Crown Foundations provide new means of attracting donations to arts organizations and new incentives to keep charitable moneys in Ontario. The new crown foundations place the fund-raising efforts of arts organizations on an equal footing with other charitable institutions and are a major tool in assisting the arts to become more financially self-reliant.
In June of 1996 the Crown Foundations Act was proclaimed. This act permits the establishment of Crown Foundations by public libraries, hospitals, the Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG).
Crown foundations for the OAC, the ROM, the AGO and the RBG have been created. The act states that "certain other public institutions" may also be entitled to create crown foundations.
There are two principal advantages of crown foundation status. Donations to crown foundations are eligible for tax credits. Such credits are deducted dollar for dollar from the amount of income tax due by donors.
Secondly, donations to crown foundations may be claimed for tax purposes on amounts up to 100% of the donor's net income for that year.
Universities and hospitals are typical examples of established crown foundations. The crown foundation status of these institutions has been useful in attracting major donations from private donors. The University of Toronto Crown Foundation, one of the more successful crown foundations, has raised more than $40m to date, including one individual donation of $10m.
All arts organizations which are clients of the OAC will be able to benefit from the crown foundations act. Funds intended for the use of individual arts organizations may be given to the OAC Crown Foundation which will pass the donation on to the recipient in accordance with the donor's wishes.
The OAC Crown Foundation will also receive donations for general use in its on-going support of the arts in Ontario. Such donation will be distributed according to the priorities established by the OAC.
The OAC Crown Foundation brings the great advantages of crown foundation status to a wide range of cultural organizations. These benefits have never before been available to such broad spectrum of the arts.
Our cultural institutions are at the core of our identity and heritage. Their ability to survive and thrive is central to the quality of life in the province. Arts organizations attract millions of tourists each year to our province and make the communities of which they are a part more attractive locations in which to do business. Benefits to the arts community are quickly translated into tangible benefits of the province at large.
Crown foundations are expected to attract new funding to our non-profit cultural enterprises. The competitive disadvantage which these arts organizations now face when they compete with universities, hospitals and out-of-province arts organizations will be eliminated. Crown foundations will help keep Ontario's charitable dollars in Ontario.
The donation of large, individual gifts, which are necessary for major capital projects will be facilitated. Large and small arts organizations will have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field for funds to further their goals in accordance with their mandates. Large and small cultural institutions can benefit from these new measures affecting crown foundations.
Crown corporations will provide another tool by which arts organization can become more self-reliant.
The government is committed to supporting and fostering a climate that encourages private investment in the arts. The establishment of crown foundations for the arts is a significant step in advancing this objective.