We first met Linda Dumont in the lead-up to the exhibition of YORK at Latitude 53 in July 2013. Linda came to the gallery to see the exhibition, and to interview us about the work for Alberta Street News.
Linda shared some of her memories of the York Hotel with us then, and we were so happy to re-connect with her again during our work on the YORK:Moments project. Linda was kind enough to share a painting she did of the York Hotel with us; we were honoured to include a gel transfer print of her work in the “Carried” installation at Boyle Street Plaza.
I remember Linda commenting that to her, the York wasn’t all that bad a place really. She acknowledged that it could be rough, but she was quick to point out that there was real community in those walls – that there was friendship and love in the place, too.
And history, of all sorts.
One of the things Linda mentioned several times in our conversations were the murals that used to line the York’s tavern walls. She really missed them, and felt their loss when the Hotel was torn down.
Fortunately, Linda had some photos of the murals, as personal mementos – and she generously shared her photos with us so that that images from the murals could also be incorporated into “Carried” and presented here, to serve as a public, community-based record of them.
Frontier images of hard work, travel, and endurance: fitting for a hotel that was home to so many travellers and farmers coming to Edmonton from all over, from 1913 on. And fitting that they should become part of the community’s shared memories through someone who has worked hard for many years in Boyle Street, offering support and a voice for Boyle-McCauley residents.
Thank you, Linda.