Great Art for Great Lakes Reaches Out to Artists Across Ontario

By Water Canada 12:28PM March 16, 2017



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Waterlution, in partnership with Greatness – The Great Lakes Project, is looking for one local artist in each of these communities across Ontario—Thunder Bay, Manitoulin Island, Aamjiwnaang (Sarnia), Owen Sound, Kingston, Toronto, Mississauga and Hamilton—to help local residents connect and engage with their surrounding Great Lakes.

Project lead Christopher McLeod said “Great Art for Great Lakes wants to celebrate the grandeur and importance of the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth. We will fund a local artist to collaboratively create works of art with local residents that honour the Great Lakes, share their stories, and mark Canada’s 150th birthday. It is crucial that we connect with the Great Lakes to better understand and safeguard them for our current and future quality of life.”

According to McLeod, “when chosen, each local artist to the eight participating Great Lakes communities will develop a participatory, community-based art project that will showcase what their specific Great Lake means to local residents. It will highlight the history and the diverse peoples of the lake, and share their stories.” The innovative art project will be exhibited and toured publically within each of the communities.

Each Great Art for Great Lakes community will host two public workshops or events to collaboratively create a permanent work of art in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.

“It is wonderful to be working with a person of Christopher’s diverse experience and talents,” said Karen Kun, the executive director and co-founder of Waterlution. “We knew we had to find the right person, a leader with an artistic background and a familiarity of the Great Lakes, and we found that person in Christopher.”

McLeod will be travelling to all eight Great Lakes communities, speaking to local artists and residents, and guiding the projects that will build on the long-lasting relationship people have with the Great Lakes.

Great Art for Great Lakes is part of a larger initiative, Greatness – The Great Lakes Project, which began at a 2015 roundtable convened by Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor. The participants, drawn from business, the arts, science and sport, resolved that “a bold and noble initiative” could make the Great Lakes a powerful symbol of “greatness” for the 40 million residents of the Great Lakes basin.

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