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Proposal time for Church Street mural project

Painting expected to begin in the spring

An example of the kind of mural Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam envisions for Church Street. Credit: Courtesy photo

Which moments in Canada’s sexual liberation movement should be immortalized on Church Street as part of an upcoming mural project? 

This is the question that was asked of community members at a recent Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association meeting.

Some possibilities include the bathhouse riots, Toronto’s response to HIV/AIDS, the We Demand demonstration in Ottawa and the cultural impact of Will Munro.

A call for proposals will go out this week, says 10×10 curator James Fowler, who is coordinating the project with AGO educator Syrus Marcus Ware.
Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam first proposed the idea at the Church Wellesley Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) annual general meeting in December. She wants to take public art “out of the alleyways and onto the streets” by bringing artists and business owners together to create an open-air art gallery that reflects the culture and history of the neighbourhood, similar to San Francisco’s Mission District.

Concepts for the murals will come from the community, Fowler says. Once the list of artists is finalized, by February, the group will host a public forum to get feedback from the community. The project is working closely with the BIA, the neighbourhood association and the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA), he says.
“We want to ensure we represent the history and heroes of the Church and Wellesley area and of those who have worked hard to push forward for the rights of the LGBTQ community,” he says.
Eight to 10 walls have already been secured as sites for the murals, on Church Street between Charles and Carlton. Fowler is promising to release a complete list once everything is finalized.
Painting will likely begin in May and will run until September or October, he says.
“Some people have depicted the Village as something tired and over. I think Church Street is far from over. It’s going through a huge rejuvenation.
“The enthusiasm we’re getting on this project has been encouraging.”

Follow the project on Twitter @churchstmurals and contact 

Here’s how you can submit a proposal or get involved as an artist. The deadline is Feb 28.