Mayor John Tory brings Toronto's creative community together to celebrate an Evening for the Arts

Toronto Arts Foundation raises $1.48 million for Arts in the Parks with a night of dance, visual art and music.

TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2016. The Toronto Arts Foundation tonight raised generous funds for Arts in the Parks, an initiative that will deliver over 200 free arts events to 75 parks in neighbourhoods across Toronto in summer 2017, at the Mayor's Evening for the Arts.

The annual event featured memorable performances from numerous local artists, including Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Toronto soprano Patricia O'Callaghan, Toronto Tabla Ensemble, Carlos Delgado and Jonathon R. Anderson.

"The Evening for the Arts is one of my favourite celebrations of the year because it supports an important cause for the people of Toronto," said Mayor John Tory. "Arts in the Parks makes it possible for everyone in the city to enjoy the true creativity Toronto has to offer up against the backdrop of our city's beautiful green spaces. Knowing the kind of impact access to art has on cities and the people who live in them, I'm proud to say we're actively delivering arts to our communities in Toronto."

The event was attended by some of the city's brightest stars, including Gordon Lightfoot, Sheila McCarthy, and Debra McGrath, and was chaired by Mr. George Cope, President and CEO of BCE & Bell Canada.

To end off the evening, during the live auctioning of a priceless private dinner cooked by Toronto's Chef Victor Barry, celebrity attendee and beloved musician Gordon Lightfoot upped the ante by volunteering to join the special meal with his wife. This generous donation led to a winning bid of $12,000.

The theme of this year's celebration was a patio party, and it brought to life the kind of casual summer fun an evening in an urban, outdoor space has to offer. Guests were physically immersed in a space filled with a variety of artists including dancers, live painters, musicians, singers and more. Generously supported by lead sponsor, Bell Canada, it was hosted by the Toronto Arts Foundation, a charitable organization that encourages artistic excellence and increased access to the arts throughout the city.

"The Mayor's Evening for the Arts is a highlight in the year for our organization, as it exemplifies the kind of love for the arts community we get excited about," said Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO of the Toronto Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Foundation. "Arts in the Parks is an exciting new way to share the talents of Toronto's artists, giving them a unique stage across the entire city. The support here tonight from great leaders in business, labour, academia, real estate, government and our arts and creative industries,  is a testament to the power that arts programming has on City building,  and on Torontonians who are the beneficiaries of this creative work."

The funds raised tonight will support programming offered in summer 2017, which will be the second summer Arts in the Parks is implemented in Toronto. 

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About Toronto Arts Foundation
Toronto Arts Foundation, a charitable organization, provides the opportunity for individuals, private and public foundations, corporations and government agencies to invest in and strengthen the arts in Toronto. We are powered by a vision: Creative City: Block by Block, a commitment to connect every Toronto neighbourhood to the transformative social and economic benefits of the arts.

For photos from the event, please contact Bri Bijman at