Sponsor Story: The Slaight Family Foundation

Supporting artists during the pandemic.

As an immediate response to COVID-19 closures and cancellations, Toronto Arts Foundation with Toronto Arts Council, created the TOArtist COVID-19 Response Fund, which ran from March 26, 2020 to May 12, 2020 to support artists who lost income. With the cancellation of concerts and performances, venues closed and projects postponed, many self-employed artists experienced financial difficulties that put their livelihoods at risk. Through the Fund, we successfully delivered $836,347 to assist 982 artists in the city.

The success of this program would not have been possible without the generosity of individual Canadian donors, foundations and corporate sponsors, like The Slaight Family Foundation, which contributed $50,000 to the Fund to support musicians and other artists in need. Their generous contribution made an immediate impact on musicians who received the fund:

“As a touring musician whose dates have been summarily cancelled due to the current pandemic, receiving the response fund was and continues to be such a support.” – TOArtist COVID-19 Response Fund Applicant

The Slaight Family Foundation was established in 2008 by John Allan Slaight. Allan Slaight is known as Canada’s broadcast pioneer, music leader and a prominent Canadian philanthropist. Through his generosity, The Slaight Family Foundation proactively supports charitable initiatives in the areas of healthcare, at-risk youth, international development, social services and culture.

“The COVID pandemic has had an overarching impact to all aspects of our lives. The pandemic has caused the cancellation of many concerts, performing arts events and new music releases resulting in many musicians and artists out of work. We felt supporting the TOArtist COVID-19 Response Fund would provide assistance to artists in greatest need in our city.” – Gary Slaight, President & CEO, The Slaight Family Foundation.

The Slaight Family Foundation has also supported Toronto Arts Foundation in the past by sponsoring our Arts in the Parks program and the Mayor’s Evening for the Arts.

Artists are the creative and visionary pillars of our communities. This difficult period has only proven how important artists are to inspire social change and uplift our spirits for collective healing. We would like to thank the generosity of The Slaight Family Foundation for their commitment to supporting artists in the city.