Toronto Arts Council hosts 40th Anniversary AGM

Toronto Arts Council welcomed 8 new arts professionals and five City Councillors to its Board of Directors at the 40th anniversary Annual General Meeting held last night.

Incoming Directors are: A program director with Tangled Art + Disability, artist Cara Eastcott will serve as Chair of TAC’s Community Arts Committee; Executive Director of the Power Plant gallery Gaetane Verna will Chair TAC’s Visual and Media Arts Committee; lawyer and McMillan LLP Associate Andrew Walker, will serve as Secretary to the Board; and Toronto novelist Alissa York will be TAC’s Literary Committee Chair.  Filling four at-large positions are: Head of Film Programmes at TIFF Bell Lightbox and pop culture critic for CBC’s Metro Morning Jesse Wente; urban planning student and arts activist, Meaghan Davis; co-founder of community-engagement organization People Plan Toronto, Dina Graser; and award-winning actor, sound designer and theatre producer Richard Lee.

City Councillors joining TAC’s Board are Councillors Shelley Carroll, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, John Filion and Paula Fletcher.  For a complete list of Toronto Arts Council’s 2015 Board of Directors see

Toronto Arts Foundation, TAC’s sister organization, also hosted its AGM last night. Susan Crocker, Chair, welcomed incoming director Andrew Walker who will also serve as secretary to the Foundation Board.  See for the full list.

As home to almost twice as many artists as any other Canadian City, Toronto’s economy, quality of life and community benefit every day from its vibrant arts sector.  40 years ago, Toronto Arts Council delivered its first funds granted by the City of Toronto to a handful of artists. Fast forward to today: the city’s arts community has flourished, transforming Toronto into one of the world’s great cultural centres. TAC’s current investment now surpasses $16 million annually, directly supporting 15,000 arts performances, exhibitions, festivals, events and creations.  Toronto Arts Council is proud to work with the city’s artists in building a creative city.

In recognition of the priority Torontonians place on the arts, Toronto City Council has significantly increased arts funding.  Toronto Arts Council’s budget to support the city’s artists and arts organizations has increased by 60% since 2012.  
In his remarks last night, Toronto Arts Council Chair John McKellar noted “TAC has supported the start-up of many “new” ideas which have now grown into significant Toronto cultural institutions – including TIFF, Canadian Stage, Pride Festival, Theatre Fran├žais de Toronto, Open Studio, Jumblies, Harbourfront Centre, and Ballet Jorgen to name but a few... These investments have made an indelible mark on Toronto – for the better. We thank the City Of Toronto for its contribution to the city’s vitality and prosperity.”

President of the Board, Nova Bhattacharya, thanked outgoing directors Matt Galloway, Ruth Howard, Linda Lewis, Andrew Pyper, Priscilla Uppal, John Van Burek and Cindy Wan. Working with volunteer committee members, the Board has assessed 2265 applications from artists requesting over $28 million in funding in 2014. 

Under the leadership of Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO, TAC has further increased the reach and impact of its new funding by creating a number of new partnership programs.  Beginning in 2013, TAC supports the youth-engaged arts organization ArtReach to deliver $300,000 in grants to young artists.   In partnership with Business for the Arts and Canadian Heritage, TAC supported ArtsVest Toronto, providing $500,000 over two years that has generated over $2 million in new corporate revenue for arts organizations across the city. TAC is partnering with the Banff Centre to enhance leadership capacity in Toronto’s cultural sector through the newly announced Cultural Leaders Lab.

Responding to the challenge of reaching out to residents seeking arts programming outside the downtown core, TAC has created new partnership programs with Toronto Public Library, Toronto District School Board and Museum and Heritage Services.  Through these programs, artists are animating local library branches, schools and historic sites in the inner suburbs through music, dance, theatre, visual/media and community-engaged art.  

 In an effort to support innovation and exceptional projects, TAC has also created a new mechanism for artists and organizations to apply for funding for one-time opportunities or big ideas that have the potential to transform their work, or the sector.  TAC’s Open Door Funding is a first for the Council and is expected to result in exciting new programming.
For a complete list of artists and arts organizations supported by Toronto Arts Council, see

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For more information: Susan Wright, Director of Operations,