC Leaders Lab, took in applications for the next round of support to Black Arts organizations and artists, and recently announced the finalists of the Toronto Arts Foundation Awards – congratulations to all!
For me, the past months have also been a time of deep learning and engagement with staff, board members, and community partners. I have long been an admirer of the innovative work of TAC and the Foundation. Together the organizations have been at the forefront in designing programs and initiatives that champion equity and public engagement and that really make a difference in the lives of artists and communities across the city. Although I’m still new to this role, I see that there is much to build on and new opportunities to explore, supported by the organizations’ strong network of relationships and partners and guided by the needs of the community.
I have had the pleasure of attending a number of arts events and gatherings over the past few months and have appreciated your invitations to introduce myself at some. Engaging with you and your audiences and communities is a priority for me so that I can learn about your work and what you expect from us. I’m looking forward to connecting with more of you – to experience your work, listen to your stories and concerns, and find ways to work together for the greater strength and health of the arts in Toronto and, indeed, for the city as a whole. It is clear to me that we share a common understanding that a vibrant arts sector is a vibrant Toronto.
I’m also encouraged by the strong support of our City partners; I’ve met with a number of City Councillors to discuss the impact of the arts in Toronto and the undeniable value of public funding for the arts, and I’ll continue to do so. We have already begun collaborating with the City of Toronto’s Economic Development & Culture team on developing a new Culture Plan that will drive an expansive vision of Toronto as a global arts city. Our aim is to ensure that the plan is ambitious and includes targets for increased investment in the sector. This is important work that will set the stage for the future and I encourage all community members to accept invitations to participate in the plan development in the coming months.
Providing funding and opportunities that support your work is what we’re proud to do. In 2023, TAC will invest more than $23 million in over 900 arts organizations, collectives and artists who make Toronto the vibrant and creative city we all want to live in. We will continue to lead with vital and connected initiatives like the Newcomer and Refugee Arts programs and Neighbourhood Arts Network, and we will build new partnerships to champion your work and advocate on your behalf.
I am so excited for this new chapter of Toronto Arts Council and Foundation and for the opportunity to create new pathways to support and celebrate the arts in this great city. Most of all, I look forward to meeting you at upcoming events and gatherings, and to working with this amazingly talented and supportive community.
Director & CEO
Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation