Throughout the pandemic, people from across the world have been impacted by the lack of social connection with friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. Social connections, in-person or virtual, help to uplift spirits improve physical health and encourage a stronger sense of belonging and purpose. Therefore, the theme for the 2022 Street Banner Design Call is (re)connection with the goal of celebrating and building new and old social connections.
We encourage you to read about the stories and artists behind the pieces that are now installed throughout our community!
Rain Pierre sɬə́məxʷ
Katzie Nation Artist
Rain is a full-time artist and business owner from Katzie Nation. He is the owner and founder of RainAwakens. In addition to Rain’s professional artistic practice, Rain works with many students and adults through an interactive mural program that he developed called "Legacy Projects". Using his artwork he is also an advocate for the LGBTQ2s+ community, recovery community and the Indigenous community - empowering others to follow their true passions and dreams through motivational speaking. Love is Rain's true backbone to awakening others to believe that they can truly be whatever they choose to be in this world.
"We are in a time of our evolution where we need to stand together. Others may suffer more than most, and some might have more strength than others - we need to uplift others that can no longer take flight on their own. With our mental health and physical health reaching limits, it is imperative we give helping hands to those in need. Together is where we will thrive and together is where we can best share love. The hummingbird is a representation of us taking flight wearing a headband to remind us of who we are, and where we come from. The universe on the belly of the hummingbird reminds us that we are significant in our own ways, but so powerful with what we carry as spiritual beings. The helping hand is uplifting us to reach higher levels of self. I also did these hummingbirds for my parents. They have both helped me so much in my life, always giving me a helping hand. They both helped me find a pathway to recovery and stood by my side when I was in need. Because of them, today I walk nearly 2 years clean and sober with the recovery family I have found. I am sharing this story to hopefully inspire others to find their truest self through self-healing and self-love, with the help of others. These two banners are an art piece as a dedication to our parents. The people that love us unconditionally and support us in times of need."
Seriously Playful Art
"'Oma' is the German word for grandmother, but many people from other countries call their grandmother something similar. I propose something new: oma-cron instead of omicron. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the feeling of a grandmother’s hug went viral?
The image for this banner is an illustration of that warm and comforting experience - a sense of (re-)connecting, perhaps with a grandparent, or perhaps with our inner child playing outside, getting a hug from Mother Nature.
I studied Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo, majoring in painting and drawing, and continued with courses in art therapy and children's book illustration. Curvilinear designs with bold, black line are my way of connecting to my child-self who would sit and colour for hours."
Student at Yennadon Elementary
“I enjoy sports, like dance and soccer, and I love Maple Ridge, especially going to the pool. I decided to make this drawing because I love art, and even if I didn't win, it was a fun project. (Re)connection to me, means reconnecting to friends and family, being together and being kind to one another. I hope when people see my drawing, they think about the people they love and look forward to reconnecting with them."