Toronto community jazz fest gets lifeline after government slammed over grant choices
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, March 26, 2014 6:13PM EDT
TORONTO - A community jazz festival in Toronto has been thrown a lifeline days after Ontario's governing Liberals came under fire for cutting the event's funding while doling out a grant to a concert series run by rap superstar Drake.
Culture Minister Michael Chan says in a statement that a $75,000 grant will go to the Beaches International Jazz Festival -- a free event that has received that amount for each of the past six years.
The festival had its annual request to the Celebrate Ontario grant program denied this year, sparking calls for the government to stop funding giant corporations and celebrities such as Drake while cutting funding to community events.
However, Chan says the Beaches festival had also applied this January to a different program, the Ontario Music Fund, and that money from that grant was approved earlier this week.
Multimillionaire rapper Drake has been awarded a $300,000 Celebrate Ontario grant to stage his two-day OVO Fest in Toronto this summer -- where admissions range from $66.50 to $750 for "platinum" tickets.
Meanwhile, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, a sports giant estimated to be worth $2 billion, has requested $10 million from the province to expand and upgrade a soccer field in Toronto.