The COVID-19 pandemic has had an outsized impact on the arts and culture sector in Toronto, bringing about significant challenges and upheaval for the organizations and individuals that work in this space.
Many organizations are facing difficult questions about their future and examining necessary shifts in their business models. Calls for change have also come from inside and outside the sector as organizations contemplate how to centre equity, respond to climate change, and participate in reconciliation. Transformation is afoot across the sector.
To help organizations navigate potential paths forward — from restructuring, mergers, partnerships, and wind-downs — we are pleased to share that we have partnered with the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts, and WorkInCulture to create the Catalyst and Transformation (CAT) Fund.
The CAT Fund is designed to assist Toronto based non-profit organizations and small creative industry companies to explore their options in a confidential environment. Organizations can apply to receive up to $30,000 to access expert help (e.g. lawyers, accountants, HR specialists, business consultants, etc.) as well as support for implementing transformational decisions such as sharing space and resources, mergers with other organizations, or wind-downs. If a merger or wind-down is determined to be the ideal path, a key intention of the CAT Fund is to provide resources that help honour the legacy of organizations and to ensure cultural assets are redistributed in service of the public good.
The program is administered by WorkInCulture with assessment and funding decisions made by WorkInCulture and its senior staff. We understand the desire for confidentiality among potential applicants, so while the City of Toronto and the Metcalf Foundation are providing funding for the CAT Fund, we will not participate in the administration of the program or be privy to details surrounding applications.
Applications will be accepted on an on-going basis until all funding is committed. Learn more or apply to the CAT Fund here.