As reported on April 3rd in the Toronto Star, the Toronto City Council is increasing arts spending, noting that the arts are “essential to Toronto’s vitality.” As reported by Bruce Demara,
Councillor Karen Stintz, considered a member of city council’s small “c” conservative faction, summed up why, in her view, proposals for the culture portion of the budget were approved.
“When we talk about the National Ballet and TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), I actually see them as investments in the local economy because they have economic spinoffs that are beneficial for the community at large,” she said.
“So I see them as completely legitimate expenses for the city and good investments.”
Mayor David Miller is pleased to see relative unanimity on the issue from an often fractious council.
“Arts funding is always money well spent. It’s a huge sector of our economy but … in a diverse city, it also helps us learn who each other is. Those are investments that become even more important where the economy’s weak.
“The arts story in the City of Toronto is an example of incredible success in using public funds wisely to help create investment (in a sector) which employs people and helps us become a vibrant, interesting city.”
You can read the entire article here. The article broke down the spending, reporting it as:
(taxpayer cost: $3,716,500)
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts: $1,161,100
St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts: $1,495,800
Toronto Centre for the Arts: $1,059,600
(taxpayer cost: $15,402,000)
Community Partnership and Investment Program
($45,332,000 out of total budget)
Art Gallery of Ontario: $520,000
Canadian Opera Company: $1,266,000
National Ballet of Canada: $1,104,000
National Ballet School: $132,000
Toronto Symphony Orchestra: $1,090,000
Gardiner Museum of Ceramics: $130,700
Festival Management Committee (Caribana): $475,000
Pride Toronto: $119,000
Toronto International Film Festival: $675,000
Toronto Arts Council: $11,287,780.
Local art services organizations: $522,950.
Toronto Artscape: $258,840
Royal Winter Fair: $920,700
Several small non-city-owned museums: $79,050
Possibly in related news, the Toronto Raptors went 33-49 last year, and the Toronto Blue Jays went 86-76.