News Release
November 12, 2021

The City of Toronto and the Government of Québec will host a three-day virtual symposium, focusing on the future of public art in cities. The ArtworxTO symposium “Public Art of Tomorrow” will run from Monday, November 22 to Wednesday, November 24, as part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022.

This virtual symposium will celebrate Toronto’s impressive existing public art collection, while discussing the future role of art and artists within urban centres. Keynote speakers, panelists and industry leaders will discuss pandemic recovery and rebuilding — specifically the essential role of the cultural and creative sectors within urban areas.

Public art is at the heart of a city’s development and vitality. By reimagining and animating public spaces, cities can bring people back to plazas, main streets and neighbourhoods that were severely impacted by the pandemic. The integration of public art in communities city-wide connects citizens to their surroundings and assists with the social development and sustainability of the sector.

Building upon the relationship between Toronto and the province of Québec, the symposium will connect arts organizations, industry professionals and businesses from Toronto, Montréal and Québec to work together towards economic recovery. The Content Director of the symposium is MASSIVart and the three-day virtual event will be hosted on Swapcard.

The symposium will include conferences, panels, discussions, artist showcases, an ArtworxTO call for proposal to artists with ties to Ontario and Québec representing the theme “Public Art of Tomorrow”  and art displays throughout Toronto that the public may view in-person. Attendees will get to vote on the temporary public artwork that they want to see installed as part of ArtworxTO.

Confirmed symposium speakers include:

  • Tom Finkelpearl, former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Sara Diamond, President Emerita, OCAD University
  • Ana Serrano, President & Vice Chancellor, OCAD University
  • Ashley McKenzie-Barnes, Curator and CCO/Founder, D.PE Agency
  • Pierre Poussin, artist
  • Farnoosh Talaee , Director of Mayten’s
  • Guillaume Aniorté, Partenariat Quartier des spectacles, Montréal
  • T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss, Interdisciplinary artist (Toronto/B.C.)

Participating speakers, artists and industry leaders will be live from all over North America, discussing topics including: “Public Art: A Real Possibility for Social Change?”; “Actions to Take Now for A Better Public Art Future”; “How to Export Canadian Public Art Expertise”; and “Reaching the Community & Citizens Through Public Art”.

The symposium is part of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022, which kicks off the City’s new 10-Year of Public Art Strategy and signals Toronto’s renewed commitment to public art.

The City’s 10-Year Public Art Strategy is available here

More information about ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021–2022, including an interactive map of the City’s extensive collection of public art, is available here

Registration for the symposium is available here


“Public art continues to play a critical role in the vitality of cities, especially during this period of pandemic recovery and rebuilding. I’m delighted that the City of Toronto and the Government of Québec are partnering through this symposium to discuss the essential role of the cultural and creative sectors within urban areas and to celebrate Toronto’s impressive public art collection.”

– Mayor John Tory

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media contact: Media Relations,