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 of Toronto, OCAD University and AVA Animation & Visual Arts Inc. Three of the BigArtTO productions take place at waterfront locations.

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 are 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.

The mid-September launch was held outside the Odeyto Indigenous Centre, one of two BigArtTO events scheduled that week. Wawatay, an Indigenous-led animated short-film made in partnership with the Seneca Animation Summer Institute and First [email protected], 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 online.

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 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.

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


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