Toronto 2013 Budget - Impact on the Arts
On December 10 the City of Toronto Budget Committee is holding public hearings: many members of Friends of the Arts will be there speaking out on the importance of city building through the arts.
In the next month Toronto City Council will finalize its 2013 Budget.
What’s different this year?
This year, there is an excellent opportunity for Toronto City Council to meet its longstanding commitment to increase arts funding to $25 per capita.
Why this year?
City Council can increase arts funding without using tax payer dollars. With the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision to uphold the billboard tax, the tax is finally confirmed and sending revenues upwards of $10 million per year into a city reserve fund. There is a long-established link between billboard tax revenues and arts funding (See Beautiful City website for details of the court case and the history).
2013 marks 10 years since City Council first committed to $25 per capita arts funding. In 2003, under Mayor Mel Lastman, City Council passed the Culture Plan, including this commitment. City Council reiterated the commitment under Mayor David Miller in 2009 and again under Mayor Rob Ford in 2011 with its unanimous approval of the Creative Capital Gains report.
Toronto lags far behind top five large Canadian cities in its arts funding levels. (see Hill Strategies report). Many Councillors have committed to reversing this trend.
What will it mean:
increased opportunity and employment for Toronto's young artists
more arts programming reaching into every City neighbourhood
a stronger, more vibrant, more creative city for the benefit of artists, residents, businesses and visitors.
How will it happen?
- December 10: City Budget Committee is holding public hearings: many members of Friends of the Arts will be there speaking out on the importance of city building through the arts.
- January 8: Budget Committee makes its final recommendations on the 2013 budget.
- January 10: Executive Committee makes its final recommendations on the 2013 budget.
- January 15: Toronto City Council votes on the 2013 budget.
What can you do to help make sure the 2013 budget supports the arts?
- Call your Councillor – click here for Councillor name and number: ask him/her to support $25 per capita arts funding.
- Visit the Friends of the Arts website: www.friendsoftheartsTO.org for the latest news.
- Watch for Friends of the Arts emails for special calls to action.
THANKS TO ALL THE FRIENDS OF THE ARTS WHO ACTED SO QUICKLY LAST YEAR TO SAVE ARTS GRANTS FROM CUTS. THIS YEAR, TOGETHER, WE CAN WORK TOWARDS INCREASED FUNDING FOR ARTS GRANTS!
For questions or more information on the impact of arts funding: please contact friendsoftheartsTO@gmail.com.
*Friends of the Arts is a network of arts supporters including the following organizations:
Arts Etobicoke, BeautifulCity.ca, Business for the Arts, Lakeshore Arts, North York Arts,Scarborough Arts, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Toronto Arts Foundation.