By Jamie McKenzie

For the last few months, youth in the Temiscaming and Kipawa area have been working on a graffiti project. Genevieve Champagne is the Outreach Worker for Carrefour Jeunesse Emploi du Témiscamingue (CJET), she worked with the youth to bring their graffiti to life.

“We took a historical place which [is] the pipelines here in Temiscaming, which is a place that the kids already go to,” said Champagne, adding that the pipes had already been vandalized with graffiti that wasn’t the nicest for people to look at.

For the project, she brought in an artist from Rouyn-Noranda, who came to meetings to help the more than 20 youth learn about graffiti before starting to paint the actual graffiti on the pipes.

“It was a really good opportunity for them to learn how to do graffiti and to really make it their own,” she said.

The graffiti project began with the CJET as part of the Delinquency Prevention Program through sports, arts and culture of the Government of Quebec, in partnership with Quebec Public Security, the City of Témiscaming as well as the Museum.

The goal of the project is to transform a historic place that is currently vandalized, into an artistic and cultural place that everyone can appreciate. For this project, that place is the pipeline in Temiscaming (the White Oaks entrance).

Champagne says it was a good way to show everyone in town that the youth are able to get together and achieve something that everyone can enjoy.

“They’re mature and they are capable and this project went very, very good.”

During the last few months, during the meetings the youth learned how to do graffiti art, they got to practice their artistic skills. They also learned about the history of graffiti, as well as, having discussions about how to manage their emotions.

The final project all came together during one weekend in April. When the youth came together to paint graffiti on the pipes.

Champagne said that along with the youth participating in the project the weekend also had many volunteers who helped with everything from helping to carry supplies to the pipes to cooking and delivering food to everyone involved.

“I would tell everybody to actually go look because it’s even more than we originally thought, the kids were on fire, seriously, once they got started they just wanted to keep going. We were thinking of only [painting] the sides but we were actually able to do all around, so there’s some on the ceiling and on the sides,” said Champagne.

She said this project turned out great and it’s something that if the youth want to do again, she’d be open to doing another graffiti project. But for now, she says if people want to check out the graffiti you can find it at the pipeline at the White Oaks entrance.

“It’s really cool, it’s really awesome to be honest, so I would encourage everybody to go check that out.”