Panel Discussion

HORIZON: Basic Income and the Imperative for Moral Leadership from the Arts

In July 2020, over 30 arts organizations representing tens of thousands of artists, writers, technicians, and performers—together with nearly 300 acclaimed Canadian artists—signed an open letter calling on Prime Minister Trudeau’s government to implement a permanent Basic Income Guarantee. COVID-19 is accelerating the urgency for a Basic Income Guarantee while elevating discourse and inspiring us to envision the social, cultural, and economic impacts such a program can provide.

The Power Plant co-presents this panel discussion with CARFAC Ontario. The panel will be moderated by Jason Samilski, Managing Director of CARFAC Ontario, and will explore what a Basic Income Guarantee is, how it would benefit artists and all Canadians, and how artists are well-positioned to provide leadership.


In Fall 2018, The Power Plant teamed up with eight other contemporary visual art and film organizations in Toronto for a two-year initiative, called HORIZON, funded with an Open Door grant from the Toronto Arts Council. During the first phase, the nine partner organizations conducted focus groups and town halls to gather information about the needs of emerging and established artists in and around Toronto. Now into the second phase, the organizations are developing and offering programs that address some of the artists’ needs. The primary need is financial stability. As a result, The Power Plant co-presents the following programs to provide artists additional tools for improved submissions for public art commissions and for advocating for a Basic Income Guarantee.