They’re used to having masks as part of the fun at Halloween, but now the masks bring a much different meaning for some Calgary kids.
Students at Sunalta Elementary School are creating masks to help commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday.
“We thought it’d be cool to explore our identities as Canadians,” said Xstine Cook, a veteran mask-maker in charge of the project.
It’s called “Face Off” and involves each student casting an original mask made of standard bandaging material, then letting it harden on the face.
Students will then decorate the masks to reflect their family’s heritage.
“Because Canada’s such a diverse population, it’s really interesting to do that exploration,” Cook said.
A girl whose background is Dutch and Scottish will paint her mask with a tulip and tartan, to show both sides of her heritage.
The masks also reflect the traditions of Canada’s First Nations.
“Masks are such a unique part if Canada’s history,” Cook said. “There’s such a huge mask tradition in Canada, masks on the east coast, the west coast, up north.”
The masks created by the Sunalta students will go on display March 11 at the Leighton Art Centre gallery, just south of Calgary.
After the exhibit closes on April 29, the students will be able to take their masks home, souvenirs of their part in Canada’s birthday celebrations.