The UNESCO designation has been defined by collaboration and consultation, incorporating many voices and seeking in particular to hear from a diverse range of local stakeholders in the field of creativity and media arts. With lead under the City's Economic Development & Culture Division, a series of consultations were held to gather the necessary information and submit this application.
A Broad Consultation
The City has worked closely with the University of Toronto to convene consultations, including individual meetings, group meetings, and written submissions.
Parties consulted in the development of this application have expressed a desire to leverage the international connections available through UNESCO's Creative Cities Network to advance commercial, government and civil society links.
Creative Capital Gains
Consultations began in 2011 in development of Creative Capital Gains including stakeholder roundtables, public townhalls and online engagement. Under that heading, a specific action was recommended to pursue membership in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network.
Community and Partner Engagement
The bid to designate Toronto as a UNESCO Creative City in Media Arts has broad support from community and government partners. The University of Toronto has offered to work in partnership with the City to develop a bid for designation, and provided the expertise of its faculty to prepare application materials, and conduct community outreach.
The list of consultees included: arts funding bodies; cultural and media arts festivals; digital media producers; media arts galleries; economic development organizations; and, colleges and universities.
A Panel Discussion
On April 18, the University of Toronto and George Brown College held a community panel discussion - McLuhan Salon - exploring the concept of Toronto as a Creative City.
Panelists included Luigi Ferrara, Shoshanah Goldberg-Miller, Geoffrey James, Shawn Micallef, and Councillor Joe Mihevc.
Panelists and audience members spoke to the diversity of Toronto's creative assets, and voiced broad support for policies and programs that recognize and support Toronto's development as a creative city.