Relationship to Toronto Arts Foundation

Toronto Arts Council works closely with our affiliate, Toronto Arts Foundation, on our shared vision to build a creative city, block by block. This bold vision to connect every Toronto neighbourhood with the transformative social and economic benefits of the arts underscores everything we do. Read below to learn more about these two organizations, including how we work together, and our differences.


Toronto Arts Council (TAC) is the City of Toronto’s arm's-length funding body for artists and arts organizations. TAC supports a wide spectrum of artistic endeavours and a range of activity that makes the City of Toronto one of the leading cultural centres in the world.  

Toronto Arts Foundation is a charitable organization that forges creative connections to the arts throughout the city, spotlights artistic excellence, and supports vibrant cultural growth through private-sector investment.


Toronto Arts Council was established in 1974 as the City of Toronto’s arts granting organization. The recommendation that TAC should be directed by a majority of working artists was adopted, and is maintained to this day. 

Toronto Arts Foundation was established in 1995 as a non-profit charitable organization to increase resources for artists, and to provide the opportunity for individuals, private and public foundations, corporations, and other groups to invest in and strengthen the arts in Toronto.


Toronto Arts Council supports artists and arts organizations with responsive and innovative grants programs. Following a peer review process* of around 2,400 grant applications annually, grant recommendations are submitted for approval to the Board of Directors.

Toronto Arts Foundation provides programs, awards and resources for Toronto’s artists and residents to support the city’s thriving arts sector. We are an operating foundation, meaning we offer programming and services that remain distinct from Toronto Arts Council. Initiatives like Neighbourhood Arts Network and Arts in the Parks help to encourage creative connections across the city of Toronto. Our awards portfolio, including the Emerging Jazz Artist Award and the Arts for Youth Award celebrates artistic excellence. Our extensive research and advocacy services such as the Toronto Arts Stats and Creative Champions Network support cultural growth by championing the arts. 


Toronto Arts Council receives funding from the City of Toronto.

Toronto Arts Foundation receives funding primarily from private sector investment. As such, the Foundation is not dependent on government funding, and endowments remain protected. Funds raised at Toronto Arts Foundation go directly to supporting city-wide programs and initiatives, and does not underwrite the Toronto Arts Council funding program.


Although Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation are two separate organizations, we share some resources and collaborate on select initiatives.

Senior management and board: To ensure that communications work in sync between the two organizations, Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation share senior management and part of its Board of Directors.

Arts in the Parks: Both organizations, along with the City of Toronto's Arts & Culture Services and Parks, Forestry and Recreation division, and urban parks advocacy group Park People, are partnering on the Arts in the Parks initiative. Arts in the Parks is a free annual outdoor initiative that brings arts events to parks across Toronto, with underserved areas being a priority. Toronto Arts Council provides funding for participating artists, collectives and organizations through its Animating Toronto Parks program, while Toronto Arts Foundation executes a city-wide marketing campaign to promote the events, provides event support through its volunteer program, and programs the Local Artist Spotlight program, which funds local artists to perform in their neighbourhood park.  

Toronto Arts Foundation Awards: To ensure a thorough process for the deliberation of its awards portfolio, Toronto Arts Council assists Toronto Arts Foundation in managing the adjudication process. This includes fielding questions from nominators, and facilitating the adjudications process.

Newcomer and Refugee Artist Mentorship program: Toronto Arts Council is partnering with Toronto Arts Foundation through its Neighbourhood Arts Network on the Newcomer and Refugee Artist Mentorship program, which provides funding for individual newcomer and refugee professional artists to work with a mentor in their chosen arts discipline. Neighbourhood Arts Network is available to assist applicants in finding a mentor and/or to provide support for translation services.

The close relationship between Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation ensures a deep understanding of the issues facing artists throughout the city. Together, we are working to build a creative city: block by block.



Toronto Arts Council 

Toronto Arts Foundation
About The City of Toronto’s funding body for artists and arts organizations A charitable organization that sparks, spotlights, and supports cultural growth and artistic excellence throughout our city

Established in 1974

Established in 1995
Funding The City of Toronto Private sector investment
Services Grants to artists, arts collectives and organizations

Sparks creative connections:

  • Neighbourhood Arts Network
  • Arts in the Parks
  • Incubation Program: East End Arts and North York Arts

Spotlights artistic excellence:

  • Signature Awards at the Mayor’s Arts Lunch
  • Vision Awards: Emerging Jazz Artist Award, RBC Arts Access Fund

Supports vibrant cultural growth:

  • Research and advocacy
  • Creative Champions Network
SHARED Toronto Arts Council Toronto Arts Foundation
Vision of Creative City: Block by Block Same Same
Senior management and part of its board Same Same
Arts in the Parks Animating Toronto Parks funding program Marketing support, Outreach and Volunteer Program, and Local Artist Spotlight Program
Toronto Arts Foundation Awards Adjudication support Raises private sector funding, manages the awards and Mayor’s Arts Lunch awards presentation
Newcomer and Refugee Artist Mentorship Program Manages the program Assists applicants in finding a mentor and/or provides support for translation services through its Neighbourhood Arts Network

* TAC grants are awarded through a peer assessment process, meaning that all grants are evaluated by a committee or jury of professional artists and arts administrators. The peer-review process is a valuable tool in ensuring transparency, equity and rigour in grants evaluation.