On 28th February, the City of Toronto officially announced it will provide nearly $2 million in funding for 44 approved local cultural festivals in 2023.
Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park) and Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee, were joined by representatives from Caribbean Carnival, Celebrate Toronto and Toronto Dragon Festival at City Hall to celebrate the cultural festivals receiving funding this year.
The funding is being made available through the City’s Cultural Festival Funding Program (CFFP). Funds are intended to help cultural event organizers deliver diverse and sustainable programming that contributes to the vibrancy of Toronto’s neighbourhoods, attracts visitors, builds community, and stimulates positive economic impact for local businesses all year long.
Multi-year recipients and returning favourites include Salsa on St. Clair, Luminato, Caribbean Carnival and Pride Festival 2023. Annual recipients include Tkaronto Music Festival 2023, Toronto JerkFest, Francophonie en Fete, Scarborough Summerfest 2023, St. Patrick’s Festival and Celebrate Toronto. Nineteen new recipients will receive funding for their cultural festivals in 2023, including the Toronto Dragon Festival. The full list of CFFP recipients will be available online in the coming weeks after agreements have been signed.
The City has received an increasing number of requests from more recently established festivals to access City supports and funding. The CFFP, which was created in 2021 to address that demand, aims to increase the reach, accountability and transparency of City funding to cultural festivals. 2023 CFFP recipients were selected by a peer advisory body, along with City staff, using established criteria that were developed with stakeholders and communities seeking support. This is the second year that the City is offering this funding program.
Three different CFFP streams recognize the festivals’ varying sizes, capacity, and community impact. Long-standing, major annual events are eligible for multi-year funding and annual grants up to a maximum of $650,000 each. Other established festivals will be eligible to apply for annual operating funding up to $150,000 each. Smaller and newer organizations and festivals produced by Business Improvement Areas are eligible for project grants up to $25,000 each.