Artscape goes into receivership

Toronto-based Artscape has announced that it is being placed in receivership.

Image source: Toronto Artscape Foundation

In late August, Toronto-based Artscape announced that it was being placed in receivership. For 30 years, the arts-based group of not-for-profit organizations has evolved from a provider of affordable artist studios to a placemaker that engages in social enterprise in fields including real estate development, property management, performance and event services, artistic programming, and community animation. In August, it operated 14 projects including live/work spaces, community cultural hubs, and Artscape Daniels Launchpad, a specialized facility with a focus on creative sector entrepreneurship.

”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. 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,” writes the organization.

“This year Artscape commenced a financial restructuring plan to reduce debt costs and streamline operations. A key part of the restructuring was the targeted sale of Artscape Daniels Launchpad property at 130 Queens Quay East to repay debt owed to its primary lender. Additional lending to maintain operations was also sought. Regrettably, progress to a sale at an appropriate timeline has not materialized and the primary lender has taken steps that will lead to Artscape being placed into receivership.”

Artscape says that it remains committed to meeting the needs of the artists and arts organizations that use its spaces, programming, and other services. “We have been actively collaborating with key stakeholders to find solutions that will allow for spaces to continue supporting artists and creatives. The financial challenges are critical, as are those facing the City,” they write. “However, with the support of the City, TD Bank and other lenders and funders, we can continue to work toward a restructuring while maintaining a skeleton staff for the time being, to ensure minimal disruption to our community.”

A fundraising campaign has been launched to support Artscape’s skeleton staff in seeing through a restructuring process that will continue to support the creative community served by Artscape.