Toronto's Artscape to Enter Receivership, Forfeit Management of Arts Facilities

The non-profit will no longer control its 14 art spaces across the city

Photo: Garrison McArthur Photographers

BY Allie GregoryPublished Aug 29, 2023

Artscape — the Toronto non-profit responsible for Artscape Youngplace, Gibraltar Point, Daniels Launchpad and Wychwood Barns, among a total of 14 art spaces across the city — will enter receivership after accruing a "level of debt payments" that "was not sustainable," thus ultimately becoming insolvent.

The organization shared news of its financial struggles in a blog post on its website yesterday (August 28), detailing the perfect storm of hurdles it faced before the final blow: the inability to sell the $34-million development, Artscape Daniels Launchpad at 130 Queens Quay East, in a timely manner to repay debt owed to a primary lender. This led to Artscape entering receivership.

"Staying on course with the mission to support the creative and the artist community, Artscape took on debt to expand its offerings over the years," the post reads. "In addition, pandemic recovery had required further line of credit use to maintain operations and meet debt payments. While Artscape had begun to see success in rebuilding event venue space revenues, stabilizing operations and gaining grant funding for impactful programs, the level of debt payments was not sustainable."

The organization, which has operated in Toronto since 1986, facilitated studio access and living and residency spaces for artists, as well as venue rentals across its facilities. It currently has around 400 tenants across the city. While Artscape will no longer manage these properties, the statement promises that organizers are "working hard with the City in an effort to have facilities remain operational."

The message continues, "Despite these financial challenges, our commitment to meeting the needs of artists and arts organizations that have relied upon Artscape for space, programming and other services remains strong and, through the receivership process, we will work with partners towards a model with strong oversight and financial stability that remains committed to this mission."

Read Artscape's full statement here.

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