134 Marion Street
Establishing shot. This shows the completed East and front (North) wall at the end of 2005 year. In 2006, a final section was added commemorating the Canadian peacekeepers to the west of the front wall which may be seen in photo 2.
Location: S side bet. Tache & Kenny; East and North (Front) Face
Occupant: Norwood Legion
District: St. Boniface
Neighbourhood: Norwood East
Artist(s): Mandy van Leeuwen, Michel Saint Hilaire
Sponsors: Take Pride Winnipeg!
Mandy van Leeuwen: "This was a wartime Mural for the Norwood Legion in honour of
the Year of the Veteran, demonstrated in a gentle nature. It features elements of World
War 1, World War 2, and also perhaps suggestive of the Korean War."
Michel St. Hilaire: "A wall that included and featured in part the women of the war has
probably never been done. That's why they wanted this because it had never been done.
The folks we worked with at the Legion felt quite strongly about it"
Mandy: "We discussed what types of elements were important in the Mural and we also
did our own research. We wanted to have equipment from the war, uniforms, portraits
(but not of actual persons); and they wanted it to have a happy or positive feeling, if it
was possible to portray that visually. A lighter as opposed to dreary feel. They wanted it
expressive in terms of colour. They also wanted a newer style to reflect NOW, and not an
old tired traditional look."
Michel: "The portraits on the walls are not of actual people. A lot of those faces have
playful lines and bright colours- very expressive. We didn't want it to be boring or like
most of the other wartime commemorative artwork: we wanted something a bit fresher
and a bit new. The colours are not dull or poster-like."
The east wall (Photo 3) includes imagery from WW1 on the left (Photo 5), and WW2 on
the right (Photo 6). Although the Mural displays the machines of war, they are in fact
secondary, and only to set the context of the scenes: the main focus and drive of the entire
piece is of the people who helped in the war effort: the enlisted men and women of Army,
Navy and Air Force; medical and nursing staff; and also touches on the effect of their
participation in the war on loved ones. At the right corner of that wall is a collage of
figures, including an elderly civilian man embracing and kissing on the cheek a nurse; as
well as an enigmatic female figure who is beckoning, pointing at or sending off someone
or something in the distance. The front wall (Photo 4) facing the street remembers and
commemorates the roles that the women of the war played. At its centre is a playful
rendition of the Canadian flag in motion; a reminder that this is from the Canadian
viewpoint. Images of crosses and poppies in the Mural are mindful and symbolic of
those who have fallen.
Michel: "Some of the colours, although bright are softened almost to give off a glow in
an effort to soften the harsh realities of these wars. It's not about the gore and the blood.
The theme was to 'Just Remember'."
Mandy: "This was a pleasant site. It was an east-facing wall; so there was only sunlight
in the first part of the day. Our hotter afternoons were in fact spent in the shade (Photo
10). Everyone entering or leaving the Legion seemed very happy with it and there was
good feedback given us. The Veterans were not afraid of sharing information with us,
which we found beneficial. Sometimes it was stories, or comments on things that they
recognized that meant something to them. We'd also get confirmation from them that the
things (elements) we used were appropriate in the context of what we were representing
on the wall. This was really encouraging and made us feel like we were on track. These
were things they wanted to express on things they know so much about."
"There are future plans for this Mural. We hope to extend the front scene to the west side
of the front entrance to include the Canadian Peacekeepers (Ed.note: This has now been completed- see Photos 2 and 12). We would have liked to have
completed this at the same time as the rest of the work, but there have been a few
problems with the actual wall that need to be fixed first."