Sunday, March 24, 2013

French-language high school in Richmond Hill named after Norval Morrisseau

École secondaire Norval-Morrisseau

French school has chosen new name for artist

Originally published on November 22nd, 2012
Students, parents and staff have chosen a new name for the French-language high school in Richmond Hill.
The school board, Conseil scolaire Viamonde, has voted unanimously in favour of École secondaire Norval-Morrisseau, honouring one of Canada’s greatest Aboriginal artists.

Known as the “Picasso of the North”, Norval Morrisseau was born in 1932 on the Sand Point Ojibwa Reserve near Thunder Bay. Morisseau’s Ojibwa name means Copper Thunderbird. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1978 to honour his creative body of work.

Mr. Morrisseau, who passed away in 2007, created works depicting the legends of his people, the cultural and political tensions that existed between European and Aboriginal traditions, and his deep spirituality.

In choosing this name, the school is also honouring Mr. Morrisseau as the originator of the Woodlands School of Art, a style adopted by many Aboriginal artists in the 1960s and 1970s.

Jonathan Bouchard, in the board’s communications department, said currently 60 students in grades 7 to 10 are bused to the renovated Wright Street school from across York Region.

He said in the next few years there will be more students and grades 11 and 12 will be added.

Mr. Bouchard said permission for a street sign, bearing the new name of the school, has been requested of the Town of Richmond Hill, and once a permit is given and signs are made, they will be erected at the school.

Conseil scolaire Viamonde extends across southern and central Ontario, providing services to close to 9,450 students in 44 French-language schools.

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* Still image from "The Paradox of Norval Morrisseau" - film by NFB © 1974

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