FUTURE: Sault Ste. Marie

Community Art Project (CAP)

A Community Art Project (CAP) was identified by the FutureSSM Arts & Culture Action Team (ACAT) as a priority in the development of the arts and culture sector.

“Public art generates tangible and intangible benefits, and in the most successful instances, it becomes an integral and beloved part of the community. Enhancing its environment, art enriches residents’ lives, instills a sense of civic pride, creates a shared history, connects communities, and provides opportunities for dialogue, engagement, and learning. By promoting cultural participation, public art stimulates cultural industries and the creative economy. And, especially important to the revitalization of Rust Belt cities, public art boosts the economy in a hyper-local way. The economic impacts benefit residents directly, driving spending to local businesses and creating jobs and opportunities for artists and residents alike.” (source: https://urbanland.uli.org/planning-design/enriching-city-public-art/ )

CAP will consist of a number of public art initiatives that will be implemented over the course of the FutureSSM project and include:

      • Murals
      • Traffic wraps 
      • Unique public furniture 
      • Other creative artistic and cultural design implementation opportunities as presented.

The City currently requires artwork to wrap traffic boxes located throughout the city. This is to help prevent tagging, tell community stories, beautify the city (create points of interest), and advance tourism and economic development opportunities, while raising profile of arts in the community. At the same time, Sault College is seeking experiential learning opportunities for students to gain professional knowledge in a real world work scenario while building strong portfolios to assist in future employment opportunities.

The traffic box project facilitates an opportunity for both needs to be satisfied and in doing so also helps to promote the arts in our community and support economic diversification.

FutureSSM Staff conducted outreach to the Sault College Graphic Design Department, with the specific goal of involving students in the design of the vinyl wraps for traffic boxes, and was successful in adding the traffic box wrap project to the program’s curriculum. Students have begun preliminary work on designs.

The Project is being set up to continue as part of the regular curriculum on an on-going basis. All artwork will be archived and used on a continuing basis for traffic box wraps throughout the city.


A series of public murals will be focused mainly in the downtown area, and will support, where possible, redevelopment initiatives already in progress.

The purpose of the mural project is three-fold:

1. Murals will increase Sault Ste. Marie's cultural vitality by introducing more art into the public sphere; public art initiatives allow for creative expression without cost barriers and promote a sense of identity and community. By connecting artists, businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations in this collaborative, creative project, the development of murals themselves can advance the arts & culture sector in our community. 

2. Murals create destinations resulting in increased foot traffic, while adding colour, vibrancy and character to an urban environment. A more vibrant downtown will attract more locals and tourists alike, who shop at local stores and eat at local restaurants, thereby supporting economic development in Sault Ste. Marie.

3. Finally, through the development of youth-oriented curriculum, this mural project will provide students in our community with opportunities for experiential learning and mentorship. FutureSSM is working with Sault College, Algoma University, and others to involve students in this process.

Click HERE for more information. 

GFL Memorial Gardens Mural Project

Community partners have come together to create a series of murals inside the GFL Memorial Gardens. Approximately 80 students enrolled in the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) program at the Algoma District School Board will work alongside veterans, teachers, artists and other project partners to design and install murals in the Hockey Hall of Fame and War Memorial Exhibits, both located in the arena. 

Project partners:

Algoma District School Board

Algoma Veterans Association

The Beanstock Project

City of Sault Ste. Marie


GFL Memorial Gardens

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25

Sault Ste. Marie Museum

Soo Greyhounds

Thank you to our sponsor:

Compass Imaging group & sign systems




What are your thoughts? Let us know by commenting below