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City of Brantford unveils Community Peace Mural

Arts and EntertainmentCity of Brantford unveils Community Peace Mural

City of Brantford officially unveiled the Community Peace Mural, a collaborative project between professional artist and workshop facilitator Yasaman Mehrsa and local mural workshop participants on Friday, June 14, 2024.

Councillor and Acting Mayor of the Month Linda Hunt and Councillor Mandy Samwell cut the ribbon with the mural workshop participants standing by to officially commemorate the mural, which is located on the wall to the right of the stairs ascending from the Market Centre Parkade to Colborne St. E.

“We are very excited to see our community come together to create a mural that reflects our rich cultural diversity and shared vision of peace. As this stairwell is an important path of travel for individuals accessing our downtown, it is wonderful to see a beautiful work of public art that serves to make this space more inviting, said Councillor Hunt for Ward 4 and Acting Mayor of the Month for the City of Brantford

The mural design was conceptualized between the artist and community members who participated in mural workshops held each Thursday throughout May. The workshops allowed community members to able to share imagery that symbolized their unique identities, cultures, and experiences related to peace, incorporating them into the final mural design. Water is a key theme throughout the design due to its great significance for the participants shared history with the Grand River, and their different cultures and personal journeys.

“Throughout the five Community Peace Mural workshops, I had the pleasure of getting to understand Brantford’s unique histories through the experiences and perspectives of the people who call it home. It is my hope that this mural stands as a testament to the power of community perspectives and encourages future community art projects,” said Yasaman Mehrsa, Mural Artist.

As a member of the UNESCO Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities, the City of Brantford and Wilfrid Laurier University collaboratively developed an Inclusive Community Plan that incorporates three guiding principles: learn from each other, stand up for each other, and celebrate each other. The initial idea for a community peace mural project took inspiration from the Pieces for Peace project, a collaborative effort supported by the City of Brantford, the Laurier Hub for Community Solutions, the Brantford Immigration Partnership, and other partners.

On February 16, 2024, a project-brainstorming meeting was held with community members of the Brantford Local Immigration Partnership (BIP) to determine how to bring together various ideas for what a Community Peace Mural should be. It was decided that the most effective approach would be to engage a professional artist and workshop facilitator. This artist and facilitator would lead community members through a series of interactive workshops, ensuring the mural reflects a rich tapestry of cultural and individual concepts and imagery of peace.

For more information about this project, please visit Brantford.ca/PeaceMural.

This project was partially funded by the Government of Canada’s Building Safer Communities Fund that aims to support Municipalities and Indigenous communities in their efforts to support positive youth outcomes.

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