2011 artsVest Ontario Communities Announced!

Business for the Arts brings training and $275,000 in matching incentives to five Ontario municipalities through their artsVest program.

Barrie, Guelph, Hamilton, Huntsville and Markham to forge new and lasting art-business partnerships with artsVest training and matching incentives.

Business for the Arts is delighted to announce five Ontario communities to be awarded artsVest, a matching incentive and sponsorship training program that operates at a local level to spark business investment in arts and culture, bolster municipal cultural plans and help develop the creative economy.

Municipalities in the process of developing or implementing a cultural plan were invited to apply for the program and a chance to bring $25K – $75K in matching funds to their cultural sector. Cultural organizations in Barrie, Guelph, Hamilton, Huntsville and Markham are now set to receive training on securing private sector support and will be encouraged to apply for a matching incentive grant to spark new sponsorships from the local business community.

artsVest Ontario is a program designed by Business for the Arts and delivered with funding from the Government of Ontario, The Ontario Trillium Foundation and Canadian Heritage.  Since 2005, artsVest has been in 16 municipalities in Ontario, providing $785K in matching funds to local cultural organizations and sparking a total of $1,4M in local private sector sponsorships. artsVest’s impact includes partnerships between 485 businesses and 175 arts and culture organizations in Ontario since the program was launched.  artsVest has initiated first-time investments in the arts from 280 businesses!

“The artsVest experience has been transformative for entire communities as businesses enter into partnerships with the cultural sector with a mind to bolstering their community’s cultural assets while achieving their business objectives” says Nichole Anderson, President and CEO of Business for the Arts.

artsVest Ontario will launch in each selected community with a networking event designed to strengthen the bonds between the local private, public and cultural sectors.  The program will develop cultural assets and build the creative economy at a local level.  It offers capacity-building workshops and support to small to mid-sized cultural organizations to take them through developing a strategy and set of tactics for securing local private sector support.  Organizations will then be encouraged to apply for a matching incentive grant, which they must then match dollar for dollar with local business sponsorship within six months to receive the matching funds.

Craig Stevens, Managing Director of the Downtown Barrie BIA, highlighted the value cross-sectoral initiatives can have on the economic development of a community.  “The Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) strongly feels that the arts and culture community plays a significantly important role and is a catalyst for business recruitment and development and for creating a positive ‘sense of place’ for all Barrie residents.”

Karen Farbridge, The City of Guelph’s Mayor, described ways in which the artsVest program will help the city achieve its goals: “We see great value in this program as a means of further strengthening our municipal cultural planning and development, and combined with the support of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce and Guelph Arts Council, I’m confident that valuable partnerships will be developed that connect business and arts within our community.”

For more information about artsVest Ontario, please contact us or visit www.artsvest.com