Mirvish Theatre laneway transformed into a mural for NXNE

TORONTO, June 17, 2014 /CNW/ - With an under-utilized downtown laneway as their canvas, Canadian artists Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson will be creating a building-sized mural in Downtown Yonge this week as part of the annual NXNE music festival.

But it's not just any canvas.

The back of the Mirvish Theatre provides both the space and the inspiration for the mural, located where the theatre's stage door opens onto O'Keefe Lane, adjacent to Yonge Dundas Square.

An innovative collaboration between NXNE and the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area (DYBIA), the mural project aims to showcase opportunities for using laneways in a more inclusive and evocative way.

"With more than 1.5km of laneways in the Downtown Yonge neighbourhood, finding creative uses for these spaces is a key part of our mandate," says DYBIA executive director Mark Garner.

Laneways have traditionally been overlooked not only by festivals and events, but even the businesses that back onto them.

"We aim to change the perception that laneways are simply disused back alleys, but rather form part of an inclusive and vibrant downtown experience," he adds.

NXNE, along with creative partner agency Hermann & Audrey, is already focused on transforming the pedestrian experience in Toronto, revitalizing lost space and bringing life to alleyways using murals throughout the city.

Mirvish Productions is not only pleased to be part of this year's NXNE celebrations, but also to be working with the business community and the talented young mural artists.

"And we are especially pleased to be taking a pivotal first step towards re-making and revitalizing O'Keefe Lane, something that will grow into a complete transformation in years to come," says general manager Jim Aldridge.

Perhaps most importantly, adds Garner, the mural project is a catalyst not only for a greater focus on laneway revitalization, but also for stronger community collaborations.

The NXNE music festival runs in Toronto from June 13 to June 22, 2014. Painting of the O'Keefe Lane mural projects kicks off on June 16, 2014.

SOURCE Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area

For further information:

Mark Garner     
Executive Director & Chief Staff Officer
Downtown Yonge B.I.A.
Phone: 416-597-0255 x225
Email: mgarner@downtownyonge.com