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#TOArtsTogether: Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation Launch $500K (and growing) Fund For Artists

It is a difficult time for everyone, but Toronto’s arts community is suffering immensely.

In a press release, the Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation shared how dire the situation is, “Toronto is a City of Arts, with over 30,000 performances and events annually. This activity is now at a standstill.”

Knowing the devastating impact that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on the arts community, the two organizations have been working around the clock to pull together funding, and today they announced a hopeful start: “Major donors and partners have generously kick-started the campaign with collective contributions to date of over $500,000 – enough to provide grants for more than 500 artists.”

It’s an impressive number, but with the massive sweep of gallery closures, as well as exhibition and event cancellations, 10,000 Toronto artists have been immediately thrown out of work. The press release goes on to explain that artists don’t usually qualify for EI because they are self-employed. Further, with the median annual income for artists in Toronto being $30,000—far below our city’s average cost of living—most do not have savings to fall back on. 

“This initiative is the largest artist-relief fundraiser to be launched in Toronto. The goal is to help as many artists as possible as quickly as possible. Qualifying artists will each receive up to $1,000 (about half a month’s rent). Artists who are seeking relief may apply through a simplified online application portal, and the first grants will go out by mid-April.”
 
Donations are gratefully accepted through the Toronto Arts Foundation website. All costs associated with processing payments will be covered by the Foundation and its partners.

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