May 10, 2018

Peel Alternative School South, City of Mississauga unveil first LGBTQ+ art project for public space, May 14

Late Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey instrumental in getting project completed, recognized

Students and staff from Peel Alternative School South, along with staff from the City of Mississauga and community members will unveil the first-ever piece of LGBTQ+ art for public space under the City of Mississauga's Beautification Program, located across the road from the Port Credit Lighthouse. The project was initiated by the LGBTQ+ community, along with late City of Mississauga Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey.

"The LGBTQ+ and late Councillor Tovey paved the way for the opportunity to bring together students, staff and community members together to create a piece of functional artwork. By placing the picnic table in a public space, it'll provide opportunities to connect and understand the importance of creating an inclusive community," said Joanne De Graaf, teacher at Peel Alternative School South.

The Peel board, City of Mississauga a​nd community members will unveil the artwork on Monday, May 14, beginning at 11 a.m., located across the road from the Port Credit Lighthouse at the northeast corner of Front Street North and Lakeshore Road West in Mississauga. To mark the occasion, students, staff and delegates from the Peel board, City of Mississauga, along with community members will be on hand. All parents, students, staff and community members are welcome to attend the unveiling and celebration.

"As a member of Mississauga's LGBTQ+ community and a mental health professional, who noticed the lack of representation, community and sense of inclusion in our city, I felt that it was my duty to spearhead an initiative that would raise awareness and create safe, welcoming spaces," said Jo-Anne Beggs, project champion and community member. "This initiative would not have been possible without the support of late Councillor Jim Tovey and on-going work from the Ward 1 office. From the beginning, Councillor Tovey was enthusiastic and supportive of creating a piece of LGBTQ+ artwork and placing the finished product in a public space."

"As a resident and the Ward Councillor for this area, I couldn't be prouder of this initiative and the sense of community it upholds," said Ward 1 Councillor Dave Cook. "It was created by the community for the community and brings a continued sense of belonging and openness to this vibrant neighbourhood. This long-lasting legacy, spearheaded by the late Councillor Jim Tovey, provides the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the city's LGBTQ+ community."

The City's Beautification Program brings communities together by enhancing public spaces in neighbourhoods and streets around Mississauga. 

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Media Contact: Karen Thomas-Blanchette, Vice-Principal at PAS South, 905-278-3396, karen.thomas@peelsb.com

Joanne De Graaf, Teacher at PAS South, 905-278-3396, joanne.degraaf@peelsb.com

​Jo-Anne Beggs, Project Champion and Community Member, 647-609-0236, hello@joannnebeggs.com

Karen Flores, Supervisor, Strategic Communications, City of Mississauga, 905-615-3200 ext. 5053, karen.flores@mississauga.ca

Ryan Strang, Communications Officer, Peel District School Board, 905-890-1010 ext. 2814, ryan.strang@peelsb.com

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