Neighbourhood Placemaking provides guidance and support to community members interested in hosting a project in their neighbourhood. This could be intersection painting, the building of benches for a local gathering place, a community garden, or any idea that brings together community members to create public art that activates shared public spaces to give a sense of place and build community.
Municipal staff provide support to seek necessary approvals and works collaboratively with community members to design accessible, creative and successful project plans. If the project is a street mural, the municipality also provides staff support for project painting days.
Local placemaking advocate, Greg Woolner, describes placemaking as "Community working together to make (a) place special. They make it a place where people want to go to, where they feel safe and welcome. They make it beautiful and interesting. They make it meaningful, an expression of their own local culture."
Neighbourhoods across the region have been planning and executing placemaking projects in their communities since 2011. Would you like your neighbourhood to be next? You're invited to apply to Neighbourhood Placemaking or get in contact to find out how the program can support your project. The tool kit & application form can be found here:
For more information about how to apply for a Neighbourhood Placemaking project in your neighourhood contact:
Residents, neighbours, the Joseph Howe school community, local businesses and housing centres of the Halifax Regional Municipality participated in a street painting project located at the intersection of Charles and Creighton Streets in Halifax during 2015.
The organizing group wanted to create an opportunity for neighbours to get to know each other by sharing a common project that would beautify the neighbourhood and cultivate connections among residents and other businesses and groups of the area. While the street painting itself was a central focus, painting day had an abundance of activities from jazz bands, choir groups, potluck, drum lessons, bbq, face painting and more. The community is ethusiastic about making the neighbourhood festival an annual event since the success of the project brought over 700 people together to participate and celebrate on painting day.
Contributions of all kinds, including skills, time, organization, ideas, food, and more were generously donated to the project to make this great event come together.
Artist and long time resident Marven Nelligan worked with the project core team and community members to create a design for the street that represented the rich storey of the neighbourhood.
Residents encouraged all of their neighbours on Roome St. and surrounding area to participate in the planning, designing, and creation of a street painting located at the intersection of Roome St. and Acadia St. in Halifax.
The process brought community members closer together built stronger connections, created a network for neighbours to draw from, and the artwork will beautify the street and creates a more meaningful sense of place to residents.
Community consultations were held in North Preston, East Preston and Cherry Brook in spring 2016. Over 200 people in three communities participated and shared what they loved about where they lived.
Three themes for the art work emerged as a results of the consultations. It was decided that each community would have their own distinct work of art. One theme is represented through the art work in each community. East Preston represents “Our Land”, North Preston represents “Our Faith” and Cherry Brook represents “Our Family. Each art work connects to create a large picture called “Our Home”.
Consultations allowing community feedback and approval of the artwork which continued throughout the summer, with the first paint day scheduled for the end of August and the final painting completed in the beginning of November.
On paint days, the morning started out at 9am with a team of people ready to outline a grid and the artwork with chalk. With each painting taking place on Sundays, most community members contributed to the art project after their church service. In many places the children made use of each space as they became “too tired” to continue painting. They took up activities such as playing in the forest, playing basketball and playing on the playground.
The environment was an amazing atmosphere in which there was lots of laughter, smiles, food and music. People most definitely enjoyed the music and the social engagement.
Residents of the Findlay Community Centre/Hawthorn Elementary School area came together to plan a project that would celebrate community identity and pride, grow new and deepen existing community connections explore diverse uses of community space, and provide an intergenerational opportunity for all neighbours to collaborate on a fun and creative project.
An outdoor community operated film screen space is now installed on the rear wall of Findlay Community Centre. This will become a new venue for residents to use as a backdrop for presentations, regular movie nights, community and regional arts events, and for outdoor classroom opportunities.
The screening area is attractively framed by beautiful wall mural artwork of important Dartmouth imagery designed by local artist Lee Cripps and created by community participants.
Keep your eyes open for movie screenings this summer!
Local residents wanted to continue to build on the success of a recently built community garden in this area by creating a series of stepping stones that were made by children and families in the neighbourhood.
Community members young and old rolled up their sleeves and pulled pounds of Japanese Knotweed, picked up garbage, and reclaimed the path that once wound through the woods to the garden but had become overgrown and unusable. The stepping stones will soon be installed along this path.
The stones reflect the community and incorporate some of the neighbourhoods incredible history. When a new foundation or garden is dug in this area, bits and pieces from the Halifax Explosion are often found. The group encouraged the community to collect these pieces and put them in the stepping stones. This community created memorial complements the more formal memorial in Needham Park.
For more information: Andrea at email@example.com or visit them on facebook www.facebook.com/Union-Street-Stepping-Stones-861118680600825
The Mulgrave Park Caring & Learning Centre, the Tenants Association, and the Phoenix Youth Program came together to work with North End artists Heather Wilkinson and Melissa Marr on a project that aimed to fulfill its residents’ wishes for beautification within the Mulgrave community.
Now, a vibrant path depicting symbols of music and movement leads from the entrance of the Caring & Learning Centre, through the parking lot, to the entrance of the Phoenix offices. The youth of the community access both programs, so the path highlights the connection, and creates a fun traverse between the two. The feathers and figures featured in the artwork, as well as the MGP logo, are direct translations from some of the talented neighborhood youth.
Event day saw so many people out to enjoy sun, music, painting, and a big BBQ; each adult volunteer hosting a team of children all eager to participate in adding a splash of colour and fun to their community.
This project was supported by the municipal Placemaking program and funded through a grant from the 4Cs Foundation www.4csfoundation.com
This project, a street painting and neighbourhood celebration, is located at the corner of Deacon St. and Windcrest Terrace in Halifax.
The aim of the project was to beautify the streets, inspire closer connections between neighbours, and bring a sense of safety through a more connected community. The area has a good sense of community that members would like to maintain and grow. It is hoped residents will be inspired to organize additional community projects to take place on an on-going basis.The local children were important and celebrated participants in this project and encouraged to exercise their civic voice.
The final artwork is the result of several sessions of community gatherings, brainstorming and discussing important topics relavent to this neighborhood. Local artist and illustrator Anna Stowe, has previous placemaking experience, and helped to interpret the community’s vision through the paintings design. Each symbol in the street painting has special and intentional meaning; The fox represents the Fox family who have lived there for decades, the horn represents the local artists and musicians, the blue bells nod to the streets past heritage.
This project was supported by the HRM Placemaking program and funded through a grant from the 4Cs Foundation www.4csfoundation.com
For more information on the project or participation, visit their facebook page.
Dartmouth North: HOME is where the heART is 2013:
The Take Action Society, developed in 2009, currently has approximately 75 active members from ages 5 to 17 years. They work to promote a positive influence in helping to create a stronger healthier community by providing opportunities for the community to become more involved.
HOME is where the heART is…” was a community art project initiated by “The Take Action Society” and was painted on the school grounds of Harbour View Elementary School on July 27, 2013. Funded by the 4Cs Foundation and guided by Artist Anna Stowe, this 100 foot pavement mural represents the history of Dartmouth North and all that makes the community home to its residents. There are two pieces to this visual masterpiece; the history of Dartmouth North is captured on the concrete barricades located at the driveway entrance to the school, and the community’s view of “home” adorns the pavement, driveway to driveway facing Alfred Street.
Chebucto Lane 2013:
Inspired by the success of the pilot project at Black St & Northwood, a core group of Halifax residents initiated a Placemaking project for Chebucto Lane. Community members came together over 8 months in a process which included creative workshops, history presentations on the area, school programs, art workshops and neighborhood walks and social events; all designed to bring people into a conversation about where they lived and what they wanted to see happen in their neighborhood.
Chebucto Lane was deemed as the center of the neighborhood; the connector between the schools and churches on one end, and the amenities of Quinpool Road on the other, and it was decided that it should be painted. Funding through a grant from the 4Cs Foundation,a private community arts foundation, allowed the community to purchase paint and other supplies, and work with local artist Anna Stowe on the murals design.
Painting day, on July 13th, brought together 300 Halifax residents to complete a 20 meter long mural on the street, play games, tell stories, dance to live music, BBQ, give away lemonade and chat with neighbors who were strangers before.
For this community, the painting was a way of taking control, of changing perceptions about the neighborhood and its diverse culture. The mural has since become a stopping place where people bump into each other and connect as neighbours.” Every time we walk by the mural it reminds us of how we can make change together”. – Greg Woolner
HRM Pilot Project 2012: Black Street and Northwood Terrace Intersection Painting
On July 14, 2012, neighbours came together to transform the intersection at Black Street and Northwood Terrace by painting a large community-created design on the street as part of an HRM pilot project, co-sponsored by the 4Cs Foundation. A group of community members, operating under the name of Placemaking Halifax, spearheaded this project in collaboration with HRM. It was the first municipally-supported, community-driven street painting project in Canada.
This program was inspired by Portland, Oregon’s City Repair model. In spring 2010, the model was introduced to HRM by Michael Cook from City Repair during the ArtsEngage! Symposium, organized by the 4Cs Foundation and other local partners. The City Repair model allows neighbourhoods the opportunity to organize and propose community art projects on city property. The community development model that City Repair uses aligns closely with HRM’s Community Art Program.
The project was open to all residents of the neighbourhood, who gathered several times over the spring months. First, the group shared both what they appreciate about the community and what their visions were of the future. Many drawings were created along these themes, and artists presented concepts based on these visioning and drawing sessions. Together, the community collectively decided which of the final designs would be the new face of the neighbourhood.
Painting day became a celebration with music, food, children’s activities, drumming circle, resident-led art installations, community discussions, and of course, the intersection painting. Hundreds of people came by through the day to watch and participate.
The success of this pilot project turned Placemaking into a permanent municipal program, and invites neighbourhoods to initiate projects that activate shared public spaces to give a sense of place and build community.
Northwood & Black St Street Party and Intersection Re-Painting
On July 19 2014, 2 years after the successful pilot project for the Placemaking program, the Northwood & Black St community hosted a repainting of the large street mural where these two streets intersect. Painting began at 9:30 and continued through the morning and early afternoon, with the annual street party performers and food vendors lending a festive atmosphere to the day. For more information contact Jay MacLean.
The HRM Pilot Project: Placemaking was co-sponsored by the 4Cs Foundation.
For information about the Black Street and Northwood Terrace project visit: