2023 Arts Funding - Key Messages

Recommendations for Toronto City Council 2023:

Prioritize the creation of a visionary new Culture Plan that will build on existing Council support and establish clear financial targets for 

  • Funding artists and arts organizations.
  • Creating and protecting arts space.
  • Removing barriers to access the arts for Toronto residents in every neighbourhood.

Champion Arts and Culture by advocating in collaboration with the arts sector for federal and provincial arts initiatives including

  • Tax incentives
  • Guaranteed basic income

Quick facts

  • Toronto is home to 93% more artists than any other Canadian city. 
  • Arts and culture contribute $11 billion annually to Toronto’s GDP (3.3%).
  • Pre-pandemic, annual ticket sales were $230 million on total revenues of $600 million in the non-profit sector.
  • At its height, Toronto audiences reach 30 million every year within the non-profit arts sector.
  • Toronto City Council currently spends $81.2 million on arts and culture including support for arts grants, museums, film, music and business services. This is 0.5% of Toronto’s total operating budget.
  • Of this, Toronto Arts Council’s grants to artists and organizations totals less than $8 for each resident of Toronto.
  • For every $1 granted to an arts organization by Toronto Arts Council, over $15 is received from donations or earned revenue, including ticket sales.

Toronto Arts Foundation’s Arts Stats 2018 polled Torontonians about their opinions on the arts. The results show overwhelming support.

  • 89% of Torontonians believe that the arts make our City a better place to live.
  • 77% would like to see more opportunities to attend the arts in every Toronto ward.
  • Over 80% of Torontonians think the City of Toronto needs to better support arts initiatives, such as after-school arts programs and arts in public spaces.
  • Civic leaders would do well to voice support for the arts because the majority of Torontonians want their mayoral and city council candidates to be arts supporters (71% and 65% respectively).

TAC Grants Programs:

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 Creative Communities 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.

Develop and leverage a greater range of partnerships: 

New programs have been introduced to target Black Artists & Organizations, 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. 

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.

Promoting arts activity outside the downtown core:

TAC continues to invested in programs to increase arts activity outside the downtown core

Click here to view locations of TAC funded activities, sorted by year, ward and neighbourhood.

TAC Grants by the Numbers, 2021

  • Value of TAC grants awarded: $23,899,630

  • Number of TAC grants awarded: 931

  • Value of applications received: $47,873,145

  • Number of applications received: 2,375

  • $ granted to the arts for each resident of Toronto; $8.53

For a complete list of grants awarded between 2004 and 2022 see TAC's Open Data page