Ontario Barn Quilt Trails (OBQT) Project 2013 - 2015
In 2013, the Ontario Trillium Foundation funded the Ontario Barn Quilt Trails project to promote barn quilt trails throughout Ontario as a way to tell community stories. Funding for this grant is from OTF’s province-wide granting stream. OTF funding is intended to create opportunities for families and individuals of all ages and abilities to become more engaged in their communities. In this case, barn quilts are the medium - an 8 foot square painting of a quilt block installed on a heritage barn.
• Held a conference (October 2013) to share best practices and tools about how to develop and implement community barn quilt projects.
• Built an on-line map where (1) communities can register their barn quilts, (2) appreciators can discover and read the stories that go with the barn quilts (and plan their trip to visit them), and (3) businesses and organizations can help promote the barn quilt trails.
• Engaged people in rural arts and culture, especially those who would not otherwise have access.
• Honoured quilters and drew attention to the textile community, its history, and its importance as an art form.
• Provided seed funding to establish more barn quilt trails throughout Ontario in order to build interest and demonstrate the barn quilt trail concept.
• Demonstrated innovation and creativity by blending location-based digital technology and the arts.
• Demonstrated barn quilts as a catalyst for social enterprise development based on community creativity, storytelling, partnership development, architecture preservation, tourism, heritage appreciation, and community involvement, and the digital world.
• Linked with rural communities in the U.S. and other parts of Canada to establish friendship ties of appreciation and mutual support.
• Honoured the many people that volunteer for communities based initiatives.