July Newsletter

New App Launch for Main Street Activations!

Collaged image of public art activations including, blue muskoka chairs, a mural, and table top design

Artists: Steven TwiggCurtia Wright, Leone McComas and Katrina Canedo
Photo Credit: Selina McCallum

The Summer 2021 I HeART Main Street program, featuring public art across Ontario produced in collaboration with 26 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and 50+ multidisciplinary artists, is in full swing! We are thrilled that this season’s activations can be explored using the brand new STEPS Public Art App, through which you can experience installations virtually, learn fun facts about the BIAs, and meet the talented artists involved. Visit the web app or download on your mobile devices to discover early summer activations in Toronto, Mississauga, and Timmins!


Be sure to follow #MainStreetArtChallenge and @STEPSpublicart for the latest in main street activations. I HeART Main Street is presented in partnership with RBC Royal Bank and the City of Toronto, and generously supported by the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative funded by the Government of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, and Ontario Arts Council. Interested in bringing main street activations to your community? Contact us today!

From Weeds We Grow: Poetry Workshop Series

Square graphic design image with a banner at the top of Rowntree Mills Park - it has a body of water that is reflecting the foliage & yellow flowers surrounding it. The bottom half of the design is blocked off with a white organic shape with accents of teal at the top.

Photo Credit: Selina McCallum

As part of STEPS community parks activation series, we invite you to connect with Toronto’s Rowntree Mills Park with spoken word poet Zara Rahman through a series of free online poetry workshops! Participants will have a chance to showcase their poetry creations on the From Weeds We Grow Web App and contribute to a meaningful community-engaged project. Registration closes Friday, July 23rd at 4pm EDT.

From Weeds We Grow:
Honouring our Connections Virtual Exhibit

birch basket holding white flowers on a rock surface

Photo Credit: Sandra Nakata (Workshop Participant)

From Weeds We Grow is an interdisciplinary public art project that encourages exploration of our shared spaces while connecting community members to each other, the arts, and Rowntree Mills Park in Toronto’s Rexdale community. Last month, STEPS and Myseum hosted a workshop as part of the Myseum Intersections Festival to share how Indigenous peoples honour their relationship to the land through birch bark basket making. Facilitated by Lindsey Lickers, this workshop engaged participants with the first-hand experience of this craft, while also reflecting on individual connections, histories and relationships to the land and environment. Visit the virtual exhibit to view a selection of the beautiful baskets created by participants!

CreateSpace: ShowLoveTO Mural

Jieun June Kim (artist) jumping in the air and smiling, in front of her new mural of a tiger and a bird

Artist: Jieun June Kim
Photo Credit: Selina McCallum

CreateSpace Public Art Residency projects are launching across Canada this summer, beginning with Jieun June Kim who organized a series of stunning murals with fellow artists to animate a laneway in North York. Coordinated with KJ Bit Collective, this project brightens the streets with colourful artwork while supporting the local businesses, artists and community members impacted by COVID-19. Visit this collaborative project in the laneway behind 4901 Yonge Street, Toronto!

CreateSpace is made possible by support from TD Bank Group through the TD Ready Commitment, City of Toronto as part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021 – 2022, Partners in Art and MAWA.

Experience Yue Moon 2021 Online

Yue Moon animated light projected on Chinese Gospel Church at night.

Artist: Winnie Truong
Photo Credit: Mila Bright

If you missed the magical Yue Moon celebrations that livened up Toronto’s Chinatown with beautiful lanterns created with community workshop participants, as well as Animated Light (an award-winning digital animation installation), visit our new project page to relive the moments! 

Hoarding Exhibit Highlight: Shared Space

Danielle Cole's artwork of wildlife on construction hoardings

Artist: Danielle Cole
Photo Credit: Sharon Mendonca

A place to dream, wander, play, and live – the public parks and greenspaces that surround Greenwich Village serve as inspiration for Shared Space. Artist Danielle Cole’s series of colourful artworks showcase local animals that act as playful substitutes for the people who are joining the community. 

More photos and details are coming soon, but you can check Danielle’s work in person at 847-871 Sheppard Ave W, Toronto and follow our social enterprise @thePATCHproject for more announcements! 

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 100 public art initiatives and made over $300,000 in direct payments to Canadian artists and designers since the start of the pandemic.

Consider making a donation to support this important work!

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