MosaïCanada: A Different Way to Tell Stories

By far, one of my favourite aspects of Ottawa is that there is always something new and exciting to show visitors (or locals!). When my mom came to visit in July, we knew most of the trip would be dedicated to family time and Canada Day celebrations. Still, for her last day in Ottawa, we crossed the bridge into Gatineau, Quebec to see a limited time event – MosaïCanada.

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Unfortunately, due to my recent move as well as other things, this post was pushed to the back burner long enough that the event is long over. Oops! I’ll try to get back to regularly scheduled posts. Until then, on to this incredible event!

Canada is a country that is often seen as a melting pot, and while that is true to a certain extent, there are also areas where we need to make changes and improve the way the past is shared. An event like MosaïCanada, showcases the importance of sharing cultures, beliefs, and stories, and allowing voices to be heard that may otherwise be silenced.

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Many of the pieces showcased important moments in Canada’s history, such as the below ships. Between 1534 and 1541, Jacques Cartier sailed to Canada in the hopes of establishing a permanent colony, and to find a new trading route to Asia.

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I was honestly awed by every piece, but the first one to move me was the one that represented Ontario through the use of five faces. The piece was meant to highlight the natural wonders as well as the diversity of people in Ontario, from the First Nations people to European settlers to modern immigrants and more. The piece is meant to showcase the merging of people from all walks of life.

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Another piece I found particularly fascinating was titled Blessing of the Good Omen Dragons, and was a gift from the people of Beijing. It is meant to depict a celebration, specifically Canada’s 150th year, as well as acknowledge the relationship between the China and Canada. It was awe-inspiring to stand before it.

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Similarly, the people of Shanghai gifted us with Joyful Celebration of the Nine Lions to promote the celebration of Canada and to reinforce the strong relationship between the two nations. This piece was particularly lighthearted and the various personalities shone through.

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The amount of detail and character that went into this project was astounding. The pieces came to life, different from us only in lack of heartbeat. I mean, look at one of my favourites – how could you not be amazed?

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And then we came upon one of the final and most stunning pieces – Mother Earth – The Legend of Aataentsic.

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I could have stared at this piece for days, taking in all the detail as well as basking in the overwhelming sense of peace it exuded. Mother Earth is very special to the First Nations people, a universal transcendence of time and space. She embodies everything: living beings and otherwise. It is a deep-rooted, spiritual connection to nature, one never taken for granted.

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Being in the presence of this fascinating depiction, it felt like this is the way the world should be; this peace and balance and love of nature should be what the world strives to achieve and celebrate.

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The final piece, Odyssey and Hope, was different from the others in that it was made of wood. Interestingly, the sculptor behind the design (Heather Jansch) used driftwood that was already the proper length and did not need to be cut for acquisition. The beautiful representation of wild horses in nature felt all the more real and deep because of this.

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MosaïCanada was a fascinating, often moving celebration of Canada and the various influential cultures and traditions that are practiced day to day. It was an event unlike any other I’d attended and I know I’d return in a heartbeat, were they to have it again.

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