Street art is popular in Montreal, turning plain, boring buildings into colourful, and vibrant works of art. It even has a mural festival celebrating talented local artists, providing them with ample ‘canvases’ to showcase their work.
This particular piece was one of the first I noticed when beginning a guided tour of the city, it’s probably my favourite street art not only from Montreal, but any destination. It’s a great work, which is so bright, and colourful, really lighting up this particular district.
The message isn’t lost either, “Contes and Legendes” translating to “Tales and Legends”. The trip across Canada had a First Nation theme, as the culture, stories, and values of indigenous people has always fascinated me. This art is powerful, portraying the strength of aboriginal Canadian culture, and their connection to nature.
This street art would have been especially welcome at the beginning of the journey, but at least Montreal was early on the itinerary.
I was fortunate enough to meet a number of First Peoples, witnessing plenty of enterprising commercial initiatives, and other smaller community projects. Every encounter left an impression upon me, they were professional, and friendly, while their passion, and respect for the natural world never ceased to impress.
The tales of creation, and other legends were always enthralling, and insightful, usually with a meaning, educating any listener prepared to notice. Regardless of the surroundings, toasting bannock over an open campfire, among the furs of a traditional longhouse, or just chatting in a modern gallery, or the facilities of the nation community centre.
Each encounter left me hungry for more, they were all different, but the common theme was a willingness to progress, leave past injustices behind, and move on harmoniously. However, they were equally determined to retain their culture, and heritage, displaying their pride through regalia, and dancing, passing on their history through tales, and legends.
Every time I look at this indigenous street art image, it not only transports me back to Montreal, but it reminds me of so many special moments on the epic adventure across Canada. This is why it has become my favourite street art, I can relate to the artistry, especially to the message behind it, and the memories that it evokes.