Introduction

Toronto Arts Council (TAC) is the City of Toronto's funding body for artists and arts organizations. Since its inception in 1974, TAC has supported a broad range of artistic activity that makes the City of Toronto one of Canada’s leading cultural centres. TAC is proud to reflect Toronto’s vibrancy through the diversity of the artists, arts communities and audiences that it serves. Toronto Arts Council is committed to artistic excellence, innovation, and accessibility.

Toronto Arts Council is situated in and serves one of the most multi-cultural and multi-lingual cities in the world. According to the most recent census figures, Toronto residents identify with over 230 distinct ethnic origins and speak over 140 languages and dialects. In 2011, 49.1% of Toronto’s population identified as belonging to a visible minority and 0.8% as First Nations or M├ętis. Based on Stats Canada projections, Toronto is now a “visible majority” city[1] and its demographics will continue to dramatically shift over the next few decades.

Diversity in Toronto also comes in many forms. Women, people with disabilities, people living with mental illness, Deaf people, immigrants and refugees, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons, youth, people who experience socio-economic disadvantage, and people of different faiths all contribute to the city’s make-up.

Toronto Arts Council recognizes that Canadian art is shaped by the culture of its Indigenous peoples, by the diasporic communities that have settled in Canada from around the world, and by the diverse geographic and identity-based communities that constitute its population. The Council values and recognizes the unique contributions of all members of the Toronto’s arts community both to the cultural life of the city and to its own operations, aspirations and vision.

The Council further recognizes that supporting a plurality of perspectives, voices, artistic practices, cultural expressions and aesthetics is critical to the growth, sustainability and evolution of the Toronto arts sector and is committed to ensuring that all qualified artists and arts organizations are provided fair and equitable access to its programs, funds, services and decision-making processes. Equity and inclusion are guiding principles and core values of the Toronto Arts Council.

What is Equity?

Equity is both a principle and process that promotes equality of opportunity and fair conditions for all persons to fully participate in society.[2] Equity recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family[3] but acknowledges that due to historical and ongoing oppression not all persons experience equal access to opportunities and benefits. Equity acknowledges the unique needs and experiences of individuals and groups in society and promotes active measures to eliminate barriers and level the playing field so that all persons can thrive and take full advantage of opportunities and benefits. As a process, equity may require treating individuals or groups differently in order to achieve fairness.

 

[1] A city where persons who belong to visible minorities form the majority of the population, also known as a majority-minority city.

[2] Excerpted from the Canada Council for the Arts’ equity definition.

[3] Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Toronto Arts Council Equity Framework

Introduction
Equity at Toronto Arts Council: A Brief History
Equity Guiding Principles
Equity Priority Groups
Equity Priority Policy
Equity Steering Committee and Framework Implementation