QVBIA and House of PainT Celebrate Cultural Diversity in Vanier with MOZAIK: Tallest Mural in Ottawa and June 10 Montréal Rd. Block Party

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VANIER, June 7, 2017: Embracing creativity and celebrating cultural diversity in the Vanier community, the QVBIA recently invested a significant amount this year towards the goal of creating the TALLEST mural in Ottawa, right in the heart of Vanier. A synergetic partnership between the QVBIA, House of PainT Festival of Arts and Culture, Ottawa’s largest urban arts organization, and the property owner of 261 Montréal Road has manifested into a large-scale beautification project celebrating cultural diversity in Vanier with a building’s 4 storey wall as the canvas for what will become one of the most iconic murals in the nation’s capital.


In January 2017, an artist callout for mural designs resulted in eight of Ottawa’s most esteemed and experienced visual artists, representing 4 artist teams, short-listed for the top mural design concepts. In February 2017, the community was invited to vote online for their favourite mural design. More than 1,000 votes were cast for the winning artist team: Mique Michelle and Kalkidan Assefa.

Artist Statement

As Ottawa marks the 150th year since Confederation, we recognize it has been a period of growth and learning. While not every aspect of the past is worth celebrating, as we look forward to the future, we must help our nation mature with the knowledge that diversity is its advantage and inclusivity is its strength.

We are two bilingual artists with diverse backgrounds, one born in Ethiopia and the other from West Nippissing, who have been Vanier-area residents for the past decade. We call this area home and are proud of the people who make it up. This includes newcomers and multigenerational immigrants from the entire globe, as well as the large Francophone, English and Indigenous communities. The city of Ottawa is also home to the largest Inuit population outside of Nunavut, and many call Vanier home.

Our mural wishes to honour these diverse histories, experiences, and contributions to Vanier. We draw inspiration from legend, tradition, and nature and will work in consultation with the local community to ensure respectful representation and avoid appropriation.

This piece will creatively use the entire height and width of the wall, with the densest amount of detail closer to street-level to discourage vandalism. Our subject will face towards Montréal Road, her head lifted high with optimism and grace, ready for the future but guided by the knowledge of the past.

Mique Michelle

A Franco-Ontarian native of Field, Mique Michelle has traveled a lot. Her nomadic life has allowed her to exercise her talent in graffiti, from northern Ontario to France. Through travels and post-secondary studies, Mique became a mixed media artist and visual artist. She completed her artistic studies at The Ottawa School of Art in Ottawa. Mique’s work can be seen in galleries, public buildings and outdoor venues. Mique remains a strong advocate for abolishing negative perceptions of graffiti and urban art.

For more information please visit: miquemichelle.com

Kalkidan Assefa

Kalkidan Assefa is an Ethiopian-born multidisciplinary visual artist and artist-educator specializing in mixed-media paintings and murals. Occupying the space between studio artist and street artist, abstract and figurative, his work often blends patterns and motifs with striking portraits and colourful stylized characters to create his distinctive style.

As a community involved artist he has been privileged enough to use his platform in support of social justice movements. He has been exhibited in collaborative projects, group shows, and solo exhibitions for the past decade in Canada and abroad.

He currently lives and produces work in Ottawa, Ontario.

For more information please visit: kalkidan-assefa.com


As part of the MOZAIK Mural Project and June 10th Block Party, the QVBIA and House of PainT further collaborated on a Paint it Up mural funded by Crime Prevention Ottawa at Peach Gardens, 273 Montreal Rd.

10 local youths over the age of 14 were selected for this youth mural installation led by Ottawa-born visual artist Darren Pyper, who facilitated community consultations for the design concept. The QVBIA partnered with the local Boys and Girls Club and the Vanier Community Services Centre for youth recruitment and participation for the Paint It Up mural, the youth-led collaborative mural element of MOZAIK.

Two community consultations were held for the Paint It Up youth mural project, which Vanier youth and community residents attended.

MOZAIK MURAL LAUNCH & JUNE 10th Montréal Road Block Party

On Saturday, June 10, 2017 three blocks of Montréal Road will be closed to traffic and animated with live art, entertainment, food, drink and live music from 1pm – 9pm.


Opening remarks:

3:00pm at 261 Montréal Road – Tallest Mural Unveiling Mona Fortier, MP Ottawa-Vanier; Nathalie Des Rosiers, MPP Ottawa-Vanier; Mayor Jim Watson; Councillor Mathieu Fleury, Rideau-Vanier; House of PainT and the QVBIA.

3:30pm at 273 Montréal Road – Paint It Up Youth Collaborative Mural: Mona Fortier, MP Ottawa-Vanier; Nathalie Des Rosiers, MPP Ottawa-Vanier; Mayor Jim Watson; Councillor Shad Qadri, Stittsville, and Chair of Crime Prevention Ottawa; House of PainT and the QVBIA.

Two large-scale murals will be unveiled: At 261 Montréal Road the tallest mural in Ottawa, and at 273 Montréal Road a youth-led, artist-facilitated mural funded by Crime Prevention Ottawa’s Paint It Up program, working in partnership with the local Boys and Girls Club and the Vanier Community Service Centre.

Three blocks of Montréal Road will be closed for traffic, and with the support of the property owner of 250 Montréal Road, the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO), the heart of Vanier will host the largest Block Party Montréal Road has ever experienced. MOZAIK will also be featuring a dynamic program of activities. Throughout the day and into the evening, House of PainT will animate the heart of Vanier with live music, dance, and entertainment which will include: Nile Groove and TIMEKODE.

Nile Groove is an accomplished and culturally diverse 6-piece Ottawa-based reggae, R&B and funk band have been grooving up the music scene with its distinguishable sound and style, performing fresh, energizing, and infectious original and cover music since its 2012 beginnings, live and on international airwaves. TIMEKODE is Ottawa’s largest, longest-running monthly dance party. From humble beginnings at Café Nostalgica in 2005, to the recent warehouse blowouts at Maker Space North, TIMEKODE has emerged as a beacon for progressive plurality on the dancefloor in Canada. Its resident DJs Memetic and Zattar have spent the last 10+ years using this philosophy to explore the freshest sounds of yesterday, today and tomorrow across genres, on two turntables.

Additional performances at MOZAIK include: The Full Time Groove and local rap artist KOOL KRYS, who recently released her new album FEMINUM. MOZAIK to feature two young rising artists from TR1BE Music. Northern Knowledge is one of TR1BE Music’s rising artists Northern Knowledge is a Inuk Hip Hop artist is starting to make a name for himself. He has used the studio program to develop his talent and find a sense of purpose. One of his goals is to establish his own youth program to provide a creative environment for inuit culture to be revitalized through visual art, music, and traditional teachings. #StrongMindedInuit

J Breton: With dreams to inspire his community J Breton is polishing his skills as a upcoming producer and hip hop artist. Through the TR1BE Music program he has already produced and released music that is making waves online. Don’t let his quiet persona fool you because this young Inuit artist is blazing the way for other Native producers and hip hop artists to follow their dreams of making it in the industry. His positive messaging is inspiring with the vision to uplift your spirits and motivate you towards greatness.

TR1BE Music is an Artist and Management Agency that helps to develop artist talent and help them to break into the industry. We provide a positive environment for the studio to be their platform and music to be their outlet. We help to equip them with the right resources to build a professional career doing what they love.

Also included in MOZAIK will be the very popular Brewery Market, an event series inspired by the traditional farmers market that offers locally-produced craft beer served in a small-scale outdoor setting. The breweries that will be taking part in the event are Clocktower Brew Pub, Dominion City Brewing Co. and Bicycle Craft Brewery. Plus several local food vendors and CHUO 89.1 FM will also be taking part in this highly-anticipated community celebration.


Having such a bold, large, and creative mural prominently featured at the heart of Montréal Road contributes to Vanier’s artistic richness as demonstrated by the numerous murals found throughout the vibrant neighbourhood.

From May 1, 2017 to June 17, 2017, a crowdfunding campaign was launched to harness the community’s support and help with the efforts for creating this masterpiece on Montréal Road. As Montréal Road will undergo significant reconstruction in 2018/2019, the aim of creating the tallest mural in Ottawa will contribute to excitement surrounding Montréal Road’s redevelopment in the heart of the Vanier neighbourhood.

“As the Co-Chair of Ottawa 2017, I am happy to see that the QVBIA, in partnership with House of PainT, are organizing an event called MOZAIK on June 10, 2017. I am pleased to offer my office’s full support on this project, as it will leave a lasting positive impact on our community,” said Councillor Fleury.

To support the crowdfunding campaign for the tallest mural in Ottawa, visit causesquare.com/TallestMuralOttawa.

Limited edition prints sponsored by: Advertise in Ottawa.

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The Quartier Vanier BIA (QVBIA) is a not-for-profit organization which represents over 400 property and business owners along Beechwood Avenue, Montréal Road and McArthur Avenue. The QVBIA promotes the Quartier Vanier area as an attractive business area, invests into the beautification of its three mainstreets and raises awareness to improve engagement with its local stakeholders. vanierbia.com

House of PainT Festival of Arts and Culture is the largest growing urban arts event and organization in our nation’s capital. Going into its 14th festival year this summer on Aug. 24-27 and more than 10,000 patrons attending each year, House of PainT continues to expand with partner projects and community arts events throughout the year, elevating urban culture and arts in Ottawa. houseofpaint.ca


Christina Devine, Communications and Marketing
House of PainT Festival of Arts and Culture

Jamie Kwong, Executive Director
Quartier Vanier BIA