495 Sargent Avenue
'West End International Village'
This colourful Mural was unveiled on October 28, 2009. This photo shows the Mural at its original location at 545 Sargent.
Location: NE corner Sargent & Spence; South Face
Occupant: 7x16 Convenience Store
District: West End
Artist(s): Roberta Hansen
Sponsors: X-Cues Billiards & Café, West End BIZ
Roberta Hansen: "I grew up in West Kildonan and now live in Osborne Village. I just got
my BA last year at the University of Winnipeg so I've been in this area quite a bit. I'd
like to do my Master's in how visual arts can bring about attitude change."
"I had originally applied for the Mural Mentorship job this summer, and I really like
working with kids too. I had recently been to Africa so I painted about that experience.
I didn't get that job, but they kept the African painting around the office and later called
me for this job."
"I worked offsite in my living room. My roommate was in Churchill for a short time, so I
worked up to 12 and 15 hours a day. They wanted a few elements to incorporate a few
things into the design- the African Cup of Nations in particular. Sal (X-Cues owner and
the Mural client) is Italian, so I had him in the Mural playing with the African Cup of
Nations soccer ball (see Photo 1 at lower right). I actually went to the African Cup of
Nations last year in Ghana."
"They wanted a street party theme so I did a conga line of persons of different ethnicities.
There is lots of energy and colour there, which is also what they wanted. Our whole
background as Canadians is through our Aboriginal brethren, so I have the Medicine
Wheel in the background as a backdrop- you can see the yellow, red, white and black,
Draped and winding through the Mural are ribbons of dozens of Flags of Nations around
the world. At the centre of the Mural in the foreground is the Maple leaf on the chest of
the young woman- this is our heart- we are all Canadian. The two ribbons of flags are
eminating from her heart: we are all bound together as Canadians from our varying
origins and ethnicities. She's offering food out: it's harvest- 'come and join us!" And
this is the time of year that I did this Mural."
"Also on the Mural at the right is a strong visual reference to the West End Cultural
Centre, an icon in the West End (Ed. Note- a reproduction of Larry Spittle's artwork on
the front of the WECC), which makes this Mural very specifically about the West End.
The bamboo (top right corner) helps denote the Asian culture. The way we attach street
signage here to the posts reminds me of bamboo. The lamppost at left denotes European
origins. The Soccer ball- African; so there's a little bit of every culture here- a West
End International Village."