It’s frustrating that the powers that be in Toronto seem to have such little interest in placing value on arts and culture.
A billboard by the Economist. The light is triggered by a motion sensor. Image: objectivemarketer.com
Sure, we’ve got Nuit Blanche and the amazing Luminato festival, both of which are truly wonderful, but when it comes to an innovative 8-year-long project by the arts community to get billboard taxes put towards beautifying the city, which we blogged about HERE, the city says no go.
-According to Spacing magazine, every member of the Budget Committee expressed their support for a billboard tax that would fund art and public realm enhancements.
-Apparently, The new tax was justified in staff and consultant reports, public consultations, city press releases, over 45 times in Council and through a wide variety of media outlets.
-Over 4500 people have signed a petition of support and over 60 organizations have endorsed BeautifulCity.ca
-What’s more, a McKinsey and Co. study in 2006 found that “for every 1 dollar of public arts funding in a regional economy, 8 are generated.”
And yet, we hear that it was recently recommended at Council that zero new money now go to enhancing public spaces with art.
(This recent action suggests that) “They have no faith in the future of Toronto’s creative youth,” says No. 9 founder Andrew Davies, whose public art organization endorses Beautifulcity.ca.
It would have been an opportunity to look to the city’s future, to create vibrant public spaces that enhance property values, boost tourism, give something visible back to residents and will help build the city for the long-term.
What a shame.