September 23, 2018

Supporting and Promoting the Arts


TORONTO -- September 23, 2018: Today, Jennifer Keesmaat announced her plan to support and promote Toronto’s vibrancy through arts and culture. 

“The arts are a meeting place where a diverse and vibrant city like ours can converge to share our stories and connect with who we are as a city. They are also an engine of economic prosperity, a foundational aspect of our economy. We are fortunate to live in a city with so many wonderful and creative people — their contributions make our city the special place it is,” said Keesmaat. “That’s why I’ve outlined a plan to significantly increase support for the arts and to make sure every corner of the city shares in the growth of our arts scene.”  

Keesmaat laid out her plan to promote the arts:

  • Double per-capita investment in arts and culture to bring it in-line with other Canadian cities: “For too long, Toronto has under-invested in its arts and culture, despite the fact that they contribute $11 billion to our economy each year. That’s why we will double the per-capita investment in the arts within five years. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be investing in the arts at a similar scale to cities like Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.” 
  • Build five new culture hubs outside the downtown core: “We will partner with cultural organizations to build five new culture hubs to offer platforms for cultural exchange and expression in Scarborough, Etobicoke, East York, and North York to provide artists with affordable space to work, live, and connect with communities and audiences. We will also double the Culture Build Investment Fund to expand access to arts and culture spaces outside the downtown core.”
  • Conduct a city-wide assessment of arts and culture to identify gaps and opportunities for new facilities and programming:“Toronto’s arts scene attracts investment, talent, and tourism, creates good local jobs, and is a key part of making our city the vibrant exciting place it is today. It’s vital that we recognize its importance at City Hall and that we ensure it’s not just those who live and work downtown who are able to engage in arts facilities and programming.”

“As any good Planner knows, arts and culture should be at the heart of community-building — my plan puts that notion to work in practice and will ensure that the whole city is sharing in the wonderful talent and artistic expression that Torontonians have to offer. We must also ensure that artists have the ability to actually live in our city, which is one of the reasons that housing affordability sits at the core of my plan to build a better Toronto.”