It’s been a week in the making. Six youth artists were given the chance to come up with a mural depicting the role of aviation in the history of protecting Northern Ontario’s forests from the ravages of fire . The canvas was a side of a large trailer parked along the waterfront hub trail at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.
NORDIK institute sponsored the task to raise the profile of the contribution culture and the arts make to expanding the cultural economy. “Efforts by young artists to create community art and contribute to ‘place-making’ is being recognized as a crucial component of a diversified economy” says Jude Ortiz, a researcher with NORDIK Institute, who recently completed her doctoral dissertation on the contribution of the arts to Northern Ontario’s economic resilience.
The mural artists, Chole Thibault, Jessica Morin, Sophie Thibault, Alexis Givens, Helene O’Brien and Ally Sarstav started by with a collaboration of pencil sketches and then defined into the final design.
“The youth engaged in this project have used their creativity to help beautify the downtown” says Jessica Mooney, a graphic designer and communications coordinator for Social Enterprise Evolution (SEE) and NORDIK Institute, sponsors of the project.
This free workshop, a collaboration between the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Center and NORDIK Institute, builds on the “Graffiti Reframe” project that investigated whether building artistic capacity impacts youth’s opportunities for engagement and employment in the creative economy, and fosters community pride, place-making and tourism opportunities.