Rumour has it that the newly released Creative Capital Plan, which makes a strong case for Toronto’s art and culture sector as a significant industry and revenue generator, may be short-lived.
The report, headed up by Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City’s Economic Development Committee, is billed as a partnership between the City and the arts and culture community, and provides recommendations to update the City’s last culture plan from 2003.
In 1998, the newly amalgamated City had a Culture Plan drafted “to help guide the city’s cultural development for the next decade.” The first plan focused on larger cultural initiatives – and we now have the Ballet School, the Canadian Opera Company, OCAD University, the ROM and the Art Gallery of Ontario to show for it. The new report recognizes the value of small arts operations as well as the need to connect them with like-minded organizations and their initiatives.
Although the report was endorsed by the City’s Economic Development Committee on May 4th, it still needs to be approved at City Council on May 17 – 18.
Rumblings among some of those in Toronto’s art community (who are in a good position to rumble) is that that the report, which goes to council later this month, will be killed by Rob Ford.
This despite the report’s high profile advisory council, which included Robert Foster, CEO of Capital Canada, Karen Kain of the National Ballet of Canada, former federal Cabinet Minister Jim Prentice, Nichole Anderson, President and CEO, Business for the Arts, TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey, Claire Hopkinson, Executive Director, Toronto Arts Council and Gail Lord of Lord Cultural Resources.
Not to mention that advising the group were /Richard Florida and Rob Ford’s special advisor on arts and culture, Jeff Melanson.
It would be appalling if Mr. Ford were to kill the initiative.
It’s clear to me that the city is buzzing with art and culture in a way that is never has before, at least in my lifetime. We must capitalize on that energy; the city’s arts and culture sector holds so much potential.
Read Leah Sandals’ earlier blog post on the topic, HERE.
Stay tuned for more updates, but from what I hear, it may not be good news.