On April 6, 2017 there was a buzz of excitement at Woodlands School as the students proudly displayed their Canadian spirit at the unveiling of Calgary’s - Canada 150 Mosaic mural in celebration of Canada’s 150th Birthday. Wearing red and white and featuring an entirely Canadian program, the students’ vibrant performances included dancing and singing highlighting songs from well know Canadians including Stompin’ Tom Connors, Justin Bieber, The Barenaked Ladies and Susan Aglukark. Mrs. Enns. the Music Specialist, led the students in song and dance and also wrote the lyrics for two of the featured performances, ”Alberta is Great” and “We Share Canada.” Dignitaries in attendance on this special day included: City Councillor, Diane Colley-Urquhart, School Board Trustee, Julie Hrdlicka, Area 6 System Principal, Patrick Murphy, Woodcreek Community Chairperson, Scott Eden, Between Generations Co-ordinator, Val Dunn, MLA, Dave Rodney, and MP, Bob Benzen.
A special surprise for everyone during the celebration and a huge honour was the “White Hatting” of Mrs. Highet, Woodlands School principal and two Canada 150 Mosaic Artists, Lewis Lavoie and Karen Bishop, both from Edmonton, by Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart. The White Hat Ceremony is a long-standing tradition in Calgary, a symbol of the Western hospitality and good cheer shared with visiting guests. Also presented to the school by Councillor Colley-Urquhart was a plaque from the City of Calgary recognizing the Canada 150 Mosaic project and thanking us for helping to Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday.
As proud Calgarians and Canadians, students, staff and invited dignitaries spent two days hand painting over 300 tiles for the 8’ x 8’ mural which features a cowboy leaning on the Calgary Tower. Mrs. Melbourn, the administrative assistant for the school, came up with the original artwork for the project and Lewis Lavoie and is team from Canada 150 Mosaic brought the design to life with the help of the students at Woodlands School. Individual tiles include flowers, animals, mountains, dinosaurs, Heritage Park, The Zoo, and of course the Calgary Flames and Stampeders.
Special guests, the Stampede Queen, Megan Peters, and the Princesses, Brittany Lloyd, and Lizzie Ryman creatively added a little touch of the Stampede to the mural with their painting of tiles. As well, City Councillor, Diane Colley-Urquhart, School Board Trustee, Julie Hrdlicka, Area 6 System Principal, Patrick Murphy, Woodcreek Community Chairperson, Scott Eden, Between Generations Co-ordinator, Val Dunn and local artist Jeremy Mayne also added a special touch to our project with their hand-painted tiles.
Woodlands School thanks everyone who came to Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday and who joined in the painting of this unique and amazing legacy project. Funding for this project was provided by the Woodlands School Council and the Government of Canada with a grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage for the Canada 150 Festivities.
Woodlands School has created a time capsule and a visual portrayal of Canadian history representing the soul of Calgary. Calgary’s Canada 150 Mosaic mural is on display in its permanent home, in the front foyer of Woodlands School. Eventually the Calgary mural will be joined “virtually” with over 150 murals all across Canada forming a giant train spreading across the nation. This project includes all provinces and territories in the creative collaboration of one giant mosaic mural representing the heart of Canada. Woodlands School is proud to recognize and promote Calgary, its people, the landscape, and promote the importance of community, team work, being Canadian and of course the celebration of Canada’s 150 birthday.