In 1994, Piera Pugliese of Vesuvio’s and Pat Schnurr of Picture It Framed got together at a BIA meeting and asked the Executive and the Directors to have an art show as an event to celebrate both the Junction Gardens Fall Festival and the annual City of Toronto Arts Week. They titled the artshow “ Caffe Latte”. It was a preview of the Ontario College of Art students who, as part of their studies, completed a year in Florence, Italy painting. This Festival/Art Show continued to grow by expanding additional shows into local BIA businesses. The consistent growth in attendance encouraged the street closure in the year 2000 ready to present a variety ofadditional art forms including dance, music, theatrical and performance art.The streets were lined with arts related vendors and the dream of sidewalk cafes fulfilled. The Junction Arts Festival (JAF) asit became known was the property of the Junction BIA until JAF incorporated as not-for-profit arts body known as The Junction Forum for Art and Culture (JFAC) on February 24, 2004. As such JFAC became a not-for- profit autonomous body at arm’s length of the BIA to ensure that JFAC could obtain funding through grants and sponsorship not necessarily available to a BIA. It was always the intention of the BIA to remain significantly involved with the Junction Arts Festival through representation on the Board of Directors of JFAC. The BIA will continue to provide monetary support to the Festival in theform of sponsorship. The Junction Arts Festival has created great success and elevated the profile of the area all of these years. It has grown, dramatically, now an eventthat in 2008 attracted 200,000 persons, collected $155,000 in government funding additional $70,000 in sponsorship not to mention another $100,000 in-kind donations. It is in our best interest to continue this unique arrangement between Business and the Arts to promote The Junction as one of the most exciting and creative destinations in Toronto. To perpetuate the momentum of the Junction Arts Festival mutual cooperation between BIA and JFAC is essential!
reprinted from Junction BIA Digest – article by Pat Schnurr Picture it Framed