An art mural project at St. Charles Adult & Continuing Education Centre will celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary from the experience of the newcomer.
The project, sponsored by the Fraternity Hispanic Association and funded by the Government of Canada, kicked off at St. Charles East 5th on Friday, June 16th at a cocktail social where Kitchener-based artist and muralist Pamela Rojas introduced her concept design for the commemorative art mural project. Adopting the theme “Journey of Hope,” the mural will chronicle the journey taken by hundreds of thousands of newcomers over the past 150 years to their new homeland of Canada.
“The design depicts the process of adapting to a new country – from the struggle and heartache that immigrants experience in leaving their homeland to the excitement and joy of beginning a new life in a new and welcoming land,” says Rosa Gonzalez, Secretary of the Board for the Fraternity Hispanic Association and mural project lead.
The mural will be permanently displayed at St. Charles East 5th, an adult education centre operated by the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board at 150 East 5th Street in Hamilton that has provided English language training and other educational programs to newcomer learners for over 30 years. The adult education centre is also home to the Fraternity Hispanic Association whose programs and meetings are held at the site.
It is fitting that the mural will be located in a place where “so many newcomers come to learn English and develop skills that will help them to succeed in Canada,” says Gonzalez.
Sandie Pizzuti, Superintendent of Education for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board which owns and operates St. Charles East 5th, says the art mural will not only “highlight the trials and tribulations of newcomers in settling in a new country, but will recognize the excellent work that our province and country do in supporting new immigrants.”
“The mural will show the joy, hope and optimism that are the result of our settlement efforts.”
While Pamela Rojas has created the overall design for the art mural, Gonzalez says community volunteers will be invited to assist with the painting. The project will begin in July.
The mural will be painted on several panels using a ‘paint by numbers' format. The panels will then be mounted on the west facing exterior gymnasium wall for a finished mural measuring 44 ft. x 16 ft.
An official unveiling ceremony of the Canada150 art mural will follow in October 2017.