To celebrate Canada’s 150th year of independence we speak to founder, Joanne Spence on this beautiful collaboration.
Tell us about your collaboration
“Happy 150th, Canada” is a celebration in sugar art of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. Because Canada is a melting pot of cultures, I wanted this collaboration to be a melting pot of skill levels, and opened it up to the home hobbyist all the way to the highly skilled pros. What I was not expecting was the outside (Canadian borders) requests to join. I thought about it and decided it was only right to give everyone their chance to be a Canadian, even if only in sugar art. Since the collaboration has closed, I have decided to reopen it, and extend to 30 June 2018. People interested can contact me.
What inspired you to do this theme?
I am very proud to be Canadian. 150 years is a significant milestone for a young country, and there are celebrations all over our country for all different activities. I was actually watching and waiting for someone else to create this collaboration. When it became clear I was not going to find it, I decided to try my hand at putting together a collaboration on my own just so I could create a piece and share it.
Tell us about a few of the pieces that have been made
The very first piece I received was from Italy; I was amazed to see how a European viewed Canada, and how she put it into her cake. I love how she represented Canadian iconic items and locations. Another sugar artist entered her creation in the Calgary Stampede cake competition and walked away with a blue ribbon! Her piece dedicated to First Nations and their culture is absolutely beautiful. Although I think all the pieces entered so far are beautiful, creative, and so worthy of note, I have to say my favourite, by far, is the Avro Arrow. The detail is stunning, and this piece did an amazing job capturing that bit of Canadian (aviation and military) history. There are other pieces representing First Nations culture, another representing Canadians’ willingness and ability to accept, the Canada 150 Tulip developed by horticulturists in the Netherlands just for this year, and so much more. I really do encourage people to visit to see the wonderful work these artists have created.
How many members were in your collaboration?
There are 14 submissions so far. As I mentioned earlier, I have recently decided to reopen the collaboration and run it to 30 June 2018. I want to celebrate my country’s birthday right upto her next one.
How did you decide on this group of people?
I posted my intention and a very basic collaboration description, and a group link, on every cake group on Facebook I belonged to. I also posted a forum note on Cakes Decor. As people requested to join, I accepted. My only regret is that after the collaboration originally closed, I rejected requests to join the group. I wish I could go back and add them now that I have extended the dates.
Did anything go wrong during the process?
YES!!! My laptop gave me the blue screen of death!! A friend of mine very nicely resuscitated it for me. It put me way behind, though. Days, in fact.
If you were to do it again, what would you do differently?
Well, first I would ask for one or two people to assist. Even with a small number of entries, there is a LOT of work to be done. I still have to find a way to publish the project so members not on Facebook can see the entire collaboration. Second, I would work on doing the collages as soon as they arrived instead of trying to do them all at once.