Posts tagged ‘Toronto Arts Council’

November 29, 2013

$3.6 million does not equal $6 million. Ten years later – still waiting.

This past Monday, the first draft of the City Budget was released. There is a $3.6m increase in arts funding, which, while good, it is still a far cry from the $6m that we asked for.

Despite early indications that the full next phase of funding was allocated, the current budget falls short of reaching our targets. This is yet another delay in reaching the $25 per capita target that was established way back in 2003.
Increasing the city’s investment in culture is a central part of the City’s strategic plan at the highest level, and was unanimously endorsed again in 2013. We need to build on the success of 2013 and keep that momentum going.

In particular, the areas in the 2014 budget that fall short of requested amounts are the granting programs – the Toronto Arts Council, the Local Arts Service Organizations, the Major Cultural Organizations program and CultureBuild.

While many councillors are supportive of our cause, not many are going to look through the budget detail specifically with the Arts in mind. So we need to let them know. Please email your Councillor, thank them for their support and ask them to follow-up with their colleagues, with Budget committee, with staff, and voice their support for getting that number back up to $6 million. Emails can be found HERE.

Plans in our sector were and are being made based on that $6 million. Jobs and productions were and are being created. Let’s not take one step forward, and 2.4 million backwards. Email your councillor. Please.

Budget notes pertaining to Culture and Ec-Dev are here.

April 5, 2013

Arts Funding, Social Media Presence, and Where We Work

Capture

Click the image to find out just what happened.

Saturday I’m off to the first  of the four consultations about just how and where that money should be put to use.
And Sunday I’m off to give a workshop on social media at the Dancer Transition Resource Centre as part of their Living Creatively agenda.

It’s been a long week. A good and busy one, but long. Our intrepid Communications Coordinator has taken over the blog today with the post below. But first – a cartoon.

caetoon

And now may I present Lisa presenting

Sue and Lisa’s Favourite Places to Work

 The Gladstone Hotel
We love the Gladstone. The restaurant in the Melody Bar usually doesn’t open until 5pm and so we are free to grab a coffee from the cafe and take up some of the comfy space! You can find us there, typing away on our individual computers, for hours… luckily we’ve become friends with the servers.

Try the... Falafel… but don’t expect the typical meal!

CSI Cafe on Bathurst
A creative space full of contentious people. There is always a space for us to plug in at the large communal tables and work the day away.

Try the… Soup of the day. Always healthy. Always delicious.

Dark Horse
Sunny, spacious and hip… we like Darkhorse on Spadina for its feel and funky music. Have to be careful to grab a plug in when it’s free, but generally worth the trip downtown!

Try the… Three Cheese Grilled Cheese. Triple the cheese, triple the nom-nom-nom.


Tequila Bookworm
When Sue first told me to meet her at Tequila Bookworm one day at noon, I was a bit alarmed… turns out the place is a great mix between cafe and restaurant… free wifi and yummy food… don’t mind if we do!

Try the… burger any way you like it. They’ve got yummy fries too!

Cadillac Lounge
This is definitely the most ‘bar-like’ space we work in. It’s a very casual environment and a different feel from most spaces. You’ll like this if you’re in the mood for a beer while you work!

Try the… All day breakfast: Cheap and satisfying!

March 25, 2013

Our Work Is Never Quite Done

Arts Advocacy Committee meeting last week, emails back and forth about arts funding, links posted and reposted and reminded, so of course I was all set to write an impassioned post this morning about how in terms of that 4 million in arts funding? We ain’t there yet.
Then I was on Facebook and found someone had already written one. And since I am a firm believer in not reinventing the wheel when the wheel has been invented well – I’m posting Emma’s note in full below. Read it. It’s good. If you don’t get something, it has links.
Well spoken Ms. Emma. Talk soon.
Get Arts Funding Passed
by Emma Mackenzie Hillier (Notes) on Monday, 25 March 2013 at 11:36

Hi friends,

So remember when we found out that City Council was going to approve an extra $4,000,000 to their arts budget and we all did a happy dance? We can’t quite finish doing the Snoopie until April 3 when city council will finally vote. I don’t know about you… but in my opinion it’s our job to let our councillors and mayor know that this extra funding is crucial. I mean.. I’d love it if Theatre Projects suddenly had an extra $50,000 grand to throw to companies… like my own.

Uh oh… but wait… I can hear the self-defeatists now: “But Emma… to do that would take work and I prefer to spend all my energy on creating work… except for when I’m on facebook procrastinating because art is hard to make. Administrative Work, Emma, it would take Work!!”

Yes… yes it would… if I hadn’t drafted a letter that you can copy and paste and send along to your city councillor (whose email can be found by clicking on this link http://app.toronto.ca/im/council/councillors.jsp).

Oh, wait… I hear another voice: “But Emma… I don’t really know anything about arts funding and how it benefits the sector in Toronto! How can I write and say I support something I don’t know enough about?”

Ah, well, my friend, simply click on this link: http://www.torontoartscouncil.org/ARTS-FACTS/Impact, read up, and maybe snoop around some more on the Toronto Arts Council’s website. There’s some useful stuff in there. Remember… an uninformed artist is an ignorant one (at least in my books). Know your shit, people. Otherwise how can you create for any community but the one in your own head?

So… all in all… it should take less time to fill out the letter below and send it to your city counillor than it did to read this note. Happy Arts Activism! You just did your good deed for the day… and your civic duty… two birds, one stone.

Dear [insert councillor],

I want to take a minute to thank you for your hard work on city council. As a member of your ward, who reads your regular newsletter, I want to let you know that I appreciate what you do for the members of your ward when you represent us to the city.

I’m writing to ask for your support of Recommendation ED20.5 at the vote on April 3, 2013. The arts sector is a vibrant part of our community and as an [insert title here] who works within the theatre industry I know first-hand how crucial additional funding is to the sector’s growth. The extra revenue, delivered to the Toronto Arts Council and then on to artists, will impact the capacity of theatre companies and individual artists to create work that speaks to the vibrant and diverse culture in Toronto.

I’m sure you’re aware of the reports and statistics that have been released on the impacts of arts funding, but to reiterate a few of the highlights:

Grants allocated by Toronto Arts Council directly support:

Creativity:

  • On average 900 new works of art are created annually with support from TAC.

Economy:

  • 15,000 artistic and administrative staff are paid by TAC funded organizations
  • $40,000,000 is generated annually in ticket sales
  • For every $1 granted to an arts organization by TAC, $14.95 is received from other levels of government, the private sector or earned revenue

Arts Access:

  • 15,000 performances, exhibitions, events are presented annually
  • 7.5 million people including 1.5 million children and youth attend TAC supported events annually

The impact on Toronto’s neighbourhoods and communities of increased arts funding includes:

  • creation of a more beautiful city
  • promotion of understanding between cultures
  • provision of opportunities for at-risk youth
  • attraction of business
  • increase of citizen engagement
  • support for underserviced neighbourhoods
  • increase of tourism
  • reduction of crime
  • increase of volunteerism
  • improvement of the economy
  • creation of community pride
  • increase in community organizational capacity

Toronto has lagged behind the rest of country in its arts funding; this increase was recommended 10 years ago. I’m so excited to see that there has been such progress towards the goal and I hope that you will aid in its passing. Speaking as a member of the arts and [insert Ward here] community I can attest to the passion, drive, and personal impact the work of our artists has on the Toronto community. Please support Recommendation ED20.5 and increase funding for this vital sector.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully,

 

January 31, 2013

A Night of Celebration and How to Hail A Cab

From my Facebook status: what a great night. celebration of the arts and arts funding at Daniels Spectrum – Artscape’s newest creation, amazing to see so much joy and power in one room, all together, friends old and new to hug and exclaim and make plans with and then out for a bite and a drink with (A Friend) who rocks my world and home safe to finish bits and pieces and think about what good things the future will bring to the arts in Toronto. Well done, all involved. To quote Che – art is power. Fought for over a decade, celebrated tonight.

I hadn’t yet been to Daniels Spectrum it was still a deep pit in the ground when I finished working at Artscape and it is a beautiful building, with a state of the art hall for events and theatre – congrats Artscape. You’ve made another beautiful building.

Last night was truly great – the mix of folks there to celebrate this arts funding from artists to city councillors to the Mayor to children running through to their art classes – really a celebration of life. Still – a long day and I was glad to head home, which leads to

Liv+Tyler+Liv+Tyler+Hailing+Cab+New+York+City+Sx9sdY8pO4PlHow To Hail A Cabbecause sometimes we need practical, non-arts marketing advice

I am excellent at hailing cabs. A US friend of mine once said, “they turn around for you – you’d do well in New York” which is still one of the best compliments I’ve ever been paid. I may have to wear reading glasses but I can spot a taxi six blocks away and get it.

Now then – the basic trick to hailing a cab is  – look like you want a taxi. I cannot stress this enough. This means –

Standing at the edge of the sidewalk by the street;
Actively looking, not playing with your phone or talking to your friends.

Hand in the air, and get it up there – whole arm up. No sad little waves, no timid finger snapping (and don’t do that anyway, because really? Snapping your fingers at someone?)

You are on the side of the road that corresponds to the direction you want to go in. Unless you want the meter started and have to go two blocks out-of-the-way or be a partner in a U-turn turned three-point turn turned twelve-point turn and now you’re holding up traffic and folks are honking. Up to you.

Keep your arm/hand in the air. Keep scanning. Try to be on/near a corner of an intersection, as it broadens your search area. Step away from the bus stop – because then you look like you’re waiting for the bus, not looking for a cab. Someone standing on the sidewalk by the edge of the street wants a cab.

If there are no cabs coming towards you, keep that arm up anyway. Why? Because there are cabs coming in the other direction and they can now see you want a cab. Listen behind you – if you hear a little peep-peep! horn – keep your arm in the air , but check the source as it’s probably a cab. Also, cabs going by with their lights off are taken, but sometimes drivers will communicate to other drivers that there is a “flagger” at X Street West and Y Avenue. Get all the taxis on your side!

Since he is going the opposite direction you will need to communicate to him to turn around – this be done with either the over the shoulder thumb movement in te direction you wish to head, or the circle the index finger turn around movement. Either one should be accompanied by mouthing or saying the words “that way“, or “other way“.

If there is a cab coming towards you and he is picking you up, odds are good he will flash his lights to indicate “I see you”. You can respond with a thumbs up, arm down and wait and keep watching them.  In my view, these actions constitute a binding contract for services on the part of both parties, so if another cab comes peeling around the corner and tries to nab you, you must shake your head no, and point at the original taxi, thus cementing the contract. They will thank you for waiting when they pull up.

If – and this rarely happens to me, but if it does – you have flagged a cab and someone a block ahead of you steals it – sorry. It’s a pain but it’s New York rules: If someone steals your cab, it wasn’t your cab.

Bonus info: If you call a taxi and wind up hailing one in the wait time for whatever reason, you must call back and tell them to cancel it. There’s a cab on the way spending time and gas to come get you – you can’t ditch them. Besides, they now have your cell number and you are the person who calls and ditches. Poor form.

And that’s how you hail a cab.

January 27, 2013

Sunday Roundup – January 27

And there goes January.

Before I forget,  a reminder to all working towards that Toronto Arts Council February 1 deadline that grant apps need to go to their new place of residence at Toronto Arts Council 200-26 Grand Trunk Crescent Toronto, ON  M5J 3A9.

You see where my mind is at these days. Don’t forget the Ontario Arts Council February 1 deadline as well.

Last week? Last week.

Documenting Your Show – the incomparable Dahlia Katz explains why show photograph is wildly important

Three Articles on Social Media. Two Artists Doing it Right

A Room Full of Participants

I mentioned last week I’d be tag-team teaching a course at Ryerson – the Chang School, to be precise – here are the details – I’m doing CDAM 101 Communication and Promotion for the Arts.

Totsapalooza is in less than a week and I’m sensing a sold out event. Small Print Toronto does amazing work in the realm of kid-lit, and this one is no exception, with the talents of Oliver Jeffers being a major part of the day.

He’s lovely.

 

November 25, 2012

Sunday Round-Up November 25

Before I dive into a three-scripts-to-read day, I’d like to mention I have no idea who this dog is calling. Or why he doesn’t have a cell phone. Or where he got change to make the call.

And so here we are, rounding up last week:

It’s Tuesday – indeed it was.

Clocks Youth and Burgers – Didn’t get to see the Clock the Burger Ball was a great success (search #burgerball) and I’m happy to report the field trip ad designs are in so expect to see them sometime next week.

You Just Proved Advertising Works – well, you did.

Someone asked me the other day who I’ve been working with lately so here you go. I’m still working with Michael on past, present and future stuff for Proud, tying up some social media work for Young Associates, doing the marketing/social media for Expect Theatre and Awake for Next Stage, social media for OCAF, just finished lending a hand to Arts & Lies Productions, working on a strat plan with Small Print Toronto, and still more planning with Math Out Loud. So there you go. Things in the hopper, other irons in the fire, hence the reading of scripts today. Busy and happy with great projects.

Also – an article on Facebook and Edgerank – so everyone calm down. Thanks Rebecca! There’s also a great one in this week’s MacLean’s – have a read. I’m still not clear where anyone got the idea that all their fans would see all their posts all the time. If you had flyers, postcards, print ads, direct mail – would you have thought everyone had seen them? Even if they were up in the theatre you worked out of, or your admin offices? Food for thought.

Have a good Sunday.

 

November 23, 2012

You Just Proved Advertising Works

Chaperoning yesterday – my friend Robin’s Grade 12 media class was down at Harbourfront taking their media advertising workshop. I will only say this once – I am really envious and would like to know where these field trips were in my day.

They spent the morning doing two things (Tim the workshop leader = AMAZING) – they looked st some ads, discussed what they were for, were they good, bad indifferent, general analysis. Smart SMART young people BTW. Then for the rest of the morning they spent their time designing an ad themselves.

(where these field trips were in my day??)

Lunch break, big lineup to see The Clock, so we didn’t get a chance to. After lunch – lino block printing lesson and they had to design a logo for themselves. I KNOW, RIGHT??

Robin has said she’ll email me their ads once she gets them back from Harbourfront so expect a follow-up post on this. These are not the same students sa I met when we did the Gardiner last year, those were grade tens and these folks are Grade Twelves and I apologize for not making that distinction. These are also the same kids I’m going to do a social media chat with in February and I look forward to it.

Speaking of advertising

BILLBOARD TAX APPEALS EXHAUSTED – SUPREME COURT OF CANADA DECLINES HEARING 

BeautifulCity.ca is recommending that all supporters contact their local councilor and ask how they can make sure funds go towards the arts. I know I will be – it’s a friendly reminder that this revenue is a brand new source, that should be earmarked for arts and culture before it disappears into that quagmire of a line item known as “general revenue”.

(Find your councillor here: http://app.toronto.ca/wards/jsp/wards.jsp ).
Out the door, gonna go see some art and have a meeting or two. Tomorrow I’m going to the opening of Popular Mechanics – New Work by A Shay Hahn at the Cameron House.
Happy Friday!

 

 

 

August 12, 2012

Sunday Round-up August 12

The first two weeks of August are usually quiet for my blog What went on?

Pro-Artist/Anti-Institution, PTTP deadlines and a Book Sale!

and

Two Very Different Shows

Since it was so quiet, here are a couple of great articles that were on the Creative Trust blog last week:

A Good Board at Work and We Have to Tell Our Stories. Thought-provoking – enjoy!

April 18, 2012

My Thoughts on Starting a Theatre Company

This article was making the Facebook rounds yesterday:

Please, Don’t Start a Theatre Company

“Neither the field nor the next generation of artists is served by this unexamined multiplication of companies based on the same old model. The NEA’s statistics on nonprofit growth, set against its sobering reports on declining arts participation, illuminate a crucial nexus for the field, a location of both profound failure and potential transformation. The proliferation of small theater companies sits at the intersection between the necessity to imagine different structures for making theater and our field’s failure to provide career paths for the next generation of artists. Since the Ford Foundation’s investments kicked off the regional theater movement fifty years ago, there has been tremendous collective buy-in to what has become a fossilized model of a particular type of nonprofit theater. Within this structure, there is now a critical lack of opportunity for emerging artists and leaders, leaving the next generation of artists no alternative but to start companies of their own, companies that often replicate the problems of established theaters on a smaller scale. “

So it seems we know what’s wrong with the current model, but aren’t able to do anything but participate in the current (some would say broken) model because funding and expectations are geared towards the current model, namely  “a building with staff and a season, subscribers and youth programs, and a healthy mix of earned and contributed income.”


The cycle continues.

So what do we do? Go read part two of the article it’s got some interesting ideas.  I also think we have to change our picture of what success looks like – is being a venued theatre a badge of success if you can’t afford the building? Is a large subscriber base a badge of success if you’ve gone from producing edgy avant-garde work to “crowd pleasers” to keep the doors open on the unaffordable venue?

And are we a success as a community and industry if we, as some of the most creative people out there, cannot change because the current model is the only one we know?

At Clayton Lord”s presentation this week the question was raised, which is more important, economic or intrinsic impact? Why, intrinsic, of course.

Then why does only economic get a form to fill out in the grant application? Budget form, earned revenue form, subscribers vs single ticket, foundation vs government.  Economic gets a very important form in the grant application.

Where’s the form for intrinsic?

Then today a Quick Riff from Mission Paradox: “I find the whole “people should stop forming arts organizations” conversation to be interesting.  It’s interesting because people make a very logical case for not starting.  The issue is that starting an organization is an emotional issue.  It isn’t driven by logic.  By the way, this isn’t a good or bad thing . . . it is just reality.  My own point of view is that if it is in your heart to start an organization then you HAVE to do it.  The world may need it.
But if your heart isn’t in it.  If you aren’t committed.  Don’t even think about starting.”

Anyway….

March 30, 2012

Federal and Provincial Budgets – What do they mean for the arts?

 

In my inbox from the Toronto Arts Foundation.

 

Federal and Provincial Budgets – What do they mean for the arts?
Artists and arts organizations will be relieved to learn that the federal and provincial governments have both protected the arts councils from cuts to their granting programs.  The Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Ontario Trillium Foundation will not sustain budget cuts despite broad based reductions in other areas.
The full impact of the government budgets will be determined over the next few months.  It is clear that reduced investment in the culture sector will have a ripple effect   Major items are listed below:

2012 Federal Budget Arts Highlights:

There will be no cuts to the Canada Council for the Arts.

The CBC has been cut by 10% ($115 million) over three years.

The Department of Canadian Heritage’s operating base of $2.8 billion has been cut by 6.9%.

In addition to the Canada Council, the National Gallery and national museums will not face budget cuts.

Telefilm’s budget is being cut by $10.6 million and the National Film Board is being cut by $6.7 million.

2012 Provincial Budget Arts Highlights:

There will be no cuts to the Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Trillium Foundation and Ontario Media Development Corporation.

Luminato’s funding from the Ontario government will be cut by $1.5 million for 2012-13 and $2 million for 2013-14

The operating budgets of Ontario’s Cultural Agencies including the AGO, ROM and McMichael Canadian Arts Collection will be cut by 1% for 2012-13 and an additional 1% for 2013-14 and thereafter.

Cultural industry Tax Credits will be maintained.

For additional information contact: Susan Wright 416-392-6802 x 211 susan@torontoartscouncil.org.

 

 

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