OUR HOME AND CREATIVE LAND
Canada's Self Portrait is about empowering people to enjoy drawing while answering an important question about who we are and what we stand for. This is why we are taking a coast-to-coast trip across Canada to gather stories and sketches from all 13 provinces and territories to further explore the evolution of Canadian identity. Canada’s Self Portrait launches in St. John’s, NL on July 20th and concludes in Victoria, BC on August 8th.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
We want real stories from real Canadians about what it means to be Canadian. We want to create a truly Canadian art piece that draws inspiration from all corners of Canada. Visual art is a very powerful tool and we want to use it to uncover the most truthful expressions from real Canadians. Sometimes, words aren’t enough to clearly express an identity. Our hope is that a painting will be.
WHO ARE WE?
Aquil Virani is a freelance visual artist, graphic designer and speaker based in Montreal. His 5+ years of professional experience have taken him across the world, most recently to Punta Cana and New York. He has been called “the people’s artist” with his collaborative art being featured on television, radio, print media and online by numerous organisations such as Global News, CTV, and the Montreal Gazette. (Read more at aquil.ca.)
Rebecca Jones is a bilingual facilitator for the Montreal-based non-profit, ENSEMBLE for the respect of diversity, whose mission is to work with youth to promote a more inclusive society. She facilitates interactive workshops with high school students to foster critical thinking and equip them to counteract intolerance in their communities. Her discussions with students focus on identity, stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination while promoting a celebration of our diverse Canadian society. A McGill graduate (BA&SC Psychology and International Development), Rebecca is passionate about human rights and social engagement.
WHAT ARE WE DOING EXACTLY?
Over the span of 3 weeks in July-August 2014, we will be flying out to St. John’s and Halifax, taking a train through Moncton to Montreal, taking another train through Toronto to Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Edmonton before arriving in Vancouver. Then, it’s just a short ferry ride to Victoria.
During the trip we will be collecting sketches that Aquil will incorporate directly in the artwork, while taking photos and interviewing participants in almost every city we pass through. We
are also going to welcome online submissions from the provinces and territories
we won't be stopping in to ensure that the body of artwork created is truly
representative of Canadians. (Canada is quite large after all!) The 3-week
cross-Canada trip is just the beginning. Not only do we want to create a body
of artwork but we will also be working on a book and a short documentary about
HOW WILL WE USE YOUR CONTRIBUTION?
We need funds for our transportation and accommodation costs, art supplies, photography and video equipment as well as printing costs. Most of the financing for the project is coming out of our own pockets which is why we would greatly appreciate any help we can get - we want to share the ownership of this exploration of our culture.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?
Other than our eternal gratitude, we have some exciting artistic gifts to give you according to the size of your donation. Here are some images to inspire you:
HOW CAN YOU HELP US TELL THE STORY OF WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE STAND FOR AS CANADIANS?
- Share our campaign with your friends (on Facebook, for example)
- Follow our blog to track our progress across Canada (click here)
- Fill out the participant form (click here)
- Check out our webpage (aquil.ca/canada), and
Contribute to our campaign
*Please note that our campaign only allows perks to be shipped to easily accessible North American addresses.