563 Ellice Avenue
Icelandic themed Mural. The 2015 restoration of the wall.
Location: NE corner Ellice & Furby; West Face
Occupant: I-CAN; Core Labour Opportunities
District: West End
Artist(s): Dave Carty
Sponsors: West End BIZ
Dave Carty: "This illustration of Icelandic culture reads from left to right. I
have treated this from historic and cultural
"The initial elements, the Viking ships, show the arrival of the first
inhabitants and the type of craft that was
used to sail to Iceland. Care has been taken not to depict the early
settlers of Iceland as warring Vikings
but as the explorers looking for the other lands to inhabit: this in part
to defray the stereotypical perception
that all Vikings were warlike. The landscape behind the ships is
Icelandic, barren and hilly.
To the right is an elderly seaman. A man worn with age and hard work at
the sea but giving evidence of
the true pride of an Icelander. Below the old sailor is a boy dressed in
modern working apparel for his
trade, the mainstay of the Icelandic economy - fishing."
"Icelandic ponies gather on a hillside. Their almost mythical manes are
recognizable as that of Icelandic
steeds. Geological forces of Iceland which gave the country its origins
are constantly at play, reshaping the
land. Sometimes they create great hardship; other times opportunity. The
geyser in eruption is throwing
up a vast column of boiling water. Above these geological phenomena is the
city of Reykjavik, the capital
of Iceland. A fierce bronze Viking holds watch over the city. Reykjavik
obtains all its power and heat from
the hot water vents, such as the one illustrated. These are found
throughout the entire country. A violent
volcano has erupted making some new lands, destroying other lands. This
has been and still is an ongoing
force that has shaped the geology and topography of this island nation."
"The title page of a book on early Icelandic Christianity enshrines the
SAGA (displayed in the centre of the
geyser) and tells a brief story or SAGA of Icelanders in their country and
after they immigrated to Canada.
The Icelanders have always embraced the SAGA in their culture and as a form
of their literature.
Icelanders are the most literate people in the World being well published
globally. This also depicts more
of the decorative Icelandic excellence."
"At this point a map illustrates the top of the world showing the origins
of Icelanders. They stemmed
originally from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and areas of present day Great
Britain and Ireland. The map
also shows North America, which the Vikings discovered in the 9th century
AD. Later, part of North
America became home to many of these venturing peoples in a place they
called New Iceland. Below the
map is an original scene of that place, a reserve of land on the west shore
of Lake Winnipeg given to the
Icelanders by the Canadian government when immigrating to Canada. The men
are fishing on Lake
Winnipeg, a profession which has been handed down through the generations
in the old country and this,
the new. A Winnipeg cityscape and rural landscape symbolize the later
movement of these peoples to the
city and other rural locals."
"The Icelandic Canadians to this day maintain their culture and heritage.
The woman in the sky above New
Iceland is a chosen queen, (Fjallkonan) for the Icelandic Festival of
Manitoba held each year in the town
of Gimli. The culture and traditions of the Icelandic peoples are a strong
and thriving force in evidence
every year at Gimli, Manitoba."
"The Mural recognizes the achievements of Charlie Thorson, depicted through
a self portrait with some of
the characters in the foreground. He was a Winnipeg native and second
generation Icelander who was a pioneer
in the field of animation. His most famous international character being
Bugs Bunny, and Pumkinhead,
who was a feature of Eaton's of Canada."