Flin Flon painting selected for touring art exhibition

A painting that has been on display in the Flin Flon Public Library since 1973 is going on the road.

An art exhibition funded by Heritage Canada entitled “Company Towns” has selected a painting from Flin Flon. The touring show features historical paintings of company towns from across Canada.

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The untitled painting was created by Annette Kirby in 1973 and was initially purchased and gifted to the library by the Flin Flon Historical Society.

Kirby, who now lives in Smeaton, Sask. told The Reminder that she lived in mining towns in Manitoba for more than 30 years and remembers Flin Flon fondly.

“I painted continuously during that time,” said Kirby. “Living in Manitoba’s north will be forever my happiest memories.“

Sociologist Rex Lucas defined company towns as “closed communities owned and administered by the industrial employer,” which, in Flin Flon’s case, applies to the city’s mining industry.

Flin Flon Public Library administrator Courtney Campbell said she initially spoke about the painting’s availability with Jessica Mace, a postdoctoral fellow in affiliation with the Canada Research Chair in Urban Heritage at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

The painting made the cover of the Flin Flon Historical Society’s book Flin Flon in 1974 by Valerie Hedman, Loretta Yauck, and Joyce Henderson, which is how the painting was discovered and selected for the museum tour.

The tour will begin this summer at the Historical Society of Lac-Saint-Jean, Maison des Batisseurs in Alma, Que. The exhibition is scheduled to travel to other sites across Quebec. Organizers are interested in showing it at other sites across Canada in the following years.

The painting is on loan for six years.

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