The theme of Nuit Blanche 2017 is Possible Futures, and focuses on themes of resistance, monuments and protest. Printmaking has a history of being a medium that can share messages widely. On September 30, Open Studio will be opening its doors to the public to print “SAVE 401” takeaway posters, tote bags, and t-shirts. The event is BYOT—we encourage the public to bring their own t-shirts, with a small number available for purchase on site. This is not a year to sit idly by while taxes are raised on arts and cultural buildings in Toronto.
In the fall of 2016, the tenants of 401 Richmond received a substantial increase to their rent, due to skyrocketing property tax. The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) assessed 401’s value based on it’s potential to become a 50+ storey tower like so many neighbouring buildings, resulting in property taxes that have increased 288% in 2 years. The building management group, Urbanspace, is committed to the philosophy of 401 as a haven for artists and cultural spaces. The tenants’ rent increase partly addressed the tax hike, but Urbanspace still shoulders most of the burden. They can not afford the property tax on the building indefinitely, and the tenants—many of whom are artists, non-profits or charities—can’t afford any additional rent increases, all of which leaves the 401 arts hub vulnerable to redevelopment.
Click here to view the Facebook event.
UPDATE: Despite the good news from the Province regarding a possible new creative building tax class, 401 tenants are still paying increased rent. We continue to need your support! WE’RE STILL PRINTING SAVE 401 POSTERS, tees, totes and patches at Nuit Blanche. Come and get your hands on the limited run of this fantastic image by Open Studio member Cheryl Kaplan.