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Hello to our East End Community,

We don’t normally call on our community to support us, but right now we need your help to send a message to City Council.

As you know, East End Arts is one of six Local Arts Service Organizations (LASOs) of Toronto, with a shared mission to provide accessible, free or low-cost, quality programming to our communities. Together with Arts Etobicoke, Lakeshore Arts, North York Arts, Scarborough Arts and Urban Arts, our collective catchment areas cover 84.2% of the population of Toronto, a total of 2.73M people, and we receive just $1.8M of the $17B Toronto city budget.

We know that the arts play a pivotal role in building a healthy, connected, and inspired city.

On February 1, 2024, Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow released her proposed 2024 budget, which sadly does not include an increase to our budget. 

Mayor Oliva Chow recognized the importance of the LASOs contributions and the challenge faced by our limited resources when she included a promise to double the LASO funding envelope in her election platform. This pledge came alongside increases to the Toronto Arts Council as well as addressing the need for affordable live/work space for artists in the City.

Without an increase to our budget for the fourth year in a row, while keeping in mind the rising rates of inflation and other financial pressures we face, our capacity to deliver programs and invest in our team becomes limited; we are forced to make difficult decisions to scale back.

2024 is the time for this much-needed increase, and there’s still time to make it happen. 

In the preface to her proposed 2024 budget, Mayor Chow signaled the possibility of a last-minute boost to arts funding when City Council meets to confirm the budget on February 14th. Support is critical to advance the work that has been invested in and be able to address growing needs. 

Therefore, OUR ASK as your local arts service organization is:

  • We ask that Mayor Olivia Chow double the LASO budget, and deliver on her promise.
  • Specifically, we ask the Budget Committee and City Councillors to support our request to add $900,000 to the LASO envelope in the 2024 budget, and that the remaining $900,000 investment be spread out across the following 3 years.

Your voice is crucial to support us.

Here’s how you can help:

➡️ Email your City Councillor and let them know that you value the arts outside the core!

➡️ Click here for a list of City Councillors and their emails.

➡️ Click here for a sample email template that you can use.

Thank you always for your support of the important work that we do,

❤️ Sincerely,
The Small but Mighty East End Arts Team

Shana Hillman, Executive Director
Chelsea Virginia, Communications Manager
Cynella Cyril, Program Manager

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