City of Toronto invests $1.2M in anti-Black racism initiatives

Around $300,000 of that total will be directed toward expanding workforce development initiatives in the screen-based industries.
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The City of Toronto is investing $1.2 million across the arts, heritage and creative industries in what it’s calling a bid to confront anti-Black racism.

On Friday, the City announced that $300,000 of that total will be directed toward expanding workforce development initiatives in the screen-based industries.

The investment, spanning film, television, on-demand, commercial and digital content is designed to “accelerate the career pathways for Black youth in creative industries,” with a focus on a variety of positions including management roles. More details on the initiatives are expected in the coming weeks.

In addition, the City said it will work with the Toronto Arts Council to identify $300,000 in reallocated 2020 funding and ongoing funding moving forward to support the Black arts community. These initiatives will be designed through consultation with the Black arts community.

A further $300,000 has been allocated to support key Black heritage organizations.

Elsewhere, the City announced it will make a five-year, $250,000 investment to support Black Innovation Fellowship offered by Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ), a renowned business incubator supporting tech entrepreneurs.

More widely, the City said it intends to prioritize funding for organizations “that reflect the diversity of this city in their leadership and operations, [support] smaller and often newer organizations to increase their reach and impact, and [address] social and economic exclusion.”

The investment from the City comes two days after leaders from across the  film and TV sector gathered for a virtual discussion on anti-black racism within the Canadian entertainment industry. Earlier in the week, CEOs from companies including 9 Story Media Group, the Canadian Film Centre, Cineplex, Corus Entertainment and Entertainment One signed on to the BlackNorth Initiative, which is a pledge to address anti-black racism and remove systemic barriers for Black Canadians.

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