On the last weekend of July, House of Paint in partnership with the Britannia Woods Community House Band with support from AOE Arts Council hosted its second HoP in the Hood as part of the Neighbourhood Arts 150 Project.
HoP in the Hood was created as a way to bring a little bit of the House of PainT festival into different communities of the city. With an average age of 23 years, Britannia Woods is one of the youngest areas in the city. The event brought together the community to participate in, celebrate and elevate urban arts and culture through painting, dancing, and sharing experiences.
The idea of creating a mural was something the community had been hoping to do for some time but did not have the capacity to deliver on until this partnership was formalized. Mohamed Sofa, Executive Director of Britannia Woods Community House shared that approximately 70 individuals, both young and old, participated in the design and painting of a large mural completed over two days. The mural project was also an opportunity for participants to learn from established Ottawa muralists Mique Michelle and Alexandre Aimée.
In addition to the mural, community members were able to participate in a dance workshop, a spoken word workshop led by Ottawa Poet Laureate Jamaal Rogers. Performances were held by members of local hip hop act Missing Linx as well as Britannia Woods’ own OTTR (On Track to Royalty). The members of OTTR have honed their writing and beat making skills over the past year through MASC another Neighbourhood Arts 150 supported project.
For the five members of OTTR, who are all teenagers, it was a great opportunity to perform in front of friends and family. “The community was very supportive” said OTTR member Mathew Augustin, “they want to hear more from us.” Their plan is to write more songs says Taj Morrison.
“With an average age of 23 years old, Britannia Woods Community House is one of the younger areas in Ottawa. Sharing a positive message with kids through hip hop is something that will stick with them.”
Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuk3_mix8iM