On June 13, 2018, the community gathered at the White Rock Library to unveil Pieced Together—Canada’s Mosaic, a project that was conceptualized by the staff and participants of Semiahmoo House Society (SHS) to commemerate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation. The intricate project, which took a year to complete, brought together members of the community, with diverse abilities and ages, as they accomplished this amazing piece of art.

During the unveiling ceremony, the two artists involved with the project were invited to say a few words. These are the words of Jasper Macabulos, the artist who designed the mosaic. Jasper is also employed with SHS as a Community Support Worker.

(The project was funded by Community Foundations of Canada and the Government of Canada.)

Mosaic Unveiling
Jasper at most left.

Bits and Pieces

Good morning to everyone.

I was tasked to talk a bit about this art piece. What can I say about it. My brain went blank and all it can come up with was the phrase bits and pieces.

Funny… as I spent the last few days thinking about how I can grandly describe this project, I could have gone with intricate, polychromatic, exquisite, and the like. However, I still ended up with bits and pieces.

I guess that is how I can best put into words what this mosaic is and what it has gone through: bits and pieces.

Bits and pieces. The concept behind it was born in a white Chevy work truck with a crew munching on some Timbits. I was preparing for my citizenship exam last August and I just heard that Brianna voluntold me to design something to commemorate Canada’s 150th. Thank you, Brianna. I am really honoured and happy that you connected me with this project.

I threw the question to the crew: What do you like about Canada? What is cool about it?” All sorts of things came up, from hockey to beavers, maple leaf to the Canucks, Tim Horton’s to Terry Fox, Don Cherry to tuques, poutine to even Deadpool. It was such an enriching moment for me, because there I was trying my very best to prepare for a test from a thick book and yet nothing was sticking in my head. But because of a challenging task laid out to me, and how passionate the crew responded, my curiosity and fervour to learn more about Canada well, double-doubled. (See what I did there? Hehe!)

I took bits and pieces from this experience to start up the makings of what is now the product of hours of hard work of such a diversified group. The concept revolved around inclusion, passion, connection, and just getting together, being a community, hence having the bonfire as the focal point and the phrase “From sea to sea” reflected by the waves. I learned that “from sea to sea” or “Mari usque ad mare” is Canada’s official motto, carried on its coat of arms.

For me, the most beautiful thing beyond the constellation of symbols found in the mosaic is the idea that every bit of tile in place is intricately pieced together by a person who spent time to follow a vision and gave his full effort to push it through to its ultimate completion.

This I believe is the essence of the project. An artwork that a multitude of people can proudly say, “I am a part of that.” This mosaic has brought together people from all walks of life from the young to the young once, from staff to participant, from volunteers to the I have nothing to do-ers, from followers to leaders. Everyone has agreed to share their bit and do their piece. So, this mosaic is us. All of us.

I hope that whenever people look at the mosaic, they will be reminded of how fortunate we are to live in such a place that encourages citizens to try their hardest to see connections in a sea of differences. A country that fosters unity while honouring diversity. A home where all of us are at home.

To my family, my lovely wife and best friend Kristina, my two wonderful kids Elisha and Ezekiel, to my two Moms visiting here from the Philippines, my mother-in-law Diwie and my mother Josie—ask me about my Mother’s Day—and to the whole Society whom I consider my home and family, Semiahmoo House Society, thank you for making me a puzzle piece of the community we are all trying to build.

By Jasper Macabulos, Designer of Pieced Together–Canada’s Mosaic

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