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.

About STEPS Public Art

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

STEPS Public Art is 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 CBCThe 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

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. 

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.

Collin Zipp

Collin Zipp

Public Art 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.

Grace Lai

Grace Lai

Engagement Manager

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.

Margaux Weinrib

Margaux Weinrib

Cultural Planner

Margaux (they/them/she) supports STEPS’ cultural planning 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.

Bridget MacIntosh

Bridget MacIntosh

Cultural Planning Project Coordinator

Bridget (she/her) has held senior municipal cultural management positions with portfolios spanning arts, events, and public art ranging from small-scale activations to major events such as Nuit Blanche Toronto. She collaborates with municipalities and arts organizations across Canada as a Cultural Strategist, using culture as a tool to nurture civic health and sustainability.

Ima Esin

Ima Esin

Community Programs Coordinator

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.

Madison Kennedy

Madison Kennedy

Placemaking Coordinator

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.

Belinda Uwase

Belinda Uwase

Artist Programs Coordinator

Belinda (she/her) supports STEPS’ artist programming. She is an emerging curator and first-generation Rwandan from Edmonton and currently residing in Toronto. Belinda has held roles with the Art Gallery of Alberta and the youth organization YEGTheComeUP, where she led the Arts and Culture Task Force.

Stella Zhou

Stella Zhou

Agency Coordinator

Stella (she/her) is an interdisciplinary urban planner and community animator. She is passionate about creating inclusive public space through cultural planning, creative placemaking, and participatory public art. 

Meegan Lim

Meegan Lim

Engagement Coordinator

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. 

Gwyneth Dalzell

Gwyneth Dalzell

Operations Coordinator

Gwyneth (she/they) helps keep STEPS operations running smoothly. Having graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Art History, Archaeology, and Material Culture, Gwyneth has worked in a variety of roles with public and non-profit institutions including the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art. 

Kruti Anne Buch

Kruti Anne Buch

Engagement Associate

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.

Eva Morrison

Eva Morrison

Engagement Associate

Eva Morrison (she/her) has a background in art writing and curatorial studies, with an interest in magnifying the work of Canadian artists and connecting creative communities.

Yelizaveta (Liza) Mishko

Yelizaveta (Liza) Mishko

Public Art Associate

Liza (she/her) is an urban and community planner. She is passionate about placemaking and creating equitable communities with an interest in designing for play. She applies a people-first approach to community planning which ensures that the diversity of the local community is reflected. Allowing the community to create a physical and emotional connection to their urban Fabric.

Kelsey Myler

Kelsey Myler

Public Art Associate

Kelsey (she/her) is a visual artist, curator, and arts administrator from Newfoundland. She is completing her BFA in Image Arts: Photographic Studies at Toronto Metropolitan University. Kelsey is passionate about supporting emerging artists, inclusive arts programming, and community-building.

Krupa Patel

Krupa Patel

Placemaking Associate

Krupa (she/her) is a public art associate with a background in architecture from OCAD University. She’s passionate about bridging architectural design and arts management to curate experiential spaces to foster community building. Krupa loves scouting stories that inherit a history of nostalgia and melancholy.

Maia Hay

Maia Hay

Public Art Assistant

Maia (she/her) is a sculptor and multimedia artist motivated by human engagement with the natural world. She strives to answer why public art is a valuable part of our everyday lives. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Visual Art and Political Science from Wheaton College, Massachusetts.

Ardyn Gibbs

Ardyn Gibbs

Public Art Assistant

Ardyn (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist currently working toward completing their BFA with a minor in Community Engagement. With a focus on installation, their work explores themes of community, safety and vulnerability in the current context of the world. 

Natasha Francis

Natasha Francis

Main Streets Researcher

Natasha (she/her) is a researcher assisting in the development of a toolkit to measure the impact of public art in main street communities. Her research interests involve exploring strategies for main street vibrancy and vitality. Natasha completed a Master of Science in Management focusing on main streets and the visitor economy.  

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

Placemaking Assistant

Sarah (she/her) is a fourth-year student at the University of Toronto working towards her bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies, Human Geography and GIS. Her interests include cultural planning, city art, and map making. When not in the library, Sarah enjoys camping, hiking and taking care of her house plants.

Board of Directors

  • Adam Molson, Board Chair (The Daniels Corporation)
  • Craig Hudson, Treasurer (LumiQ)
  • Alexander Apostolopoulos, Member at Large (Hubba)
  • Jo Flatt, Member at Large (Allied REIT)
  • Rich Appiah, Member at Large (Appiah Law)
  • Robyn Small, Member at Large (Benevity)

Advisory Network

  • Adrian Forrow (OCAD University)
  • Alica Hall (NIA Centre for the Arts)
  • Ann Pennicooke (Supervisor, Community Engagement, PAMA)
  • Benjamin Freedman (CONTACT Photography Festival)
  • Bruno Canadien (Dene multi-disciplinary visual artist, Alberta)
  • Charles Smith (Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Ontario)
  • Chris Mitchell (The Gladstone Hotel)
  • Dee Barsy (Anishinaabe-Ojibwe painter and art educator, Manitoba)
  • Dina Graser (Chair, Toronto Arts Council)
  • Emily May Rose Brown (Northern Contemporary Gallery)
  • Hiba Abdallah (Assistant Professor, University of Toronto)
  • Jamaias DaCosta (Professional Artist, Writer, Performer)
  • Jennifer Smith (National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition)
  • Jimmy Baptiste (Multidisciplinary Quebec-based artist)
  • Josh Heuman (Independent Curator and Arts Educator)
  • Katherine Kerr (Public Art Consultant, Alberta)
  • Keith Francis (Associate and Senior Director, Experience Outcomes, Forge Media + Design_
  • Layne Hinton (Co-Curator, Art Spin)
  • Lindsey Lickers, Mushkiiki Nibi Kwe (Onkwehon:we / Anishinaabe artist & community developer, Ontario)
  • Lisa Rochon (Citylab, Red Embers, Canadian Canoe Museum)
  • MPP Jill Andrew (Toronto-St. Paul’s, Ontario NDP Culture Critic and Women’s Issues Critic for the Official Opposition)
  • 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)
  • Stefan Hancherow (Associate Art Curator, RBC)
  • Tash Naveau (Indigenous Arts, Toronto Arts Council)
  • Umbereen Inayet (Curator, Nuit Blanche)
  • William Skura (Métis mental health, addictions, and Indigenous youth employment strategist, Ontario)
  • Zainab Abbasi (Planner, City of Mississauga)

Proud Members Of

Buy Social Canada

Neighbourhood Arts Network

City Parks Alliance

CODAworx

CARFAC

City of Toronto Diverse Supplier

Centre for Social Innovation

ArtBridges

Indigenous Curatorial Collective

CreativeGuild/Creative Mornings

Thank You for Your Support

STEPS supporter logos including Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Government of Canada, City of Toronto, Ontario Trillium Foundation, RBC, TD, CIBC, Government of Ontario, Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts, Partners in Art and Bulmash-Siegel Foundation

Want to get involved with STEPs Public Art?

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