Foreword

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? Three interlocked 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 are:
Normand Fortin (sculptor) of Kapuskasing - Two exterior sculptures commemorating each of the contributing elements in the birth and growth of Chapleau: railway, lumber industry, and natural resources. Bonnie Ivey (visual artist) of Chapleau - Support artist to work with Ted Castilloux in the research and graphic representation of the proposed sculpture.
Ted Castilloux (sculptor) of Sultan - One exterior wood sculpture depicting the cultural diversity of the community. John Futhey (author) of Thunder Bay - Multi-media presentation using slides and 8mm films, accompanied by poetry and short stories.

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 enrichment.

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 entities.

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 umbrella.

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 Ontario.

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.

 

Showcasing Our Heritage in a Contemporary Style