Toronto Media Arts Needs Our Help - Dispute With Urbancorp

The Toronto Media Arts Center was planning on moving into a new development sometime this year. However due to some shady dealings from the City of Toronto, and Urbancorp this is in jeopardy of happening.  I won't be able to put it in words better than the TMAC and DMG have already, so I'll post them below. The important thing is they need our help.  And we can help by going to the events below:

TMAC Info Session Monday, June 22, 6 p.m. Bento Miso Collaborative Workspace 862 Richmond St. W. at Strachan

City Planning Consulation Meeting for 36 Lisgar St Thursday, June 25, 6:30 p.m. Parkdale Library (1303 Queen St. W.

Below is a excerpt from the Toronto Media Arts Center's open letter, which you can read in full here.

"Despite a fully executed purchase agreement that obligated Urbancorp to build and deliver this space to TMAC, Urbancorp failed to complete work and close on the property by its deadline. With construction nearly done, and TMAC agreeable, there was no reason for Urbancorp not to extend this date in order to give itself time to complete the work and close the transaction. Intead, the City of Toronto directed Urbancorp to allow the date to pass, apparently because it intended to hand the facility over to real estate developer Artscape in the final hour. The role of the City was to facilitate the agreement and ensure Urbancorp delivered on its promises to the community and TMAC. That it failed to do so demonstrates not only bad faith but also a gross breach of community trust."

Below is the full FaceBook post from the Dames Making Games account, which you can also read here:

"Dames Making Games is a member of the Toronto Media Arts Centre, the charity arts organization set to operate a new 38,000 sq. ft. facility in West Queen West. We were planning to move in to our new space -- featuring our own permanent gallery, office, and classroom space -- in mid-to-late 2015.

As a community-based, member-run, collaborative arts non-profit, we believe our future is as part of a cluster of likeminded media arts organizations in an affordable, purpose-built facility that allows the public and artists to engage with us and our members' work fully.

But the developer has defaulted on its obligations to complete work on the building, allowing a key deadline to slip by, causing TMAC's purchase agreement to be terminated. These actions have devastating consequences for the Centre, as it has raised nearly $1 million in public funding and done a tremendous amount of work designing and planning the facility and its inaugural year of programming over the last 4 years. For the past few months, DMG co-director Jennie Faber has been directly involved with transition, governance, and financial planning for TMAC.

This outrageous turn of events also has disastrous consequences for the members of TMAC -- including DMG -- whose operational and financial sustainability, project pipelines and ability to plan for the future have been severely compromised.

There are also deep implications for the whole non-profit arts community in Toronto if it turns out a legal agreement with the City cannot be relied on. Why would arts funders support Section 37 community benefit projects ever again if this can happen?

TMAC has been forced to defend its rights by taking legal action against the developer, Urbancorp, and the City of Toronto. It's a shame that this is where our energy must be spent now instead of continuing to plot our launch party and commissioning strange new games for the 200-seat cinema and adjoining art park.

So, how can you help?

1. Please read and share this open letter widely:

2. If you are in Toronto, plan on attending the TMAC Info Session on Monday, June 22 where TMAC will share more information about how and where you can make your voice heard on this issue."

Make sure to follow TMAC on Twitter. See you Monday.