At STEPS, creative placemaking is at the heart of our high impact community art programs and public art projects across our national portfolios of work, including main street recovery, cultural planning and public art management.
With an emphasis on prioritizing equity-seeking communities, STEPS can collaborate with you and diverse artists to foster a vibrant public realm. Our work ranges from piloting unique public art plans with permanent and temporary installations to developing creative placemaking strategies to engage local residents to be more active in their communities.
I HeART Main Street
Pro-Bono Creative Placemaking, Ontario
Community-Based Art Project, Toronto
Safe Flight Home
Community-Based Art Project, North York
About Our Creative Placemaking Services
Our Creative Placemaking Rapid-response (CPR) initiative is a limited pro-bono consulting service for municipalities, Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), community and nonprofit organizations or businesses.
Our team will provide you with a one-hour consultation free of charge. As needed, follow-up consultations may be available.
- Brainstorming solutions to public space challenges through a cultural lens
- Transforming spaces to meet the changing needs of your community or workplace
- Producing public artwork in response to (or in spite of) the current pandemic
- Aligning your cultural project or service to support your community’s current critical needs
- Adjusting creative placemaking project schedules, contracts and policies for enhanced feasibility
- Engaging your community, whether neighbours, colleagues or clients while physical distancing
- Facilitating equitable outreach, recruitment and selection processes for creative projects
- Building the case for incorporating public art in the pandemic recovery period
- Connecting with new networks and potential partners for increased capacity
- Partnering with us for deeper impact on medium to long-term placemaking initiatives
Step 1: Think about your creative placemaking ideas and resources. Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to learn more about creative placemaking and services available.
Step 2: Contact STEPS with information about your goals and ideas. Not all people and communities are experiencing the pandemic in the same way. STEPS will place particular emphasis on prioritizing requests from communities of colour, Indigenous and other equity-seeking communities.
Step 3: We will respond within two (2) business days and set up a meeting.
Step 4: After the meeting, STEPS will develop a custom proposal unique to your creative placemaking needs.
Tasneem Bandukwala (Gerrard India Bazaar BIA)
David Barrick (Chief Administrative Officer, City of Brampton)
Danforth Mosaic BIA
Yue Moon Lantern Workshop Participant
What is creative placemaking?
Creative placemaking incorporates arts and culture to revitalize public spaces, stimulate the economy, and encourage community participation to create spaces reflective of the diverse identities that use them. This process recognizes the heritage, residential communities, and diverse uses of the targeted area to position people as ‘makers’ of space, defining their own neighbourhood. Read our thought leadership article “What is Creative Placemaking?” to learn more!
What are some placemaking strategies?
What is an example of placemaking?
I HeART Main Street is an example with Canadian Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and local community groups of all sizes and budgets producing fast turnaround creative placemaking public art projects. From painted outdoor furniture and parkettes and ground murals in the summer to storefront light installations and one-of-a-kind window art in the colder months, STEPS works with BIAs and artists to brainstorm creative ideas and placemaking methods to foster trust and a sense of community since the start of the pandemic.
The 2013 World’s Tallest Mural in Toronto’s St. James Town is an example that combines creative placemaking, artist capacity building and public art management to facilitate a unique youth city-building program and community cultural plan reflective of Canada’s most dense and diverse neighbourhood. This project transformed a 32-storey Toronto Community Housing residential apartment into a vertical mural canvas that engaged 3,000+ community members!
How does creative placemaking engage the community?
Community involvement is a crucial part of good creative placemaking. By starting from the ground up, creative regeneration projects can meet the needs of the people who already occupy the space and embrace newcomers as well. Read our thought leadership article “What is Creative Placemaking?” to learn more!
Want to get involved with STEPs Public Art?
Let's Work Together!
Explore our opportunities.
See our latest events, calls for artists, and employment opportunities.
Tell us about your needs.
We can't wait to help you reimagine public spaces in your community.
make an impact.
Support artists and communities to breathe creativity into public spaces.