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Local landmarks and hometown heroes part of Canada 150 legacy

January 3, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Brock Weir

Canada 150 has come and gone and now, with 49 years notice, eyes are now set on Canada’s 200th anniversary.
Of course, that’s a bit ambitious but when attention does turn to the next significant milestone in the life of our nation, the next generation will have to look no further than the Aurora Cultural Centre than to see what it meant to party like it was 2017.
In November, the Aurora Cultural Centre unveiled the Milestone Mural.
Located on the southwest lawn of the Church Street landmark, it will be a lasting testament to the spirit of the Canada 150 Commemorations, a nation-wide wave which conjured up images of celebration as well as poignancy, reflecting on some of the darker chapters in our collective history.
All are represented in a series of permanently fluttering leaves, a kaleidoscope of colour created in collaboration between artist Ted Hamer and the community at large.
Mr. Hamer, who served as the Aurora Cultural Centre’s Community Arts Facilitator during the process, spent six months reaching out to the community, along with the rest of the Centre’s team, gathering ideas on what Canada 150 meant to the community as a whole as well as harnessing the artistic talents of a fleet of local painters to bring each leaf to life.
Unveiled November 19 by Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MP Leona Alleslev and Mayor Geoff Dawe, it serves as a welcome addition to an already iconic Aurora façade.
““Canada 150 Milestones Murals is a community message about culture and what it means to live in Aurora and in Canada,” says Suzanne Haines, Executive Director of the Aurora Cultural Centre. “The imagery and themes were created by the community as a source of enjoyment for all the community. There were many collaborations that were celebrated throughout the life of the project as we brought in schools, students from our classes, not-for-profit associations and our cultural partners to make their mark on the final installation.
“We warmly invite you to drop by and enjoy the artistic vision of this installation – it makes a great backdrop for a Canada150 family-and-friends photo! This is a true representation of the cultural identity of our community here at the Aurora Cultural Centre.”
Added Ms. Alleslev: “This mural involved 25 artists and over 900 members of the community who worked together to create a piece of art that will stand the test of time as a reminder of our community and our country’s rich diversity and heritage for future generations.”
The Milestone Mural Project was made possible with a $29,000 grant from the Federal government through specific Canada 150 Funding.
This infusion of funds not only facilitated the creation of the mural itself but Mr. Hamer’s position at the Cultural Centre.
While the Federal Government, in large part, footed the bill for the mural itself, the mounting and installation of the public art piece was funded by Council out of its contingency reserves.



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