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May 30, 2016
Mayor Tory launches new art and music program in Toronto parks and cuts red tape for artists and musicians
Mayor John Tory today launched a new program bringing art installation and concerts in parks across the city throughout the summer. Mayor Tory also announced a new permit that will streamline the process at City Hall for artists and musicians to perform in our parks.

Mayor Tory was joined by Councillor John Filion (Ward 23 Willowdale), the City's Arts Advocate, Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina), Vice-Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee, and Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO of Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation.

The launch featured musical performances by Quique Escamilla, one of the Arts in the Parks featured performers, and Ten Kills The Pack, an Arts and Music in Parks permit holder. Amplification for the musical performances was pedal-powered by the Tune Your Ride Collective.

The City's new Arts and Music in Parks permit is designed to provide a simple, streamlined process for artists and musicians to get a permit to perform in City parks. This free permit is available for small-scale art and music events that take place on one day, and are presented by grassroots organizations, artists and musicians.

“This new permit is an example of concrete steps we are taking to turn Toronto into a music city. This was based on advice we received from musicians themselves through Toronto’s Music Advisory Council and the Great Heart Festival, who had difficulty navigating bureaucracy at City Hall," said Mayor Tory. "I want to continue to show our commitment to the city’s arts and music communities, and this new permit underscores this."

The Arts in the Parks program will bring free arts events to parks and will encourage community building, enjoyment of local parks, and offer arts events for residents and visitors of all ages. Arts in the Parks is delivered through a partnership among the Toronto Arts Foundation and the City of Toronto, Toronto Arts Council, and Park People. Events will include performances, dance, music, theatre, film, community-engaged work and temporary installations by arts groups.

"This innovative initiative will give musicians and artists a chance to showcase their art with new audiences," said Councillor Filion. "The partnership expands opportunities for residents to experience art and music, as well."

“Making it easier for small-scale art and music events to take place in our parks will help to foster community, providing social spaces where neighbours can get to know each other. This is the kind of initiative that makes Toronto beautiful and our parks loved public spaces,” said Councillor Layton.

“We have so many extraordinary artists in Toronto. We are thrilled that Arts in the Parks will bring amazing and free entertainment to so many neighbourhoods. It fits perfectly with our vision of Creative City: Block by Block,” said Hopkinson.

More information about Arts in the Parks and the Arts and Music in Parks permit is available at and Follow the conversation on Twitter via #ArtsintheParksTO.

Toronto Arts Foundation is a charitable organization that encourages artistic excellence and access to the arts throughout the city through private sector investment. Its sister organization, the Toronto Arts Council (TAC), is the City of Toronto’s arms-length funding body for artists and arts organizations.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

Media Contact
Karen Fulcher
Parks, Forestry and Recreation

Sean Mallen
Toronto Arts Foundation and Toronto Arts Council

Keerthana Kamalavasan
Office of the Mayor



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