Business for the Arts (BFTA) stimulates a $2.4 million investment into Toronto’s arts sector




Business for the Arts (BFTA) stimulates a $2.4 million investment into Toronto’s arts sector


BFTA’s national flagship program artsVest wraps up its two-year cycle in Toronto. Its unique funding model leverages federal and local government funding to trigger direct, private sector contributions to small arts and cultural organizations across the City of Toronto.


(Toronto, ON – November 23, 2017) artsVest – with funding support from the Government of Canada and the Toronto Arts Council – invested $660,000 in matching funds and sponsorship training to 179 arts organizations across the City of Toronto. This amount was used to raise a further $1.74M investment from the private sector using artsVest’s one-of-a-kind leveraging model, where small arts organizations are trained to secure corporate sponsorships on their own before they have access to the matching funds. The initial $660,000 investment inspired a further $1.74 million dollar investment from the private sector, raising a total of $2.64 million between 2015 – 2017. This leveraging model resulted in the government’s initial contribution to the sector is more than doubled.


The financial investment in the arts sector represents a fraction of artsVest’s larger impact – the program also builds the capacity of arts administrators and organizations through a robust training and mentorship curriculum. Over the two years, the program delivered 293 hours of live hands-on support to groups with little experience or training in sponsorship. A team of over 40 volunteer mentors from across Canada, including David Abel (Art of Time Ensemble) and Clayton Windatt (Aboriginal Curatorial Collective), provided arts administrators with much needed individualized support as they sought to grow their sponsorship programs. 179 arts organizations participated in the program; 131 organizations created over 267 partnerships with the private sector between 2015-2017. Organizations such as VIBE Arts, Imaginative, Roseneath Theatre, and Artbound, among numerous others, have cited the benefits of the powerful funding and training combo that artsVest provides.


“As a young organization new to developing and stewarding relationships with business groups, ArtsVest has been an invaluable resource in developing the capacity of our growing team,” says Alexis Kane Speer, Executive Director of The STEPS Initiative. “Drawing on the expertise of ArtsVest mentors and staff, we are proud to have established STEPS’ first multi-year sponsorship.


“Toronto Arts Council is pleased to partner with Business for the Arts on artsVest. By empowering small to mid-sized arts organizations and offering them additional tools and skills to build sustainable partnerships with businesses, artsVest is strengthening the sector as a whole. We love programs that offer this kind of impact.” – Claire Hopkinson, Director and CEO, Toronto Arts Council.


“Approaching businesses for sponsorship is no easy task, and we are incredibly proud of our Toronto participants for applying the artsVest training and empowering themselves to go out and secure their own sponsorships,” says Aida Aydinyan, Vice President of Business for the Arts.


About artsVest

artsVest also operates in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. 1,181 participating artsVest organizations have formed 3,883 partnerships with businesses. These partnerships have generated $16.8M in new private sector investment from $6.6M in matching funds to date and has resulted in an influx of $23.4M to the cultural sector. To read more about the artsVest program, please visit



For more information, please contact:
Claire Hefferon Payne

National Program Director, artsVest

416 869 3016 x 225


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