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370ft AFCY Rexdale Community Gateway Mural unveils at Kipling-Belfield

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370ft AFCY Rexdale Community Gateway Mural unveils at Kipling-BelfieldArts For Children and Youth, Toronto | ON

"370ft AFCY Rexdale Community Gateway Mural unveils at Kipling-Belfield

TORONTO, ONT., September 10, 2013 – Join Arts For Children and Youth (AFCY), along with the Honourable Mayor Rob Ford and Councilor Doug Ford in celebrating the official unveiling of the AFCY Rexdale Community Gateway Mural at the North-East corner of Kipling Avenue and Belfield Road on Monday, September 16, 2013 (10:00-11:00am).

With support from StreetARToronto (StART), corporate sponsors and community partners, the permanent mural was designed and painted by a diverse group of eighteen dynamic emerging artists from Rexdale and across Toronto. This month-long AFCY project, which provided summer employment and volunteer opportunities for youth, was guided by lead artist Emilia Jajus, a local professional mural artist, and two youth arts assistants from AFCY, along with other youth artists from AFCY and Tropicana Community Services.

Located on the east side of Kipling Avenue on a 370-foot-long retaining wall situated just north of Belfield Road in the Jamestown Community (Ward 2), the mural is one of two public murals that will form the gateway to the Rexdale community. Plans are in place for a second AFCY mural on the west side in the summer of 2014.

The mural depicts local icons, celebrated qualities of the community, as well as historical references and future possibilities for the neighbourhood. Imagery was inspired by the visions and ideas of local populations gathered during two community consultations.

“The project is centered on three main concepts: youth mentorship, employment opportunities for emerging artists and the artistic revitalization of the area. AFCY, along with participating artists and partners is committed to transforming this space into a beautiful architectural urban landmark that holds meaning and relevance for the community and for the city at large. AFCY plans to submit corresponding grants next spring to complete the second wall which faces west,” explains Julie Frost, AFCY’s Artistic and Executive Director.

AFCY Rexdale Community Gateway Mural is generously supported by the City of Toronto’s StreetARToronto (StART) program, Toronto Pearson International Airport Authority, Woodbine Entertainment Group, RBC Foundation, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life, Dufferin Concrete, GO Transit/Metrolinx, Ministry of Transportation Ontario, General Paint, Para Paints, Tropicana Youth Services, Soheil Mosun Ltd, Lowe’s, Exclusive Alarms Corp, Home Depot and Mark’s Work Wearhouse. AFCY would also like to thank Councilor Doug Ford and Mayor Rob Ford for their dedicated involvement."

(submitted by Tharmila Rajasingam, AFCY)

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Tharmila Rajasingam

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