FutureSSM and the Downtown Association kick off Community Mural Project


A partnership between FutureSSM and the Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Association, the 2019 Downtown Community Mural Project consists of 5 large-scale murals in the downtown core. For the months and June and July, artists will be working to revitalize our downtown through public art, while also mentoring local youth in the process.

This initiative is part of FutureSSM’s larger Community Art Project (CAP), which aims to revitalize neighborhoods, provide mentorship opportunities for youth, celebrate local history, promote arts & culture, and create economic opportunities.

The first of five Community Mural Block Parties to unveil the murals and celebrate our downtown will take place June 6th from 10am – 3pm in the Paul Mall Alley.

People can check out the finished mural art work, as well as enjoy bands, jumbo games and other programming by Fringe North and the Arts Council of Algoma. Food and beverage will be available by J. Caroline’s, LopLops and Outspoken Brewing.

People are welcome to explore the mural projects throughout the different stages of progress. Below is a full schedule of events with artists and locations:

1.      Dates: June 1 – 8, 2019

Artist: Alexander Bacon (Instagram: @vizsla_bacon)

Location: Paul Mall Alley, 644 Queen Street E

Community Mural Block Party Round 1 & Official Kick-Off: June 6, 2019 from 10am – 3pm (official unveiling will take place at 10:30am).

2.      Dates: June 9 – 15
Artists: Rihkee Strapp (www.rihkeestrapp.ca Instagram: @rihkee) and Mishiikenh Kwe (Instagram: @mishiikenhkweart)

Location: Soo Blasters, 345 Queen St. E

Community Mural Block Party Round 2: June 12 from 3pm – 7pm

3.      Dates: June 16 – 22
Artist: Darren Emond (www.deviantart.com/darrenemond)

Location: Outspoken Brewing, 350 Queen St. E

Community Mural Block Party Round 3: June 19 from 3-7pm

4.      Dates: June 23 – 29
Artist: Patrick Hunter (www.patrickhunter.ca Instagram: @patrickhunter_art)
Location:  298 Queen St. E
Community Mural Block Party Round 4: June 26 from 3-7pm

5.      Dates: July 4 – 11
Artist: Jerry ‘birdO’ Rugg (Instagram: @jerryrugg)

Location: Rolling Pictures/Jorie’s Clothing, 498 Queen St.

Community Mural Block Party Round 5 and Project Finale: July 11 from 5-10pm

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, the mural project will provide students in our community with opportunities for experiential learning and mentorship. FutureSSM is working with Batchewana First Nation, Algoma District School Board, Global Friends, Sault College, Algoma University, and others to involve youth in this process. The process will also provide the opportunity for local artists to connect with youth in a mentorship roll, connecting emerging and established arts practitioners.

FutureSSM and The Downtown Association and would like to thank our generous sponsors. Without their support, this project would not be possible.

Artist Sponsor (2) – Kiwanis Club of Lakeshore Foundation
Equipment Sponsor – Equipment World
Materials & Supplies Sponsor – Color Your World and Cloverdale Paint
Artist Sponsor – Village Media
Artist Sponsor – Batchewana First Nation
Accommodation Sponsor – Holiday Day Inn Express
Accommodation Sponsor – Days Inn & Suites
Accommodation Sponsor – Quality Inn & Suites
Supporter – Michaels


  1. Awesome initiative!!

    Just one question: Is this illegal graffiti, or is it legal public art?

    And if it’s legal public art (with the 5 artists having the different building owners permissions to create art on the sides of their buildings) then why aren’t these building owners PAYING THESE LOCAL ARTISTS for their work?

    I don’t know, maybe these 5 artists have a SIGNED marketing agreement with the building owners?

    Unfortunately if they don’t have a written agreement BEFORE they start painting the building owners can theoretically whitewash any part of their work/marketing any time the owner wants.

    Not that they’d do that, but they can.

    If I were the artists I would definitely get a legal agreement signed, sealed and delivered before I started work. You know, “I, __________, the building owner at, ________________, agree to keep any and all art work placed on my building during the 2019 Downtown Community Mural Project in exchange for:

    1. the unpaid services of _____artists name_____, and
    2. _____whatever other costs the building owner has agreed to pay (if any)_____

    Owner Signature :_____________________ Artist Signature :______________________
    Date:______________________ Date:______________________
    Witness:____________________________ Witness:____________________________”

    Wait, the Mayor and Councillor Shoemaker are lawyers.

    They should do this legal work for FREE in the spirit of building a better community IMO.

    Just like these talented artists, building owners, Fringe entertainers, and youth mentors are doing!!

    Great community building work everyone!!

    Citizen Mark Brown

  2. Unfortunately the ‘nice downtown things’ don’t last more than a few days before they’re abused and vandalized.

  3. Awesome! I’ve been to places where they have murals on buildings in their downtown area. Loved it. Nice using local talent for a change

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