At the Toronto Arts Foundation, we believe that a great city demands great art, and by supporting, celebrating, financing and advocating for Toronto’s local artists, we’re improving the quality of life of all Torontonians.
Individuals, private and public foundations, and corporate donors, through the Foundation, champion all the various disciplines of art, from independent visual artists to theatre companies, choirs and film festivals, which enhance and enliven our city.
Supporters directly impact funding to the arts where it is needed most by utilizing the highly regarded, independent adjudicated granting programs of the Toronto Arts Council. Donors and partners of the Foundation are able to increase funding to community-engaged art projects, youth-engaged art or directly to emerging artists from all disciplines.
The Board of Directors and the staff of the Toronto Arts Foundation continue to seek out new and innovative partnerships designed to achieve the mutual goal of supporting and promoting the arts in Toronto.
The Foundation has created several innovative programs to fulfill its vision:
Arts Awards Lunch
The Toronto Arts Foundation Awards captures the cultural legacy of the city by celebrating those helping to write its cultural history.
Through its awards portfolio, Toronto Arts Foundation has honoured many of Toronto’s finest artists and arts organizations, including: Governor General Award Nominated Playwright, Anusree Roy; Soulpepper Founder, Albert Schultz; Manifesto Community Projects; Weyni Mengesha; Djanet Sears; Richard Underhill; Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre and more. The awards, presented as part of the annual Mayor’s Arts Awards Lunch, welcome the entire spectrum of Toronto’s creative community to celebrate the arts and the cultural contributions of business and civic leaders, as well as artists of all disciplines.
Toronto’s artists and civic leaders volunteer thousands of hours to promote the value of the arts in this city. To better serve Toronto’s arts community, the Foundation, together with the Toronto Arts Council, has created an Advocacy Committee with the mandate to identify arts priorities and develop advocacy positions. The Foundation works with the city’s arts, civic, philanthropic and community leaders to build capacity and increase funding to artists, and seeks to engage all Torontonians in arts advocacy.
Block by Block
Creative City: Block by Block seeks to connect every Toronto neighbourhood with the transformative power of artistic activity, while building capacity for artists and arts organizations.
INCUBATE: Bringing Toronto’s Artists to the World Stage
An innovative partnership between Toronto Arts Foundation, Toronto Arts Council and Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts & Creativity
Metcalf Arts Policy Fellowship
Inspired by the need to foster new thinking about the future of the arts sector, the Toronto Arts Foundation created a two-year fellowship with support from the George Cedric Metcalf Foundation, the John D. McKellar Foundation and Business for the Arts.
Artists are providing an incredible array of community-engaged professional arts programming across the city of Toronto; in our parks, apartment buildings, public spaces, libraries, theatres, storefronts and more. To support these artists, the Toronto Arts Foundation has created the Neighbourhood Arts Network — Toronto’s first network dedicated solely to strengthening art-making in neighbourhoods throughout the city.
North York Arts
North York has a population of over 635,000, contains some of the most affluent neighbourhoods as well as some of the most in need, is one of the most diverse areas of Toronto and is home to an active arts community. Guided by the Creative City: Block by Block vision, and in response to strong interest from the North York arts community, leadership from Councillor John Filion (Ward 23), and sponsorship from Minto, Toronto Arts Foundation conducted extensive research, focus groups, individual consultations, interviews and conversations with businesses, artists, and other residents of the region.
One of the key recommendations in the resulting report Arts North York, Fostering Arts Engagement in North York gave rise to TAF’s creation of a new arts hub: North York Arts (NYA). In collaboration with Neighbourhood Arts Network, City Councillors, Toronto’s Culture Division, community partners and businesses, NYA fosters arts programming and facilitates engagement in the local community. Lila Karim was engaged in August 2011 as the inaugural Managing Director charged with leading this exciting new development.
Toronto Arts Council & Foundation is pleased to provide information regarding employment opportunities in the arts sector,calls to artists for submissions in various artistic disciplines,office and presentation space for rent, and workshops for professional training to artists and arts administrators, including free grant writing workshops provided by Toronto Arts Council.
Reports & Publications
Toronto Arts Foundation is working in partnership with the Toronto Arts Council, other agencies, foundations and academic institutions to analyze the impact of arts funding, map arts programming activities and determine the most effective policy and funding opportunities. By monitoring outcomes of arts investment, TAF can increase the efficacy of arts reporting and advocacy. TAF is committed to sharing information and documenting best practices in Toronto and around the world.