City Councillors Express Support for Key Culture Priorities
November 17, 2011 - On Monday, November 14, Councillors from all corners of Toronto participated in the 2nd Annual Arts Day at the City.
Led by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) along with Friends of the Arts, arts sector workers, patrons and supporters gathered at City Hall to meet with 25 City Councillors individually to discuss the importance and impact of the arts on Torontonians.
The Annual Arts Day at the City is a signature opportunity for Councillors to learn more about arts and culture in their neighbourhoods, and to hear from their constituents about how the City can improve its efforts to promote and support a vibrant culture scene in Toronto. “With the current administration considering a range of cost saving measures, its essential that Torontonians make known what we value about our city and, more specifically, how we want our City Council to support these values. Culture is not an expendable asset”, said TAPA Executive Director Jacoba Knaapen.
Participants presented three key messages to Councillors: invest competitively in the sector, lead the way in championing our rich cultural assets, and make affordable cultural spaces available across the City. “This is a challenging financial time, but we will continue to work with the councillors to find ways to achieve these goals without doing permanent damage to a growing sector,” added Knaapen.
When Council voted unanimously to adopt the Creative Capital Gains Report in May of this year, they voted in support of a wide range of recommendations to bolster support for arts and culture, including increasing city investment from $18 to $25 per capita. New investment and other key strategies outlined in the report are intended to advance Torontos position as a world class city attracting visitors, retaining talent, and improving its economic competitiveness.
The Arts Day partners maintain that culture is an essential part of Torontos internationally competitive economy that positively impacts jobs, businesses, international profile and quality of life. Cultural amenities retain and attract a talented workforce through the ideas, innovations and amenities that flow from a vibrant cultural life and scenes. We are so pleased that the Councillors we met with on Monday were attentive to our message, supportive of our goals, and want to work with us to make progress, reported Meredith Potter, TAPA Board President.
At the conclusion of the event, Arts Day participants joined His Worship, Mayor Rob Ford in the City Hall Rotunda for an official presentation proclaiming November 14 to 20, 2011 The National Ballet of Canada Week in celebration of its 60th anniversary.
Friends of the Arts is a network of arts supporters including the following organizations: Arts Vote Toronto, Arts Etobicoke, BeautifulCity.ca, Business for the Arts, Creative Trust, Lakeshore Arts, Scarborough Arts, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Toronto Arts Foundation, Urban Arts.
The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) is an arts service organization that represents 187 professional theatre, dance and opera companies and is committed to nurturing an environment in which the performing arts may flourish and play a leadership role in the vitality of the City of Toronto. Programs and services provided by TAPA include: T.O. TIX - Toronto's Official One Stop Ticket Shop at Yonge-Dundas Square and online at www.totix.ca; the Dora Mavor Moore Awards; Torontos official Theatre Guide featuring Torontos only theatre map; hipTIX, offering $5 tickets to students between the ages of 15 and 29; citySPECIAL; the Commercial Theatre Development Fund; the Travel Retreat Initiatives Program TRIP and the TAPA TRADE SERIES that provides ongoing professional development and workshops for TAPA members. For more information visit www.tapa.ca and www.totix.ca.
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