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Posted by: Rachel Roy on October 27, 2015 at 11:50 am

Input from Aboriginal community members is integral to the process of creating usable and culturally meaningful built spaces for people in their daily lives.

At MOV’s Built City Talk on October 8, architects Lola Sheppard, Luugigyoo Patrick Reid Stewart, and city planner and analyst William Trousdale provided insightful thoughts on their work with aboriginal communities. Most revealing were their ideas on how architecture has a lot to learn from the communities they serve.  Lola and William spoke humbly of careful listening and looking that needs to take place. This involves adapting and translating the ideas discussed with aboriginal communities into built form. Central to their discussion was thinking about how people will use buildings over a season, and the best positioning for building entrances and overall structures on the land.

 

 

Lola acknowledged that the history of Nunavut is immersed in colonialism which can be visibly seen in the southern architecture of the buildings—she emphasizes that this was not nearly as dynamic as the culture it was trying to serve.

Lola reinforced this point with a powerful message voiced by Sheila Watt-Cloutier from The Right to be Cold (2006):

“We are an adaptable people. We’ve had to be. We’ve weathered this storm of modernization fairly well - going from dog teams to snowmobiles, and flying jumbo jets and going from igloo huts to permanent homes, and of course, going from our environment - which is our supermarket - to now having supermarket-like stores in communities - all within a few decades. This has not been without consequences.”

 

 

As Patrick explained, the federal government tried to impose Canadian culture and buildings on the landscape. This is evident in the southern style architecture that still dominates many parts of Nunavut.

 

 

As an architect who is proudly representing his aboriginal heritage, Patrick sees indigenous cultural practices, such as basket weaving, as inspirational concepts for architects building for and with First Nations communities as it speaks to their identity. Patrick is an architect who acts as a facilitator and designs with and for aboriginal communities.

Similarly, Lola engages in careful listening and learning about the land with communities, and views this as crucial for developing new architectural structures for people in Nunavut.

Lola views the Inuit culture as incredibly dynamic – people in Nunavut are living in a radically changing region climatically, economically, and culturally. For instance, youth learn how to hunt with their elders, as well as engage online using social media tools and technology to create and share their own hip-hop music. Lola suggests that this forms part of an emerging urbanism in Nunavut, and she continues to contemplate the future role of architecture in this.

 

 

Lola poses this intriguing question: Can architecture be used as a tool of empowerment for aboriginal communities in the Arctic? Through a project she worked on with students, Nunavut-based organizations, Inuit community members, local artists, and architects based in the north, future spaces are imagined for Nunavut cities and towns to try and address their daily needs.

MOV invites you to come explore architecture’s future role for Nunavut in Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15 until December 13th, 2015.


Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15 has been organized and curated by Lateral Office, with the support of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts. It is presented and coordinated by the Winnipeg Art Gallery with assistance from the Museums Assistance Program, Department of Canadian Heritage, and presenting sponsor Manulife.

Le cabinet Lateral Office a dirigé et organisé l’exposition intitulée Adaptations à l’Arctique : Nunavut à 15 ans, avec l’aide de l’Institut royal d’architecture du Canada, et du Conseil des arts du Canada. Le Musée des beaux-arts de Winnipeg se chargera de la tournée avec le soutien du Programme d’aide aux musées du ministère du Patrimoine canadien, et du commanditaire principal Manuvie.

 

Posted by: Rachel Roy on January 20, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Harkening back to a bygone era: Haunting melodies performed at MOV on January 17th, 2015.

Ever want to escape today’s hustle and bustle to a slower more romantic time? Vocalist Patricia Hammond charmed us with her pre and post war era tunes, bringing a poised and elegant presence to the stage. Patricia and guitar accompanist Budge Schachte have a soulful chemistry — evermore so when it was revealed to the audience that they met in person for the first time the day before!

The first half of this MOV event included a selection of 1940s tunes that brought out the hardships and far away travels of these war times when soldiers left their families and lovers behind. Patricia encouraged the audience to join in with “You’ll get used to it”, “Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye!” and “Will meet again some sunny day”.

After a costume change to a more whimsical dress, appropriate for the 1950s post war era, the second half of the show brought a feeling of letting go with songs such as, “This is my lovely day” and “Enjoy yourself.”  “Far away places with strange sounding names” had an emotional resonance that reminded me of adventurous train travels in Europe.

Quite the conversationalist, Patricia revealed her passion for collecting sheet music. She discovered “She wears red feathers and a hootie hootie skirt” at Carillon Music in Vancouver, and performed it for the first time this night, with charm and grace.

Patricia’s 1950s dress had a playful fabric, which swayed as she sang and danced.

She revealed that it was a reproduction designed by Vivien of Holloway, and amusingly mentioned that certain songs tickled the bones of this dress, acting as an “imaginary singing teacher” as she sang. 

To see more dresses from the 1940s and 1950s, visit MOV’s From Rationing to Ravishing Exhibition through March 8th 2015!

 

Posted by: Rachel Roy on January 5, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Transport yourself back in time with a retro musical performance from London England singer Patricia Hammond and accompanying guitarist Budge Schachte. Experience a lyrical journey of wartime and postwar era tunes that will trigger your imagination as you stroll through MOV’s Rationing to Ravishing The Transformation of Women’s Clothing in the 1940s and 1950s  exhibition—free admission with your paid ticket!

After the concert, come explore more than 80 garments presented in the gallery spaces from cocktail dresses to jumpsuits to wartime wedding dresses and much more this Saturday, January 17th from 7:00 to 8:30pm at MOV. A cash bar will be available on site to enhance your evening’s enjoyment!

For further ticket and event information please visit http://www.museumofvancouver.ca/programs/calendar

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