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WHAT WE DO

STEPS is an award-winning cultural organization.

We have the relationships, experience, and knowledge to undertake any public art initiative in Canada.

STEPS creates one-of-a-kind public art plans, installations and engagement strategies that:

  • meet your public art and placemaking needs
  • transform your space into a cultural destination
  • foster stronger relationships with your community
  • showcase the talent of diverse Canadian artists

We’re a CRA registered charity and welcomes financial contributions towards our free community arts programs. 

OUR IMPACT

STEPS (Sustainable Thinking and Expression on Public Space) has received numerous awards for our high-impact programs, including the inaugural national Culture Days Innovative Event Award; the NXT City Prize, and Imagination Catalyst Best Social Enterprise Award from OCAD University.

Since 2011, we have produced:

  • 300+ public art installations
  • 600+ paid artist opportunities
  • 1,000+ youth leadership opportunities
  • 10,000+ community engagement opportunities

Our work has been featured by media including CBC, The Globe and Mail, BlogTO, and academic journals, while our team has been invited to speak at international conferences.

 

Our inclusive approach

Great public art can challenge systemic inequities in public space. Our programs foster inclusive public art practices, support equity-seeking artists and demonstrate the power of public art to reimagine equitably designed cities. We encourage, support and celebrate the diversity of our Board, staff and advisory network. This approach fuels our innovation and connects us closer to the communities we serve. 

 Our Team

Ready to serve you from four provinces

ALEXIS KANE SPEER

ALEXIS KANE SPEER

Executive Director

Alexis (she/her/they) is responsible for STEPS’ strategic planning, partnership development and fundraising. Inspired by the city and the people who bring it to life, she has 15+ years experience leading public art, cultural planning and community building initiatives, for which she has received numerous awards.  

ANJULI SOLANKI

ANJULI SOLANKI

Program Director (on parental leave)

Anjuli (she/her) oversees STEPS’ community and agency programs, including developing the partnerships that make them possible. She is a painter and public artist with 15+ years in community engagement, public programming and urban research. 

Erin Glover

Erin Glover

Program Director (interim)

Erin (she/her/they) oversees STEPS’ programs and agency services. She is an artist and arts educator with over a decade of experience in cultural programming. Erin is interested in art initiatives that create space for growth and community connection.

 

 

RENEE CASTONGUAY

RENEE CASTONGUAY

Community Programs Manager

Renee (she/her) facilitates STEPS’ community engagement and program delivery activities. She is a visual artist and arts administrator passionate about community-building, creative expression, and improving access in the arts.

Collin Zipp

Collin Zipp

Program Manager

Collin (he/him) manages the successful design and implementation of cultural programming from conception to completion. He is a multidisciplinary artist and arts administrator who brings 10+ years of experience to the team. Collin is dedicated to fostering lasting relationships between artists, artworks, and communities.

PRANETI KULKARNI

PRANETI KULKARNI

Agency Manager

Praneti (she/her) manages STEPS’ agency services. She is a narrative environments designer who loves exploring multiple layers of the physical and digital spaces that help people navigate cities. Praneti loves the imperfections of handcrafted objects and their stories.

Margaux Weinrib

Margaux Weinrib

Agency Associate

Margaux (they/them/she) supports STEPS’ agency services. She is an urban and cultural planner, with a life mission to build equitable cities and spaces. Taking a human-centred approach in their work, they ensure that a diversity of people and perspectives are reflected. They are passionate about public spaces, art, affordable housing, food systems, and using creativity and innovation to solve complex urban challenges.

Shuraine Otto-Olak

Shuraine Otto-Olak

Placemaking Assistant

Shuraine (she/her) supports STEPS’ main streets programming. She is a designer with a degree in Environmental Design who is passionate about community engagement. She strives to enhance accessibility and equity in underserved communities.

Stoyan Barakov

Stoyan Barakov

Public Art Assistant

Stoyan (he/him) supports STEPS’ agency projects. He has experience in gallery direction, curation, and the commercial arts sector as well as holds degrees in Sculpture, Installation, and Digital Media. Beyond his love for physical and digital fabrication, Stoyan is passionate about establishing and fostering relationships between artists and communities.

Sanaa Humayun

Sanaa Humayun

Artist Engagement Assistant

Sanaa (she/her) supports STEPS’ artist programming. She is the co-organizer of Making Space – a peer mentorship group for emerging visual artists that decenters whiteness; involved in Latitude 53 & the Mitchell Art Gallery’s project Writing From Here; and has exhibited at Khyber Centre, Marion Nicoll Gallery and Lowlands Gallery.

Ima Esin

Ima Esin

Program Assistant

Ima (she/her) is an urban planner and community builder. She is passionate about social equity and local placemaking initiatives. Ima is driven to support vibrant and resilient urban spaces that reflect the histories, cultures, and experiences of local communities.

EDAN MAXAM

EDAN MAXAM

Program Assistant

Edan (she/her) supports STEPS community and artist programs. She is an Afro-Indigenous (Cuban, Caymanian, and Mi’kmaw) multidisciplinary artist born and raised in T’karonto working with analog and historical methods of photography to discuss themes of identity, family history, oral storytelling, healing, and activism. Edan received her BFA in Photography with a minor in Art and Social Change.

Grace Lai

Grace Lai

Engagement Coordinator

Grace (she/her) oversees STEPS’ communications initiatives and community engagement channels. She is a content creator who enjoys exploring different artistic mediums for print and digital spaces. She is passionate about fostering vibrant communities and supporting local artists and makers near and far.

 

Meegan Lim

Meegan Lim

Engagement Assistant

Meegan (she/her) supports STEPS’ communications and community engagement initiatives. She is an illustrator and multidisciplinary creative who is passionate about the intersections of food, culture & social change. She values collaboration in all of her creative practices, nurturing community growth and healing through engaging programming.

 

Kruti Anne Buch

Kruti Anne Buch

Engagement Assistant

Kruti (she/her) supports STEPS engagement activities. She is a multidisciplinary arts educator with a background in illustration and graphic design. Kruti is passionate about creating safe spaces for people to share their stories through art-making.

Madison Kennedy

Madison Kennedy

Main Streets Assistant

Madison (she/her) supports STEPS’ main streets programming. In her work with BIAs, she strives to create engaging and inclusive spaces for everyone to enjoy. Madison graduated from Dalhousie University with an accredited planning degree.

Vicki Cummings

Vicki Cummings

Development Officer

Vicki (she/her) is responsible for deepening organizational sustainability and impact through fundraising. She brings over 25 years of non-profit experience in the arts and social service sectors, giving her a unique understanding of the critical role arts play in nurturing healthy communities.

Selina McCallum

Selina McCallum

Documentarian

Selina (she/her) is an ambitious photographer and videographer who is responsible for much of STEPS’ visual storytelling. She graduated from the University of Windsor with double degrees in Digital Journalism, along with Communications Media and Film.

 

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

RICH APPIAH

Appiah Law, Board Chair

CRAIG HUDSON

Knixwear, Treasurer

ADAM MOLSON

The Daniels Corporation, Secretary

MOJAN JIANFAR

City of Mississauga, Member at Large

ALEXANDER APOSTOLOPOULOS

Hubba, Member at Large

JO FLATT

Allied REIT, Member at Large

ROBYN SMALL

Canadian Art Foundation, Member at Large

ADVISORY NETWORK

  • Adrian Forrow (OCAD University)
  • Alica Hall (NIA Centre for the Arts)
  • Benjamin Freedman (CONTACT Photography Festival)
  • Charles Smith (Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Ontario)
  • Chris Mitchell (The Gladstone Hotel)
  • Dina Graser (Chair, Toronto Arts Council)
  • Emily May Rose Brown (Northern Contemporary Gallery)
  • Jamaias DaCosta (Professional Artist, Writer, Performer)
  • Jennifer Smith (National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition)
  • Jimmy Baptiste (Multidisciplinary Quebec-based artist)
  • Josh Heuman (Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery)
  • Katherine Kerr (Public Art Consultant, Alberta)
  • Layne Hinton (Co-Curator, Art Spin)
  • Lisa Rochon (Citylab, Red Embers, Canadian Canoe Museum)
  • Nico Taylor (Black Speculative Arts Movement Canada)
  • Queen Kukoyi (Black Speculative Arts Movement Canada)
  • Sean Lee (Tangled Arts & Disability)
  • Sidi Chen (Multidisciplinary Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations based artist)
  • Tash Naveau (Indigenous Arts, Toronto Arts Council)
  • Umbereen Inayet (Curator, Nuit Blanche)
  • Zainab Abbasi (Planner, City of Mississauga)
Thank you for your support.
STEPS funder and sponsor logos for Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Government of Canada, Province of Ontario, City of Toronto, Ontario Trillium Foundation, RBC, TD, CIBC, TFVA and Partners in Art
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