TORONTO, October 14, 2020 — The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA) today announced that it has received the Museum’s most significant show of private sector support to date—$5.7 million—from Castlepoint Auto BLDG Inc. (Castlepoint), MOCA’s landlord. The extraordinary contribution completes the Museum’s $25 million Tomorrow of Contemporary Art (TOCA) capital campaign launched in 2017. “This outstanding and timely support from Castlepoint is highly impactful when many cultural organizations, including MOCA, are engaged in urgent discussions about programming and operational sustainability due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic effects,” said Board Chair Brad Keast. “Castlepoint’s contribution towards the TOCA campaign—to retire a capital loan for the construction of MOCA—allows the Museum to fully engage in its current and future programme planning and operational fundraising.”
The goal of TOCA was to raise funds for the required capital improvements of the Museum’s current home in the Automotive Building at 158 Sterling Road and to support operations in the new building. The campaign attracted private sector and government support enabling MOCA to work with Castlepoint to repurpose and retrofit the space it occupies in the historic facility.
MOCA Executive Director and CEO Kathleen Bartels said, “On behalf of the staff, I want to express our profound gratitude to Castlepoint President Alfredo Romano for his visionary act, his confidence in MOCA’s mission and leadership, and his commitment to creative placemaking in Toronto. This contribution provides much- needed momentum for our ongoing fundraising to ensure operational sustainability. Looking ahead, we plan to build on our national and international ties with cultural partners and further relationships with both established and emerging artists, envisioning MOCA among the most ambitious contemporary art museums in North America. Everything we do programmatically is rooted in our commitment to representing a wide diversity of voices and to equity and accessibility.”
Castlepoint President Alfredo Romano, said, “On behalf of Castlepoint, I am delighted to support MOCA and help complete its capital campaign during these unprecedented and challenging times. I believe in MOCA’s programme and in Kathleen Bartel’s vision for the future. Supporting the arts is essential to our recovery because access to artistic expression in all its forms is a catalyst for community development. Importantly, the arts have a universal power to uplift, inspire, and build bridges. I look forward to working with Kathleen and her colleagues in the months and years ahead.”
Gilles Ouellette, TOCA chair, said, “We are deeply grateful to Alfredo Romano and Castlepoint for this extraordinary contribution to cap the campaign. For their generous contributions to TOCA of $1 million or more, we are sincerely grateful to BMO Financial Group, Lindy Green Family Foundation, Ouellette Family Foundation, The Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation, and The Price Family.”
The Government of Canada also made a significant $5.9 million investment towards the museum’s expansion, providing strong support to ensure MOCA’s future success. “I would like to congratulate MOCA on reaching this significant milestone and achieving the target goal of its capital campaign,” said the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “Our government is committed to continuing to invest in world- class cultural spaces like MOCA that nurture creativity and inspire Canadian artists. Our $5.9 million investment in the renovation of MOCA, through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, will help to ensure that this cultural space will be there for the next generation of artists, while continuing to support the dynamism of Canada’s cultural scene as well as the vitality, quality of life and prosperity of the community.”
The City of Toronto has been a much-appreciated long-standing supporter of MOCA and its programming over the years. As the Museum looks forward to a robust future it is encouraged by the continued support that the City and particularly Mayor John Tory provide and their understanding of the important role that cultural institutions like MOCA play in supporting Toronto’s diverse communities.
Mayor John Tory noted, “MOCA is a vital part of the city’s cultural landscape, bringing together contemporary artists from across the country and around the globe into one space. During these challenging times, the arts provide a platform for artists to showcase their work and to provide moments of hope and joy for residents. It is essential that they receive support to not only survive the current situation but to thrive so that they can continue to create opportunities for people to experience our city’s rich arts and culture sector.”
The Museum has a roster of new exhibitions opening over the coming months featuring major works by Canadian and international artists including Fatma Bucak, Yazan Khalili, Mika Rottenberg, and Krista Belle Stewart, plus a new site-specific commission by Michael Lin. MOCA also plans to continue enhancing its digital platforms after the critical and popular success of Shift Key, the Museum’s rotating online platform of video artwork.
MOCA’s programme for 2021 features Shirin Neshat’s first major exhibition in Canada in 20 years and Greater Toronto Art 2021, a major survey of contemporary art in Toronto that involves key partnerships such as ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021.
New Hours of Operation
MOCA’s new hours of operation are: Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 6 pm and Friday 11 am to 9 pm, with the first hour of each day reserved for seniors and those at a greater health risk. The café at MOCA by Forno Cultura has reopened: click here for hours of operation.
About MOCA Toronto
MOCA Toronto is motivated by the principle that museums and their programmes are culturally and socially beneficial to the diversity of the communities they serve. MOCA supports and promotes forward-thinking artistic experimentation and provides a community space for enrichment, discourse, collaboration and creativity. Working across all contemporary art forms, MOCA’s programmes empower local artists and engage the Toronto art scene while contributing to the international art community and scholarship.
MOCA is a not-for-profit charitable organization. The evolution of the Museum is made possible through a unique alliance with Castlepoint Auto Building Inc, public sector funders, private donors, members, sponsors and a network of cross-sectoral partners.
About Castlepoint Auto BLDG Inc.
Castlepoint Auto BLDG Inc. is part of the Castlepoint Group. Founded in 1988, Castlepoint is a leader in the property development industry recognized for projects across the Greater Toronto Area and select markets in the United States. It is a values based company with expertise in heritage preservation, adaptive re-use, brownfield reclamation, and the regeneration of large urban development sites.
For additional information, Libby Mark or Heather Meltzer at Bow Bridge Communications, LLC, Toronto: +1 647-544-8441, New York City, +1 347-460-5566; firstname.lastname@example.org.