Making Banners at the Labour Lounge


We spent Friday night in Hamilton at the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre as part of their Labour Lounge series (organized by once-Windsorite, Andrew Lochhead).

In a little less than two hours, we led a workshop and explosion of creativity with some amazingly great 13-year-olds. We made banners, two really great banners that will be hung up in the community gallery at the WAHC for a month (soon)!


The WAHC is like a huge and extremely well-maintained MacKenzie Hall. There are exhibitions ongoing throughout the space, and the main room doubles as a community auditorium of sorts.


We set up to give a quick artist talk / overall description of what we do.


We use Keynote for our presentations whenever possible—consider it highly recommended.


Michelle going over the slides for our presentation.


Danielle and Josh getting some refreshments before we started.


The great folks who came out for our workshop!


After our quick artist talk, we brainstormed with the two groups to try to come up with some messages for their banners. One group went with, “Let’s try this together.”


The other group went with “Do you see what I see?” We tried to encourage the groups to go with a message that somehow spoke to what they felt about their community or their place within it… so both of those messages were awesome choices.


The length of material we would use for our substrate.


After some quick brainstorming on messages, everyone got to work.


One group worked with fabric samples, while the other group worked with paint.


The fabric samples provided a pretty perfect sized letter.


The paint was a bit more unruly, but I might argue, a lot more fun!


Consider my bias though—Danielle and I kept the momentum going with the painting group, while Josh and Michelle worked with the fabric group.


Sizing the letters freehand with paint was a bit challenging.


The fabric message being assembled.


The letters were temporarily pinned onto the banner.


Most of the letters got an outline.


More pins and more letters.


Michelle supervising the hot-gluing of letters once they were placed on the banner.


The banner, “LET’S TRY THIS TOGETHER!” finished. I didn’t get a photo of the other banner, but it looked awesome as well!

It was pretty incredible to do so much, including our intro talk, in under two hours. It was a lot of fun to work with strangers and we were really impressed with the messages they came up with. Facilitating something like this was a really great experience for us, and hopefully we can try something like this again soon. So, Hamilton—thank you!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, not posted, but equally cool: a dance-off mostly between the youth, but with some participation by Michelle to the hip hop tunes of Lee Reed – very great, and interesting, to see a really good turnout (on top of the youth workshop participants) of people who came out to a place like the WAHC on a Friday night to hear hip hop. Again, it would be great to get to spend some more time in Hamilton in the near future.

One Reply to “Making Banners at the Labour Lounge”

  1. This was fun! It was interesting to participate in an event for youth aged 13-25. The kids got really into it and seemed to have a good time! Thank you for not posting the video of me busting a groove to Lee Reid.

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