Arts Etobicoke


The arts play a vibrant role in the lives of all Canadians.

Here are some helpful links, statistics and toolkits for advocates, supporters and practitioners of community arts. Click on each listing for more information:



Petition on Minimum Artist Fees - Posted: Mar 27, 2013

As you may have heard the Federal Court of Appeal ruled against CARFAC/RAAV in their dispute with National Gallery of Canada in regard to negotiations under the Status of the Artist Act. The Court ruled that the artist had 'the right to be paid less' in relation to exhibition and reproduction (CARFAC) fees.

Please sign the petition at the site below to show your support for minimum fees:

If you have already signed this thank you.

Mayor’s Ball for the Arts / Mayor's Task Force - Arts & Theatres - Posted: Feb 2, 2012

Positive news for Toronto's arts sector has been announced at City Hall this week.

Mayor’s Ball for the Arts

On Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Rob Ford was joined by the Honourable Hilary Weston, Ralph Lean, R.H. Thomson and Councillors Gary Crawford and Doug Ford in the Members’ Lounge at City Hall to launch the 2012 Mayor’s Ball for the Arts. Reviving an event first held by Mayor Mel Lastman, the Ball organizing committee has set a target to raise $1,000,000 in support of arts programs across Toronto. Proceeds will go to support Toronto Arts Foundation's Creative City Block by Block initiatives.

In addition to Hilary Weston, Honorary Co-Chairs for the ball include the Honourable David Peterson, John Tory, Joey Tannenbaum and Michael Harris and dinner Co-Chairs include Susan Crocker, Rupert Duchesne, Jim Fleck, Robert Foster and Tony Gagliano.

Susan Crocker, Chair of Toronto Arts Foundation spoke at the event: “We are honoured to be the beneficiary of this exciting event, which we see as a special opportunity to bring together a broad cross section of citizens and businesses in celebration of the important role that the arts play in our great city.”

The Mayor’s Ball for the Arts is being held on October 15, 2012 at the Metro Convention Centre. Toronto Arts Foundation will work with the event organizers to maximize opportunities to profile arts organizations and arts activities in Toronto at this event which expected to attract over 1.000 business leaders. Individual tickets, tables and sponsorships are available as well as volunteer opportunities. For more information on the Mayor’s Ball for the Arts – call Karen Miller, event organizer, at 416-224-9990.

Mayor’s Task Force – Arts and Theatres

Earlier the same afternoon, Councillor Gary Crawford, Chair of the Mayor's Task Force - Arts and Theatres presented the recommendations of the Arts Grants Panel to Mayor Rob Ford.

The recommendations call for the maintenance of the city’s current arts funding model in the short term with the Task Force being given an additional six months to complete its work and present recommendations for a more efficient and sustainable system for arts funding in the long term. For a copy of the full report, see latest news on the Toronto Arts Foundation website.

"On behalf of Toronto Arts Council, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Councillor Crawford and the members of the task force for their thoughtful work and their continued commitment.“ comments Claire Hopkinson, Executive Director. Members of the Mayor's Task Force are Councillor Gary Crawford (Chair), Ms. Susan Crocker, Dr. Jim Fleck, Mr. Robert Foster and Mr. Chris Lorway. Members of the Arts Grants Panel are Ms. Susan Crocker, Ms. Helen Burstyn and Ms. Kathleen Sharpe.

For additional information contact: Susan Wright 416-392-6802 x 211;

City Council Fully Restores Arts Grants for 2012!

For immediate release, January 18, 2012

Last night at City Hall, City Council approved the final 2012 Operating Budget. Arts Grants as well as community grants have been restored to 2011 funding levels.

Thanks to the hundreds and thousands of Toronto residents who made their voices heard by deputing at meetings, calling and writing their Councillors and signing the Friends of the Arts petition, there was support across the political spectrum at City Hall for sustained funding of arts grants.

The decision to protect arts grants was reached during the Executive Committee meeting held January 12. The motion, put forward by Councillor Peter Milczyn, states: “That City Council reverse the reduction to the CPIP Budget Envelope of $1.9 million for Arts and Culture Grants, the funds to be drawn from additional assessment growth revenues.”

Executive Committee Members Councillors Jaye Robinson, Peter Milczyn, and Michael Thompson worked with the administration to find a solution to protect arts funding within the framework of an austerity budget. Councillor Gary Crawford, leading the Mayor’s Arts Task Force and Ana Bailão, Shelley Carroll, John Filion, and Mary Fragedakis, who also serve as City appointed Directors of the Board of Toronto Arts Council (TAC), also provided critical behind-the-scenes support.

Councillor Mike Layton offered very strong community leadership with his support of the Friends of the Arts Network which includes over 20,000 Toronto residents. Claire Hopkinson, Executive Director of Toronto Arts Council, said “In addition to the support of so many Councillors who championed this move to protect the arts, I am grateful for the efficient work accomplished by the Mayors Arts Task Force in such a short time. Equally important was the strategic groundwork laid by Culture Division in developing, with Co-Chairs Robert Foster, Karen Kain and Jim Prentice, the Creative Capital Gains Report and in helping to launch the Municipal Cultural Investment in Five Large Canadian Cities Report. The research provided by these publications reveals and clarifies the critical role the arts play in the economic fabric of the city.”

“I was encouraged by Councillor Milczyn’s remarks when he introduced the motion at Executive Committee,” said Toronto Arts Foundation Chair, Susan Crocker. “He made clear that this administration now considers itself a strong supporter of the arts and is willing to defend the value of arts grants despite significant cuts elsewhere.”

The final 2012 Operating Budget, as well as information on all motions and votes, can be found on the City of Toronto website here.

For additional information contact: Susan Wright 416-392-6802 x 211

Fall Update - Arts Funding at City Hall

Toronto City Council will be making important recommendations about arts support in the coming weeks and months leading up to the 2012 budget.

Arts Etobicoke has been active in advocating for the arts.

We are a co-sponsor of the Friends of the Arts petition which has gathered over 18,000 signatures to date (16,000 online, 2000 on paper). Gathering more signatures will help ensure that arts grants are protected. Please keep up the momentum, sign the petition online or drop by our office and sign the paper copy. While you’re here pick up an I LOVE ART button from our series (I LOVE ARTISTS, I LOVE DANCE, I LOVE THEATRE, I LOVE MUSIC, I LOVE FILM) and a I VOTE ARTS & CULTURE button.

Arts Etobicoke’s Co-Chair Karl Sprogis made a strong deputation at the September 19, 2011 Executive Committee meeting. Read the full 3-minute version of it here.

Former Board member and ongoing Arts Etobicoke volunteer Karina Dahlin wrote this impassioned letter to her local City Councillor:

To Members of Toronto City Council:

I write to ask you to vote against the proposed cuts to the arts that Council will discuss in coming weeks.

Arts matter. Whether it's the Art Gallery of Ontario we talk about, individual artists or Arts Etobicoke, we need the arts, just as we need water in the tap, police looking after security and housing for the homeless.

The arts add quality to life. A poem that resonates, a song that lifts your heart, a drawing that stops you in your tracks – such things animate your inner life and give you depth that helps you express who you are. Reflection makes for interesting people, and interesting people make for interesting communities with confidence and identity.

Toronto has done a great job of nurturing the arts. Just look at the hugely successful Nuit Blanche. Not even Christmas can match the peace and joy that you find during Nuit Blanche. Let's continue the tradition and not erode the special nature of our city.

I support a tax increase to pay for carefully considered and professionally handled public expenses....

We live in a smart city. Let's keep it that way.

Karina Dahlin

On September 26, 2011 at City Council the proposed cuts to the arts were taken off the table and the announcement of a Mayor’s task force was made. It will study the three Toronto-owned theatres and arts grants. This task force will be lead by Councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 36 Scarborough Southwest).

There will be many more opportunities to participate in the coming months leading up to the Budget. Please contact your local city councillor and let them know that Arts Etobicoke and the arts and culture sector matter to you.

These links will connect you with more information:

Protect the Arts & Culture

One Toronto

Stop the Cuts

A Budget Update From COMMITMENT 2 COMMUNITY - Posted: Dec 1, 2011

20,000 Torontonians petition City Council to stop budget cuts to arts and culture - Posted: Dec 1, 2011

20,000 Signatures By Monday! - Posted: Sep 22, 2011

Thank you for signing the Friends of the Arts Petition! We've collected over 15,000 signatures to date (13,500 on line, 2,000 on paper).

City Council will be making important recommendations about arts support at its next meeting, Monday September 26. Can you help us get to 20,000 signatures by then?

Maintaining pressure will help us to make sure that arts grants are protected, that the arts community is consulted and that other critical arts items on the city's agenda (including access to space, Nuit Blanche and museums) are maintained.

What can you do?
Forward this message to friends, colleagues and family to encourage them to sign the petition.

Volunteer to help collect petition signatures during Nuit Blanche and at other arts events across the city.

We have one upcoming volunteer training session:

Monday September 26 volunteer training: drop in any time between 5:30pm and 7:30pm on Monday September 26 at Toronto City Hall in Committee Room 3, 2nd floor, 100 Queen Street West (closest to Osgoode subway station).

If you are able to volunteer, please contact us to confirm that you'll be there, or to request additional information at Also let us know if you are interested in volunteering but cannot make the training time.

Toronto City Council is planning to make deep cuts to the city budget, and this puts arts and cultural funding at serious risk. Cutting the arts could be an economic and social catastrophe for Toronto: not only does the city achieve a huge return on a relatively small investment, but our vibrant arts scene is also a big part of what makes Toronto a great place to live, work and visit. To make certain this doesn't happen, we need your help.

Key Upcoming City decision dates:
September 26: City Council meets to review Executive Committee recommendations

*Friends of the Arts is a network of arts supporters including the following organizations: Arts Vote Toronto, Arts Etobicoke,, Business for the Arts, Creative Trust, Lakeshore Arts, Scarborough Arts, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Toronto Arts Foundation, Urban Arts.

Toronto Arts Council "Arts are Essential - City Service Review" - Posted: Jul 27, 2011

Toronto Arts Foundation "Arts Issues & The Election" - Posted: Apr 2011

Department of Culture "Canadian Federal Election 2011" - Posted: Apr 2011


"Five Lessons We Can Learn From The Yes Men for the Canadian Election" 

"Everything you need to know for the Canadian Federal Election 2011" 

"We're building a Culture Map to show off Canadians' artistic and cultural election messages!" 

Unanimous Recommendation to Increase Arts Investment - Posted: Aug 2010

Executive Committee of the City of Toronto recommends increase to $25 per capita by 2013

On August 16, 2010, the Executive Committee of the City of Toronto unanimously recommended an increase in arts funding to $25 per capita by 2010. Pending approval by Council on August 25/26 this will result in 17.5 million dollars in additional investment by 2013.

The Toronto Arts Council, Major Cultural Organizations, Local Arts Service Organizations (includes Arts Etobicoke) and community arts are to be recognized as the highest funding priority.

This city building decision was made possible by the billboard tax initiated in 2001 by Currently, Toronto lags behind most North American cities in per-capita spending at $18 – whereas Montreal invests $33 per capita.

Please phone your local councillor and ask them what you can do to make sure the increase passes Council on August 25/26. Find your councillor here:

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