Last Monday was a very special day for my family and I. My mother's painting, Honouring My Father, was unveiled in Mayor Jim Watson's boardroom at City Hall, where it will be on display next to original paintings by The Group of Seven. The painting will be seen by school groups, ambassadors and dignitaries who visit with the mayor at City Hall. An enhanced print will also be on display in City Hall for everyone to see. The best part is how much this painting has already given back to fallen soldier Nathan Cirillo's son, Marcus.
The paining was made after the tragic shooting at the War Memorial because like everyone that day, my mom was distraught at the news that a young man—a brave soldier—was tragically shot, especially because this man was a single dad, raising his young five year old son, Marcus. It was an incredibly sad day for Ottawa.
News of the painting travelled far and wide, and my mom received hundreds of emails, likes, requests, suggestions, and messages, about the painting and the media quickly interviewed her in articles online, in print, and on television. The Mayor requested to meet with my mom to find a way to make this painting public, for all to see.
Prints were quickly made, and hundreds sold instantly, though Koyman Galleries. Prints are still being sold daily, and the best part is that all profits from every single print sold are going to Marcus's TD trust fund.
Over the weekend, my mom and I met with Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's mom at Chateau Laurier and had a tea, along with Nathan's good friend, Brandon, who was also with him the day he was tragically shot. It was an emotional meeting. We hugged a few times, cried, and even laughed, despite the circumstances. My mom presented her with the first enhanced print and she said the painting will be hung in Marcus's room.
"We'll neve obviously replace his dad, but certainly through these financial contributions, we can make sure that he is given those breaks in life to go to college or university and to help him as he grows up without a father," said Mayor Jim Watson during the unveiling.
I truly love how much one painting has given back in such a huge way, and I love that something good has come out of such a tragedy. My boys were so proud of their grandmother! Giving back and finding a positive way to remember the good is so important.