Mississauga Unveils Groundbreaking Art Project

The last several years have seen the LGBTQ community making strides in society, yet outside Toronto you see little evidence of that progress. Recently the City of Mississauga and the Peel District School Board changed that.

Students and staff from Peel Alternative School South, along with staff from the City of Mississauga and community members, just unveiled the first-ever piece of LGBTQ+ art for public space in Mississauga, located across the road from the Port Credit Lighthouse.

The project was initiated by the LGBTQ+ community, along with late Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey.

Tovey died suddenly in January at the age of 68.

“The LGBTQ+ and late Councillor Tovey paved the way for the opportunity to bring together students, staff and community members together to create a piece of functional artwork,” said Joanne De Graaf, teacher at Peel Alternative School South. “By placing the picnic table in a public space, it’ll provide opportunities to connect and understand the importance of creating an inclusive community.”

The artwork was unveiled Monday, May 14, at 11 a.m.

Image credit Peel District School Board

It is across the road from the Port Credit Lighthouse at the northeast corner of Front Street North and Lakeshore Road West in Mississauga.

Students, staff, delegates from the Peel board, City of Mississauga representatives and community members were on hand for the ceremony.

“As a member of Mississauga’s LGBTQ+ community and a mental health professional, who noticed the lack of representation, community and sense of inclusion in our city, I felt that it was my duty to spearhead an initiative that would raise awareness and create safe, welcoming spaces,” said Jo-Anne Beggs, project champion and community member. “This initiative would not have been possible without the support of late Councillor Jim Tovey and on-going work from the Ward 1 office. From the beginning, Councillor Tovey was enthusiastic and supportive of creating a piece of LGBTQ+ artwork and placing the finished product in a public space.”

The project was completed under Mississauga’s Beautification Program which aims to enhance public spaces in neighbourhoods and streets around Mississauga.

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