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City invites proposals for 50th anniversary public art –



THUNDER BAY – The City of Thunder Bay is inviting proposals for two public art projects to commemorate the city’s 50th anniversary in 2020. The projects are designed to celebrate the amalgamation of Fort William and Port Arthur, as well as the townships of Neebing and McIntyre, in 1970.

The first, a 50th Anniversary Art Bus, is bound to grab plenty of attention. The city previously wrapped one of its busses in an art concept by Satellite Studio Artist Collective in 2015, and says it was a successful project. Now, it is inviting artists or artist teams to submit designs for another bus wrap, based on the theme “One City. Fifty Years.”

The city’s guidelines say it’s looking for proposals that “showcase the history of Thunder Bay through people, success stories, culture, heritage and diversity.”

The successful design will be displayed on a city bus beginning in February. Proposals are due by Jan. 15.

The second public art project is one that will be familiar to many – but with a 50th anniversary twist. The city is inviting proposals from artists for snow sculptures for the eighth annual SnowDay, which takes place over Family Day weekend at Marina Park.

Artists can centre their sculptures around one of two themes: the 50th anniversary or the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games, which will be hosted in Thunder Bay in February 2020.

Artists will have three days to carve the sculptures, from Feb. 12-15. The city offers an honourarium of $400-500 for teams carving larger sculptures, as well as meal tickets. Proposals are due by Jan. 8.
To learn more about the calls for proposals, visit the city’s website..

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Cape Breton woman's COVID-19 inspired public art show features face masks and personal sentiments –




Bailee Higgins hopes her public art project will help promote an important public health measure while connecting people in the community.

I Wear A Mask For Sydney Mines is a series of digital portraits of people who live or work in Sydney Mines wearing masks, which are designed to reflect their personalities. Included with each portrait is a comment from the subject about why they wear a face mask or a little about their experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a project that’s meant to bring people together since we can’t get physically together,” said Higgins, who is in the art education program at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax.

“And it’s a project that can encourage people to wear a face mask as a way to help protect everyone during the pandemic, which I think is an important message.”

“Mama says our masks make us superheroes.” #iwearamaskforsydneymines, digital portrait by Bailee Higgins. CONTRIBUTED


Created for a public art class Higgins is taking at NSCAD University, the Sydney Mines native received a Rising Youth grant so she could continue the project until March 1.

During the last week of February, she is planning a virtual livestreaming show of all the portraits she’s completed to this point. But the artist, who has a bachelor of fine arts degree from Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., plans to continue doing portraits until the end of the pandemic.

“I want to get as many people as possible involved so we can get as many people’s experiences included,” she said.


One participant who is a COVID-19 survivor living off-island wrote a statement that Higgins calls “powerful.”

In it, the woman said her health will never be the same again and that she wants to live in a world where people care about protecting people around them.

“Our cases have been pretty low here. So hearing from someone who has had it and is still suffering from the lasting effects is really powerful,” Higgins said.

“I am from Sydney Mines and am home all the time to see my family. We will retire and come home. I work in health care. I am a COVID survivor ..." #iwearamaskforsydneymines series by artist Bailee Higgins. CONTRIBUTED
“I am from Sydney Mines and am home all the time to see my family. We will retire and come home. I work in health care. I am a COVID survivor …” #iwearamaskforsydneymines series by artist Bailee Higgins. CONTRIBUTED


Alex Cormier saw Higgins’s Facebook post looking for subjects for the I Wear A Mask series and the mother of two said she wanted to participate in the project because protecting others is a message that hits close to home.

“It’s affected our family directly, the COVID pandemic. My mother had COVID and now she suffers long-term effects from COVID. Her lungs are permanently damaged,” Cormier said about her decision to be a model in the series.

“If by helping promote the message that face masks work, if we can protect anyone else’s mother or grandmother or father or someone else in the community by wearing masks, then we should do what we can to get that message across.”

“... As a community pharmacist, I have been involved in front line primary care, doing our best as a team to keep our staff and patients safe.” #iwearamaskforsydneymines digital portrait series by artist Bailee Higgins. CONTRIBUTED
“… As a community pharmacist, I have been involved in front line primary care, doing our best as a team to keep our staff and patients safe.” #iwearamaskforsydneymines digital portrait series by artist Bailee Higgins. CONTRIBUTED


Each digital portrait takes about an hour and a half to complete and is done on an iPad with a special pen which allows the artist to draw right on the screen.

To date, Higgins has completed 40 portraits and hopes to finish at least 100 by the time the pandemic is over.

Anyone interested in being a model in the I Wear A Mask For Sydney Mines series can contact Higgins by email at [email protected], through Facebook messenger on the project page or by phone at 902-578-9444.

Nicole Sullivan is an education, enterprise and diversity reporter for the Cape Breton Post. 


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ARTS AROUND: Rollin Art Centre to re-open February 2 – Alberni Valley News





The Rollin Art Centre is currently closed, but will re-open Feb. 2 with an exhibit featuring some pieces from its permanent collection.

In 1995, Robert Aller donated many works of art—including four of his own paintings—to the Community Arts Council. This collection began while he was enrolled at the Vancouver School of Art in 1946. Beginning Feb. 2, part of his collection will be on display for everyone to enjoy.

Don’t miss this opportunity to view the work of some of the most brilliant artists in Canadian history.


For $20 you will receive 10 books in one bag, all in the same genre!

By purchasing a bag of books, you will also be helping Rollin Art Centre during this difficult time. Choose from mysteries, fiction, fantasy, romance, cooking, home improvements, travel, cooking, pre-teen chapter books (e.g. Nancy Drew), children’s books and even puzzles ($2 each). Your support for Rollin Art Centre is greatly needed and much appreciated.


The Community Arts Council is designing a new Alberni Valley artist and studio guide. If you are interested in being included in this brochure/guide, please call the Rollin Art Centre at 250-724-3412 for more information.

The guide will include local artists, and a map. Five thousand guides will be printed and distributed to the tourist information centre and local hot spots.

The extended deadline is Feb. 27, 2021.


This year’s community painting days at the Glenwood Center have been cancelled. Instead, there will be “Paint a Banner at Home” program. Please email the club at to express interest.

Melissa Martin is the Arts Administrator for the Community Arts Council, at the Rollin Art Centre and writes for the Alberni Valley News. Call 250-724-3412. Email:

Artart exhibit

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Help with Art Grant aAplications! – northeastNOW



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We strive to achieve the highest ethical standards in all that we do. Our newsroom abides by the RTNDA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and follows the Canadian Press Stylebook.


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