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Posts Tagged ‘david miller’

The Toronto Arts Foundation’s Annual Mayoral Arts Awards Lunch was held at Arcadian Court earlier today. It was a lively crowd full of notable artists, politicians, and arts supporters from all corners of the city. Special guests included Provincial Minister Kathleen Wynn, MPs Carolyn Bennett and Gerard Kennedy, City Budget Chief Shelley Carroll, Pan Am Games Chair Roger Garland, United Way President Susan McIsaac, Toronto City Summit Alliance Chair John Tory, architects A. J. Diamond and Bruce Kuwabara, Thomas Payne, and Mitchell Cohen from Daniels Corporation, Randy Dalton from the Dalton Company and Minto’s Chris Sheriff-Scott ; arts luminaries Martha Burns, Eric Peterson, Paul Gross, Alexander Neef, Lata Pada, Veronica Tennant, TIFF’s Cameron Bailey and community artsnotables Che Kothari, Liz Forsberg and Ruth Howard; and noted arts supporters Michael M. Koerner, Jim Fleck and Avie Bennett, among others.

The crowd and Arcadian Court

Award recipients were:
Arts for Youth Award: Manifesto
TorontoArts & Business Award: BMO Financial Group
RBCEmerging Artist Award: filmmaker Jamie Travis (shout out to finalists composer Constantine Caravassilis and director, actor and producer Michael Wheeler!)
Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition: Jose Ortega, Artistic Director of Lula Music and Arts Centre and the live music Lula Lounge.
William Kilbourn Award for the Celebration of Toronto’s Cultural Life: Mallory Gilbert, former General Manager of Tarragon Theatre

Eric Peterson

This was outgoing Mayor David Miller’s final arts awards and he was also honoured with a commissioned poem read by Eric Peterson. The ceremony featured a special performance by Juno Award-winning jazz singer/songwriter Molly Johnson and a performance by the youth ensemble Samba Kidz.

Congratulations to the Toronto Arts Foundation and all of the deserving winners and finalists!

Host Jian Ghomeshi

TAC's fabulous Executive Director Claire Hopkinson

Mayor David Miller with Eric Peterson

Mayor Miller's address

Molly Johnson

Mayor Miller et moi

CBC's Matt Galloway

In the taxi, returning Jian to the CBC

The exceptional team at the Toronto Arts Council

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This just in from Claire Hopkinson at the TAC:

Toronto’s Budget Committee has made its recommendations for the 2010 Municipal budget: if approved at City Council on April 15, all community grants including Toronto Arts Council will be receiving a 2% increase. From TAC’s perspective this Budget Committee recommendation represents a modest advance in a very complex budget year, and an excellent indication that the City Budget Chief and Councillors are working hard on behalf of the city’s artists. Viewed in the context of the entire 2010 operating budget, the arts funding increase is an accomplishment given that most city agencies and departments had to absorb funding cuts of 5%.

Indeed this is an accomplishment, though just the first step in realizing a more substantive investment in the Toronto arts sector. Claire also notes in her communiqué that a motion will be brought before Executive Committee in early April recommending that beginning in 2011 the city’s arts funding match the growth in the community as called for in the recent Martin Prosperity Institute report. This is good news and reflective of two key recommendations that were made by arts advocates during budget deputations earlier this month. In case you need a refresher, these were:

1) That Budget Committee honour its commitment to provide an annual 2% cost of living increase for the Community Partnership and Investment Program – CPIP (including TAC) that was first instated in 2009; (check!)

2) That Budget Committee find a mechanism to ensure that billboard tax revenue be fully directed towards arts programming as soon as possible and no later than 2011.

So, if this matters to you, then let’s thank those city councillors who helped make this happen, in particular Budget Chief Shelley Carroll (councillor_carroll@toronto.ca) and Mayor David Miller (mayor_miller@toronto.ca). Going forward, it will be important for the sector and its supporters to keep the issue on the table, ensuring that revenue gains from the billboard tax are directed to the arts as soon as possible, and no later than 2011. The surprise announcement made recently by Mayor Miller that the city is sliding into year end with an extra $100M bucks (softening proposed property tax increases and eliminating TTC fare hikes) should certainly make next year’s budget exercise a little less painful.

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