Toronto Arts Foundation invites all Artists, Arts Organizations, Audiences and Friends to participat

On November 28, the City Manager presented the 2012 Operating Budget to the City's Budget Committee.The proposed budget recommends a 10% cut to arts grants. If passed, TAC's grants budget will be reduced by just over $1 million.

Clearly, this would be very difficult for Toronto's arts community. We at Toronto Arts Foundation, and our partners at many arts organizations and associations including the Friends of the Arts network, are continuing to work very hard to prevent this recommendation from passing.

Toronto Arts Foundation has ushered a call to all TAC funded organizations are invited to contact their volunteers, donors, audiences and supporters and ask them to join the voices opposing cuts to Toronto's arts funding.

What you can do:


Ask your Board, volunteers, audiences and supporters to call, email or write their City Councillors to ask them to protect arts funding (CITY COUNCILLOR CONTACT INFO HERE).

2) MAKE A PUBLIC DEPUTATION AT CITY HALL - December 7 & 8 - Make a public deputation before Toronto’s Budget Committee next Wednesday and Thursday Dec 7th and 8th. The meeting will be held at City Hall, beginning at 9:30 am and concluding at 9:30 pm both days.

REGISTER TO SPEAK - Call 416-392-7340 or email Give your name, address and phone and let them know you would like to speak at the Budget Committee meeting that begins on December 7. Ask them to let you know your approximate number on the list which will give some indication of when you will be called. For those unable to attend in person, it is possible to send a written submission to Budget Committee,


How long is a deputation: The usual public deputation speaking time is 5 minutes. However, when the list of speakers is long, the committee can choose to reduce the speaking time. We recommend you prepare a speech of 2.5 minutes.

Who Should Speak: The most effective speakers are volunteers. Volunteer board members, sponsors, donors, and local business owners make excellent speakers, as do those participating in programs. Children and youth can be effective speakers.
NB: the person whose name is on the register must attend, or you will lose your spot on the list. However, if you sign up your own name and you’d like your board chair, or a program sponsor to speak, it is possible for both of you to go up to the podium. You then introduce yourself, introduce the other speaker and share your time at the podium. You will not be given extra time just because there is more than one person. 

Who is Listening: The Budget Committee is made up of 7 Councillors (Mike Del Grande, Chair, Michelle Berardinetti, Frank Di Giorgio, Doug Ford, Chin Lee, Peter Milczyn, John Parker). Other Councillors will likely be in attendance as guests. Note that all these Councillors are spending very long hours listening to public concerns.

Effective Deputations: Many Councillors are looking for public support to help them make tough decisions. Essentially you want to offer them compelling reasons to do the right thing but not to critize them for the City Manager's budget. The most effective way to do this is to be respectful and offer positive stories and facts on the value of arts programming. NB: Practice your remarks; make sure you can fit what you want to say into 3 minutes. If you have a talent – poetry, spoken word, storytelling – don’t hesitate to use it; Councillors respond well when the message is delivered creatively.

Arts Messaging for 2012 Budget:
Possible Messages (remember there will be lots of speakers; there is no need to cover all messages, select the one(s) that resonate with you):

  • The impact of a 10% cut - what programming will be reduced or eliminated; how will Toronto residents be affected by this cut.
  • Why 10% is more than 10% - ie. a cut of 10% can spiral into loss of even more funding if it prevents fundraising, reduces staff and financial capacity or means fewer programs leading to reduced sponsorship or government support etc.
  • How this cut will affect local businesses (restaurants, arts supply stores etc)
  • Toronto’s arts organizations raise $17.75 from other sources for every $1 invested by Toronto. This cut to grants will lead directly to a loss of $25 million to Toronto – this will have a significant impact on jobs, tourism and economic development
  • On November 29, Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby presented a Friends of the Arts petition signed by over 20,000 Torontonians living in every ward of the city, requesting City Council to maintain its support of arts funding.
  • Toronto City Council voted unanimously in May 2011 to approve Creative Capital Gains which recommends increasing (not decreasing) arts funding to $25 per capita. The proposed budget reduces Toronto’s arts investment to just $17 per capita, much lower than all our competitive cities (Chicago at $26, New York at $74, Montreal at well over $30).
  • On November 23 the European Commission proposed spending $2.4Billionas part of a Pan-European goal to stimulate the economy through cultural enterprise. As other economies invest even more in culture, Toronto will fall further behind.

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Any question may be directed to Susan Wright