Community Colours Culminating Celebration, Saturday, October 30

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AlgomaTrad celebrated the end of its Ontario Arts Council-supported Community Colours Project on Saturday, October 30, with a culminating event at the AlgomaTrad Centre. The day commenced with assembling and sewing of Table Runners created from recycled fabrics that was hand dyed over the lifetime of this community arts project. Over 35 meters of Table Runners, attached by hand crafted wooden buttons, were paraded to the Pavilion to the sound of bagpipes and laid out on tables set up for the occasion. Sampler squares, made by over 60 community members of all ages, were ceremoniously distributed atop the runners. The Samplers contain fibres and fabrics dyed using plants from the AlgomaTrad Dye Garden, the land around the Centre, and the kitchen! Attendees then gathered at the tables for an informal Harvest Supper to share a meal around these hand-crafted centrepieces.

Over 120 community members from across Ontario were involved in this wonderful project and the Centre now has beautiful hand-made runners for our meals. Everyone who has attended AlgomaTrad Camp and events knows how delicious food and gathering to eat as a community figure so importantly in the life of AlgomaTrad!

To fill out the day’s activities, Blacksmith Denis Frechette was on hand to offer an introduction to blacksmithing in the Forge and an outdoor music session was held in the Pavilion on a beautiful and surprisingly warm October day.

Since Summer 2019, AlgomaTrad has been working to establish a natural dye garden at the AlgomaTrad Centre. With the help of local volunteers, including the St. Joseph Island Horticultural Society, dye garden boxes have been built and established at various locations around the Centre. Some local families grew and harvested dye plants in their own back yards. Local Colour Labs, natural dye classes, and drop-in community arts classes with fibre artists Tuija Hansen and Miranda Bouchard, using these materials plus wild plants, flowers, kitchen scraps and minerals, were offered at the AlgomaTrad Centre in 2019, 2020 (virtual camp), and 2021.

The Community Colours Dye Garden Project was generously supported by funding from the Ontario Arts Council’s Artists in Communities and Schools program