Creative Trust at the Toronto Arts Foundation

As Creative Trust wound up our operations in late 2012, we began a partnership with the Toronto Arts Foundation to ensure that our legacy of collaboration, sharing and learning continues. The Creative Trust Research Fellowship allows us to work with the Toronto Arts Foundation to expand the knowledge base and capacity building opportunities available to Toronto’s arts community through developing a wider network of learning.

This partnership harnesses our shared values and professional expertise to expand the creative and organizational capacity of Toronto’s arts community.

Creative Trust

Creative Trust was formed to strengthen the organizational health and sustainability of creative music, theatre and dance companies in Toronto. After completing a successful three-year drive to raise endowment funds, we began the Working Capital for the Arts program, which became a model for capacity building in the cultural sector. Over ten years, beginning in 2002, we assisted over 50 mid-size and small companies to eliminate deficits, create working capital reserves and improve their governance, planning and management skills.

In 2008, Creative Trust began two new initiatives: helping companies undertake capital projects to upgrade and repair their aging facilities; and engaging companies in a comprehensive audience development program. Their goal, like the Working Capital program, was to ensure a thriving performing arts community whose work will continue to inspire audiences for years to come.

These programs have all now met their goals and have had many impressive successes, including creating a learning community committed to ongoing professional skills development. Creative Trust was always intended to be a time-limited initiative, and we wound up the organization at the end of October 2012.

Jini Stolk, Creative Trust Research Fellow

Jini Stolk was cofounder and Executive Director of Creative Trust, an organization dedicated to strengthening the financial capacity and organizational potential of Toronto’s performing arts community. As the newly appointed Creative Trust Research Fellow at the Toronto Arts Foundation she will bring those 12 years of experiences and learnings to the City’s wider arts community. Before that, she was Managing Director of Toronto Dance Theatre, Executive Director of the Toronto Theatre Alliance/Dora Mavor Moore Awards (where she revitalized Toronto’s half-price ticket booth, T.O. TIX), Associate Director of the Association of Canadian Publishers and General Manager of Open Studio. She continues her involvement in many community and cultural advocacy activities, and is Chair and a founding steering committee member of the Ontario Nonprofit Network, and a director of the Centre for Social Innovation; she is Past Vice-President of the Toronto Arts Council and Past-President of Toronto Artscape, Hum dansoundart and Six Stages Theatre Festival, and was a member of the steering committee of ArtsVote Toronto 2010. She received the 2012 William Kilbourn Award for the Celebration of Toronto’s Cultural Life, and was a Sandra Tulloch Award and Harold Award winner.