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March 2011
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City Budget · ISPA · NYC Initiative · Artists on TTC ·  Culture Days · Order of Canada· Toronto Arts Update
City Hall - Photo by Dewi Minden   Toronto’s Arts Sector Presents City With Joint Message
Recently, Toronto’s arts sector collaborated on a presentation to the City’s Budget Committee. Public deputations were led by Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, the Major Cultural Organizations and Toronto Arts Council on January 19th and 20th held at civic centres in  North York, East York, York, and Scarborough. Budget deputants collectively presented the case that City Council should honour its previous recommendations to increase arts funding to $25 per capita by 2013, and ensure that all revenue from the billboard tax is directed to arts funding.

At its February session, City Council passed its 2011 budget holding arts funding to 2010 levels. Currently TAC and many artists and arts organizations are participating in the City of Toronto’s Creative Capital Initiative which is holding public consultations across the city.  Advice and suggestions are being sought for the development of an updated culture plan for the City of Toronto. The new plan will be completed in time to bring forward recommendations for the 2012 City budget. (See story in Live With Culture.)
ISPA New York Congress 2009  ISPA International Performing Arts Conference Comes to TO

For the first time in fifteen years the International Society for the Performing Arts Congress (ISPA) will be hosted by Toronto this June 15 – 18. TAC’s Claire Hopkinson is Co-Chair of “Groundbreaking Toronto 2011 ISPA Congress” along with Jennifer Gordon and Mervon Mehta, leading a local organizing committee comprised of many of Toronto‘s performing arts organizations. ISPA is a network of performing arts professionals who share the goal of strengthening the arts internationally.

The event attracts people from over 30 countries, including some of the world's most significant presenting organizations, independent artists, performing arts organizations, artist managers, cultural policy groups, foundations, consultants, and many others. Toronto performing arts companies are invited to apply (deadline: March 25th 2011) to participate in `Pitch New Works` a showcase opportunity linked with the conference.
CART NY Logo by Torontonian Carla Poirier

TAF Helps Launch Canadian Art Initiative in NYC

Toronto Arts Foundation is supporting an exciting new initiative launching on March 3 in New York City during the prestigious Armory Week. Aimed at creating lasting networks, locating resources and increasing visibility for expat Canadian artists working in NYC, this multi-pronged professional networking strategy, both online and event-based, will encourage our artists to share information and opportunities. At the helm is Torontonian artist, Emily Stoddart currently at Hunter College (CUNY) in New York and Ali Ebrahimi a web wizard working between Toronto and NYC. “Our intention is to increase the profile of Canadians contributing to the visual and media arts scene here in New York,” says Stoddart. “With the internet and an ongoing series of events, we hope to create a viable voice for us in the city’s contemporary art culture.” For more visit

Arsinee Khanjian - photo by Guilio Muratori First Impressions – Artists Profiled on TTC

On March 14th the third series of First Impressions posters returns to the TTC, a campaign produced by Toronto Arts Foundation and Heritage Toronto and sponsored by RBC.  Posters feature artists both current and historic, who were once newcomers to the city of Toronto. Look for posters on subways and busses featuring dancer Keiko Kitano, actor Arsinée Khanjian, 20thcentury documentary film-maker Harry Rasky and 19thcentury writer, Anna Jameson. The full First Impressions campaign is featured on websites for Toronto Arts Foundation's Our-Programs/First-Impression  and Heritage Toronto.
CBC films girl at Culture Days 2010 - photo by Dewi Minden Artists Plan for Culture Days 2011

The second annual Culture Days event will take place September 30 to October 2. Last year Toronto produced over 160 events for this volunteer national arts festival contributing to over 35,000 events occurring simultaneously across Canada. TAC's Claire Hopkinson is joining members from across Ontario to volunteer on the provincial task force. Culture Days Newsletter will be featuring a Community Spotlight section featuring the stories of artists across the country. Artists are invited to share stories of last year or the coming year’s preparations. Email your story to View video.
  Eric Peterson 2010 mayors arts awards - photo by Tom Sandler Toronto Artists Recognized by Order of Canada 
54 new appointments to the Order of Canada were announced on December 30, 2010. Among recipients are members of Toronto’s arts community including actor Eric Peterson for his work in the performing arts; Tony Comper and Elizabeth Comper, founders of the Elinore and Lou Siminovitch Prize for directors, playwrights, and designers for their commitment to volunteerism, philanthropy and advocacy for human rights and social justice; and dancer Mavis Staines, the Artistic Director and CEO of the National Ballet School. Congratulations to them all! Visit here for a listing of all Order of Canada appointments.

Toronto Arts Online Provides City-wide Comprehensive Listings

Toronto Arts Online - Toronto's only long term arts listing site - is increasing its presence in cyberspace. Linked to Live With CultureArtsword and numerous other arts listing sites, TAO is becoming one of the top sites to find out what's happening. The TAO event listings are organized by neighbourhood, type of event, and date. TAO is free and user friendly. You can list arts and culture events for this week, month, or year by selecting submit an event on the TAO home page.
TAC_Logo_POS TAC and TAF Elect New Board Directors 
The Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation held their Annual General Meeting on February 7th. Highlights of  2010 included the disbursement of $10.3 million in support to 465 arts organizations and 238 individual artists, the inauguration of the new Neighbourhood Arts Network, the, the success of the fifth annual Mayor’s Arts Awards Lunch, much activity undertaken by the TAC/TAF Advocacy Committee, and the inauguration of TAF`s Metcalf Policy Fellowship co-sponsored by the John D. McKellar Foundation which engaged dancer, blogger and arts advocate Shannon Litzenberger to work on arts policy initiatives. 
TAF_Logo_POS really small Five new Directors were elected to the Toronto Arts Council Board: Choral Director, Dallas Bergen; Dancer, Nova Bhattacharya; Arts Activist, Devon Ostrom; Writer, Andrew Pyper and Lawyer, Cindy Wan. Of the total 28 Directors of the TAC Board, five are City Councillors appointed by City Council. This year’s appointees are Councillors Ana Bailão, Shelley Carroll, Gary Crawford, John Filion and Mary Fragedakis. Full TAC Board listed here. Meanwhile, Toronto Arts Foundation's Board welcomed new members Jill Black, Strategy and Policy Consultant and Lawyer Cindy Wan. Full TAF Board listed here.

TAC Grant News: The stats are out for 2010 grants. Of 1,699 applications submitted, 703 were awarded grants, together totalling $10,338,556. More TAC grant info here.
 NANLogo-small 2 Neighbourhood Arts Network  - Linking the Arts to communities across Toronto. Become a member for free by visiting the website and clicking on 'Join'
Toronto Arts Insider is a joint publication of Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation written and edited by Dewi Minden.
For a full calendar of Toronto arts events, visit

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