Posts tagged ‘Toronto City Council’

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 13, 2013

Sunday Roundup – January 14

Before we go anywhere, a reminder that today is last call for Next Stage Festival! EIGHT shows to choose from and too nice out to stay inside, throw open the windows at the house and go see some theatre! When you get back you’ll have a freshened house and a freshened mind – to the tent with you!!
4:45 Awake 5:00 Memorial 6:30 Pitch Blond 7:15 Throne of Games
7:00 With Love and a Major Organ 8:30 Liza Live!8:45 Salt Baby 9:15 The Peace Maker
and here’s all the reviews courtesy of the fine folks at torontoist.

Meanwhile, last week…

A Team Player? Depends on the Position, Depends on the Team

Fingers Crossed for Funding,Client Stuff. Workshops and a Good Book

Money for the Arts! and Got Five?

It’s positively spring-like out there. Go do something, I won’t keep you. Happy Sunday!

 

December 10, 2012

Linky Monday

makeupforever_44artist001I’m off to City Hall for budget deputations today – I’m number 44 on the list, so I don’t know when I’ll be back. So, not unlike the Mom who leaves you money for dinner and warns you not to watch too much TV, I present four links to keep you occupied. But no money for pizza.

The Toronto Theatre Database has now gone live! The Toronto Theatre Database is a new online project, dedicated to the recording and preservation of the production histories and performance dates of Toronto’s professional theatrical productions. It will be a hub through which professionals and fans of the Toronto theatre community can explore Toronto’s theatre past, present and future.

We should do this too. Case for culture: 100 voices – interactive

Arts leaders clashed with culture secretary Maria Miller even before George Osborne announced DCMS cuts of £12m in 2013-14 and £22m in 2014-15 in his autumn statement – here 100 people who work in or with the culture sector tell the Guardian why they think UK arts and culture are worth continued investment.

So the Sunday Read in this week’s Charlebois Post is by –  me. Enjoy!

And finally a great video by Che Kothari on the Billboard Tax. Listen up people – we want funding for arts and culture? It’s been found. Contact your councillor and let them know you want this new potential source of revenue used where and for the people who found it.

 

December 6, 2012

Arts, Culture, Politics, Interns, Two good Bands

Frida_KahloBrrr out there.

Spent yesterday at the AGO chaperoning a group of Grade 11 visual arts students from Jarvis Collegiate, we went to see the Kahlo-Rivera exhibit. It’s fantastic, and apparently although it’s not the first time they’ve shared an exhibit, it is the first time that their works have been interspersed with each other (as opposed to the Kahlo room and the Rivera room, type of thing). It adds a really interesting context to their pieces. The place was packed – go and see it before it closes. It was another great group of students – I had a good time, they’re quite talented and fun to talk to.

Also saw This is What Happens Next, the MacIvor-Brooks piece courtesy Necessary Angel. Great work, and thought provoking. Go see that too.

This is interesting, especially after TAPA Day At The City a couple weeks back: Councillors look to increase arts funding.

For ten years, various Toronto City Councils have periodically affirmed and re-affirmed our commitment to increase the per capita arts and culture funding to twenty-five dollars,” (the two councillors) wrote in the letter. “Unfortunately, previous political commitments remain unfulfilled.”

Budget Deputations are next week, I’m 44th on the list on the 10th. Wish me luck. On that note here are two great pieces from the fine folks at torontoist: Toronto’s 2013 Budget: A Decoder and Toronto’s 2013 Budget: How to Follow Along.

Speaking of music, two things – I saw Simple Damned Device at the Painted Lady the other night – excellent music and band. I will be paying closer attention to them. Their lyrics really twig something in me, particularly their songs “Monsters” and “Furious”. And I need to see the full lyrics for “Poor Alice”, because that said something to me too.

And do you remember a few months back I was talking about the irrepressible Corin Raymond and his Canadian Tire money campaign? He’s got over SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS. In CT Money. I know right? More info is here, including how to donate, the CD release party, etc. Mon oh man.
Sue Edworthy Arts Planing is hiring an intern. The posting should be up on Work In Culture today or tomorrow.

On that note I am off into the day. Brr out there. Keep warm! Where’s your mitts?

November 30, 2012

It’s a Wonderful Toronto! NTOW

CaptureDon’t know if you’ve heard of National Theatre of the World but you should have by now. They’re an amazingly funny comedy/improv troupe and I’ve liked everything of theirs I’ve seen, from Carnegie Hall to Impromptu Splendor to Scriptease to you name it. Their holiday offering It’s a Wonderful Toronto asks a question I’ve been asking all along, “What if the Ross Petty Panto had more swearing?”

I’ve been seeing hints and posts all over Facebook and the interwebs, but I asked directly what was up. From the info sent to me by the fabulous Naomi : It’s the dress rehearsal for It’s a Wonderful Toronto: The Rob Ford Holiday Spectacular! and Mayor Ford is having second thoughts. The show is an attempt to improve his dismal approval ratings, but Rob thinks the Holiday-themed sketches and songs are showing him in a negative light. While the cast and crew squabble with the Mayor’s image consultant, Ford becomes convinced that the show will torpedo his political career and threatens to end it all by jumping from the balcony of the theatre.

I need to see this.

If you are like me and can’t handle one more Nutcracker or Messiah (as marvellous as they are) then you should go see this. Like I’m going to. Also got some amazing talent in there – Aurora Browne, Brandon Firla, Ashley Botting, Jenna Warriner  and Paul Bates as (former) Mayor Rob Bruce Ford.

See you there. It’s only playing December 11th – 16th, and NTOW always sells a lot in advance. And a reminder it`s in the TPM Backspace which holds 64 people. So don`t come crying to me when it`s all sold out and you have to go to a German expressionist version of the Nutcracker where the audience has to be the Dancing Bears. Don’t even.

November 26, 2012

Fringe Lottery Tonight!

Apparently Mayor Rob Ford has been removed from office. There are nine thousand other places to read about that, so instead I will remind you that the FRINGE LOTTERY is TONIGHT!

The Lottery Party for Fringe 2013 will take place on November 26th, 2012 at Theatre Passe Muraille! Doors will open at 6:00pm and the event will kick off at 7pm. This event is FREE.

Also on the agenda:

  • More information about the Fringe’s 25 Anniversary season!
  • “Celebrity Pullers” from the Fringe’s 25 year history
  • The announcement of the New Play Contest Winners
  • A re-cap of the CDAP, National and International winners. (FYI: these draws will be live-streamed on Friday Nov 23rd at 2pm and Monday Nov 26th at 2pm. Check our main page for details.)
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!

 

 

 

November 15, 2012

A Theatre Post

Apparently there are nine plays opening in Toronto this week. Don’t even tell me you’re bored with nothing to do.

In Facebook posted news – Sue Edworthy Arts Planning now has an intern. Her name is LeeAnne and she’s smart as a whip, quiet but funny and talks to the computer as much as I do. At one point today it sounded like we were having a conversation. We were not.

She’s great. Clients o’ mine? Expect to meet and hear from her on various stuff. Be nice.

also

whenever I see something that Soheil Parsa has worked on it makes me want to go home and do a whole bunch of research on either the play, the playwright or the era it’s set in. Congrats to cast and crew on opening The Lesson – I really liked it. I also think it would make an excellent episode of Criminal Minds. Go see.

Tonight I’m off to see In Adagio by Art&Lies Productions, did some social media and PR for them and I’m anxious to see the show. And there’s a talkback tonight. Go see this too.

Arts Day at the City and the release of the TAPA stats report happened Tuesday, for quick info bites you can search #artsdayTO on Twitter, or head to the TAPA website for press releases and downloads of the report.

And finally – is this perhaps the way to end the last minute ticket buying syndrome we’re all faced with? Coming soon to a theatre near you: Demand-based ticket pricing

 

November 13, 2012

Next Stage Festival!

Today as you hopefully know is Friends of the Arts Day At The City and we’re meeting with over half of Toronto City Council to talk about arts and culture. Full release here.

ALSO…it’s coming….from the Toronto Fringe…

You may know the Toronto Fringe as a raucous, fun-loving indie theatre festival that takes place every July. BUT! We also curate a vibrant festival called the Next Stage Theatre Festivalevery January at Factory Theatre.Next Stage is where we take the edgiest shows from the festival circuit, the most innovative up-and-coming emerging artists and most vivacious local companies and throw them together for 12 days of the best indie theatre in the country. You should come! Whether you’re a theatre veteran or a first-timer, Next Stage is a fun post-holiday outing for one and all.

What else?

! gift vouchers, so Next Stage tickets are great for stocking stuffer
! a heated beer tent in the courtyard of Factory Theatre
! no ticket over $15
! catch the latest indie sensation before it catches fire and say “I was there when…”

To buy tickets, starting November 19th, call the box office at 416-966-1062 or visit the website.

November 12, 2012

They Don’t Need You

really good post in Mission Paradox the other day Getting Along Fine Without You.

Last night my day job did an arts performance.  Since the venue only holds 250 people and a lot more people than that read this blog it’s very probable that you missed the show.  

How do you feel about that?

Do you feel like you missed out?

Probably not.  That’s because you are probably ok with whatever you did last night.  Maybe you watched TV, maybe you read a book, maybe you got drunk and did lines of cocaine.  Whatever you did, you were ok with it.

What’s my point?  The point is that you got along fine without what the art I offered.

That new audience you’re looking for?  The younger one?  The more racially diverse one?  The one with more (or less) money?  The one from the other part of town?

They are doing fine without you.

Day at the City is tomorrow, we shall descend on City Hall to meet with various City Councillors to stress the importance of the arts in a city that wants to be great. You can follow #artsdayTO on twitter to tag along for the journey. It’s also the release of the TAPA Stats report which will let you know just what the state of the  arts is in Toronto.

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