TORONTO, Jan. 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Artists, City Councillors and young people from across Toronto are holding a massive jam on the eve of the 2013 City Budget. The art rally is in support of the idea of using the billboard tax to rejuvenate arts and culture in Toronto.
The 'Collections' Jam and Town Hall will feature words from top Canadian recording artists Shad and Jully Black as well as performances from 16 year old Mustafa Amed, backed by Councillor Gary Crawford on drums. City Councillors are also scheduled to visit the session and work on a large scale collaborative painting with Ashley McKenzie-Barnes and arguably Toronto's best loved street artist, Elicser Elliot!
The town hall will also feature artists: Solitair, Miigizi, Adrian Hayles, Malcolm Yarde, Maracatu Baque De Bamba, Romeo, Deejay L'Oqenz and the My City My Story photo group. Hosts include community leaders and artists: Motion, Amanda Parris and Che Kothari.
The Jam is being held by BeautifulCity.ca, an alliance that has been pushing the billboard tax for art forward since 2001. Recently, hopes have been buoyed by the Supreme Court of Canada upholding the billboard tax and new City Staff reports that recommend putting $22.5 million from the tax into the arts. A Market-Pulse poll from Dec. of 1085 people also showed that 67% of Torontonians agree that "on a per-person basis, the City of Toronto should invest as much funding in arts and culture as other major Canadian cities" Only 15 % disagree (+/- 2.97). Currently, Toronto is last among comparable Canadian cities in per-capita arts spending. This is despite City Council committing to fix this in 2003 under Mayor Lastman, in 2010 under Miller and in 2011 under Ford.
"Putting the billboard levy into the arts is a big win for Toronto. Council gets to follow through on something it has promised to do and Toronto gets a more vibrant, creative city with no additional cost to the city budget or taxpayer. I invite my colleagues from across the political spectrum to follow through and deliver on our commitments to invest in arts and culture."
Councillor Gary Crawford, Chair, Mayor's Task Force for Arts and Theatres
"In 2009 we united for the first town hall and Council finally voted yes to the billboard tax for art. In 2010 we held the 'InVoice' Town Hall, and Council said yes to competitive levels of art investment but needed a year. In 2011, a new Council confirmed the commitment, but dropped the ball when it came to real action for the young people and diverse communities that created this initiative. The 'Collections' jam promises to be a creative and fun opportunity to hold our leaders accountable to their commitments and usher in a new era for Toronto's arts and culture."
Che Kothari, Host and Organizer
'Collections' Art Jam and Town Hall, Jan. 14th 6-9pm, City Hall, 100 Queen St. West. Committee Room 1
For further information:
416 528 5747