Ottawa’s largest mural has officially been unveiled at an Ottawa community housing building on Wurtemburg Street.
The mural is made of 68 pieces that are four-by-four feet in size, reaching up nine stories, overlooking Rideau Street.
More than 60 people came together including newcomers of different cultures to create the mural. The project celebrates diversity and brings awareness of contributions of newcomers to Ottawa while showcasing the importance of inclusion.
Community engaging artist Claudia Salguero was the lead artist behind the mural. She said what inspired her to create the project was immigration, unity, and the need of support for newcomers.
Salguero also highlighted the importance of the help she received on the project.
“I invited people, not because I needed help, but because I wanted them to be part of the creation of something as meaningful as this,” said Salguero.
The groups involved in bringing the mural to creation included Ottawa Community Housing, the Tenants Circle at 215 Wurtemburg, Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership, and the Lowertown Community Resource Centre.
Crime Prevention Ottawa, Ottawa Community Housing, and The City of Ottawa – Diversity in the Arts Fund provided the funding for the project.
Chief Executive Officer of Ottawa Community Housing Stéphane Giguère said that the goal of the mural was to connect everyone.
“The celebration around the diversity for us, the meaning of it is about creating that tightness in the community that we belong together, connect together, work, live, and play together,” said Giguère.
Giguère also said that the mural represents the importance of Ottawa Community Housing residents being part of the city.
“When you have an initiative like the mural that we have which is the largest now in Ottawa, we talk about the largest benefits that we can create to the residents of Ottawa Community Housing that they are part of the fabric of Ottawa,” said Giguère. “They are brothers, sisters, siblings, mothers, and workers in our communities that are helping to be where we are as a city.”
The location of the mural was important as well says Salguero.
“This is a very multicultural place, this is a neighborhood where you find very well accommodated people and very low-income housing,” said Salguero. “So this is a combination of all that Ottawa is.”
A plaque was unveiled today as part of the event. It will sit at the base of the mural for pedestrians to read and learn about the artwork.
During the official unveiling Salguero received a recognition award as a Welcoming Ottawa Ambassador which was presented by Director of Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership Hindia Mohammoud. The recognition is presented every year during Welcoming Ottawa Week.