2019 Mayor’s Evening for the Arts raises nearly $1.5 million for Arts in the Parks

Over 1,000 arts supporters and city-builders join Toronto Arts Foundation and Mayor John Tory for annual gala benefiting Arts in the Parks

TORONTO, November 20, 2019 – “Toronto’s arts sector … is in fact the envy of the world,” Mayor John Tory said last night to over 1,000 of the city’s arts supporters and city-builders who joined Toronto Arts Foundation at the annual Mayor’s Evening for the Arts in support of the Foundation’s city-wide initiative, Arts in the Parks. “I am honoured to be here, in a room of champions for the arts, who through your vision and generosity support Toronto’s arts sector. I am proud to count myself and Toronto City Council among these great arts supporters,” the Mayor added.

Thanks to this year’s guests and sponsors, $1.48 million was raised at last night’s Mayor’s Evening for the Arts, surpassing the Foundation’s goal of $1 million and ensuring Arts in the Parks will continue animating neighbourhood parks across the city in 2020.

During his remarks, Mayor Tory emphasized the importance of the arts as a unifier in a uniquely diverse city like Toronto, noting that the City’s announcement yesterday of Toronto’s Year of Public Art in 2021 will help celebrate public art and the artists who create it, and help make art accessible to more Torontonians.

A steadfast champion of the Arts in the Parks program since its inception, the Mayor’s ongoing support of the Foundation’s annual gala underscores his commitment to Toronto’s arts sector.

Arts in the Parks was created in 2016 by Toronto Arts Foundation in partnership with Mayor John Tory and the City’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division to increase access to the arts. The summer program brings free high-quality arts programming to parks outside of the downtown core, including North York, Etobicoke, East Toronto and Scarborough.

In 2019, over 1,000 artists were involved in Arts in the Parks, which brought nearly 300 events featuring dance, theatre, film screenings, workshops, and more to 175,000 attendees in 50 parks across the city.

Hosted by acclaimed actors Amanda Brugel and Nicole Power, stars of CBC’s hit series Kim’s Convenience, the Mayor’s Evening for the Arts also showcased local artists, with performances from Ahi, Anthony Bastianon and Mark Camilleri, Brian Cort, Hit & Run Dance Productions, Morro & Jasp, Little Pear Garden Dance Company, Rei Misiri with Michael Prosserman and Keshan Siva, Jackie Richardson, and the Jacob Slous Quartet.

“The Mayor’s Evening for the Arts brings together Toronto’s arts enthusiasts, cultural champions, city-builders, political leaders and artists together to ensure we continue to transform our city through the power of the arts,” said Claire Hopkinson, Toronto Arts Foundation Director & CEO. “In far surpassing our fundraising goal for 2019, our guests have ensured that Arts in the Parks will continue its success in bringing the arts to all Torontonians in their own communities.”

Funds raised last night will support programming in 2020, the fifth summer of Arts in the Parks. To learn more about Toronto Arts Foundation and Arts in the Parks, visit torontoartsfoundation.org and artsintheparksto.org.

About Toronto Arts Foundation

Toronto Arts Foundation is a charitable organization that sparks creative connections, spotlights artistic excellence, and supports vibrant cultural growth throughout our diverse city through private-sector investment. To learn more or to make a donation, visit torontoartsfoundation.org.

Contact information:

For more information about the Mayor’s Evening for the Arts, please contact Tabassum Siddiqui, Interim Communications Manager, at tabassum@torontoarts.org or 416-392-6802 x 217.