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Friday, 11 November 2016

Open Door.

I had the pleasure of running a fibre art project with the Saskatoon Open Door Society.  They contacted me about working with the Creative Women's Group there to embellish posters for an upcoming event.  I can't tell you how much I enjoyed being with all those women, new to Canada. Some didn't speak English, but the beauty of smiles, gestures, and visual projects is sometimes all it takes to have an inclusive time together.
We braided threads, yarns and metallic fibres to adorn the posters, adding buttons and tassels and international postage stamps (not my idea but what a great one!!).

sample photo we were provided with for the project
I didn't get to visit a lot as it was a busy project with 20 women in a crowded room.  I did eventually sit down and ask questions.  Having been raised by immigrants, I always love to hear their stories - good and bad.  Their bravery and strength just blows my mind.  When people tell their individual histories to listening ears, connections and trust develop.  It also blasts your assumptions of people right out the window.  We find out there are common bonds, and really, we are all more connected than most realize.

I *DID* talk about winter. I sat at one table and asked them how long they'd been in Canada.  They told me it was a matter of weeks.  "Have you ever seen snow?" I asked.  "No, never."  So I pulled out my phone and brought up some winter prairie landscape photos on pinterest to show them.  I showed them sparkle and that golden light, the hoar frost and the beautiful blue shadows that fall on the snow.  I talked about how the sun is so low and the light pours through the house.  I told them how in December and January, you can see sun up, mid day, and sun down at one window.

Anyway... I hope as shocking as it might be for them, that they see the beauty and magic of a completely different world, and that helps them to get through it.  There's a lot of 'winter haters' that might have got to them first, right!?  ; )  I'm not part of the 'misery olympics' as they call it.  As a landscape artist, winter is AMAZING.

Their 2nd Annual International Bazaar - as the poster describes, this free to the public event will have 20 different international vendors.  It's a great way to support these new families, take in some rich culture, purchase some wonderful food and crafts from our new residents.  I can't wait to see (and taste)!  : )

Saturday November 19th at Station 20 West, Saskatoon form 11am to 4 pm.  See ya there!

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