Friends of the Arts Petition:
All 20,000 signatures on the Friends of the Arts petition, representing every single ward in Toronto, were presented by Etobicoke Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby (and newly appointed Arts Etobicoke Board Director) at City Council on November 29, 2011. Thanks to all those who signed the petition.
Arts Budget Cuts Still Proposed:
Despite this show of support from Toronto residents, the City Manager's 2012 operating budget presented last week recommends a 10% cut to all city arts funding. This "major service change" will require the reduction or cancellation of hundreds of arts programs and projects. While offering only minor savings to the City Budget, this cut will result in a net economic loss of $25 million in direct investment in Toronto and millions more in related economic activity.
Torontonians have been gathering to protest proposed cuts to city services. Visit the Together Toronto website where, with the click of a button, you can send your comments directly to your City Councillor.
What is next?:
• December 7,8: The public made deputations to the City's Budget Committee. Read Arts Etobicoke’s deputation presented by Co-Chair, Karl Sprogis. Arts Etobicoke’s Deputation [links to pdf of Karl’s speech]
• January 9: The final Budget Committee wrap up meeting
• January 12: Executive Committee final budget review meeting
• January 17-19: City Council will vote on the 2012 budget
Toronto Arts Sector's Shared Message for City Council:
The following recommendations were developed jointly by TAPA's Advocacy Committee, Friends of the Arts, and Toronto Arts Foundation's Advocacy Committee. Toronto’s Arts Sector supports the following position:
1. To achieve economic vitality and quality of life, it is essential that the City of Toronto maintain or increase its current funding levels for arts and culture as recommended in the Creative Capital Gains report approved unanimously by City Council in May of this year.
2. To enhance Toronto’s global position as a cultural capital, the Mayor and City Councillors must play a leadership role in promoting our City’s rich cultural assets to its citizens and visitors.
3. To attract talent and business investment, the City must ensure a supply of affordable, sustainable cultural spaces in neighbourhoods across Toronto.
Questions or more information? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Friends of the Arts is a network of arts supporters including the following organizations: Arts Vote Toronto, Arts Etobicoke, BeautifulCity.ca, Business for the Arts, Creative Trust, Lakeshore Arts, Scarborough Arts, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Toronto Arts Foundation, Urban Arts.