Pictou Arts Society preserving heritage of town with new public space

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PICTOU – The good ol’ days – that’s what the Pictou Arts Society is trying to preserve with a new promenade at the Olde Foundry.

Project coordinator Denise Lynch and project manager Dan Currie pose next to artists renderings and an explanation of the Heritage Walk Project. The plans for the project were unveiled Sunday afternoon in Pictou in front of over 40 people. 

A steering committee gathered pieces of history and stories that will make up a public space, featuring benches, a mosaic patio and gardens across from the ball field on Front Street.

“They were good times, some hard times, but good times,” Bonnie Allen, one of the committee members, said.

Allen was responsible for outreach to the senior population as well as organizing storytellers to reminisce over past times.

Over the course of a month, she reached out to different seniors’ groups such as the Shiretown Nursing Home and Maritime Odd Fellows. With the help of storytellers such as St. Clair Prest in town crier costume and local musician John Spyder MacDonald, they developed images reflecting the history of the town to make up a mosaic, designed by artist and committee member, Carolyn Vienneau.

The design was unveiled on Sunday and reflects Pictou as it was before settlers came over on the Hector, before the causeway was built, when boys and girls entered Dawson School through separate doors, wartime as well as several other periods.

Each weekend throughout the summer, the arts society will be inviting people to help them build tiles that will make up the promenade with storytellers and musicians there to inspire until the big reveal during the Hector festival in September.

“It’s providing them a focus to collaborate and build relationships long term,” project coordinator Denise Lynch says about what the heritage project does for the town, adding that it also grows pride. “It encourages relationships between generations,” she says, explaining that students from Pictou Academy are also taking part.

Although all ages are invited to help build the tiles, the focus is on engaging seniors, Lynch said.

The project received more than $25,000 in funding from the New Horizons Seniors’ Grant from the federal government.

They’re also looking to beautify garbage cans in the area, and add a recycling centre, complete with an artistic map of downtown Pictou. 

 

amanda.jess@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda 

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