Recycling Canoes

Culture Days -Award Winning Project Outstanding Participatory Program 

The Culture Days event in Milton is one of my favorite events. For the last three years I’ve had the opportunity to team up with Art House and offer a two day activity in Milton’s cultural centre. 

This canoe project was one of many that have been taking place throughout Halton for the leaning green project. Canoes that are no longer functioning or in bad enough shape not worth restoring are picked up and given to artists who work with communities to give them new life. Then, the canoes are converted into planters and filled with indigenous plants, preserving the evolution of budding insects like butterflies and bees. 

 I was thrilled to have been given one of these canoes to play with. During the two day event, I split the activity so that participants could create something entirely new each day. The canoe was taped up into sections so every person had a chance to colour in a portion with the pre mixed paint. The excitement was palpable as there were inclinations to want to colour more than one at a time. 

On the second day, participants had the chance to leave a message over the painted portions. 

I enjoy working with communities because it allows for unique creativity to blossoms from each person. Some people come with acquired skills and unique talents to make their mark. Others come with an open mind ready to try something completely new. 

The result was a beautiful mix of scribbles, scratches, henna-like patterns, caligraphy, personalized messages and beautifully hand-written statements. 

I’m thrilled to announce that this project was nominated and won in the category for Outstanding  Participatory Program. Thank you Milton. Thank you Culture Days 2019.  

When Spring comes along, the canoe will be situated in Milton’s library garden. Stay tuned to view images of the canoe dressed up with greens. 

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