Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC) has launched a call for submissions for the spring 2020 Gritty to Pretty placemaking program. Gritty to Pretty includes three grants: Open Grant, Façade Lighting Grant, and Mural Grant. This is the fifth year of the program, which was developed to award a limited number of grants for placemaking projects located in Downtown Halifax. These projects contribute to DHBC’s placemaking efforts to help Downtown Halifax encourage civic pride, support local economies, and improve public health – among other benefits.
"During this time of COVID-19, it's still important to support our local artists and businesses and continue to invest in Downtown," said Paul MacKinnon, CEO of DHBC. "I'm looking forward to seeing the kinds of projects applicants will be proposing. We will continue to enhance the pedestrian experience in Downtown Halifax. In the absence of large events and gatherings this summer, we know these projects will bring a smile to the faces of people that visit, work, and live here. "
To be considered for DHBC funding, applicants are asked to submit a completed Open Grant, Façade Lighting Grant, or Mural Grant application form at www.downtownhalifax.ca/grittytopretty. Additional documents that describe and support funding requests are encouraged. The deadline for applications for all three grants is Friday, June 12, 2020.
The Open Grant is for those who simply have a brilliant idea to make Downtown Halifax even more beautiful and the commitment to get the project done. Applicants for the Open Grant do not have to be urban planners or professional artists to be eligible. Completed Open Grant projects from 2019 include public flower xylophones in Grafton Park and The Curve parametric-style bench in Rogers Square.
The Façade Lighting Grant seeks to improve the architectural street-wall lighting of buildings on main commercial streets in Downtown Halifax. The façade lighting project on the historic G.M. Smith Building at 1717 Barrington Street was completed last year.
The Mural Grant is aimed at qualified artists/muralists and its main purpose is to add colour to the pedestrian experience. Recent examples from the Mural Grant program, include "Rio Abajo Rio: The River Beneath the River" by Jacoba Nieport, located at 1556 Hollis Street, and "Victoria, Roman Goddess of Victory" by Mike Burt, located at 1221 Barrington Street. Both murals garnered media and social media attention.
A NOTE REGARDING COVID-19: For the health, safety, and well-being of staff, members, and the public, DHBC is currently following the directives of the Nova Scotia Health Authority. DHBC asks that Gritty to Pretty grant applicants and recipients follow these directives when researching, creating, or installing Gritty to Pretty placemaking projects to aid in containing and avoiding the spread of the virus.