StreetARToronto, in collaboration with Mural Routes and the Corktown Residents and Business Association, is hosting the first annual Live Art Festival, a multi-arts festival celebrating contemporary mural, graffiti and street art. The festival will take place on Saturday, June 20 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the UnderPass Park located south of King Street at Lower River Street (under the Richmond/Adelaide flyover). Underpass Park is the most extensive park ever built under an overpass in Canada, and the first ever in Toronto.
“Underpass Park has become a dynamic new place for people to connect,” said Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell (Ward 28, Toronto Centre-Rosedale). “This event is a great opportunity for people to come and see for themselves what talented residents we have, as well as how previously underutilized public spaces can truly become special places.”
The festival will feature a First Nations Smudge Ceremony, musical performances, spoken word, dance, skateboarding demos, wheelchair basketball, other sporting events and children’s activities. There will also be live painting events by many of Toronto’s best street artists and the creation of five iconic murals on pillars facing lower River Street.
The murals will be created by celebrated street artists Labrona and Troy Lovegates, and pay homage to the structural and emotional networks of support embraced by city residents, visitors and commuters. The murals capture the buzz of a city in motion, while recognizing that people come together to celebrate family and friendship, and build community.
Labrona, one of the 100 street artists in the world, and Lovegates, a nomadic folk artist whose paintings appear both large and small on international walls, have been best friends and skateboarders since their youth. Both artists grew up in homes bordered by an underpass that they walked through for 20 years.
The Live Art Festival is being produced by Mural Routes with support from StART on behalf of the Friends of the Pan Am Path as part of the Pan Am Path Art Relay.
StART, launched in 2012, is a program of Transportation Services’ Public Realm Section. It is an innovative, public-private partnership designed to develop, support, promote and increase awareness of street art and its ability to beautify the city’s visual landscape.
The StART Underpass Program provides opportunities for artists to create works of art that contribute to the program mandate, make walking, cycling and driving through Toronto’s underpasses more appealing, celebrate our diversity and strengthen the sense of place, inclusion and belonging within communities.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.