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July 29, 2002
Toronto shores up its arts community
Culture - Toronto City Council has earmarked $500,000 for its new Cultural
Facilities Capital Grants Program, developed to enhance the cultural experience
of residents and visitors who enjoy the intimacy of small and medium-sized
cultural facilities.

Unfortunately, over the last few years, the charm of some of the performances
in small and medium-sized facilities has been marred by squeaky seats, broken
toilets, leaky roofs or heating and air conditioning problems. For a while,
Toronto's talented performing arts community has been lauded nationally and
internationally, since limited resources have focused on the artistic side of
production. The physical infrastructure has been chronically under-funded.

"It is imperative to improve the actual physical infrastructure," said
Councillor Paul Sutherland (Ward 33 Don Valley East). "This pilot program will
assist our small and medium-sized arts organizations to leverage funds from the
private sector and senior levels of government to improve the state of their

Toronto has the third largest theatre scene in North America. The culture
sector employs approximately 190,000 individuals-about 14.75 per cent of its
labour force-and contributes approximately $8.6 billion to the city's Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), approximately 11 per cent of Toronto's GDP.

Toronto cultural facilities that are not-for-profit, have been in existence for
at least three years, own or have a minimum of five years on their lease and
are not City-owned, are encouraged to call Lori Martin at 416-392-5225 for
information or a grant application form.

Media Contact
Lori Martin



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