Fredericton Walking Bridge becomes outdoor gallery showcasing Canada's history

Fredericton’s Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge became an outdoor gallery Friday evening, featuring live art installations, poetry recitals, dancers, music and photography.

The Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge brought together photographers, dancers, poets and spectators Friday evening

Kelli Wray, an interpretive dancer and her poet husband, Clyde A. Wray, performed together Friday evening. She danced while he read his poem Slaves No More, which explores the arrival of black loyalist settlers into New Brunswick. (Maria Jose Burgos/CBC)

Fredericton's walking bridge became an outdoor gallery Friday evening, featuring live art installations, poetry recitals, dancers, music and photography.

More than simply joining the north to the south, the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge brought together different perspectives and very different people as it became a historical timeline with different artists representing different points of Canadian history.

"All those different points in our history were animated by different artists from a different perspective using their own art form, and that is how we struck upon this idea for The Bridge," said Lisa Anne Ross, the Artistic Producer of Solo Chicken Productions and leader of the project.

"I'm not sure anything of this magnitude has been done on the bridge before."

About 54 different pieces were showcased on the bridge, ranging from live art installations and dance to poetry recitals and music.

Wray danced along to her husband's poem. "When I saw her dancing she made me cry. That was 15 years and three kids ago," said her husband Clyde A. Wray. (Maria Jose Burgos/CBC)
Amanda Reid, a dancer from the Woodstock First Nation, wore the jingle dress, a healing garment. She gave thanks to the Wolastoq River while surrounded by glasses with water she collected from the river. In this image, she is recreating a famous photograph taken of a Mi'kmaq woman during a protest against fracking in Elsipogtog two years ago. (Maria Jose Burgos/CBC)
Faten Zetoun and her daughter Alma Edelbi came from Syria nine months ago. They stand in front of a tree created by people who attend Saint Dunstan's Parish. The tree's leaves are small painted papers with prayers written on them while its roots contain pictures of people's ancestors. Every week after service, more papers are pasted onto the tree to make it grow. Friday evening, many people, including Zetoun and Edelbi were invited to add their leaf with a message of their choice onto the tree, even if they are not part of the Saint Dunstan's community. (Maria Jose Burgos)
Fredericton artist Derek Davidson sketched the bridge and its diverse crowd with acrylics, pen and brush on canvas during The Bridge project Friday evening. (Maria Jose Burgos/CBC)
Six-year-old Beatrice Levesque created her own camera with aluminium foil, an egg carton and colours in preparation for the big event. (Maria Jose Burgos/CBC)
Matt LeBlanc, fourth-year student at St. Thomas University, played the part of Pierre Elliott Trudeau in a Theatre St. Thomas play in 2015. He reanimated Trudeau at the bridge by reading speeches and essays spoken throughout his life. This theatrical style merged politics with dramatic clown makeup, showing the faux persona political leaders adopt while in front of the public. (Maria Jose Burgos/CBC)
Messages on index cards were scattered throughout the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge's entrance, welcoming visitors and reminding them they are making Fredericton a better place by supporting local projects like The Bridge. (Maria Jose Burgos/CBC)