Documentary to Chronicle Quilt of Belonging Journey

By Bob Peters
February 7, 2012

Quilt of BelongingThe amazing story of the Quilt of Belonging, the renowned 120 foot long, collaborative work of textile art, will be captured in a new 45 minute documentary film, thanks to a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Set in motion in 1998, Quilt of Belonging recognizes Canada’s diversity and celebrates our common humanity. The artwork is the work of volunteers from across Canada, from Victoria to Newfoundland to the Arctic Circle. Participants were invited to contribute fabric squares (or blocks) to celebrate a particular cultural group. Volunteers assembled 263 11-inch fabric squares, (70 representing all Aboriginal groups, 193 featuring all immigrant nationalities in Canada) to create the final piece of art. The astonishing range of materials, from sealskin to African mud-cloth, from embroidered silk to gossamer wings of butterflies connects the threads of our past to the limitless possibilities of the future.

Quilt of Belonging celebrates the enormous contributions of those who came to this great country from so many different regions of the world.  This grant will allow many more people to enjoy and appreciate the fabric of our nation,” says Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont,Dundas, & South Glengarry.

The Quilt of Belonging has been capturing hearts on tour since it’s 2005 launch at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.  The spectacular art piece was chosen for exhibit at the 2010 Cultural Olympiad in British Columbia and the G20 Summit in Toronto. Quilt of Belonging continues to bring hope and healing through its vision of how people can live together in harmony.

The $65,400 grant will also pay for the creation of a presentation package that will include materials for live presentations and educational resources.

“We have been for touring 7 years, which has included 30 exhibitions and over 1.4 million visitors, yet it is impossible to fill all the requests received," commented Esther Bryan, Quilt of Belonging’s Artist and Executive Director.  "These new resources will allow us to further share the messages, vision and history of the project with community organizations, schools, Aboriginal communities and the rest of the world.  We are very appreciative of this tremendous support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.”

Since its inception, the project has been headquartered in the hamlet of Williamstown, just east of Cornwall. Quilt of Belonging is incorporated as a non-profit organization and is a registered charity.

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