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Une photo de la murale complétée.

Despite the disheartening weather that came with winter’s (hopefully) last grasp at the city for this season, a handful of families made their way to the Cumberland branch Tuesday morning to participate in the first hours of Laisse ta marque: une franco-murale. In the first 90 minutes of the event, six little painters put their hands to the collective mural – conceived and lead by Franco-Ontarian artist, Dominique Boisvenue for le Mois de la francophonie.

Shortly after the work had started on the first day of this collectively-produced artwork, the artist took a few moments to share her thoughts on her chosen theme: Boisvenue decided that a phoenix would be the contour image that Library participants could help fill in with colour and further inspiration. The artist refers to the mythical phoenix’s cycle of life and death, to rise from its ashes, implying a parallel with the struggles of the francophone community of Ontario. She notes that the analogy is timely, particularly around Ottawa, where the community is marking several important moments its history. For Boisvenue, and likely for many who helped create the artwork, the phoenix is an apt image for francophone community: ʺIt is the bird of resilience.ʺ

Despite a slow start, no doubt affected by heavy snow that first morning, the artist found it to be a pleasant experience that generated enthusiasm all around. She laughingly recounted a moment from the morning when she needed to confiscate a paintbrush from an especially excited young participant.  Boisvenue found herself at risk of being more paint-covered than the canvas. Boisvenue also mentioned a conversation with a mother who wanted to entertain her children with a visit to the Library over March Break. The mother expressed her delight in finding this creative, community activity going on - and in French no less! By Thursday, many other Library customers had come to take a paintbrush in hand and leave their mark on the communal piece.

The completed mural has been unveiled at the final session of the program, Friday, March  17 from 2:30 to 4 pm at the Cumberland branch, after which it will be circulated to several OPL branches before settling into a permanent home.



Lovely to see such a piece put together.

Amazing collection of colours that are so brilliant and the flow of the art piece is very moving. I can stare at it for hours. Stunning

is beautiful to see - having Dominique share her talents with the young 'uns warms my heart. The piece is beautiful beyond its appearance.