$300,000 annual increase in public art spending coming to Brampton

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Published June 6, 2024 at 12:39 pm

The mural called o·tsísteˀ/ishkode was designed by Indigenous artist Mo Thunder and painted by muralists Jen Messon and Saphera Peters. (Photo: City of Brampton)

More public art projects are coming to Brampton with a price tag of $300,000 every year on top of more than $1.2 million already earmarked for artistic installations.

From murals to sculptures, monuments and more, the city is greenlighting its new public art strategy to bring more installations to Brampton communities.

A report to council this week showed a proposal to increase public art funding with a $300,000 annual boost starting in 2026 on top of more than $1.2 million already set aside for the city’s Public Art Investment project.

Last year the city worked with local artists on 34 new public artworks at a cost of around $700,000, and says the new framework and funding will allow the program to expand over the next five years. One of those projects was a mural called o·tsísteˀ/ishkode at Brampton’s new Fire Station 207.

The Family by artist Marion Bartlett at Brampton’s Teramoto Park inspired by the history of the Teramoto family in Canada and the demonstrable strength of their familial ties and spirit, despite any challenges as new Canadians.

Dubbed “An Artful Future,” the new public art strategy will focus on seven pillars including collaboration, community connection, reconciliation and Indigenization.

“An Artful Future marks a significant milestone in our journey to build Brampton’s vibrant arts and culture sector inspiring and uniting us all. We look forward to watching residents and visitors experience the creativity that lives here,” Mayor Patrick Brown said in a statement.

The consolidating capital budgets means the additional funding will be offset for next year, but starting in 2026 the fund will jump to $300,000 annually as the city’s Public Art Working Group looks for ways to add public art elements into existing and future projects.

Funding for additional projects would be on top of the annual $300,000 budget and could go ahead with approval from the mayor.

GhostTrain by artist Ron Baird pays tribute to the role railways had in shaping Brampton.

The city gathered feedback from residents last year on the future of Brampton’s public collection, which includes a wide range of mediums, styles and forms including murals – like to honouring killed Brampton rapper Sidhu Moose Wala – and sculptures, or interactive new-media installations like the GhostTrain installation on Commuter Drive.

The city has not said where in the city’s coffers the additional $300,000 per year will come from.

City spending on projects has ramped up in Brampton over the last three years which have seen strategic reserve funds drop by $190 million to under $9.5 million.

Some big-ticket items include $40 million on property acquisitions, $7.3 million on the Algoma University expansion, and more than $27 million on the new Toronto Metropolitan University Brampton School of Medicine.

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