CentreCourt and Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam are Proud to Unveil Indigenous Art Mural
Posted on May 30, 2019 by Brad McCabe

Phillip Cote's 'The Original Family' brings colour, history and meaning to Garden District.

CentreCourt is thrilled to present 'The Original Family', a work of indigenous art created by renowned artist and educator, Phillip Cote. First proposed by Ward 13 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, the mural graces the south façade at Grid Condos, CentreCourt's 50-storey tower at Dundas and Jarvis.

"Councillor Wong-Tam asked us to consider an artistic treatment of Grid's south facade," recalls Mitch Gascoyne, CentreCourt's VP of Development. "Considering the influence and impact that Indigenous culture and history has had on our country, the Councillor and CentreCourt believed that an Indigenous Art motif would be most appropriate. In May of 2018, we selected Phillip Cote to bring the project to life."

Cote brought a number of ideas forward for the piece, and after a final decision was made, work began on 'The Original Family' in the fall of 2018. The completed mural depicts the Anishinaabe Creation story, beginning with The First Man (Waynaboozhoo) and The First Woman and their sacred union.

"It is a depiction of one of our oldest stories," says Cote. "The Anishinaabe Creation Story was brought down through oral traditions and pictographic images drawn on birch-bark scrolls."

Cote worked on the mural for four months, using his contemporary style of Woodland Painting. 

"It has been an absolute pleasure working with Phillip," says Gascoyne. "And in equal measure, Councillor Wong-Tam's leadership and foresight on this project has been invaluable to us. CentreCourt is committed to honouring what is best in our communities, and 'The Original Story' is a vibrant reminder of the proud, strong indigenous foundation upon which we build."

"It is exciting to welcome this substantial, Indigenous-centered mural work that speaks to the presence and rich history of Indigenous peoples in this location" said Councillor Wong-Tam.  "Phillip Cote is an award-winning artist whose work is widely respected.  I thank CentreCourt for their sponsorship of his work, and support of Indigenous placemaking.  The mural is located across from the new Indigenous Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at 200 Dundas St. East.  I sincerely hope that these initiatives will move us closer to the goal of establishing an Indigenous Business District in this neighbourhood."

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