We are particularly focusing on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action # 59
We call upon church parties the Settlement Agreement to develop ongoing education strategies to ensure that their respective congregations learn about their church’s role in colonization, the history and legacy of residential schools, and why apologies to former residential school students, their families, and communities were necessary.
The chair of the ISWG briefed members of Redeemer during announcements in June about the decision by the City of Toronto’s StART Committee not to fund the mural proposal. The following are some of the comments received from the staff for the Committee:
- It was an exceptional proposal.
- The panel which reviewed all of the proposals had few negative comments.
- There were more applications from the downtown core than elsewhere in the city.
- There were 35 applications. Ten were funded. Redeemer’s ranked between 11 and 15.
- Applicants may apply 2 or 3 times before a proposal is approved. It is a very competitive process with no guarantee that a proposal will be funded.
Many members of Redeemer have met the artist, Joseph Sagaj, at Zoom workshops and meetings. Joseph is committed to working with Redeemer, and will attend the Special Vestry. Our next steps need to take into account Joseph’s commitments and potential commitments. It would be difficult for him to commit to a period of time in 2022 or 2023 with no guarantee that a funding application would be favourable. He has other projects but can undertake to finish the painting by Christmas so that installation can take place in early 2022.
A reminder that Joseph will be painting one or several paintings for the Redeemer which will then be printed on weather proofed vinyl panels which will be installed on a frame the length of the West wall. Please refer to the ISWG web page.
The last number of weeks, there has been a great deal of coverage about unmarked graves on the sites of former residential schools. There is a heightened awareness of the devastating impact of residential schools and the need for ‘reconcili-action’.
1) Reapply with Joseph Sagaj as the applicant
Joseph would take the lead in redrafting the application for 2022. This could strengthen the proposal. The Application would likely be due in February 2022 with a decision by May and completion by October 2022.
It would involve hiring a consultant to work with Joseph. This would not mean re-writing the entire proposal. Redeemer members and, hopefully, the BIA and the 2 Residents’ Associations could partner with Redeemer in contributing money or time. There would need to be a budget for fees for the consultant to work with Joseph in re-writing some sections of the proposal. Advantage: Joseph would be the lead applicant. Disadvantage: No answer until May and no completion until the end of October 2022. We cannot expect Joseph to set aside several months in 2022 with no guarantee of funding. He is already committed to being out of the country during the spring and summer of 2022.
2) Wait for other StART programs such as a two-part process
A more intensive planning and consulting process would take place with the BIA, neighbourhood associations and perhaps other organizations in 2022. This would mean funding for consultation with the BIA & RAs, the Indigenous organizations we have already consulted with, and the parish, including honoraria for Joseph. The main funding, creation, installation and completion of the project would be in 2023. The details of this two-stage process have not yet been announced. Advantage: Long lead time to consult with organizations and businesses in the neighborhood – an opportunity to draw attention to the TRC’s Calls to Action and for organizations and businesses to learn about the impact of colonization, including residential schools, on Indigenous people. Disadvantage: No guarantee of funding. We are asking Joseph to make a commitment to be available to do the painting. Further, the competition will continue to be fierce. The application requires processes like consultations, mentorship, detailed budgeting that were difficult the first time round.
3) Other Funding Sources
When applying to StART under Option #2, Redeemer may also submit applications to other organizations such as the Ontario Arts Council and arts foundations. Grant funding faces many hurdles — with more applicants chasing fewer opportunities for less money. To counter this, funding organizations keep raising the bar, narrowing their parameters and demanding more compliance criteria from applicants, i.e. diversity, special programming (including youth opportunities, community inclusion, etc.). All good ideas in principle, but a huge organizational effort for a likely small sum.
Also, application windows are narrow and there is a long time lag before the yes or no is decided. This makes it very difficult to plan ahead.
4) Gifts with Matching by a Parishioner
The fourth option involves a member of the parish who has confirmed they will match gifts from members of the parish up to $31,500. The total budget is currently $62,609.85, as shown in the attached Budget. Should the parish donate less than $31,500, a donor has undertaken to fill that gap without affecting their intentions as to other offerings in 2021 or 2022.
This initiative would begin shortly after the Special Vestry and would end on October 31, 2021. We believe this initiative would not compete with the Capital Campaign that will not begin until 2022. We will encourage parishioners to keep in mind that a request for campaign pledges will be made in 2022. Advantage: Redeemer has more control over the timing of the project plus the assurance that the budget can be met. This option provides greater clarity for Joseph Sagaj and makes it easier for him to commit time – likely over the winter, but perhaps earlier. There are no hoops to jump through. The installation would take place by late spring 2022, in time for Easter. The matching funds initiative can be tied to Redeemer’s Sesquicentennial in terms of our website and E-news. This appeal will not be competitive as are the other options, and has a donor willing to ensure the monies are secured.
Also, this option offers a chance for smaller contributions as a sign of support for this outward and visible sign of our commitment to supporting Indigenous communities. Further, this appeal will end on October 31st.
Disadvantage: We recognize that the Capital Campaign is coming, and that other financial needs including our deficit budget need attention, and that these facts will be in the minds of parishioners.
- Approve the budget for $63,000
- Approve Option # 4.
- If there is a surplus it may be directed equally to the Common Table and the Youth Programme at the Native Canadian Cultural Centre, particularly the Art Programme in which Joseph Sagaj is a leader.