“Coming Home” mural a fitting symbol for Hope Centre
Living in hope of a better future has taken on new meaning in Sooke where the Hope Centre has recently opened. The development, which was funded in part by BC Housing, provides 25 units of housing for youth managed by M’akola Housing Society as well as a non-profit commercial component including a thrift store operated by the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.
“The purpose of Hope Centre is to give youth opportunities,” said Kaela Schramm, M’akola’s director of projects and planning. “We wanted to do the same with the mural that decorates the north side of the building. When selecting artists, it was important to seek emerging ones who also were in need of an opportunity for advancement.”
The eight-foot-high by 48-feet-long mural was created by four young Aboriginal artists: Natassia Davies, a T’Sou-ke artist born in Sooke; Dahlila Charlie, a member of the Beecher Bay First Nation; Jesse Campbell, a Métis artist born and raised in Victoria; and Nicole Neidhardt, a Navajo artist studying at the University of Victoria. Once the design was complete, M’akola Group of Societies staff met with members of the chief and council of T’Sou-ke, Beecher Bay and Pacheedaht nations for approval.[sam id=”5″ codes=”true”]The result is “Coming Home.” The mural shifts from the disjointed elements of contemporary society to a journey home to culture and heritage. The process of reconnecting with Coast Salish traditions, culture, stories, and family is one that many of the building’s residents will identify with as well as the deep sense of place they share with being connected to the land.
“The artists were given full authority to come up with the story, the design and to paint the mural,” said Schramm. “For most, it was their first opportunity to design a mural and the experience has given them opportunities to bid on other projects. They have transformed an unattractive concrete wall into landmark that makes a visual statement.”
- This article originally appeared on the BCHousing.org website and is reprinted with permission.
- For more information on the T’Sou-ke Nation, visit here.
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