Making a Deputation

How do I sign up?

Call (416-392-4666) or email the City Clerk in charge of Budget Committee and register to speak at the meeting.  This may be done any time up to the day before.  If you haven't registered in advance, it is usually still possible to request to speak at the meeting itself and your name will be added to the end of the speakers list.  

Select your preferred date and location and email to request a time to speak.  Include in your request the time and date and provide your full name, home address and phone.  

You can also Email your City Councillor (click for sample email).

What if I can't make it in person?

Whether you are speaking or writing, Councillors are interested in your personal experience.  Let them know that arts funding increases received to date have made a difference – stories about the work you do, the new projects undertaken, the new communities reached, will all help to reinforce Budget Committee’s commitment to follow through with funding increases as planned.  Ask your Board, volunteers, audiences and supporters to email their City Councillors.  It is important that they contact the Councillor from their home, not work, address.  (This is because Councillors respond to voters, and you vote where you live).  Not sure who your Councillor is?  Find them here.

Copy your email to Mayor Tory ( and Budget Chief Gary Crawford (

Want some help with wording? Click here. (be sure to replace the email address with your Councillor's address).

You'll find compelling Arts Stats to include in your communications here 

How long is a deputation?

The usual public deputation speaking time is 5 minutes. However, when the list of speakers is long, the committee can choose to reduce the speaking time. It makes sense to prepare speaking notes for approximately 3 minutes. 

Who Should Speak?

The most effective speakers are volunteers. Volunteer board members, sponsors, donors, and local business owners make excellent speakers, as do those participating in programs. Children and youth can be effective speakers.

Who is Listening?

Although Committees may have as few as three Councillors as members, other Councillors often are in attendance as guests.  Committees will not proceed without quorum, usually two or three Councillors.  Even if few Councillors are present, decisions made at Committee go forward to the full City Council.  Important work can be done by a small group of Councillors.  

Toronto's Budget Committee includes the following Councillors:

What do Councillors want to hear from deputations? 

Many Councillors are looking for public support to help them make tough decisions. Essentially you want to offer them compelling reasons to support your position.  The most effective way to do this is to be respectful and offer positive stories and facts on the value of arts programming. NB: Practice your remarks; make sure you can fit what you want to say into 3 minutes. If you have a talent – poetry, spoken word, storytelling – don’t hesitate to use it; Councillors respond well when the message is delivered creatively.

Will Councillors ask me questions?  

Sometimes Councillors ask questions following a deputation.  Often, these are from supportive Councillors wanting to give you the opportunity to have more time to speak about your work and your request.

Are there examples of past deputations?

Many artists, arts workers and volunteers have appeared before Budget Committee to recommend that City Council increase its arts funding commitments.  Here are some examples of previous deputations: