Author: Seedling (Page 1 of 3)

 

 

“A Walk Through History”

By Saeeda M Ali

December 8th, 2017

Niagara Falls

 

The walking tour through the streets of Niagara showcased the deep cultural and historical aspect of the region that is so often overshadowed by the brightly-lit and active tourist attractions. The Falls see many visitors every year who are unaware of the rich history and significance of the streets and buildings just outside that tourist strip. While the more popular area is indeed breath-taking, it is worth learning about the history of the surrounding area. It is because of the efforts by those who recognise the significance of the other parts of Niagara that the history and culture is being kept alive for people to see.

This historical walk began at the Niagara Falls History Museum with an introduction to the past of the area and the work of Seedling for Change. It emphasised the drive to create new value to the streets by connecting people of different ages and experiences through the walking tour project. There were various and significant stops along the way that emphasised five different aspects: history and heritage, industry and economy, culture and arts, community, and nature. The photos exhibited were taken by various members of the community which added even more significance to the walk, and highlighted that while the Falls are the most visibly magnificent part of the area, the river itself flows along the banks of an overlooked history and culture. The walk came to an end at the HI-Niagara Falls Youth Hostel, which is also the place where the Niagara Falls once was.

For the few hours, the participants connected on a personal level by sharing their own stories and thoughts with each other. For a short while, they became friends who were experiencing a different place that only they could see, as they each added their own pieces of knowledge and emotions to the places they visited. This way, the various stops that were highlighted through the photo exhibition also had more profound value due to the connections made by the participants that day. The people of the area are all connected in some way by the flow of the River, which has undergone constant change and shift through time. The pictures aptly describe this by showing water in its various forms, for all the water comes from the River. That day, the River once again formed connections between strangers who learned and experienced its immense and natural power.

The tour provided a wonderful and necessary perspective of the region marked by the Niagara River. It was successful in bringing together not just the past and present, but also the different people who contributed in adding new vitality to the tour. This showed that the rich, almost hidden culture of the region is also made more meaningful by the people who come together to experience this dynamic space.

 

Seedlings Open Air Painting Studio

 

Seedling for Change in Society and Environment and Niagara Military Museum invitation to participate

 

Seedlings Open Air Painting Studio

Share Peace, Discover Niagara River Mobile Mural

Water in Motion, Unity in Action | Making Connections We Create Value

 

When: September 16 and 17 2017
Event: Carmel Fine Art and Music Festival
Where: Firemen’s Park, Niagara Falls

Time: 10 am – 3 pm

 

We are inviting children, youth, and adults to reconnect and reflect on peace and the Niagara River and its watershed as diverse ecosystems through painting and story telling.

 

The Niagara River is nourished by an intricate array of watercourses that make up one vast watershed. The ebb and flow of water that sustain and connect all those who live on its watershed find their correspondence in the ethical and moral guidelines a society cultivates in order to foster non-violence among human and other-than-human rights-bearers such as animals, plants, forests, wetlands, watersheds, rivers, lakes, and oceans.
This activity aims at engaging children, youth, and adults in creative acts of celebration that contribute to remembering, restoring, renewing, and expanding the connection between society and environment.

 

Website | www.seedlingforchange.org

Facebook | Share Peace, Discover Niagara River

Facebook | Niagara Military Museum

Twitter @MDCSuescunPozas

Instagram @seedlingforchange

 

As a recipient of the 2017 Cultural Development Grant we gratefully acknowledge the City of Niagara Falls as well as Niagara Arts Showcase for this opportunity.

                       

The Seedling Dispatch #1 – Niagara: Homegrown, Internationally

By: Steve Nadon

The iconic Horseshoe Falls have become more than a tourist attraction for Niagara, it’s become synonymous with Canada and the “Canadian” experience. But those who stand awestruck by the brink, watching the six million cubic feet of water that crests over the falls every minute are often unaware of the fact that the water itself is merely traveling through Niagara – in fact, 20 per cent of the world’s water supply passes through Niagara Falls. The water itself, therefore, calls attention to its transcendence of geography in Niagara – a region, which in and of itself, is remarkably grounded in internationality and diversity.

Just like the cascading water, the unique cultural history of Niagara is anything but homogenous. The region was defined by war with the United States in the War of 1812; Niagara also attracts and depends on ten million tourists each for a major slice of its economy.

Since the War, Canada’s attitudes towards the United States have changed dramatically and positively, however, the local-tourist binary does not account for the nuanced and multi-faceted relationships between land and people. Instead, the Niagara Region is still being invaded in the eyes of many locals, although this time, by friendly visitors rather than an impending military force. Problematically, this understanding of Niagara as a destination for tourists, ultimately dismisses those that are not from Niagara, as consuming the Region, rather than actively and passionately contributing to it.

This fusion is not economic, despite the $400 million dollars annually that is produced by Niagara tourism. Instead, this is expanding and accommodating the international community within our conceptions of what we consider to be “Niagara”.

Cuba, like Niagara, is a massive destination for vacationers. Similarly, Cuba relies on tourism to bring in an annual $2.6 Billion, from 3 million visitors – 40 per cent of which, is derived from Canadians. The growth of the tourist sector in Cuba, especially in its capital, Havana have resulted in a development boom that has transformed its economy and influenced the growth of the country in a service-based, resort direction.

In fact, in an interview with The Globe and Mail, Raul Rodriguez, a researcher with the Centre for Hemispheric and United States Studies at the University of Havana said, “There should be a Tim Hortons in Varadero.” This, however, cannot be what cumulative cultural diversity looks like. Indeed, this is far more capitalist than cultural, and is based on only a shallow understanding of the way in which Canadians influence the identity of Cuba.The history, the culture and the physical space of Cuba and Niagara are remarkably and meaningfully intertwined.

The millions of visitors between both Niagara and Cuba leave more than economic development in their wake, and this is epitomized in the cuban poet, José María Heredia. In 1824, Heredia visited the brink of the Horseshoe Falls – which at the time was one of the new world’s most popular destinations – and was inspired by the power and the size of the natural formation. In fact, the sight inspired a poem, Heredia entitled NIÁGARA. The poem spoke to the cathartic nature of the falls, and was as much a response to the inspiration of the Falls as his exile from Cuba – a ballad to being caught between two nations.

Heredia has since been coined the “first poet of the Americas”, and even has a dedicatory plaque hung along the guardrail of the Horseshoe falls in front of the central hub for the Niagara Parks Commission, Table Rock. Heredia as a visitor, has changed the landscape, both physically and culturally even hundreds of years later. This speaks to the power to affect 10 million individuals have as they pass through our region, which culturally, historically, economically and socially, is just as much their region.

The beautiful depiction of the Niagara Falls described in the poem is a momentous reminder of the power relationships possess to defy borders, boundaries and divides. Heredia’s writing was a chemical reaction between places both past and present, spaces both explored and awaiting, as well as experiences and between many national boundaries. In 1824, and furthermore so in the modern age, whether homogenous or not, the Niagara Region and the triumphant power of its waterfall is as much an embodiment and reflection of Latin America, as it is for Niagara residents and the rest of Canada.

“May my verses share
Your immortal glory! May a kind
Traveler on contemplating your face
One day sigh, remembering me.”
NIÁGARA, translated by Keith Ellis

Artist in Residence: Dedicated to Clemente the Colorist

Here on Seedling for Change we maintain an Artist in Residence program for anyone interested in contributing art works to our organization. The Artist in Residence program is dedicated to Clemente the Colorist, an 11 year old boy in the village of Agua Bendita located in the Municipality of Tenancingo, State of Mexico, Mexico. Below you will find some images of Clemente’s work, as well as satellite images from Mexico.

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Member Stories: Russ Higham, Our New Friend in History

Russ Higham, Our New Friend in History 

The week after “A Day in the Life of Dr. Maria Del Carmen Suescun Pozas” came out in The Brock Press, Russ Higham surprised us with the gift of his art working in custodial services at Brock University. See below the art pieces he has worked on since 2013 when he started working as a floater in charge of setting out offices for staff and faculty and helping them move. All photos shown below can be clicked to view at a larger size.

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Insight: Special Collections and Archives at Brock

Poster highlighting Brock University's Special Collections

Today, we introduce to you the James A. Gibson Library’s Special Collections and Archives at Brock University. The Gibson Library’s Special Collections and Archives are an important partner to Seedling for Change, and the resources under their care have proven invaluable to us. This entry is very image-heavy and contains a lot of information, but for anyone interested in the Gibson Library’s collections, and/or connections between Latin America and the Niagara Region, this is a treasure trove! We invite you to click below to read more:

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