Mississauga marks 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week with important artwork
Published October 13, 2022 at 3:18 pm
Mississauga firefighters have gone the artistic route to mark the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week, celebrated across North America each October.
In doing so, Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services officials enlisted the help of a talented local artist to temporarily transform the bay doors and a pumper truck at Port Credit Fire Station No. 104.
A mural that now appears on both the bay doors and fire truck was created by Emily Kewageshig, an Anishinaabe artist and visual storyteller from Saugeen First Nation No. 29.
The work is a digital illustration on vinyl that includes two powerful images, fire officials say, adding it’s a representation of Indigenous culture that showcases a spiritual connection with fire and nature.
They note the station is situated within Treaty 22 and the location holds specific ties to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the City’s Treaty partners.
The temporary art piece was officially unveiled earlier today (Oct. 13), and fire officials describe it as a “…meaningful and visually stunning transformation of (the) bay doors at Station 104 in Port Credit, and the fire apparatus, pumper 104.”
Thanks to @MississaugaFES @SaugaCulture for the work with our Indigenous partners and artist to bring this special public art to Station 104 in Port Credit. #TruthAndReconciliation Also, it’s #FirePreventionWeek 🚒 pic.twitter.com/FduKb5TD85
— Shari Lichterman (@slichterman) October 13, 2022
City of Mississauga officials say that prior to moving to their current reserve in 1847, the Mississaugas had a thriving Mission Village just north of Port Credit.
“The City is working to reverse the erasure of Indigenous peoples and their history and culture in the city, and we will mark the week with an activation of the Moccasin Identifier as well as an art unveiling of our fire station 104 bay doors and our fire apparatus, pumper 104,” City officials said.
“When you see the artwork on the fire station and truck, as well as the moccasin paintings on the tarmac, we hope it demonstrates that (Mississauga firefighters) acknowledge and respect our Indigenous community and we’re committed to reconciliation, equity, diversity and inclusion.
“The goal is to make Indigenous history more visible in Mississauga as well as encourage connections, conversations and learning. As a fire service and (given) the nature of our work, we have an ongoing commitment to community building, and the artwork supports social cohesion.”
Fire Prevention Week, running Oct. 9-15, is held annually by fire departments across North America.
Fire Prevention Day was proclaimed in Canada in 1919 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, as well as a major fire that destroyed the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa on Feb. 3, 1916.
In 1922, Fire Prevention Day expanded to Fire Prevention Week.
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