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The Bee


“Aamoo” is the Ojibwe word for Bee

A Collaborative Interactive Art Project


Welcome to the YR Experience Trail Marker in Aurora located in Town Park Aurora


Town of Aurora Land Acknowledgment

We would like to start by acknowledging that the land on which we live and work is the traditional and treaty territory of the Anishinaabe, and many other Nations, whose presence here continues to this day. As a Municipality, Aurora has shared responsibility for the stewardship of this land.

We further acknowledge that Aurora is part of the treaty lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit, recognized through Treaty #13 as well as the Williams Treaties of 1923.

A shared understanding of how the rich cultural heritage that has existed for centuries and of how our collective past brought us to where we are today, will help us walk together into a better future.

About Aurora


Indigenous worldview of the bee

Aamoo – The Bee plays an important role in the plant world pollinating berries including the first berry of the season, the strawberry Odemin; the heart berry representing the rejuvenation of the changing seasons.


Re-Connect through Art

We invite you to engage in photos and sharing on social media your experiences on the Experience Trail! Use the hashtag: #ExperienceYR

@experienceyorkregion @yorkregionarts @donchretien

More About the Project

This artwork was commissioned by the York Region Arts Council and produced in collaboration with Donald Chretien, Nipissing First Nation and Cultural narrative by Ojibwe Elder Shelley Charles, Georgina Island First Nation

Mr. Chretien’s series encompasses his Ojibwe learnings celebrating the seed spreaders and pollinators of Mother Earth. This art piece is designed to invite the observer to be part of the art, be part of the story and to re-connect through photos, art and storytelling.

Mr. Chretien, is a nationally recognized Indigenous fine artist who resided in Newmarket for 30 years and created many connections to York Region through his art. He is working on a new project with the York Region Arts Council and experienceyorkregion.com’s Experience Trail program that will invite folks in York Region to explore, discover and engage in his art and share it through “digital mediums”.

Monica del Rio Pain, Program Curator at the York Region Arts Council (YRAC), is thrilled to commission Mr. Chretien’s series that encompasses his Ojibwe learnings of the Medicine Wheel and celebrates the seed spreaders and pollinators of Mother Earth. The circular shaped art pieces are designed to provide people the opportunity to be part of the art, be part of the story and to re-connect with York Region through photos, art and storytelling.

“The Experience Trail is all about re-connecting people through York Region’s diverse attractions,” Ms. Pain said. “We want to create an experience that celebrates all there is to do across the region and encourage art as a way to share and connect these experiences with each other in a safe way.

To discover the other locations for the YR Experience Trail Markers visit www.experienceyorkregion.com/experiencetrail/

More about the Collaborators

Donald Chrétien,

Indigenous Artist, Nipissing First Nation A.O.C.A

Don was raised in North Bay, Ontario, near Nipissing First Nation. He later resided in York Region, Newmarket for almost 30 years. A graduate from the Ontario College of Art and Design, Chretien worked as a commercial artist and designer for many national and international accounts but found his own pathway in the visual arts when he met and was mentored by Elder, Writer and Scholar, Basil Johnson. From his teacher, Don learned to become a visual storyteller and to respectfully translate Johnson’s centuries old tales through his paintings and prints.

In 2009 he was selected to be part of the Aboriginal Art Acquisition Program for the 2010 Olympic Games where he was commissioned to create a massive 80-foot installation piece for the Vancouver Olympics titled ‘Mother, Friend, Small Bird’ which is on permanent display in Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum and part of the Vancouver Art Registry.

In 2011 Grey Roots Museum exhibit: “The Good People: Know Our Stories, Know Us” where he designed a series of colorful symbols, or doodems. The Good People is a recipient of a 2010 Ontario Museum Association Award of Excellence and a 2011 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Museums, Honourable Mention in the History Alive! category. Now part of the Heritage Interpretation Department at Grey Roots Museum.

He also created 10 totems along the Tom Taylor Trail in Newmarket were commissioned in 2014. Many of his work is exhibited on several sites across Turtle Island

In June of 2018 Don took part in the Ontario Government’s reconciliation project and sculpted a tree, which has toured around the province.

Since 2018, Don has been teaching art courses at the McMichael Gallery and been part of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection VOICES program and he has travelled to schools for close to 10 years in York Regional School Board, but also a couple fly-ins in Northern Ontario, Deer Lake and Poplar Hills.

To learn more about Don, click here for his longer timeline and bio or visit his website: www.donaldchretien.com

Ojibwe Elder Shelley Charles,

Georgina Island First Nation

Originating from Georgina Island First Nation on Lake Simcoe, Charles is a member of the fish clan, Muskinozhe Giigohn, and earned a Master’s of Indigenous Philosophy from Seven Generations Education Institute in Fort Frances, Ontario. Her first teacher was Charles’ grandmother, who taught her how to harvest food and plants as medicine and has used this knowledge in the restoration of Indigenous plants. Charles has served as the Indigenous Advisor and Dean of Indigenous Education and Engagement at Humber College.

The Experience Trail Marker Project

The YR Experience Trail Marker project is a collaborative interactive art project designed to re-connect people on the land presently known as York Region through art, illustrations by Indigenous artist Donald Chretien, Nipissing First Nation, cultural narrative by Ojibwe Elder Shelley Charles, Georgina Island First Nation and commissioned by York Region Arts Council, with program lead, Monica del Rio Pain, YRAC’s Program Curator.

This artwork was commissioned by the York Region Arts Council and produced in collaboration with Donald Chretien, Nipissing First Nation and Cultural narrative by Ojibwe Elder Shelley Charles, Georgina Island First Nation”

York Region Arts Council

The York Region Arts Council is the only York Region-wide non-profit charitable arts service organization focused on capacity building, creative place-making and community engagement in support of artists, arts organizations and creative entrepreneurs. In order to realize the potential of our services, we work in partnership with the Regional Municipality of York, each of the Regions nine municipalities (Markham, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Aurora, King Township, Newmarket, Whitchurch-Stouffville, East Gwillimbury and Georgina) as well as other community organizations and businesses.

To find out more please visit: www.yorkregionartscouncil.com


More about the Fabricator/Installation

Fast Signs Markham Location – insert link



Learn more about Truth and Reconciliation – National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation https://nctr.ca/

Native Land – Indigenous Interactive Map https://native-land.ca/

To learn about more Indigenous tourism experiences, visit https://indigenoustourismontario.ca/

Where to find Trail Markers

Coming Soon

Town of Georgina

Township of King, King Heritage & Cultural Centre
2920 King Road, King City

Town of Aurora, Aurora Town Park
49 Wells, Street Aurora

Coming Soon



Latcham Art Centre's annual juried show & sale is back!

Featuring handcrafted work by approximately 30 Ontario artisans, Beyond Craft draws customers from all over the GTA. For the first time since its inception, the 2022 show & sale will be part of the Whitchurch-Stouffville Holiday Market, an event with entertainment for all ages!

The Beyond Craft jury is currently looking for unique, handcrafted works. Are you an artisan? Click the link in our bio to apply today!

Application Deadline: Friday, August 26, 2022

Pictured here: creegganclay

#BeyondCraft2022 #beyondcraftshow #artisanshow #event #townofws #YRarts #experienceYR

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Just in time for closing day of "Both Sides Now" - the Library's Summer Reading Club Coordinator Raniyah shares some thoughts on a piece.

Raniyah's pick: Gary Evans, Longview, 2021, oil on canvas, 24" x 36".

"Hi there, I’m Raniyah. I’m the Summer Reading Club Coordinator at the Whitchurch-Stouffville Library . I picked this painting by Gary Evans titled 'Longview'. And why I picked it is because I think it reminds me of a beautiful summer day. It reminds me of my backyard even, I love how there’s a little house right here. It kind of reminds me of my shed. And I really love all of the various bright colours that are here. I really love how they blend into the background and they kind of remind me of flowers and different fruit hanging from trees."

wsp_library #ontartgalleries #YRarts #canadianart #contemporaryart #stouffville #yorkregion #experienceYR

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Join us this Saturday July 2nd for our Canada Day Pancake Breakfast!
We know Canada Day is Friday, but you can keep the feeling going by joining us for our Pancake Breakfast. Thanks go to Christ Church Anglican volunteers who will be serving pancakes all morning.

- Saturday July 2, 2022
- 9 am to 1 pm
- Woodbridge Pool and Arena Parking Lot (Islington Ave & Hwy #7)
#WoodbridgeFarmersMarket #Woodbridge #Vaughan #Ontario #Canada #Family #YorkRegion #funforfamily #gta #food #attractionsontario #attractionsont #ExperienceYorkRegion #ontariovisited #ExperienceYR #visitvaughan #FarmersMarket #Veggies #healthyliving #supportlocal

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