Art Initiative brings recognition and raises young artist profile in Irish Heritage Month of March
Written by: Bernadette Geronazzo
Every once in a while, a business chooses to do something out of the ordinary and – in the process – receives unexpected positive recognition for their efforts.
Earlier this month, Fishman’s Personal Care Cleaners elected to undertake an art initiative with the intention of adding vibrancy, colour and an opportunity for community engagement. The art initiative is at 615 – 17th Avenue SW – their first of eight locations in Calgary. The intent was to invite art students to take part in providing an element of art which could become part of the window display – and provide gifts for the winner from UNA Pizzeria, TUK TUK Thai, VBurger, Sloth Records and offer the student professional cleaning for a pair of their sneakers as well as a complimentary “Wash & Fold” laundry service for their family.
It was timely to read the news on March 10th from Minister James Maloney – House of Commons of Canada representative – receive unanimous support to declare March as Irish Heritage Month in Canada. According to the latest census data, over 4.6 million Canadian residents have an Irish ethnic connection, which equates to 14% of our total population – higher even than the proportion of Irish Americans in the U.S.
Art submissions were received for Fishman’s art contest, close to St. Patrick’s Day and a letter arrived from former City Planner, Mr. Bob Miller. His letter ended with these comments: “…. As we move out of Covid restrictions businesses will need to be creative in working together to make your shopping area stand out for Calgarians. Your initiative to generate interest through Irish Heritage Month reflects leadership and a positive vision and hope for more success in the days and months ahead.”
On March 17th the art contest winner, Negar F. – a grade 10 International Baccalaureate Program student at Western Canada High school – was chosen. Her family moved to Canada after the Islamic Republic gained power in Iran. When she was 13, Negar began to immerse herself in art after being bullied in school and, very fortunately, describes herself as having found confidence and clarity through her art. Negar is planning to pursue her art and studies in architecture after high school.
“I was not going to participate at first, but my art teacher strongly encouraged me,” says Negar. “These are amazing, prizes and I am grateful as I have never won an art contest before – I feel really proud and amazing…My mom is really happy with the family gift as well!”
Sheldon Fishman, third-generation owner at Fishman’s Personal Care Cleaners says, “We understand our business model has to shift in order to be the leader in our industry, but we also know that we are a fixture in this city. Our commitment to community involvement is the key for us to thrive in the future.”
The Instagram photo contest continues through to March 31st at Fishman’s Personal Care Cleaners on the corner of 615 – 17th Avenue SW. People can simply tag the photo they take of themselves under “Fishman’s Lucky Corner” Rainbow, pot of gold and shamrocks with @fishmansyyc to be entered to win the draw at month end for prizes valued at more than $200 from local merchants along 17th Avenue SW.
Fishman’s Personal Care Cleaners has been providing cleaning services to Calgarians for more than 75 years and has been agile at enlarging services to include alterations, shoe repairs, custom wedding apparel, “Wash & Fold” laundry, linen pressing, uniform cleaning, shoe repair, and twice-weekly pick-up and delivery service.
Contact – Sheldon Fishman – firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fishmans.ca