Toronto’s Arts Champions Celebrate the Power of the Arts, Raise Funds for Toronto Arts Foundation

$941,000 raised at the Mayor’s Evening for the Arts

TORONTO, November 15, 2022 - Last night, Toronto Mayor John Tory and Toronto Arts Foundation welcomed guests at the sold-out fundraising event, The Mayor’s Evening for the Arts. $941,000 was raised in support of Toronto Arts Foundation’s Arts in the Parks and Creative City initiatives.  

Attended by business leaders, politicians, artists and arts supporters, the Evening featured stunning performances by jazz saxophonist Jesse Ryan and Bridges, Canadian classical ballet company Ballet Jörgen, The Darryn de Souza Orchestra, Marcus Nance, Lauren Pearl and members of the cast of ’da Kink in My Hair, among others. It was hosted by actor Jake Epstein.

In his remarks to a packed room within the Toronto Metro Convention Centre, Mayor John Tory spoke about the importance of the arts, including its ability to bring people together, as an antidote to divisiveness, and as a means to recovery. Noting the challenges of the pandemic to artists, arts organizations and the general public, he said: “Arts and culture is a fundamentally important part of our strong recovery as a city - not just economic recovery, but our social recovery.” 

An unwavering arts champion, Mayor Tory lent his name to the Evening, raising the profile of Toronto Arts Foundation and the city’s artists. He thanked the audience for their support for the Evening, and encouraged them to continue their commitment by once again attending live performances and events. At the end of his speech, Mayor Tory recognized and thanked Claire Hopkinson for her 17-years as Director & CEO of Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation. “Since 2006, she has developed Toronto Arts Council into what is the leading municipal arts council in this country. [Through her work], she’s created meaningful opportunities for audiences in every corner of the city,” he said of Hopkinson, who will be leaving her role in December. 

In her speech, Hopkinson emphasized the global impact and reach of Toronto artists, and invited guests to think about the importance of art and artists, including their role in bringing the city alive. “For those who might have thought the arts were not a necessity of life, the last two years have altered that. The important economic benefits in pre-pandemic times, the explosive growth of our creative sector, have actually paled in comparison to an understanding of the basic human need for imagination, for joy and creativity,” said Hopkinson.   

Arts in the Parks is a city-wide initiative that brings hundreds of free arts events to Toronto parks throughout the city for residents to enjoy. It was developed in 2015 to make arts events more accessible by offering them free of charge and in public parks outside of the downtown core. In addition to Arts in the Parks, the Foundation runs other initiatives to help artists gain essential skills; provide learning opportunities for arts board members; and offer awards to celebrate Toronto’s exceptional talent.  

The Toronto Arts Foundation would like to thank all guests at the Mayor’s Evening for the Arts including major sponsors AECON, CIBC, Rogers, Shaw Communications, The Rossy Foundation, Air Canada, Mantella Corporation, Castlepoint Numa, Now Playing Toronto, Mattamy Homes, MOD Developments, Greenwin, MLSE and Humber College. For a complete list of sponsors and donors, please visit Toronto Arts Foundation’s website.  



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

Contact information
For more information, please contact: Sarah Gladki, Communications Manager at or 416-392-6802 x 217