555 Spence Street (2)
Location: slightly North of the NE corner Spence & Sargent; South (rear) Face
Occupant: THRIVE Thrift Shop
District: West End
Artist(s): Annie Beach, Brianna Wentz
Sponsors: West End BIZ, Canada Employment and Social Development, Thrive Community Support Circle
Student artists Annie Beach and Brianna Wentz, assisted by local children and youth
created the Mural. It was unveiled to the public on July 11, 2017.
Brianna Wentz: "The West End is proud to be the home to many diverse ethnic
groups and Woven Together represents the importance of coming together in
order to create a strong community. The quilt pattern, inspired by a cropped version of
the West End map includes blocks of patterns inspired by traditional textiles from the
ethnic groups in the West End. These patterns stem from cultures in the Philippines,
South Asia, Africa, Southeast Asia, West Asia, as well as Indigenous cultures here in
Canada. In place of the street names on the map there are different versions of the
term 'home' and what it directly or roughly translates to in our official languages as
well as the 9 most common non-official languages from the 2011 Census. The bottom
border includes buildings designed by the youth participants, emphasizing the idea of
home with the houses and recognizable buildings in the neighbourhood. This design
displays the sense of safety, comfort, and belonging that the diverse ethnic community
of the West End shares. Our hope is that if a new or long-time member of the
community feels lost or isolated, they can see this Mural, identify a familiar pattern, or
read a familiar phrase, and can feel welcome and accepted."
Annie Beach: "We had a wonderful experience creating this Mural. The youth
participants were very driven and creative and their contributions are wildly
appreciated. We are happy that they can look to this Mural for years to come knowing
they helped liven up their neighbourhood. We also had many friendly visitors who
would pass by the mural, complement our work and share their thoughts and ideas with
us. We are glad we could create this Mural for such a friendly neighbourhood and make
an impact for those who will walk or drive past this Mural daily."
Annie went on to thank THRIVE "for all of their help throughout the painting process,
and we hope that their customers will feel welcomed and invited by this new Mural. And
a big thank you to West End BIZ for providing us with this opportunity."
Rhonda Elias-Penner, Executive Director for THRIVE: "This beautiful Mural
outstanding with its outstanding color and diversity certainly reflects both our mission at
THRIVE and the community that surrounds us! It is a true reflection of this
neighbourhood that we have has served for over 44 years. We are thankful to the creative
artists and young painters who brought the Mural and our building to life and to the West
End BIZ for this wonderful community beautification project."