Painting the North: Youth from all 3 territories create murals for Canada 150

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Painting the North: Youth from all 3 territories create murals for Canada 150

Youth from Yellowknife, Whitehorse, and Arviat, Nunavut, are painting murals to be included in Canada's 150th birthday celebrations.

In total, 60 1.8 metre by 1.2 metre murals will be created across Canada and will be displayed in airports, subways, and on billboards.

About 30 organizations are collaborating with local youth on the projects, including professional artists.

"It's a unique opportunity for them to share their sense of self with the rest of the country," said Jennifer Walden, an artist mentoring youth on the Yellowknife mural.

"We filled four huge chart papers with ideas. The kids talk a lot about the land, the wildlife in the North, and the lifestyle. Once we went through it, we picked out six or seven of those ideas that stood out the most for them and then we incorporated them together into an overall picture."

Serenidy Stonechild, a Grade 8 student at Yellowknife's Mildred Hall School, said the mural will represent what it means to be a citizen of the N.W.T.

"We have some caribou, and that's kind of mixed in with the northern lights… we also have a lake that we are not finished painting," Stonechild said.

"Those things stand out as stuff that represents the Dene people."

Stonechild said the style of painting will mimic the look of beading, and colours will resemble tanned hide.

"I think it is going to be pretty awesome," she said. "It's art that is made by our youth."

The Yellowknife and Arviat murals will be completed by the end of the week.

In Whitehorse, youth will begin work over March break.