Art & Culture

Do you want a beautiful city?

Photo by Matthew Blackett
Photo by Matthew Blackett

At the end of my talk at Manchester Urban Screens, I proposed a call to action, asking people to “get out their pencils” and write to their local politicians to ensure that art and culture becomes a priority in public space, and that billboard operators are compelled to give over space and time to artists and local communities.

I couldn’t be more delighted, then, with the marvellous Beautiful City initiative in Toronto. The Alliance is made up of 42 organizations, who are collectively proposing the BCBF (Beautiful City Billboard Fee), which “…will hold billboard advertisers accountable for their impact on public space via a charge on each billboard (tax or fee – to be determined by staff), with revenues dedicated to art in the public sphere.”

The possibility of this happening is real! A bill proposing this will go before Toronto city councillors soon. What can you do to support it?

  • Sign and circulate the petition at
  • Join their Facebook group.
  • Attend the International Youth Week Town Hall, tonight, Tues May 5, City Hall, Committee Rm 2, 6:30-9 pm.