Cobourg
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July 15, 2024

Rick Beaver Art At The Jack Burger Sports Complex

“This reminds us of the relatedness of all things…people to the lands and waters and all the lives therein and upon”

Members of Council, staff, and residents gathered at the Jack Burger Sports Complex (JBSC) recently for the official unveiling of ‘Coho Homing,’ an original design by Rick Beaver, Michi Saagiig artist and ecologist from Alderville First Nation. Artwork that is also featured on the Municipality’s 2022 Local Experience Guide. 

“Mr. Beaver’s design is extraordinary, and we are so fortunate to feature his work in our facility and on our tourism guide,” notes Bob Sanderson, Mayor of the Municipality of Port Hope. “Collaborations of this nature are what make our community so special. It tells the origin story of our community through art and shares that message with both residents and visitors alike. Special thanks to Mr. Beaver for sharing his time and talents with us.” 

The mural is prominently displayed at the JBSC.

‘Coho Homing’ depicts the migration of the salmon and tells the story of the first people on the north shore of Lake Ontario. The 2022 Local Experience Guide also features Mr. Beaver sharing the story of the land, its First Peoples, and the history of the landscape in this area. 

The unveiling of this artwork also aligns with National Indigenous History Month in Canada. During this month we take time to honour the heritage of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis People in Canada. The artwork brings together the story of our community, and the significance of our land and natural resources. 

“The design depicts the return of Coho Salmon to the Ganaraska River, an event that captures the hearts and imaginations of so many from the area and beyond,” explains Mr. Beaver. “Historically, the species would have been the Atlantic Salmon but they too are making a comeback with the assistance of mankind. In previous times, the Michi Saagiig (“Great River Mouth”) peoples would have gathered to meet the salmons’ return to their natal streams to spawn. The catch formed an integral part of the peoples’ lifestyle and sustenance. You can see the peoples presence in the swirl of the rapids as the salmon ascend. This reminds us of the relatedness of all things…people to the lands and waters and all the lives therein and upon.” 

‘Coho Homing’ will be featured at the JBSC for the next year, where visitors and residents are encouraged to stop by and see the work. 

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