Painting the North: Youth from all 3 territories create murals for Canada 150

In total, 60 1.8 metre by 1.2 metre murals will be created across Canada and will be displayed in airports, subways, and on billboards.

Art to be displayed across the country for anniversary celebrations

Students from Mildred Hall School in Yellowknife work on a mural for Canada's 150th birthday celebrations. (CBC)

Youth from Yellowknife, Whitehorse, and Arviat, Nunavut, are painting murals to be included in Canada's 150th birthday celebrations.

In total, 60 1.8 metre by 1.2 metre murals will be created across Canada and will be displayed in airports, subways, and on billboards.

About 30 organizations are collaborating with local youth on the projects, including professional artists.

"It's a unique opportunity for them to share their sense of self with the rest of the country," said Jennifer Walden, an artist mentoring youth on the Yellowknife mural.

Artist Jennifer Walden demonstrates painting techniques for students at Mildred Hall School in Yellowknife. (CBC)

"We filled four huge chart papers with ideas. The kids talk a lot about the land, the wildlife in the North, and the lifestyle. Once we went through it, we picked out six or seven of those ideas that stood out the most for them and then we incorporated them together into an overall picture."

Serenidy Stonechild, a Grade 8 student at Yellowknife's Mildred Hall School, said the mural will represent what it means to be a citizen of the N.W.T.

"We have some caribou, and that's kind of mixed in with the northern lights… we also have a lake that we are not finished painting," Stonechild said.

"Those things stand out as stuff that represents the Dene people."

'We want it to represent what it means to be a citizen of Yellowknife and a citizen of the N.W.T.,' says Serenidy Stonechild, a Grade 8 student at Mildred Hall School in Yellowknife. (CBC)

Stonechild said the style of painting will mimic the look of beading, and colours will resemble tanned hide.

"I think it is going to be pretty awesome," she said. "It's art that is made by our youth."

The Yellowknife and Arviat murals will be completed by the end of the week.

In Whitehorse, youth will begin work over March break.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.