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Thursday, November 26, 2009 Heads: Make Your Vote Count To Increase Art Funding In Toronto!!! 

Here’s the jist of it: If you feel like there are too many billboards in the city and and not enough art then you can actually do something to help change that. Help pass a new tax on billboard advertisers to fund enforcement and arts initiatives across the city. Shouts to Che from The Manifesto family for always keeping us in the loop of important initiatives in the community. The time to make your vote and presence felt is now! All the info is below and pop the hood for some more visuals supporting the initiative:

After seven years of work, the tax on billboards for art is close to becoming a reality! Toronto City Council will be voting on the new billboard enforcement bylaw and tax for art on November 30th OR December 1st, 2009. We don’t have much time – and we need your help!

Advertising is increasingly infringing on our public spaces, and the privilege of leveraging our city for commercial ends should come with a responsibility to keep them healthy. Almost all other forms of advertising subsidize content in exchange for your attention. The billboard tax is a fair and just means for private advertisers to take responsibility for their impact on the city.

What it will mean?
What’s at stake is a revolutionary new approach that will help bring balance in our communities. The billboard tax will provide the funds for proper enforcement of the new billboard bylaw as well as generate new funds for art in the public sphere – including murals, sculptures, festivals, accessible arts programming, outdoor performances and more.

This is not just about increasing funding to arts in Toronto (which lags behind most other cities in cultural spending) this is an opportunity to start building the beautiful and creative city we all know is possible: to nourish communities; to reclaim and rehabilitate our public spaces, and to build our city’s economic potential. For every dollar of public arts funding in a regional economy, eight dollars are generated (McKinsey Co.) Investment in arts and culture is proven to be effective in cultivating healthy and prosperous communities — don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of transforming our city!

Implementation of the bylaw and tax would dramatically increase arts funding in Toronto while democratizing access to expression public space. At the target of 18 million in revenue it would create the opportunity for:

- An historic increase to Toronto’s arts and culture budget, potentially doubling the number of artists and projects receiving grants.
- Providing approx. $100,000 annually to each Toronto ward for urban beautification, streetscape improvement, and green initiatives
- Provide approx. $300,000 annually to each of Toronto’s 13 priority neighbourhoods to support accessible youth arts programming.
- Creation of a well-supported bylaw enforcement team to keep pervasive illegal advertising in check and an arms-length variance system.

Toronto! Take Action Today:
1. Call and write your councillor. Let them know that the revenue should not be hijacked or pushed down to nothing. Click HERE for info and key asks.
2. Show your support at City Hall on Nov 30th / Dec 1st RSVP HERE.
3. Spread the word.

Go to to find your councillor, scripts, updates, links and facts.


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