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garden concert 1The Giche Namewikwedong Reconciliation Garden, which is being created at the south end of Kelso Beach Park in Owen Sound, got a big boost from a fundraising concert on Saturday that featured the soulful and joyful singing of David Sereda. Over 50 people attended and $5,475 was raised towards the construction of phases two and three of the project. The concert, which was held in the garden of Owen Sound residents, Liane Regendanz and Michael Craig, was opened with a traditional blessing and song by elder Shirley John. Bev Falco, who attended, called it an amazingly lovely event which she thoroughly enjoyed, “even though David’s beautiful songs had me in tears most of the time.”

The goals of the event were not only to raise funds but also to build awareness of the Garden project which is on the traditional territory of Saugeen Ojibwa, near the site of the original Newash Village. It will be supported by Anishinaabek traditional teachings, art installations and educational plaques. The Garden will be a place for celebration, learning, reflection and healing; where people of all nations and cultures can come together in a spirit of friendship, understanding and respect.

After a break in the music, where guests enjoyed various libations along with delicious finger food catered by Quayside Landing, Thomas Dean, the Garden’s landscape designer, explained that the first phase, including a path, central circle and other infrastructure, is already in place. In the months and years to come, as funds are raised, we will see stone seat walls, a carving of the Seven Grandfather Teachings and gardens with indigenous plants and trees, along with a Sturgeon sculpture (Giche Namewikwedong means Great Sturgeon, the name of the Bay before contact). You can follow progress at facebook/reconciliationgardenproject.

The Garden will be a lasting tribute to the historical importance and creative energy of the Indigenous Anishinabek in Grey Bruce. This vital community project needs your support. The volunteer Reconciliation Garden Committee, which formed in 2010, and includes Susan Staves, Shirley John, Colleen Purdon and others, is hard at work raising the money to complete the garden. United Way Bruce Grey, the trustee for the project, will be more than happy to accept donations online at donatetoday.ca (reference Reconciliation Garden) or call 519-376-1560 to donate with Visa or Mastercard.

garden concert 2

garden concert 2

source: media release

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