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 (5 in 2019)
      • Traffic wraps (20 in 2019)
      • Unique public furniture (2019)
      • 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 and will include second year students as well as third year students. All artwork will be archived and used on a continuing basis for traffic box wraps throughout the city.

Students have selected the SSM Museum as the location for their Grad Show in May, FutureSSM will support venue costs as well as support students with marketing of event and will have a “promo booth” at the show.


The 5 public murals will be focused mainly in the downtown area, with a combination of supporting where possible redevelopment in initiatives already in progress.

  • A minimum of 2 mural will be by Indigenous artists.
  • A design brief will be created for each of the murals and will outline themes and scope of work for potential artists/groups who wish to participate in the project.
  • Mural development may be a blend of public solicited proposals as well as pre/directly selected art work.
  • Review Committee will be formed similar to the Traffic Box Project.
  • Where possible, students participating in the Traffic Box Project (Sault College, Algoma University, Algoma District School Board) will be offered participation, mentorship, networking, skills development and portfolio building opportunities.