Toronto Arts Foundation is a charitable organization that sparks creative connections, spotlights artistic excellence, and supports vibrant cultural growth throughout our diverse city.  Our vision Creative City: Block by Block is to work towards a vibrant and creative city where every Toronto neighbourhood is enriched by the transformative benefits of the arts. We believe a great city demands great art. By supporting, celebrating, financing and advocating for Toronto artists, we can improve the quality of life for all Torontonians. 

Toronto Arts Foundation is situated in one of the most multi-cultural and multi-lingual cities in the world. According to the most recent census figures, Toronto residents identify with over 230 distinct ethnic origins and speak over 140 languages and dialects. In 2011, 49.1% of Toronto’s population identified as belonging to a visible minority and 0.8% as First Nations or M├ętis. Based on Statistics Canada projections, Toronto is now a “visible majority” city[1] and its demographics will continue to dramatically shift over the next few decades.

Diversity in Toronto also comes in many forms. Women, people with disabilities, people living with mental illness, Deaf people, immigrants and refugees, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons, youth, people who experience socio-economic disadvantage, and people of different faiths all contribute to the city’s make-up.

Toronto Arts Foundation recognizes that Canadian art is shaped by the culture of its Indigenous peoples, by the diasporic communities that have settled in Canada from around the world, and by the diverse geographic and identity-based communities that constitute its population. The Foundation values and recognizes the unique contributions of all Torontonians both to the cultural life of the city and to its own operations, aspirations and vision.

The Foundation further recognizes that supporting a plurality of perspectives, voices, artistic practices, cultural expressions and aesthetics is critical to the growth, sustainability and evolution of the Toronto arts sector and is committed to ensuring that all Torontonians are provided fair and equitable access to its programming and decision-making processes. Equity and inclusion are guiding principles and core values of Toronto Arts Foundation.

What is Equity?

Equity is both a principle and process that promotes equality of opportunity and fair conditions for all persons to fully participate in society.[2] Equity recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family[3] but acknowledges that due to historical and ongoing oppression not all persons experience equal access to opportunities and benefits. Equity acknowledges the unique needs and experiences of individuals and groups in society and promotes active measures to eliminate barriers and level the playing field so that all persons can thrive and take full advantage of opportunities and benefits. As a process, equity may require treating individuals or groups differently in order to achieve fairness.

[1] A city where persons who belong to visible minorities form the majority of the population, also known as a majority-minority city.

[2] Excerpted from the Canada Council for the Arts’ equity definition.

[3] Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Toronto Arts Foundation Equity Framework

Equity at Toronto Arts Foundation & Toronto Arts Council: A Brief History
Equity Guiding Principles

Equity Priority Groups
Key Equity Policies and Practices

Implementing Equity