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Stitching together Canada’s diversity: Artists propose quilt design for Diversity & Inclusion mural

September 30, 2021   ·   0 Comments

Canada has been stitched together by many hands from many cultures.

That is a theme that could soon be reflected on the southwest corner of Yonge and Wellington if a proposal from the Moonlight Murals Collective is accepted by Council.

Moonlight’s proposal is the winning submission in an open call for artists to create the Town’s new Diversity & Inclusion mural.

Their vision was one of five qualified proposals submitted to the Town and evaluated by a selection committee comprised of members of the Town’s Anti-Black Racism and Anti-Racism Task Force, a representative from the Aurora Cultural Centre, and Phil Rose, Manager of the Town Square redevelopment.

“For this project, we want to portray the idea of Canadians of all backgrounds, coming together in order to build and produce beauty together by way of sewing a quilt,” say the artists, a collective of Iranian-born artists Ghazaleh Rastgar, Melika Saeea and Yasaman Mehrsa, who describe themselves as immigrants who moved to Canada at an older age.

“We depict a number of different coloured hands who are putting together a beautiful quilt made up of a variety of textiles with different designs and motifs. The different coloured hands suggesting different races and the textiles are traditional prints from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.

“If we are chosen for this project, we will add more details and more patches in the quilt, ensuring the message comes across strongly.”

Should their vision be realized with Council’s approval, it will take the form of a digital print wrap that will be placed on the northern wall of 15242 Yonge Street, which would be on the right side of Yonge Street for southbound drivers through the Town’s busiest intersection.

“This particular location has many windows which can be visual interruptions for most designs, but when it comes to ours, it will actually work perfectly,” say the artists. “Our design can be easily manipulated and adjusted based on the canvas it will be applied on. The message of the patchwork quilt will be easily understood even with the windows interrupting the design. We will also be able to adjust the placement of the sewing hands to ensure they don’t fall where the windows are. We would like this location as it is the most visible to the community.

“As the city aims to raise awareness about the significant achievements made by diverse individuals from Canada’s past and present, we find this theme very fitting while not isolating one person [or] group. Our message includes everyone and is a strong message of unity. We are all Canadians while being from around the world and we are always striving to better ourselves, our communities and our hometown.

“The message this represents means a lot to us, as immigrant artists. Throughout our time in Canada, specifically the GTA, we have been able to not only build better lives for ourselves, but have also got to collaborate and work with people from a variety of backgrounds in order to make the city more beautiful. We find that we are constantly inspired by people from different cultures and love the fact that we can also inspire others by what we bring into communities by way of art. We have also noticed that Aurora includes a large community of Iranians and as Iranian artists, it would be great for us to contribute to this community in Aurora.”

By Brock Weir
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter



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