Councillors express concern about defacing of public art

City council will be asked next week to take steps to address a new rash of nuisance tagging.

A resolution to be presented at Monday’s council meeting by Ward 2 Coun. Lisa Vezeau-Allen and Ward 1’s Sonny Spina proposes that the city’s inactive graffiti committee be rebooted, particularly focusing on recent defacing of public art installations.

A block-by-block graffiti audit conducted by the Downtown Association earlier this summer found 143 tags had been placed on premises of 54 association members.

Thirty-four of the tags were on municipally owned property.

Monday’s city council meeting will be live-streamed on SooToday starting at 5 p.m.

The following is the full text of the resolution to be presented:

Graffiti Committee

Mover: Councillor L. Vezeau-Allen
Seconder: Councillor S. Spina

Whereas in November of 2013 then-Couns. Meyers and Butland presented a motion to create a committee addressing the incidents of nuisance tagging; and

Whereas this committee evolved into the Community Committee on Graffiti; and

Whereas multiple community organizations contributed, including Art Gallery of Algoma, Downtown Association, Arts Council of Sault Ste Marie, NORDIK Institute, Algoma University, Police Services, PUC, and others; and

Whereas the Graffiti Reframed Project was led and created due to outcomes of this committee; and

Whereas NORDIK published the Graffiti Reframed research paper in 2015; and

Whereas the city and community partners have invested in multiple public art projects; and

Whereas nuisance tagging is on the rise, most notably defacing public art installations; and

Whereas further education, outreach and advocacy needs to happen;

Now therefore be it resolved that the Community Committee on Graffiti be revitalized and staff develop a terms of reference and committee structure

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