2001 marks Chapleau's 100th birthday. Accordingly,
many events will take place to commemorate this momentus occasion.
An appropriate theme for the occasion is the community's
heritage. Who we are today is intimately linked to the struggles and
accomplishments of our ancestors. This theme should be highlighted in
a significant manner.
The citizens need exposure to permanent installations
that can serve as promotional tools for new, innovative art that also
serve an educational role in promoting a better understanding of the
community's history. With this in mind, the Centre proposes a project
where a group of artists will be working with the community in creating
a series of contemporary artworks portraying Chapleau's heritage.
What a concept!
A contemporary representation of the historical attributes
of a community. The population has to be involved. The project must
encompass various disciplines. For greater impact, we need the involvement
of many professional artists. The result: a community with a greater
recognition of its heritage and with a broadened openness to uncommon
art forms and styles, artists with a heightened sense of belonging and
cohesion among a supportive community, and a permanent display of contemporary
artworks showcasing the important historical attributes in a small and
isolated, but uniquely progressive community... Chapleau.
|A tower of steel
rails reminds us of Chapleau's place in railroad history. Linking
the rails are cast cement panels, each side of the sculpture a series
of "snapshots" hinting at our founding industries: Natural Resources,
Lumbering, and the Railroad. Can you identify the sawmill equipment?
Parts of a steam locomotive?
circles portray the linked heritage of Chapleau's founding peoples,
as expressed in music. The lower left shows native dancers performing
the Jingle Dress dance, a ceremony of prayer for healing. In the
lower right circle a French-Canadian fiddler plays a traditional
reel while couples dance joyfully around him. Above, the Chapleau
Town Band has been part of community celebrations of civic and national
pride since the turn of the 20th century.
|The artists and the works they created
(sculptor) of Kapuskasing - Two
exterior sculptures commemorating each of the contributing elements
in the birth and growth of Chapleau: railway, lumber industry, and
(visual artist) of Chapleau -
Support artist to work with Ted Castilloux in the research and graphic
representation of the proposed sculpture.
(sculptor) of Sultan - One exterior
wood sculpture depicting the cultural diversity of the community.
(author) of Thunder Bay - Multi-media
presentation using slides and 8mm films, accompanied by poetry and
The four artists being of different
disciplines, a range of artistic expression will be explored, from literary
composition to fine art. As well as imparting their unique styles to
the works, each of the artists will interact with the public, filling
the need for greater awareness of our heritage, arts advocacy, and cultural
ARTISTIC SIGNIFICANCE OF PROJECT
The Quatrain Project seeks
to address the need for greater integration of the arts in community
life in Chapleau. This isolated Northern Ontario community has
a rich and diverse heritage which will provide a variety of subjects
for the artworks.
The created works will not only demonstrate the
artistic vision of local and area artists, but provide an opportunity
for the public to meet and work with the artists. It will bring
together Francophone and Anglophone artists from different communities
and of different disciplines; the artists will have many opportunities
to meet and work together. An interesting facet of our team of
artists is their diversity. Realism, illustration, abstract and
expressionist art are all represented.
The quality of professionalism brings the project
up to a challenging level for the participants, and will not only
add an unusual dimension visually to the project, but a unique
opportunity to see and experience the various creative processes
of our professional artists.
HERITAGE SIGNIFICANCE OF PROJECT
This project emphasizes the traditional and cultural
treasures of the Chapleau area community through a modern representation
of the life and customs of its forefathers. The permanent art
installations will therefore serve as a living testimonial and
reminder of Chapleau's past.
The artists will play a role of propagating the
historical and cultural attributes which have helped shape today's
community. The artworks will inevitably serve as an educational
tool for future generations by giving youth a visual glimpse into
Chapleau's rich heritage. The artworks will also enhance community
pride, and promote a desire to honour the history on which rest
our present way of life, values and character.
Finally, the project will contribute to inter-cultural
respect with a positive representation of Chapleau's major cultural
ECONOMIC AND TOURISM SIGNIFICANCE OF PROJECT
The Township of Chapleau
has always relied predominantly on resource base industries as
a sustainable means of economic survival. Recently, the community
has been actively seeking to develop new business opportunities
and initiatives that will compliment and enhance the tourism sector.
Although, the tourism industry has always been
an economic contributor to the community's economy, it still requires
further attention to mature as a strong economic growth sector
for the community of Chapleau. Through the arts an influx of artistic
products and installations within and for the community will significantly
enhance much needed economic diversification under the tourism
From an entrepreneurial perspective the artists
involved in the project will gain an increased level of professional
skills. While, the emerging artists will find knowledgeable mentors
as resources to help them get started in their professional careers,
finding much needed encouragement and support from the community
resulting from a renewed and increased interest in the arts.
The creation of original artworks and the production
and sales of derivatives from these artworks will enhance community
economic development and generate increased business opportunities
for the existing businesses, artisans and artists. In addition,
individual members of the community impacted by this project will
discover how the arts can enhance life as a whole.
Art in its purest form has the ability to increase
an individual's sense of self-worth as he/she takes part in a
creative process that brings new contacts, products and changes
in his/her setting. This will promote a sense of accomplishment
and nurture a desire to pursue his/her involvement in projects
of an artistic nature.
As a group, the community at large will benefit
from this initiative through an increased diversity in the character
and local economy of the area by the hands on involvement of the
artists and the positive impact of the arts to the community as
a whole. Locals and out-of-town visitors will delight in finding
new attractions through exhibitions and arts events.
This focus demonstrates that the additional expansion
and channeling of art is an important contributor to the health,
social, and economic well-being of this small rural Northern Ontario
community and its citizens. The vision of insuring an environment
where art is intertwined into the economic and social fabric of
the community will create a strong and positive community outlook.
LONG-TERM IMPACT OF PROJECT
In today's fast paced approach to life, our society
tends to forget the heritage on which it has been constructed. The strength
and vitality of our community is intimately linked with the efforts
and sacrifices of our pioneers. The results of this project will serve
to remind the citizens of their heritage, and consequently help the
community have a greater appreciation of the life and activities they
cherish in the present.
Since Chapleau is a small, isolated community, it is
difficult to access or attract Arts activities. This project will increase
the visibility and availability of art and artists in the community.
The sculptures, as a tourist attraction, will provide significant exposure
for the arts, as will the various promotional efforts for the project.
By working and talking with the artists, members of the community will
develop a better understanding of the arts and arts resources in Northern
This project will also bring exposure to other less
common artistic styles, thus opening the public's awareness of and appreciation
for contemporary works. This project is an opportunity to share artistic
resources among remote communities. It will also encourage our artists
to work together to forge a stronger artistic presence in the Near North.