What Allen Gardens Aboriginal Themed Toronto Mural Means To Nadia Fordham

Entitled “All My Relations”, the mural beautifies the temporary wooden fencing surrounding the main construction site for the Gerrard Watermain Replacement Project in Allan Gardens and will be in place for three and a half years until project completion. The size of two football fields, this artwork is a visual representation of First Nations life and culture in Toronto. Led by nationally recognized, award winning artists, Tannis Nielsen and Philip Cote, more than 20 artists from the First Nations community have come together to design and paint the mural.
Entitled “All My Relations”, the mural beautifies the temporary wooden fencing surrounding the main construction site for the Gerrard Watermain Replacement Project in Allan Gardens and will be in place for three and a half years until project completion. The size of two football fields, this artwork is a visual representation of First Nations life and culture in Toronto. Led by nationally recognized, award winning artists, Tannis Nielsen and Philip Cote, more than 20 artists from the First Nations community have come together to design and paint the mural.
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre Rosedale) was joined Nov9/2012 by First Nations artists and representatives from First Nations organizations in unveiling one of the largest outdoor murals in Canada, on the construction fencing around the water main construction project site in Allan Gardens. ( (access through Gerrard Street East between Sherbourne and Jarvis)
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre Rosedale) was joined Nov9/2012 by First Nations artists and representatives from First Nations organizations in unveiling one of the largest outdoor murals in Canada, on the construction fencing around the water main construction project site in Allan Gardens. ( (access through Gerrard Street East between Sherbourne and Jarvis)
"All My Relations" Allen Gardens mural photo by Nadia Fordham
“All My Relations” Allen Gardens mural photo by Nadia Fordham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editor’s Note (Scott Mills) : The following is written by Nadia Fordham, a guest blogger. The opinions expressed below are that of the author. It is an honour to be able to collaborate with Nadia and help improve our community.

The murals for me mean that everyone belongs and that by creating them its a form of expression which is very important because our culture and traditions continually get ignored instead of treated like other cultures traditions, which in itself is a form of discrimination.

For me, everything, whether the murals or something else relating to the culture, always makes me feel like I am home and like I belong.

I am hoping that with more youth getting involved in the traditions that maybe we will gain the same respect. We have sat some of us quietly doing our own thing because it meant interacting and participating in other traditions and its so often said in the community that they have a mix of friends from different cultures, which I like, especially when they participate.

That mural over at Allan Gardens is right where it belongs, surrounded by land which is also significant in our beliefs, so I believe its more inspirational for me in that sense.

I think that since times are changing that we need to work together not just when forces of nature like Hurricane Sandy force us to work together happen but it should be done every second of every day instead of typing or speaking about it or turning on the news to hear someone pleading for the public’s assistance.

Enjoying the sounds of nature, the beauty of the murals, or other art work, or hearing a different style of music that is not on your devices.

Exploring these options as someone who has done it I will admit it was a challenge and scary but you don’t have to do one and not the other.

You could balance. That is also what I see looking at those murals. There is a balance with each picture and a story behind it. So we should not abandon the reading or the art but look deep into the art and reading and maybe a whole new world will jump out at you and spark an interest inside you and that could be your beginning to something new and creative, and if its criticized you will have your first Native Seven Grandfather teaching of Respect.

"All My Relations" Allen Gardens mural photo by Nadia Fordham
“All My Relations” Allen Gardens mural photo by Nadia Fordham
"All My Relations" Allen Gardens mural photo by Nadia Fordham
“All My Relations” Allen Gardens mural photo by Nadia Fordham
"All My Relations" Allen Gardens mural photo by Nadia Fordham
“All My Relations” Allen Gardens mural photo by Nadia Fordham
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