Art in Waterloo Region: Creating a sense of Place and Community

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by Lacey J. Heels

The greater Waterloo Region has undergone change, transformation and growth over the years which has led to diverse expansion both economically and culturally. Anyone who lives here or visits can feel that there is something special happening … but what is it? There are many factors, but one area that is enriching the scene, building character and bringing about a strong sense of community is public art and cultural events. If you are curious about what this phenomenon or movement is, we refer to it as creative place-making.

Creative place-making is all about leveraging the power of art, culture and creativity to not only showcase the character and quality of place, but to serve and unify the community. 

We can see this at play all over the region in various ways. It’s more than just something pretty to look at. Public art and events act as a mirror of the times, a place to go to get inspired, experience joy, to find a sense of belonging, to go on a date, spend time with friends, spark deep discussions, to feel enlightened or even just a great place to take a photo for the ‘gram’. When we break it all down, is all about sharing and connecting and feeling a sense of togetherness – it is a movement and each work of art, creative space or event acts as an agent for change, betterment, and revitalization of our shared community.

If you aren’t familiar with some of Waterloo Region’s public art, installments or events, we’ve curated a shortlist for you to go on an adventure and check out during the summer months (when the city comes to life)!


‘Continuum’ – ION Public Art

Public art is everywhere you look in the region, and there are no signs of it stopping anytime soon. Here are just a few examples of the numerous public art installments you can find all over the city. 

SPACES/ INITIATIVESpublic art waterloo region, art waterloo region, downtown kitchener

Public spaces and initiatives that put art and culture at the forefront are also plentiful in the region, here are a couple that help to highlight the general outlook of taking ownership in shaping our beautiful spaces, but also recognizing all those that contribute to making the community what it is, together.


TD Kitchener Blues Festival (Photo: Tom Haapanen)

We are so lucky to have such a diverse festival scene in the region. There are many festivals to attend that focus on art, culture, music and food for all ages, which bring the region to life in the summer!

Although there are many more examples of public art, initiatives and events we could list, these are just a few that bring such vibrancy and cultural richness to the region. 

“I think the art and spaces we are shaping in the region is not only a reflection of what we care about, but a statement of why we choose to live in Kitchener- Waterloo. It’s what makes us feel at home and connects us.” – Local Resident

The artists, decision makers and community members are creating a place for togetherness, discussion and discovery. And there are numerous artists and organizations taking the charge on seeing more of this in our region. It certainly is a wonderful time to live in Waterloo Region.

pride crosswalk waterloo region, public art waterloo regionSEE WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING IN WATERLOO REGION. CHECK OUT THE LOCAL BUZZ!

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