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  • Writer's pictureSue Miller

The Canada 1917 Project

Recently I've been working on a couple of paintings for the 1917—Canada Comes of Age Project. This is a multi-artist exhibition that will take place in Ottawa and Toronto in the fall and early winter of 2017. With an exceptional roster of artists, this show is shaping up to be a fascinating look back at a life-changing year in Canadian history.

Organizer and contributing artist Dave Rheaume describes the time period as follows... "[1917] was to be one of the most difficult and challenging years in Canada’s then young history. On the battlefields of Europe Canadians perished by the thousands while at home, unrest and riots over conscription broke out. In Halifax one of the greatest maritime disasters destroyed most of the city. Women fought for the vote. The legendary Tom Thomson passed away under mysterious circumstances and the NHL was born. 50 years removed from Confederation and 50 years before the glorious summer of ’67 in Montreal, 1917 was the year of the crucible. It was a coming of age story."

Sacrifice, oil on canvas, 30 x 38 inches

My painting, Sacrifice, depicts one of so many tragic moments of 1917. At this point in WWI, Canada was in essence running out of men due to the unexpected length of the war, the high number of casualties, and the labour shortage at home. This inability to maintain a volunteer army prompted Canada's conscription crisis.

A second painting for this exhibition is also in the works and I'll post an update on this soon.

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