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Arts project ideas invited for Main Squared festival funding until May 18

Main Squared art projects submissions poster

Main Squared art projects submissions poster

Yet another art initiative happening in the East York area is calling for submissions from artists who can get a subsidy for projects that are approved. But interested applicants will have to move fast as the deadline for sending in proposals is May 18.

The “Main Squared” undertaking is being billed as a 10-day public art festival “that will activate and explore the under-used public square at the corner of Main Street and Danforth Avenue” the week of Aug. 26 through September 3.

A collaboration between the East End Arts non-profit organization and Toronto-based creative studio and artist collective Labspace Studio, the festival is offering funding of $500 – $3000 for projects that are selected.

The project outline (online at says the plan is that “drawing inspiration and insight from historical ‘public squares’ while tapping into community aspirations, the festival will invite residents, community members, and the general public to reimagine the square as a space for social engagement, discourse, and civic activism.”

The project’s website notes that at present the square, a 3-hectare property at the corner of Main St. and Danforth Ave. that features four apartment towers housing around 2,000 people as well retail outlets, “is physically in rough shape, with crumbling cement blocks surrounding a large concrete plaza, tattered half-filled signage, boarded up storefronts and no seats or tables” along with a vacant community centre unit.

However, it adds, that “given its accessible location, diversity and density of residents, close proximity to transit and other amenities, Main Square is full of unrealized potential as a vibrant, unique cultural hub.”

It expects to do that, at least for the week it runs, by using art installations, interactive activities, workshop and performances.

Applications are being invited both for new projects and existing ones “that are thematically aligned.”

For new projects, proposals should outline the general concept, process, and desired outcomes. For existing projects, proposals should describe it, why the applicant feels it should happen at Main Squared and how it fits the theme.

Preference will be given to projects that “examine, explore or challenge the notion of what a public square should or could be; reference, play with or challenge the traditional uses/activities of public squares; or explore the potential of public squares as spaces for social engagement, discourse, and civic activism,” the website says.

Potential project sites on the square, include empty offices and storefronts, a billboard, mural and performance space in the square.

Potential applicants can also direct questions to Laura Mendes at with the subject line: “MAIN SQUARED PROPOSAL”.

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