2020 Arts Funding - Key Messages

“The arts are the ultimate unifying force in the world’s most diverse city.”    

                                                                                                      Mayor Tory, November 2017

Arts funding in 2020

While municipal support for arts grants is always important, in 2020 there are more reasons than ever for City Council to approve the recommended funding increase:

  • Mayor Tory has declared 2021 will be Toronto's Year of Public Art (YPA).  Increased arts funding will ensure strong participation by local artists, leading to lasting impact on both our artists and our city. Toronto Arts Council is accepting applications for funding for public art projects here
  • Arts Stats 2019 - Going Without: Artists and Arts Workers in Our Creative City, published in November 2019, has made 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.  This has led as many as 73% of Toronto's artists to consider leaving the city. See a related Toronto Star article Time for Toronto to decide whether it wants to keep its Artists. 
  • 90% of Torontonians believe that the arts and culture benefit Toronto; top benefits are attracting tourists, highlighting cultural diversity, and making the city a better place in which to live.  See Toronto Arts Stats 2018.
  • Arts grants lead to significant economic benefits:  Every dollar the City grants to annually funded arts organizations leverages over $20 in additional revenues for the sector – from ticket sales, private sector donations and other public funding.  Source: CADAC, 2018 (Canadian Arts Data / DonnĂ©es sur les arts au Canada).  

  • Our artists and arts organizations are international ambassadors welcoming the world to our door

The Impact of TAC Grants:

TAC's grants programs respond to all of the City's prioritiesMost notably:

1) Providing support for 2021 Year of Public Art

Working in partnership with artists, arts organizations and communities during the Year of Public Art, the City will engage residents and visitors in a city-wide recognition of public art and celebrate the incredible body of work built by local and international artists, supported by arts institutions, developers and the City. 

Recognizing that Toronto's important collection of public art reflects the creativity and dynamism of local artists, the Year of Public Art will open up new funding opportunities for artists. Toronto Arts Council is pleased to partner with the City of Toronto on Animating Toronto Streets, a multidisciplinary program that will fund public art projects that take place in Year of Public Art 2021 and during Nuit Blanche.

2) Promoting arts activity outside the downtown core:

In 2019 TAC invested over $2 million in programs to increase arts activity outside the downtown core

Click on the Map below to view locations of TAC funded activities, sorted by year, ward and neighbourhood.

Toronto Arts Council's Interactive Activities Map, showcases the range of Activities funded within the city categorized by discipline, year, ward and neighbourhood.


3) Stimulate greater opportunities for young and emerging artists: 

TAC invests in programs specifically designed to create opportunities and support leadership for young and emerging artists.

Through Artreach and TAC's Community Arts Program, each year 60+ grants to youth artists and youth led organizations give over 46,500 young people the chance to participate in the arts.

4) Develop and leverage a greater range of partnerships: 

New programs have been introduced to target Indigenous Artists, Newcomers and Refugees, and Artists working outside the downtown core.

Growing partnerships with the TDSB, Toronto Public Library, Museum and Heritage Services, and Toronto Parks are bringing arts programming directly to local neighbourhoods throughout the city. 

5) Build capacity for small and medium-sized arts organizations:

TAC operating grants increased by 34% from 2012 to 2018. This allowed TAC to support and stabilize many critically important arts organizations and welcome 30 new arts organizations as operating grant recipients.

6) Improve Cultural Spaces:

TAC responds to the financial burden and sector-wide value of facilities-based organizations that subsidize space costs for smaller organizations, often at below-market prices.Through the Performing Arts Facility program, TAC offers financial support to host organizations, who offer a vital service to hundreds of independent and non-profit groups and artists who require space to present their work. 


TAC Grants by the Numbers, 2019

  • Value of TAC grants awarded: $18,776,640

  • Number of TAC grants awarded: 920

  • Value of applications received: $37,105,541

  • Number of applications received: 2,440

  • $ granted to the arts for each resident of Toronto; $6.70

  • Number of wards (of 25) in which arts programming was presented by TAC funded artists and organizations: 25 Wards

  • Public arts activities presented by TAC funded arts organizations: 25,000

  • Artists employed by TAC funded arts organizations: 18,900