Published On: February 7, 2020Categories: Art, Events, Exhibits, News

Quilt of Belonging is a collaborative work of art whose mission is to recognize Canada’s diversity, celebrate our common humanity and promote harmony and compassion among people.

BRANTFORD (ONTARIO) CANADA – February 7th, 2020: Woodland Cultural Centre is excited to welcome “Quilt of Belonging” to our community. An Opening Reception and Artist Talk will be held February 29th, 2020 at 2PM with Esther Bryan presenting an intimate Artist Talk and guided tour. The “Quilt of Belonging” exhibition will be open for public display from February 29, 2020 to May 9, 2020. A companion book to the Quilt is available at the Woodland Cultural Centre.

Quilt of Belonging was begun in the fall of 1998 by artist, pianist, teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, volunteer Esther Bryan. Born in Dijon, France, she married Gary Bryan in 1971 and raised two daughters and a son and is currently a proud grandparent. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University (Montreal) and has been working as both artist and pianist for the past 40 years. She has been awarded many honours including the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal in 2016 recognizing her work for the Quilt of Belonging project.

In 1995 she went on a life-changing journey to Slovakia with her parents to find the family and home her father had left behind 43 years earlier. The dream of making this artwork was born as she recognized that everyone has a story to tell, each culture has a unique beauty and that the experiences and values of our past inform who we are today. In this textile mosaic, each person can experience a sense of belonging and find a place in the overall design – there is “A Place for All”. Together they record human history in textile, illustrating the beauty, complexity and sheer size of the human story.
Quilt of Belonging is a richly hued portrait of the human family. It is a 120 ft long collaborative textile art project. The 263 blocks portray the rich cultural legacies of every nation of the world. The Quilt represents all First Peoples living in Canada, First Nations, Inuit and Métis; from Abenaki to Yellowknives Dene First Nation including community members of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.

Six Nations Members who contributed to the Quilt:

• Lorna Thomas-Hill, Wolf Clan, Cayuga First Nation, and her son Samuel Thomas
• Barbara Little Bear, Mohawk
• Towanna Miller, Seneca, Kahnawake Reserve in Quebec
• Marilyn Cornelius, Oneida, with the help of her two nieces
• The Six Nations Women’s Singing Society, Onondaga
• Julia Stiles Vernon, Tuscarora

“It embraces the same philosophies that we have as Mohawk people that there is an inclusiveness. What better way to symbolize the fact that we are all here together in one place? There’s an old Mohawk philosophy of “One Bowl and One Spoon” and it really fits into what the Quilt symbolizes. The fact that everyone is here together and connected. A quilt is about connected patterns and squares in order to bring unity.” – Russell Roundpoint, Akwesasne Mohawk Territory

This monumental artwork is Canada’s most comprehensive textile art project. It is the work of volunteers from Victoria to Newfoundland to the Arctic Circle. From across Canada, participants were invited to contribute their talents and ideas, reflected through the prism of their cultural backgrounds. Over 3 million visitors have seen the Quilt and the artwork is also used in a variety of projects and education programs creating an impact nationally and around the world.

Educational resources available for teachers and a 48-minute documentary available through the website.

This exhibition has been made possible in part by Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Canadian Heritage.


Have you seen the documentary?

Woodland Cultural Centre is located at
184 Mohawk St, Brantford ON, N3S 2X2
Open Monday – Friday 9 to 4:00pm, Saturday 10-5:00pm

Adults – $7.00
Seniors (65+) – $5.00
Students (5 – 18) – $5.00
Children (4 & Under) – FREE

All support community members receive FREE admission to the museum including: Six Nations of the Grand River, Tyendinaga & Wahta


For more information and publicity photos contact:
Layla Black
Marketing Coordinator
184 Mohawk St. Brantford ON
519-759-2650 x 250

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