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Artscape raises $21.4 million to build art entrepreneurship hub in Toronto

The “creative economy” gets little recognition from investors, including the impact sector.

A recent report from the Calvert Foundation and Upstart Co-Lab suggests the creative sector needs $1.5 billion in investment over the next five years in the U.S. alone.

Here comes Canada. A hub under construction in Toronto’s East Bayfront area is intended to provide artists and designers with the business skills to succeed in their crafts.

“It is becoming harder and harder to sustain a career as an artist or designer,” said Tim Jones, CEO of Artscape, a real estate-based impact investor.

Financing for the project includes $14 million in capital funding from Canadian Heritage; the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science; a group of philanthropists; and $4.5 million in community bonds.

The hub is part of the Daniels Waterfront — City of the Arts, a 1.3 million square foot arts-and-culture revitalization project.

(Listen to ImpactAlpha’s ROI podcast “Artists as Social Entrepreneurs” with Upstart Co-Lab founder Laura Callanan.)

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