The 2021 Green Team transformed the cafeteria at 440 River Rd and outdoor spaces at Actionmarguerite into beautiful artwork.
It started with a shortage of paint. Usually, the Green Team paints on the sidewalks surrounding 440 River Road with matte finish exterior paint. However, this year, their supplier didn’t have the paint they required. This gave the team more time to work on other projects. At the request of French Language Services, the Green Team used art grade acrylic paint to paint canvases in the Café de Paris located in the cafeteria, a favourite break area for Health and Transition Services staff. These canvases were painted to look like windows looking out to famous Parisian scenery so that people feel like they’re sitting in a café in Paris. Within a week the team painted four canvases, each scene was associated with a different season: the Moulin Rouge in autumn, the Louvre in winter, rain in spring, and the Arc de Triomphe in summer. The Green Team also painted two canvases to showcase the Active Offer, an open invitation that gives the opportunity to anyone accessing St.Amant’s services to receive those services in French or English.
“This was a great opportunity to provide something interactive and fun for the people we support,” says Bre Brown, Supervisor of Volunteer Services at St.Amant. “The fact that these paintings will last throughout the year is even more important in the context of the pandemic because they brighten the day of staff who come in for work and they brighten the day of the people we support at Health and Transition Services.”
The Green Team spread the joy of art to the residents of Actionmarguerite. They called it “Chalk Art in Action.” In July they spent a full day at the personal care home on Taché. In the parking lot, they drew two retro-inspired large-scale chalk art, including a drive-in movie theater, a diner, a jukebox, and roller-skates. The staff played 90s music and around 50 residents spent the day outside chatting and laughing with the team. “It was really fun talking with the residents and brushing up on my French,” says Bella, a member of the Green Team. “It was also really cool to see what our art looked like on the ground and then pictures of what it looked like from the window of residents’ living on the top floor.”
In August, the Green Team spent a full day at Actionmarguerite in St.Vital. The staff served them iced tea and lemonade while they drew several murals in the courtyard. Since the residents living in the secured dementia unit have limited access to the courtyard, the team drew art on their private patio. “It was really important that we bring the art to them so that they could experience something beautiful like the other residents,” says Daniel St. Vincent, Manager of Resident Experience at Actionmarguerite.
“The team blew me away this year,” says Bre. “Not only are they super talented, they really showed up. When we went to Actionmarguerite they didn’t just draw chalk art. They created a meaningful experience for the staff and residents. I think that really contributed to their art connecting with Actionmarguerite’s community.”
Actionmarguerite agrees. “This was an amazing opportunity,” says Daniel. “We’re very grateful for the Green Team. They were nice, polite, energetic, young people who made a difference in the lives of our residents. We certainly hope to do this partnership again. It was quite special.”