BeautifulCity.ca Alliance (2001-2013…)

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  • Project Website |  Photo Documentation |  Press |  Video 1 |  Video 2 |  Video 3

    “More is being done here by a couple of councillors and a handful of activists to educate people about City Hall and open up civic processes than has been done by the collected mainstream press corps in the last ten years.” Mike Smith, ‘Local Motion: The Art of Civic Engagement,’ Coach House Books, 2010.

    Role: Co-founder / Concept, Alliance Coordinator

    BeautifulCity.ca first introduced the idea of a tax on billboards to enhance public spaces via art during the 2001 Creative City Consultations. Work included policy development, multiple town halls, extensive public relations and coordinating an alliance of over 60 organizations. Membership included organizations ranging from the Art Gallery of Ontario, to the Elementary Teachers of Toronto. The billboard tax and bylaw improving protection of public spaces passed council 2009. Between 2009 and 2010 the levy was directed to the art by City Council three times and over $21 million dollars in revenue was put into an art reserve. With the conclusion of a lawsuit at the Supreme Court of Canada in 2013, new funding was phased in using the reserve, with the target of reaching $25 per-capita. Effort has resulted in an increase to the Toronto Arts Council budget by over 60%.  

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