Save Toronto Music Venues (STMV)
is a female founded, owned and operated non-profit organization raising money and awareness for struggling music venues. STMV has created a community of Toronto artists, promoters, venues, photographers, producers and so much more.
What began as a personal art project for founder Ashley, later expanded into something much greater. Imagine...it all started from a single photograph! Before the closures, Ashley took photographs of the music venues she grew up with. Choosing not to sell the prints for personal profit but instead she sold the photos to raise money for music venues around the city, her way of giving back to the places that once gave her a home to flourish. She then reached out to the venues for their permission to sell the photographs and that is how Save Toronto Music Venues was born!
As more venues signed on to the Save Toronto Music Venues donation list, the need for funds became very apparent. So in true Toronto fashion, the venues agreed to SPLIT the funds raised through STMV, instead of collecting individually. This speaks to the community spirit, I'd say! Since the very first venue photo was sold to the present day, STMV has blossomed into a full community of venues, artists and music lovers, raising money, celebrating music and spreading awareness about the venues we call home.
Music venues in Toronto alone provide the equivalent of 10,500 full-time jobs with an economic impact at a total of $850 million annually and a tourism income of $514 million each year. Not only would we be losing that kind of provincial revenue but we would also be losing homes for our talented local artists to play live, creating a huge gap in the music industry, should the scene go unsupported. The decline in numbers of working artists is evident in the Toronto area - bleak horizons - if we do not support our venues and artists.
BEFORE the COVID19 lockdown, music venues were the first businesses to struggle, should they experience a lull in action. AFTER the lockdown, the reality of closures looms and sadly the fate has already been sealed for many of our beloved venues. Funding and programs have always been hard to access for venues, with the lockdown only making it harder. Venues are expected to pay rent and bills but with no income! Many venues don't have a patio and are unable to sell food to offset their growing expenses- and for the venues who can? They are faced with inconsistent restrictions, changes and closures, making it near impossible to plan ahead.
Our government has offered little to help since the beginning of the pandemic. A rebate was established in mid year of 2021 that would help with rent for venues if the property owners applied for it, taking the power out of the venue owners hands. Another option is Bill C-2 , where wages of servers get compensated and a percentage of lost revenue from the venue can be accessed , but is that enough? Very little help goes to the venues owners or bookers or artists who rely on local touring , they are left completely out of the loop.
HOW WE HELP By raising awareness through social media, by selling art & merch of the venues, benefit concerts AND by running our very own go-fund-me! The profits get divided between the venues that have signed on with us.
Donate to STMV and we give away a free STMV sticker to whomever donates! We also provide a platform for local artists to be noticed through our Spotify playlist, "Monday Spotlight" that is updated once a week . Join our "Live Chat Wednesday" interviews, you guessed it, every Wednesday. I wasn't kidding when I said that we are a community! We offer help with finding resources for artists, booking and promoting, as well as some guidance from newer bands trying to find their way.
How You Can Help!
Purchase merch (proceeds get divided between the venues)
Support venues directly by buying food and merch from them
Listen to local music (buy their albums and merch)
Buy tickets to local shows in-person or online.
Spread the word by following our socials, share our playlists and like our posts!