The Murals of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Murals
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Displaying Locations 135-139 of 721


501 Ellice Avenue    Location Map

'O Kanata'

Location: NW corner Ellice & Spence; East Face

Occupant: Y-Not Foods

District: West End

Neighbourhood: Spence

Artist(s): Annie Beach, Brianna Wentz

Year: 2017

Sponsors: West End BIZ, Herc Rentals, Goodies Bake Shop, Canada Employment and Social Development, Canadian Heritage, Canada 150, Take Pride Winnipeg!


Photos 1-4: Finished Mural; Photos 5-11: In-Progress Shots; Photos 12-13: Unveiling

Annie Beach: "The experience of creating this Mural has been significant for both of us. We were welcomed with words of encouragement from passersby each day and it made us feel truly bonded with the community. We were aware of the effect public art can have in vulnerable neighborhoods, but it was not until we started painting that we began to understand how integral programs such as the Mural Mentorship program are for the community. We would like to thank the community for making us feel so welcome here, and thank-you/merci to the Government of Canada, ESDC, as well as sponsors Y-Not Foods, Take Pride Winnipeg, and Hertz. And to the West End BIZ for their wonderful Mural program that gave us this opportunity."

Brianna Wentz: O Kanata is about celebrating the role of Indigenous Peoples, and honouring the beauty of Canada's natural landscapes. Smudging is a practice used to cleanse negative energy; we incorporated it into our design so that the smoke from this smudge can cleanse the land of the harms in the past. The child holding the smudging shell (Photo 2) is not of any specific race, culture, class, or gender, and therefore, represents anyone in our country's diverse population. The child also represents the future of Canada, as the country as a dominion is still in its infancy. This child is shown blending with the river and is rendered in the colours of the sky, as we hope for a future where we are all more connected to the land. Various landscapes from across the country have been represented: the prairies through the plains in the middle ground, the Boreal Forest and Rockies through the wooded area, rivers and the coasts through the waterfall and river in the foreground, as well as the Arctic through the Northern Lights. A beaver is shown crawling into the river (Photo 4), as it cleanses itself of its own negative history. The silhouette of an eagle flies from the east, a symbol of courage and new beginnings. Also included is an Inuksuk, pointing in the direction of the sunrise, further emphasizing a bright new future, as well as marking the scene as a place of shelter. At the top of the Mural shining in the northern lights, is the iconic Canadian maple leaf."

"The Iroquois village from which Canada received its name is alluded to in the smoke, as well as shape of Manitoba, as the name was derived from the Cree and Assiniboine words meaning 'of the Great Spirit.' When you look closely you will find small fish in the river; these were made with stamps designed by the participants, so they all made their own mark on the Mural. The overall aesthetic and colour palette references the Canadian and indigenous artists George Littlechild, Alex Janvier, Ted Harrison, and Shalak Attack.

Annie: "The concept in this Mural is meant to not only to celebrate Canada in its 150th year but also to share and recognize that the power to heal and grow is possible through the respect, celebration and protection of the natural environment. To quote Louis Riel, 'We must cherish our inheritance. We must preserve our nationality for the youth of our future.' To the youth of the community, this is for you. We must cherish the land that has been passed down to us if we are to continue to benefit from all that it gives us, and we must cherish the many peoples who have always inhabited this land if we are to truly reconcile. The preservation of indigenous ceremonies, culture, and the land in which they have grown- depends on you: the youth of our future.

Brianna: "Thank you again for this opportunity to share our art and time with the people of this community and we hope that everyone who visits this Mural will enjoy it. "

Robert-Falcon Ouellette (MP, Winnipeg Centre), at unveiling: "I am very proud for the young ladies Brianna and Annie who have worked so hard throughout the summer on building this Mural. I think about the Seven Teachings, and how you had the COURAGE to come to the West End and participate with people- not at the university but to come out of the University into real life and work with people and teach them art; and for it to turn out not exactly what you wanted it to be but makes it better in many ways as you're building community. I love it that you had knowledge and you gave that knowledge to the community here. And how you gave your love, in the West End as well as across Winnipeg!"