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Artisans on Main hopes to expand throughout Three Rivers region

Artist Lorraine Vatcher, left, and Carla Morgan, chairwoman of Artisans on Main, are shown following a presentation to Three Rivers council last month. The Montague-based group is hoping to get support from Three Rivers as it tries to expand its work throughout the new municipality.
Artist Lorraine Vatcher, left, and Carla Morgan, chairwoman of Artisans on Main, are shown following a presentation to Three Rivers council last month. The Montague-based group is hoping to get support from Three Rivers as it tries to expand its work throughout the new municipality. - Mitch MacDonald
MONTAGUE, P.E.I. —

A non-profit group based in the Montague community is hoping art will help unite the new Town of Three Rivers.

Carla Morgan, chairwoman of Artisans on Main (AOM), made a presentation to Three Rivers council last month requesting continued financial support for the non-profit group as it works to expand throughout the new community.

She said expanding would draw together the new community and bring added benefits of drawing in more visitors and mental health wellness.

“(Art) is something that unites people,” said Morgan, adding the group will soon be working to expand its programming and will look at hosting weekly events such as art lessons.

“I believe that art is one thing there can’t be too much of. Art inspires us and artistic expression contributes to the mental health of individuals and communities.”

- Carla Morgan

“I believe that art is one thing there can’t be too much of. Art inspires us and artistic expression contributes to the mental health of individuals and communities.”

AOM was the brainchild of Martina MacDonald and former Montague councillors Janice MacBeth and Peter Doucette. It includes a waterfront gallery that acts as an artists’ co-operative to showcase and sell locally-produced work.

Morgan said the group has since helped turn Montague into a destination which benefits other businesses. The group has also led to some other spin-offs, including the murals and statues in Montague’s art trail and the Points East Plein Air Festival.

“I don’t know if you remember Montague seven years ago, but it’s very different … the town has transformed,” said Morgan.

As a non-profit, Morgan said the group would not have continued without financial support from Montague and ACOA.

While she did not ask for a specific amount, Morgan requested Three Rivers now sponsor and promote the group. She also requested an AOM member be included on whichever committee the town forms to look at arts and events in the community.

“Because we are here, all businesses in the area benefit,” said Morgan.

Deputy mayor Debbie Johnston said the art projects and murals completed in Montague were all on town-owned land. Projects were issued through RFPs and completed over several years with different funding partners.

Johnston said the mandate of Montague’s arts and events committee was to try to add one piece to the art trail every year.

Morgan said she hoped Three Rivers will recognize “from the start” that art will promote integration, belonging and happiness in the community.

“And increase the opportunity for a new community to thrive,” she said.


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