Winnipeg mom, teacher starts 'Winnipeg Window Gallery' for families in isolation during COVID-19

A Winnipeg mom has thought up an inventive idea to keep kids entertained and spread positivity, all while respecting social distancing.
Teacher and mom Maggie Cox, and her son Rufus Cox-Rigaux, stand outside their house, with their art and family cat behind their window. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

A Winnipeg mom and teacher has thought up an inventive idea to keep kids entertained, while respecting social distancing.

Maggie Cox has started "Winnipeg Window Gallery" encouraging families in isolation to create art and place it in their windows for others to see and enjoy — from a safe distance.

Cox has been staying home with her three children and husband since earlier this week, in advance of the province suspending all classes to try to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"A lot of parents are excited because their children get to showcase their artwork. They feel like they're doing something. And it's also a way to keep them busy when you're stuck at home for hours and hours at a time," Cox said.

(Scott Lyle Olafson/Facebook)

Cox said as an extroverted person, isolating herself from social activities has been difficult.

"I like to be around people all the time," she said. "So being stuck inside brings me down."

"I needed to figure out a way to make myself feel better and remember that we are still a community, that Winnipeg is still a place that we gather together. We just need to do it differently," she said.

Many people have caught on, creating their own window artworks and posting them for others to see.

Some teachers have even turned it into a school project, asking their students to make their own galleries.

"I feel connected to people even if I … can't be around them, it gives me a sense to be connected to a community."

See more of the photos below:

(Naomi Alex/Facebook)
"If you can read this send wine," says window art posted in Winnipeg. (Tracy Drexler/Facebook)
Members are sharing their kids' artwork in the Facebook group and their windows. (Theresa Vandean/Facebook)


Marina von Stackelberg is a senior reporter currently working for CBC's Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa. She previously worked as a reporter and host in Winnipeg, with earlier stints in Halifax and Sudbury. Her stories regularly appear across the country on CBC Radio and CBC News Network. Connect with her by email at or on social media @CBCMarina.

With files from Shannah-Lee Vidal