City of Toronto and Bell Canada step outside the box with one-of-a-kind urban art on the box Bell awards $20K to not-for-profit Style in Progress to complete artistic murals|
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Mayor David Miller, Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone (Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina), and Bell Canada announced yesterday The Bell Urban Art Project along with a $20,000 grant to the not-for-profit urban art co-operative Style in Progress. The grant will enable Style in Progress artists to paint one-of-kind murals on 40 Bell Canada Outside Plant Interface (OPI) utility boxes around the City of Toronto.
“I am so pleased that Bell Canada has answered the call,” said Mayor David Miller, City of Toronto. “Initiatives like these provide opportunities for local groups to build productive partnerships with corporate leaders like Bell as well as with the City of Toronto. I encourage other, likeminded groups and organizations to follow in the footsteps of Style in Progress and take advantage of the many resources available to Torontonians to get involved in beautifying their neighbourhoods. I commend Bell and Style in Progress for coming together for the benefit of the larger community.”
The Bell Urban Art Project, spearheaded by Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone, was initially a pilot program created to address community concern of illegal tagging and vandalism of OPI utility boxes and other street furniture found in neighbourhoods around the city. In October 2005, the City of Toronto recognized the pilot’s success and awarded Style in Progress a Clean and Beautiful City Award.
“At Bell, we believe being an outstanding corporate citizen is about investing in the communities we serve. The Bell Urban Art Project brings together many elements that we care deeply about as a company - our youth, our city, our communities and our neighbourhood street equipment - and demonstrates that care in a very tangible way,” said Renato Discenza, Senior Vice President, Bell Canada.
”When the initiative first started I realized right away that it was a win, win, win for all involved,” said Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone, City of Toronto, reflecting on last year’s pilot project that originated in his ward. “The neighbourhoods win the gift of beautiful art, the artists win exposure and funding, and Bell wins by demonstrating their conscientiousness to the people and communities of Toronto.”
To be completed by June 25, the Bell Urban Art Project will include one-of-a-kind artistic murals on more than 50 Bell OPI utility boxes in total, including the 10 completed through the 2005 pilot, from Toronto’s downtown west-end to the Jane and Finch area.
“Bell has given local artists an opportunity to show the public their artistic talents - and these graffiti artists have responded in a very positive way,” said Janna Van Hoof, founder of Style in Progress. “This project taps into inner-city street culture while providing space for artists to be publicly accepted. In having well-known graffiti artists choose and paint these boxes, we’ve created a unique place that should help legitimize their artwork to the public.”
About Style in Progress
Style in Progress is a not-for-profit organization that promotes urban art, music, dance and fashion through strategic events and partnerships and bridges the gap between young emerging artists and the general public. Art exhibits and community development programs such as the Bell Box project provide an outlet in which people of all ages and ethnicities may appreciate and better understand urban art forms such as graffiti, break dancing and hip hop music. For more information, visit http://www.styleinprogress.ca.
Upcoming Style in Progress Events
July 7 to 9: Beats, Breaks and Culture
July 21 to 23: Style in Progress
About the Clean and Beautiful City Initiative
The Clean and Beautiful City initiative is a program launched by the City of Toronto to develop and implement programs that encourage the participation of individuals, community groups and the private sector to clean and beautify City parks, boulevards and other City spaces throughout the City. For more information, visit http://www.toronto.ca/cleanandbeautiful/about.htm.
About Bell Canada
Bell Canada is Canada’s national leader in communications with 28 million customer connections across the country. The company provides consumers with simple solutions to all their communications needs, including telephone services, wireless communications, high-speed Internet, digital television and voice over IP. Bell also offers integrated information and communications technology (ICT) services to businesses and governments, and is the Virtual Chief Information Officer (VCIO) to small and medium businesses (SMBs). Bell is proud to be a Premier National Partner and the exclusive Communications Partner to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Bell is wholly-owned by BCE Inc. For information about Bell’s products and services, please visit http://www.bell.ca, and for corporate information on BCE, please visit http://www.bce.ca.
Office of Mayor David Miller
Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone
Janna Van Hoof
Style in Progress
Bell Canada Media Relations