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Our Community (Posted On: Friday, June 09, 2006)

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Five years ago, the fifth and final community mural was unveiled in Downtown Collingwood. "Our Community" is truly a community mural. The 9 foot high by 70 foot long mural on the south side of the arena, is made up of five main mural and 382 eight inch tiles. Local artists were asked to submit suggestions for each of the five main panels, to depict Collingwood’s past, present and future.

Starting on the far right, Clarksburg artist, Bill Hartman’s image depicts the Petun Native Indians on the cliffs of the Blue Mountains looking over the area that would eventually become the town of Collingwood.

Second from the right Janie Cooper Wilson’s mural shows the difficulty the early settlers had in clearing the land. During the early 1800’s many fugitive slaves settled in our district and worked the lumber camps becoming an integral part of the building of today’s society.

Wilhemina Wildman has the honour of the center panel. The late 1800’s and early 1900’s saw commercial fishing as one of the thriving industries in Collingwood. Hundreds of boats and fisherman dotted the bay, catching tons of fish. Among them was Walter Whites grandfather. At this time, the Whites have the last remaining commercial fishing operation in Collingwood. This panel features three generations of the Whites family, Walter White Sr. with daughter Corinna and Wally returning to Collingwood harbour after a day on the bay, with the fresh catch.

Collingwood artist, Gordon Kemp was selected for the panel left of center for his diction of the architecturally unique grain depot that linked rural and country creating a great community. In 1929 engineers designed and workers completed construction on the Collingwood grain depot. As the farmer readies the wheat for the depot in the hills just out side of town, the community of Collingwood lies in the back ground, with the terminals standing as an isolated connection, a reminder of time gone by and progressive change.

The fifth and final panel by Clarksburg artist, Shirley Farmer shows the recreational use of our community. With the ski hills of Blue Mountain in the back ground, windsurfers enjoy the steady yet challenging wind on the bay as the terminals act as a sentry to the town. The future of the community lies in the endless recreational opportunities that abound in the area, making it a great place to work and play.

Surrounding each panel are colourful tiles, contributions of art from the community which were gathered through a series of public forms inviting people in the community to stop and paint. The 382 tiles were painted by member of the community ranging in age from 1 to 80+ years, reflecting the past, present and future of our town.

Submitted by:
Margot Nicolson Trott,
Georgian Frame Gallery
172 Hurontario Street
Collingwood ON L9Y 2M2
Phone: 705.445.4477

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