Ellie Lagrandeur has been an artist for over 30 years; well-known in Ontario, she moved to Alberta in 2015. Lagrandeur has created mural-works across Canada and creates original paintings and commissions out of the Fort Saskatchewan gallery.
Her daughter, Stacey Shearing, moved to Alberta in 2008 and creates jewellery and dream catchers on-site.
“I make dream catchers. We’re of Ojibway heritage and it’s basically a celebration of that,” said Shearing. “We’re very spiritual so we want to bring that in as well … We have this hole in the center of our gallery that we call our spirit tree and that’s what we have all our dream catchers hanging from,” she explained, in a previous interview with the Record.
Reconciliation has been at the forefront of conversation lately, due to the discovery of a mass grave at a residential school site in Kamloops last year, and the recent visit and apology from the Pope.
“My Ojibway grandmother survived residential schooling in Ontario and I now have a greater understanding as to why she never spoke of it,” Shearing said at a reconciliation event. “My vision, although heartbroken, focuses on the regrowth for our future. We can all see a transformation is underway and I believe we are embarking on a new, elevated lifecycle of growth and rebirth…” Shearing added.
Now, the local business is debuting a collection of orange shirts, with the words “Every Child Matters” written in the centre.
“We are happy to say our orange shirt supply has arrived! The design features two hands holding up a child’s face with eagle feathers along the side. We will have sizes adult M – XXL and youth XS-L. $35 each,” the duo shared on their Facebook page.
The shirts were created by Native Northwest and are designed by Morgan Asoyuf, Ts’msyen (Tsimshian). Proceeds from the sales go to the Native Northwest Reconciliation Fund to advance reconciliation by funding initiatives that support Indigenous wellness, learning, and culture.
“By wearing an orange shirt, we are starting a conversation about reconciliation and paying respect to residential school survivors, those who did not make it home, and their families,” Native Northwest wrote in a statement.
“Children are to be honoured, loved and respected and encouraged to thrive. This shirt reflects the multi-generational impact of residential schools and the impact of those who survived,” said artist, Morgan Asoyuf.
The local art gallery and shop is located at 10209 100 Avenue in downtown Fort Saskatchewan. It is open from 11am to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday. The shop will soon be moving to a new location across the street, as the current location is up for lease.
For more information, visit the Dreamcatchers Gift and Art Gallery Facebook page.
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