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Roddickton-Bide Arm gets its creative juices flowing for town mosaic

‘A celebration piece of one weekend that brought us together’

RODDICKTON-BIDE ARM, NL - Residents of all ages recently came together to create an artistic piece of memorabilia for the community of Roddickton-Bide Arm.

Mayor Sheila Fitzgerald said the mosaic, a project initiated as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations, has been great for promoting community spirit and inclusion.

“The mosaic represents what our community is proud of – it becomes like a time capsule,” said Fitzgerald.

“People can come back through the years to see what we painted. For us, it will be a celebration piece of one weekend that brought us together.”

Hosted at the community’s fire hall Oct. 27-28, the 350 tiles needed to complete the mosaic created a social event that brought out everyone from senior to toddler, as well as the town’s professional artists.

Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation Minister Chris Mitchelmore and town ambassador Earl Pilgrim also came down to get their hands dirty and paint a tile.

As part of the Canada 150 initiative, two professional artists – Lewis Lavoie and Paul Lavoie – attended to help organize and oversee the project. As well, the pair sought out other professional artists in the community to get their much-needed involvement.

Lewis said the town of Roddickton-Bide Arm definitely stepped up the plate to make this mosaic a success.

“Roddickton-Bide Arm really took the gauntlet,” said Lewis. “To get a mosaic in a small town like this takes a lot, and Sheila definitely worked hard at getting us here.”

Fitzgerald said without the additional funding granted with the help of Mitchelmore, the local wellness commission, and Richard Spinks, the project would never have came through.

After the tiles are painted and completed, the Lavoies go to work putting the mosaic together. An unveiling event for the piece will be held in three weeks. Lewis and Paul also oversaw a mosaic in Torbay.

Because only about 80 of the 150 mosaics for the project have been announced and completed, the initiative will now continue into 2018.

With this in mind, Fitzgerald said there is a demand for more communities to reach out. She said the mosaic has provided an excitement and flow of creativity for the town that shouldn’t be passed up.

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