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September 23, 2009
Forthcoming June Callwood Park will feature Toronto's first permanent outdoor sound art installation
The City of Toronto announced today the winning public art concept for June Callwood Park. The park, to be located south of Fort York, is expected to open in 2011. This will be the City's first permanent sound-based public artwork and the first permanent public commission by Montreal-based artists Steve Bates and Douglas Moffat.

Bates and Moffat's work, entitled OKTA, is being commissioned for June Callwood Park as part of a City of Toronto effort to commemorate a profound and pivotal figure in our city's recent history. To develop their concept the artists started with a quote from a June Callwood interview with CBC in 2004.

"I wanted something to get up above it all, and I did it more literally than most people - I took up gliding. Flying is like entering another dimension where your body becomes flexible and gravity lets go. I once flew through a cloud - I thought it would be warm and fluffy, but it was ice cold. In the sky there are always discoveries," said Callwood.

Taking June Callwood's observations about flying and clouds as its starting point, OKTA will become an installation where multiple points of sound are distributed across the artwork site. As clouds pass over the park, sonic moments merge into clouds of sound - shifting, changing, and ephemeral. A sensor aimed at the sky reads current cloud cover, which determines the sounds that are released across the installation. Just as a cloud appears, changes and disappears across the horizon, so too will sounds across the site.

OKTA was selected through an open competition process that began in February 2009 administered by the Toronto Cultural Services' Public Art Office. An independent panel expert in contemporary sound art, local community issues and June Callwood's life selected both the short list of artists and winning concept.

Steve Bates is a media artist, musician and audio technician whose work involves improvised and composed music, radio and installation projects. He was the founder and director, for eight years, of Winnipeg's Send + Receive: A Festival of Sound. He now lives in Montreal working as Sound Coordinator at the Hexagram Institute for Research/Creation in Media Arts and Technologies at Concordia University.

Trained as a landscape architect, Douglas Moffat's work explores the relationship between sound and the built landscape. Using field recordings, electro-acoustics, and landscape architecture, his projects design and define contemporary aural architecture. Bates and Moffat's Soundfields installation has been featured at three editions of Montreal's international Jardin de Metis festival. For more information on Moffat's past works and the Soundfields project visit

June Callwood Park will be located between Fleet Street and Fort York Boulevard in the emerging Fort York Neighbourhood. The City's Parks, Forestry and Recreation division completed a competition process for the park design, won by Toronto-based Landscape Architects gh3. The park and OKTA artwork are expected to be completed in 2011.

The artwork competition and commission are managed by the City of Toronto Cultural Services' Public Art Office in partnership with Parks, Forestry and Recreation. For more information about public art in the City of Toronto, visit

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Shane Gerard, Senior Promotions & Communications Coordinator,
SDF&A Communications Unit, 416-397-5711,



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