In June 2014, Toronto welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the country and around the world as the City hosted WorldPride. While the city as a whole experienced broad tourism and visitation, a central hub for the festivities and guest exploration remained: The Church-Wellesley Village. The Church-Wellesley Village is the historical home to Toronto’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community. As a central point of events and social gathering, the Village served as a prominent representation of Toronto, making its appearance not only important, but an exciting opportunity for the coming together of community members to paint a renewed face on the neighbourhood.
The Church Street Mural Project was aimed at invigorating the visual appeal of The Church-Wellesley Village by connecting public spaces with community organizations and visuals artists. A group of 11 artists was selected to each interpret the history, culture, and community of the neighbourhood through a series of publicly-accessible murals in the area.
Together with Syrus Marcus Ware, I curated this project with the help of many people. This project was stewarded by the Church Wellesley Village BIA and supported greatly by Toronto city Councillor for Ward 27, Kristyn Wong Tam. Other partners in this project included the Title Sponcor BMO, and additional funding from Tourism Toronto, and The stART Program. Many materials were donated by Dulux Canada and Home Depot. Scaffolding for the project was provided by Scaffome Canada. Other community partners are The Ontario Lesbian and Gay Archives, The 519 Community Centre, The Art Gallery of Ontario. and The Church Wellesly Residence association.
To read more about this project, please visit the website.