Toronto Arts Foundation Resiliency Fund
The Toronto Arts Foundation Resiliency Fund provided support for artists and arts workers who suffered significant financial loss throughout the pandemic. The Resiliency Fund was launched on March 9, 2022, thanks to a generous lead donation of $1 million from the Hal Jackman Foundation. Soon after its launch, The Slaight Family Foundation contributed a matching gift of $1 million.
The Fund directed support to registerd arts charities for expenditure on artists/arts worker fees, while also offering increased stability to organizations affected by pandemic closures.
The first round of applications for performing arts organizations closed in April 2022, and the second round of applications for community-engaged arts charitable organizations closed in October 2022. The final round of applications for visual, media and literary arts organizations closed in February 2023. The intention of the Fund was to support artists and arts workers.
The Resiliency Fund launched at a time when Toronto and the world continued to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the arts sector, the financial losses endured between 2020 - 2022 – with four mandated closures of arts venues – were great, with Stats Canada documenting greater losses in the arts sector than almost any other. At the time of the launch of the Resiliency Fund, Canada’s overall labour force had already rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, but this was not the case for self-employed artists.
Applications were open to charitable organizations that met all the eligibility criteria below:
- CRA registered charities
- Organizations with budgets under $7.5M
- Organizations who have not yet received a donation from the Resiliency Fund
- Visual, media and literary arts organizations that have received operating or project funding in the past two years (2020 - 2022) through Toronto Arts Council programs (in either "Visual and Media Arts" or "Literary Arts")
Applications were reviewed by Toronto Arts Foundation staff. Donation amounts were determined by considering:
- The information provided in the application
- Financial information available through CADAC (if applicable)
- The availability of funds
- General priorities specified by fund donors (for example donors may select from various categories including arts discipline when making their contributions)
More information about eligibility and the application process can be found below in the Frequently Asked Questions.
The Application Process
Toronto Arts Foundation vs Toronto Arts Council
Fundraising for the Fund: For Donors
Q: Why did Toronto Arts Foundation launch the Resiliency Fund to provide support for artists and arts workers?
A: Stats Canada documented greater losses in the arts sector than almost any other, with four mandated closures of arts venues in Toronto between 2020 - 2022. Although Canada’s overall labour force rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in 2022, this was not the case for self-employed artists. Artists still needed our help.
Q: What was the structure of the Fund? How did it work?
A: Toronto Arts Foundation received a lead donation of $1 million from the Hal Jackman Foundation, and a matching gift of $1 million from The Slaight Family Foundation, to provide financial support to artists and arts workers. These initial donations were allocated to performing arts charitable organizations in the first out of three rounds of funding. The second round of applications for community-engaged arts charitable organizations closed in October 2022. The final round of applications for visual, media and literary arts organizations closed in February 2023.
Eligible organizations were asked to fill out a short application form.
Q: Why was the Fund only open to organizations?
A: By directing support to arts charities for expenditure on artists/arts worker fees, the Arts Resiliency Fund aimed to improve the lives of Toronto’s artists. Arts organizations are a large employer of artists and production personnel. The Fund also intended to offer some increased stability to organizations affected by potential pandemic closures.
Q: Why not give directly to individual artists?
A: As directed by Revenue Canada, donations from Toronto Arts Foundation must only go to charities. Therefore, the Foundation cannot give a donation to an individual.
Q: Toronto Arts Foundation gives awards to individuals. What is the difference?
A: Different Revenue Canada rules apply to awards, which are provided in recognition of past work.
Q: Toronto Arts Foundation gave to individuals through the TOArtist COVID Relief Fund in 2020. What’s the difference?
A: The TOArtist COVID Relief Fund was administered by our affiliate, Toronto Arts Council (TAC), a funding body that is able to give funds to individuals. The money raised through Toronto Arts Foundation’s fundraising efforts were directed to TAC to distribute. The efforts of TAC in administering the funds for the initiative were extensive, requiring eight full time staff over a six week period. With the Resiliency Fund, Toronto Arts Foundation simplified the process, ensuring more funding was available for donations.
Q: The application was only open to charitable organizations that received a Toronto Arts Council grant in the last two years. Why?
A: In order to process applications quickly and efficiently, Toronto Arts Foundation’s close affiliation with Toronto Arts Council assured the Foundation and our donors that all eligible applicants were well run organizations of merit that would spend the donation as it was intended. This standard of excellence means that less time needed to be spent vetting organizations and that more funding could get out to the arts community in short order.
Q: Did organizations need to create a new project beyond those described in their Toronto Arts Council application?
A: No. This Fund did not wish to create additional hardships for arts organizations.
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
Q: How do I get an application?
A: All rounds for the Resiliency Fund are closed. Eligible organizations that applied were asked to fill out a short application form.
Q: How long was the application?
A: The application had five simple questions that took less than half an hour to complete.
Q: What questions were included in the application?
A: The application asked:
1. The name of the organization and its Revenue Canada Charitable Number
2. Total Annual Revenues
3. Current budget for artists’ fees (not including the requested donation):
4. Current budget for arts workers’ fees (not including the requested donation)
5. An explanation of the organization's plan for the expenditure of donated funds in the event of renewed health restrictions or closures.
Q: Did the applying organizations need to describe the projects or give names of the artists involved?
A: No. That was not required. Applications were not judged on the specifics of an artistic project or vision.
Q: Is that all?
A: Organizations were also allowed to give permission to the Foundation to access CADAC financial forms (if applicable). A CADAC profile was not a requirement for application; however, the amount of donation may have increased if financial information was verified through CADAC.
Q: How did Toronto Arts Foundation make its decisions as to who got a donation?
A: All eligible organizations that committed to spending the donation on freelance artist or arts worker fees received a donation. Recipients of this support agreed to commit to paying the donation amount in artist and arts worker fees in the 2023 calendar year, regardless of changing pandemic regulations.
Q: How did Toronto Arts Foundation determine how much organizations received?
A: Applications were reviewed by Toronto Arts Foundation staff, and analysed through a financial lens. Donation amounts were determined by considering: the information provided in the application especially regarding projected artist and freelance production fees, financial information available through CADAC (if applicable); and the overall availability of funds as compared to number of requests.
Q: If organizations were successful and receives funds, did they have to pay the artists even if they had to cancel or postpone the production?
A: Yes. But only to the amount of the donation received.
Q: What if the organization didn’t cancel or postpone any productions?
A: If an organization’s productions were not cancelled or postponed, we encouraged them to consider using the donation to expand the scope of artist expenditures. Depending on the organization’s overall financial health, they may have increased artist fees, added extra rehearsal time, or additional freelance artistic personnel such as an assistant director, assistant stage manager, an understudy or an artist in residence.
Q: Could organizations spend it on operating costs, like rent or marketing?
A: No. We expected that organizations had already budgeted for these expenditures. The intention of the donation was to support artists, production, and creative team members. The goal of this funding was intended to offset the risk of planning and producing performing arts activities, despite the pandemic, in 2022/2023.
Q: Were there other considerations?
A: We also encouraged arts organizations to take into account equity considerations and power dynamics that affect who gets paid and how, including artists who have protections under union agreements versus those that do not.
Q: Did organizations need to submit a report?
A: A simple report on the expenditure of the funds was required.
TORONTO ARTS FOUNDATION VS TORONTO ARTS COUNCIL
Q: What is the difference between Toronto Arts Foundation and Toronto Arts Council?
A: Toronto Arts Foundation is an incorporated charity with its own Board of directors. Our mission is to spark creative connections, spotlight artistic excellence, and support vibrant cultural growth throughout our diverse city through private sector investment.
Toronto Arts Council (TAC) is the City of Toronto’s funding body for artists and arts organizations, and is a separately incorporated charity with its own Board of directors. TAC’s mission is to support artists and arts organizations with responsive and innovative granting programs.
For more information on how the two organizations work together, visit this page.
Q: What is the difference between a TAC grant and a Toronto Arts Foundation donation?
A: TAC is funded by the City of Toronto to support artists and arts organizations with responsive and innovative granting programs: TAC grants come from public sector funds.
Toronto Arts Foundation encourages philanthropy to the arts and relies on the generosity of private donors and sponsors to invest in programs which serve the arts sector and the City through the arts. Foundation donations come from private sector funds.
FUNDRAISING FOR THE FUND: FOR DONORS
Q: Why did Toronto Arts Foundation fundraise for the Fund?
A: The first round of Fund allocations made to performing arts organizations was made possible thanks to a $1 million donation from the Hal Jackman Foundation, and a matching gift of $1 million from The Slaight Family Foundation. We also wanted to help support artists working in other disciplines, hence the need to raise more money.
Q: How much did you aim to raise?
A: Our goal was to raise $2.5 million by the end of 2022.
Q: How much of my donation went to artists?
A: 97% of all donations went directly to eligible organizations for paying fees to freelance artists.
Q: What were the levels of giving?
A: All gift levels were welcome and appreciated and were directed to the general fund.
Q: I made a donation. Will I receive a tax receipt?
A: Yes. All donations will receive a charitable tax receipt for the full amount of the donation.
A graphic with the text "Resiliency Fund" over a purple backdrop. To the right, a photo of a dancer on stage points their toe with an extended leg and arches their back while holding up a purple piece of flowing fabric.