Before we begin, some might be wondering what Creative Capital Gains is. In short, Creative Capital Gains is an action plan for Toronto, a report that brought together the cultural and business sectors to strategize about Toronto’s future as a leading Creative City. You can read the full report here, but the focus areas include items such as:
- Ensuring a supply of affordable, sustainable cultural space
- Ensuring access and opportunity for cultural participation to all citizens, regardless of age, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, geography or socioeconomic status
- Supporting the development of creative clusters and emerging cultural scenes to capitalize on their potential as generators of jobs and economic growth
- Promoting Toronto’s cultural institutions, festivals and other assets to enhance the city’s position as a Creative City regionally, nationally and internationally
- Keeping pace with international competitors by making a firm commitment to sustain Toronto’s cultural sector and position Toronto as a leading, globally competitive Creative Capital.
Possibly most importantly, the report sets a target of $25 per capita funding for arts and culture. As our current funding level is a measly $17 per capita, this $8 a head jump would just put us in line with our competitors worldwide – I`m lookin`at you Chicago and Montreal with $26 and $32 respectively. Don`t even get me started on on New York with $74 and San Francisco with $87. Given how well our industry does with our $17, I can only imagine the possibilities if that magic $25 number becomes a reality.
Introduced by Councillor Michael Thompson, who is Chair of the Economic Development Committee and supported by many Councillors representing a broad cross-section of the city, the Creative Capital Gains report was unanimously endorsed by City Council on May 18, 2011.
The report concludes that culture is the fundamental driver of Toronto’s future prosperity. What an excellent thought to build on.
Inspiration on the 29 Dufferin Bus is not something I usually expect. This morning I got it in spades when I ran into Chris Reed who is the Artistic Director of Small Print Toronto. If you haven`t heard of them, Small Print Toronto stages writing workshops and literary events with programming that caters to curious minds between the ages of two and seventeen. Overall, Small Print cultivates a dialogue between professional writers and their primary audiences. This is indeed a noble enterprise. In the bus ride between Queen and Bloor Chris filled me in on the many exciting projects they have upcoming – you should keep your eyes open for their upcoming events on Facebook as well as their other channels. And in keeping with excellent thoughts to build on, for little kids and bigger ones, and adults of all kinds, also from the Small Print website:
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”