Artists’ Network is a not-for-profit group located in Riverside that aims to teach artists to be better businesspeople through education and networking, and two juried outdoor shows. The organization had moved 3 times in the last five years and was facing a lease expiry in Toronto’s east end. Carolyn Laidley Arn, a practicing artist, Senior Vice President at Lennard, and Vice-Chair of Artists’ Network was assigned the task of finding new space. Carolyn built her career fringe markets working with creative users but the NFP group was paying a subsidized rent of less than $1,000 per month for a renovated gallery where they held shows and seminars and the group didn’t have any more money to go towards rent. Carolyn contacted Councillor Paula Fletcher’s office for help, and a solution that would allow them to remain in the east end neighbourhood. Through a ten month process they identified under-utilized real estate and structured a deal to repurpose underutilized city building in the east end and lease it for five years to the organization.
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