As construction ramps up at Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts, the ambitiously mixed-use Toronto project's programming is continuing to take shape, with new funding announced today for Artscape's marquee 'Launchpad.' Now officially dubbed the Artscape Daniels Launchpad, the facility is being supported by $21.4 million of public and private-sector funds, with the art and design entrepreneurship hub, set to open in 2018.
Designed by Toronto's Quadrangle, the Launchpad will occupy part of Daniels Waterfront's commercial component, which is now rising on Queens Quay. Taking on 35,000 ft² of space on the fourth floor, the Launchpad will provide "affordable access to technology and tools of the trade," while reframing "entrepreneurship for creative people," according to Artscape.
Todays announcement means that the $27.3 million facility is well-supported ahead of its opening. A gift of $5.75 million from The Daniels Corporation and the John and Myrna Daniels Foundation led the private donations, which include contributions from Daniels Waterfront development partner WJ Properties, as well as a variety of philanthropist groups who made gifts between $100,000 and $1,000,000. Major capital contributions have also come from the Federal Government via Canadian Heritage ($3.5 million), and the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science ($3 million).
Meanwhile, start-up and program funding is also coming from a variety of sources, led by the Federal Government's newly announced contribution of $1.75 million via the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
Hailed by MP Adam Vaughan as an crucial way to "help connect artists and designers from all over southern Ontario to skills training and to the businesses that need their services—all in a state-of-the-art-facility," the Launchpad was feted at an event held at the Daniels Waterfront sales centre this morning.
Vaughan was joined by the day's numerous other speakers—including Daniels VP Don Pugh and Artscape CEO Tim Jones—in celebrating the growing economic importance of creative industries. With almost 700,000 Canadians now already employed in the creative and cultural sector, the civic vibrancy fostered by a strong arts scene was continuously cited as a place-making tool that makes the city a more attractive destination for new residents and business.
At the same time, the support provided by Artscape was celebrated as a way to help artists make a living in precarious times. "It is becoming harder and harder to sustain a career as an artist or designer," Jones lamented, underlining the importance of the Launchpad as a way to "help thousands of creators more fully realize their potential."
The Launchpad will be joined by new space for George Brown College and OCAD U (which are also Federally supported facilities), as well as homes for various non-profit and creative enterprises, including Remix, and the Manifesto Project. Mostly housed in the 280,000 ft² office condo complex fronting Queens Quay, the concentration of creative enterprises is also being touted as a catalyst for spillovers and collaborations, accelerating the creative process.
Designed by RAW with Rafael + Bigauskas as architects of record, the office complex will be joined by the Daniels Corporation's a pair of Giannone Petricone-designed residential condo towers immediately to the north. Still in an earlier phase of construction, the 45- and 36-storey 'Lighthouse' towers will collectively add 963 residential units to the nascent East Bayfront neighbourhood, with a pedestrian-oriented mews space known as 'The Yard' housing street-level retail between the project's residential and commercial components.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available, and Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts continues to take shape. In the meantime, you can learn more by checking out our dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment on this page, or join the ongoing conversation in our associated Forum thread.