I HeART Main Street 2022
A STEPS ONTARIO PUBLIC ART PROJECT
Entering the third year of I HeART Main Street, this program supports Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) of all sizes across Ontario to provide meaningful opportunities for Canadian artists and strengthen business-community relationships. Participating BIAs and artists will have a chance to win prizes valued at $30,000 for future placemaking initiatives to recognize exemplary projects that engage communities, transform main streets, and inspire innovation. Below you will find links that lead to our Ontario public art projects.
Project at a Glance
Location: Various cities across Ontario
BIAs: Bloor Annex, Bloor West Village, Chinatown, Cooksville, Clarkson Village, Downtown Bench Beamsville, Downtown Barrie, Downtown Bench Beamsville, Downtown Bolton, Downtown Brockville, Downtown Greater Napanee, Downtown Milton, Downtown Timmins, Downtown Whitby, DUKE Heights, Eglinton Way, Elora, Mimico by the Lake, Mount Dennis, Oakwood Village, Ottawa Street, Pape Village, Rosedale, Trenton, Upper Village, Uptown Yonge, ZAC Vanier and more!
Artists: Wenting Li, Hour Studio Space (James Lai and Alexis Venerus), Kayla Buium, Jenn Kitagawa, Ailsa Craigen, Asli Alin, Enna Kim, Vivian Rosas, Justine Wong, Whyishnave Suthagar, Tee Fergus, Kseniya Tsoy, Yulia Tsoy, Moonlight Murals Collective (Yasaman Mehrsa, Melika Saeeda, Ghazaleh Rastgar), Farida Zaman, Yen Linh Thai, Monica Wickeler, Sara Sarhangpour, Sue Todd, Joseph Sagaj, Saroja Ponnambalam, Jacquee Lavallee, Yen Linh Thai, Sima Naseem, Jenn Kitagawa, Katie Green, Marlisha Lewis, Alessandra Vai, Oksana Hawrylak, Christopher Bennett, Meaghan Claire Kehoe, Naomi Smith, Wayne Simpson, Kayla Buium, Mehtap Mertdogan, Pam Lostracco, Earth Sky Collective, and more!
Business Improvement Areas supported since 2020
Canadian artists and designers engaged since 2020
Awarded to exemplary projects since 2020
I HeART Main Street is a program that started at the height of the 2020 pandemic to provide Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) with the supports they need to activate main streets across Ontario through creative placemaking and public art. From hiring artists and building staff capacity, to showcasing local business stories and engaging communities through one-of-a-kind public artwork, this program provides paid opportunities to Canadian artists while fostering community through challenging times.
This year’s supports include:
- Pro-bono creative placemaking and public art services
- Connections to multidisciplinary artists and creatives
- Artist fee subsidies
- Audio-visual documentation
- Promotional tools and features on the STEPS Public Art App
If you are a BIA or business organization interested in bringing more public art to your neighbourhood, learn more our main street recovery services and apply to the I HeART Main Street program. You can also follow along @STEPSPublicArt and #MainStreetArtChallenge for the latest project installations and announcements.
Find Public Art Near You!
Visit the STEPS Project Map or explore the STEPS Public Art App to find public art and self-guided walking tours near you for new safe and engaging experiences.
Scan the QR code to download the app or visit the links below:
Fall/Winter Public Art Activations
The new year started off on a high note with amazing winter-themed window murals activating the main streets of Bloor West Village and Rosedale with local businesses! Other main street celebrations included Lunar New Year with Toronto’s Chinatown BIA (one of the previous 2020 I HeART Main Street award winners) and NoVacancy storefront activations with DUKE Heights BIA as part of the City of Toronto’s StrollTO initiative.
Awards and Recognition
Prizes will be awarded to participating BIAs and projects that demonstrate ingenuity, creativity, and a commitment to community engagement. Recognized BIAs and artists will be awarded with monetary and in-kind support to support future placemaking initiatives.
Winners will be selected by an Award Committee consisting of local cultural and business leaders and community representatives.
About I HeART Main Street
STEPS Public Art’s I HeART Main Street is a program supporting Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) with the support they need to activate their main streets through public art and placemaking. This program engages BIAs, local artists and businesses across Ontario to create more vibrant and safe communities.