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Meet our first creative partners

XOXO Downsview transforms the Downsview Lands into a canvas for arts and culture installations and collaborations. This is the start of a collaborative process that will last for years and include hundreds of participants.

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Our early partnerships prioritize artists and organizations that are local, young, and/or from Indigenous and Black, Caribbean and African communities. We have also endeavoured to use these early projects to foster mentorships between young and early-career artists and those more established in their careers. 

Danilo Deluxo McCallum

is an award-winning Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist, graphic designer, muralist, and cultural curator. His creative practice explores the multiplicities of Black identity through the lens of Afrofuturism. He has been working collaboratively with arts organizations, artists, and communities in Toronto for more than 15 years and is probably best known for “Patterns of the People”, part of the iconic “Toronto” sign in Nathan Phillips Square.  Danilo is the curator of ArtworxTO’s northwest hub of the Year of Public Art. As well as curating a massive BIPOC mural on the Downsview Supply Depot, Danilo is painting the XOXO Downsview Ulysses Curtis mural on the former Downsview Fire Station.

danilodeluxo.com

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Ulysses Curtis Mural

by Danilo Deluxo

 

Introducing Ulysses “Crazy Legs” Curtis: a trailblazing Toronto Argonaut running back, much-loved educator, and local hero. Curator and artist Danilo Deluxo has transformed the former Downsview Fire Station into a canvas that celebrates the impact and achievements of this admirable man. 

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Ulysses Curtis joined the Argos in 1950, becoming their first full-time Black player. Even 70 years later, he remains the greatest Argo running back of all time. He also helped win two Grey Cups in his five seasons with the Argos and stood up to considerable racial animosity.

Upon his retirement from football in 1954, Curtis started a new career, working with young people in the Downsview community. He became one of the first Black teachers at the North York Board of Education and spent thirty years teaching physical education, geography, and history at various North York high schools, including Downsview Secondary School, where he also worked as a guidance counsellor, football coach, and race-relations supervisor.

 

Ulysses Curtis died in Toronto in 2013 at the age of 87 but his legacy lives on in Downsview and with this mural. 

Mayor John Tory, Public Remarks, 

Sept 24, 2021 

Michael Pinball Clemons, Public Remarks, 

Sept 24, 2021 

Listen to the audio recording about Ulysses Curtis and the mural.

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