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.