Quilt of Belonging
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The Quilt of Belonging is the largest and most inclusive work of textile art made about Canada
Esther Bryan, the project artist, says, "The completed quilt, with its many parts, shows that we all can be integrated into the fabric of Canada, living together harmoniously, learning to respect one another for our differences while celebrating what we have in common." The 120-foot (37 m) long by 10.5-foot (3.2 m) high (36 metres by 3.5 metres) tapestry portrays the cultural legacies of Canada’s First Peoples and of every nation in the world, since all are part of Canada’s social fabric. The inaugural exhibition of the completed Quilt of Belonging and the launch of the Quilt of Belonging book took place April 1, 2005 at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau (Ottawa).
The idea of artist Esther Bryan, this art-in-community project, is the work of volunteers from Victoria to Newfoundland to the Arctic Circle who worked on it between 1999 and 2005. From across Canada, participants were invited to contribute their talents and ideas, reflected through the prism of their cultural backgrounds. The range of materials, from sealskin to African mud-cloth, from embroidered silk to gossamer wings of butterflies connects the threads of Canadians' past to the possibilities of the future.
Designed to travel, in order that as many people as possible may experience its message of inclusion and richness in diversity, the Quilt is currently on a five-year Canadian journey. This voyage includes a recently completed multi-venue exhibition across the Arctic, touted as the first tour of its kind in Inuit history.
- Quilt of Belonging: The Invitation Project, by Esther Bryan and Friends, Boston Mills Press.
- The Quilt of Belonging, Stitching Together the Stories of a Nation, by Janice Weaver, Maple Tree Press.
- Coming to Canada, Building a Life in a New Land, by Susan Hughes, Maple Tree Press.
- "About the Quilt of Belonging". Raincoast Books News and Commentary. 2006-05-05. Retrieved 2007-02-05.
- "Public Embraces Quilt of Belonging". Canadian Quilters' Association Newsletter. 2005-09-01. Retrieved 2007-02-05.
- "The Canadian Museum of Civilization presents The Quilt of Belonging" (Press release). Canadian Museum of Civilization. 2005-03-16. Retrieved 2007-02-05.
- "Invitation: the Quilt of Belonging and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) launch Arctic tour" (Press release). Government of Newfoundland & Labrador. 2006-01-09. Retrieved 2007-02-05.