Greater Toronto Area local business districts gain support for public art

November 20, 2020

The Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) won the Community Engaged award for their storefront storytelling series “Humans of Riverside: Giving Voice and Making Space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC).” [1]

The Riverside Business Improvement Area (BIA) won the Community Engaged award for their storefront storytelling series “Humans of Riverside: Giving Voice and Making Space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC).”

The Steps Initiative has announced the winners of its I heART Main Street Art Challenge.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Steps Initiative, a Canadian public art organization that fosters dynamic, inclusive, and resilient communities through art initiatives and engagement strategies, along with the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), supported Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA’s) 11 Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) to develop 41 art installations in collaboration with 20 local artists.

Ranging from sidewalk decals to storefront exhibits, these installations fostered a sense of community during local economic recovery.

“Our one-of-a-kind table coverings in parklets captured the vitality and unique qualities of the Chinatown community, creating an inviting space for visitors to safely enjoy their meals, supporting our local businesses,” said Lucia Huang of Chinatown BIA.

The winners included:

Each winner won prizes in three award categories: Innovative, Community-Engaged, and Transformative. The winners receive financial and other support for future placemaking in their districts, including artist fee subsidies.

“RBC has a longstanding commitment to supporting the arts,” said Corrie Jackson, RBC’s senior curator and award committee member. “Our deep congratulations go out to all the artists and BIAs who participated in bringing vibrancy and creativity to the GTA. Your work has allowed for engagement with our streetscapes in new and innovative ways.”

Nastasha MacKinnon, from the Port Credit BIA, which won for converting its large cement benches into dynamic street art said, “… the challenge allowed us to undertake a project that we had been envisioning for some time, transforming our streetscape and unifying our BIA catchment through art. We are excited to continue the momentum ignited by this public art initiative.”

Endnotes:
  1. [Image]: https://www.signmedia.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/1-2-scaled.jpg

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