December 2021 Newsletter


Give the Gift of Vibrant Art!

Colourful, illustrated card by Hyein Lee featuring a winter festival theme. There are animals and birds like penguins, owls and stags in the illustration along with different 2021 STEPS activations like Daily Migration, Safe Flight Home, Yue Moon and I HeART Main Street.

Artist: Hyein Lee

From the entire STEPS team, we wish you a warm and joyous holiday season! We look forward to bringing even more vibrant and one-of-a-kind public art, community-led opportunities, and dynamic programming to your community in the new year.

Consider shopping small and supporting Canadian artists and local businesses this festive season. Explore our curated holiday gift guide featuring artists from the STEPS artist roster, including Hyein who captured many project highlights in our annual holiday e-card, such as Project Oui!Safe Flight HomeLight Strainers and more!

Want to give the gift of public art? The Bulmash-Siegel Foundation is generously matching every charitable donation up to $5,000 made to STEPS from now until the end of 2021 to continue building the capacity of communities and artists. Double YOUR impact today!

Call for Public Arts in Residence!

Square graphic featuring a photograph in the top half of two artist painting a large scale mural. The art features a variety of geometric and organic patterns like a skull, triangles and waves painted in earth tones. The lower half of the graphic features blue font that says "Visit for more details. 2022 CreateSpace Public Art Residency. Call for Artists. Application Deadline: January 31, 2022 @ 11:59 PM PST." At the bottom are funder logos- City of Toronto, TD Bank and Canada Council for the Arts.

Artist: Shelby Gagnon
Photo Credit: Damien Bouchard

STEPS is thrilled to announce the 2022 CreateSpace Public Art Residency, a national and virtual program supporting Black, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and racialized artists in advancing their public art practice. Supported by the City of Toronto as part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022, TD Bank Group through the TD Ready Commitment and Canada Council for the Arts, applications are now OPEN with the residency slated to begin in Spring 2022.

Check out the 2021 CreateSpace Residency public art projects spanning five provinces, and apply to the program by Monday, January 31, 2022.

#MainStreetArtChallenge Award Winners!

Photograph of Curtia Wright’s ‘Celebrating Queer Black Lives’ mural painted on the side of a building. The mural has two side-facing portraits, with floral patterns and is brightly coloured. There are seven people striking playful poses in front of it.

Artist: Curtia Wright
Photo Credit: May Shi

Congratulations to the three Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and six artists awarded for their I HeART Main Street public art projects that made an impact in their communities! The financial and in-kind support prizes presented in partnership with RBC Royal Bank will allow the BIAs and artists to scale future placemaking initiatives and bring more art to their streets as part of pandemic recovery strategies.

Meet the winning BIAs and artists and apply to the next round of I HeART Main Street to bring more public art across Ontario (spots are limited)!

Public Art Forum for Emerging Artists

Photograph of a close up view of Bruno Canadien's large-scale mural painted on the side of building and a view of the sky in the background. The mural is painted on a blue background and features colourful overlapping floral and animal patterns outlined in blue and white.

Artist: Bruno Canadien
Photo Credit: Jeremy Pavka

Take part in the first ever CreateSpace Public Art Forum, a digital forum for 50 equity-seeking youth artists from across the nation who will build skills and relationships to expand their growing public art practices! English and French applications are available and the program is set to launch in January 2022.

Local Artists Take Over Brampton, Ontario!

Photo of a Brampton storefront featuring the artwork of Meegan Lim that shows different Bengali sweets illustration on a lilac purple background.

Artist: Meegan Lim
Photo Credit: May Shi

In partnership with the City of Brampton’s Arts, Culture & Creative Industry Development Agency, new public artworks can be found throughout the downtown core! From the Beyond the Plate storefront exhibits to the Traffic Box Art Pilot Project that engaged five local artists in activating street corner utility boxes, these projects explore placemaking through local art that capture the spirit of Brampton.

We want to hear from YOU! Share your feedback on the Storefront Activation and Traffic Box Project to shape future initiatives like these.

Workshop Spots Limited for
Yue Moon 完滿: Tiger With Wings 如虎添翼

Photograph of Gosia's large-scale mural on the exterior wall of the BMO building, overlooking a parking lot. The mural features portraits of people in the community, animals, floral and geometric patterns.

Artists: Paddy Leung and Meegan Lim

Join Paddy, Meegan and the Toronto Chinatown BIA in lantern art-making and cultural storytelling workshops! Your artwork will be part of the public exhibition animating the streets of Toronto’s Chinatown just in time for the 2022 Lunar New Year.

Outside of Toronto? Sign up for the virtual workshops with different language supports available to take part from anywhere you call home (this is an intergenerational project open to members of the Chinatown community and beyond)!

External Opportunities 

Supporting artists and arts workers, especially those who face barriers in accessing public art opportunities, is at the core of STEPS’ mandate. Below are some of the current opportunities on our radar.

Building Community During COVID

Thanks to contributions from community members like you, STEPS has supported over 150 public art initiatives and made over $510,000 in direct payments to Canadian artists and designers since the start of the pandemic, including $350,000 in 2021 alone.

Consider making a donation to support this important work! 

Special Thanks To Our Funders and Supporters 

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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