|For Immediate Release|
City Executive Directs Billboard Tax to Art !
Toronto, On // Executive Committee has endorsed a bold arts plan fielded by Councillor Gary Crawford. The plan includes $6 million new arts and culture investment for 2013 and bringing Toronto's per-capita to arts spending to $25 utilizing the third party sign tax revenue over the next 4 years.
With the final decision taking place at Council on Jan. 15th and 16th, Artists and Councillors are preparing for a massive art jam at the city on the evening of the 14th. (6-9pm, Committee Room 1 http://cnw.ca/hB5oh )
"This budget includes $22.5 million, over the next few years, in new funding for the Arts. This money should be used to help make Toronto an even more attractive place to live -- and to invest and create jobs. It should also help engage young people across the City who find art as exciting as many kids find sports."
Mayor Rob Ford
"I am very pleased that Toronto's Executive Committee passed my motion to support a plan to put real dollars into a sustainable, ongoing and accountable increase to arts funding without impacting the 2013 budget. I congratulate all the hard work by the passionate, dedicated people who have waited patiently for this increase in arts funding to reach $25 per capita."
Councillor Gary Crawford
"These funds will enable Toronto to move forward toward our goal of a $25 per capita annual expenditure on the arts. The arts sector is a major generator of economic activity, and It is especially gratifying that we can now strengthen the sector without increasing property taxes. It's a big win for all Toronto !"
Councillor Michael Thompson, Chair of the Economic Development and Culture Committee.
"This is a real victory for the arts community who, with great passion and endless tenacity, never let the issue of fair funding for the arts community escape the notice of city council. The increased funding will help put Toronto on the global map as a creative city where the work of artists is respected and adds to our quality of life."
Councillor Joe Mihevc
"Certain truths about what makes a Great City can transcend petty politics and prevail. The Creative Community in our great City of Toronto has prevailed and Council will begin the move towards adequate funding for a vibrant and deserving community of artists, if ever there was one. We don't need to focus on which administration enacted this move because the engaged artists and residents who made this happen held fast to their goal across decades and multiple administrations. Congrats to Devon, to Che and ever artist who stood with them along the way."
Councillor Shelley Carroll
"The global success of our arts and cultural institutions is a testament to the talent and drive of our artists and the prescience of the private sector to recognize the benefits of investing in the arts. Imagine what Toronto will achieve once we fulfill the decade long pledges, utilize the billboard tax for its original purpose and increase per-capita arts funding to $25."
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam
"Young artists of Toronto deserve a lot of credit for changing the way this City funds the arts. Now it's only fair and right to invest the new resources in young artists and to continue Toronto's role as a magnet for creative people from around the world to come to pursue a career in the arts."
Councillor Adam Vaughan
'Collections' Jam and Town Hall
*Eve of City Budget Going to Council*
Jan. 14th 2013, 6-9pm City Hall
Committee Room 1
416 528 5747
Star OpEd: http://tinyurl.com/RitaOpEd
Policy Info: http://beautifulcity.ca/Budget2013.pdf
- xxvii -