Make a Deputation

All about the deputation process

Get involved by making a deputation 

A deputation is an opportunity to speak directly to Budget Committee or Economic Development Committee about the issues that matter most to you. As a public funded organization, TAC relies on the decisions of these committees every year. Letting City Councillors know that you value funding for the arts helps keep TAC a top priority. 


How to make a Deputation 

Register to speak 
Call (416-392-4666) or email the City Clerk in charge of the Committee and request to speak at the meeting. (The City Clerk of Budget Committee’s email is at buc[at]Toronto[dot]ca). Include in your request the time and date of the committee meeting and provide your full name, home address and phone. This may be done any time up to the day before the meeting. If you haven't registered in advance, it is often still possible to request to speak at the meeting itself. 

You can also Email your City Councillor.

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.  

A list of current Budget Committee members is here.   

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. 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.  

What if I can't attend a meeting but I still want my voice heard? 
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 impact of the pandemic, the work you do, projects undertaken and new communities reached can  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 Olivia Chow and the Budget Chief Shelley Carroll