Here we are at the end of Week 7 of our Western Canadian Stride Team adventure as we travelled another 687 kms for a total of 5403 kms.
We arrived in New Westminster where the Royal City Gogos hosted the Turning the Tide Exhibition at the River Market, Dec 1-6, 2010. This dynamic group went on to produce the inspiring multimedia art exhibition and commemorative book, “Celebrating African Grandmothers, Heroes of the Continent” that toured Western Canada in 2012. Their current projects include Solidarity in Action Fitness Challenge, the Artisan Craft Sale in July, and cycle training for the Solidarity Cycle in Sept. Royal City Gogos or on Facebook @royalcitygogos2
The Victoria Grandmothers for Africa (VG4A) hosted the exhibition at the Martin Batchelor Gallery Feb 24-Mar 12, 2011 before the artwork was moved to the Victoria Conference Centre at the Empress Hotel for the Gala Dinner and Auction. Stephen Lewis inspired the 600 guests with his eloquence at this spectacular event hosted by Sheila McKay of CBC.
After weeks of rehearsing via zoom, the VG4A’s recently hosted a Covid safe flash mob beach party at Victoria’s Willow Beach, where they danced to the beat of Jerusalema, the worldwide viral dance challenge written by the South African musician Master KG. Find their recent up-dates on their website Victoria Grandmothers for Africa and on Facebook.
Hover the cursor over the map of Vancouver Island on the left to view our progress north on Vancouver Island as we are now clearly in sight of "home."
Our energetic team has now covered 4716 kms, adding another 755 kms this week on our journey. We have almost reached Kelowna where the textile art exhibition was hosted by the Kelowna Grandmothers for Africa at the Kelowna Grand Hotel from Oct 4-7, 2010.
We are walking in solidarity with our African sisters. One of the beautiful textile art pieces that represents this sisterhood so clearly was created by Myrtle Schmidt who moved from Lethbridge AB to Victoria BC.
"Turning the Tide" Artist: Myrtle Schmidt
This week we logged 828 kms as we turned west to begin our long trek back to BC.
Noreen Duncan, the organizer of the Winnipeg Exhibit has shared her memories and numerous photos with us.
In recent years, Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg’s annual project, “Warm Up to Winnipeg”, has been a great win-win-win fundraiser. Knitters around Winnipeg have been generously donating scarves to Grands ‘n’ More for several years. Grands ‘n’ More volunteers have been wrapping and taking these scarves to sales and events around the city and “selling” them to the public. Instead of taking the scarf home with them, the buyer signs their name on a tag and the scarf is then donated to Welcome Place to help keep a new refugee warm through their first Winnipeg winter. The funds raised go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Over the nine years this “little” project has been running, over 3,200 scarves have been donated to Welcome Place and approximately $31,000 has been donated to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
To learn more about the tremendous Support shown by Winnipeg click on the following link.
Winnipeg’s Noreen Duncan Remembers the Turning the Tide Textile Art Exhibition
This week we traveled the last of the Kms east to Winnipeg. The Turning the Tide Textile Art Exhibition was held at The Bay in Downtown Winnipeg, October 12-17, 2010, and at The Brandon Art Gallery, October 18-23. The wonderful poster advertising the event was distributed and displayed widely:
(Click on images center and right below for more details about these pieces)
We are now heading west to begin our long trek back to BC.
This week we logged another 741 kms and are nearing our most easterly destination, Winnipeg.
As we stride across the Prairies, we are reflecting on our time in Calgary.
Yvonne Way, a longtime member of the Calgary Ujamaa Grandmas, sent her reflections on the 2010 Turning the Tide Textile Art Exhibit:
"I have a long thread of good memories associated with the "Turning the Tide… one ripple at a time" Textile Art Exhibition that toured Western Canada. I was keen to view the exhibit when it visited Calgary on October 27th - 29th, 2010 as I am a quilter, and I love to dabble in various other creative adventures. The exhibit was a stunning collection of exceptional art, showcasing the fascinating continent of Africa, but it was more than just an art display. When admiring all the creativity that went in the pieces you could feel the connection the artists’ had with the people of Africa, and their deep concern for their welfare. My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed spending hours taking in every detail of the pieces on display.
Some time after that, my brother, who lives in Victoria, sent me a copy of the book by the same name, published by the Glacier Grannies in 2010. It included a very special invite.
I decided even though it meant a plane ticket on my part I just couldn’t miss this opportunity! The result was, in March of 2011 my brother generously hosted a table at the gala and art sale in the Victoria Conference Center, with Stephen Lewis in attendance. A family member filled every seat! By the end of the evening those family members had bought FOUR pieces of the art! I was ecstatic and humbled that my family would support something so dear to my heart.
The evening was a highlight of my year and this was not only because of my families generosity and the success of your project but because the Stephen Lewis Foundation was especially significant to me. You see I had been one of the 40 grandmothers and grand ‘others’ chosen from across Canada in 2010 to travel to Swaziland and South Africa with the foundation! I marched beside the African grandmothers on their soil, holding their hands, doing what I could to draw worldwide attention to their plight.
I was able to reconnect with some of the Canadian grandmothers that I had travelled in Africa with at the gala, it was such a delight to see them again, and it made the evening even more memorable. “Turning the Tide… one ripple at a time” Textile Art Exhibition has left lasting ripples of joy and success that still resonate across parts of Canada and certainly across sub-Saharan Africa.
On the day I left Swaziland one African grandmother approached me and fervently whispered…”Don’t forget us…please don’t forget us…” and the Glacier Grannies are certainly not forgetting their African sisters. Thank you for all that you do."
(Click on each of the four images below for more details about these pieces)
In Week 2 from May 8-14, Our Stride team has been very active logging another 822 kms on our virtual journey. This week we “travelled” from the Okanagan through Glacier National Park, Yoho National Park, over the Continental Divide, passing world famous lakes, breathtaking waterfalls, and spectacular mountain peaks.
We arrived in Calgary where we “visited” the Ujamaa Grandmas. This dynamic group hosted the Turning the Tide Textile Art Exhibition at the Art Point Gallery, Oct 27-29, 2010. Find out more about the Ujamaa Grandmas at or @ujamaagrandmas on Facebook.
Now we are continuing our journey via the scenic route Hwy 9 into Saskatchewan.
In our first week we have walked, run, cycled, and zumba’d across 776 kms. We have already ”travelled" across the water on 3 ferries, “visited" the Sunshine Gogos in Powell River, Richmond Gogos in Richmond, and CanGo Grannies in Kamloops, “walked" through Sorrento, and are well on our way to Calgary!
The CanGo Grannies hosted the Turning the Tide Textile Art Exhibition Sept 23-26, 2010 in Kamloops and Oct 1-3, 2010 in Sorrento.
Click here if you’d like to donate to our team or a team member. Thank You
Want to know more about the Glacier Grannies? Click here.