AR:T ROUTE CANADA

SISTERS OF THE MOTHER ROAD

A SALUTE TO EXPLORE GOLD COUNTRY TO HONOR OUR LINEAR COMMUNITIES

Penned by Lorrie Fleming April 27, 2020

            As the world struggles with climate change, economic adversity and the silent enemy of the COVID-19 pandemic, humanity awaits to reconnect, as social distancing becomes a distant point in time.

            Recently, I shared a surprising & joyful conversation with Cathryn Wilson, of the BC Achievement Foundation, to relay news of my nomination for a Community Award; and it still seems surreal!    In that regard, I am equally humbled, honored and overcome by a feeling that I have reached a juncture along this epic journey to unite the ‘Mother Road’ with BC’s ‘Gold Rush Road’.  An International Art Gateway Project envisioned & created by Master Muralist Michael Loughery is being considered to connect Rural BC along a borderless & cultural journey.  This would include portions of the TCH #1 and [Route 66, 97 & 99] adjoined as one linear community.  

            I remain speechless!  “Sometimes historic paths aren’t discovered until they’re lost”!   Such meaningful words of wisdom notated by a fellow Route 66 aficionado (Anthony Arno).  In my viewpoint of traveling on a road for so long, daylight fades into sunset; and you find yourself following headlights into the unknown.  Somewhere along the way dawns new light cast by living angels to guide us back on track.  I’m referring to my “Sisters of the Mother Road” (Michelle & Stacey creators of ‘Art Route Blue’ and Marcie & her team at ‘Explore Gold Country’).  Special acknowledgement is directed to folks like Steve & Paulette Rice, proprietors of the Historic Packinghouse Eatery, who meet & greet hungry travelers embarking on a scenic journey along an original portion of TCH roadway in Spences Bridge!

            A renown writer quoted “Not all those who wander are lost”; and I believe that we’re all just searching for a new path worth traveling!   Perhaps it’s passion that drives us to find a special place on the road.  Speaking of myself, I can neither sing, dance nor draw, but somehow the people that crossed my path (namely Michelle & Her Creatives) collectively transfer passion into energy driven by the perpetual Power of Art!  Therein lies a permanent bond to greet travelers by painted walls and voice over techniques hearing storytellers that awaken our spirits along a linear community linked by a connective corridor of neighborhoods, families and friendships.    

            Together, we’re traveling in the same direction guided by the power of passion, people & planet.  In an uplifting transformation, the ‘Mother Road meets the Mother Lode’ and we become a family.  Travel the road slowly, stop or stay to live & learn and cross the bridge of knowledge that connects the urban & rural.  Our Ancestors shall rise and show us the way… “Wisdom is the Sunlight of the Soul”! 

A lost road will remember your footsteps, for someday you may wish to return to trace the way

{Quote by Munia Khan}

LINEAR COMMUNITIES & Old is New Thematic CORRIDORS Driving A New Creative Recovery Vision By Connecting-The-Arts. .spots

RURAL REVIVAL ELEVATED TO AN ART! SPREADING SEEDS TO SUCCESS

Narrative by Lorrie Fleming
From the Diary of a Seasoned Traveler along the Roads Less Traveled…

Our highways are the stimulus to steer a renewed and creative sense of place into the heartland of our rural communities. The creative augmented reality of connecting ‘art-in-motion’ is moving closer to actuality, staged along an existing lifeline of humanity surviving between faded gridlines of our highways & byways. A fresh coat of paint is a clear solution to refresh the hopes of humanity living in small towns faced by the reality of a sluggish economy. Survival in the confines of these small towns, hidden in the shadows of cities and seemingly lost between the spaces of our society, remain to be a constant challenge and “takes a village” to achieve a renewed sense of permanence for their future. Reinventing themselves with a creative new image brushed by an injection of hand-to-land artwork stimulates sustainability for a fulfilling & healthful lifestyle that may silently be embedded within its existing foundation & infrastructure.

In the wisdom of others who have faced similar challenges in the advent of Main Streets becoming obsolete by freeways, Route 66 communities (described as a 2,448-mile linear village) was reawakened by the spirit of the folks who refused to let their towns disappear into the sunset. A rebirth of Rural America was born, and a renaissance movement began to rekindle the value of small towns and welcome back a new generation of travelers to experience the journey.

The spirited town of Seligman, after years of economic deprivation of being bypassed by a superhighway, Route 66 in a portion of Arizona State was designated a “Historic Corridor”. This amazing feat was resultant of the determination and drive of ‘The Road Guardian’, Angel Delgadillo (The Founder of the Arizona Historic Route 66 Association) and the citizens who remain proud to call the town of Seligman their home. Arizona is accredited to holding the longest remaining unbroken (158 mile) stretch of Route 66; and the preservation efforts speak to its beholden history and to the vibrant future on the road ahead.

To commemorate this historic title to honor Route 66 from Seligman to Kingman situated along this proclaimed longest stretch of remaining uninterrupted portion of the road in Arizona State, the townsites hosted a ‘Fun Run’ auto event and invited the world to celebrate the rebirth of “Historic Route 66”. The first Route 66 Fun Run was held in 1988 and every year in May, Route 66 enthusiasts worldwide continue to gather to celebrate ‘The Mother Road’ revival and the unique communities that make it a linear destination!

Back here at home in Rural BC, as direct descendants of the Mother Road, we are poised to

reach out to linear communities along Route 97 & 99 joining (TCH – Route One) corridors to broaden our

scope along BC’s heritage highways. Route 66 is the cohesive exemplary paradigm to drive the Rural Revival February 22, 2020

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consciousness of travelers onward & upward to BC, reaching the Gold Rush & First Nations Trails to enjoy the drive and savor the experience that exists ‘borderless by nature’.

Art Route Blue flows in harmony with scenic & vintage portions of Canada’s Mother Road (TCH) and its connecting crossroads. An ‘Art Route Parkway’ is the vein of The Mother Road, a natural bloodline bred to promote, protect and energize historic & cultural travel and encompass inclusivity (of all ethnic origins) to embark on the ultimate North American Gateway to ‘Art-in-Motion’. Moving ahead,the Art Route deserves a place (not just a reflection in our rear-view mirror) but in the face of ourwindshield and sited on maps alongside of natural wonders and ‘must-see’ travel experiences. Art “HotSpots” laudable to be highlighted with significance and placed in the spotlight (such as parks & facades)laced along scenic parkways. Create ‘Authentic Art Gateways’ to showcase and celebrate the grandeurof outdoor canvasses bequeathed to travelers amid a creative landscape for generations to follow.

Lessons be learned from those who witnessed the downfall decades of towns & livelihoods in bust & boon economic shifts. The Mother Road shall rise like the tidewaters upon our shores and bring new life in the form of “Art”, creativity, resourcefulness and ingenuity. Let’s Celebrate a Rural Reclamation, as a piece of Canada’s Heritage that’s sitting on the leading edge of ‘art-in-motion’. Follow in the steps of the Guardian of Route 66 (Angel Delgadillo) who spearheaded & shepherded America’s Main Street back from the ashes through to the ages!

In closing, the cover photo features the Route 66 Fun Run cavalcade heading west of Seligman (the Birthplace of Historic Route 66), and reminiscent of one of my favorite heritage sites, Spences Bridge, once a traveler’s hub along the Trans Canada Highway, now a prime “Art Parkway” awaiting for the tide- to-turn toward a creative economic reboot for Rural BC. Dream ~ Draw and Drive it!

AR:T RURAL ROUTE BLUE

BUILDING CROSSROADS IN 2020

AR:T RURAL

An All-Inclusive Greenway Enriched in Blue & Gold

Written By:  Lorrie Fleming, Member of ‘The Blue Team’ 

            Going Back to Our Roots … “Where were you in 1962”?  Our revered Trans Canada Highway was officially opened on September 3, 1962, building a Nation to link Victoria, BC to St. John’s Newfoundland.  Spanning Coast-to-Coast and Rural-to-Town, the introduction of a nation-wide transportation corridor woven into the tapestry of a ‘National Dream’ laced the stories together in the true spirit of our Confederation Founding Fathers.  At the time of its completion in 1971, this 7,821-kilometre epic journey was “the longest (uninterrupted) highway on earth”!  

            Michelle, A Pioneering Visionary, has brilliantly sculpted a futuristic, eco-cultural and all-inclusive movement that extends far beyond our ‘Canadian National Dream’.  In her adept wisdom, creative thinking and articulate language in the expression of Art, Michelle, by way of the Rural Route Blue initiative, transforms far outreaching spaces of our national highway into a vast multi-cultured platform of connectivity.

            Keeping in mind the vast lineage shaped by the legendary “Mother Road” with bloodlines that launched in 1926, she held the heart of America for nearly a century and changed the course of a nation by a powerful force in moving humanity.    Today, 2020 is approaching in our near vision and Michelle has set her sights on Rural Route Blue as an extension of the Mother Road, to move with the times in perfect harmony.  Driven by Michelle, Canada’s Mother Road is turning a corner toward a cultural rebirth with her deep-rooted sense of story telling via outdoor galleries encompassing a revolutionary evolving enhanced system of sight, sound & voice over technology. 

            Walls Will Talk… History has a brand-new lens to the future by way of a dimensional eco-force that extends into the transportation tapestry of humankind along a timeless and connective corridor that’s alive within our “cross-by-car” lifestyle.  Retrace an epic journey to rediscover and traverse our footpaths through the windshield to explore vehicular experiences that carved two nations in a cross-boundary trajectory of friendship.  

Through the vivid eyes of a gifted Artist, Michelle injects color into this new dimension using a dynamic mix of blue ‘n green with a dusting of Gold freshly picked from nature’s toolbox.  She has created a ubiquitous guideway for generations to learn & grow.  A new E-Highway paved with the aggregate of people, place & purpose awaits along ‘Rural Route Blue’ with arteries that connect a multi-directional, cultural and “art-in-motion & destination-mural-town” journey. 

See you soon “down the road” in 2020.  Meantime may the spirit of our ‘Mother Roads’ carry you to amazing places full of awe inspiring and multi-colored faces.  Now you can hear their voices!  

 Writer’s Footnote:

In my viewpoint, the patriarch link that connects Canada & USA is Great Britain’s Hudson’s Bay Company.  It cannot be understated the value of the footpaths that these brigades forged, alongside Aboriginal Americans who guided the expeditions to discover and delve deeper into the heart & soul of this vast new land called North America.  “Trapping Furs & Turning Gold” …Our history speaks through a land of braided trails with a renewed “Rush to Riches”!  Lorrie

AR:T Route Blue ROAD REPORT

…Here we are at the start point of the legendary Cariboo Wagon Road that carved a permanent place on Canada’s Western Frontier.  A major transportation hub from fur trails-to-steel rails echoing tales of BC’s historic significance to carry our nation through the ages.  Our history speaks in many languages…Listen quietly, you will be amazed at what you may hear between the timelines of travel!
Lorrie,
Tracing our Trails

Michelle:
Your articulate words speak succinctly to the integrity of your leadership.  An educator, motivator, coach and servant leader (the list is endless)!
Our Society is blessed by your contribution to inspire humankind.  
My heart is touched by you!
Lorrie
Road Mother

The faces of the people

No matter what road life takes you, it truly is the people along the way that are the paint strokes in the canvas of your life. As an artist that traveled the world I have met many many faces. This picture is of a wonderful young man that worked so hard for the Merritt crew. His story was his to tell and he honoured us with parts of it. He shared his dreams and we shared wisdoms to support those dreams. But this young man taught me resilience and silent strength. He was turned away from the care that is his right to receive when he hurt himself during a young rowdy weekend. He bandaged his hand and he came to work on the murals. Not a word was said by him.

When we realized he did not get a response to his visit to the clinic, a colourful paint spattered group went marching into that clinic demanding not to quietly his right to care. You see this young man wanted to be a carpenter and his hand is is tool, his talent and his livelihood. Yes we were muralists, but more we were family.

Route blue shout out by former CEO of #Vancouver #Tourism

Rick Antonson:   Former President and CEO of Tourism Vancouver, world traveler and author of five books (including Route 66 Still Kicks – Driving America’s Main Street), kindly contributes this statement to honor Route Blue ~ Blue Renew…  “The time-honoured phrase “One for the road” gets nicely paraphrased when Route 66 enters the discussion as it becomes “All for the road” since everyone has a common sense that the road mattered, matters and will always matter — as it continues to lead us to interesting mindsets and places, and to inspire fascinating art such as route-blue-buoy”.  Rick

http://rickantonson.com/