Arts Funding - Key Messages

“The arts are the ultimate unifying force in the world’s most diverse city.” 

Mayor Tory, November 2017

Why are arts grants important? 

  • 96% of Torontonians believe that the arts and culture benefit Toronto; top benefits are attracting tourists, highlighting cultural diversity, and making the city a better place in which to live.  See the Toronto Arts Stats report PDF document.

  • Arts grants lead to significant economic benefits:  Every dollar the City grants to annually funded arts organizations leverages over $20 in additional revenues for the sector – from ticket sales, private sector donations and other public funding.  Source: CADAC, 2015 (Canadian Arts Data / DonnĂ©es sur les arts au Canada).  

  • Our artists and arts organizations are international ambassadors welcoming the world to our door

The Impact of TAC Grants:

TAC's grants programs respond to all of the City's prioritiesMost notably:

1) Promoting arts activity outside the downtown core:

TAC invested $1.48 million in programs to increase arts activity outside the downtown core

Click on the Map below to view locations of TAC funded activities

Toronto Arts Council's Interactive Activities Map, showcases the range of Activities funded within the city categorized by discipline, year, ward and neighbourhood.


2) 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.

73 grants to youth artists and youth led organizations gave over 2,500 young people the chance to participate in the arts

3) Develop and leverage a greater range of partnerships: 

New programs have been introduced to target Indigenous Artists, Newcomers and Refugees, and Artists working outside the downtown core.

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. 

4) Build capacity for small and medium-sized arts organizations:

TAC operating grants increased by 34% from 2012 to 2016. This allowed TAC to support and stabilize many critically important arts organizations and welcome 30 new arts organizations as operating grant recipients.

5) Improve Cultural Spaces:

TAC responds to the financial burden and sector-wide value of facilities-based organizations that subsidize space costs for smaller organizations, often at below-market prices.Through the Performing Arts Facility program, TAC offers financial support to host organizations, who offer a vital service to hundreds of independent and non-profit groups and artists who require space to present their work. 

Why an increase to Toronto Arts Council's budget makes sense:

Toronto Arts Council’s total 2017 grants funding = just 0.2% of the City’s operating budget

The proposed $2 million increase for 2018 = just 0.02% of the City's operating budget

TAC Grants by the Numbers

  • Value of TAC grants awarded: $18,257,934

  • Number of TAC grants awarded: 963

  • Number of applications received: 2,232

  • $ granted to the arts for each resident of Toronto; $6.48

  • Number of wards (of 44) in which arts programming was presented by TAC funded artists and organizations: 44 Wards

  • Grant recipients (individuals & organizations) funded for the first time in 2016: 219

  • Public arts activities presented by TAC funded arts organizations: 19,500

  • People attended an arts event offered by TAC funded arts organizations: 9.5 million

  • Artists employed by TAC funded arts organizations: 17,50