FAT Arts & Fashion Week celebrates 10th anniversary…

...still receives zero government funding for fashion

FAT (Fashion Art Toronto) Arts & Fashion Week, formerly known as Alternative Fashion Week, has wowed audiences with edgy, boundary-pushing Canadian designs for a decade. Some quick stats that show the non-profit’s impact on the local community:

440 Number of collections presented over 10 years. 

277 Number of first-time designers on the runway. 

350 Average audience per show. 

40,000 Number of audience members over 10 years.

While FAT’s quirky, creepy and provocative runway shows are by far the main event, FAT only receives government funds for the small “art” (as defined by the province) portion of the week-long showcase, which encompasses a few visual art installations and dance performances. This is because the Ontario Arts Council does not consider fashion to be a cultural industry. Fashion designers and events don’t qualify for grants. 

Meanwhile, the Ontario Music Fund recently announced $14 million in grants for 123 recipients. This includes a $1.2 million grant for Universal Music Canada, a for-profit multinational label. Canadian Music Week claims $150,000, Ottawa Folk Fest $75,000, the Guelph Jazz Festival $25,000 and the list goes on. There’s plenty of money to go around, except when it comes to fashion.

FAT organizers report that even their arts funding was drastically cut for 2015. The government won’t support their cause, but you still can. This year’s extravaganza pays tribute to the #MadeinCanada label and takes place April 21 to 25 at Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas East). Tickets (day pass $40, student $30 week $120) are available here

sabrinam@nowtoronto.com | @sabrinamaddeaux

Win a pair of week passes to Fashion Art Toronto here!

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