by Maureen Forsythe, BCA Youth Director.
As you drive down Glen Park Drive toward Innes and the Metro, it will be hard to miss the colourful new mural on the Lois Kemp arena, which features a scattering of leaves blowing across the wall, a large black-capped chickadee perched on a branch and a beautiful butterfly hovering above a flower.
As part of its youth engagement activities, the Blackburn Community Association (BCA) invited local youth to participate in the design and installation of a brand new outdoor mural for our community.
On July 10th thirteen Blackburn youth participated in an outdoor brainstorming session with mural artist Daniel Martelock to help generate ideas for the design of the mural. The starting point for the discussion was how we might include birds, bees, flowers and natural grasses in the design. There was a lively discussion about different bird species and different flowers that may be spotted in the Hamlet. There were also suggestions to include animals such squirrels, foxes (given recent sightings of a fox in our neighbourhood) and even panda bears (there have been no confirmed sightings (yet) of panda bears).
On Friday August 11th, which also happened to be participant Sophie Moreau’s birthday, eighteen local youth gathered outside the arena for a full day of outdoor fun and painting. Participants worked in pairs and small teams, using a variety of Dan’s hand drawn stencils for the leaves. Daniel, with fellow artist Ryan Smeeton, guided all of the painting activities throughout the day. A pizza lunch was provided to participants (special thanks to Imilio’s Pizzeria for opening up early for us that day). Congratulations to all of the young people who made this mural a reality in our community!
Special thanks to Crime Prevention Ottawa (City of Ottawa) for their financial support through the Paint It Up! mural project.
*Mural participants included Amelia Cartwright-Roome, Amelie Albert-Da Silva, Charlotte Jaz, Claire Jaz, Henry MacWha, Jake Ryan, Jayden Kimball, Jensen Smyth, Logan Ryan, Niko Kimball, Oliver Beauchamp, Ray Hasn, Ronan Prabhakaran, Sophie Moreau, Sydney Smyth, Veronica M-M and youth volunteer Victor Prabhakaran.