November 2021 Newsletter


Donation Matching in Time for Giving Tuesday!

Photo of brightly coloured paper lanterns with hanging golden tassels. The lanterns are in different sizes, interspersed with fairy lights and are hanging from metal pipes.

Artist: PUFF Paddy
Photo Credit: May Shi

The Canadian arts sector has been one of the hardest hit industries during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is particularly troubling in a sector in which precarity was already widespread and the health and well-being of artists (financial, physical, mental) continue to be at risk. 

STEPS believes that artists have a critical role to play in shaping cities, and many of our projects are designed to build artist capacity. Thanks to contributions from community members like you, STEPS has supported over 150 public art initiatives and made over $454,000 in direct payments to Canadian artists and designers since the start of the pandemic, including $294,000 in 2021 alone.

We’re excited to share that the Bulmash-Siegel Foundation has generously agreed to match donations made to STEPS between now and the end of 2021 up to $5,000! Every dollar you donate by December 31st doubles its impact in the community towards paid artist creations, mentorship, and skill-building opportunities that bring more public art to YOUR communities. 

Call for Artists: CreateSpace Public Art Forum

A square graphic with the STEPS logo in the top-left corner. There is a photo of a large blue and yellow mural with a colourful bison in the centre and artist Bruno Canadien standing in front of it. Below the image is blue text that say “CreateSpace Public Art Forum, Call for Artists, Application Deadline: December 12, 2021 at 11:59 PM PST, Visit for more details”. At the bottom are logos for the Government of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts and CIBC.

Artist: Bruno Canadien
Photo Credit: Jeremy Pavka

STEPS is launching the CreateSpace Public Art Forum that will virtually convene 50 participants who identify as Black, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), racialized, rural and/or youth with disabilities and between the ages of 18-25. This digital forum will foster connections across geographies and cultures, providing emerging equity-seeking artists the skills, relationships and institutional support to grow and develop public art practices.

Are you or an artist you know interested in gaining experience, building networks and professional skills to launch or expand your public art practice? Submit your application by December 12, 2021 at 11:59 PM PST.

Registration: Art in Alternative Spaces Event

A square graphic with a photograph in the top half of the image of a white van parked in a city public space with storefronts, lamp posts, outdoor benches and planters. The van has a sign that says “Monument Movers Inc”. In the bottom half of the graphic is blue and teal texts that say “Public Art and Activating Main Streets, Arts in Alternative Spaces” with date and event information. Along the bottom are City of Toronto, TD Ready Commitment, KIAC, Odd Gallery and STEPS Public Art logos.

Artist: Florence Yee
Photo Credit: Misiksk Jadis

Join moderator Ammar Mahimwallar and artists Bo Yeung, Florence Yee and Phillip Ocampo on November 24 from 6:00-7:30 PM ET for a virtual panel discussion speaking to art existing outside the traditional white cube. Hosted by STEPS and Klondike Institute of Art & Culture as part of CreateSpace Public Art Residency’s free public programming, the panelists will explore the value and place of alternative presentation models as a space for accessibility and activism across Canada.

Workshop Registration:
Yue Moon 完滿: Tiger With Wings 如虎添翼

Square graphic design with a photo banner of red & black lanterns, the bottom has a white background and yellow accents. It has teal text that writes: “Yue Moon 完滿: Tiger With Wings 如虎添翼”, “Call for Participation” and details on the workshop including, “Deadline to Register: Sunday, Dec 5, 2021 at 11:59PM EST”. The bottom has a logo banner from partners/funders.

Artist: PUFF Paddy
Photo Credit: Wayne Tsaur

Yue Moon 完滿: Tiger With Wings 如虎添翼 is the third iteration of the Yue Moon 完滿 series, a community-engaged, interdisciplinary public art project in partnership with Chinatown BIA. Join artists Paddy Leung and Meegan Lim to escape the cold winter through collaborative art-making workshops to animate the streets of Toronto’s Chinatown in time for the 2022 Lunar New Year celebrations!

Safe Flight Home Bird-Safe Murals Installed

Photo of the entrance of Downsview Park Station decorated with a large-scale vinyl mural of different birds.

Artist: Fatspatrol
Photo Credit: May Shi

Internationally-recognized artist Fatspatrol engaged with North York communities through online workshops where participants created artwork that culminated in large-scale vinyl window murals at Finch West, Downsview Park and York University TTC subway stations. Through the project’s partnership with FLAP Canada, these bird-safe murals also protect birds from collisions during the fall migration season. Stay tuned for information about a self-guided walking tour through the STEPS app and new AR features with the support of Seneca 360!

Mural Wrap-up in Toronto’s Midtown!

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.

Artist: Gosia Komorski
Photo Credit: Selina McCallum

It’s a wrap for Gosia’s latest mural in collaboration with BMO Canada, STEPS and a talented team of artist collaborators at 2454 Yonge St, Toronto (Yonge-Roselawn)! Based on Gosia’s series “Visual Biographies” and community feedback, the mural illustrates the joys of the Yonge and Eglington community through colourful patterns, imagery of nature and portraits of community members.

On November 17th, Gosia took over the STEPS Instagram to reflect upon her experience on this project and share more about her practice!

New Public Art from Coquitlam to Halifax

Photograph of Bruno Canadien painting a colourful, large-scale mural that has a bison and other animals, as well as, floral patterns on the side of a building.

Artist: Bruno Canadien
Photo Credit: Jeremy Pavka

Congratulations to CreateSpace artist-in-residence Bruno Canadien for completing his second largest mural Source of Life at Foothills Family Medical Centre in Black Diamond, Alberta! After months of planning and community collaboration, Bruno’s colourful mural is making a positive impact by brightening up the downtown and encouraging reflections on the many changes to communities caused by settlement.

Close-up photo of a small black card with white texts that read "text 647-559-3300, commuting & other lonely thoughts" with green and yellow lines representing the Toronto subway line

Artist: Yasmeen Nematt Alla
Photo Credit: Selina McCallum

Have you seen Yasmeen’s Commuting and Other Lonely Thoughts cards and posters around Toronto TTC stations? This interactive project invites commuters to reflect on their loneliness and can also be spotted at Above Ground (Junction/Beaches location), Akin (St. Clair and Dupont), and 918 Bathurst St. with a special appearance in Alberta coming soon!

CreateSpace is a national virtual residency supporting public art projects by Black, Indigenous and racialized artists across Canada. It is made possible by support from TD Bank Group through the TD Ready Commitment, City of Toronto as part of ArtworxTO, Partners in Art, MAWA, Canada Council for the Arts and Government of Ontario. Stay tuned for the 2022 call for artists!

From Weeds We Grow:
Restoration of Relationship Community Exhibit

Photograph of a communal art gathering in a park, where the participants are engaging in a beading workshop. In the background are trees and a red bridge.

Photo Credit: Samantha Beltran

As part of From Weeds We Grow, Restoration of Relationship is a project rooted in understanding of the importance of water in cleansing, creating clear intentions and commitments to the land. Community members came together in a virtual space for an evening of teachings about the significance of water, led by artist Lindsey Lickers, Mushkiiki Nibi Kwe and Kanate’hson, Elder Renee Thomas-Hill. 

Lindsey also facilitated a beading workshop along the banks of the Humber River in Rowntree Mills Park. Together, participants reflected upon their individual relationships with the environment to create beaded artworks, now showcased on the STEPS website and in-person at the Albion Public Library.

Daily Migration Ribbon Cutting Celebration!

Photo of artist Wenting Li standing in front of her mural in Chinatown. It has three giant cranes intertwined with lotus flowers and roots, and carrying multiple human figures. It has colours of yellow, green, teal, red and pink.

Artists: Shalak AttackEdan Maxam and Kseniya Tsoy
Photo Credit: Mila Bright

Thanks to everyone who joined the Daily Migration team for the unveiling of the spectacular 1,400 sq ft. mural transforming Wilson TTC Station (North York) into a vibrant cultural space for 17,000+ daily commuters! This participatory public art project began in 2020 through community engagement sessions and art-making workshops with mural production beginning in September to present a visual journey of shared stories about arrival, departure and home. Visit the mural and tag @STEPSPublicArt to share your stories!

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.

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

Want to be the first to receive monthly STEPS updates?

Previous Arrow
Next Arrow