TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2021 /CNW/ - Northcrest Developments and Canada Lands Company joined Toronto Mayor John Tory and a host of dignitaries and guests Friday in launching the ArtworxTO Hub NORTH with the unveiling of a new mural celebrating the life and contributions of Downsview and City of Toronto hero Ulysses Curtis.
The painted installation was created by local artist Danilo Deluxo McCallum and was sponsored by Northcrest and Canada Lands as part of Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021-2022. The mural anchors a host of pieces created by local area artists celebrating the history and potential of Downsview as a destination and generator of cultural works.
"We are thrilled to show our support for ArtworxTO and the incredible array of exciting, talented local artists that have come together to put Downsview at the center of Toronto's Year of Public Art," said Christopher Eby, Executive Vice-President Corporate and Public Affairs for Northcrest Developments. "Beginning with Danilo Deluxo McCallum's breathtaking mural recognizing Ulysses Curtis, we look forward to families and people from all across the region coming to Downsview to experience the incredible diversity that these cultural works represent and embody."
Ulysses "Crazy Legs" Curtis is a Downsview legend. As a running back for the Toronto Argonauts in the 1950's, he became the team's first black player only three years after Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier in major league sports. Following a career that included two Grey Cups and several individual player records, Curtis continued to inspire others, settling in Downsview where he joined the then-North York Board of Education as one of the first Black educators. He went on to teach generations of students in geography, history and physical education. At Downsview Secondary School his influence was enormous, affecting the lives of young people as a guidance counsellor, football coach and race relations supervisor. His legacy lives on to this day.
Joining Mayor Tory were the family of Ulysses Curtis as well as local Councillor James Pasternak (York Centre), Councillor Gary Crawford (Scarborough Southwest), Co-chair of the Mayor's External Advisory Committee for the Year of Public Art, MP Ya'ara Saks (York Centre) and Michael "Pinball" Clemons of the Toronto Argonauts.
The Curtis mural is only one of several pieces in XOXO Downsview series. XOXO Downsview celebrates public art, culture, and local heritage through dynamic installations, murals and multimedia works. The series aims to highlight local artists, promote inclusivity and togetherness, and recognize the history and potential of Downsview as a destination and generator of cultural works.
"We want people from far and wide to visit and enjoy these art installations," said David Anselmi, Senior Director Real Estate for Canada Lands Company. "The cultural and artistic life of Downsview is rich, diverse and captivating. We're privileged to help share it with others."
In addition to the Curtis mural, the series includes a Painted Path by Jieun June Kim, the Downsview Wind Rose designed by Future Simple Studio with Indigenous flag, 'The Turtle and the Traveler' designed by Chris and Greg Mitchell of Born in the North, and an audio walking tour led by Jane Farrow, Principal of Dept of Words & Deeds. All of these works speak to the sustaining commitment to celebrating the arts and culture of the Downsview area.
XOXO Downsview is located throughout Downsview Park. Northcrest and Canada Lands own the adjacent Downsview Airport Lands slated for redevelopment over the next 30 years. Through the id8 Downsview initiative, local residents, small businesses and a diverse array of community and city-wide stakeholders have been engaged to help shape the vision for Downsview's future in a series of consultations.
More information about the XOXO Downsview exhibition available at https://www.id8downsview.ca/xoxo. More information about ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021–2022, including an interactive map of Toronto's extensive collection of public art, is available at www.toronto.ca/artworxto.
SOURCE Northcrest Developments
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