A Project of Heart creation from a K-1 class in Comox, B.C. was a Heart Garden in honour of those who did not return from Indian Residential Schools. (Photo credit: Project of Heart)

Ashcroft Museum invites people to take part in ‘Project of Heart’

Participants will be able to decorate a tile for display in the museum

By Kathy Paulos

The Ashcroft Museum would like to invite you to participate in “The Project of Heart” through tile decorating.

We were looking for a community project that we could do, regardless of whether or not the Museum would be able to open this year. My returning summer student, Breana Paulos, suggested that we participate in “The Project of Heart” program. Breana, who has just completed her Bachelor of Education degree at TRU, learned of the program when she was introduced to it through her education experience.

Project of Heart was created by teacher Sylvia Smith of Ottawa in 2007, and was designed to give children and adults the opportunity to engage in the history and legacy of Indian Residential schools. Project of Heart acknowledges the families and communities to whom these children belong.

Schools and organizations across Canada have participated in several Project of Heart activities that commemorate the lost lives and honour the survivors of these schools. Activities done by the students include heart gardens, wreaths, the creation of songs, films, and artistic tiles.

As Museum Curator I felt that the creation of tiles was a good fit for the Museum. It gives us an amazing opportunity to come together as a community at this time, and is something that involves people of all ages in Ashcroft and the surrounding area.

You can participate in the Project of Heart by taking tiles home to decorate (all you need is permanent markers or some acrylic paint), or by attending one of the museum’s tile decorating days.

We have planned three days where tables and supplies will be set up outside to allow people to decorate a tile while following the appropriate social distancing and sanitizing rules set forth by WorkSafeBC. Tiles can be painted, or permanent markers can be used to create artistic representations that portray the individuals who people wish to commemorate.

For those of you who wish to participate at home, tiles may be picked up at the museum starting Monday, June 8 at 8 a.m. They must be returned to the museum by 3 p.m. on Friday, June 26. You must call or email in advance to pick up or drop off tiles.

Tables will be set up outside the museum from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 16, 17, and 18. Come as you please, but be aware we will be requiring people to social distance.

We are hoping that people will get a chance to go on their own journey of learning about Residential schools and bring that knowledge with them when they come to create their tile. The decorated tiles will be used to create mosaics that will be highlighted through the Museum, and potentially in the community.

To arrange tile pick-up or drop-off, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Ashcroft Museum at (250) 453-9232 or email museum@ashcroftbc.ca.

Hope to see you there!


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