Creative Toronto: Harnessing the Economic Development Power of Arts and Culture


  • Shoshanah Goldberg-Miller The Ohio State University


Over the 2000s, Toronto initiated and instituted a process of cultivating itself as a creative city. Entrepreneurial city visionaries found that in order to enter the global market, their planning had to be strategic. This paper explores how Toronto's policy entrepreneurs used planning, partnerships, and an expanded definition of economic development to create a “Cultural Camelot.” In addition to competing on the financial and revenue-generating fronts, a coalition of cross-sector leaders took on the challenge of fostering a livable city with a deep social ethos imbued within a variety of dimensions of urban life. This new focus gave Toronto the chance establish itself as a center for innovation, which strengthened urban cultural capital and helped promote the strategic agenda of becoming a competitor in the creative economy sector. Investment in research and creative city strategic planning, coupled with the allocation of financial and human capital resources across a variety of industries, served to encourage creativity, promote culture and competitiveness, and drive economic development.

Author Biography

Shoshanah Goldberg-Miller, The Ohio State University

Shoshanah B. D. Goldberg-Miller, PhD is Assistant Professor specializing in arts administration and policy in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy at The Ohio State University. She also holds a courtesy appointment with the City and Regional Planning Section of the Knowlton School of Architecture at OSU. Dr. Goldberg-Miller’s research focuses on: arts & cultural entrepreneurship; creative economic development; national and global cultural policy; leadership in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors; management and administration of nonprofit organizations; fund development in nonprofit organizations; and media management. Her book, Planning for a City of Culture: Creative Urbanism in Toronto and New York (Routledge, March 2017) explores how the two cities used arts and culture to build their brand, enhance public good, and create economic prosperity in the decade of the 2000s. The book is based upon Dr. Goldberg-Miller’s doctoral dissertation, The Role of Arts and Culture in Modern Cities: Making Art Work in Toronto and New York, which was supported by a generous grant from The Rockefeller Foundation. 

Over the past decade, Goldberg-Miller has taught graduate and undergraduate-level courses in cultural policy, creative economic development, media management, arts administration, fundraising, grant writing, and management for urban planners at The New School, Hunter College, and Columbia University. Dr. Goldberg-Miller is a fund raising, arts management and marketing professional with more than twenty years of experience in nonprofit administration, major gifts and corporate sponsorship. She has been on the executive team at many prominent nonprofit organizations, including The Paley Center for Media, American Cancer Society, Greenwich House Pottery, March of Dimes, American Museum of Natural History, and Museum of Holography. 

Dr. Goldberg-Miller is a featured speaker at academic conferences, seminars and workshops for organizations including the Association for Collegiate Schools of Planning, the Society for American City and Regional Planning History, Fundraising Day in New York, the National Arts Leadership Institute, and the AIGA Design Conference. As a management consultant, she has served clients such as Parsons School of Design, Aspen Institute, Socrates Sculpture Park, Smack Mellon Gallery, MoMA, New York State Psychological Association, National Geographic, Sesame Workshop, and Polaroid, as well as numerous individuals and community-based organizations. Goldberg-Miller holds a BFA in ceramics (University of Michigan) an MBA in arts management (SUNY Binghamton) and PhD in public and urban policy (The New School).

Toronto Skyline




How to Cite

Goldberg-Miller, S. (2015). Creative Toronto: Harnessing the Economic Development Power of Arts and Culture. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, 4(1), 25–48. Retrieved from