The Heron

Bird oh hope

The Heron mural was created by internationally renowned graffiti artist Mique Michelle, also known as Dominique Boisvenue. Mique’s bold and bright creatures are borrowed from traditional legends and myths, bringing together woodlands style and spray can art.

Mique created the gigantic soaring heron to bring a message of courage and hope to West Nipissing. The Ojibwe words for “courage” and “see you again soon” along with the names of lost community members are incorporated within the artwork.

Mique Michelle

A Métis Anishinaabe Franco-Ontarian from Field, Mique’s nomadic journeys allowed her to exercise her graffiti from northern Ontario to France. Through her travels and studies at the Ottawa School of Art, she has evolved as a mixed media artist and an active facilitator of the arts in Ottawa.

Her work can be seen in galleries, public buildings and in outdoor venues. Mique remains a strong advocate indigenous issues and abolishing negative perceptions of graffiti.

A symbol of patience and luck

The Great Blue Heron is the largest heron in Canada, with adults standing over 1 m high with their necks outstretched and weighing in at around 2.5 kg. Its long limbs dictate the heron’s movements: it flies with deep, slow wing beats, and on land, or in the water, it walks erect with long strides. These majestic birds live long lives, some as long as 17 years. 

Many Indigenous peoples in North America view the heron as a symbol of patience and good luck. This belief takes root in the Northwest Coast, where people believe that if fishermen spot a heron, it means good luck is with them, and they will have a successful fishing trip.

The First Mural

The mural pictured here was also painted by Mique.  Featuring fish from area lakes with a bright yet soft watercolour quality, the mural, which has since been painted over, marked the beginning of the Downtown Murals project in Sturgeon Falls.

The Tribune

The Heron is painted on the north side of the building which currently houses the Tribune. West Nipissing’s community newspaper since 1968, The Tribune proudly keeps residents abreast of all the news and events that affect them on a bi-weekly basis.

The paper is published in both English and French and remains one of Ontario’s increasingly rare independent 100% locally owned and operated newspapers. It is also one of the rare bilingual publications in Canada, respecting West Nipissing’s rich and unique bilingual and tri-cultural character.



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Excerpt of
West Nipissing Mural and Sign Tour

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