FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Our Common Woods at National Aboriginal Day Celebration Public Art Installations Unveiled on Halifax Common as Part of National Aboriginal Day

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
Our Common Woods at National Aboriginal Day Celebration
Public Art Installations Unveiled on Halifax Common as Part of National Aboriginal Day
Halifax, NS:  On the morning of Wednesday, June 21st, scores gathered on the Halifax North Common in celebration of National Aboriginal Day. At 10:00 am the ceremonies began with dancing an the unveiling of public art pieces some four years in the making.  Part of a project which began in 2014 when maple and elm trees were felled to accomodate road work around the Halifax Common, Our Common Woods is an effort to return these same trees to the landscape as public art installations.
The ceremony brought together all elements of the initiative, with speakers from Halifax Regional Municipality, the Mi’kmaw Friendship Centre, The Deanery Project, and the artists all present and taking a moment to speak to their experiences, and the importance of connecting community members with the trees which once grew on The Common.

 “Through “Our Common Woods” we hope to connect people with opportunities to better understand the integral nature of trees in our communities.”

 Said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage of the project while on stage at the event.  

 The installations, by local artists Alan Syliboy, Erin Phip, Gary Staple, Theo Heffler, and Steve Sekerak function as park-scape furniture, and iconic sculptural pieces. When speaking about his work Mi’kmaw Sign Post and it’s intentions Alan Syliboy offered:

 “We can see ourselves here, we are planted in this land, this is a permanent fixture in this park, in this city. We can see ourselves in it.”

 National Aboriginal Day celebrations continued throughout the day, with dancing, a marketplace, food, and numerous presentations and workshops held into the afternoon.

 About Our Common Woods: Our Common Woods is an initiative to promote and operate under principles of sustainability and placemaking by the Halifax Regional Muicipaltiy, in association with The Deanery Project — the organization commissioned to facilitate and curate Our Common Woods. The trees, ranging in age from 40 to 120 years old, which would have otherwise gone to landfill, have instead been given new purpose through this project.

 About The Deanery Project: The Deanery Project is an arts and environmental learning centre located in Ship Harbour, on the Eastern Shore. Situated on 25 acres of woodland oceanfront The Deanery offers programming with an emphasis on environmental sustainability, community strengthening, artistry, and natural building.

Lauren Latour

Communications Coordinator 2017.

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