Toronto, ON – Thanks to a $75,500 Resilient Communities Fund grant awarded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) last year, the Koffler Centre of the Arts was able to deliver innovative programming online and in person in 2021.This support allowed the Koffler to engage an Access Consultant to ensure all online and in person programming meets the highest standards of accessibility, a facilitator to engage the Koffler Board of Directors and staff in strategic planning as well as the hiring of two full time employees, a digital marketing specialist and digital designer to support Koffler.Digital
“Arts venues have suffered greatly throughout the pandemic, so it is wonderful to see some funding allocated to assist organizations like Koffler Centre to help them better provide programming and revitalize the arts scene in digital ways. As a long-time advocate for those living with disabilities, I am also pleased that some of the funding will be used to increase accessibility.”  – MPP Chris Glover, Spadina-Fort York
When COVID-19 began disrupting programming at the Koffler Gallery, the organization quickly and successfully shifted much of the scheduled programming online. With the support of OTF, the Koffler was able to continue offering high quality and widely accessible program delivery to students and larger community. The Koffler was able to produce and host its annual 2021 Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature online and feature literary panels with authors discussing nominated works and attracting a wide audience. The Books & Ideas series was also able to move online. The Koffler was also able to provide gallery tours and workshops for many of the students at schools with which it regularly engages.
The Koffler was able to meet its accessibility goals by using part of the funding from OTF to engage an Access Consultant, who provided staff with a comprehensive handbook to ensure that current and future educational programming would be accessible to the Toronto disabled and Deaf community. Artists were partnered with an accessibility guide to share their work with all participants. Both this project and the facilitated strategic planning that the OTF funding enabled meant that the Koffler Centre could reach larger and more diverse audiences, while remaining resilient during the pandemic, and for the longer term.
“We’re grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the vital support over the years,” said Helen Burstyn, Chair of the Koffler Centre board of directors. “This grant from their Resilient Communities Fund has made a significant difference by enabling communities with accessibility challenges to benefit from programming that would otherwise be unavailable to them.”
ABOUT ONTARIO TRILLIUM FOUNDATION: The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.  
ABOUT THE KOFFLER CENTRE OF THE ARTS: The Koffler Centre of the Arts is a cultural platform that explores critical ideas and concerns of our time through exhibitions, publications, performances, literary events and digital initiatives. We examine complex issues through transformative art experiences that stimulate intercultural dialogue and position Jewish identity in conversation with diverse perspectives and global voices. The Koffler Gallery and its administrative offices are located at Artscape Youngplace, in Toronto’s vibrant West Queen West art and design district.

For further information or media inquiries, contact:
Lucy White
Interim Executive Director
Koffler Centre of the Arts
180 Shaw Street, Suite 104-105, Toronto M6J 2W5
Koffler family FoundationCIBC Wood GundyOntario Arts Council | Conseil Des Arts De L'OntarioToronto Arts Council | Funded by the City of TorontoCanada Council