More Winnipeg West End Murals

April 25, 2021
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Part of the Folklorama mural in Winnipeg's West End
More murals to discover in the West End neighbourhood of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

There are over 600 murals in my home city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The centrally-located, culturally diverse West End neighbourhood contains a high concentration of these murals. In the post Mural Tour in Winnipeg’s West End, I showcased murals explored on the mural walking tour offered by West End Biz in summer months. There are many other murals to be found in the area. This post showcases a sampling of those other murals.

“Folklorama 50” painted in 2019 by Mansdy van Leeuwen and Franklin Fernando

The mural featured above and in the photo at the top of the post was painted in celebration of 50 years of Folklorama. Folklorama, an annual summer festival in Winnipeg, is the largest and longest-running multicultural festival of its kind in the world. For two weeks in August, pavilions across the city, organized and run by community cultural groups, feature cultural displays, ethnic cuisine, souvenirs, handicrafts, and nightly entertainment showcasing folk dance and music by local community groups and guest artists from other countries.   

Folklorama was first held in 1970 as a one-time celebration of Manitoba’s centennial. The one-week festival was such a success it became an annual event. Over the years the festival grew from 21 pavilions to 40. In 1988 it moved to a two-week format with half of the pavilions open one week and the other half in the second week.

Mural in shades of blue, pink, and purple depicting a clothed animal with big ears and small horns in front of trees and woman with a colourful headscarf being crowned by a hairy hand with long talon nails
“Where The Wild Things Are” by Brian Gasenzer (as Cash Akoza), painted in 2016
A mural showing hands playing different games - dice, marbles, board games
“Connected by Play”, painted by Kadi Badiou in 2016, features native and popular games from the different cultures represented in the West End
Mural on the side of a building showing people of different cultures growing and preparing food.
“earth to table” was painted in 2012 by Amanda Abrahams and 95 community youth

The West End is an ethnically-diverse neighbourhood. It has become home to many immigrants over the years. It seems fitting, therefore, that the Folklorama 150 mural should be located in that neighbourhood. Many of the other murals in the area showcase its diversity. The earth to table mural celebrates that diversity by focusing on food: the sharing of meals at community gardens, park spaces, and around the kitchen table.

Tribute mural of The Thunderbird Woman by Daphne Odjig represents a figure of transformation, half-woman/half bird
“Thunderbird Woman by Daphne Odjig (Tribute Mural)” painted by Mike Valcourt and Peatr Thomas in 2018 recreates a painting by indigenous artist Daphne Odjig. For more information, read this article which contains Mike Valcourt’s original mural proposal and additional notes.
Mural covering the bottom part of two side of a building with a collage of items related to the theme of helping others
“Helping Hands”, painted in 2005 by Erica Holloway and almost 20 kids from the neighbourhood as part of the West End Mural Mentorship Program, wraps the building on three sides and features the theme of helping others
Mural showing blue ocean, sky, mountains, from the shore with a large red parrot on the right hand side
“Costa Rica” on the side of a building housing a travel agency was painted in 2003 by Mandy van Leeuwen and Jennifer Johnson
Mural on a board at the edge of a parking lot featured geometric designs in many colours representing musical instruments from various countrie
“Cue the Beat” was painted in 2019 by Antoinette Baquiran and Rachel Goosen

The mural Cue the Beat is located at the edge of the parking lot for x-CUES Billiards & Café. It is a celebration of the business’ 50th anniversary and a celebration of the culture of the community. It features images of the café as well as images of musical instruments from many of the countries represented in the West End.

Earth-toned mural featuring associated wildlife and aspects of the Canadian landscape
“Common Ground” was painted in 2019 by Antoinette Baquiran and Rachel Goosen. The mural imitates aspects of the Canadian landscape and represents the diverse cultural backgrounds in the West End
Mural showing adults and children looking out to sea at a steam ship and waving
“Migration of the Mennonites” by Annie Bergen depicts the first major wave of Mennonite migration from Russia to the prairies in the late 19th century when they came via the United States on massive paddlewheel steamships. The mural was unveiled in 2007.
Mural depicting costumes and dances of northern Portugal
“Northern Portugal” by Mandy van Leeuwen and Jennifer Johnson was painted in 2002 on the Casa do Minho Portuguese Centre
Mural featuring Sir William Wallace with sword on horse in Scottish landscape
Mural featuring William Wallace, an icon of Scotland, Sterling Castle, and the Scottish Highlands was painted by Jennifer Johnson in 2005
Mural on side of building with pink background and associated images associated with community needs of housing, outreach, and safety
Mural painted by youth from Art City, a not-for-profit community art studio dedicated to providing people of all ages with innovative and professional art programming free of charge, on the side of a community centre
Four mosaic panels on a building front, each with curved white edging and blue background and showing different scenes
“Mosaics” by Ursula Neufeld
Indigenous style of art in a mural on the outside of building shows teepees and stylized animals
“Prairie Spirits” painted in 2015 by Brian Gasenzer (as Cash Akoza) who describes the mural as a “Woodlands Mural – an Aboriginal Style of Art”
Mural showing associated symbols of Ethiopia
“Nation of Ethiopia” painted by Jennifer Johnson in 2006 features three Ethiopian runners (Adebe Bikila who won Olympic gold running barefoot, Haile Gebrselassie, Kenenisa Bekele), a female Ethiopian runner (Olympic gold-medalist Mesera Dafar), the Nile Falls which originates in Ethiopia, and the most popular flower in Ethiopia

If you want to seek out the murals in the post for yourself, here is a map that might help.

Map showing locations of murals featured in the blog post

There are more murals to be found in Winnipeg’s West End. Find more information on the West End Biz site. For information on murals in other neighbourhoods and throughout the city of Winnipeg, see The Murals of Winnipeg site.

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More Winnipeg West End Murals: a sampling of the large collection of murals found in the West End neighbourhood of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada #Winnipeg #Manitoba #art #murals

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  • Reply
    Ken Dowell
    April 25, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    600 murals! The whole city is an art gallery. My favorite here is Migration of the Mennonites. Mural realism.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      May 4, 2021 at 1:45 pm

      Ken, it is impressive how many murals have been created in the city over the last few decades. So many of them tell stories about the city and its people.

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