The Town of Stouffville and the York Region Arts Council are excited to announce the next installment of The YR Experience Trail Marker Project.
The newest addition to the Experience Trail, “Blue Jay” or the “Diindiisi” in the Anishinaabe language, will be unveiled at the Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum & Community Centre/Vandorf Community Park at 11am on Saturday, April 15, 2023. Meet the artist, learn about the project, and enjoy light refreshments from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
The YR Experience Trail Marker project is a collaborative interactive art project designed to reconnect people on the land presently known as York Region through art. The installations have illustrations by Indigenous artist Donald Chrétien, Nipissing First Nation, cultural narrative by Ojibwe Elder Shelley Charles, Georgina Island First Nation and have been commissioned by York Region Arts Council, with program lead by Monica del Rio Pain, YRAC’s Director of Programming and Operations. “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.”
“Focused on the legend of the seedspreaders and the pollinators, the trail markers are life-size, interactive designs that invite you to become part of the work,” said artist Donald Chrétien. “I hope people will capture it with a selfie and become a modern-day pollinator by sharing it with their community online.”
Connecting the community through art and the environment— the specific location of each piece of art was selected based on proximity to natural, or man-made, pollinator gardens. “The Blue Jay is known as Diindiisi in the Anishinaabe language and refers to the sound of their songs. They are protective of family and territory, the Diindiisi lifts up happy songs of the approaching spring with the intelligence of singing with other birds and mimicking their sounds.”, shares Indigenous consultant Shelley Charles.
This Trail Marker will be joining four other markers that have been installed in Aurora, King, Georgina, and Vaughan. On the back of each trail marking, there is a QR code connecting to the YR Experience trail project and the Indigenous world view for each different pollinator. To discover the other locations for the YR Experience Trail Markers visit www.experienceyorkregion.com/experiencetrail
The Town acknowledges that this land is the treaty territory of the Williams Nations and the traditional territory of other Anishinaabeg peoples, including the Wendat and the Haudenosaunee.