Internment murals focus of Vernon launch

The Sunflower Project will be featured at St. Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church Feb. 20 at 2 p.m.

The Sunflower Project will host a national launch event in Vernon.

The project, headed by local artist Michelle Loughery, will create memorial murals for communities affected by the internment of people of European descent in Canada during the First World War.

“The murals, which will combine multi-media, traditional art and videography as well as historical photographs and personal stories from the families directly affected, are slated to appear in the affected communities across Canada over the next several years,” said Loughery.

The Canadian government has finally recognized the interment operations, with the establishment of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund.

Beginning in Vernon, one of the 24 internment camp locations, Loughery and her team will provide educational workshops in each community.

“These events, focused on information and story collection, will engage all generations and affected groups within the community,” said Loughery.

“The goal of each workshop will be to share the cultural history of the people featured in the mural, and to create opportunities for social healing and the promotion of human rights.”

The national launch of The Sunflower Project will take place at St. Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 4105 27th St., Feb. 20 at 2 p.m.

“It will be the first opportunity for project co-ordinators and affected community members to collaborate,” said Loughery.

“We are hopeful that it will provide the impetus for further conversations about internment, the importance of cultural history, human rights and social responsibility.”

For more information on the Sunflower Project go to  www.michelleloughery.org