Arts Etobicoke is thrilled to be bringing Augmented Reality (AR) to The Village of Islington! Over the next six months, we are working with our four lead artists to combine AR technology and the story-telling of Indigenous and New Canadian artists to overlay a new narrative on the pre-existing historical murals in The Village of Islington. Our project will diversify the artistic narrative of our community to more accurately reflect the citizens who live and work in The Village of Islington. The incredible lead artists are Philip Cote, Susan Blight, Hector Centeno, and Luke Garwood

The current murals are a fantastic tourist resource, however we want to add to them to reflect the very diverse and ever-evolving demographics of our community. We are taking this opportunity to add to the narrative, telling a broader story of our community, and focusing on immigration and Indigenous voices. 

2021 is the Year of Public Art in Toronto and we are excited to launch augmentations on four of the 30 murals in our community for January 2021! 

We want you to be involved! All our community workshops are free, however, they are intended for community members who live or work within a 1 km radius of The Village of Islington. This project is designed to more accurately represent the people who live and work in this community so we want to make sure that registration is targeted to community members. Click on the links below to find out more and to register for a workshop.

For more information, to share your feedback, or ask any questions, please contact Akshata Naik at You can speak to Akshata in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, or Kannada.

Philip Cote, of Moose Deer Point First Nation is a Young Spiritual Elder, Indigenous Artist, Activist, Educator, Historian and Ancestral Knowledge Keeper. Philip is a graduate of OCAD University’s Interdisciplinary Art Media and Design Masters program. 

He is engaged in creating opportunities for art-making and teaching methodologies through Indigenous symbolism, traditional ceremonies, history, oral stories, and land-based pedagogy. His art and teaching philosophy evolves from his practice of experiential learning and the transmission of Indigenous Knowledge. 

Philip has shared his knowledge with numerous institutions from York University, the Art Gallery of Ontario, University of Toronto, OCAD University, Peel District School Board and the TDSB.  Philip is also a tour guide with “First Story” since 2005, providing an Indigenous history of Toronto covering the last 13,500 years and as far back as 130,000 years. Philip has won numerous TABIA awards for his public street art murals across the City of Toronto.

Susan Blight (Anishinaabe, Couchiching First Nation) is an interdisciplinary artist working with public art, site-specific intervention, photography, film and social practice. Her solo and collaborative work engages questions of personal and cultural identity and its relationship to space. Susan is co-founder of Ogimaa Mikana, an artist collective working to reclaim and rename the roads and landmarks of Anishinaabeg territory with Anishinaabemowin and is a member of the Indigenous Routes artist collective which works to provide free new media training for Indigenous youth. Her writing has been published in Shameless Magazine, the Globe & Mail, and on the Decolonization: Indigeneity, Society, and Education blog and she is the recipient of a 2014 IDERD award for her anti-racism work at the University of Toronto. Susan received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from the University of Manitoba, a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Windsor in Integrated Media, and is a PhD student in Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (UofT). In August 2019, Susan joined OCAD University as Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture and as Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Hector Centeno is a digital media creator with over two decades of experience as an independent artist, interactive systems programmer and designer, and digital media technician.

As an artist, he focuses on the aesthetic potential of immersive digital sound and visuals that seek to engage the audience into a reflection of place, relationship and perception of reality. His work includes national and international presentations of multi-channel sound art, interactive installation art, and virtual reality experiences.

As a media technician and designer, he has worked for organizations including New Adventures in Sound Art, Impossible Things (AR) and for multiple independent media artists. He currently teaches at OCADU and George Brown College.

Click here to watch our Augmented Reality in the Village of Islington Presentation with Hector Centeno

Luke Garwood dances, choreographs and makes hybrid media installations. He has collaborated with many of Toronto’s foremost dance makers, receiving six Dora Mavor Moore nominations, and landing a win for best ensemble in Heidi Strauss’ what it’s like. As a designer, Garwood draws from his performance background to create hybrid media pieces that thematically address the body in digital space. He utilizes technologies such as motion capture, VR, AR, volumetric scanning, and 3D modelling to create interactive, hands-on pieces in which viewers have the ability to directly affect their experience of the work.

This project is supported through Toronto Arts Council Strategic Funding and by technical provider Albedo Informatics.