It was just a boring, empty, white wall at Bath Institution. A wall that Warden Kathy Hinch was mulling over for close to a year, trying to decide what to do with it. But when an inmate, who is a talented artist, suggested that a mural celebrating Canada 150 would be a good fit for it, Kathy didn’t need to mull anymore. The decision was made.
“I thought it was a really cool idea,” says Kathy. “I gave him my approval and said go for it!”
Kathy decided to run a little contest within the institution to give staff a chance to contribute to the mural as well. She asked them to nominate prominent Canadians in different areas including politics, arts and entertainment, sports, economics, medical sciences, etc. All of the names were chosen by a committee, which included members from the local Employment Equity and Diversity Committee and a professor from Queen’s University, to ensure that the mural reflected Canada’s diversity.
Four inmates, all artists with different specialities including portraits and landscapes, have been working on the mural day and evening to finish it in time for Canada Day. They have worked through lunches, on weekends and have jumped in to this project with both feet, says Kathy.
“They are very excited to be a part of this,” says Kathy. “One inmate told me that this has been therapeutic for him because he can focus on something so positive.”
As for staff, it’s brought people together, boosted morale, and has further educated them about Canada’s history and the people who have created it.
Let’s Talk would like to congratulate everyone on a job well done!