February 17th 2011 was a bloody cold night in Regina. Waiting for a bus home from Downtown, I walked the streets to keep warm.
Fortunately, I have a warm home to go to, with food and nice extras like an internet connection. There are many in Regina who are thankful to have shelter and food at all. On a cold night every Reginan wants the same basic things, some, however, will not find them so easily.
The morning and afternoon of February 17th, Common Weal in partnership with a host of Regina agencies and groups (click here for a list) set up an art installation in Victoria Park. Common Weal wanted to highlight the effect low vacancy rate in Regina and the increase in rent has on low-income people.
For more continue after the break
I caught the installation around 2pm just as they were beginning to pack up because of the cold weather. I Spoke to Gerry Ruecker of Common Weal about the project. He was inspired to develop the installation by coffeehouse discussions on homelessness that have recently been held in Regina. He felt the installation helps transmit the experience of homelessness to those who may not interact with or see homeless people on a day-to-day basis. Gerry also hinted that there maybe more art projects concerning the housing crisis in the near future.
I thought the installation did a great job of associating ‘home’ with the park/outdoor space to drive home the vacancy crisis. I’m certainly looking forward to any upcoming work Common Weal may create in the future.
While I got to the installation late, Joanne Shannon Executive Director of Common Weal was happy with the turnout and the media coverage the event attracted, despite the weather.