Mayor's Evening for the Arts

Thank you to our donors and sponsors who helped us raise over $1 million in support of our program Arts in the Parks.

On November 20th, 2017 over 1000 guests together with Mayor John Tory and Barbara Hackett joined to celebrate arts and culture in Toronto. We’re thrilled that we surpassed our fundraising goal of $1 million!

Download photos from the event on our Flickr Page

Read the transcript of Mayor John Tory's speech

View the Arts in the Parks video screened at the event

The Mayor’s Evening for the Arts 2017 featured memorable performances from a variety of artists, including the St. Michael'sChoir School singing the national anthem, and members of the New Canadian Global Orchestra performing mid-evening. It also included a special interactive light performance of a poem written by Toronto Poet Laureate Anne Michaels, and a surprise appearance by Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton who performed a song from the touring production Bat Out of Hell. Opera singer Neema Bickersteth, beat boxer Joey Manayand rapper Säyeskye closed out the evening with a cover of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World."

Funds raised at the Mayor’s Evening for the Arts will support Arts in the Parks, the biggest, most inclusive arts initiative that Toronto has ever seen, bringing over 300 professional theatre, dance, music events and workshops to every corner of the city, from east Scarborough to west Etobicoke, from the waterfront to northernmost North York, to be enjoyed by seniors, newcomers, youth, families, and everyone in between all summer long – all completely free.

With a focused effort to program activities in parks outside of the downtown core, we are providing new opportunities to Torontonians who have been hampered by obstacles to participation in the arts, including cost, proximity, accessibility, and lack of quality of events in their neighbourhood.

The benefit to this program goes beyond the enjoyment of watching a play, a dance performance or a puppet show, or participation in a drumming group or mosaic project; benefits include increased community engagement, use of public space, and neighbourhood pride; creating gathering places where neighbours form social ties, which in turn creates safer neighbourhoods.

With support from the Mayor’s Evening for the Arts, and the help of over 400 community and youth volunteers, Toronto Arts Foundation will bring over 250 arts events to 50 Toronto parks during the summer of 2018.

“Thank you for sponsoring this event for the Scarborough community. What a wonderful way to engage community who might normally not have the opportunity to enjoy live theatre.” 
Arts in the Parks Artist

"Events like these are important because they bring everybody together. People from the community have come together to experience something different." 
Arts in the Parks Audience Member

For a listing of all of our wonderful sponsors for this year's event, please click here

For a listing of our auction donors, please click here.

Support the arts year-round. Please consider making a DONATION to Toronto Arts Foundation. You'll receive a tax receipt for the entire amount of your gift. For more information on donating please click here, or to make a donation please click here

Click here for more information on Arts in the Parks. 


Toronto Arts Foundation is uniquely focused on connecting every Toronto neighbourhood with the transformative social and economic impact of the arts. Research demonstrates that quality of life across the city improves, and that cities flourish socially and economically, through access to the arts. 2017 proceeds will allow Toronto Arts Foundation to continue to remove barriers of access to the arts, expand the diversity of our programming and increase outreach to even more communities in need.