Winter is approaching quickly, and we have had an exciting summer and fall here at Flatlanders Inn. We especially enjoyed hosting our annual Spread the Love party, and watching two massive murals take shape on the side of our building.
Towering over our greenspace, right on the edge of Main Street, we now have the mural “Mending” by The Clandestinos (the married artist duo of Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky). Incorporating symbolism from indigenous traditions from North and South America, “Mending” is dedicated to the “strength and resilience of the First Nations Women from across the Americas.” In the mural, an indigenous woman is mending a heart, symbolizing healing and the reconstruction of broken pieces of communities. Like the Memorial Garden on the West side of our building, the mural honours missing and murdered indigenous women.
The mural “Aqua Lungs”, looming over our parking lot, was a collaborative work by PA System (Patrick Thompson and Alexa Hatanaka ) and seventeen-year old Parr Josephee from Nunavut. In this piece, a pair of lungs hold together humans, animals, and the earth, surrounding them with healing waters. The piece also speaks about the impact of seismic testing in the arctic, which negatively affects animals like the narwhal depicted, as well as the people who are connected to the land and the animals.
After the murals were finished, they were part of Winnipeg’s Nuit Blanche art celebration. On October 1, hundreds of people gathered in our parking lot for music, lights, dancing, and the start of the annual Bike Jam ride. Many of us joined the party, and a few of us even joined the bike jam.
We didn’t know the artists at all before they approached the church with a request to paint our wall, but we are so blessed by their art and our contact with them. The results are incredible, and we are grateful for the chance to bless our city by contributing our wall to such a beautiful project. The art is clearly visible to anyone driving up Main Street, as well as to the scores of people who cut across our parking lot each day. If you want to know more about the murals and what they mean, you can read about them on the church website: winnipegcentrevineyard.com/new-murals-mending-aqua-lungs/
We were also excited to be able to bless our neighbours through another Spread the Love party this August. We have held these parties for several years, funding them with a gift that we receive from the Simple Way’s Jubilee Campaign, where the Simple Way spreads around some of the resources they have been blessed with.
This year, we held our annual Spread the Love party on August 26. We ate some incredible sandwiches, and enjoyed a dance party. In our Spread the Love parties, we also raise money to pass on the blessing to other organizations. This year, we passed on a donation to Finding Freedom, a ministry that works with people who are struggling with addictions. To learn more about Finding Freedom, you can visit their website at findingfreedom.ca
Through all of this, we remember God’s call, through the prophet Jeremiah to the Israelites in exile, to work for the good of the city that we have been placed in (Jeremiah 29:7).