Toronto’s municipal politics have received a lot of attention in the past few months, but arts and culture policy rarely makes up much of the conversation.
That doesn’t mean newsworthy things aren’t happening: at the end of January, Toronto City Council passed the 2014 budget (you can read about it many places, including the City website). The 2014 budget includes important changes that impact the arts community and its supporters.
Here are some of the updates you may have missed:
- $4.5 million in new funding has been added to the 2014 budget lines for arts and culture
- this money is in addition to the $6 million increase we saw in the 2013 budget – in total, $10.5 million has been added to the municipal arts budget since 2012
- Council has begun to phase the Billboard Tax out of the arts and culture lines, opting instead to fund arts and culture through the property tax base (which, in theory, is more stable and less vulnerable to cuts)
- the target timeline to reach $25 per capita has been extended to a five-year plan, rather than the four-year plan they were working toward last year
(you can read the full motion here)
Overall, this budget is a positive step forward – and one that is made possible because of your participation in the process. Please keep it up!
- write to your Councillor about the 2014 budget
- invite Councillors to your performances / events – show them the impact of this funding
- VOTE in the next municipal election
The 2014 municipal election is on October 27, 2014. It’ll be a big one for the arts community – and for our city. Peggy Baker Dance Projects supports ArtsVote Toronto: we hope you’ll get involved too, and help us champion the fine artists of our city. Email ArtsVote for more details on how you can get involved.