President Sara Diamond spoke at Toronto’s Economic Development Committee on March 1 to discuss a report created in collaboration by researchers at OCAD University and the University of Toronto. Published in Fall 2017, Redefining Public Art in Toronto makes a number of recommendations, including updating the city’s current public art policy, drafted in the 1980s, improving funding mechanisms and opening up the definition of “public art” to include digital and performance art, while integrating public art into all future planning.
“Public art increases quality of life for residents, it improves the value of the public realm. There are public art deserts outside of the dense downtown zones, and art must have a presence throughout Toronto,” said President Diamond.
The committee enthusiastically agreed that the research be reviewed by two city divisions: Economic Development & Culture, in collaboration with City Planning. City staff will report back with any recommendations and steps required to improve Toronto’s public art policies and practices.