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Daniels Mural Project

Land Acknowledgment

We wish to acknowledge this land on which the University of Toronto operates. For thousands of years, it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land with Indigenous community members.  

We encourage everyone to learn the Indigenous history of the land that we call home. We are grateful to all those that came before us. By using the north façade window of the Daniels Building as a canvas, the mural would be visible day and night to the community.  

About the Project

The U of T Daniels Faculty, the Daniels Art Directive (DAD) and Elder Whabagoon are issuing a Call for Proposals for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Artists living in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) to create a temporary mural on the north façade of the Daniels Building. 

We are answering the U of T Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action #2: “A strategy for the funding and placement of more Indigenous public art across all three campuses should be developed, in close consultation with local Indigenous communities.”  

Photo (Daniels Building North Facade): Nic Lehoux

North Facade of Daniels Building - Nic Lehoux

Site History

The land of 1 Spadina Crescent has been the home and an important trail of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples. Spadina is synonymous with Ishpadinaa, meaning “a place on a hill” from Anishinaabe.   

We are currently seeking more information from researchers at the University of Toronto and other institutions about the Borden Buildings (563 & 487 Spadina Crescent) where the Borden Dairy Company invested in malnutrition experiments on Indigenous children. The North Borden Building now houses U of T’s First Nation House.  

1 Spadina Crescent, now the Daniels Building, was built originally to house Knox College - a Presbyterian theological school that was run by the Presbyterian Church of Canada, who ran 11 of the 130 residential schools in Canada. We will share this deeper history of the site as we receive the information from validated sources.  

You can engage with Toronto’s significant Indigenous history and presence through the Driftscape app, for free on Apple and Android devices.

Supported by

This inaugural Indigenous mural project at the Daniels Building is guided by Elder Whabagoon, an Ojibway Elder who sits with the Loon Clan. She is a member of the Lac Seul First Nation, a Keeper of the Sacred Pipes, and a 60’s Scoop survivor. Elder Whabagoon is the inaugural First Peoples Leadership Advisor to the Dean at the Daniels Faculty.  

The Daniels Art Directive (DAD) is a student-led group that creates exhibitions, workshops, and community projects. They curated the first mural on the Daniels Building: “Support Black Designers.” mural, with its designers and Daniels alumnae Ashita Parekh and Tolu Alabi, installed from October 2020 to May 2021.

The project is supported by the Daniels Faculty. We are hoping for more funding to support the Artist, the Advisory Panel, workshops, and consultations. If you’d like to support this initiative, please contact danielsartdirective@gmail.com

Advisory Panel

The Indigenous Advisory Panel will select the Artist and guide the project team. We are grateful to the Advisory Panel for their guidance and service: James Bird, Melissa Deleary, Jaime Kearns, Robin Rice, Brenda Wastasecoot. The mural will contribute a greater understanding of Indigenous artistic expressions, peoples, and cultures. 

Call for Proposals

We are pleased to share our Call for Proposals (included in the form). All interested artists should complete all three sections of the online form, or fillable PDF. The DUE DATE IS EXTENDED to Monday, August 2, 11:59 pm (EDT).  We will support accessibility accommodations. Please save your form as you go. If you are submitting the PDF, please email: danielsartdirective@gmail.com

Templates for Submissions

We have included a drawing of the elevation of the Daniels Building north façade, available as a PNG, PDF, Illustrator (.ai), and Rhino (.3dm) file. Please use our supplied budget Excel spreadsheet template. Here is the folder of our templates.

Information Session

On Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 1pm, we hosted a virtual information session for all Artists to go through the Call for Proposals and answer questions. Thank you for the artists who attended. The recording with captions is above for any who were unable to join us.  

FAQs

Can I apply if I am based outside the GTHA?

This project will only consider proposals from applicants based in the GTHA. The lead artist, if not all members, must be able to visit the site regularly during installation.

Can I submit my proposal without using the submission system?

You may email the provided PDF or submit through the online form. If you have any difficulties with either, please email danielsartdirective@gmail.com and we will assist you.

Can I submit more than one proposal?

We are only accepting one (1) proposal per applicant. You can submit as an individual artist, or as part of a group / collective / organization.

How will the installation process be determined?

Members of the Daniels Workshop and Building Services and the DAD will coordinate with the artist on the logistics of their idea.

When do I need to complete my submission?

The deadline for proposals is July 31, 11:59 pm (EDT).

How will my proposal be evaluated?

All eligible proposals will be reviewed by the Advisory Panel. They may choose to shortlist before selecting the artist by Monday, August 16.

When will I find out if my proposal has been accepted?

The select artist will be contacted via email by Monday, August 16.

How long will the mural be installed?

The mural will be unveiled to the public on Thursday, September 30, 2021 and be de-installed in Summer 2022. We envision that the mural will also be exhibited elsewhere within the Daniels Building or UofT campus in collaboration with the artist.

What is the timeline for the project?

The artist will join in mid-August to refine and install the mural by Orange Shirt Day (September 30).

Mariah Measawige (@Makoose) Daniels mural project logo

The Daniels Mural Project graphic identity is designed by Mariah Meawasige (@Makoose). We share her conceptual vision statement below:

Rise
Sharing, Growth, Process

Borrowing its shape from the Daniels Building and the surrounding roadways, this concept sees two shapes come together to nourish a new space; of conversation, ideas, etc. The bottom shapes are gently holding, but not clutching, onto something that will eventually grow larger.

Contacts

If you have questions about this project or wish to support, please contact danielsartdirective@gmail.com (Facebook, Instagram, Website).

For media, please contact Hannah Brokenshire, Senior Communications and Media Relations Officer.