Media Advisory: Back to Nature:Toronto Joins 40 Cities Worldwide In Making Public Art!

TORONTO, June 4th, 2014 – The STEPS Initiative, the Toronto Emerging ARTivists (a youth-led arts collective) and Wallpeople – a global street art movement invite Torontonians to join in a celebration of the environment through art in this 100in1Day intervention, from 12-5pm on Saturday June 7th.

Wallpeople is a global initiative that encourages community members to return art to the streets and reclaim public spaces as a means of expression, happening in 40 cities across the world simultaneously. This year, the STEPS Initiative, an award-winning organization that uses art to connect people to public spaces, is ensuring that Toronto is on the global street art map, by hosting one of over 40 simultaneous public art walls worldwide.

STEPS invites artists and art lovers alike to bring their lightweight creations related to theme – Back to Nature, for temporary display. Art of any style is welcome (that means drawing, painting, illustration, photography, collage, comics, paper, cardboard, canvas, crochet, prints, mixed compositions, badges, handmade cards, origami, album covers, vinyl, cassettes painted, post-its, all of it!), as long as it relates to nature, and does not require nails or hooks to be hung.

Attendees of all ages will also be invited to participate in other eco-arts activities, led in collaboration by the the Toronto Emerging ARTivists, a youth-led arts collective who has been transforming public spaces across the city in partnership with STEPS. In keeping with the theme of environmental art, community members will decorate tiles with found objects that will adorn a beautiful sculpture to be installed in the Thorncliffe Park community, in collaborator with Trashswag and local designer Andrew Chiu. Materials will be provided, but attendees are encouraged to bring recycled material that find inspiring with them.

This event is a part of the 100 Interventions in 1 Day Festival, a citizen-driven festival will unite people across the city to make Toronto a better place by creating acts of urban change across the region. These diverse and far-reaching interventions will not only raise awareness of urban and social issues, but inspire ideas, and motivate leaders to consider new approaches to old problems. This activation encourages passersby to rethink their initial perceptions of their environment or objects they may consider “waste.”

WHEN: June 7th noon – 5pm
WHERE: East York Town Centre (45 Overlea Blvd) parking lot – near the Petro Canada.
VISUALS: Action photos/videos of community members making art from recycled materials, as well as public art wall adorned with new and pre-fabricated environmental art and planters made from pop-bottles.
Interviews with youth, artists and community members will also be available.

The STEPS Initiative

The STEPS (Sustainable Thinking and Expression on Public Space) Initiative is an award-winning nonprofit that uses art to connect people with public spaces. STEPS seeks to challenge and change the ways in which public spaces are currently being used, how citizens communicate on environmental issues and the role of the artist in community development. They have led large-scale public art projects across the GTA, including the installation of the World’s Tallest Mural in Summer 2013. STEPS and their youth-led arts collective, the Toronto Emerging ARTivists are supported by the Ontario Arts Council; the Ontario Trillium Foundation; the Laidlaw Foundation. The STEPS Initiative is an incubated project of the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), who generously provide a wealth of in-kind supports to the organization.

Media Contact

Vera Belazelkoska, Community Engagement Coordinator, the STEPS initiative (647)-273-5397 or
@WallPeople // @STEPSInitiative // @TOEmergingART // @100in1dayTO
#Wallpeople // #100in1day // #ARTivism



Toronto Emerging ARTivist members prepare for a community painting day at the World’s Tallest Mural
Photo credit: Hello Foto



Toronto Emerging ARTivists working on pop bottle planters, as part of their ECO ARTivism Initiative that was unveiled during National Youth Arts Week.
Photo credit: Alexis Kane Speer