Ottawa

New Inuit mural brightens downtown Ottawa

A new mural highlighting Inuit design and culture is brightening up the heart of downtown Ottawa. 

Young artists had free rein from restaurant, city

From left to right, Sabrina Taqtu Montague, Iola Lampron and Claudia Gutierrez unveiled the mural Thursday evening in Ottawa. (Giacomo Panico /CBC)

A new mural highlighting Inuit design and culture is brightening up the heart of downtown Ottawa. 

The mural, at Somerset and O'Connor streets, adorns the wall of restaurant Union Local 613, and was created through the city's Paint it Up youth engagement program.

We wanted to see the bright, happy Inuit we get to see every day.- Sabrina Taqtu Montague

Sabrina Taqtu Montague leads the arts programs at the Inuuqatigiit Centre for Inuit Children, Youth and Families, and was one of the artists who created the mural. She said they wanted the painting, which runs the length of the building, to use bright colours to reflect the vibrancy of Inuit communities.  

"We just wanted to reflect that Inuit are not always cold," she said on CBC's All In A Day. "We wanted to see the bright, happy Inuit we get to see every day." 

The mural runs the full length of the building at Somerset and O'Connor streets (Ryan Tumilty/CBC)

The mural is a water scene showcasing animals, both real and mythological, in Arctic waters. 

Artist Claudia Gutierrez, who worked with local youth on the project, said they got a lot of support from both the city and the restaurant, who gave them free rein.  

"They said, 'Do whatever you want.' They had no say in the colour choice, the imagery," Gutierrez said.

That allowed the young artists to open up and be creative, she said.  

"To have that freedom has been really invaluable for the success of the project."

now