Michael Belmore commissioned for The Nogojiwanong Project

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Nogojiwanong Project

Artist Michael Belmore has been selected to create the public art piece for The Nogojiwanong Project.   

The Nogojiwanong Project is a collaboration undertaken in the spirit of kinship between local First Nations, Indigenous peoples, and the City of Peterborough in recognition of the 200th anniversary of Rice Lake Treaty No. 20 – the agreement between the Michi Saagiig peoples and the British Crown that made it possible for Europeans to settle in this region.

The first phase of the project was a series of interpretive panels highlighting the evolution of local treaties and inherent rights of Indigenous peoples that were installed in 2019 at the south end of Millennium Park next to the Trans Canada Trail. Nogojiwanong is an Anishinaabe word meaning “place at the foot of the rapids,” is the name given to the gathering place at the bottom of a turbulent stretch of the Otonabee River, which would later become Peterborough.

Michael Belmore’s new work will complement the panels and anchor the Nogojiwanong Project space. He employs a variety of materials and processes that speak about the environment, about land, about water, and what it is to be Anishinaabe.

“Seemingly small things, simple things, inspire my work, the swing of a hammer, the warmth of a fire, the persistence of waves on a shore. Through the insinuation of these actions, a much larger consequence is inferred. Materials such as water and stone have a voice, they speak a language and have a history of conversation that extends well beyond our fleeting human existence. I have attempted to enter into this exchange, offering my voice to speak about the past and the future, about our connection to this land and its ever-changing reality,” Belmore explains.

Belmore’s piece for the Nogojiwanong Project, entitled “Gathering,” is expected to be installed later this fall. It will consist of a grouping of glacial erratic boulders, carved, lined with copper, and fitted so that they sit slightly apart and seemingly radiate heat. The stones will also be embellished with the Treaty 20 Clan Totems.

Belmore is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design and completed his Master of Fine Art at the University of Ottawa in 2019. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented in the permanent collections of various institutions and numerous private collections.

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For further information members of the media are invited to contact the undersigned:

Brendan Wedley, Manager of Communication Services

City of Peterborough

705-742-7777 ext. 1636