“What the Heck is” introduces you to Vancouver organizations and causes you might not have yet heard about, written from an insider’s point of view by people working within them. View the archive HERE.
Words: Foster Eastman
What the heck the is LestweforgetCANADA? It’s a community mural being created right now in the window showcased at 1445 West Georgia (formerly Buschlen Mowatt Gallery).
The mural is made up of 162 canvases honouring each of the Canadian soldiers and civilians killed in Afghanistan. The purpose of the mural is to bring awareness to the grief, struggles and challenges facing the survivors of war: spouses, children, parents, siblings and veterans. In fact, it is the veterans, friends and families who are creating the mural (under the supervision of the artist in residence – me).
The lestweforgetCANADA.com mural is a fundraiser for the Veterans Transition Network… a series of workshops developed by Dr. Marvin Westwood at UBC to counsel Veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and depression. With so many recent suicides, help is desperately needed and the VTN helps save lives.
Sending peacekeepers to Afghanistan has taken its toll and we now have an opportunity to do our part. Sponsor a panel. The goal is to raise $162,000 with all funds going directly to the Veterans Transition Network. Over the past few years, approximately 400 Veterans have participated in the program resulting in no suicides. So the program works and these soldiers develop the skills and tools necessary to transition into civilian life.
The mural depicts the grief and loss experienced by families and friends because of war and will be revealed April 16. All sponsors will be invited to mount their panel in place. An exhibit by Vancouver artists concerning Canada’s participation in Afghanistan will be on display during April, May and June with proceeds going to support the Veterans Transition Network.