What’s Your Plan?

As you may have seen in our recent communications, ArtsBuild Ontario has exciting announcements to share, including new partnerships. Artscape Toronto and Magnus Theatre of Thunder Bay have joined our Asset Planner for the Arts program to gain valuable tools for proactive facility management.

managing_rev1-page-0What’s your approach? We all know that “a stitch in time saves nine”, as the saying goes, but where and when should the HVAC be patched up? Should you repair or replace those heritage windows? What’s the best value?

This is exactly where Asset Planner for the Arts comes in.

The Asset Planner for the Arts program includes an assessment of your building and a 2-year license to robust, cloud-based software that simplifies tracking and supports decision-making. Systems this powerful and polished are normally only available to large organizations and municipalities, but makes it accessible to nonprofit arts organizations with a significant subsidy.

You are only a few steps away from having an accurate snapshot of your facility’s current condition and easy to read capital forecasts. With Asset Planner for the Arts, you can reduce your risk with a proactive approach, and manage your limited budget with confidence.

Watch our intro video and contact Lindsay to register while this special program is available.

Expansion in Forecast for NPOs and Cultural Hubs


This month a number of publications including the New York Times are noting a shift in the economy, lauding the rise of the nonprofit sector and forecasting expansion among cultural districts. The New Cities Foundation foresees:

“Over the next decade, some $ 250 billion will be invested in the creation of new cultural districts around the globe” … “success is not just getting an arts building or series of buildings out of the ground, it is about ensuring that they are viable and play a central role in their communities.” [LINK]

For many of us, this news is exciting, galvanizing, and also raises some questions. The viable part, that’s the tough part. You may be thinking “Yes, but how?” We are already hearing the same concerns in our conversations with Ontario’s nonprofit arts organizations. (See our Sustainable Creative Spaces reports.) Executing your artistic vision while also managing your space and providing consistent, enticing, high-quality experiences for your community can be challenging.

If you’re finding that it’s hard to be proactive about facilities management, you’re in good company, and we have specially-designed tools and fully qualified engineers ready to take you to the next level. ArtsBuild’s Asset Planner for the Arts program lets you make better decisions about your facility.

With a facilities assessment and forecast reports for up to 30 years, with a focus on the next five years, Asset Planner for the Arts makes it easier for you to keep your facility in good repair. ArtsBuild’s subsidy makes this tool affordable for you.

Click here to watch an intro video. Contact Lindsay for your free demo!

Photo by Koolb, CC by NC-SA 2.0

Going Fast – Facilities Workshops, Loans and Grants



Some of us are writing grants, some of us are receiving them, some of us are looking at new strategies for managing the same old budget, something stable but not keeping up with inflation and rising energy costs. Well, we have resources for you!

Below-Market Rent Opportunities in Toronto

Yes, below-market rental spaces are available for arts organizations! On Tuesday March 18th, learn how to find more affordable spaces through BMR offerings from City of Toronto. This info session includes a tour of an available space in Toronto Public Health. Full details – [LINK]

Low Interest Loans for Greening

Many energy retrofits and renewable energy projects are eligible for low-interest loans through. And the best part is, the process is straightforward. Before doing any major paperwork, complete a short and sweet “Intent to Apply” PDF to see if your project is eligible. This step saves you time in your funding search! Details here – [LINK]

Culture Build Investment Program – Deadline April 14

The Culture Build Investment Program provides matching funds to assist the City’s not-for-profit cultural sector with financing for state of good repair capital projects. The program also provides funding for feasibility studies for projects that meet the criteria. In 2014, Toronto City Council has earmarked $330,000 for the program. To date, the Culture Build Investment Program has helped bring 71 cultural facilities closer to a state of good repair. Your organization could be next! Applicatoin details – [LINK]

image by FutUndBeidl, CC by 2.0

Does this sound familiar?

“Problems multiply when short-term solutions are applied to facilities problems. The problems persist and more often get worse.”

“We need evaluations to observe and tell us what a building might need in the future, operationally, including the amount of money needed to maintain it, as well as other project costs.”

Sound familiar? These were just two conversations from our community engagement sessions that addressed the need for lifecycle and maintenance planning for facilities across the province (these examples came from Thunder Bay and Kitchener-Waterloo).

managing_rev1-page-0These are also exactly the questions and concerns that Asset Planner for the Arts is here to answer. With a personalized onboarding process that loads your information directly into the software, asset forecasting for the next 30 years (with a focus on the next five years) and a site visit from a qualified building assessor, setting a facilities management plan in motion has never been easier – or more accessible.

Here’s why The Robert McLaughlin Gallery is participating in Asset Planner for the Arts:

“The Asset Planner for the Arts will improve our current system of inventorying equipment and improve scheduled maintenance cycles. In addition, Asset Planner is able to assist with developing short term and long term financial goals both expenses and savings for the Gallery. We are interested in preventative maintenance opportunities to maximize the longevity of the equipment and the Asset Planner is a tool that will assist us in achieving that success. By joining this program we are receiving continual technical support for the Asset Planner while maximizing its ability to work favourably for the Gallery.”

ArtsBuild’s subsidy for Asset Planner for the Arts saves you 50% off this two-year program. You can’t afford not to learn more. Contact Lindsay to book your free Asset Planner demo.

The Path to Sustainability

conferencelogoOver the next month, as a part of our countdown to Staging Sustainability, we will be profiling speakers, previewing performances and presenting articles on culture and sustainability that will jump-start the sustainability conversation leading up to February’s conference.

It only seems fitting that the first article is titled “Path to Sustainability”. Written by Tanja Beer, Julie’s Bicycle’s first Activist in Residence and a Staging Sustainability speaker, this article talks about how Tanja took her passion for sustainable living at home to her work life as a set designer. Recognizing she was abandoning her sustainable practices while designing sets, she comments on the state of theatre from an environmental perspective: “We were trained with the end result in mind. How we got to opening night or what happened to our sets and costumes after the production ended was simply not a priority.”

Read on to learn the tipping point in Tanja’s set designing and how she is now able to be a global citizen at home and on stage. [ LINK ]

Julie’s Bicycle is ‘a not for profit organization making sustainability intrinsic to the business, art and ethics of the creative industries’ and is truly an innovator for sustainability and the arts in the UK. Their work is used around the world as a leading example of how arts organizations can measure, manage and reduce their environmental impacts.

Tanja joins Staging Sustainability as a member of a panel speaking to sustainability and technical production, answering the question: What part do designers play in bringing sustainable practice into performance?

As you plan for a prosperous new year for your organizations, see Tanja and many other international sustainability thought leaders at Staging Sustainability 2014, a must-attend conference for all interested in the sustainability of the performing arts – with three downtown Toronto locations, February 3 – 4, 2014, with pre- and post-conference activities on February 2 and 5. Special Bursaries available for artists and small art organizations. Register at www.stagingsustainability.ca