ELORA – The Elora Centre for the Arts (ECFTA) outdoor revitalization project is finished ready to be admired by the public.
The ECFTA’s The Paths that Connect Us features a mix of painted pieces, a mural, sculptures and maps along a trail that takes people around the grounds of the art centre.
Lianne Carter, ECFTA executive director, explained the project is meant to be an engaging outdoor space based on the idea of connection whether that be with each other, nature or art.
“Each of the artists that were selected for the project had to submit an idea that fell into that broad theme of connection,” Carter said.
This ended up being interpreted in a few different ways in the finished project. Carter noted everyone involved, whether they were artists or on the landscaping side of things went above and beyond on the project.
One artist made two different maps, one showing landmarks or places visitors could walk to from the yard and the other showing cycling and hiking routes in the area and their difficulty.
“It’s to encourage people to get outside again and really realize all the other pathways that are in our community beyond our little pathway,” Carter said.
All the art pieces have a QR code attached to tell people what the artist was trying to communicate about connection and some behind the scenes photos of the creative process.
Carter explained this has been a long process, beginning a few years ago, but really getting going when ECFTA had a grant approved from the Government of Canada’s Healthy Communities Initiatives.
Creating the art started last year and digging the paths began in May.
“Just getting the infrastructure in place was the biggest part, digging those paths,” Carter said. “Digging the hard path so that it was wheelchair accessible for everybody.”
The project opened to the public with a ribbon cutting on Saturday which Carter said was good timing because it is around the 20th anniversary of the ECFTA.
“As we grow we’re sort of engaging the community in all kinds of different ways, safe outdoor ways,” Carter said. “Really it’s about healing and restoring and connecting us so that we can all be healthy and flourish again. Not just now but down the road for years to come.”