Equinox Community Art for the Earth Celebration
Over the winter of 2008/2009, a collective multimedia project was developed and created for the closing of our three-year ‘Conversations with the Earth’ projects and for the opening of our new guiding theme ‘Transitions,’ that we will look upon for exploration for the coming collective community art projects.

The project featured a variety of multimedia artworks including video creation screenings, installations, interactive artworks, community household exchange and clothing swapping, performance art, and ceremonies with local artists and residents and was unveiled at the well attended community ceremonial celebration this Spring Equinox of 2009 with over 250 residents in our community.

The project focused on honouring and giving back to the earth, offering recognition for the dedication and commitment for the grassroots work that has taken place in our communities hand-in-hand that has impacted our lives. The themes feeding the artworks were developed though collective participatory research and public dialogue with those interested in solution-building and inclusive community-building involvement. Over 200 artists, residents, families and neighbours came together this spring in the creation of a place for inclusivity in sharing their stories, experiences and to create a collective vision for transitions they would like to participate in for the future of our community. The groups welcomed all those interested in building a healthier, vibrant community for tomorrow’s generations to include their voices, respective needs and interests into helping us assess what residents who live here feel is important to them, help to guide us in shaping our collective community art projects.

Please feel free to visit photographs from the ‘Equinox Community Art for the Earth’ project and celebration here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mythsandmirrors/sets/72157615785661390

Please feel free to view the ‘Equinox Community Art for the Earth’ project videos here: http://www.youtube.com/user/MythsandMirrors

Victory Parks Poets: Transitions, Playground Chants, Bees and Butter!

In the spring of 2009, Myths and Mirrors was generously offered the opportunity to work on an exciting Youth Poetry Project with the League of Canadian Poets. The project began with workshops hosted by Sonja Dunn, Paul Dunn, Tanya Ball and Deanna Nebenionquit.
The workshops brought in over 50 young people interested in poetry, music and writing, guiding the group in organizing a poetry-based collective that explores and reflects their creative ideas about ‘transitions’ in our lives and in our community. The project enabled a dynamic group of young people to experience collective art opportunities with each other, build relationships, share their work and skills, and discuss issues in a creative, positive environment.

“We believe this project is an excellent vehicle to raise awareness about youth programs in our community, and will help youth. It will also provide youth learners the opportunity to meet with and learn from published poets,” said Joanna Poblocka of the League of Canadian Poets. The workshops and creation of the Victory Park Poets ‘Transitions: Playground Chants, Bees and Butter!’ was generously funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The collective took the opportunity to launch their bookwork of creative expression with public stage readings and interactive performances with hundreds of local residents and artists on Saturday, July 4th at Sudbury’s Northern Lights Festival Boreal, 2009.

Please feel free to visit ‘Transitions: Playground Chants, Bees and Butter!’ photographs from the project here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mythsandmirrors/sets/72157619326767833/

Please feel free to order copies of the published collective poetry book online here: http://www.blurb.com/books/731717-victory-park-poets

About the Canadian League of Poets:
The League of Canadian Poets is a non-profit arts service organization, a national association of professional publishing and performing poets in Canada. Its purpose is to enhance the status of poets and to nurture a professional poetic community to facilitate the teaching of Canadian poetry at all levels of education and to develop the audience for poetry by encouraging publication, performance and recognition of Canadian poetry nationally and internationally. Founded in 1966 by a group of five poets, The League now serves over 700 members whose work reflects the regional and cultural diversity of this country.

Victory Park “Let Them Be Kids!” Playground Design Project

In late 2007, Myths and Mirrors was approached by the city and ward councilor for the Donovan area in helping to create a community reflective plan for the redevelopment of Victory Playground. Sustainable CSA approved plans were researched and developed over two seasons with the Donovan neighbourhoods and handed into the City and Ward councilor. The design stages were led by families living in the area who use the playground and can expect to see some of the elements they designed to be installed this year. Please feel free to visit photographs that were collected throughout the spring and early summer of 2009 representing transformative wishes and ideas from the community of kids and families in the Donovan neighborhood for their playground re-development:

The photographs inspired a collective design that is currently being developed for it’s final design with the City and Community Action Network. Members of the West Donovan Elm Community Action Network were very active in establishing funding from other sources for picnic tables, benches, possible raised bed garden boxes, two totems for a multicultural carving project designed by community and installation of a sign for the Playground overhead.

Chelmsford Park Community Art Sculptures
This two-year project is a partnership with le Centre de santé communautaire de Sudbury at their Chelmsford and Hanmer sites. We received funding from the Trillium Foundation to develop community art projects and programs for francophone youth in Azilda, Chelmford and Hamner. We began the project in late May 2008 by hiring Céline Maltais-Blais as the community artist. Last summer she worked with kids in Azilda to create a collective sculpture which was installed at Rick McDonald Park, and over the winter she worked with pre-teen youth in Chelmsford to create a painting and sculptural installation about things in their lives that make them feel well. The project was permanently installed at the Centre de santé site in Chelmsford and with both projects, the youth helped to organize the public unveilings. This project led to the development of a community photography project by other groups who also participate in Centre de santé programming, which led to the unveiling of two other projects in the Centre as well. Over 100 people attended the unveiling and celebrated the community’s work.

This partnership also saw the development of a community arts project with youth in Hanmer over the summer months. Josh Herd and Sarah Bradley, two of our summer community artists, led that project, unveiled in the fall along with a photography project that another group of youth developed in partnership with Le Salon du livre du Grand Sudbury.

Heritage Park: Neighbourhood Transformations

“This mural looks awesome. This is the community’s pictures. I feel a lot better here — we don’t feel like we’re intimidating anymore.”
– Ryann, participant of the Heritage Park Youth led Project

The Heritage Park mural was designed and created in the summer of 2009 in respect for all those socially and consciously aware of our surroundings and each other who believe in working together for all of our common better tomorrows.

August 12, 2009 — Throughout the month of July, a neighbourhood in the Donovan community watched, visited or participated with Myths and Mirrors Community Youth Artists to talk about transformations in their lives, neighbourhoods and community. The core group of local youth created messages, images, and meaningful artwork for the mural now painted on the façade in the park, expressing what they wanted to communicate with the public. The mural speaks to the unique multi-cultural character of the area and leave powerful and positive messages and warm, welcoming, fun imagery for the next generation to enjoy. Approximately 35 local youth took the leading role, working hard to shape the project’s transformative power and make it become a reality.

For years, the façade has been the target of vandalism and has created problems in this Donovan neighbourhood. Many of the neighbourhood residents, local businesses, and city officials have been engaged in a long time dialogue, discussing options toward eliminating, moving or redesigning the handcrafted original landmark structure that stands at Bloor and Lansdowne Street’s Heritage Park. To the neighbourhood, it has been a home to many young people living in the area that feel they too need to be included and have space in the community. It was through the arduous work of community residents who raised their concerns and opened a dialogue to address some of the conflicts that have arisen in the community around the public space that the issue was brought to the attention of the Donovan Elm West Community Action Network’s Youth and Parks Committee.

The project development began through local businesses coming together and was led by Cosmic Dave’s Vinyl Emporium, who hosted a free youth music show for local teens as an end-of-school celebration. With the support of Bella Vita Cucina Restaurant, The Donovan Elm West Community Action Network and Ward 4 Councilor Evelyn Dutrisac, Myths and Mirrors took the opportunity to engage with over 50 young attendants to gauge their interests and ideas around the space. Paint smocks and brushes were handed out with primer to dozens of people to cleanse a new opening of possibilities for the public community space with a fresh coat of paint.

With the guidance and support of the Myths and Mirrors summer youth staff there was an opportunity to engage the participation of local youth, neighbouring residents, and local business, creating a space for the community to come and spend time together. In the center of the park’s main gazebo, a core group of participating local people took shape and they began to discuss some of the neighbourhood issues and share perspectives to look at the issues from all sides of the fence. Although many of the young people felt they were misunderstood, expressing feelings of being unwanted, blamed, judged or stereotyped, they too saw the local conflicts from all perspectives. Many of the youth also felt that if they lost their space, they would feel abandoned and the community would not be inclusively building together. Many residents who wanted to engage with local youth, build and/or mend relationships, visited the site throughout the project making the young people feel supported and creating a sense of togetherness.

For many participants and visitors, an understanding towards building a mutual respect for all people in this community has begun. For this Donovan neighbourhood, youth have seeded great hopes that the mural that has been created will inspire all local residents to include, support and create spaces with and for each other, as we have heard that all would like to work together towards the resolution of the neighbourhood conflicts.

We hope that this mural inspires all people who walk on this earth together to respectfully, caringly, actively, inclusively and with compassion, take care of each other, respective of us all.

Many thanks to: The Elm West Donovan Community Action Network, Our Ward Councilor, Evelyn Dutrisac, Skakoons Home Hardware, Cosmic Dave’s Vinyl Emporium, The Victory Park Poets, Bella Vita Cucina Restaurant, The City of Greater Sudbury, Services Canada, Topper’s Pizza, Sweet Nothings, our friends and families.

Please feel free to visit community photographs of the Heritage Park project here:

Mosaics on the Mountain

In the fall of 2009, led by Lori Missy Bergh, an experimental tile mosaic project explored simple symbols and images that reflected how young residents in the Donovan feel about the theme ‘transitions.’ The transformed images into mosaic sculptures were then installed in the neighbourhood mountain and have become functional public community art explored and used by area residents. The project will be completed in the late spring/early summer of 2010 and unveiled with the community.

Please feel free to view photograph of the ‘Mosaics on the Mountain’ project here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mythsandmirrors/sets/72157623193533758/

Family Strike Support Center Design Project

In the fall and winter of 2009, Myths and Mirrors participated with ‘Families Supporting the Strike’ in the creation of a strike support center in support for Local 6500’s families. The support center is located at 66 Brady Street, Sudbury, Ontario.

Please feel free to view photographs of the Family Strike Support Center design project here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mythsandmirrors/sets/72157623068952167/

Victory Park After-School Clubs

In the fall and winter of 2009, an after-school group for neighbourhood kids led by one of our own great board members always making a difference in the lives of others, Bobbi Aubin. With generous help through the Sudbury Metis Center for making Bobbi’s work possible, it’s been giving neighbourhood kids a chance to come together once a week, get some help with homework, be creative, talk and have fun.

Please feel free to view a few photographs from the ‘Victory Park After-School Clubs’ activities here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mythsandmirrors/sets/72157623068710731/