$2 Million Gifted To Toronto Arts Foundation Resiliency Fund, Deadline To Apply Approaching

By Steve McLean 4/1/22 | www.samaritanmag.com

The Slaight Family Foundation has matched the Hal Jackman Foundation’s $1-million lead gift to support Toronto artists and arts workers through the Toronto Arts Foundation Resiliency Fund.

The resiliency fund was launched on March 9 to benefit Toronto’s artists, arts workers, production and creative team members, many of whom have suffered significant financial loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Four mandated closures of arts venues have taken a toll on the performing arts sector in particular, leading to cancelled contracts for thousands of people.

These first two major gifts to the resiliency fund will directly support the performing arts sector, which lost an estimated 60 per cent of revenues within the first year of the pandemic. Statistics Canada has documented greater losses in the arts sector than almost any other.

Applications for funding can be made here for qualifying performing arts organizations committed to paying fees to Toronto artists and arts workers. The deadline to apply to this first round of funding, for which donations will range from $2,500 to $40,000, is April 6.

Applications are being accepted from organizations that meet all of these requirements:

  • Canada Revenue Agency-registered charities;
  • organizations with budgets under $7.5 million;
  • and performing arts organizations that have received a Toronto Arts Council operating or project grant in theatre, music or dance from 2020 to 2022.

Applications will be reviewed by Toronto Arts Foundation staff and analyzed through a financial lens. These people will also determine donation amounts based on the information provided in the applications. Funding is expected to be available in late April.

Subsequent rounds of funding will support artists working in community arts, visual and media arts, and literary arts. Toronto Arts Foundation is actively pursuing additional funds to facilitate the support of artists working in every discipline and the goal is to raise $2.5 million by the end of this year. 

Gary Slaight — photo provided.
“The Slaight Family Foundation is pleased to support this Resiliency Fund to help Toronto artists and art workers who have been so adversely impacted from the pandemic, " The Slaight Family Foundation president and chief executive officer Gary Slaight said in a media release.

The Slaight Family Foundation was created in 2008 by Gary Slaight’s father, Canadian broadcasting pioneer and philanthropist Allan Slaight. It has supported a variety of humanitarian and cultural causes and charitable initiatives in the areas of healthcare, at-risk youth, international development, social services and culture with tens of millions of dollars in donations.

“I am absolutely delighted about this generous donation from The Slaight Foundation,” Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation director and CEO Claire Hopkinson said in the release. “I am grateful for their support to artists during this difficult time and their confidence in Toronto Arts Foundation to distribute the funds quickly and efficiently.

“I am optimistic that this generous donation will inspire other donors to give, ensuring that Toronto’s artists feel appreciated and financially supported.”

The Hal Jackman Foundation supports a range of philanthropic activities related to education, the arts, culture and creative communities. It has awarded more than $50 million to more than 250 charitable organizations in Toronto since 1987. It was founded by its namesake, whose long career has included roles as chairman of National Trust Company and Empire Life Insurance Company, lieutenant-governor of Ontario, and president of the University of Toronto.

Canada Revenue Agency guidelines limit donations from foundations to charities, and not individual artists, so the resiliency fund will direct support to arts charities for expenditures on artists and arts workers’ fees while also offering increased stability to organizations affected by pandemic closures.

Toronto Arts Foundation is a charitable organization created to spark creative connections, spotlight artistic excellence and support vibrant cultural growth throughout the city through private sector investment. All gifts to Toronto Arts Foundation are welcome and donations can be made here.

Toronto Arts Council is the City of Toronto’s funding body for artists and arts organizations, and is a separately incorporated charity with its own board of directors. Its mission is to support artists and arts organizations with responsive and innovative granting programs.

* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.