Prince Rupert celebrating multicultural art

Art has the power to connect people, regardless of where they come from.

Art has the power to connect people, regardless of where they come from.

A series of free art workshops the North Coast Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society will begin hosting this weekend hopes to utilize art to bring a diverse mix of Prince Rupert together, whether they are new to the community and country or are longtime residents.

“The aim [of the series] is to foster new friendships and connections between the different cultural groups in the community and to bring the arts into people’s lives in a meaningful way,” said Prince Rupert artist Lynn Cociani, who is coordinating the series.

“There are few things as lovely as a room full of people coming together to create and share.”

Throughout the series, participants will create art projects revolving around cultural identity and the value of diversity within Prince Rupert. Each workshop will have a different approach to the theme based on the leader’s vision.

The first workshop of the series will take place on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 25, with Adrienne Johnston leading participants in the creation of a fabric square that incorporates self-resonating elements of their culture.

“Each person is going to bring something from their own culture to the quilt. [The squares will] be sewn together to signify the coming together of all of us to form a community,” Cociani said, adding the workshop will continue on the morning of Feb. 1.

Joan Mostad is putting on the second workshop, which will take place over six hours on Feb. 8. Mostad will have participants combine painting in a mixed-medium collage, encouraging them to combine their past and present into one piece.

Then, Nicole Best Rudderham will guide attendees in a similar project, using drawing and painting to create art combining aspects of participants’ past with the lives they are leading now, integrating the old and new. This workshop will take place in the evenings of Feb. 11 and Feb. 13.

The final workshop will happen in the afternoon of Feb. 16, with Mike Ambach and Arianne Loranger-Saindon having attendees express themselves through collages and mixed-media.

“They’re going to focus on the storytelling aspect of art, and how art can help you tell your own personal story,” Cociani said, adding Ambach and Loranger-Saindon will have people work together to find the similarities and differences in their stories and how those stories combined make a community.

Following the conclusion of the last workshop, there will be an exhibit featuring pieces created during the series to coincide with the International Day for the Eradication of Racial Discrimination on March 21.

Anyone interested in taking part in any of the workshops can contact Lynn Cociani at (250) 624-8408 or by email at to register.

Materials will be supplied, however there is a limited number of spots in each workshop.