BigArtTO turns local landmarks and buildings into art canvases to show love to Toronto

BigArtTO, a City-led ShowLoveTO initiative involving large-scale projections in each of the City of Toronto’s 25 wards was launched tonight.

Mayor Tory was joined at tonight’s event by local Councillor Shelley Carroll (Ward 17 Don Valley North).

A city-wide temporary public art initiative, BigArtTO will provide residents with opportunities to safely explore city neighbourhoods and support local businesses and artists. BigArtTO will also set the stage for ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021.

Residents will be able to explore artwork – while still respecting public health guidelines – across the city with free access to more than 200 hours of illuminated works. Created by Toronto artists, the artworks will be projected outdoors onto local buildings and landmarks and will play on 10-minute loops Wednesday through Saturday evenings, and is planned to run until December 5.

Twenty-two of the BigArtTO productions are the result of a collaboration between the City, OCAD University and AVA Animation & Visual Arts Inc. Three of the BigArtTO productions will take place at waterfront locations and will be activated by program partner, The Bentway. These meaningful partnerships will provide opportunities for emerging Toronto-based artists and students.

ShowLoveTO, in association with Founding Sponsor American Express, has been designed with guidance from Toronto Public Health to provide a safer environment for participants. BigArtTO projections will be held outdoors with space for physical distancing. Participants must wear a mask and if attendance does not allow for physical distancing, they will be asked to leave and come back at a later time.

Tonight’s launch was held outside the Odeyto Indigenous Centre, one of two BigArtTO events scheduled this week. Wawatay, an Indigenous-led animated short-film made in partnership with the Seneca Animation Summer Institute and First Peoples@Seneca, was presented. Directed by animation instructor Neil Affleck, the film explores the relationship between the living stories of the Anishinaabe people and the journey of connecting to them. The film offers an introduction to an Indigenous culture and encourages people to partake in the Anishinaabe experience.

The original story was created with the guidance of their elders by Morgan Kagesheongai (Waag Waskinaga First Nation) and Ben Kicknosway (Bkejwanong unceded territory), who drew inspiration from the stories passed down to them through their communities.

The BigArtTO event schedule is available at https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/showloveto/bigartto/.

ShowLoveTO, in association with Founding Sponsor American Express and in partnership with Destination Toronto, was launched September 14 to encourage local tourism and foster community engagement and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to BigArtTO, ShowLoveTO City-led initiatives this fall include ActiveTO, CaféTO, DineOutTO, HistoricTO and StrollTO. Each initiative will be delivered with guidance from Toronto Public Health to provide a safer environment for participants.

ShowLoveTO is produced by the City of Toronto in association with Founding Sponsor American Express. BigArtTO is sponsored by Panasonic Canada Inc., Bell, Downtown AutoGroup, and Equinix. ShowLoveTO programs are made possible with the support of OCAD University, AVA Animation & Visual Arts Inc. and The Bentway and Media Partners  CHUM 104.5, Virgin Radio and Newstalk 1010.

The City has partnered with Destination Toronto to create partner programs to encourage local tourism and drive both economic recovery and civic engagement. ShowLoveTO is one of a number of key initiatives that the City has delivered since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March to help Toronto’s restart and recovery.

More information about ShowLoveTO is available at http://www.toronto.ca/showloveTO.

As COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community, residents are reminded to adhere to Toronto Public Health’s advice to stay home when they are ill, wash their hands often, stay within their social bubble of no more than 10 people, practise physical distancing with those outside of their social bubble, and wear a mask or face covering where mandatory or when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Wearing a mask or face covering is required in all indoor public spaces in Toronto.

Residents can learn about what to expect and what is required as Toronto moves into the new normal and they begin to visit more establishments and take part in more activities at http://www.toronto.ca/ReopenTO.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check http://www.toronto.ca/covid-19 for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

Quotes:

“BigArtTO provides residents with opportunities to safely explore city neighbourhoods while supporting local businesses and artists. I know these past six months have been challenging and we are not through it yet, but together, following Toronto Public Health’s direction, we can safely re-engage with our city and be a part of rebuilding it even better than before.”
– Mayor John Tory

“The launch of BigArtTO today is an exciting and significant program for Toronto’s culture and economy during this challenging time, and OCAD University is proud to be a partner. Our partnership underlines the collective strength of artists, designers, curators and strategists working with and in communities for economic and cultural relief and recovery.”
– Ana Serrano, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University

The City of Toronto, in association with Founding Sponsor American Express and in partnership with Destination Toronto, has launched ShowLoveTO to help Toronto recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative encourages residents to show love for Toronto by safely connecting with neighbours, supporting local businesses and artists, and exploring their city neighbourhoods through a series of City-led and partner programs and events. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/showloveTO.