Quilt marks Canada's 150th birthday

By Michael-Allan Marion, Brantford Expositor

If anyone is stumped about how to explain "What Canada means to me," about 60 members of the Paris Quilting Bees have stitched together an answer.

Twenty-three quilters were on hand at the Brant Sports Complex on Wednesday to celebrate the hanging of a seven-foot by 12-foot banner bearing the words What Canada Means To Me and 70 unique quilt blocks created by all the members with various social, natural and patriotic interpretive themes.

The banner is a reflection of Canadiana in which each block depicts the quilt maker's personal appreciation of the country.

The banner will hang in one great window of the complex for the rest of March as a monumental project marking the Canada 150 celebrations this year. For the rest of the year, it will be placed in several venues throughout Brant, including The Wincey Mills, the Paris Fair and Drumbo Fair, and others still to be announced.

"It took us more than a year to work on this and put it together," said Dale Condie, the group's president.

"We are very pleased and proud to get it completed."

Debbie Desforges, who chaired the Canada 150 committee, said the group was determined to undertake a project to celebrate the country's 150th birthday.

"We had to find suitable locations within Paris and to hang this banner," she said. "That was difficult because of its size, but we found them."

The Paris Quilting Bees is a non-profit group that has been active for 12 years. They help to support the Brant County community in many ways, including an outreach program which makes and distributes quilts to people in need, from maternity wards to Brant Family and Children's Services, Christmas Baskets and nursing homes.

More information on the organization is available by emailing the Paris Quilting Bees at