Toronto Arts Council's Position on the 2014 City Budget

City Council’s 2013 commitment to reach $25 per capita arts funding was a huge accomplishment. Toronto Arts Council thanks all City Councillors for their support of this decision, which translates into $17.5 million, increased spending on city arts programs.The $6 million increase approved in 2013 was a strong step towards meeting this goal.

TAC received $4 million of the new funding in 2013 with the following impact:

  • Additional $23 million leveraged into Toronto economy by 2016 through support for the city’s growing arts organizations
  • 67% increase in applications to music creators program
  • 30 youth-led projects in underserved neighbourhoods supported in partnership with Artreach
  • Platform A: connecting arts outside the core with established arts organizations.
  • Micro-grants offered to artists working outside of the core
  • Partnership with Toronto Public Library: artists will offer programming in library branches
  • Partnership with City museums: heritage sites will be animated with arts programming
  • Partnership with TDSB: new month long arts festival in schools across the city
  • ArtsVest partnership with Business for the Arts - delivering fundraising training to 77 small arts organizations with funding to be matched 3 to 1 by Canadian Heritage and private sector donations

TAC is asking Budget committee to stay on track to fully implement the $25 per capita goal by 2016.

For 2014 TAC is requesting $2.2 million increase, to be allocated:

  • $1 million: Growth and Sustainability: Support growth and address funding inequalities for existing arts programs and organizations
  • $0.6 million: Community Connections: Enhance support for community engaged art initiatives with a focus on youth arts and expanded audience access.
  • $0.4 million: Innovation & Partnerships: Invest in innovative funding programs and partnerships offering artists and arts organizations the ability to respond to exceptional opportunities and incubate new ideas, projects and initiatives.
  • $0.2 million: Operations: TAC’s operations are funded at a significantly lower level than other arts councils, partially because of a very strong program of volunteer adjudication. Even with the additional $200,000, TAC’s operations will be just 9.1% of total budget costs. 2014 budget request includes implementation of an online grants management system and staffing for program outreach and evaluation.

Billboard tax funds continue to flow into city coffers at over $10 million per year and $16 million remains available in the reserves. Applying these funds to arts programming in 2014 will have a strong impact on neighbourhoods throughout the city, will support youth programming and employment and will leverage significant revenues into Toronto.