Venue:  Festival Hub
Time: Friday 5-7pm, Saturday 11 – 6pm, Sunday 12-5pm
Category:  Interactive + Workshop
City of Origin:  St. Catharines, ON
Price:  FREE


Favourite stories grow from our own roots. Get down and dirty, mapping your experiences and tales of St. Catharines downtown and In the Soil Festival.


June Etta will offer all people a chance to interpret, through their own words and / or images, their vision and experiences of downtown St. Catharines and the In the Soil Arts Festival, and then to see their work on display as part of a large community art exhibit at the Mahtay Cafe. A social commentary visual artist, in 2006, I led classes for the St. Catharines YWCA project, “Finding our Voices, Healing our Wounds: Art Classes for Survivors of Violence”. In 2007, I designed and led a “Just who is my neighbour?” project of work by people living near the street. Sponsored by a SCCIP grant and Start Me Up Niagara, its travelling art exhibit was shown at Niagara Artists Centre, Welland Civic Centre, St. Catharines Regional building, and St. Catharines City Hall. Last year’s successful “Mapping Our Stories Rooted In The Soil” had lots of shared maps, stories, and community conversations.


June-Etta Chenard has led participatory workshops for many groups, including artists, First Nations and Métis communities, Quakers, sex-trade workers, pastoral care workers, Hospice Niagara, survivors of violence, and people living near the streets. She’s had exhibits at Niagara Artists Centre, Welland Civic Centre, Niagara Regional government building, and St. Catharines City Hall.


“It was such a great pleasure working with June Etta at The Hub at In The Soil Arts Festival 2015. Her project drew an eclectic group all weekend from toddlers to seniors and was a great mix of local pride, creativity and most of all, fun!” -Rebecca Walsh, Hub Manager, In the Soil Arts Festival 2015

“June Etta’s project for last year’s MAPPING OUR STORIES ROOTED IN THE SOIL, was dynamic and infectious. It brought a lot of people from all ages and different walks of life into a creative collaborative endeavor which resulted in a large beautiful wall display seen and felt by the community at Mahtay Cafe. Using the downtown St. Catharines map motif as a sort of colouring book page invited anyone and everyone to play and explore toward a community collage. The dynamic of so many people working together, guided by an appreciation both pictorially and energetically for the expanding downtown creative community, was a blessing to partake in. I’m looking forward to being a part of it again this year!” -Geoff Farnsworth

“My two sons ( 7 and 9 years old) and I were enthusiastic participants in the ‘Mapping our Stories Rooted In the Soil’ project last year. We loved figuring out where we were on the map and then locating some favourite downtown landmarks. Each member of our family took a different approach to the project. One map was about colour and shape and less concerned with geographic details. Another map included specifics like street names, favourite restaurants and of course the library. We all enjoyed showing each other what was important to each member of our family. We loved the activity and each of us had a different experience, a different map and ultimately a unique piece of art. Thank you for making such an experience available to us. We loved it! Thank you.” -Marnie Engels

“June Etta’s In The Soil Art installation at Mahtay Cafe was in it’s nature quite unique. As we have come to expect from In The Soil. The piece engaged the general public to be active participants. As each person was able to contribute a portion to the piece. Weaving together a much larger tapestry of stories and art of the downtown. It was with great joy we observed how people would pick out pieces and stories within the overall mosaic. Pointing them out for others to see. Laughing or reflecting on the individual content.” -Chris Lowes (Mahtay Cafe)