SUDBURY -- Better Beginnings Better Futures unveiled their new fence mural Thursday. Three local artists came together and transformed the fence into a painting inspired by traditional woodland art.

“Each of these animals on this mural stand for the seven grandfathers teachers that kind of make up the way to live the good life,” said lead artist Adrienne Assinewai.

Assinewai started the project with pen and paper, and took more than two weeks to draw the whole thing. She then passed along the finished design to experienced mural painter Raven Debassige, who took another two weeks to paint the fence and complete the project.

Wallace Gillard was the third artist involved, in charge of making sure everything ran smoothly and that the group was on track.

“There were technical difficulties, as well as weather,” said Debassige. “It was an interesting process -- really fun though.”

Better Beginnings Better Futures works with community groups throughout Sudbury to offer services to the community. For this project, they worked with Myths to Mirrors, a community arts organization who was in charge of hiring the artists.

This isn’t the first time the two organizations have collaborated. More than 20 years ago, they came together to paint the mural at the front entrance of the Better Beginnings Better Futures building.




“It’s really cool for two community groups to have survived this long,” said Myths and Mirrors community arts director Cora-Rae Silk. “And to be able to keep working together to create works of art together is really amazing.”

The mural is titled ‘Mino-bimaadizwin-The Good Life.’

The Indigenous Services Manager with Better Beginnings Better Futures, Jim Eshkawkgoan, said he hopes people see nature when looking at the mural.

“To me, the message in that mural is that connect to nature,” Eshkawkgoan said. “Having it in such a visible area to the community, it also acknowledges the people in the community who didn’t have a voice. The Indigenous community, human teachings that come from the Indigenous community who are meant for all.”

For close to 30 years, Better Beginnings, Better Futures has been working to help children avoid emotional and behavioural problems, as well as helping neighbourhoods take care of their children. They strive to give them a place to enjoy and to feel safe.

“I think Better Beginnings is a … good model for communities to come together to achieve a goal together,” said Eshkawkgoan. "Everybody has something to contribute."