On October 17, 2022, the Strathcona Elementary school community gathered together to witness and celebrate the unveiling of a new mural painted by local Indigenous artists.
Located on the north-east wall of Strathcona Community Centre, the mural sits between the school and the playground. The mural marks two significant neighbourhood community resources: the school and community centre. It serves as an entry point and backdrop for gathering places in the Strathcona community.
Funded by the City of Vancouver through the Communities and Artists Shifting Culture Grant and Downtown Eastside Matching Grant, the mural was painted by Indigenous artists Bracken Hanuse Corlett (Wuikinuxv and Klahoose Nations), Ocean Hyland (Tsleil-Waututh Nation), Atheana Picha (Kwantlen First Nation), and Kelsey Sparrow (Coast Salish and Anishnaabe).
The project was spearheaded by Strathcona Community Centre Association and supported by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. District staff were involved to set the agreement with the community center for the mural, and on the ground to support the artists with prepping the wall and to provide an anti-graffiti coating.
The teal-blue mural spans the entire north-east wall of the community centre and illustrates Indigenous harvesting cycles through plant and animal motifs. According to Kelsey Sparrow, Indigenous communities did not have calendar months, instead they tracked of seasons by following what was being harvested.
The Mural acts as a daily reminder for Strathcona students and the greater community to continue their reconciliation journey. The installation represents the history of the Indigenous people on this land and acts visual symbol of hope, challenge and change.
"This mural begins a conversation of transformation connecting cycles - in salmon, in seasons - and how Indigenous People on the Coast have interacted with the elements in these cycles. The transformation metaphor is meant to inspire youth and offer a visual symbol of hope, challenge and change."
— Strathcona Community Centre Association
For more information on this mural project, visit: Art at Strathcona Community Centre