End of an era

by Jini Stolk

Creative Trust announced its closing yesterday at a joyous “sunset bash” celebrating its success and positive impact on the financial and organizational health and stability of 21 of Toronto’s most important mid-size music, theatre and dance companies. Another 35 companies participated in the Trust’s many workshops and professional development activities over the past 10 years.

The wine flowed and the tears flowed (well, perhaps just mine…) as well over 100 supporters, participants, board, staff and other friends gathered at Hotel Ocho to reminisce and celebrate Creative Trust’s significant achievements and impact, including:

  • Providing all Working Capital companies with healthy working capital reserves, allowing them to thrive artistically and withstand financial ups and downs
  • Helping the 11 companies who entered the Working Capital program with accumulated deficits to eliminate or greatly reduce those deficits
  • Assisting companies to confront management, governance, or organizational challenges with confidence and creativity, helping them rethink assumptions and change the ways they work
  • Creating a learning community of professionals who came together regularly in over 95 workshops, roundtables and seminars to hone their skills, share knowledge and experiences, and strive to achieve excellence in all their work
  • Undertaking the most in-depth and multifaceted community audience development initiative in Canada, in which participants gained new skills and insights and put them successfully into practice

The Creative Trust was formed in 1998 as a collaborative endowment fundraising initiative, and in late 2002 launched its Working Capital for the Arts sustainability program, which was intended from the beginning to sunset after its work was completed and its goals achieved.

The Working Capital for the Arts funding campaign raised almost $7 million from private and public donors for this work, and distributed almost $4 million directly to participating companies in matching deficit elimination grants and working capital awards.

Also announced at the party: surprise final financial gifts to Creative Trust companies Ballet Jorgen Canada, Buddies in Bad Times, Dancemakers, Elmer Iseler Singers, Esprit Orchestra, Factory Theatre, Kaeja d’Dance, Théâtre français de Toronto, Necessary Angel, Nightwood Theatre, Opera Atelier, Soundstreams, Tafelmusik, Tapestry New Opera, Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Direct, Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto Children’s Chorus, Toronto Dance Theatre, and Young People’s Theatre.

Creative Trust’s significant learnings and legacy will continue, thanks to exciting new partnerships with the Toronto Arts Foundation and the University of Guelph Archives.

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