Social purpose real estate organization Artscape has announced $21.4 million in funding raised—$14,050,000 in capital funding; $4,450,000 in community bonds, an innovative impact investing program; and $2,993,000 in program and start-up funding—to support its art and design entrepreneurship hub currently under construction on Toronto’s East Bayfront in the Daniels Waterfront—City of the Arts development.

Funding for the $27.3 million capital project has been contributed by the private sector, philanthropists and all three levels of government. The hub is named in recognition of the outstanding financial support of The Daniels Corporation and the John and Myrna Daniels Foundation, whose leadership gift of $5.75 million includes $625,000 in support from ‘City of the Arts’ development partner WJ Properties.

Artscape Daniels Launchpad’s goal is to help artists and designers build thriving careers, organizations and businesses. It will be a unique place where creatives have access to a multi-disciplinary environment full of tools, equipment and technology, entrepreneurship programs and activities, and a marketplace of services, resources and opportunities.

“It is becoming harder and harder to sustain a career as an artist or designer,” said Tim Jones, Artscape CEO. “After many years of research and collaboration, we are very excited to be introducing Artscape Daniels Launchpad and announcing the partners who will help thousands of creators more fully realize their potential.”

“We are thrilled to once again partner with Artscape and combine our name with theirs in the creation of Artscape Daniels Launchpad in the heart of our ‘City of the Arts’ community,” said Don Pugh, Vice President of The Daniels Corporation. “Supporting this creative entrepreneurship hub is an opportunity to reinforce Daniels’ commitment to the arts and to ensure that artists themselves play an important role in city building.”

Other major capital contributions have been made by the Government of Canada through Canadian Heritage ($3.5 million), the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science ($3 million), and a group of philanthropists who have made gifts ranging from $100,000 to $1,000,000. A total of $4,450,000 has been raised to date through the sale of community bonds—asset-backed investments that provide an opportunity for investors to use their capital to generate social as well as financial returns. Impact investors in the project include The Michael Young Family Foundation, Toronto Foundation, Hamilton Community Foundation, Inspirit Foundation, McLean Smits Family Foundation and Bealight Foundation.

Start-up and program funding was announced including contributions from:

  • The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) ($1.75 million)
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation ($450,000)
  • Ontario Media Development Corporation ($250,000)
  • The City of Toronto through StartUp Here Toronto ($250,000)
  • The Metcalf Foundation ($243,000)
  • The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation ($50,000)

This support is allowing Artscape to hire the Artscape Daniels Launchpad team, deliver entrepreneurship training to thousands of artists and designers, and strengthen connections between creatives and businesses across Southern Ontario.