Rocco Rossi Campaign for Mayor

Rocco Rossi Campaign for Mayor

September 29, 2010 12:46 ET

Rossi Vows 39 Per Capita Increase in Arts Investment

Mayoral Candidate's Creative City Plan Will Boost Investment, Clout For Arts

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 29, 2010) - Toronto mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi will dramatically increase both the investment in, and influence of, the arts under his Creative City plan if he is elected mayor this fall – including a 39-per-cent increase in per capita funding, development of a new generation of the city's Culture Plan and a commitment to match what other major North American cities invest in the arts.

"From my years in business I know a good deal when I see one," Rossi said on the eve of the ArtsVote all candidates debate this evening at the AGO," and supporting the arts is one of the best investments going."

Arts and culture are big business in Toronto, contributing $9 billion to the city's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Each dollar invested by the city in the arts returns 17 dollars in economic spin-offs. More than 100,000 Torontonians earn a paycheque in the city's arts and culture sector, and more than 1.5 million Torontonians attended an art performance last year.

Toronto is currently investing $18 per capita in the Arts, much less than Montreal ($33 per capita) and Vancouver ($25 per capita).

"These cities are our friends, but when it comes to the arts, they are also our competitors. We must and can do better."

As a first step, Rossi's Creative City plan would immediately increase per capita funding of the Arts to $25 – a 39 per cent increase. About two-thirds of the estimated $17.5 million cost of this change will come from billboard tax revenues. The remainder will come from savings and efficiencies in the city's operating budget.

Creative City will also develop a new generation of the city's Culture Plan, with new targets and new investments. Rossi said his goal is for Toronto to achieve funding parity with other major North American centres by the end of his first term.

"We need to tear down the vertical silos that have in the past separated arts and overall economic planning so that we can leverage new opportunities on a global basis," said Rossi. "Simply put, if we can strengthen our cultural relationships, they will be become another tool for stronger economic ties as well."

"From the need for new and revitalized mid-sized theatre houses to the lack of arts programs in our community centres, to our desire to attract more film production and turn Toronto into Hollywood North, we face an arts deficit on several levels," said Rossi. "With my Creative City plan as our cultural blueprint, Toronto will reach its full potential as a major North American centre of arts and culture."

Current funding level: $45 million annually ($18 per capita)
Creative City target: $62.5 million annually ($25 per capita)
Funding commitment: $17.5 million annually
Revenue sources: $11.5 million from billboard tax
$6 million from operating budget
Montreal current funding level: $32 per capita
Vancouver current funding level: $26 per capita

Creative City commits to move Toronto to arts funding parity with other major North American centres by the end of Rocco Rossi's first term.

Contact Information

  • For more information or to schedule an interview,
    please contact: Patricia Best
    Rocco Rossi Campaign for Mayor