Cochrane and area residents will have a unique artistic way to express how the COVID-19 pandemic changed their lives in the form of a new Interactive Mosaic Mural, which will be located near The Station Hub on Railway Avenue when completed.
The Cochrane & Area Events Society (CAES) is planning what they’re calling a Celebration of Recognition event, centred around moving on from the COVID-19 pandemic and providing a vehicle for community members to share what the experience meant for them.
With funding from the federal government, heartwarming stories and hardships will be solicited in two workshops.
As an example of the kinds of stories they’re looking for, Erika Richards of CAES shared her personal experience. When she contracted a serious bout of the virus in August 2021, she wasn’t at all sure she’d be able to make it to her daughter’s wedding in Edmonton.
“A friend, who didn’t even know my daughter, drove me up to make sure I could get there,” she said.
“What really touched me was the number of my daughter’s friends at the wedding that thanked this person for getting me there. That really touched me.”
Richards said anyone and everyone is asked to share their pandemic stories. “Anybody who had their life messed up in the last three years,” she said.
A CAES news release states, in part, “While the COVID-19 pandemic dominated our lives for over two years, the time to heal and reflect is now.”
“The big picture mosaic artwork represents Cochrane residents reaching out to one another, bringing out the best in people, and features our long history of being rooted together as one community, symbolized by our beloved Grandfather tree.”
CAES is seeking digitalized submissions of original art from residents of Cochrane. The society is hosting two workshop days, Jan. 29 and Feb. 25, at Route 22 Gallery, where residents can create their art piece to submit for the mural.
Participants can create a piece of art or submit photographs, as well as accompanying stories of their COVID-related experiences – acts of kindness, new friends, sad losses, loneliness, hopes, new experiences, community stories, support provided for local businesses, and challenges faced and overcome. All these stories and memories will support the bigger picture.
A feature of the mosaic mural will be an interactive element on the website. A digital image of the mural will have some “clickable” squares that will pop up with the story behind the submission. (All stories will be in both English and French).
More information on the workshops and how to submit a piece for the mural can be found at cochraneevents.ca.
More details on the location and the mural’s grand reveal will be released as plans are confirmed.
The Route 22 Gallery is at 18-312 Fifth Ave W in Cochrane, in the Safeway mall.