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Images from Left to Right: (1) Red Pepper Spectacle Arts, (2) Opera Atelier, (3) Art of Time Ensemble, (4) Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, (5) Korean Dance Studies Society of Canada (6) Red Sky Performance. Photograph of Toronto by Joseph Timar.
    June 2011 Join us on Facebook!Join us on Twitter!
Arts Awards  |  City Review  |  Culture Days  |  Creative Capital Award  |  ISPA
City Soul Awards  |  Arts North York  |  Summer Events  |  First Impressions  |  TAC News
Nominations Now Open for the 2011 Toronto Arts Foundation Arts Awards!

All are invited to submit nominations for the 2011 Toronto Arts Foundation Arts Awards - an annual celebration of artists, cultural professionals and arts supporters who have shaped the cultural landscape of our city. This year’s awards include the Arts for Youth Award ($15,000), the RBC Emerging Artist Award ($7,500), the Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Music ($10,000) the Rita Davies and Margo Bindhardt Cultural Leadership Award ($10,000) and the Toronto Arts & Business Award (a profile in Globe and Mail’s Report on Business section). Award winners also receive an original work of art by local artist Katie Bethune-Leamen commissioned by Toronto Arts Foundation. The awards will be presented at the Mayor’s Arts Awards Lunch being held at the Arcadian Court on October 20th, 2011. To make a nomination, verify your candidate’s eligibility, fill out a form found on the TAF Awards webpage and mail the form with supporting documents to Toronto Arts Council.

One of the 2010 winners was Manifesto Community Projects, a group rooted in hiphop culture and committed to giving “a voice to the voiceless,” as their executive director Che Kothari describes it. Other winners last year were filmmaker Jamie Travis, Lula Lounge director José Ortega, arts administrator Mallory Gilbert and BMO Financial Group, took the Arts and Business award.

Mayor's Arts Awards Lunch – Photo by Tom Sandler
City Invites Citizens to Speak Up - What City Services Are Important To You ?

Toronto City Council is inviting all citizens to participate in a review and rating of City services as they look for ways to address the city's $774 million budget shortfall for 2012. Every city service is being assessed for its importance and relevance to residents. Budget decisions will be based on the results of the review. It is important for everyone who enjoys, works in or benefits from arts and culture in Toronto to contribute their opinion via an on-line survey located on the service review website. The deadline for receipt of surveys is June 17.

City Hall - Photo by Dewi Minden
June 10th Deadline for Applications for Free Presentation Space at Toronto Public Library

There are just five days left until the June 10th deadline for artists to submit proposals for one of the free venue spots being offered by Toronto Public Library for Culture Days. This year, Toronto Public Library will partner with Culture Days and the Neighbourhood Arts Network, a program of the Toronto Arts Foundation, to create Culture Days @ the Library. In the generous spirit of this grassroots national action, approximately 45 libraries in the Greater Toronto Area will offer free venues for artists and arts organizations who are presenting interactive and free arts activity for Culture Days. Last year there were 155 activities in Toronto alone and over 4,000 across Canada. Thanks to sponsorship from Sunlife Financial, Aeroplan, CBC, Globe and Mail and St. Josephs Communications the thousands of artists, companies and organizations who register enjoy extensive national media coverage. Find out how you can participate in Culture Days. View the Culture Days Video.

Culture Days
Creative Capital Report Wins Unanimous Vote by City Councillors

Following two months of intensive consultations attended by hundreds of arts, cultural sector and business community leaders, Creative Capital Gains was passed in a unanimous vote at City Council on Wednesday May 18.  The initiative was co-chaired by Robert Foster, Karen Kain and Jim Prentice, and was championed by the City’s Economic Development Committee Chair, Michael Thompson. This process included consultations with hundreds of artists, youth and cultural leaders from across the creative sector. It notes that Toronto’s cultural economy contributes more than $9 billion annually to Toronto’s GDP and employs more than 130,000 people. The report recommends that Toronto keep pace with its international competitors by making a firm commitment to sustain Toronto’s cultural sector and position Toronto as a leading, globally competitive Creative Capital. It sets a target of $25 per capita funding for arts and culture. Toronto's current funding level is $17 per capita well behind our international competitors: Chicago $26, Montreal $32, New York $74 and San Francisco $87. The report concludes that culture is the fundamental driver of Toronto’s future prosperity.

 Councillor Thompson presents the Creative Capital Report to Council - Photo by Dewi Minden 

International Performing Arts Conference (ISPA) to Showcase Toronto Arts Community

For the first time in 15 years, Toronto will host the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Congress entitled Groundbreaking  from June 15-18. ISPA was founded in 1949 with a dedication to global interconnectedness in the arts. With its central office in New York City, and annual congresses in a different city each year, ISPA has become a major global event for arts professionals to network, build partnerships and see new work showcased. Groundbreaking, ISPA’s 25th June Congress, will centre on innovative ideas surrounding cultural spaces, technology, audience development, new funding models, and how the arts can be a platform for initiating political and social discourse. Events will take place at cultural landmarks across the city including the Four Seasons Centre, the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Claire Hopkinson, Executive Director of the Toronto Arts Council and one of three co-chairs of the Toronto 2011 Congress, said “I am delighted that a wide spectrum of local artists will have this unique and important opportunity to display their talents to influential cultural leaders from over 50 countries, not only through Congress showcases and our Pitch New Works session, but also through numerous performances taking place in Toronto in June, including the National Ballet of Canada, NXNE and Luminato."   Registration open to the public.

Rita Davies Wins City Soul Award

Rita Davies, Executive Director of Culture for the City of Toronto and formerly the inaugural Executive Director of Toronto Arts Council, has devoted her career to building the arts in Toronto. Davies’ vision, devotion and drive will be recognized and honoured on June 9th with the presentation of the prestigious City Soul Award. Issued by the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI), this is one of eight annual awards which recognize those who have made significant contributions to improving the quality of life in Canada’s cities and urban regions. RIta has been a devoted advocate of the arts in our City and an inspiring force for the continued growth of culture in Toronto.

Rita Davies, Executive Director of Culture
Creative City: Block By Block in North York!

Since January 2011 Toronto Arts Foundation has initiated a study on how best foster increased engagement and arts activity in the area of the city known as North York.  Almost 100 people including artists, arts administrators, city staff, City Councillors and representatives from schools, community centres, libraries, and community groups contributed their thoughts and ideas to the study through focus groups, interviews and meetings.  North York is home to many talented artists and arts organizations, which share similar promotion and production challenges. The goal of Arts North York will be to increase arts awareness and visibility and to support the efforts and activities of local artists.  Stay tuned for upcoming exciting announcements on this.

Community Mural Project by Art Starts - Photo by Sarah Miller-Garvin
Summer Means Hundreds of Free and Affordable Arts Events in Toronto

This summer Toronto will be brimming with fabulous dance, theatre, and music concert events as well as festivals and exhibitions. Luminato opens on June 7th and Harbourfront is already buzzing with arts activity. There are historic walks by Heritage Toronto spring courtyard concerts at the Music Gallery, theatre by Soulpepper, dance by COBA and a summer exhibition at  the Power Plant. Many events will animate Toronto Parks including Canadian Stage in High Park , Clay and Paper Theatre for the Day of Delight in Dufferin Grove park and Dusk Dances will perform in 7 different parks throughout Toronto. This is but a small sampling of what Toronto artists have to offer in the summer. For more listings visit

Clay and Paper Theatre present "Day of Delight" - Photo by Sarah Miller-Garvin
First Impressions Campaign Celebrates Toronto Artists and Heritage

First Impressions of Toronto, a project of Toronto Arts Foundation in partnership with Heritage Toronto and supported by RBC, is a series of beautiful posters exhibiting Toronto artists on TTC subway cars and buses. Both historic and contemporary artists are the subjects of posters representing immigrants to the City of Toronto. Three distinct series, each profiling four artists, have been on display at intervals since September 2009. Watch for the fourth edition to be launched this summer featuring Andy Moro of Red Pepper Spectacle Arts, Dáirine Ní Mheadhra of Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, Robert Thomas Allen a twentieth century journalist and William Lyon MacKenzie, writer and Mayor of Toronto 1834.

Andy Moro portrait by Giorgio Muratori
Toronto Arts Council

Toronto Arts Council Board of Directors approved a total of 331 grants representing $8,423,220 in arts activity at its meeting on May 31, 2011. TAC supports a diverse range of arts practice in dance, theatre, music, visual and media arts, literary arts and community arts. From independent artists to small, mid-sized and large organizations, an exciting spectrum of cultural expression is created, produced, performed, and exhibited across the city by Toronto artists. June 15th is the next deadline for project funding to individual writers and playwrights in Theatre and Literary genres. More on grants here.

Toronto Arts Foundation

This June the Neighbourhood Arts Network, a program of Toronto Art Foundation with 500 members, is launching the ACE Awards this June. Three new awards, each one a $2,000 cash prize, will recognize contributions of community-engaged artists in relation to cultural diversity.  These will include the TD Bank ACE  ‘Opportunities’ Award for Individual Artists, the Scotiabank ACE ‘Impact’ Award for an Arts Organization, and the ACE ‘Welcome’ Award for Newcomer Artist by Institute of Canadian Citizenship. For details about the awards and information on submitting a nomination visit or contact Skye Louis.

Toronto Arts Online

Toronto Arts Online recently added a new listing feature distinguishing Openings and Fundraisers from other arts events happening in the City of Toronto. Now arts organizations can consult the listing when booking fundraisers to ensure these important events will avoid conflicting with other similar occasions. Artists and arts organizations have often expressed the need for a single comprehensive site and Toronto Arts Online aims to offer just that. TAO is free and user friendly. Anyone can list events clicking on submit an event on the TAO home page.


Toronto Arts Insider is a joint publication of Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation  416-392-6802 141 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ontario  M5V 2R2
Dewi Minden, Writer and Editor  |  Rachel WongNewsletter Design

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