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Artscape announces $9.7 Million in Gifts towards $38 Million Daniels Spectrum

TORONTO, September 20, 2012 – Artscape today announced the individual, foundation and corporate gifts for the $38 Million Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre. The centre has been renamed Daniels Spectrum in appreciation of a $4 Million lead gift from The Daniels Corporation and the John and Myrna Daniels Charitable Foundation. A total of $5.7 million in additional charitable gifts has been contributed to build this new cultural hub and ensure it remains both affordable and sustainable over the long term.

This private and corporate philanthropy is in addition to the $24 Million invested by the Governments of Canada and Ontario ($12 Million each) previously announced in 2009, and other sources. Located at 585 Dundas Street East, Daniels Spectrum is a platform for cultural exchange and collaboration, and the newest addition to downtown Toronto’s thriving cultural landscape.

In addition to the lead gift, a $1.5 Million gift from The Slaight Family Foundation will be recognized through the naming of the 400-seat performance space as Ada Slaight Hall. The naming of Artscape Lounge has been made possible by a $1.25 Million gift from an anonymous donor. MDC Partners Courtyard has been named in recognition of a $0.5 Million gift.  The announcement was made by Artscape Campaign Cabinet Co-Chairs Robert J. Foster and Judy Matthews and Tim Jones, President & CEO of Artscape at the official opening ribbon-cutting ceremony at Daniels Spectrum, led by The Honourable Glen Murray, Member of Provincial Parliament and Councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 36 Scarborough Southwest). The event was attended by Toronto civic leaders, tenant organizations and members of the Regent Park community.

The Daniels Corporation has partnered with Artscape, Toronto Community Housing and members of the local community to develop the innovative 60,000-square-foot, purpose-built facility, which is designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects. The Daniels Corporation is also partners with Toronto Community Housing in the development and construction of the Regent Park revitalization.

“The concept of giving back to the greater community has always been a cornerstone of Daniels’ corporate philosophy,” said Martin Blake, Vice President, The Daniels Corporation. “We are proud that our gift has helped to bring Daniels Spectrum to life in Regent Park. The potential for positive impact of this cultural hub in Regent Park and in the broader community cannot be overstated, and it will ultimately be our legacy.”

“Ada Slaight Hall will be an unrivaled performing arts venue in this city. We are thrilled to contribute to the long-term sustainability of this space, and look forward to both established and emerging Canadian artists using it as a platform for their talents,” said Gary Slaight, Chair of The Slaight Family Foundation. “This gift honours my mother Ada Slaight and her legacy as a great supporter of charitable initiatives in Toronto.”

“We are extremely grateful to our government and philanthropic partners whose generosity made this dream possible,” said Robert Foster and Judy Matthews, Co-Chairs of the Artscape Campaign Cabinet. “This extraordinary support to Artscape Foundation for Daniels Spectrum demonstrates that Toronto is a global city that is creative, diverse, tolerant and caring.”

A summary of major gifts from individuals and corporations is as follows:

Cornerstone Gift


Government of CanadaGouvernement du Canada
Cornerstone Gift


Government of Ontario

Gouvernement de l’Ontario

Cornerstone Gift


City of Toronto
Community Housing
Transformational Leaders$1,000,000 – $2,000,000 Anonymous DonorThe Slaight Family Foundation

$500,000 – $999,999

MDC Partners Inc.

Ontario Trillium Foundation

Patrons$150,000 – $499,999 BMO Financial Group

Aziz Manji Family and Amica Mature Lifestyles Inc.

Masters Insurance Ltd.

Eric Tripp and Maria Smith

Champions$100,000 – $149,999 McLean Smits Family Foundation

The Peter and Melanie Munk Charitable FoundationTim and Frances Price

RBC Foundation

The W. Garfield Weston Foundation

Great Friends$25,000 – $99,000 CIBCAnthony Ciccolini

Catherine Angela Ciccolini

Diamond Schmitt Architects

The W. R. Farquharson Family

Robert and Julia Foster

Pace Family Foundation

The vision for the Daniels Spectrum was developed from the ground up, through a process of community consultation; it is the result of more than four years of collaboration with project partners Artscape, Toronto Community Housing, The Daniels Corporation and members of the Regent Park community. The development of a new cultural hub was a long-standing ambition for Toronto’s Downtown East neighbourhood, and a key element in the social and community development goals of the Regent Park revitalization. This dynamic collaboration is illustrated in a short video, The Making of Daniels Spectrum.

Daniels Spectrum is home to seven dynamic tenant organizations — ArtHeart Community Art Centre, Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), COBA Collective of Black Artists, Native Earth Performing Arts, Pathways to Education Regent Park CHC, Regent Park Film Festival, and Regent Park School of Music.

In addition to its role in the ongoing day-to-day management of the Regent Park Arts & Cultural Centre, Artscape will continue to bring the Centre to life with dynamic programming for 2013, to be announced later this fall.


Featured image by Garrison McArthur Photography

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