“The Quilt of Belonging” on display in Hamilton until August 16, 2017
The Cotton Factory, 270 Sherman Ave., Hamilton
Canada is home to immigrants from every nation in the world. In 1998 textile artist Esther Bryan initiated a project to celebrate this fact and to promote a sense of greater belonging among these
diverse groups. The result was the “Quilt of Belonging”, a collaborative, community-based project that celebrates Canada’s cultural diversity. This monumental work of textile art is approximately 120 feet long by 10 feet high (36 m by 3.5 m) and consists of 263 squares representing 71 aboriginal groups and 192 immigrant nationalities in Canada. The request from Esther Bryan to the Estonian community to participate in the quilt project landed in the lap of three friends (Maaja Matsoo, Ellen Leivat, Helle Arro),
who, at the time, happened to be working on a quilting project of their own, specifically to design and sew quilts for all six of their children. They responded to Esther’s invitation to participate in the Canada-wide project by designing and completing the Estonian block in time for it to be displayed along with other completed blocks, at a special reception in May of 2000 hosted by the Canadian Ethnocultural Council at the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Five years later, on April 1, 2005, the long-in-the-making completed Quilt of Belonging was launched at an opening gala event at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa and since that time, it has been on tour to practically every nook and corner across Canada. The Quilt can be viewed until August 16th at “The Cotton Factory” in Hamilton,
a former industrial cotton mill transformed into a creative industries complex.
“The Quilt of Belonging” on display in Hamilton until August 16, 2017 Estonian Life