The stories we tell about our nation help us to understand ourselves and each other. They shape particular views of who we are, and in this way influence how we live our lives. In Canada our most prominent stories tend to emphasize our nation as peaceful, welcoming, and benevolent; a country built through diplomacy. While it is appealing to embrace these laudable attributes, and to overlook the stories that run counter to them, to do so denies the full picture of how we have come to our present conditions in the lands we now call Canada.
The artists contributing to oh-oh canada have designed unique maple sugar candies that shine a light on important stories that are not commonly visible in mainstream Canada – only a small fraction of those that have been erased, devalued or misrepresented in a pervasive practice of colonial denial.
oh-oh canada is a collaborative art project featuring Michael Farnan, David Garneau, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Peter Morin, Lisa Myers, Cecily Nicholson, Adrian Stimson, and Leah Decter that questions what is missing from the stories we are commonly fed in mainstream Canada, and why we are so eager to proudly consume them.
‘Unsettled’ boxes of maple sugar candies were given away at the 2016 Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa.
oh-oh canada project was made possible with generous support from: Creative Conciliations SSHRC Insight Development Grant, Kimberley Wilde, Keavy Martin, Peter Kulchyski, Dylan Robinson, Queen’s University Cultural Studies Research-Creation Fund, Corridor Culture, and Gallery 101.
Feature image: oh-oh canada, Ottawa, ON, July 1, 2016. Photo credit: Laura Margita, courtesy of Gallery 101 archives.