The findings and recommendations of the report "Creative Capital Gains: An Action Plan for Toronto" were endorsed by Toronto City Council today. A detailed implementation plan emanating from this report will be presented to the Economic Development Committee later this year.
This report is the result of the efforts of the Creative Capital Initiative, which was formed in 2011 to provide expert advice and recommendations to update the City's 2003 Culture Plan for the current term of Council.
"We believe that the recommendations and action plan can help strengthen Toronto's economy and enhance our competitive advantage on the world stage," Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee, stated in the report. "Culture is an economic catalyst we can and must maximize for the benefit of all our communities."
The report identifies areas for new and renewed investment and support by the City of Toronto, along with 33 action recommendations that will assist in achieving the goals. The focus areas include:
• Ensuring a supply of affordable, sustainable cultural space
• Ensuring access and opportunity for cultural participation to all citizens, regardless of age, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, geography or socioeconomic status
• Supporting the development of creative clusters and emerging cultural scenes to capitalize on their potential as generators of jobs and economic growth
• Promoting Toronto's cultural institutions, festivals and other assets to enhance the city's position as a Creative City regionally, nationally and internationally
• Keeping pace with international competitors by making a firm commitment to sustain Toronto's cultural sector and position Toronto as a leading, globally competitive Creative Capital.
The initiative's co-chair, Robert Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Capital Canada, commented on the consultations and the findings of the report: "The initiative process demonstrated how Toronto's cultural, government and business sectors reinforce one another. This report provides a blueprint for maximizing the financial, creative and social capital of these sectors through the services, convening power and investments of the City of Toronto."
The initiative, created by Councillor Thompson and guided by the volunteer efforts of cultural and business leaders, engaged in 13 public consultations with almost 500 members of Toronto's arts, culture and business communities. To access an online copy of the complete report, visit http://www.livewithculture.ca/creative-capital-initiative/an-action-plan-for-toronto/.
Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.