Pulling To Gather

A community project bridging art and ecological restoration. 

Help restore native ecology!

Pulling To Gather is a community project aimed at restoring Nanaimo’s native ecology in an artful way. Introduced to Nanaimo decades ago, English Ivy has grown into Colliery Dam Park and taken over much of the forest floor. We are taking group action to remove ivy, restore the land’s native ecology, and to repurpose the ivy vines for artful expression. Click below to register!

Join our Earth Day Celebrations!

Where: Colliery Dam Park, Nanaimo
When: April 27th, 2024 from 1pm-9pm
Who: Everyone! This is a family, all-ages event.

The culmination of Pulling To Gather’s month-long efforts to restore the park’s ecosystem and infuse it with artistry, this Earth Day event promises an inspiring showcase of collaborative spirit. Immerse yourself in a kaleidoscope of activities and displays highlighting the transformational power of collective action.

Throughout the day, engage with local artists, environmental activists, and fellow community members as we reflect on the significance of our actions and envision a more resilient future. Together, we celebrate the interconnectedness of art, nature, and community.

Join the fun and volunteer!

A celebration needs a hosting team behind it. We encourage you to join our volunteer team, and contribute your unique magic to the celebrations! Help us welcome guests, place art installations, and keep the space clean, fun, and safe for all. Click the link below to register.

Earth Day Celebration Schedule of Events

All Day Installations 1pm-9pm

  • Pulling Ivy Sewing Seeds by community members, work sessions facilitated by Art Action Earwig & bailey macabre
  • Photography of women by Mayita Mendez
  • Sculptural installations by Court Dheensaw and Joel Good
  • Special Appearance by The Beehive Design Collective

Performances

1:00-1:15 Sandra Good, Snuneymuxw Elder’s protocol

1:15-1:30 Storytelling by Celestine Aleck

2:00-3:00 Silent Disco led by Valerie Mermet (registration required)

2:15-2:30 Poetry by Kamal Parmar

3:15-3:30 Love Tooth Nest performance by Art Action Earwig

3:45-4:00 Dance by Reclaim Collective

4:30-4:45 Dance by Shvii Rosen

5:30-5:45 Dance by Jack Flash Jack

6:00-6:15 Storytelling by Craig Taylor

6:30-9:00 Love Tooth Nest audiovisual projection (loop) by Art Action Earwig

7:00-8:00 Dance party with DJ Chris Bigelow

8:15-8:45 Music by Kristjanne Vosper

9:00 End of the evening

We acknowledge that the City of Nanaimo resides on the Traditional Territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. We recognize and honor their enduring connection to this land, their stewardship of its resources, and their rich cultural heritage. We offer our gratitude for the opportunity to live, work, and learn on this territory, and we commit to fostering meaningful relationships built on respect, understanding, and reconciliation.

In the foreground center, a water droplet hangs from a filament of moss growing from the side of a tree at the left side. Trees blur in the background on the right side.

Who And What We Are

Pulling To Gather is a community-driven eco-art project bringing art and ecological restoration together.

This project brings together artists’ desire for creative action and land stewards’ aim to raise awareness through art. The spread of invasive species threatens ecosystems, making them more vulnerable to climate disasters and cultural loss.

Informed by teachings from Snuneymuxw Elders on medicinal plants, we recognize the urgent need to protect endangered ecosystems. Our objective is to empower artists and participants by sharing knowledge, facilitating hands-on experiences to restore ecological balance, and engaging in collaborative art projects to promote climate resilience.

Over 12 weeks (March to May), we will host intensive Earth Activities, culminating in a celebratory event at Colliery Dam Park, heavily affected by English Ivy infestation.The celebration, presented by the City of Nanaimo on April 27th (Earth Day Weekend), will feature renowned Snuneymuxw storyteller Celestine Aleck’s storytelling and an exhibition of artworks inspired by the Earth Activities.

Throughout the project, we will organize ten ivy pulling parties at the park, involving community members in removing invasive ivy. These gatherings offer opportunities for artists to collaborate and provide ivy vines harvested during the events for their creative endeavors.

Project Leaders

Minah Lee

Art Action Earwig

Wryly Andherson

Art Action Earwig

Michael Geselbracht

Nanaimo Forest School

Check out what we’ve been up to!

The following images were taken at our plant pulling sessions down at Colliery Dam.

Thank you to our sponsors and supporters!

Nanaimo Forest School
Crimson Coast Dance
City of Nanaimo
Nanaimo & area Land Trust
Canada Council For The ARts