QUEEN’S PARK – Artscape, a non-profit organization that has operated in Toronto for over 30 years providing creative spaces, residences for artists, and event venues is being forced into receivership due to debt. In their statement, Artscape noted that despite lack of funding, Artscape continued extending themselves to ensure they could continue providing creative spaces across Toronto, especially while recovering from the losses of the pandemic. Now, their debt is too high for them to continue operating.
Ontario NDP critic for Culture and Heritage MPP Jill Andrew (Toronto – St. Paul’s) has issued the following statement in response:
“It’s heartbreaking to see Artscape forced into receivership. Seeing firsthand the impact their organization has in my community of Toronto—St. Paul’s as home to Artscape Wychwood Barns, I know this loss will be felt deeply by all Torontonians. They’ve worked tirelessly to support artists and the arts across Toronto. To know Artscape is to know their work also spans further than the arts and culture sector alone, as a space for community building, education, development and play, and addressing social challenges, such as food insecurity, housing precarity, and mental health.
It is unacceptable that a non-profit organization has to push themselves into debt to follow through on their mission to sustain creative community spaces and affordable residences for artists. We need to see commitment from the Province to invest in the arts, as well as non-profit housing models similar to what Artscape has offered creatives for the past three decades. Our province has so much talent to offer, and organizations like Artscape allows that talent to grow. But fostering this talent takes investment. We need a provincial arts funding strategy that allows organizations like Artscape, and the creatives Artscape supports, to thrive.”