Culture Days 2019 - Award Winning Project for Outstanding Participatory Program

Community garden art. This canoe was painted during the Culture Days event in Milton. It was a community art project. The canoe is painted with shades of pink, purple, blue, and some yellow. It now serves as a community garden.
Elena Martolgio preparing the canoe for a community art project. Many people participated in the beautification of this fabulous canoe transformation.
Ready to ship. After preparing the canoe, I packed it up onto of my car and drove it to the Milton Cultural Arts Centre for Culture Days

The Culture Days event in Milton is one of my favourite events. For the last three years I’ve had the opportunity to team up with Art House, an arts charity based in Oakville, and offer a two day activity in Milton’s cultural centre. 

This canoe project was one of many that have been taking place throughout Halton for the leaning green project. Canoes that are no longer functioning or in bad enough shape not worth restoring are picked up and given to artists who work with communities to give them new life. Then, the canoes are converted into planters and filled with indigenous plants, preserving the evolution of budding insects. 

 I was thrilled to have been given one of these canoes to play with. During the two day event, I split the activity so that participants could create something entirely new each day. The canoe was taped up into sections so every person had a chance to colour in a portion with the pre mixed paint. The excitement was palpable as there were inclinations to want to colour more than one at a time. 

On the second day, participants had the chance to leave a message over the painted portions. 

I enjoy working with communities because it allows for unique creativity to blossom from each person. Some people come with acquired skills and unique talents to make their mark. Others come with an open mind ready to try something completely new. 

The result was a beautiful mix of scribbles, scratches, henna-like patterns, calligraphy, personalized messages and beautifully hand-written statements. 

I’m thrilled to announce that this project was nominated and won in the category for Outstanding  Participatory Program. Thank you Milton. Thank you Culture Days 2019.  

When Spring comes along, the canoe will be situated in Milton’s library garden. Stay tuned to view images of the canoe dressed up with greens.

Community members collaborating on the canoe. Many participants creates unique , self expression works of art on the canoe.
Getting into the details. A little boy making his mark with a sharpie on the canoe. Everyone is free to express themselves at Culture Days
The was an award winning activity at Culture Days in Milton, led by artist Elena Martoglio. Through her vision, Elena led a two day activity where participants got to create their own works of art on a canoe. It was later converted into a community garden.