Offering cultural expression through art
Grand FallsWindsor exhibit celebrates multicultural theme
The community engagement co-ordinator with the Association for New Canadians Central (ANC) has regularly touted art as a means of connecting local residents with the benefits of multiculturalism. With March being Multicultural Month, Rod Taylor is using the opportunity to highlight one of his personal interests to help celebrate, and highlight, cultural awareness. Taylor serves as a board member with the Central Newfoundland Visual Arts Society (CNVAS) and has enlisted other local artists to join the exhibit and their own artistic reflection of multiculturalism. Taylor’s first foray into cultural expression via art directly coincided with the presence of a group of young foreign students who were attracting local attention with their colourful turbans. “I observed the young students around town in brightly coloured turbans and presented an idea to (the regional settlement co-ordinator) with ANC to approach the youth to determine if they were willing to supply pictures to guide my work,” he explained. They agreed and what resulted was a stained glass piece that was eventually purchased by the Town of Grand FallsWindsor and is displayed at town hall. CNVAS members were invited to contribute to the current Multicultural Month exhibit, either with new pieces or works they had displayed before. “My piece was based on the book The Proudest Blue, and I did a blue stained glass piece which was designed based on a picture of the author from the back of her book,” he said. Taylor intends to do public readings of The Proudest Blue and have his piece with him during Multicultural Month activities at the Harmsworth Public Library in Grand FallsWindsor, the public library in Bishop’s Falls, as well as some local schools. “The Gordon Pinsent Centre for the Arts is a great place to host this exhibit because where it’s located is on your way to the library and the library (in Grand Falls-Windsor) does get a lot of use,” Taylor noted. In fact, Taylor uses the library to connect newcomers to the community and its culture. “I brought one client there a while ago, got him a library card and he got to meet some people, and it certainly helped him in getting connected,” he added. “We’re spreading the message of one planet, we’re all the same,” he told Central Wire. Residents of the Exploits region are urged to watch for information on other Multicultural Month events. One event, a stained glass workshop, will accommodate 20 people. The ANC office will host an open house March 22, inviting local residents to drop by and learn about their programming and activities. There will also be a free screening of Peace by Chocolate at the Classic Theatre. Peace by Chocolate is a 2021 Canadian drama film, directed, produced, edited, and co-written by Jonathan Keijser. The film is based on the true story of the Hadhads, a family from Syria who moved to Canada as refugees from the Syrian civil war, settling in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and establishing the Peace by Chocolate artisanal chocolate shop.