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Nunavut and Toronto teens set to unveil 18-metre high mural today

07/15/2015 04:57 EDT | Updated 07/15/2016 05:59 EDT
Seven young artists from Nunavut and Ontario will show off their colourful 18-metre high mural at a downtown location today.

The group, comprising four high school students from the remote northern community of Cape Dorset and three young local artists, was hoping to paint the side of a building at the corner of King Street East and Jarvis Street at the end of June, but were told at the last minute that they'd have to look for a new wall.

A few days after receiving the bad news, Hostelling International, which sits near Church Street and Adelaide Street East, offered one of its walls to the group.

Patrick Thompson and Alexa Hatanaka, the facilitators of The Embassy of Imagination, a youth arts initiative, raised $60,000 in federal and provincial grants to bring the seven together for, what Thompson calls, a "cultural handshake". 

The mural, called Piliriqatigiingniq, is based on the designs of 16-year-old Cape Dorset artist Parr Etidloie.

"I heard some stories about my grandfather carrying a snowmobile and they told me to draw it," said the teenager who was raised in the remote northern community. "And it worked out."

Toronto's Moises Frank was also part of the project. 

As a graffiti artist, he wants the visiting teens to experience the creation of highly visible art.

"Just giving them the value and the worth of their own art, seeing it so big is pretty empowering," said Frank.

More information about the project can be found through the The Embassy of Imagination website.

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